Category Archives: movies

This John Cusack Thing Is Getting Old.


I got this letter from a reader a few days ago and it made me smile:

“I saw [500 Days of Summer] Monday and then stumbled upon your ThisRecording brain dump on the subject today (yeah, I know, the movie and that post are old news, but I’m just getting to it, so deal). And it’s true that the two events occurred independently of each other; the former being a product of Netflix and living with my sister and the latter a chance finding browsing ThisRecording after reading an Avatar review a coworker sent me (didn’t see that one, but the review was good).

My point here is the movie put me in a funk and then reading your take on the possible existence of that type of guy made it worse. I think guys like that can and do exist, and maybe you find yourself disappointed in discovering that the 20 something kind of nerdy guys that you meet just don’t measure up to the J G-L standard because you’ve been misidentifying them in the first place. Where they actually good at something? Did they have dimples (you can’t undervalue the pleasantness of face with dimples, that shit works)? I felt like I had more to say but now I’m just tired. I hate Zooey Deschanel this week, and that’s hard to do to a person with such nice eyes. He never should have taken her to The Graduate, that shit makes everyone sad. Don’t give up hope and stop falling for rocker guys.”

This prompted my friend Dave to re-read my piece on types of guys and (500) Days Of Summer on (which you can read here: In Which There Are Two Types Of Guys if the mood strikes you, I don’t recommend it) which lead to a heated and friendly discussion about Lloyd Dobler vs. Tom/JGL:

DAVE: Tom from 500 Days is really that adorable? I mean, Lloyd Dobler-esque? I saw that movie, and sister, he aint no Lloyd. I think you’re confusing a well planned vest/tie combo with inner cute.

ME: Yeah, Tom is better than Lloyd, buddy. Welcome to 2010. The John Cusack thing is getting old.

DAVE: Holy shit.

ME: John Cusack is old. We want someone new.

DAVE: Is this the end of our friendship?

ME: Boomboxes are old. “In Your Eyes” is a shitty song.

DAVE: No it’s not, and it’s more recent than “This Charming Man.” [Note: Dave I don’t think anyone sang that Smiths song in (500 ) Days but whatever.] ALSO Lloyd is more proactive than Tom because he went out and got Diane.

ME: Wait it’s not Tom’s fault that Zooey Deschanel is a bitchface. Diane Court is better than Summer.

DAVE: What did Tom do [to win her over]? Sing a Pixies song at a bar?

ME: Oh please. If you’re going to go there, “Here Comes Your Man” is better than “In Your Eyes.” And have you seen Say Anything lately? I mean actually watched it? It’s not that awesome. It’s kind of boring. Frasier’s dad goes to jail. It’s a weird movie.

DAVE: I watched it a month ago. Also, I watched an Oscar screener of (500) Days and wanted to throw a brick through my TV.

ME: Oh excuse me Dave, I’m so sorry that your Oscar screener wasn’t up to par.

DAVE: It was my roommate’s!

Then Dave had to leave because he needed to video chat with his dad or something. I know, right? Whatever dude.

Anyway. My point is that this idealized vision of love as John Cusack personified needs to stop. Actually that’s not my main point. But it’s one of them. I think my real point is that I watch too many movies and I need to stop before something dangerous happens. (500) Days Of Summer may have been praised for being a “real” look at love in the same way “Annie Hall” was but they’re both highly stylized films and their depictions of love aren’t any more realistic than a Disney film’s.

Or something, I don’t know. Ask your mom.

Ooh You Hurt Me So — Clare and the Reasons
That’s All (Genesis cover) — Clare and the Reasons
Photograph — Clare and the Reasons


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Happy Hanukah! That being said, Happy Christmas! My dearest friend Laura of Gumdrop Lane and I recorded two holiday cards for everyone and we’d like to share them with you. Find them at Gumdrop Lane. And keep checking her page for our special ~~Christmas Movie~~ that will probably embarrass us.

You can tell Christmas is coming because people are getting crazy and mean. At work some woman threw a hissy fit over five cents that she claimed I owed her but I did not because I counted her change twice but finally I just gave it to her so she would leave and stop making me feel stupid even though she was wrong. On the bright side, Marcia Cross came in and was really nice. It’s always the people who play total bitches that are the kindest, and the people who look kind who are total bitches. Know this.


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Fashion And The Shining

Winter’s here and it’s time to snuggle by the fire and watch a classic holiday film. And we all know what that classic is: that’s right, The Shining.

Buh? Why so surprised, Jack?

The Shining has it all: a beautiful winter wonderlandscape, family, and the true meaning of Christmas (note: conclusions upon viewing may vary).

But my favorite part of The Shining is Shelley Duvall and her wardrobe. There’s something so underrated about Shelley Duvall. I think she looks like Jane Birkin. Actually her voice is pretty similar to Birkin’s too. I think we should put her on T-shirts. But that’s not important right now. In The Shining, Shelley keeps it simple but classic. Even though the clothes have a distinct late 70s feel to them they could easily be worn today. I’m going to show you how.



Danny’s not here, Mrs. Torrence, but hello accessories! A pop of color can really make or break an outfit. In this case the color red goes a long way for this tunic. Redrum indeed!

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What’s your husband done now? He’s signed on as caretaker of a creepy hotel in the middle of nowhere during a long, cold, snowy winter? That guy!

Keep it chic with a blazer. A broach adds a personal touch.

Hey, I didn’t know Fred Willard was in this movie! What? I’m just kidding, folks! But whoever that guy is, I bet he knows how to cut a rug!

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Before there was the internet, there was this crappy thing! Shelley finds company in the transistor radio wearing a fun jacket. She sure looks comfy! Over and out.

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Hedgemazers sure get cold so be sure to bundle up in
a warm coat. Hey, wait up, Danny! That kid’s going places. And hopefully he gets there before his ax-wielding dad!

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You may just be cooking at home (or in an abandoned hotel) for your family, but why not dress up a little?


This blouse really makes Shelley’s eyes pop! Or maybe that’s just the fear.


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Don’t forget the lip balm to keep your pout nice and…SHINY.

Uh oh. Husband going a little sir crazy? Good thing you’re wearing your watch. Now you’ll know the exact time when he tries to kill you! But at least you look comfortable. Heeeeeeerrrree’s cotton!



Here’s a tip: it’s easier to flee from your murderer in nice thick winter socks. Toasty!


Aw Shelley why so sad? Maybe if you had this luxurious sweater coat instead of a bathrobe you’d be a lot happier.

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Sorry, Jack, there’s nothing for you here. Try The Gap!!

All clothes from

Instant Karma! — John Lennon


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What You Need To Do.

Starring the cast of “La Piscine”.


The first thing you need to do, if you’re a man, is to get a pair of womens sunglasses. Look at Alain Delon. He looks like a complete moron. But doesn’t he also look European and suave? OK, being European, like Delon, probably helps in looking European. But the ladies sunglasses will really take it to that next level. That level of, “What a douche…yet…I kind of want to be his friend, I bet he goes to lots of cool parties.”

What you need to do is, if you’re a woman, work on your bikini body like Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin. Oh I know what you’re thinking, “But Uncle Almie summer’s almost over.” Guess what? Your body’s still gonna be there in the fall. Lurking under your Marc Jacobs coat. At any moment you may be called upon to showcase it in a bikini. Oh, you think I’m kidding? Once in NYC in the fall (or maybe even winter) I went to a spa with my friend and we needed to wear bikinis and I was like, what I don’t have one, so they gave me a disposible paper bikini to wear and it was so bad I needed a presidential pardon. But could I get one? No. Did That guy from The Fugees get one? Yes, he did. Wait what was my point? Oh yeah, stop eating.

What you’re also going to need to do, for the gentlemen, is to get a manicure, so us ladies will have no problem with Jazz Hands! on our thighs. (JAZZ. Jazz). You don’t need to get nail polish if you don’t want to, but just trim that shit and make it look presentable. Women are always like, omg I love mens hands the most out of any of their body parts (I’m pretty sure this is a lie, I mean, what? Hands, really?) but still, take care of that because I like to give high fives a lot, and no that is not a euphemism, I’m just batshit for high fives.

I mentioned the sunglasses, right? This goes for men and women. Get like, 10 pairs. They can be cheap, no one will notice. Get “day” sunglasses and “night” sunglasses. Get a sunglasses closet, like Elton John. DON’T wear them indoors because people will think you’re hungover. If you are hungover then use eye drops. NEVER let people borrow your sunglasses, because you will NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN. If people want to try them on, hand them over, count to five silently in your head, then grab them back, casually. Say, “Oh hey, are you excited for Season 3 of Mad Men?” and while they’re answering, just take them. They’re yours. It’s your life. Drink Coca~Cola.

What you need to do is, if you’re a woman, stare wistfully at nothing. At most this will get you the attention of a gentleman; at least, it is a good pose for photos. People will look at you and think, “Gee, she seems interesting.” People who look like they have problems are the most interesting people. People who look insanely happy are usually the people you want to avoid because all they’re going to do is brag about why their life is so wonderful. You have martinis to drink and people to flirt with, you don’t have time for their bullshit. Besides, you wrote and directed a hit play, so you’re not sweating it either.

What you need to do is, you need to have fun, like this extra. Who is she? How did she get this role? All she does in this film is dance. Maybe she has one line. Did she know someone? Was she a popular model of the times? Did they see her headshot and think, “I bet she dances like a nutjob and she kind of looks like Cher, get her agent on the phone.” Did she have an agent? Who cares? Look at the joy. If only we all had that joy. Just try it. Go through life like you’re a dancing extra in a movie about sexy Europeans in sunglasses. What could be the harm?

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