There is nothing inherently wrong with A Better Life, the new film by writer-director Chris Weitz, also known in some industry circles as the Man Who Killed New Line Cinema, although I suspect he just delivered the coup de grace with his underperforming Golden Compass. He got right back in the Hollywood crap saddle with New Moon, which I don’t think I’ve seen, or maybe I have but I was thirty-five thousand feet over Greenland in a Xanax cloud, and my attention was derailed by why I am more attracted to Kristen Stewart than I am to Taylor Lautner.
If my shrink were playing a game of association with me and said, “Taylor Lautner,” I would instantly reply “guinea pig.” I think it’s his nose.
I know, I should have put a pic of Taylor Bloody Lautner with his shirt off here. But I can’t bring myself to do it. So I’m putting in Mexican actor Gabriel Garcia Bernal and asking, What’s up, man? Where have you gone? We love you.
A Better Life isn’t just about immigrants from Central America, both Salvadorans and Mexicans, it’s about Los Angeles, the real city, not the West Side/Hollywood bubble that is most often portrayed in film and on TV.
There is something highly comical about cosmetic surgery of any kind, whether it’s just botox treatment or a full facelift. Vanity is amusing. The vanity of middle-aged people is even more amusing; there is nothing funny about aging gracefully, but fighting it kicking and screaming with excessive nip and tuck and plump and freeze and augmentation can make for some visual slapstick.
Regrettably, transgender icon Amanda Lepore isn’t nearly as interesting as a person as she looks. In fact, she’s rather dull and kinda stupid. But maybe that’s just her reaction to me.
There are instances when plastic surgery is heroic, when it reconstructs a body after an accident or a birth defect. But that isn’t the bread and butter of the industry, although if I were a surgeon, I would find the reconstructions and the defect corrections far more interesting and challenging than the fountain of youth stuff. It goes without saying that, Amanda Lepore’s character aside, I consider sexual reassignments corrective surgery.