Girl Gang: Christmas Edition

Inspired as always by my girl, it’s your festive edition of the Girl Gang series. Obviously.

Barb, Black Christmas (1974)

Oh, why don’t you go find a wall socket and stick your tongue in it. That’ll give you a charge.

I have a real soft spot for the festive sub genre of Christmas horror movies and Black Christmas is no exception. While it offers up a traditional slasher narrative, it is also very sad. I also love it for the progressive tackling of its abortion story line and its delivery of super messed up characters, particularly Barb (played by the late, great Margot Kidder).

By rights I suppose Jess (Olivia Hussey) should be the standout for this gang, given her position as the level-headed Final Girl but Barb pips her to the post and I’ll tell you why. Sure, she’d be quite the challenge as an actual friend, her drinking is very damaging but the girl needs help damn it. She’s sassy, she’s mean (but funny) and she’s also quick-witted AF (particularly when snarking out an obscene telephone caller).

Every GG need a blunt and dynamic member and Barb’s our girl, though maybe someone needs to have a word with her about getting kids drunk. I hate that Barb isn’t the sole survivor of Billy and his murderous tendencies but if you’re going to go out, why not take death by crystal unicorn? ICONIC.

Let’s be honest that Den Mother, Mrs Mac (Marian Waldman) totally has an open-ended invite to join this group too – what a dame. You can read my review of Black Christmas here.

Bridget Jones, Bridget Jone’s Diary (2001)

Wait a minute… nice boys don’t kiss like that.

Inviting Bridge to the party seems like a pretty obvious move and I’m not sorry. BJ is a sweary hot mess who makes poor decisions and messes up a lot but she also takes risks and isn’t afraid to make a tit of herself. I can honestly say that there is nothing more appealing to me than a person who can embrace their goofy side (my friend Heather is a shining example of this).

Bridge is somewhat normal and when I’m hanging out with girls I want to feel comfortable and never judged about my own dubious choices. BJ would never shame me and she’d be down for whatever, ride or die to the end. I think she’s inspirational too in so many ways, while she’s fucking up she does also learn and eventually realises her worth isn’t dependent on validation from Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).

If we were friends though I would have to have a very stern chat with her about her constant diet talk and calorie counting – do it on your own watch, Miss Jones for the love of God.

Iris, The Holiday (2006)

I’m looking for corny in my life.

Oh, Iris, let me count the ways in which I love you.

The Holiday, I would say is on par with Love Actually it terms of quality but that’s not to say I don’t fucking adore it. But, while Cameron Diaz skips through snowy fields with Jude Law, I’m always dying to get back to Iris (Kate Winslet) in the city of Angels.

Iris is a perpetual romantic with her heart set on the ultimate bad boy (Rufus Sewell) – been there, done that. The thing is, she’s just about done with his games and her apartment swap is the first step in a long journey to getting the fuck over it. Step in Jack Black and arguably the much more important leading man, Arthur (Eli Wallach).

Iris is a good, kind woman and she’s a laugh. She’s into movies and she’s into banter and I want to have a drink with her in a bar so bad – and then I want to go home and watch old videos with her into the early hours and laugh about all the rat bastards that have ever broken our hearts.

Selina Kyle, Batman Returns (1992)

Honey, I’m home. Oh, I forgot. I’m not married.

Sure, lonely but lovely Miss Kyle becomes one of Gotham’s greatest villains/heroes of all time following a terrible ‘accident’ at the hands of her boss Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) – but even before that she was an interesting person and I want Selina on my team.

While she’s portrayed as a bit of a door mat, I don’t see her that way. Selina’s ambitious and damn good at her job. While the men around her only see her as a lowly secretary, the woman holds everything together (familiar?). Our girl is gorgeous and sweet – and what’s more, nothing can keep her down. Not even death and certainly not Batman or Shreck – or the pervy Penguin.

Selina evolves from self-deprecating loser to mischievous minx to the sassiest adversary Gotham’s dark knight has ever seen and the arc is beautiful. PLUS, I want her apartment and her entire wardrobe SO BAD. SUE ME.

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Selina Kyle: so good she deserves her own slideshow…

Who’s in your gang?

Bee Movie (Film) Review

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Girl meets… bee. 🐝

The premise of this film is balls-out bonkers, frankly. Part thriller, part romance with a dash of courtroom drama, Bee Movie is the first animated film we’ve reviewed as part of the Collab, which is actually shocking given that I live for this shit. It is the second movie about bees though.

This week’s choice is, for some reason, one of those films that has been adopted by the Internet to become something of a cult classic – and I can’t decide if it’s sheer brilliance or the worst thing I’ve ever seen. (Leaning towards the latter).

*Spoilers*

Bee Movie (2007)

IMDB Synopsis

Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them.

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Bee serious for a second

My Review

Where the fuck are you supposed to start with this one? It’s just one bad bee-pun after another with slightly dodgy animation and the weirdest promotion of inter-species romance I’ve ever seen. Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) has graduated school, college and everything else within the space of about a week because bee time is different to human time, obviously.

He has his whole life ahead of him but that thought doesn’t thrill him as much as it should. Destined to be a worker bee until his dying day, Barry has doubts about choosing a vocation that he’ll be doing forever and kicks back against tradition, much to the consternation of his dear parents.

One day he manages to wangle his way in with the Pollen Jocks, the big strong bees that go out into the world and pollinate the shit out of everything. During his first awe-inspiring day trip, he ends up in a fight for his life and is rescued by kind-hearted florist Vanessa (Renée Zellweger).

A friendship (or more?) soon develops between Vanessa and Barry – who share a lot in common – e.g. they like flowers. Barry has inappropriate fantasies about Vanessa that involve her waggling her butt suggestively in a stripey yellow body con and it’s quite uncomfortable. Vanessa’s husband/boyfriend is mad jealous of Barry too which suggests that they must have the shakiest relationship in history. Like, honestly? Bee serious.

You still with me?

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How they bee laughin’

One day Barry finds out that humans eat honey (not vegans, bro) – and it blows his tiny mind so much that he decides to sue humankind. Yep. Cue the courtroom segment of this crazy ride, in which Barry and his friend sit at a tiny, tiny desk and take on Layton T. Montgomery (John Goodman), the hotshot lawyer brought in to defend America’s largest honey corporations.

Are you her little… bedbug? ~ Layton T. Montgomery

(What. The. FUCK).

In a disappointing but all too familiar side note, I want to express my annoyance that as per usual the main antagonist of this child’s movie has to be identified as evil by his ginormous gut and gluttonous ways. Because everyone know that one of the most obvious identifiers of truly evil people is their fat (see the Trump rhetoric). Lazy and so not cool, Dreamworks.

It will surprise nobody to learn that Barry and his bee brethren win the case and stop the honey business in its tracks. Montgomery warns Barry that he’s messing with nature but Barry is high on the win and doesn’t take it on-board. Silly arrogant little bee-astard.

Sadly, Montgomery’s prediction comes to something when all the bees are put out of work (who knew?) and all the flowers begin to die because there’s no one left to pollinate them. Vanessa has to close her florist business. Luckily, there’s a perfectly contrived flower festival just a short plane ride away and Bazza comes up with an amazing idea to save the day, the bees and the world’s flowers – and it’s all so ridic I can’t even be bothered to go into the details.

Look, we’re all really here to figure out if a bee and a human woman can really sustain a happy and fulfilling relationship, aren’t we? And the answer is, who knows? Maybe they can, maybe that’s the recipe for success, to find yourself a talking insect and go with the flow.

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Bay-bee bee mine

My Thoughts

The bee jokes really grate after a few minutes and Barry is irritating af but I really enjoyed Chris Rock‘s Mooseblood the Mosquito. And I also think, if nothing else, that the dedication to the bee universe and every little detail is quite inspiring.

That said, this is no Shrek and it suffers for the tired dialog.

My Rating

1.5/5. Bee gone, Barry!

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Oops wrong movie.

What did Jill make of Bee Movie? Would she pollinate it (?) or tell it to buzz off? Find out here, obvs.

The Face

Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain at the 2004 Oscars
Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain at the 2004 Oscars

This week the world went loco about Renée Zellweger’s face.

It wasn’t really new news, as I’d seen images of her before she attended the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards and set the world spinning off it’s axis; but it seems that now infamous trundle up the red carpet has stuck in the consciousness of everyone from your BFF to the (male) Janitor who talks to you in the ladies while you’re having a wee (true story).

It gets me down.

I’m not going to deny that I find the transformation quite shocking. I have loved her unusual face for years and whatever anybody else says about the casting of Renée as Bridget Jones, she was fucking great in the role. Like totes believable and charming. Furthermore, I felt like she made Bridget feel like my friend, something I hadn’t gotten from the books, even though I adore them.

But the face. Yes, it’s a shame she looks different to that girl but it’s not up to me what another woman does to her own face and body. Plus people age and change over the years. She still looks good, just like a woman in her forties. The horror!

As Bridge
As Bridge

That’s the thing about society and it’s attitude to beauty. You can’t grow old naturally in a highly glamorous industry like that without being battered for it, but you sure as hell can’t fight it the way you see fit either. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Of course, Hollywood and your local high street are worlds apart but the above only reinforces the fact that the only person you can really please is yourself, wherever you are.

Love yourself, be happy with your looks and fuck everyone else, truly because there is always going to be someone who doesn’t agree with what you’ve got going on.

2014 Edition
2014 Edition

Look at me: too ginger, arse too big, too fat, too short, too pale, too tattooed; the list goes on. I’ve been called up on every single one of those things in the past by people with an opinion. It hurts, it gets to you and in the end you have two choices; believe the negative and ultimately, let those fuckers keep you down, or realise it’s all bullshit and live your life happily, enormous booty in tow.

Which should be simple, I realise but is easier said than done. As for Renée, well her response to the uproar was perfect and raises a great point.

“I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows. …

People don’t know me in my 40s. People don’t know me [as] healthy for a while. Perhaps I look different. Who doesn’t as they get older?! Ha. But I am different. I’m happy.” ~ Renée Zellweger

Good for her.