A Cupcake War
by James Killough
Our token Str8 contributor Eric Baker was clearly trying to brown nose and suck up to the Gheys — never something to do literally unless you’re in prison and have run out of cigarettes/need protection — by bemoaning the fact Beginners wasn’t playing in a mall near him in Jersey, so he couldn’t review it, much as he was apparently aching to see it. Beginners stars Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer as a son coming to terms with his father coming out at some ungodly age, like eighty-five or something. It has chatty indie quirky feel-good Sundance Festival flick written all over it, which means I’m likely to hate it. I’d rather spend my $13.50 at the Arclight Hollywood getting value for money with the new Harry Potter.
One should never forget that the Sundance Festival was started by Robert Redford as a showcase for indie American films because they weren’t getting into the Cannes Film Festival. Not even into the sidebars at Cannes. With good reason.
Ewan McGregor was sort of sexy a decade ago, and he’s got a big dick. We know that because he takes it out at every opportunity, which means nothing to me; as I’ve repeated many times in this blog, I’m one of the few gheys who is allergic to large penis; I have no idea what to do with them. But he’s not an interesting actor. He’s no Philip Seymour Hoffman.
As for Christopher Plummer, his rep in the business isn’t good. He’s a great stage actor, etcetera, but apparently he’s like Ralph Fiennes: an abusive weirdo douche, in a nutshell. And the idea of a really, really old geezer coming out of the closet and… oh, ugh. That’s just disgusting. Homosexuality is about sex. Period. You don’t come out as gay when you’re a bazillion years old. You just start watching Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. And do flower arranging, or even wear floral kimonos. That’s the extent of your lifestyle change. You don’t need to jump to our side of the fence by coming out. Sorry, that’s for the young and brave at heart.
Summer can be great for comedy; there’s always a gem among the turds. I have wanted to see Bridesmaids for a while, but I sort of got sucked into a whirlwind with work, and it almost slipped me by. I was in a chat room for a moment last night on Realjock.com, and two hunnies were talking about how much they loved it. The adult chat room on Realjock.com is really something, a complete gay phenomenon: on the one hand, you have these young gay jocks with their shirts off discussing movies, and then there are all of these exhibitionist pervs in exotic places like Indonesia and Wisconsin flogging their todgers on cam. It reminds me of Fellini Satyricon.
Being that I am shallow and more inclined to listen to a couple of shirtless young hunnies than a bald straight man in Jersey (although, I must say, both are tempting), I got me to Bridesmaids tonight, and it is hilarious. I laughed so hard I coughed a few times, but that might be because I just gave up smoking again. The only greater compliment to a comedy is laughing so hard I fart.
There are some set pieces in there you just never expect from a chick flick, and I believe that producer Judd Apatow and company may have hit on a new formula: the gutter-minded female buddy movie. The trailer doesn’t do justice to how funny this movie is; in fact, it’s so bad it almost dissuaded me from going. I mean, how much funnier can yet another film about female bffs stressing out over a wedding, and falling out with each other, and getting back together full of self-realization, and then of course getting together with the righter man, and ditching the wronger douche (here played sublimely by Jon Hamm)?
It’s much funnier. Really fucking funnier.
You know a film is going great places, and is destined to be a hit with PFC, when it co-stars Matt Lucas, the co-creator of Little Britain, who invented the spelling of “ghey,” as we use it in this blog.
As I’ve said, the story is cliché, you’ve seen it dozens of times. It’s what female comedians are believed to do best: be quirky and fuck up weddings. This sort of movie usually stars Kate Hudson or Jennifer Aniston; in fact, I believe Hudson either has a similar movie coming out, or it did come out already, or she had a baby, or did it all at the same time. Never mind. The fact is, whoever packaged this at CAA better not have given anyone extra compensation for “story by” because this one is off the shelf.
It’s the way Bridesmaids is done that makes you not give a shit about the hackneyed plot. I’d go so far as to say that the way the creators have redone this sort of wedding chick flick is so deft —from the direction, to the pacing of the script, to the editing — that I almost feel like I’ve just seen the wedding chick flick for the first time in my life.
You can’t describe gags in broad comedy, forgive the pun, and this is comedy at its broadest. I confess to having been one of those geeky kids in the back of the bus trying to recreate great moments from film, but my writing skills will fail me if I try to recreate anything from Bridesmaids. Just go see it.
Unusually, there was something that struck a chord with me emotionally, which probably ensured my complete buy-in from the beginning. The protagonist, played by Kristen Wiig, who also wrote the script, is a typical victim of the recession: she has lost her cake store and is now unable to bake; circumstance has blocked her creatively. In a strange moment, she bakes herself a single, perfect cupcake, which she lovingly decorates intricately, but when she eats it, she doesn’t enjoy it. Nobody else can see that she’s made it, it’s like she’s a closet cupcake baker. It’s exactly how I feel about what has happened to me the past few years with film, after the disasters and disappointments I’ve lived through. I sometimes worry that I’ve lost the enthusiasm and will never get it back again, and that was once inconceivable, because like Rudolf’s character, I had a calling.
Thankfully, Bridesmaids might be rife with cliché in terms of plot, but it doesn’t end with the heroine getting back on her feet and opening a new bakery, and triumphing this time. That smoking cupcake goes nowhere; the obvious thing to do would have shown a montage of her opening up a cupcake specialty store, or winning the Food Network show The Cupcake Wars, or something. The recession still ain’t over, and Hollywood can’t promise those dreams quite yet; one of the 41% of blacks under the age of twenty-five who is unemployed might feel obliged to throw a cream pie at the screen.