Category Archives: woody allen

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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Eternal Boredom of the Bored Boredom

I’m sick with a mysterious something so I’ve been spending my time watching Veronica Mars, True Blood, and Fringe. Summer is here but I don’t feel like dancing in the streets; if anything I feel like lying in bed and watching more television and movies. Thus I bring you: favorite summer themed movies. In no particular order.

The Seven Year Itch. This guy (Tom Ewell) lives in an apartment and Marilyn Monroe lives in the bottom apartment, or maybe it’s the top, I don’t know. It’s a hot summer and his wife and kid are in the Hamptons or Nantucket or something and he’s an ad man so he has to work. And he drinks a lot of drinks with Marilyn Monroe, like “big tall martinis” and champagne.
memorable quote: Tom MacKenzie: What blonde in the kitchen?
Richard Sherman: Wouldn’t you like to know! Maybe it’s Marilyn Monroe!

Beach Blanket Bingo. This is one of my favorite childhood films. You know the way most people revere “The Princess Bride”? That’s how I feel about this movie. This and “Bye Bye Birdie.” Basically the entire movie is about surfing, parties, and breaking into song on the beach. And my family knows Marta Kristen who played the mermaid. Oh yes, there’s a mermaid. Did I forget to mention the motorcycle gang? Yeah, there’s a motorcycle gang.
memorable quote: (from the song) “Beach blanket biiiiiiigno! Beach blanket biiiiiingo. Beach blanket biiiiiiingo! That’s the name of the game!”

Rear Window. Jimmy Stewart sees some shit and Grace Kelly has sex with him. Off screen. The sex is always implied. I think everyone knows what this film is about and if you haven’t then you’ve seen The Simpsons episode that nails it. “Grace, there’s a mysterious lookin’ kid starin’ at me!” It takes place in New York and even though the whole set is filmed in a soundstage (and looks it) the film still captures the essence of a sweltering NYC summer.
memorable quote: “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!”

Vertigo. I’m not even sure if this movie takes place primarily during the summer (though I do remember that it spans quite a few months) but this is also a great Hitchcock/Stewart film and seeing as I just vacationed in San Francisco a few weeks ago it will be a summer movie to me.
awesome moment: Jimmy Stewart’s ahead-of-the-times psychedellic nightmare:

Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls: One of my favorite movies of all time. It follows the late 60s girl band, The Carrie Nations, as they grow corrupt in Los Angeles thanks to a character based on Phil Spector. I have the soundtrack on vinyl and every time I listen to it I’m transported back into a time and place that never really existed but should have. It’s just so weird and flat-out hilarious.
memorable quote: (there are SO many): “This is my happening and it freaks me out!”

Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
Everybody and their mother knows this film and if you don’t you should probably feel pretty bad. Nah, it’s OK. This is the film where Audrey Hepburn walks around in a black dress and everybody wants to be her. Even though she’s kind of a bitch. Yes, see the film in which Audrey Hepburn is bitchy! Although she might be bitchier in Two For The Road, another favorite of mine.
memorable quote: I’m Audrey Hepburn and I love going to Tiffany’s where I eat danishes and la la la la.

Play It Again, Sam. I think this takes place during the summer? Also set in San Francisco, Woody Allen tries to woo Diane Keaton, but it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. This was one of his earlier films and he didn’t direct it so it’s got a very different feel. And his apartment in this film is AMAZING.
memorable quote: Allan: This is a beautiful beach house.
Linda: Thank you.
Allan: Yeah, let’s burn it down for the insurance money.

That’s what a got, with an honorable mention to Rosemary’s Baby. What are your favorite summer-themed films? Or films with a summer feel?


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What To Do When You’re Jealous.

If you’re like me, then you’re a jealous person. And if you’re more jealous than I am that makes me jealous. Does that give you some idea of how jealous I am?

Unfortunately it’s not cool to be jealous. If it were I would be like Chuck Bass…or…Brian Setzer…or whoever the fuck kids think is cool these days.

Therefore here are some tips on what to do when you get really, really jealous:

1.) Laugh. But not loudly like, “HA HA HA LOUD NOISES I LOVE LAMP!” More like, “Chuckle chuckle oh silly person so funny you should think I would even care about this information.”


“Did you hear? David just got signed with CAA!”

Your response: Smile, as sincerely as you can. Take a sip of your martini (P.S., now would be a good time to start drinking martinis, if you don’t already) and say, “That’s fantastic. David must be so excited! ” Then from here you can either:

a.) Change the subject like it’s your fucking job or
b.) Casually drop some unfortunate news about the aforementioned piece of news.

“Oh my God, have you seen the new Woody Allen movie?” is a line that works really well, if you’re going to go with option a.), because it doesn’t matter if you’ve actually seen it and he’s always cranking out movies. Or you could go with, b.), “I heard CAA just did a massive round of cutbacks; I hope David found a secure agent!” The more concerned you can sound the better you’ll look. Remember, you want people to think that you actually care.

2.) This is an oldie, but you can always bring up something awesome about yourself to counter something awesome that you friend brought to the table.


“My boobs got huge! Isn’t that weird? I had to go up 3 cup sizes!”
“Wow, Jennifer, that’s great! By the way did I tell you that I ran into Ben Stiller yesterday and introduced myself and now he’s hired me as an assistant? It’s crazy! Out of nowhere I got this awesome-paying job! I guess that’s LA for ya, huh?”

Also, I recommend lying. Think about it this way: would you rather look like a jealous maniac, or soothe it all over with a silly little lie that makes you feel better? You got it space dogs, go with the lie.

P.S. From what I may or may not have heard from a few sources you do not want to EVER be Ben Stiller’s assistant.

3.) This one is tricky to pull off, but here goes: be really, really happy for that person. But not deliriously happy; again, we’re going for realism. I’m talking about this kind of happy:

“Tom I am so happy to hear about your new record deal! Really, I am. Let’s celebrate! Why don’t you buy me another drink and I’ll spot you for the rest of the night? You rockstar, you!”

And there you go: you’ve got a free drink and hopefully after that drink you’ll feel much better about the whole situation and won’t wind up texting your mom while crying in the bathroom thinking that you have no prospects in your future.

If none of these works and you still feel jealous as hell, think about it this way: life is all about luck and numbers. Don’t let people tell you shit like, “You just gotta really want it.” That’s asshole talk. That’s lazy advice. It’s like, Oh really, asshole, you mean I have to actually *want* it? As opposed to not wanting it? Gee, thanks!

Most of life’s big breaks come about by being in the right place at the right time and not being a total moron. And when that fails you, look at the statistics. Statistically, you will at some point in your life get a steady job and a loving partner of your own. It’s not brain surgery (or rocket science, haha gosh I’m silly) — it’s just looking at it from the point of view as life as a series of percentages and probabilities, not as a great cosmic entity. Because numbers don’t lie.

And yes, I am very jealous of Jayne Mansfield, even though she’s dead.


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