Wednesday Link Party!

Happy Wednesday, guys! I hope you all had a fantastic week. I definitely did! On Friday I got to have dinner with Creative Lady Angela (we went to The Pearl–highly recommended!), and then I spent the weekend hanging out with my family. There was a bike ride on this beautiful trail, a sweet potato pound cake, and a viewing of Behind the Candelabra. Perfect weekend, is what I’m saying here. Anyway, on with the links!

-I haven’t seen Obvious Child yet, but man oh man am I loving all of these Jenny Slate interviews. She is always so charming, weird, and funny. In this Vulture interview, she says things like, “I don’t like that. Especially when it’s something I had said and it was a genuine, beautiful feeling that I had when I was on mushrooms.”

-Okay, so we’ve all read like a million profiles of and interviews with Mindy Kaling, right? But she says a lot of great things in this Guardian interview, including this on the value of entertainment: “When my mom was very sick we’d watch Modern Family, and it was a rest from that situation, that was so wonderfully needed. I know that’s what entertainment can do at its very best.”

-You guys ever read the Wikipedia page on Ren and Stimpy? I don’t know why, but I did this week. What a weird show.

-Shonda Rhimes gave an insanely great commencement speech that I can’t stop thinking about.

-Scenes from My Imaginary Friendship with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: ” When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson calls by accident at 3am because he’s filming in Tunisia and his internal clock’s all messed up, I’m not angry. I just listen. ‘How are you?’ I ask. There’s a long pause before he quietly says, ‘I’m gonna be honest. I’m not too great.’”

-Not a link at all, but a story: when I was a freshman in high school, one of my friends had a huge crush on this guy who was OBSESSED with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This was before he was a movie star, back when he was just a wrestler. I ended up learning a lot of The Rock’s particular language, and I still use it from time to time. Namely, “the people’s elbow,” “jabroni,” and “Do you smell what The Rock is cooking?”

-This week I wrote about The Truth About Alice on HelloGiggles! Check it out!

This Movie is the Best Movie: Behind the Candelabra

matt-damon-michael-douglas-behind-the-candelabra-hbo

When it’s a Saturday night and you’re trying to choose a movie to watch with your two younger brothers, the best choice is obviously Behind the Candelabra, the HBO film starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. It was between that and Enough Said, and honestly, if you don’t spend your time with your family trying to decide between a middle-age dating comedy starring James Gandolfini and a biopic about a closeted flamboyant piano player, than I feel sorry for you. I’ll never know if James and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss make it work (unless I actually watch the movie on my own), but I do know that Liberace had a lot of small dogs. I recommend this film highly…it’s full of laughs, tears, and weird tanlines on Matt Damon’s butt.

The boys and I didn’t know much about Liberace before watching, and let me tell you, Steven Soderbergh wasted no time at all explaining him. By that I mean that there is pretty much no explanation of who Liberace is, but that’s okay. You figure it out pretty easily (he’s shown performing and wearing his trademark glitzy clothes).

At the beginning of the film, Matt Damon befriends a mustachioed Scott Bakula, who honestly looks younger and better than he did on Quantum Leap. How are you aging backwards, Bakula? Share your secrets!

Wearing the hell out of that scarf

Wearing the hell out of that scarf

Scott Bakula, keeper of all knowledge, introduces Matt Damon to Liberace. Liberace is played by Michael Douglas, but it’s seriously like Michael Douglas BECAME Liberace. I read that Robin Williams was originally considered for the part, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.

He can't believe it either.

He can’t believe it either.

What could've been!

What could’ve been!

Even though Liberace is eccentric at best, Matt Damon is still attracted to him…or at least he’s willing to move into Liberace’s insane mansion. Things are going well (or as well as they can when you’re dating someone who wears 60 pound fur coats) until Liberace decides to get some plastic surgery. He wants Matt Damon to get plastic surgery, too. And who does he want him to look like? Oh, you know…just a YOUNG LIBERACE.

Normal.

Normal.

Matt Damon is apprehensive, but Scott Bakula encourages him to go ahead with it. And no one in his right mind would ever deny the advice of Scott Bakula. So Matt Damon ends up looking like this:
behind the candelabra gif

Which is to say deeply upsetting (but with a chin dimple).

The surgery scenes are made more bearable (sorry, I mean DELIGHTFUL) because Rob Lowe is the surgeon. That’s right, Rob MF’ing Lowe is a plastic surgeon who’s clearly used a few too many of his own services.

No, he's not skeptical...that's just how he always looks.

No, he’s not skeptical…that’s just how he always looks.

If you’re wondering what it’s like to hear bizarre lines delivered by someone who looks like that and speaks like Chris Traeger…well, let me tell you, it’s wonderful.

Various other things happen. Dan Aykroyd is involved, as are Paul Reiser and Mike O’Malley. There are almost no women in this movie (aside from Liberace’s mother, they do not exist in his world). Liberace and Matt Damon, predictably, have a falling out. As Alex put it, “I guess what we learned is that you can take a lot of baths with someone, but never really be that close to them.” Indeed!

A few assorted thoughts about the film:

1. I was a little skeptical about Behind the Candelabra because it was an HBO film, but this is a legitimately good, well-made movie. Duh. Steven Soderbergh reportedly said that it aired on HBO because no studio wanted to take on such a gay movie. This is, admittedly, an extremely gay movie, but that’s not a bad thing.

2. Before it came out, I feel like a lot of the buzz related to “Michael Douglas + Matt Damon + GAY,” so I sort of assumed that sex would be a big part of the movie. It wasn’t! I mean, yes, it’s about Liberace’s and Matt Damon’s (the character has a name, but I’d rather call him Matt Damon–this is my blog, I make the rules!) relationship, and sex is a part of that, but it’s not a very explicit movie. I’m not saying you should watch this with your parents. Unless you’re VERY open with your parents, I’d avoid that, because it’s going to be awkward. But honestly, it’s not all that graphic. Much like another Steven Soderbergh movie, Magic Mike, the hype around it was a bit misdirected.

3. That being said, you DO see a lot of Matt Damon’s butt, always with different swimwear-related tanlines.

4. Did I mention that Rob Lowe was the best part of this movie? Oh, I did? Well, it bears repeating.
behind the candelabra rob lowe hair

5. Don’t think it’s all Rob Lowe with tape pulling back his face or Scott Bakula wearing odd, tiny scarves. Behind the Candelabra is also pretty emotionally affecting. I loved the final, campy, still very sweet scene.

6. It’s also a genuinely funny movie. I laughed a lot.

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it if you have an interest in destructive relationships, gay culture in the 70s/80s, the AIDS crisis, giant fur coats, Rob Lowe looking bizarre, or tanlines on Matt Damon’s butt.

Scott Bakula, take us out!

SCARVES!

SCARVES!

Previously in This Movie is the Best Movie: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, You’ve Got Mail, Pretty in Pink, Magic Mike, Post Grad, Elizabethtown, While You Were Sleeping, Valley Girl

Ladyville Book Club: #GIRLBOSS

GIRLBOSS
I don’t read a lot of “career woman” books because most of them don’t apply to me. I haven’t read Lean In, so I can’t really comment on it (here I go anyway, I guess), but I don’t identify too much with its message. Which isn’t to say that books like Lean In aren’t useful for some people…it’s just that, personally, I don’t want to be a CEO. I don’t want to be a “leader” in the traditional sense of the word. I do a lot of reading and research regarding business careers for my day job, and most of the time I’m left thinking, “Wow, the people who go after these careers have completely different goals, personalities, and lifestyles than me.” I’m not saying I don’t care about money (I do!), but I think writers and businesspeople often just have different thought processes.

Even though #GIRLBOSS sounds like a typical career book but with a hashtag in the title, I decided to check it out after I read this profile of author Sophia Amoruso. As the founder of Nasty Gal clothing, her rise to millionaire CEO was totally untraditional. And she just sounded a lot more relatable than Sheryl Sandberg. My favorite lines from that profile: “The cover of Lean In shows Sandberg relaxed and radiant in a white sweater, chin resting on palm. #GIRLBOSS has Amoruso in a tight black dress and spiky necklace, fists balled against her hips. One of her eyebrows is arched, villainess style. She looks like a person with intimidating sexual preferences.”

So what’s my verdict after reading the book? I liked it! It is definitely funnier and more interesting than most career books I’ve read (although, like I said, I don’t read a ton of them). I’m totally impressed by Amoruso’s work ethic. Her success happened for a lot of reasons, but her very hard work was definitely the biggest one. She doesn’t seem to have much of an ego and is willing to do just about anything, which is an attitude I really respect. Also, I’m always interested in reading about someone’s hard work.

This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s just more fun to read about someone who started a vintage clothing company than it is to read about a “typical” CEO. I’m pretty sure Sheryl Sandberg never had a job at Subway or ate out of a dumpster. It’s not like Sophia Amoruso had connections or money–she doesn’t even have a business degree! There are different ways to reach success, and I like that #GIRLBOSS showed this one.

Will #GIRLBOSS change your life? I don’t know, maybe not, unless you’re currently eating bagels out of a dumpster and trying to find a better path. But it is really encouraging. Reading about Sophia Amoruso’s hard work, and her drive to keep going even when she wasn’t exactly sure what she was working towards, is super-inspiring. The book definitely seems to be geared towards younger women–perhaps those who are just starting their careers–but a great work ethic is important at any age.

What about you guys? Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What are your fave “career” books?