Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Conversations With Someone Else: Feddd Discusses Chick Flicks

Oh, what's so funny?!?!
Welcome to another edition of Conversations With Someone Else, in which I exchange emails with a famous celebrity person to discuss the world of entertainment. Today's guest is my childhood friend and Los Angeles based screenwriter, Jesse Federman. With the soon to be released Sex and the City 2 DVD rocketing to the top of Netflix queues everywhere, I thought it'd be a good time to talk about chick flicks before our nation's male suicide rate skyrockets.

Let's get to it!

Evan: Feddd, there's a common misconception that chick flicks suck harder than anything else that sucks hard; even harder than Mario Lopez, vegetarian entrees or doubles tennis. I disagree! Dudes should no longer fear Friday nights under the blanket ... "Amelie" ... "Four Weddings and a Funeral" ... those are genuinely good movies! Although, neither of those are American chick flicks. Maybe just American chick flicks suck hard? I wonder what Brazilian chick flicks are like. They're probably amazing.

Feddd: First of all,  regarding your “vegetarian entrée” dig, I’m not taking the bait.  I am a vegetarian myself, and possibly even kosher.  (I’m still not clear on the rules but I don’t believe I have ever had onions and sand at the same meal.)  Also, I went to a doubles tennis match one time and it was BONKERS.  It was like watching four tiny dudes with cannons blasting rounds at each other from eight feet away.   I was unfortunately struck by an errant ball, and while I may have a dented brain now, at least I may have a dented brain now, at least I may have a dented brain now farts farts raspberry.

Now, let’s get academic!  I’m curious to know how you classify a “chick flick.”  Is it anything involving a love story?  Does it require a female lead?  Or does it just have to meet some imagined quota of cuteness/feelings?  Take the recent Katherine Heigl movie “Life As We Know It” as an example.  It was ostensibly engineered to be a chick flick, except women have turned on Katherine Heigl, hate her as much as men do now, and it did dismal business.  Is it still a chick flick?

Also, for reasons not entirely clear to me, I wouldn’t include “Four Weddings and a Funeral” in this category.  Is it because labeling something a chick flick implies a value judgment and I think “Four Weddings” is too good a film to deserve it?  Or is it because I was raised as a girl for the first nine years of my life?  And those questions inevitably lead to this one:  Will I ever have a son of my own so I can comb his long, pretty hair?

What sucks harder? Sense and Sensibility or Mario Lopez?
Evan: Clearly this will be the first and last time the word "ostensibly" shows up in this blog.

I would classify "chicks flicks" as any movie that has a greater appeal to women than men, bringing with it some romance, crying, weddings, hugging, or women sitting around barefoot and actually getting along. Even though "Four Weddings and a Funeral" doesn't have any scenes with Bette Midler or dead guys making pottery, there's still no way that two dudes would ever sit down to watch it together. Let me rephrase that, there's no way that two dudes who weren't you and me would sit down to watch it together. I will seriously watch this movie with you and a vegetarian entree ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. I will also watch any film with Bette Midler because I actually find her and her bare feet to be VERY ATTRACTIVE.

So let's go with that classification for the sake of this blog post. Let's also take our shoes off and boil up a pot of Earl Grey.

What are some chick flicks that you can recommend to our male and female readers? (All six of them.) And be honest, are you attracted to Bette Midler? BE HONEST. And what's up with people hating on Katherine Heigl? She seems nice enough. My wife hates Renee Zelweger and Kate Hudson. I love Mariah Carey.

Feddd: Let it be known that I saw "Ghost" in the theater when it came out, and I have been sexually attracted to pottery ever since. Years later, I bought a potter's wheel of my own and was even briefly seduced by a beautiful spirit, but she turned out to be alive and then later turned out to be a dude.  He had been living illegally in my apartment building for six months and the "undead" ruse had been his way of dodging eviction.  Ah, If I had a nickel for every love story that ends that way...  I would honestly PUT THEM IN A SOCK and beat that pale monster to death because (s)he broke my heart.

As for Bette Midler, I am attracted to her in the way most men are.  Which is to say, not at all.  And the thought of her bare feet makes me want to go through reverse puberty.  Okay, that's not fair or true.  Really, Bette Midler is no joke.  She's a writer, producer, singer, actor, vaudevillian comedienne, cabaret performer, entertainer of troops, a presence in any medium.  She's like a quintuple threat, at minimum.  Actually, can you hold on a sec?

Okay, let's see...  Google image search: bette midler feet.  Are you serious, Google actually had that ready as a suggestion?  Incredible.  We live in the FUTURE.  Wait, what's this?  SafeSearch?  We're gonna go ahead and turn that right off.  Aaaaaand...bing-bong, good night!

(Katherine Heigl's problem, I think, is that the distinction between her on- and off-screen personae is shrinking.  For a few years there, she could play the uptight, slightly shrill, even a little shrewish love interest and still win our sympathy.  For a while we could believe the parts were written that way (and they often were) and she was doing as well as anyone could.  Then she started openly saying uptight, slightly shrill, even a little shrewish things in interviews, occasionally throwing her directors, writers and co-stars under the bus, and everyone stated to think, "Oh.  That's just her."  Most women don't like Katherine Heigl because most women would be just fine appearing on "Grey's Anatomy" and in "Knocked Up" AS A JOB.)

Crap, I'm running long.  You throw out some good chick flicks first and then I'll add my own/shoot all of yours down.

Is Bette Midler attractive? ... YOU KNOW THE ANSWER!! ... ADMIT IT!
Evan: Confession: I have never actually seen Ghost, but I have seen Ghost Dog which is probably the farthest thing from a chick flick that has ever been made. I've also seen Reservoir Dogs and Dog Day Afternoon which are even farther than Ghost Dog, so I guess Ghost Dog is not the farthest thing from a chick flick ever made. The closest thing I've seen to Ghost is probably All Dogs Go To Heaven, although to be honest I don't think I've ever seen that and am actually thinking of Lady and the Tramp which is a lovely film that I'd love to watch with my wife who does NOT look like a dog.

Speaking of my lovely wife, she just called to me from the other room to say that G-String Divas is on HBO, which is a TERRIBLE show that features a bunch of pole-dancing dogs who (if they keep up their promiscuous lifestyles) will definitely NOT be going to heaven.  

My wife's favorite chick flicks are:

Pretty Woman, which is fine, I guess ... if you like prostitutes, which I do.
Love Actually, which is also loved by our friend The Rev.
Dirty Dancing, another Swayze-gem.
Beaches aka Barefoot Beauties.

Also, the only porno mag I've ever actually bought in my life was called Playboy's Barefoot Beauties and featured just that. A few years later, I was at a party with our buddy Hart and we found a copy of Playboy's Barefoot Beauties 2 which was signed by one of the Barefoot Beauties. Hart stole it from the guy hosting the party and months later I stole it from Hart. I think it's currently in the trunk of my car along with a Hustler that was given to me by our old landlord, Bobby.......... TRUE STORIES!

Swayze + long hair + horse + horse dick = BOX OFFICE SMASH
Feddd:  Hey, Jess, wanna talk chick flicks?  Oh, and also do some moral judging about who's getting into heaven?  Great, see you there!

But let me ask you this: How about a guy who claims to be married, and then constructs a blog around this premise, when he's really only engaged?  Does he get into heaven?  Was TV My Fiancee Watches taken?!  Has anyone actually met this "fiancee"?!  (Note: I have.  Like 30 times.  She's great.)

Right, the movies.  I know your not-wife loves "Love, Actually," but if you really examine that movie from a man's perspective, I think you'll find that it is TOTALLY CHARMING.  (It's written and directed by Richard Curtis, who also wrote "Four Weddings.")  I can take or leave "Pretty Woman," I won't watch "Dirty Dancing" because it forces me to ask some tough questions about myself, and "Beaches" is the saddest movie in the world.

Some chick flicks I can recommend:

"Clueless."  Outstanding high-school comedy.  Introduced me to one of my favorite up-and-coming actresses of the '90s: Paul Rudd.

"Sixteen Candles."  Though it follows a teenage heroine, I really identified with this movie when I first saw it.  I was 26.

"The Princess Bride."  Does this qualify?  It could just as easily be described as a kids' movie.  But aren't all great movies part chick flick and part kids' movie?  Answer: No, not There Will Be Blood.

"Road House."  It's like "Dirty Dancing" except every time Swayze looks like he's about to dance, instead he kicks a whole guy and then bangs a woman standing straight up.  Also, not a chick flick at all.  Also, I haven't seen it.

Have there been any good romantic comedies lately?  Or ever?  Has there ever been another year in which Hollywood put out two artificial-insemination comedies ("The Backup Plan" and "Extract") and one adoption-due-to-fatal-car-crash comedy ("Life As We Know It")?  Off-topic, but does anyone else miss Numb3rs?

Evan:  This email exchange is an absolute disaster; Feddd, NONE OF THOSE MOVIES are chick flicks! Granted, they probably fall under the umbrella definition that I came up with, but still, they're not what I had in mind when starting this thread and I'm blaming you for not understanding that!

Also, we get that you're Mr. English Major and write with correct punctuation and stuff, but I'm not putting movie titles into "quotations" any more. It just looks funny! I prefer italics! Also, why did I just put the word quotations in quotations? Do I think that my readers are so stupid that they don't know what quotations are?!?! Of course I do! ... And I answered the whole fiancee/wife controversy last week. Thanks for not reading my blog!! ... And why am I yelling? ... Stop making me yell at you!

Sixteen Candles and The Princess Bride are clearly phenomenal movies, but lack any tear-jerking elements. Plus, in Sixteen Candles, Anthony Michael Hall gives quite possibly the greatest comedic performance in the history of western cinema. The scene on the bus when he tries to hit on Molly Ringwald guaranteed him a lucrative future in Hollywood as the adorable twerp meathead douche.

Clueless may in fact be a decent movie, but my opinion is biased because I have been scarred by it. When I was in college, I was hanging out with a girl in my dorm room and she asked if she could write on my wall with a Sharpie. I guess I was going for the whole laid-back, carefree, I-don't-even-wear-a-belt vibe, because I said yes. She then proceeded to write her name, draw a couple hearts and then PLASTERED my wall with quotes from the movie. It started off with harmless stuff like, "whatever!", but she ended up writing stuff like:

Mel: Do you know what time it is?
Cher: A watch doesn't really go with this outfit, Daddy.

For the rest of the year I had to explain to every person who came into my room that I didn't really like Alicia Silverstone that much (which was like four people and not true ... I liked her A LOT!). Silver lining was that I became much more conscious of pairing my watches with my outfit. This often made me late for class.

I'll take a depressed Alicia Silverstone over Zellweger any day.

And regarding your last paragraph, I understand that my readers are idiots, but no one has heard of any of those movies (AND I GET ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE)! If one considers Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Baby Mama to be romantic comedies, then yes, Hollywood is actually putting out some great ones.

Jerry Maguire and The English Patient ... thoughts?

(Obviously I'm only asking about these movies because I have thoughts on them, but wasted a bunch of my time ranting about how dumb you are. Whatever, talk about whatever you want.)

Feddd:  Suck my crank, Monsky!  Is that enough italics for you?  I wanted to be using italics the whole time!  I thought you were a quotation marks guy.  But fine, now I'm going underline, italics, bold and quotes from here on out, dick.  I think you tried to make me watch "English Patient" when we were rommates in Boston and I couldn't do it.  I fell asleep and you clearly resented me for a few weeks after that.  And then you grew your hair out and put a harness in your room and painted the ceiling every day like a fat weirdo.

 "Jerry Maguire" I liked a lot.  I know a lot of guys went expecting a football movie and were disappointed.  Not this guy.  If anything, I thought there was too much sports.  To me, the truest test of a man's fitness is how fast can he run down an airport corridor after a woman?  Because that man has a stronger heart than any athlete.  (Ironically, it's also why my Carl Lewis romantic comedy never sold.  No matter how big a head start the girl had, he would immediately catch her.  Not enough drama.)

And don't tell me your "readers" don't know who Carl Lewis is.  Because they 1) know who he is and 2) aren't real.

 I think maybe I haven't seen many of the movies you want to discuss.  Not because they deal with female interests, but because a lot of them are pandering and suck hard.  Though I did recently watch "An Officer and a Gentleman" for the first time, and it had me from MINUTE ONE.

Throw out some more movies that you want to talk about, you controlling weirdo, so I can dazzle you some more with my giant brains.

Sexier leading man: Ralph Fiennes?

Or our esteemed guest?

Or our esteemed guest circa 1995?

Evan: Look, I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that the English Patient is a good movie, but it's a good movie. It has romance, love-loss and a burnt up guy eating a plum. I'm also pretty sure that it has a little titty-action from Kristin Scott Thomas. I saw this movie in the theater and at the end, women were straight WEEPING. As I walked up the aisle to the exits, I saw a woman doubled over, crying her eyes out while her husband halfheartedly rubbed her back. It looked like he would've rather been doing ANYTHING but help his wife out. I'm not even sure if he was rubbing her back. He may have been rubbing her chair.

Also, I might be confusing this movie with Out of Africa.  

Jerry Maguire just sucks. I saw this movie with our friend Abu (also in the theater) and we were totally duped by the trailers. Either that or Abu was trying to put the moves on me which is entirely possible. It's also possible that Abu (who works in finance) was trying to do research on becoming a sports agent. For the next six months, he kept entering me into tennis tournaments and set me up with a 401K. 

The joke was on you though, Abu ... I have no money!

Look, it's time to start wrapping this up ... I think it's clear that a) we have no idea what a chick flick is and b) we both agree that we love when Patrick Swayze kicks stuff.

I guess my favorite chick flicks are: Manhattan (probably not a chick flick), Amelie and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

My wife (go with it) has been really pushing Monsoon Wedding on me and is always up for watching Marie Antoinette, Shakespeare in Love or any period-piece. I went with her and her girlfriend to see The Other Boleyn Girl a few years ago and said afterward that it was "fine." Now my wife tells everyone that I thought it was "a fine fine film."

Oh, I also like Little Women

And I'll see anything with Laura Linney.

Any final thoughts Feddderico?

Feddderico: Man, you are kidding yourself if you think anyone's reading something this long on the Internet.  Also, in case we've given the impression of a seamless e-mail conversation happening in a timely manner, I want your "readers" to know: no.  Evan fires off his e-mails immediately, and then I write back 6 to 48 hours later, in between haircuts.

If we haven't learned anything about chick flicks -- and we haven't -- perhaps we've learned something about ourselves.  For whether you're just a regular nobody in the suburbs of Philadelphia pretending to be married, or a hotshot writer in Los Angeles whose outsize charm and talent were too big for any other city, movies, it turns out, are the great equalizer.  I ask you, what else but movies compels us both, the small-town liar and the big-city achiever, to share the same quarters in quiet mutual appreciation for something other than, respectively, our unmarried live-in girlfriends whom we falsely label our wives and our spectacular freshly cut hair?

The answer: nudity of any kind.

My final thought on the topic of films and women is this: Julia Ormond or Madeline Stowe, if you're reading this, hit me up.  You too, Mary Louise Parker.  Basically any woman who was big in the '90s or has a triple name.  Or Simon Baker.

Now, can we talk about you lending me some money?  I'm seeing a combination hair stylist/therapist, and we're making amazing progress with my chronic crying and my "gorilla scalp", but she isn't cheap.  Oh, and obviously don't include this in our e-mail chain on your blog.

Evan: I hate your guts.

I wasn't kidding.


  1. Please ban this Fedd character from any future posts. I find his conversation style bland and inapt. Hopefully this is just a fictional character and not a real person.

  2. BTW...

    "She's the One", by far, one of the most underrated chick-flicks. Good Tom Petty soundtrack too. I just wish the CD cover unfolded to a life-sized picture of Jennifer Anniston, she was so much hotter pre-John Mayer.

    I'll just keep talking to myself....


  3. I disagree! I find Feddd to be amusing and apt.

    I also think Jennifer Aniston is totally lame and much prefer Jennifer Tilly, Jennifer Lopez and your mother.

  4. Feddernezzy holds a soft spot in my heart - not sure why - could be because he tried to wine and dine Ev and I at a sleezy hotel in LA.

    Also, She's the One is sort of dumb...Picture Perfect is a much better Aniston sleeper.

  5. She's the One was almost a good movie, but completely destroyed by Ed Burns' then girlfriend. She almost destroyed The Brothers McMullen, but it managed to pull through and have low budget charm.

  6. Sounds like someone has a crush...

  7. oh katie ... you always got my numba!

  8. I swore I would read Thrifty Rittenhouse instead of TV My (Fiancee) Watches, but I'm a sucker for the charming ramblings of "our esteemed guest."

    Also, I like "She's The One" and am inexplicably attracted to Ed Burns' then girlfriend. Clearly that's because the wardrobe department chose to exclude bras from all of her outfits.

  9. This is hilarious. I've never felt more okay with being fully aware of how un-funny I am.