Posts Tagged: kiki

Lady Style: Kirsten Dunst

Oh, Kiki. You guys know I love her. Not only was she awesome long ago in films like The Virgin Suicides and Eternal Sunshine, but she continues to make weird and interesting film choices.She always looks like she couldn’t care less about what’s happening around her, which is a quality I admire and respect. I kinda feel like she’s the next Parker Posey. Also, her style is bananas in the best way. Typically I don’t feature current, skinny, blonde women on Lady Style because that’s not really my look, but Kiki’s so unconventional that I can’t help loving her.

First off, girl knows how to wear a braid crown and look super-feminine.
kirsten dunst braid crown

But she can also look great in a menswear-inspired look.

She’s clearly unafraid to wear yellow, which I really appreciate. I wear yellow multiple times a week (in fact, if I were Shelby in Steel Magnolias, I would call it “my signature color”), and people reliably tell me that they “just can’t wear yellow.” Whatever, y’all! We can all wear yellow if we believe in ourselves. Look at Kiki in this yellow outfit that looks like a sofa in a good way.
kirsten dunst yellow stella mccartney

And a gorgeous yellow shirt that I covet.
Kirsten Dunst Leaving The Chelsea Handler Show

Oh, and this bold and beautiful yellow dress. You go, Kiki.
kirsten dunst yellow dress

She’s dressed kinda like an 80’s secretary in this outfit that I LOVE.
kirsten dunst long skirt

And then there’s this dress, which totally stole my heart because SO MANY PATTERNS! Apparently it was by Miu Miu way back in 2010.
Kristen Dunst and her boyfriend Jason Boesel enjoy a romantic stroll in SoHo

Mostly what I love so much about Kiki is that she seems to truly not care what other people think about fashion. She rarely wears a bra. She often wears unfeminine styles. She’s doesn’t mind that yellow is commonly regarded as an unflattering color. She’s just doing her, which is a fashion philosophy I can get behind.

Lady Film: Bachelorette

I’d heard a lot of things about Bachelorette before I saw it. Like how it was so dark and edgy, and the characters were unlikable, and there was rampant drug use. And of course it stars a whole slew of great, funny people, including Lizzy Kaplan, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, Adam Scott, and Kirsten Dunst. You may remember that I have very intense feelings for Kirsten Dunst. I don’t know why; I just love her. Also, from now on, we will only refer to her as Kiki on WTLV. No looking back.

What I expected, after all those reviews that focused on how caustic it was, was a film like Young Adult. Charlize Theron’s character in that movie is such a monster of selfishness, and we see her a) admit why she became that way, b) get her comeuppance and c) refuse to change at all. But Bachelorette was totally not that kind of movie.

Was there drug use? Sure, but the film made it look extremely unappealing. Were three brittle-thin characters making mean fat jokes about their friend? Yes, but it was very obvious they were being shitty people trying to mask their own extreme unhappiness. Was James Marsden a totally date rape-y douche? Yes, but he wasn’t supposed to be a good character.

What Bachelorette had was semi-realistic characters making terrible decisions repeatedly, and I enjoyed every second of it. I think this movie was pretty great, and it’s far different from any other Crazy Wedding movie it’s been compared to. It all takes place the night before the wedding like The Hangover, but that’s where the similarities end. Whereas in The Hangover their problems are wedding-related and fixed by morning, the problems in Bachelorette go a lot deeper. It’s clear that these women aren’t going to get over their addictions, despair, self-loathing, and traumas overnight.

That being said, this is no Young Adult. It has a happy ending, for God’s sake! It was funny and it had a fairly conventional plot structure. So why did so many reviews focus on how “dark” and “edgy” and “unlikable” it was? Honestly, I really think most people don’t know how to handle a female character that acts like a human being.

I realize that’s not a new point. But it comes up over and over, whenever I see a review of a movie or television show with a female lead character who happens to be a little zany or annoying or anything other than Patricia-Heaton-on-Everybody-Loves-Raymond levels of accommodating. For example, I was reading an Entertainment Weekly article about the cancellation of Best Friends Forever (RIP, one of my favorite shows that was only 6 episodes long!) and a commentor mentioned that Jessica St. Clair’s character was too “annoying.” Well, yeah. That was kind of the point. What the hell sort of show would it be if everyone got along really well and never had any disagreements? I like to see movies and TV shows where weirdos rub up against each other and cause some drama. Otherwise, what’s the point?

So this is just to say that Bachelorette is a great movie. It’s a film that’s somewhat conventionally structured while still being different from other comedies. I enjoyed it, and not even just because of Kiki’s luminosity. Most of the credit goes to writer/director Leslye Headland. She presents women as flawed, messy beings, and not in the “I just can’t seem to stop running into things and I have frizzy hair!” way. Not that I don’t love that kind of movie, but I like watching things that show all different kinds of women. Headland’s characters are messed up in a very real, very serious way that either we or some of our friends probably are. I like her vision, and I can’t wait to see what else she does. Here’s something great she said in HuffPo:

“Women are much more under the microscope about moral behavior versus material success. Men can be assholes. We love Don Draper. We love the fact that he’s good at his job and he makes lots of money and he fucks women who aren’t his wife, and he gets drunk every day. We are so happy for him! He is living the American dream, as far as we’re concerned. And it’s not that I’m really complaining about that, it’s just that I want to know why this is the case. And I don’t think I really answered it with my film. I think I just may have started the beginning of a really long conversation.”

Welcome to Ladyville gives this one a SEE IT. I’m just kidding, you guys. Ugh. I will never start talking about movies like that. God knows it would be way too concise and readable. Instead I prefer to ramble on for several paragraphs about how much I love Kiki. Really, though, see this movie. It’s a fun lady cast, there’s Adam Scott (whom we all love), Glorious Kiki, and some really silly and funny musical choices. I’m giving Bachelorette the Welcome to Ladyville stamp of approval! Note to self: get stamp made.

This Movie is the Best Movie: Elizabethtown

I’m not crazy, okay? I know Elizabethtown isn’t a good movie, by conventional standards. Or unconventional standards. It doesn’t make sense, there’s absolutely no chemistry between the leads, the dialogue is cringeworthy, it’s easy-breezy inspirational tone is so tone-deaf it’s almost offensive, and, worst of all, it criminally under-utilizes Paul Schneider. Despite all of this, I kind of love it.

This is mostly because Elizabethtown holds nothing but good memories for me. I saw it at the Princess Theatre in good old Oxford, Ohio, back in my days as a Miami undergraduate. My friends Liz, Sean, Dan and I had a great time because we made fun of the movie and got coffee afterwards. “Making fun of a movie and getting coffee” was my favorite activity in college, and hey have I mentioned to you guys that I’ve never been to even one frat party?

Anyway. There are a few important things you need to know about Elizabethtown, and none of them are the plot. I’ll give you a quick rundown, though. Orlando Bloom works for a shoe company (?) and I guess he makes some sort of shoe mistake (?) because his boss, Alec Baldwin, is all, “You and your bad haircut have lost me a lot of money, Orlando Bloom.”

So Orlando Bloom is going to kill himself via exercise bike, as you do, but then he gets a call from His Sister Judy Greer telling him that his dad died. So, naturally, he has to go to Kentucky to retrieve his dad’s body. Exercise bike suicide will have to wait for another day!

While on the flight to Kentucky, he meets a flight attendant named Claire. She is, as you may have guessed, played by the ebullient Kirsten Dunst. I genuinely think Kirsten Dunst is one of the best actresses of our generation, and I’ll stand by that assertion. What I really love is that if you talk to a girl around my age about Kirsten, she’ll be like, “Oh, you mean Kiki?” because when we were little, every teen magazine mentioned that was her nickname. I’m not saying this is Kiki’s best role, but that’s not her fault. She was working with what she had.

The rest of the movie is just Orlando Bloom and Kiki connecting while he “deals with” (ignores) the fact that his dad’s dead.

As you’ve probably heard, Kiki is quirky in this movie. She’s not that bad, but she’s just not a realistic (or fleshed out) character. She also lives in a pile of magazines.

There’s one long montage set to a Ryan Adams song where Orlando Bloom and Kiki talk on the phone. What do they talk about? We’ll never know! We just have to imagine their connection. Thank you, Cameron Crowe, for allowing us to use our imaginations.

What’s she saying? IT’S A SECRET!
Kiki also pretend-photographs things (again, why? No one knows!):

And does things that would be creepy if she wasn’t a very attractive woman:

And wears a hat that 20 year old me coveted (and, okay, 26 year old me still loves it):

Cameron Crowe also engages in what I call “emotional cheating” by using emotionally charged songs instead of actually, you know, writing a movie that would make us feel something. Like you know how some movies use the song “Hallelujah” and you begrudgingly end up crying? Elizabethtown does the same thing with Ryan Adams songs. Of course we’re going to feel some warm, sunset-drenched American nostalgia if you play “Come Pick Me Up.” It’s not fair.

The single most important thing about Elizabethtown is that it stars Paula Deen. Yes, stars. If you have any negative feelings about Paula Deen because of her questionable diabetes-fueled decisions in the past year, first off, you need to check yourself at the door (the door to this blog, I mean) because she is amazing. Secondly, you need to read her autobiography, It Ain’t All About the Cookin’. Trust me, you’ll start to understand her a lot more. She’s great in this movie just by being herself, and for some reason, I really love to think of her interacting with Orlando Bloom. It just makes me happy.

The other important thing to know about Elizabethtown is that it features the wonderful Paul Schneider. The fact that he can seem so unattractive here is truly a testament to his skill as an actor, because he is anything but unattractive in real life.

Also of importance: Susan Sarandon is fantastic with terrible material. She has to give a long speech at a funeral (or, like, memorial with a stage? I don’t know) and then she has to tapdance. Tapdance! And THIS scene happens:

I can’t believe we, as a country, subjected Susan Sarandon to that.

I think we can all agree that this movie is basically wish fulfillment for Cameron Crowe and Orlando Bloom is his stand in. If you don’t believe me, just look at this picture:

I’m not really saying this is the best movie. I’m not even saying it’s a good movie. But if you don’t understand why some people kind of like it, well, take a look at this picture:

There are some good things about it.
Also, like I said before, Elizabethtown reminds me of fun times…those days in college where I had very, very few responsibilities and my favorite thing to do was have a completely sober movie night with my friends. It didn’t even matter what we watched. Even if it was a terrible Orlando Bloom vehicle, it was still great.
And, as it turns out, I have pictorial proof of my friends doing their best Kiki impressions:

Thanks for existing, Elizabethtown. You’re terrible but I love you anyway.

Previously: This Movie is the Best Movie: While You Were Sleeping
This Movie is the Best Movie: Valley Girl