Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's Really Not About Steve At All!

I ignored the bad reviews and went to see All About Steve today. I mean, it's got Sandra Bullock so it can’t be all bad, right? Right?

Eh … not all bad. Some bad, oh yes. But, some good as well.

In short, All About Steve isn’t all about the character Steve. It’s all about the lovable yet uber-quirky cruciverbalist [psst … that’s a crossword puzzle maker] Mary Horowitz, played by Bullock, who sets her sights on easy-on-the-eyes camera man Steve, played by Bradley Cooper (in one of his few not-entirely-an-asshole roles this year) in order to be what others want her to be: normal.

Were bits overdone? Well, yes, it seems that is a given in most movies these days (see my take on 2012) with the exception this year of Star Trek (all hail). Were bits unfunny that were supposed to be funny? Well, yes, but I found myself wondering how much of my reaction or non-reaction was because of the expectation of unfunny I had walking into the theater.  I had laughs, I got a bit teary, and I left with that happy ending feeling - and that's about all I ask of movies on any given Sunday.

Just promise me this: If you go to see this movie, don’t go expecting a romantic comedy in which the main character gets her guy; she doesn’t.

What she gets is the insight that she’s already perfect ... and perfectly unique.


“If you love someone, set him free; if you have to stalk him, he probably wasn’t yours to start with.”
~ Mary Horowitz.  Now those are words to live by.


A word on Bradley Cooper: Isn’t it about time for this guy to do a movie in which he’s actually the good guy who gets the girl??? I have not seen all of his work but what I have seen this year includes the above movie in which he shuns the seemingly-crazy-but-lovable Mary, The Hangover in which he plays an irresponsible ass of a best friend and husband, and He’s Just Not That Into You in which he plays a cheating bastard. Seriously, be the good guy, Cooper, ‘cause I will learn to disregard the good looks if you keep playing the ass.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What Began As a Tweet-Sized Review of 2012

On a last minute whim (and a last minute cancellation of the party I was supposed to attend today), I went to see 2012 this afternoon. 2012 – the big disaster movie with John “Better Off Dead” Cusack sans sister Joan but with a wigged out Woody [Harrelson].

Latest, greatest special effects? Check.

Main lovable star in a sad rut ready to turn his luck around? Check.

Adorable kids in serious need of smacking at various points of the movie? Check.

Cynical guy calling the shots who we’re supposed to believe is evil but who seems to me to be the only sensible person in the film? Check.

[I’m with you, Oliver Platt; that probably means I’m going to hell, but I’m with you!]

Instance after instance of excruciatingly drawn-out suspenseful moments? *sigh* Check.

Actually, I could simply say this:

2012 – There are moments for thought-provoking words of feeling and long looks of love … but not when a freakin' tsunami is going to crush you in seconds unless you do that one thing you need to do!!!!!

Who DOES that???!!!!

Apparently, John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Yeeeah, I have no idea on that one either), "President" Danny Glover, and George Segal, to name just a few.


Side note: To the two women who needed to change seats after the movie began in order to sit in the row directly behind me, for the love of GOD, WHAT WERE YOU EATING???? 
*crumple* *slurp* *crunch* *rustle* *cough*
*cough* *cough*
*cough* *giggle* *cough* *cough*
You, dear ladies, deadened completely the beginnings of sympathy I had for the doomed people in the movie.  Thank you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

All I Ask ... Is For A Smile!

Oh, irritation! Oh, lack of customer appreciation!

I bought a few books Saturday at my new Barnes and Noble. One was a new hardback from Charlaine Harris – Grave Secret – a continuation of her Harper Connelly, I-was-struck-by-lightning-and-now-find-dead-bodies heroine (no, seriously, it’s very entertaining), along with another sci-fi book … and a romance book (don’t you judge me).

Standing at the register, making my purchases, I commented to the worker that I thought the Harris book had a members’ coupon available so she looked online for me and the following exchange took place.

“I’m not seeing one.”

“Oh … okay, I thought sure there was one but maybe it was for her other new release.”

“Well, if you buy it today then find the coupon, just bring it back with the receipt and we can take care of that for you.”


The coupon was in my email; I found it the next day. It expired tonight.

So, I made sure that I had the book, still in the bag with the receipt, in my car and headed there tonight after Sadie aka Sadistic-even-though-I-had-a-baby-10-days-ago fitness instructor extraordinaire found new and vicious uses for exercise balls. Finally back at Barnes and Noble, I made my way (gingerly) to the registers and explained to a worker there what was going on … no problem … she just needed a manager to authorize it.

The manager arrived. Here’s where the irritation began:

Hmm … the two were having problems getting the return to go through and the worker asked me if I have another receipt as the Harris book is not listed on the one I gave her.


I look at the receipt and then find myself in the awkward, and extremely irritating, position of explaining to them what apparently happened. I bought three books Saturday: The Harris hardback and two paperbacks. The person checking me out rang up one of the paperbacks twice and forgot to ring up the Harris book.

Initial blank looks. Final recognition.

“Sooooo ...” I noted, much to my chagrin, “it seems I’ll probably end up owing you more instead of getting any money back.”

No response as they are returning one of the paperbacks and ringing up the Harris book.

“Well, I guess at least this will help with your inventory.”  I chuckle.

No response.

No smile.


Now, I realize that I simply ended up paying for the books I received. I get that. But given the circumstances – that a customer believing she was entitled to money back from a coupon ends up paying more instead because of a mistake of one of their employees – could I have a bit of, oh, I don’t know …. extra kindness at least??

A freakin SMILE perhaps??!!

Honestly, I left feeling as though they thought I had done something WRONG when I can just as easily envision another customer flatly refusing to pay the additional amount because it was an error by one of their employees. It felt as if, because I was honest, I was only penalized.

All I ask … is for a smile while you’re taking MORE money from me. Is that too much?

I don’t think so.

Boo and hiss, Barnes and Noble.