Best of the PPL’s “Wilson” and “Happy Tears”

Whatchu Talkin’ bout Wilson? I wanted to title my post this, but worried in our overly pc culture that people wouldn’t get the reference from the old television show Different Strokes.

Wilson, based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes and directed by Craig Johnson, was irreverent and funny. Woody Harrelson can do no wrong in my book and continues his excellency here. Laura Dern (why the long face?) was not as believable, but then again, I always think she’s just miserable. Evidence? Artifact one: Certain Women, Two: Founder, just to name some recent films. Has she been typecast? I know she’s in my favorite comedian of all time (today, admittedly fickle) Bill Burr‘s F is for Family, but here again she plays the long suffering wife of the 1973 set racist Archie Bunker-like husband.

What I disliked about Wilson was the gratuitous violence. In three scenes the violence was too close and too long. I don’t need to see and hear Cheryl Hines punched in the nose, it’s just not necessary. Likewise, don’t need to see Woody beaten to a pulp, but not really harmed (ridiculously unrealistic and we wonder where people get their violent ideas?!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Anywho, on to my mission to see more Parker Posey, I borrowed Happy Tears from 2009 written and directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein. I really enjoyed this, so much so that I bought it on Amazon for my brother for Christmas (shh, don’t tell him) because the dad in the flick (played by Rip Torn) reminded me of my Dad. Not only was Parker Posey good, but Demi Moore was perfect as her sardonic sister and Ellen Barkin hit it out of the park as the crack whore masquerading as the father’s girlfriend (and no, that’s not the commonality with my dad: he does not date a crack addict).
The only thing wrong with Happy Tears is the subplot with the artist husband of Parker, could easily have been excised and still been a worthy endeavor.

Next on my PPL list are two older films The Lost Weekend, a Barry Rothman request, and The Secret of Success.

New and Improved: Thank Goodness For Chuck Klosterman

New Non-Fiction Book Review by Roxanne Baker:

Hey, it’s a cinematic desert out there, so here’s a book review.

X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the 21st Century by Chuck Klosterman

I’ve never liked buffets; mass produced food in vats, yuck. However, what if all my favorite foods from Sarasota’s best restaurants were served? Salmon from Selva, pizza from Epicure, grilled avocado from Lila…you get the picture. Well, that’s the experience of reading Chuck Klosterman’s new book X , a filling collection of previously enjoyed delicacies.

A contributor to Spin Magazine, ESPN and Esquire, Chuck Klosterman’s previous books include Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs and I Wear the Black Hat which both explored music, sports and social issues with a witty, philosophical flair.

X includes profiles of Kobe Bryant, Eddie VanHalen and Jonathan Franzen just to name a few. What makes Klosterman’s writing unique is his ability to uncover the actual human beings behind the fame, exposing their average Joe-ness.

In addition, Klosterman’s fun footnotes make you feel like a confidant at a cocktail party and his deeper questions to his subjects prod you to self-explore.

Here’s just one of the latter you’ll enjoy: Do you remember the person you were 15 years ago and does that negate the person you are today? Wouldn’t it be worse to be the exact same person unchanged by any experience?

Now that’s a buffet entrée for all deep thinkers to enjoy!