“We had lots of battles with the ratings board on the movie. There was the line, ‘Amber D’Alessio gave a blow job to a hot dog,’ which eventually became ‘Amber D’Alessio made out with a hot dog.’ Which is somehow weirder! That’s the thing we found: When you’re trying to make a joke obey the rules and not use any bad words, it can actually become seamier, even. … The line in the sand that I drew was the joke about the wide-set vagina. The ratings board said, ‘We can’t give you a PG-13 unless you cut that line.’ We ended up playing the card that the ratings board was sexist, because ‘Anchorma’n had just come out, and Ron Burgundy had an erection in one scene, and that was PG-13. We told them, ‘You’re only saying this because it’s a girl, and she’s talking about a part of her anatomy. There’s no sexual context whatsoever, and to say this is restrictive to an audience of girls is demeaning to all women.’ And they eventually had to back down.”
In honor of the 10th anniversary of “Mean Girls” (gah, I’m old), director Mark Waters shared 10 juicy behind-the-scenes tales from Tina Fey’s best movie ever. In addition to sharing that Rachel McAdams was almost cast as Cady Heron, Amanda Seyfried was almost cast as Regina George, and Amy Poehler was almost not cast at all, Waters shared a particularly sexist struggle that the filmmakers had with the MPAA board. The movie ratings organization is notoriously more condemnatory when it’s female sexual pleasure onscreen (rather than male) as well as slang words about female anatomy. (Watch the documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” for so much appalling shit about the MPAA.) Not surprisingly, the latter was absolutely true in the case of “Mean Girls,” where the filmmakers had to fight valiantly to keep in the phrase “wide-set vagina.” Oh, Tina Fey. Keep on fighting the good fight. [NYMag.com]
“The Notebook” may be a favorite this time of year, but after 10 years (yes, 10!), it’s due for an upgrade. Like, say, kittens recreating its greatest moments. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams may be easy on the eyes, but I guarantee that this feline version of the film will leave you much happier than the end of the original movie. Meow! [Laughing Squid]
We don’t live in a world where men experience the same day-to-day sexist micro-aggressions that women do. But “Oppressed Majority,” a short French film by Elénore Pourriat, does a pretty good job illustrating it. Pierre is a father and husband who lives in France. Going about his day, he’s catcalled on the street by women and on the receiving end of casually sexist remarks — as well as doling sexist remarks out to his child’s caretaker, a Muslim man wearing a veil. It goes from bad to worse when he’s sexually assaulted by a group of women while alone in an alleyway. No one should have to be treated the way Pierre is by the police or his partner. But millions of women are treated exactly like this every day. Pourriat’s short film is a simple, yet impactful, conduit for showing what women and girls experience in our supposedly “equal” society. It’s only 11 minutes long but well-worth watching. [YouTube via BuzzFeed]
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer is available on HBO Go and select HBO viewings.
HBO Go and HBO are currently airing a film I’d eagerly been anticipating all year: the Pussy Riot documentary. “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” follows the arrest, trial and incarceration of three members of the Russian feminist punk band who made shockwaves around the world last year for one of their public protests.
Pussy Riot formed in response to the third term of President Vladmir Putin. It’s an anonymous collective who stage guerrilla performances/protests while wearing colorful balaclavas over their faces to hide their identities. Their most famous protest was in February 2012, when several members stormed the altar of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savoir — a space where only the church patriarch is allowed — and briefly performed punk music. The women sang about sexism and spoke out against about President Putin (a major no-no) before getting yanked off stage. The protest lasted a mere 40 seconds long. Keep reading »
Activities are wonderful, but sometimes, it’s fine to want to shut the world out for a couple of days, and make some serious time for you. Don’t be afraid of FOMO, either. There will always be another party, another pub crawl, another picnic. The time you’ll spend indulging in the things you want to do, alone, are well worth it. Here’s a handy list of awesome things to do this weekend!
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The upcoming comedy “That Awkward Moment” tells the story of three best friends (Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan) who find themselves at that complicated moment in every dating relationship in which they must decide, “So … where is this going?”
The big takeaway here is that pretty much everything that happens in this film is pretty spot-on when it comes to guy stuff. There’s farting and XBox-playing and and even some sharing of feelings. They’re bros through and through. And we learned quite a bit, though some things definitely caught us off guard. Keep reading »
Seeing your novel be made into a mainstream film is one thing. But teaching two of Hollywood’s biggest stars how to bake your mother’s pie recipe? Joyce Maynard has the life.
Maynard is the author of Labor Day, a novel about an agoraphobic, fragile single mom who is brought out of her shell by a fugitive on the run. In the film version, “Labor Day,” which is directed by Jason Reitman (“Juno,” “Up In The Air”), the marvelous Kate Winslet plays Adele, a divorcée buckled by heartbreak who we desperately want to find love again. We just aren’t sure we want her to find it with Josh Brolin’s character Frank, a prison escapee and big, scary, imposing man sent from Central Casting. Good job on that beard, Josh!
At first Frank forces himself into Adele’s house seeking cover, which she provides under fear of injury. But this hostage situation becomes a love affair when Frank proves himself to be a sensitive and caring individual (despite his murder record) and that’s just what Adele needs. Their unconventional love story is narrated by Adele’s 13-year-old son Henry. He watches Frank with a wary eye — but is happy to have a father figure and delights in seeing his mother smile again.
I spoke with Joyce Maynard about teaching Josh Brolin to make pie (photo proof above!), writing like a 13-year-old boy, and her desire for an unconventional love story. Our Q&A begins after the jump: Keep reading »
Sure hope you’re not sick of hearing about the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie, because the studio has only just begun it’s year-long campaign promoting the movie, which opens on Valentine’s Day 2015. Here is the film’s first post. Are you ready for the Red Room of Pain?
Remember that Cracked parody about Oscar-nominated movies? Just in time for the Sundance Film Festival, indie movies now have a parody all their own. “Not Another Sundance Movie” was created by the comedy group Tastes Funny, and it’s packed with every indie cliche you can imagine. Vintage pickup trucks. People crying in the front seat of a car. Little children dancing. Depressing landscapes. It’s like attending Sundance without leaving the comfort of your own bed. [Laughing Squid]
What is the deal with guys and “the talk”? If you’re spending all of your free time together and the sex is good, why is the “so what are we” conversation such a freaking issue? To get to the heart of this epidemic and learn how to decipher something real versus someone who just wants to schtup, we decided to take cues from Zac Efron’s latest comedy ”That Awkward Moment.”
It’s the story of 20-somethings navigating the rocky terrain between hooking up and dating, as Efron manages to charm his way out of bachelorhood and into Imogen Poots’ panties. The good news is — spoiler alert! — all the bros eventually get over their irrational fear of settling down and open their hearts to totally cool chicks … but not without breaking a few hearts and some serious boning along the way. So here’s how to be the winner in this scenario, and not the one-night stand. Keep reading »