Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

The Transfiguration, or: You Know He’s a Vampire When…

One of the best films by far of the blog collab has been A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, an Iranian movie about a skateboarding vampire.  If it worked for us once, why not give the modern vampire film another go, complete with gore and some surprisingly beautiful shots of the beach?

The Film:

The Transfiguration

The Premise:

A teen who believes he is a vampire begins to feel remorse about his disturbing behavior when he befriends a teen girl who moves in to his apartment building.

The Ramble:

While on the surface a quiet, reflective teenager, Milo is secretly obsessed with vampires–and may in fact be a vampire.  Based on his own carefully timed schedule, Milo periodically selects an unlucky victim, who he stabs in the neck with a concealed knife and then drinks the blood.  An opportunist, Milo also takes their cash with him and stores it in a secret stash.

Considered a freak in his NYC neighborhood, a group of rather douchey older teens pick on him constantly.  At school, Milo’s counselor seems to be very concerned that he may be hurting animals and has no friends.  Milo lives with his brother, and seems to be concealing some disturbing thoughts and feelings surrounding the death of their mother.

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I know what you did last summer…

When Sophie moves in with her abusive grandfather, she bonds with Milo immediately even though her favorite vampire movie is Twilight.  Gaining a reputation as a loose woman, Sophie endures ridicule and finds comfort in cutting herself.  The two outcasts become close, but Sophie backs off when Milo shows her some of his favorite video clips of animals being killed.  I mean, she’s not wrong about that being a giant red flag.

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Also being a fan of “Ripping out squirrels’ entrails and feeding them to piranhas” on Facebook could be considered a clue.

Though Sophie and Milo do have a bit of a push/pull, she ultimately moves in to escape her grandfather and stays in watching a lot of vampire movies with Milo.  Meanwhile, Milo continues to give in to his vampiric urges.  All of this seems surprisingly sustainable…which is how you know something has to give.

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Relationship goals.

Milo is chillingly successful at containing his feelings, as evidenced by his interaction with a pair of white teens trying to score some drugs.  Assuming everyone in the area is a dealer, they ask Milo if he can hook them up.  Milo agrees to help them, and leads the guy to an incredibly creepy basement room.  Once there, Milo lures his bullies over, where things escalate much too quickly and someone ends up dead.

As a witness to all of this, Milo now holds power but insists he isn’t a snitch.  What will Milo do with this newfound power, and is it enough to keep him safe?  And will his  vampiric thirst for blood ever be quenched?

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

The premise of this film is incredibly original, drawing parallels between vampirism and the violence, lack of opportunity, and despair Milo feels.  It’s also wonderfully tense; it’s unclear at times whether Milo loves Sophie or wants to drink her blood, which I guess is at the heart of all vampire films.  Despite the body count Milo has racked up, I couldn’t help rooting for him and hoping for him to put his vampire past behind him and find a way out of his situation with the boys in his neighborhood.

That being said, some of the tension is lost in the very loose plot of this film, and I would’ve liked more action and perhaps a better glimpse into Milo’s thoughts.  Just as he remains quiet and aloof to those around him, Milo remains something of a mystery to us too.  Some of his actions are extremely thoughtful and caring, while others are uncomfortably calculated and detached.  We explore Milo as a vampire–but more importantly, as someone deeply misunderstood and attempting to make sense of grief.

On a side note, I got kind of distracted thinking about when this film was set, as Milo has a collection of VHS tapes, a phone that looks to be from the early 2000s, and uses a computer exclusively to watch video clips that may have been posted on a blog?

Would my blog wife give this one a bite or opt for a burger instead?  Find out here!

 

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Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Office, or: Live to Work, Work to Die

May May-hem continues!  Which for our purposes seems to mean gory films about murder with at least some level of social commentary.  This week we’ve jumped from Japan to Korea.

The Film:

Office (Opiseu)

The Premise:

Work.  It’s bad enough on a normal day, let alone on a day when a killer may be living in the office walls.

The Ramble:

We really hit the ground running when Mr. Kim–reliable employee, family man–returns home from work in Seoul one evening and proceeds to bludgeon his family to death with a hammer.

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In our family portrait, we look pretty happy…

Having disappeared without a trace, the police are determined to find Kim, as well as unravel why exactly the fuck a seemingly serene man would murder his family in such a disturbing manner.

The police detective, Jong-hoon, speaks with everyone on Kim’s team except for Mi-Rae, a lowly intern.  Though her supervisor tries to deter the detective and even cautions Mi-Rae against saying anything, Jong-hoon does sit down for a chat.  Though many of his colleagues looked down on Kim, he was always kind to Mi-Rae.

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“You’re not my dad!  You can’t tell me what to do!”

As the investigation continues, it seems possible Kim is still in the building–security cam footage shows him returning to work after the murders but never shows him leaving.  Nevertheless, the show must go on, and the company employees are expected to continue working into the early hours of morning in a building possibly occupied by a murderer.

Though Min-Rae works hard, she doesn’t seem to fit in at the company and with the other interns.  Finding a knife in Kim’s desk (which has somehow not been investigated by police?!), Min-Rae holds onto it.  Is she hiding evidence, keeping a memento, or something more sinister?

Meanwhile, the arrival of another intern sends Min-Rae into a panic.  Though she keeps a cool exterior, Min-Rae believes it’s clear the intern was hired to replace her.  And since the new intern comes from a wealthy family, speaks English, and–the salt in the wound–is a genuinely nice person, Min-Rae doesn’t like her odds.

When a secret meeting of shady business dudes is interrupted by a body falling from the ceiling, things get even more tense at work.  Several people report dreams or sightings of Kim in the building.  One of the company supervisors has a public breakdown and screams at the cops.  Afraid of the damage the scandal will cause the company, upper management wants Jong-hoon off the case.

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I mean…he does have a point.

As the bodies stack up and Min-Rae’s desperate work frenzy amps up, something has to give.  Will Min-Rae get that much desired promotion…or die trying?

The Rating:

3/5 Pink Panther Heads

I love a film with a message, especially one that takes on the BS corporate culture of working yourself to death.  It’s honestly kind of hard not to feel some of the die-hard corporate characters in this film deserve what’s coming to them.  Though the evidence begins to strongly suggest Kim is living in the office building and taking out its employees one by one, management still insists everyone carry on as usual.

However, I did find this difficult to follow at times, and the ending was especially ambiguous on several counts.  It’s hard to be overly invested in the characters, as even Min-Rae remains quite guarded.  On the other hand, I found it easy to relate to her situation and really wanted all of the office fucks to stop being assholes to her.

Though it’s a slow burner, there are some genuinely chilling moments.  Kim compares his knife to a rosary in an especially creepy scene.  I would have liked some more clarity from this film, but it did succeed in being unsettling and unexpected, just the way we like on the blog collab.

Would Christa climb the corporate ladder for this one or finely slice and dice it like an insufferable coworker?  Find out here!

Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Tag, or: Pens Before Men(s)

This month on the Collab promises to be full of May…hem?  Eh eh?  Dad jokes aside, we will be fully embracing  films that, in the grand tradition of the blog, are more than a little strange, surreal, nonsensical, or odd.  As always,  there’s plenty of room for us to do whatever the fucking fuck we feel like unless, like the characters in this week’s film, destiny is playing a much stronger hand than we realize.

The Film:

Tag (2015)

The Premise:

A teen girl in Japan finds herself surrounded by horrifically gory, surreal murders as she experiences several dreams, realities, and/or versions of herself.

The Ramble:

On their merry way for a weekend trip, an all-girls school in Japan is in high spirits.  Singing, pillow fighting, and engaging in light-hearted mischief, things seem to be off to a great start.

The trip takes a very dark turn, however, when an accident kills all but one of the girls–rather gorily shearing almost all of them in half.  Mitsuko, the only survivor, was saved as she had knelt down to retrieve a pen knocked from her hands by a classmate.

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See what you get for messing with my pens, bitches.

Though she has survived the accident, Mitsuko isn’t in the clear yet as the whole ordeal seems to have been caused by…a murder wind?  I guess if Evil Dead can do it, why not this film?  Mitsuko does eventually escape to the woods, but not before the wind catches up with some unlucky joggers and bicyclists.  It just goes to show that absolutely no one can stand a bicyclist.

Stumbling across what seems to be another massacre at a river, Mitsuko shakily washes off the blood spatters and changes clothes.  She then comes across another school, where the students know her and believe she has a severe case of amnesia.  Luckily, her bff Aki explains who everyone is in their friend group and shows her where her classes are.

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Scenes from a horror film or a Behind the Music episode about a teen girl group?

Since Mitsuko is still terrified of the wind and incredibly confused, Aki and the 2 other girls in the friend group cut class to hang out by the river.  When they hear about Mitsuko’s earlier “dream,” the girls jokingly dismiss it–except for Sur, the vaguely punk rebel of the group, of course.  Sur insists it’s possible that the dream really happened and Mitsuko is experiencing one of many alternate realities.  It gets super philosophical here, but I feel the big takeaway is that fate can only be tricked with something dramatically and unexpectedly out of character.

When the girls return to school, terror strikes again when the enraged teachers suddenly open fire on the students, sending Mitsuko running for her life again.  She finds a police station and realizes she has transformed into Keiko, a 25-year-old woman on the way to her wedding.  Help arrives in the form of Aki, who seems to be completely off her rocker when she starts killing all bridesmaids in sight.  It’s clear Keiko and Aki are going to have to fight their way out of this one.

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We’ve all been to one of those weddings…

Having escaped the wedding, Mitsuko takes on another form, Izumi.  She finds herself in the middle of a race, running to the finish line yet seemingly trapped in another scenario that ends with everyone around her dead.

Is there no escape for Mitsuko from this horror show?  And who is she, anyway–Mitsuko, Keiko, or Izumi?

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

I don’t know what a fair rating for this one is as I’m still puzzling over it and (spoiler/not really a spoiler) I would’ve really liked a bit more clarity in the end.  But honestly, despite a lack of understanding, I had a lot of fun watching this.  It does sometimes beat us over the head with its message about destiny, control, and the surrealism of reality.  What saved this one for me was a willingness to counteract a serious message with fun B horror tropes and an improbable amount of gore.

The film is grounded by Mitsuko and Aki’s bond and the genuine affection between them as besties.  There is a hint of romance between the 2 girls, but the film leaves this open to interpretation for the aromantic among us.

In the end, the message of the film is surprisingly feminist as the nature of Mitsuko’s existence is revealed.  Big shocker–men are just the absolute worst.

Did Christa get on board with this girl gang or would she kick it back to another reality?  Find out here!

Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

God’s Own Country, or: Who Needs a Heart Anyway

Some weeks on the blog are for ladies roadtripping with the ashes of their deceased bff.  Others are for murderous dudes dressed as Santa Claus.  This week is for ripping our hearts out for 90+ minutes and watching them slowly cease beating.

The Film:

God’s Own Country

The Premise:

Yorkshire.  Rolling hills.  Sheep.  Homophobes who sound like Sean Bean.  Maybe not the best place to be a closeted young farmer.

The Ramble:

Oof, Johnny is leading a bleak life on the family farm in Yorkshire.  Having watched his friends leave for university and bright futures, Johnny is bitter about staying at home, tending to the farm and to his father, who has recently suffered a stroke.  Trying to stop feeling anything, Johnny is a regular at the local pub and really overdoes it quite often.  Like, reeeeeeeeeeally overdoes it.  Occasionally hooking up with other men, Johnny makes it clear he’s not interested in an emotional connection.

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I’ll spare you the hangover pics.

As a result of the stroke, the family has had trouble managing the farm and hires a temporary employee to help out.  The only applicant is a Romanian man named Gheorghe, who Johnny grumpily picks up from the station.

Since Johnny’s father is constantly on his case, Gheorghe overhears quite a few heated discussions but quietly goes about his work.  Though dispassionate about his work, Gheorghe has a soft spot, going out of his way to save and care for a lamb who is a runt of the litter.  He is annoyingly good at everything and looks both comfy and stylish in knitted sweaters, only further fueling Johnny’s grudge against him.

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Sweaters on sweaters on sweaters.

Things are unlikely to go well when Johnny and Gheorghe must camp out at the far end of the farm to repair a fence.  It all reaches a boiling point when Johnny refuses to stop calling Gheorghe a gypsy despite his objections, though what begins as a fight becomes an almost literal roll in the hay.

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Roll in the grass really…but that leaves little room for incredibly clever word play.

Later, Gheorghe and Johnny share a super tender evening and become closer.  Johnny reveals his mother left when he was very young, and has since lived with his emotionally distant father and grandmother.

Unfortunately, it all goes downhill quickly when Johnny’s father suffers another stroke and is hospitalized.  Gheorghe very sweetly cares for Johnny, making him pasta and special sheep’s milk cheese.  While Gheorghe agrees to stay on for more time to help with the farm, Johnny asks Gheorghe to stay indefinitely…and perhaps forever?

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It’s true love when he makes you food.

Gheorghe decides to break Johnny’s heart (and my heart and the heart of everyone watching this film who isn’t made of stone) by leaving–he’s been burned before and doesn’t believe things would work out if he stayed.

Though devastated, life goes on as Johnny’s father returns home from the hospital more dependent on his son than ever.  Johnny begins to wordlessly take responsibility for his father’s care and for the upkeep of the farm, bringing the two closer together.  However, the farm needs more help–and Johnny needs a cuddle from a certain sweater-wearing Romanian.  Johnny sets out to find Gheorghe and bring him home…but does Gheorghe even want to be found?

The Rating:

4.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

I don’t know how to rate this because the more I think about it, the more I like it.  It’s deceptively quiet and no-frills, but holds an aching beauty–much like its characters and the land itself.  There’s a power to the desolate landscape and a sense of endurance.  I have so many stills for this post because the scenes are gorgeously moody.

Much remains unspoken between the characters, leaving a lot of room for looks, gestures, and the few words they do exchange to carry great meaning.  The scenes Johnny shares with his father (who is even more sparing with words after the 2nd stroke) towards the end of the film are especially lovely.

It’s also wonderful to see the transformation of Johnny, who is understandably but still an annoyingly whiny asshole when the film starts.  Gheorghe is so beautifully layered, caring for the runt lamb tenderly yet rather impassively skinning a lamb so it can have a coat to keep it warm.  How…sweet?

The moral of the story here is if you make food for your partner, I will remain invested in your love.

Would Christa cuddle this one like a warm sweater or leave it passed out in the cold?  Find out here!

Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

East Side Sushi, or: Tako Taco

I love movies.  I love food.  How pleased am I when I find ways to happily bring these interests together?  Almost as pleased as I feel about the idea of Mexican/Japanese fusion cuisine, conveniently depicted in this week’s pick.

The Film:

East Side Sushi

The Premise:

A Latina single mother struggling to support her daughter is determined to master the art of sushi despite the objections of…I mean, pretty much everyone.

The Ramble:

Juana is a single mother living with her father in Oakland, California.  She is far from living the dream as she works odd jobs trying to make ends meet and fund her daughter’s education.  The family’s main source of income seems to be a fruit cart–that is, until one day Juana is robbed at gunpoint.

Disheartened and quite shaken, Juana’s luck takes a turn when she stumbles across a Help Wanted sign hanging in a sushi restaurant.  Though she’s a talented cook and has some serious skill with knives, the help needed is for a kitchen assistant–cleaning, washing dishes, making rice, and doing some other food prep.

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Insert super quick knife action here.

It’s not long before Juana gets a chance to show off her talents when the kitchen is short-staffed, and sushi chef Aki begins to respect her expertise.  Though initially Juana claims she has tried sushi and didn’t like it, she gives it another try and falls in love with the flavors.  Her father and daughter are less than thrilled, however, when Juana begins making sushi at home instead of their usual Mexican fare.  Juana’s father in particular remains stubbornly critical of her venture into Japanese cooking and her ambitions to master sushi.

Even as Juana makes progress at home, she is held back by the traditional views of the restaurant owner, Mr. Yoshida, and several of the sushi chefs, who claim women’s hands are too warm to make sushi(…?).  However, with the encouragement of Aki, she begins to observe the sushi chefs and pick up their techniques.  When the restaurant is down a sushi chef, Juana impresses Aki with her sushi making, but must create her sushi rolls in the stock room, out of sight of patrons and Mr. Yoshida.

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“Yeah, but is it gluten-free?”

On her own, Juana decides to enter a local sushi competition to prove her skills and perhaps win money for her daughter’s education.  At last, Juana’s father begins to support her efforts as he helps her film a video submission.  It doesn’t hurt at all that he gets to taste test her fusion sushi rolls, featuring jalapeños and poblano peppers.

Her sushi skills ever on the rise, Juana tires of receiving no recognition for her work and decides to make sushi up front with the other chefs.  Of course, this is not received well by Mr. Yoshida or by the bullshit white dudes who complain about the lack of authenticity.  After being denied the option to even apply for the open sushi chef position at the restaurant, Juana chooses to quit rather than endure the disrespect.

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Sake it to me? (Sorry/not sorry)

Once again working low-paying jobs, barely scraping by, and with no passion for sushi or any other kind of cooking, Juana feels utterly without hope.  Remember that sushi competition, though?  Maybe an opportunity will present itself when a mysterious envelope arrives from the organizers of the competition.

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

As a somewhat belated disclaimer, I’m such a sucker for the formulaic following your dreams, overcoming adversity, feel-good film…especially if there’s food involved.  This does follow that formula pretty closely, but brings a unique perspective and presents its characters with nuance and care.  There’s a slow build, but the emotional impact of the film suddenly creeps up–when Juana’s father finally comes around (and gives her one of her mother’s scarves for luck), I had so many feels.  Diana Elizabeth Torres is an absolute gem as Juana, whose quiet determination, compassion, and curiosity come across beautifully on screen.

The film is very interested in questions of authenticity in the restaurant world, and to what extent those ideas are used to maintain the status quo.  In one of Juana’s rare outbursts, she points out the hypocrisy inherent in the sushi restaurant’s illusion of authenticity, as well as the irony that so many Latinos are behind the scenes in every great restaurant yet just one in public view is not accepted.

I also love the subtle yet sweet relationship between Juana and Aki.  Really all they do together is make and eat food, so I feel they have the ideal relationship.  Aki is adorable, supportive, and incredibly proud of Juana’s successes.  Refreshingly, the romance is very subtle and not at all the focus of this film.  It’s nice for Juana to have someone who’s always in her corner, though, and who gifts her with beautiful sharp knives.

However, I’m extremely angry that I can’t actually try any of the mouthwatering combinations Juana creates during this film.  Streaming this film should also come with at least a couple of sushi rolls.

Would Christa chop this one up and roll it into sushi or toss it with last week’s King Salmon? Find out here!

 

Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Hurricane Bianca, or: It’s a Poncho, Bitch

This week’s film is brought to you by false eyelashes, skin-tight sequined dresses, and enough concealer to recolor the walls of a small apartment.  Drag queens, ok?  It’s about drag queens–and one rather renowned in particular.

The Film:

Hurricane Bianca

The Premise:

I mean, technically there’s a plot, but mostly this is a vehicle for Bianca Del Rio to throw shade at homophobes.

The Ramble:

Richard is a long-suffering science teacher who genuinely cares about learning–if only his students felt the same way.  Meanwhile, his interest in stand-up comedy seems to be horribly misguided as he persistently gets a cringeworthy number of laughs.

Feeling completely disheartened, Richard finally gets some good news in the form of a call from the head of a teaching ambassador program (played by a fantastically sinister Alan Cumming).  The catch?  The position is in Milford, a small Texas town into football, nepotism, and traditional gender roles.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Richard is a bit of a fish out of water as a gay man whose masculinity doesn’t jive with the gun-toting football fanatics.  Richard fails to make it through the first day of class when his students blow up the chemistry lab.  While the principal may have overlooked this incident, when he discovers Richard’s sexuality, it’s all over.

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In Texas, this is the only acceptable makeup for men.

In an attempt to drink away his sorrows, Richard ends up at a bar only to discover he now lives in a dry county.  However, he does manage to befriend a trans woman named Karma, who invites him to a drag show that evening.  After Richard has one too many drinks, he performs in drag and finds inspiration to return to Milford…as Bianca.  Not only could Bianca win $25,000 if she wins Teacher of the Year, but perhaps more importantly could whip the smart but unmotivated students into shape and seek revenge on those responsible for ending Richard’s career (including Rachel Dratch?!).

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This is not the face of approval.

With no small amount of scathing sarcasm, Bianca gets to work.  She shames the students into being nicer to the closeted gay kid while also giving him some fighting tips.  When the students fail to complete their chemistry reading, they’re in for a nasty surprise that would definitely get a teacher fired IRL.  Bianca also gives hilariously harsh nicknames to all of the students, including labeling one of the cheerleaders “Bathmat.”

Meanwhile, the school’s football coach Chuck takes a shine to Bianca.  When she discovers Chuck is Karma’s estranged brother, Bianca can’t resist doing some meddling…which has some unexpected consequences.  After learning of Bianca’s scheming, Karma is furious and insists she leave.

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Nothing says romance like beer and roller skating.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, Bianca is nominated for Teacher of the Year.  When her drag queen besties arrive in town from New York, a rival teacher makes one last bid to earn the title for her daughter, and rumors of Lady Gaga’s appearance at the ceremony abound, shenanigans ensue.  Of course, it’s all going down at the Teacher of the Year Awards.

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

This is a sweet and irresistibly bubbly film that still manages to touch on real issues LGBT people contend with.  At times, the lightness of the film does undermine the message somewhat–the ending is all a bit after-school special.  While I wasn’t going in expecting Dallas Buyers Club, there were still times when I wanted the film to embrace its serious themes more fully.

Also minor bone to pick:  some of Bianca’s insults come from a fat-shaming/body-shaming place that I just can’t get behind.  It seemed to send a message that it’s ok to body shame people who are fat or have had plastic surgery as long as they’re assholes.  I did find most of Bianca’s sassy quips delightful, but IDK if I can really get behind fat-shaming anyone.

There are some excellent cameos to be seen, and even if the cast may not be getting any Oscars, they are charming and charismatic enough to make up for it.  Overall, the message is positive and does shine a light on some of the BS laws making it even more difficult for people to identify as LGBT at work, school, and in their private lives.

Would Queen Christa cheer for this one in all its glittery glory or don her finest pair of stilettos and show it who’s boss?  Find out here!

Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Permission, or: Just Get a Cat Instead

We’re kicking off April with a tried and true Blog Free month as part of our precisely planned and impressively elaborate themes.  Okay, mostly out of laziness and an unwillingness to commit to a specific theme long-term.  Which, given this week’s pick, is perhaps surprisingly on the nose?

The Film:

Permission

The Premise:

Childhood sweethearts spice up their relationship by pursuing sexual affairs on the side with…permission.

The Ramble:

Brooklyn hipsters, young and in love, seem ready to settle down.  Anna and Will have known each other since childhood and have been in love ever since.  While Will owns an incredibly hipster-y carpentry business with his bff Reece, Anna is a grad student focusing on music performance.  On a side note:  Reece is also the serious boyfriend of Hale, Anna’s brother.

Just before Will decides to propose at dinner with the four assembled, Reece decides to be a complete tool.  Before settling down with Hale, Reece made quite a few notches in his belt and adopts a bit of a condescending know-it-all attitude to Anna and Will’s commitment to each other.  In reality, Reece is merely shifting the subject from his own relationship issues with Hale, unknowingly setting all four on an incredibly stupid journey of narcissism and poor decisions.

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“I have really nice hair and some cool hipster clothes but am an absolute dipshit at decisions.”

Though Anna and Will initially laugh off Reece’s suggestion that they sleep with other people, Anna keeps coming back to the idea and is rather keen on it.  They both believe the idea of monogamy is BS and question the idea that a relationship could be so fragile that it would be ruined by a sexual affair.  After some consideration, they decide to give this whole idiotic idea a try, reasoning that it isn’t really an affair if they give each other permission to pursue other sexual relationships.

Predictably, this is much more difficult than anticipated.  Almost immediately, Anna feels an emotional connection to the guy she hooks up with, Dane.  Like Anna, Dane is a musician, plus he also makes her breakfast at night because he knows she won’t stay until morning.  Initially, Anna and Will decided against seeing any of their hook ups again, but the two quickly scratch that rule.

Meanwhile, Will finds a romantic partner in the form of Lydia, played perfectly by Gina Gershon.  Lydia buys a table from Will, who delivers it to her late at night, which is a euphemism but also a real thing that happens in this film.

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Prob one of the more unique affairs on film.

I have neglected Hale and Reece’s relationship drama, which centers around Hale’s wish to start a family and Reece’s reluctance to do so.  Though I find all of the leads insufferable in their own ways, Reece is an exceptionally horrible douchebag who refuses to even talk to Hale about this.  As the two seem to grow farther apart, Hale meets a father with a young child at the park and grows more attached to the idea of having a child.

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Also featuring a rather pointless appearance by Jason Sudeikis?

At a certain point, Will wants to stop with the arrangement he and Anna have made and get back to their life as it was before they forgot how to be adults.  But can they ever go back to the way things were?

The Rating:

2/5 Pink Panther Heads

Those PPHs are mostly for Rebecca Hall’s hair in this, which is gorgeous.  I don’t think there’s any room to complain about the acting either, but the supporting characters far outshine the leads.  We get much too close for comfort with our main four, who treat each other horrendously and all seem to be quite removed from reality.

I’m annoyed because I completely support the ideas Anna and Will discuss dealing with sexual liberation, monogamy, and non-traditional relationships.  However, up to this point they have been the most fucking monogamous couple ever–as much as they may think of themselves as free spirits in this context, they have very much internalized societal norms surrounding relationships.

With both sets of relationships, the film seems to explore what happens when partners no longer want the same thing–if indeed, it’s possible for both to truly want the same thing from their relationship.  That’s another element here too–expectations for relationships and what they will (or will not) fulfill.  Better bet?  Just get a fucking cat/dog/literally anything besides a pointlessly stupid human.

My main problem with this film really boils down to how often I sympathized with men throughout.  I hate how bad I felt for both Will and Dane, who of course don’t inherently deserve Anna’s (or any woman’s) love.  However, it’s difficult to see her completely disregard their feelings and deny any wrongdoing.  Though I don’t think she’s initially aware of her interest in exploring other possibilities outside of the relationship, Anna nevertheless comes across as incredibly manipulative almost to the point of being a sociopath.  Admittedly I’m also a sucker for anyone who makes breakfast at any and all hours.

Would Christa…deliver a table to this one or ditch it for a day out at the dog park?  Find out here!