Directed by Ken Kwapis
Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck,Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Connolly, and Jennifer Connolly
Welcome to Part 2 (of what now has become a 3 Part discussion). This discussion mostly includes insight from Tyler (you may remember him as the guest reviewer on "Definitely, Maybe" ) but I've still included a list of everyone included in the roundtable discussion;
Chris (Married with a newborn baby)
Brian P (Married with kid)
Giff aka SMG (Sober Guy that's Married with kids)
The Roose (Engaged)
Sarah (Married with twins)
Warning: Contains some adult language and possible spoiler alerts...so readers beware.
JOSHUA: Tyler, I know you have a lot to say so why don’t you just go ahead and say it.
TYLER: So far it looks like everybody is on point, but not getting deep enough (that's what she said). I think this movie is hard to get too philosophical about...but I will.
JOSHUA: Go ahead…
TYLER: Let’s start at the beginning, and I don’t mean the first part of the movie (I’m not going to call it a film anymore because it wasn’t). We know this was based on a self help book co-authored by a man and a woman to help "empower" women to understand men better. But look who wrote it, the guy author is friends with Patton Oswald, I mean you have to suck at life to like him or think he's funny (sorry if you do, and I've never met the man but I think he's like a black liquorice jelly bean, takes a certain type) and the women author wrote for “Sex and the City” which in my opinion is responsible for an entire generation of women who think they're "empowered" but are actually fitting in to the oblivious delusional female stereotypes even more so (that’s a whole other discussion). The screenwriters (also a man and woman duo) work with Drew Barrymore's production company and are the geniuses behind "Never Been Kissed." Not that it was a bad movie, but it’s not going to blow your mind or keep you up at night talking about hidden meanings (it’s like eating playdoh, not going to kill brain cells, but not the best idea ever). Unfortunately Ken Kwapis (director) is paired with this mess and without him the film would have been worse if that’s even possible. Not only has he directed many episodes of The Office, Freaks and Geeks, Malcolm in the Middle, Larry Sanders, but also did "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “License to Wed”. If anything I see a lot of him in the movie when he's really trying but can only do so much.
I think we all agree this movie was pretty bad, I mean the tribal ladies in Africa talking about hut numbers and using the word awesome, are you expletive kidding me (sadly, this was one of the only parts in the movie where the kung fu voice over thing wasn't pissing me off, but then I got mad at my Mom for teaching me to read). Oh, and before I move on to things I hate less, how about the lame testimonials throughout the movie, I mean two overweight African American ladies talking about getting dumped and getting some ribs and ice cream, talk about perpetuating stereotypes. and the earing dude, I wish the kung fu master that I wanted to kick my cable box, Tiger's bullpen, and my face could hit him in his bald head with a ninja star...I digress.
JOSHUA: I thought the two fat ladies were funny. Especially when she made the joke about eating ice cream. Sorry, but I did. Not to get back on Gigi, but she was more annoying to me then those two fat ladies could ever be…unless they started to act like Gigi.
TYLER: Like I said before, Gigi was annoying but it wasn’t entirely her fault. I'm going to get Freudian on that ass and suggest that it’s a social construct based more on the enormity of our society paired with the technology and information that makes it seem smaller than it is. I'll clarify as best I can, but the gist of it is that when the idea of marriage was constructed (and love for that matter) it was a survival instinct, nothing more. We are here to pro-create and not much more (from a strictly animalistic perspective) but the Catholic church wanted to curb our reproduction and thus instituted the sanctity of marriage (also keeping the pews full, and I love Catholics, I’ve dated like 5, this is strictly history and not opinion based) but your community was closer, the congregation was your family, and your family actually lived with you. These are important ideas because marriage has become that idea for many of us, which is a good thing, but also leads people to be in a rush to find that togetherness with someone because in our modern society we move away (some of us, wish I did) and those ties aren’t as tight and close as they once were. It’s simply a need to be a part of something, with someone you care about. So as annoying as Gigi was, it is simply that need for acceptance that is missing in our increasing non-secular society, I mean think about it, she lived alone in a big city, had a couple friends, but nothing much more.
JOSHUA: Regardless of the history lesson Gigi honestly scares the shit out of me. I just wanted to reach into the movie, grab her, shake her and tell her it will be Ok. Then again, Jennifer Connolly’s character scared the hell out of me, as well. I’m easily scared.
TYLER: Jennifer Connolly’s character actually went through a very powerful development through the film. You see she had already been submerged in co-dependence from a very young age (they dated through college) and wasn’t being as controlling as you may think but was actually going through an internal battle for her independence, which was her subconscious way of gaining it from Bradley Cooper. There is some real good imagery here (thanks Kwapis) where she returns home and hangs up a picture of a lone chair on the beach, then cuts to her looking at the picture of them together in college right in front of their wedding picture. This is her independence moment as she finally realizing what she's been fighting for, and the cigarettes simply provided an excuse to cut ties. I mean she was not going to break up with him for cheating because he was honest about it (she defends him and uses "marriage" as the excuse to keep fighting for it) but the smokes signify the snake in the garden of Eden, providing the temptation that he was told not to give into, and upon realizing this "dies" for his sins by leaving him, but leaving him with the reminder that it was his fault. Now that I'm getting biblical on this biatch (nothing like biblical and biatch in the same sentence) we can look at the Delilah; Anna. For those unfamiliar, Delilah was paid a bunch of silver by the Philistines to screw over Samson. Although not approached by the Philistines, we can surmise that Anna's initial motivation was money (singing career) and was weak and poor (Hebrew translation of Delilah). Her weakness is obviously her poor moral standing, not respecting the whole married guy thing, and although the cigarettes were Janine's (Jenn Connolly) trigger for independence, Anna was responsible for the downfall of Bradley Cooper (her Samson). Jennifer Anniston's character represents the Virgin Mary, the sense of purity and love without bounds, with the exception of a simple request of marriage, and is blessed with the unexpected, when she finally sees the error in her ways: the unforeseen proposal. I don’t know who Drew Barrymore is supposed to be, but that’s probably cause its after midnight and I'm making biblical references to a movie that actually seemed longer than the Bible...
ALYSSA: Oh Bradley Cooper, how I love thee. I shouldn't have seen The Hangover before I watched this movie because in my honest opinion Bradley can do NO wrong. If I'm remembering correctly…Bradley cheated. He is just as much at fault as Scarlett is. Although, I tend to blame her a little more. He said he was married and she insisted they be friends. C'mon! She knew the more she flirted with him she could totally get him to stray. I have said to my husband before...I trust you but I don't trust women. We are totally manipulative and will find a way to get what we want.
BRIAN: So how do you girls feel about these rules and secret messages you think us guys do? I promise we are not that complicated, we suck a signal reading. Is it some innate thing that makes you analytical creatures? Or are you taught this growing up by other girls while your testing the relationship waters?
TYLER: I'm not done yet, that was just the intro…
ALYSSA: Why does Kevin Connolly always play the big Vagina in every roll he does? In “Entourage” as Eric, Vagina...in this movie...HUGE Vagina! He's the type of guy that deserves to be single. I think it would have been more fit for him to end up with Gigi at the end of the movie because they would have a great little pathetic life together. Would any guy seriously look at buying a house just to have some girl you randomly bang move in with you?? I'm going to guess not. I would like to think that guys his age don't sit around waiting for some girl like he did the entire movie. Oh wait, he ended up with Drew Barrymore at the end. I forgot she was even in the movie. I love a good fag-hag...I sometimes refer to myself as one! Isn't Drew taller than Kevin?? No bueno.
TYLER: Alyssa, while I think this true, I have also experienced it. You see this is the classic case of waiting for something better when you already have something good (think price is right showdown) and both sexes are guilty of this. I would argue that Connor is in fact the victim here. There is a beautiful girl in his life that he obviously has history with, who never let him go and just kept him on the back burner until she needed him for her own selfish reasons. You see us guys are very poor signal readers, and when you bang us and make us massage your feet and do gay stuff, we see that as liking us. It is hard for us to believe that a woman is capable of being a player in that regard (blame our mothers). I think its a perfect example of the human quality wanting what we can't have. Connor's date with Gigi was an example of realizing that you do in fact like the other girl and are willing to pursue it. Been there too. The movie, characters, and storyline are simply human; flawed.
JOSHUA: Kevin Connolly's character drove me nuts. He was as bad as Gigi in a lot of ways. I will say, at least, he was honest. I agree with Tyler in that most guys have been through a scenario in which we got banged and then did, quote unquote, gay stuff (probably in our early twenties). It happened at least once and we learned our lesson. At least I did. Hell, I recently heard a story through the grapevine in which a group of young 20's roommates call on of their boyfriends (not officially) "little bitch" behind his back and get him to do stuff. He will learn. We all do. I agree with Alyssa, don't offer to buy bobble-head singers that you've only slept with once a house. I've never been there but I've been there....like I said, once and never again.
TYLER: After thinking about it, Alyssa, I think you Anna'd me in high school A.B. (Insert wink face here) you got me twisted... Minus the sex part! (Felt the need for clarification in a public forum).
ALYSSA: Ohhhhh Tyler. We didn't bang! ;) Sorry if you think I Anna'd you. I “heart” you.
TYLER: Haha, that's why I sent the clarification message, but think it serves as an example that no matter how lame/general/misanthropic any of these qualities and behaviors are, at one point and time we have all probably exhibited them or had them exhibited to us.
To be continued in PART 3....