Flick Chicks
September 27, 2011 1:39 PM   Subscribe

 
There's a longer excerpt from her new book online too.
posted by gladly at 1:53 PM on September 27, 2011


“Yeah, but we’re really trying to focus on movies about board games. People really seem to respond to those.”
A Dungeons&Dragons movie would probably make bank these days.
posted by delmoi at 1:56 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ethereal Weirdos do, in fact, exist. Regrettably. I know, because I dated one. And we bought a house together. And then 4 months after we bought said house--while she was in the midst of reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed, ironically--she announced that she could no longer "live this life," and had to move to Maui, in two weeks. Leaving me with the mortgage. She did so, with an interim trip to run a spiritual music festival in Joshua Tree.

Explaining the mechanics of foreclosure, default, and deficiency judgements to an Ethereal Weirdo was more painful than the breakup itself. I learned to avoid any woman with a love of Oprah or Eat, Pray, Love.

As a result, I found a gorgeous, driven woman who can be quite Klutzy. I have also dated an Art Gallery Woman.

It is much safer to say that things do not exist in fiction than that they do not exist in reality.
posted by oneironaut at 1:58 PM on September 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


Based on what I’ve learned from my time in Hollywood, the following titles are my best guess as to what may soon be coming to a theatre near you:

“Sharks vs. Volcanoes”
“King Tut vs. King Kong”


She's got my number with these two.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:59 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


I love a good romantic comedy, too. And I rarely see any romcoms because so many of them look so very stupid (and full of the cliches Kaling notes) and what I hear about them only confirms that first impression.
posted by Zed at 2:03 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world.

This is much better than the porn-for-women analogy.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:04 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


I wanted to love Mindy Kaling so bad, but then I subscribed to her insufferable Twitter for about a week and that was the end of that.
posted by rhizome at 2:05 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a stereotypical overworked and undersocialized geek, I have been trained by the movie industry to expect one of these amazingly hot women to come along any time now and take me up as a project. I am fully prepared to provide comic relief at appropriate moments, and also self-humiliation and deep soulful words after the inevitable Misunderstanding and Major Crisis.

Also I can fix your computer.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:05 PM on September 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


She forgot all the villains! Such as "Rich D-Bag No One Should Ever Date" and "Insane Boss at a Media Company"
posted by DoubledayBooks at 2:08 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I actually find most of Katherine Heigl's characters to be far more implausible than Ripley.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 2:10 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would pay upward of fifteen bucks to see a montage of Ripley stalking a chestburster while KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" plays in the background
posted by Greg Nog at 2:11 PM on September 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'm glad I'm not the only one who refers to John Hurt writhing on a table and everyone recoiling and screaming and getting splatted with blood the ultimate meet-cute.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:14 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I actually find most of Katherine Heigl's characters to be far more implausible than Ripley.

And less likable than the xenomorph.

It's not her fault. She's often saddled with one of the roles Hollywood reserves exclusively for me, that of the spoilsport. Men are nothing more than obnoxious, barely socialized boys, and they need a stern, no-nonsense woman to frown them into maturity.

What a thankless role. And what a bunch of unimaginative hacks who insist on putting women into these roles. But films needs conflict, and, since the juvenile-minded screenwriter is in league with the juvenile-minded male protagonist, and, left to their own devices, they will spend two hours making dick jokes, it becomes necessary to invent a woman to pretend there is conflict, when, instead of conflict, all they have produces is a shadow puppet show of disapproval that relentlessly suggests that women are no damn fun.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:19 PM on September 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


I read soooo many Ethereal Weirdos in my MFA program. Even down to the skinny-dipping. All written by men.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 2:20 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


reserves exclusively for me

Whoops. exclusively for women. Somehow I managed only to type the middle syllable, or what I call the the idd llab.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:21 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Somehow you just reminded me that my favorite joke in The Big Lebowski is that Bunny Lebowski's real name is Fawn Knudson.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:30 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can honestly say I've never spent more than 10 minutes at a time making dick jokes, and that no more often than every three weeks or so. I'm a freakin' prince, apparently....
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:37 PM on September 27, 2011


Hmm. Do they still make story pornos? Someone should do a modern one called Blogjammin'.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:38 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not her fault.

Well, maybe not entirely her fault. I have never seen someone in Hollywood so consistently bitch about their projects a few months after release. She always does this, and yeah, while Knocked Up might not have been the greatest in its attitudes toward women, and Gray's Anatomy is pretty stupid, it doesn't reflect well on her at all.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:43 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


And since when does holding a job necessitate that a woman pull her hair back in a severe, tight bun? Do screenwriters think that loose hair makes it hard to concentrate?

I actually find it very hard to concentrate with my hair down.My coworkers actually have remarked on my habit of whopping it into a bun when things get crazybusy.
Disclaimer: I have a degree in library science. I guess if I wear glasses and high heels with my bun I could go for a hot librarian thing?
posted by pointystick at 2:45 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would watch Rotting Squid On A Beach
posted by The Whelk at 2:46 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Sassy Best Friend

Sarah Silverman calls this "The Suze."
posted by rhizome at 2:47 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


A Dungeons&Dragons movie would probably make bank these days.

They made one. It was terrible.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:52 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


so freaking terrible
posted by The Whelk at 2:54 PM on September 27, 2011


Does Stranger than Fiction count as a rom-com? Because I was pleasantly surprised by that one. It probably didn't pass the Bechdel Test but the female lead wasn't on Kaling's list either.

I mean the female lead was a baker and the male lead was an IRS auditor. It was refreshing.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:02 PM on September 27, 2011


Whoops. exclusively for women. Somehow I managed only to type the middle syllable, or what I call the the idd llab.

Yeah, right. We're on to you, Heigl!
posted by Rangeboy at 3:11 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have never seen someone in Hollywood so consistently bitch about their projects a few months after release.

Brando was notorious for it. But I suppose my point was that while she could certainly turn down the roles, and she needn't fuss afterward, she didn't write them and it reflects a monotonous trend in Hollywood.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:12 PM on September 27, 2011


And since when does holding a job necessitate that a woman pull her hair back in a severe, tight bun? Do screenwriters think that loose hair makes it hard to concentrate?

I'm with pointystick! If I'm doing Serious Work, I need my hair out of my face! And my 20 years of ballet training means that I pretty much end up with...a severe tight bun...
posted by chatongriffes at 3:16 PM on September 27, 2011


Does Stranger than Fiction count as a rom-com?

That's the one with Will Ferrell screaming, yeah?
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:22 PM on September 27, 2011


I always thought zombieland was one of the better romcoms I've seen in a while.
posted by captaincrouton at 3:25 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have never seen someone in Hollywood so consistently bitch about their projects a few months after release.

I guess once you have played female lead to Seagal its all downhill.
posted by biffa at 3:28 PM on September 27, 2011


Does Stranger than Fiction count as a rom-com? Because I was pleasantly surprised by that one. It probably didn't pass the Bechdel Test but the female lead wasn't on Kaling's list either.
I love that movie but I think 'independent baker" is right up there with "art gallery worker" in terms of Hollywood-ized jobs.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:29 PM on September 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love Mindy Kaling! But I'm not a fan of The Office, so I always feel like I'm starved for Mindy. I do love every scene or episode I've ever seen that focused on Kelly Kapoor, though.

I can't wait until Mindy gets her own vehicle (apparently, she's developing a sitcom where she plays a funny doctor, a character based on her mother).
posted by lesli212 at 3:32 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


“Yeah, but we’re really trying to focus on movies about board games. People really seem to respond to those.”

OH at pitch meeting: Samuel L. Jackson saying "How the hell did these motherfucking snakes get tangled up with these motherfucking ladders?"^

reserves exclusively for me

Whoops. exclusively for women. Somehow I managed only to type the middle syllable, or what I call the the idd llab.
posted by Bunny Ultramod


MeFi's own....?
posted by dhartung at 4:02 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


all television writers do is dream of one day writing movies

I know a lot of TV writers, and they all agree that TV is where the money is. Movies are "classy", like upper class.
And television is sort of bourgeois--you make a lot of money, but you don't go to cool locations, and you work sort of 9 to 5ish.
Music is where you make insane amounts of money, but it's low class.

But selling a series that goes into syndication? Lots more money than movies.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:16 PM on September 27, 2011


What a thankless role. And what a bunch of unimaginative hacks who insist on putting women into these roles. But films needs conflict, and, since the juvenile-minded screenwriter is in league with the juvenile-minded male protagonist, and, left to their own devices, they will spend two hours making dick jokes, it becomes necessary to invent a woman to pretend there is conflict, when, instead of conflict, all they have produces is a shadow puppet show of disapproval that relentlessly suggests that women are no damn fun.

What's interesting is that "Knocked Up" aside, those "juvenile-minded screenwriters in league with the juvenile-minded male protagonists" are actually slightly more likely to be women.

Heigle might just be kind of annoying.
posted by Amanojaku at 4:29 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's call it a draw and agree that many screenwriters tend to write shit roles for women AND Katherine Heigel doesn't seem like a very nice person to work with.

And though I believe Mindy Kaling when it comes to "movie vs. tv prestige", I bet having syndicated tv money makes it a lot easier to sit through douchebag movie exec meetings.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:53 PM on September 27, 2011


This is wonderful. She is essential to the male fantasy that even if a guy is boring he deserves a woman who will find him fascinating and perk up his dreary life by forcing him to go skinny-dipping in a stranger’s pool. Sounds about right.

And I'd know, because I'm an architect.
posted by meinvt at 4:59 PM on September 27, 2011


Yahtzee is not a board game.
posted by DU at 5:13 PM on September 27, 2011


For my money, Shaun of the Dead is THE BEST rom com ever made. Just thought I would throw that out there.
posted by sleeping bear at 5:28 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I cannot think of which romantic comedies I've seen in which women breezily sample perfumes in a department store while discussing their relationships, other than to say it was probably all of them.

This was hilarious.
posted by nev at 5:30 PM on September 27, 2011


A Dungeons&Dragons movie would probably make bank these days.

They made one. It was terrible.


They made two. Most people don't know the second one exists.

But one comment to make about romantic comedies, or comedies in general, is that you're bound to have outlandish, unreal characters. If everyone is simply "too real", the movie is going to feel a lot more like a drama. What's funny or particularly heartwarming about Miss Average skipping out of work early on a Thursday for a date? Especially compared to the adventures Miss Workaholic Who Can't Function Outside The Office?
posted by Metro Gnome at 5:54 PM on September 27, 2011


This was pretty much perfect, sentence for sentence.

I share an apartment with a manic pixie dreamgirl. You can rely on her to have the occasional day of wanting to join the circus, bring a tambourine on a bike ride, embroider everything she owns, dance in the rain, and enjoy an endless string of gentleman callers. She will never remember to take out the recycling, pay bills on time, wash dishes, or anything practical.
posted by boghead at 6:40 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


For my money, Shaun of the Dead is THE BEST rom com ever made.

Hot Fuzz.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:53 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I share an apartment with a manic pixie dreamgirl.

Except (if memory serves) one of the main points of the MPDG trope is that it is a fictional trope and that such women do not actually exist in real life but are the product of the fevered imaginations of lonely hetero male screenwriters.

So you should probably inform your roommate that she does not, as such, exist.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:24 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bridesmaids? Nobody?
posted by notion at 7:37 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does Stranger than Fiction count as a rom-com? Because I was pleasantly surprised by that one. It probably didn't pass the Bechdel Test but the female lead wasn't on Kaling's list either.
I love that movie but I think 'independent baker" is right up there with "art gallery worker" in terms of Hollywood-ized jobs.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:29 PM on September 27


Agree. There are like 8 tv shows on right now where the female lead or supporting character is a frustrated cupcake artist. Also, Hollywood just discovered Brooklyn, so watch out for that.
posted by gjc at 7:55 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I share an apartment with a manic pixie dreamgirl.

Except (if memory serves) one of the main points of the MPDG trope is that it is a fictional trope and that such women do not actually exist in real life but are the product of the fevered imaginations of lonely hetero male screenwriters.

So you should probably inform your roommate that she does not, as such, exist.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:24 PM on September 27 [1 favorite +] [!]


And she will promptly transform into a harried magazine or art gallery manager, wearing a tight bun and mocking the lower class girl. You'll know she will be lower class, because the Hollywood dog whistle for that is a home with lots of yellow or orange furnishings and a hula-girl figurine somewhere in the clutter. Or (I'm sure this movie is in the pipeline somewhere) a high level exec at a Facebook type company.
posted by gjc at 7:59 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I share an apartment with a manic pixie dreamgirl. You can rely on her to have the occasional day of wanting to join the circus, bring a tambourine on a bike ride, embroider everything she owns, dance in the rain, and enjoy an endless string of gentleman callers. She will never remember to take out the recycling, pay bills on time, wash dishes, or anything practical.

Perhaps it's time for a new roommate?
posted by adamdschneider at 8:39 PM on September 27, 2011


Perhaps it's time for a new roommate?

This advice would be sound were it not for the fact (!) that there are no such things as Manic Pixie Dream Girls in RealLife (TM).

Do not let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:45 PM on September 27, 2011


Oh, there are Manic Pixie Dream Girls in real life, or at least there are free-spirited, charming, flaky ladies who will play the ukelele, bake you a pumpkin cake, or knit you a wacky scarf. What there are not are thousands of Manic Pixie Dream Girls who are just waiting around to devote all their time to some mopey lame-o with no redeeming characteristics.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 9:00 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh, there are Manic Pixie Dream Girls in real life

Not according to that particular meme or its proponents.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:06 PM on September 27, 2011


And, for the record, I too detest the way in which mainstream Hollywood (or whatever) depicts the standard MPDG trope. But there are tropes and then there are genuine human beings upon which a given trope are based, and the idea that the MPDG is merely a trope or whatever does not survive closer rational scrutiny.

To be fair, I ordinarily do not give a shit about this (Metafilter: I ordinarily do not give a shit about this) but I did not want to stand idly by while a trope was introduced as a model for reality per se. Whatever the fuck that means.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:11 PM on September 27, 2011


They made one. It was terrible.

That was 10 years ago, long overdue for a reboot.
posted by delmoi at 9:24 PM on September 27, 2011


You can't describe elephants, claim one of their properties is that they are fictional, and then deny that elephants exist based on the fact that your definition precludes it.
posted by Nothing at 11:54 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


O "Crest Whitestrips"! I salute your understated brilliance.

At the record store where I used to work we would receive various trade magazines. The monthly rag devoted to upcoming VHS releases was rather condescendingly known to all employees as "guns, breasts, and sunglasses magazine."
posted by eric1halfb at 12:31 AM on September 28, 2011


On a tangent, this reminded me of the 'My God, Miss Jones, you're beautiful' trope.

Which led to this Independent article on Reggie Perrin being remade, which I'd missed the first time. Does anyone know if it was any good? I dread the memory of the original series being tramped over.
posted by arcticseal at 1:21 AM on September 28, 2011


arcticseal: Does anyone know if it was any good?

Fucking terrible. I'd rather watch an hour of people pelting Leonard Rossiter's grave with rotting squid.
posted by nowonmai at 3:42 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


BTW, speaking of board games, they came out with a trailer for Battleship. It has about as much to do with the game as you would think.
posted by smackfu at 5:54 AM on September 28, 2011


They made one. It was terrible.

They made two. Most people don't know the second one exists.


Hell, there is a third one in the offing, which I did not know about until 90 seconds ago.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:59 AM on September 28, 2011


Hell, there is a third one in the offing, which I did not know about until 90 seconds ago.

Huh. I wonder if they are going to make a movie for every wacky 3e supplement. I look forward to Epic Level Handbook: the movie.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:52 AM on September 28, 2011


An elf, a wizard, and a warrior sit down to play Doctors & Dentists
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The issue with pixie dream girls isn't that they don't exist, it's that they've became insipid clichés. And insipid clichés make for easy, predictable, and boring fiction.
posted by Zed at 9:07 AM on September 28, 2011


> Bridesmaids?

With... an independent baker!
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:36 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a thankless role. And what a bunch of unimaginative hacks who insist on putting women into these roles. But films needs conflict, and, since the juvenile-minded screenwriter is in league with the juvenile-minded male protagonist, and, left to their own devices, they will spend two hours making dick jokes, it becomes necessary to invent a woman to pretend there is conflict, when, instead of conflict, all they have produces is a shadow puppet show of disapproval that relentlessly suggests that women are no damn fun.

While I agree with you about this trope, I'd like to point out that it is just as insulting to real-life men as it is to real-life women.
posted by breakin' the law at 11:42 AM on September 28, 2011


can we maybe have one post where someone points out something that is harmful to women without someone jumping in to remind us that the patriarchy hurts men too? maybe?
posted by beefetish at 1:21 PM on September 28, 2011


I share an apartment with a manic pixie dreamgirl. You can rely on her to have the occasional day of wanting to join the circus, bring a tambourine on a bike ride, embroider everything she owns, dance in the rain, and enjoy an endless string of gentleman callers. She will never remember to take out the recycling, pay bills on time, wash dishes, or anything practical.

Oh shit, I am a manic pixie dream girl. Except that they're never fat. Whew, saved by adipose tissue!
posted by cereselle at 3:31 PM on September 28, 2011


With... an independent baker!

Properly, a failed independent baker whose sometimes boyfriend is trying to push her into doing it again, which is a source of conflict in their relationship. It's a film that subverts convention, rather than rejects it altogether.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:40 PM on September 28, 2011


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