As a kid, I bought this crap,
along with a lot of other crap the adults sold, like Marathon
Bars, Silly Putty and Wacky Packs. I spent a lot of weekends hoping
for rain so I could hop on my Stingray, get to the end of the
rainbow before the other kids and then wait for the leprechauns.
I figured I could sack the little bastards, stuff them into hamster
cages and sell them to NASA. I didn't give a rat's ass about the
gold. The money was, and still is, in leprechauns.
By my teen years I mostly figured
out that my dad sent me chasing rainbows because he knew I'd never
find the ends. It was just a way to get me out of the house so
he could run stag films in the garage without me getting in the
way. I still went looking, though, because that 8-mm movie of
the crying lady getting fistfucked made me very sad.
I digress. This story isn't about
porn. That would be every other review. This one is about the
bullshit parents force feed us and the long-term negative effects.
When the adults say follow your dreams, they mean only the ones
that fall within a narrow band of acceptable behavior and historical
results. They mean, follow your dream to be president but not
porn actor. Wish to be a doctor but not a necrophile. Reach for
that star called "industrial capitalist", but don't touch the
one right next to it called "dead rock guitarist." Shoot for the
moon, so long as once you get there you don't tell anyone what
they found in the shallow gully behind Uncle Arnold's.
Dream offer does not apply if
your dreams include: building hot rods; drinking until your tongue
goes numb; kissing apes; stealing body organs, washing dishes
or small engines repair. The adults should have said, "Shut up
and do what you're told," instead of the dream lies. I believed
them for a while, and I'm still picking the shards of my shattered
dreams from the soles of my feet.
In grade school, they put me in
"gifted" classes because I scored well on some reading tests and
had a preternatural skill for word puzzles. I was a C-student
fuckup, for sure, but the authorities' thinking was that my fuckuptitude
was because of boredom. Regular classes weren't challenging me.
Until that promotion, the dream
I followed was to coast by on as little effort as possible. If
C is a passing grade, who the fuck would want to get an A? I figured
being in the gifted class meant you'd already proved you weren't
retarded, so you could slack off without the dumb kids wanting
to know why they couldn't too. Pretty quickly, I learned the teachers
expected you to do the regular school work and more. Being gifted
meant not following your dreams, but following a more ambitious
set of someone else's. What the hell is the point of being gifted
if it means working harder? I thought the whole point was getting
the same amount done with less effort.
I got bounced out of the program
pretty fast, but before I did I learned that having a gifted brain
is like having a truck: everyone else wants to use it to haul
their heavy shit. Before I got tossed, they said it was a shame
to waste my intelligence, and a tragedy to not apply to myself.
To who? To those old farts? Who the fuck cares? It's my brain
and I can do what I want. If I want to stick it in a disposal,
it's none of their God damn business (although I wish someone
had stopped me before I stuck my thumb in one). If my brain held
the cure to cancer, it's still mine and I don't have to give it
away. Brains aren't community property and the only reason it's
a shame that someone else is lazy is because you want something
I'm not gifted anymore. I recently
took an IQ test online and the only result I got back was a scolding
about using the computer without parental supervision. 17,000+
bottles of beer, a few dozen cans of acetone and a late-teen love
affair with Testors model glue made sure of that I safely hid
whatever those teachers were after. Remember, kids: you don't
have to stay gifted. Follow your dream.
Where was I? Oh yeah, when I started,
I had some point that tied into Wedding Date, a piss-poor
movie aimed at sexless elderly women who hate bodily fluids, stopped
screwing a decade ago and who refer to men as sexy without having
any desire to fuck them. And that's who was in the theater with
me on Friday: women so old and frigid I could hear their vaginas
scratch like sandpaper when they walked. They laughed for a while,
Wedding Date is not exactly
a comedy of manners, or a romantic comedy, either, because the
word comedy is too strong a term. Let's make up a term: Laxie,
short for laxative, because saying Wedding Date is a romantic
laxative sounds just about right.
Debra Messing is some sort of
uptight professional who is going home for her sister's wedding.
But while home, she will have to confront the ex-fiance who coldly
dumped her. She doesn't want him to know how hurt she was, so
she rents a very expensive male whore (Dermot Mulroney, who is
like Tony Danza, but without the sparkle) to accompany her, borrowing
a huge chunk of cash from her 401K to do it. Guess what the fuck
happens? She falls in love with the whore and he with her. Everyone
ends up happy. In the meantime, we get a tour of the English countryside
and a cavalcade of laxie stereotypes like the brash mom who says
inappropriate things, the randy best girlfriend, the bumbling,
clueless man who turns out to be a sweetheart and not so clueless
after all. Where the fuck are the rapping grandma and the gay
guy with the bitchy fashion comments?
Now, I remember the analogy I
wanted to make. Wedding Date takes place entirely in the
narrow band of what adults want young people to dream of. The
entire movie is so bland, weak and safe that it can't possibly
offend anyone. It will entertain those who think that not be offended
is the best kind of showbiz. It will bore the piss out of everyone
else. This movie is made from compromised dreams and impersonal
goals, written by someone who revised his goals until they fit
safely within the acceptable range. It occasionally has a calculated
sense of ribald; jokes meant to make old women feel naughty, but
the rest of us feel like we're thumbing through a Playboy party
joke book from the 50s.
What's most amazing is that in
its effort to be terribly cute and as lush as a Thomas Kinkade
wet dream, Wedding Date never bothers to develop the characters.
There is some vague notion that Messing is uptight and vaguely
disgusted that she has to resort to a whore. But then she fucks
him and never stops to wonder if that is a little weird, or that
falling in love with him is really weird. Mulroney is supposed
to be highly polished and professional, yet he falls for Messing
despite her lack of physical or mental attractiveness. Not only
is this unprofessional, it makes no sense. Do whores go for girls
who cry a lot and look tired? Maybe he digs chicks with bobbed
noses, I know I went through that phase too. Why do they love
each other and how did they realize the other felt the same way?
One minute he says he's going to charge for sex, the next he's
mad at her for even trying to pay. That's a shitty businessman.
Throughout the movie, other characters
keep reminding us that both Mulroney and Messing are very attractive,
vibrant people. It's a good thing because I would have never known
otherwise. I can see Mulroney's acting being hot to women who
fantasize about their kitchens. "Mmm, wouldn't he look good on
the counters? So shiny, stiff and flat." He is supposed to exude
confidence and smarts, but he isn't written with them. Really,
we just listen to other characters say he does. essing is just
so damn bland. There's no spark, nothing clever and definitely
nothing sexy. She spends the movie pouting, crying and unhappy.
We're supposed to believe that she was once fun, but we sure as
hell don't get to see it.