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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Of Selena Gomez, Jersey Shore and all things Normal, USA

Hard coming up with the proper introduction to the bounty of utter nonsense that fills me brain.

Had a thought about drawing comparisons to the Selena Gomez vehicle Monte Carlo and Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.  How do I start such a post?  Does anyone really want to read an essay deconstructing these vastly different )yet eerily similar films?

This is a Suburban Guide.  Maybe there is someone out there in need of such information.

Wait, what is that I am hearing?  Oh, Nick Drake's "Pink Moon"  Then I am off on an exhaustive search.  26 years old was Nick Drake when he accidentally overdosed on anti-depressants.  Tragic.

Then I think of Elliot Smith.  Tragic.

Then Pandora hits another home run.  I am becoming more and more vulnerable when Alexi Murdoch comes on (  Or maybe I am just tempted to buy a smart looking German sedan.  Is this where the music industry is headed?  Score a sweet TV spot is your big ticket out for indie bands and singer/songwriters.

Fantastic Mr Fox comes to mind.  Somewhere Michael Gambon's bellowing voice is yelling at me.

"You're just making stuff up as you are going along!!!"  That's bad writing Suburban Man!!!"

So here it goes.

Monte Carlo is a movie in search of a theme and most certainly an audience.  Selena Gomez is a spunky high school senior nearing her graduation.  She works as a waitress and serves her snotty, more popular classmates.  For years she has been saving for a post graduation trip through Paris.  Much like Owen Wilson's Gil in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, she has imagined Paris to be full of magic and love and other horsesh#%^ cliches Hollywood forces down our throats.

While Allen had the ability to make France as much a protagonist as his stars, director Tom Bezucha goes all in with tween sensation Gomez.  I am not buying in.  Especially when the story is sooo far fetched.  I feel guilty even detailing it.  Girl takes trip with fellow waitress/high school dropout friend (Katie Cassidy.)  Uptight Step-sister (the wrong Gossip Girl Leighton Meester) gets thrown into the trip by her parents.  Uptight sister knows/resents/dislikes dropout waitress.  Trip starts off poorly with bad tour group, scary hotel and getting stuck in the rain.

Funny how Allen's walks in the rain were joyous moments of love and romance.  Here they make our heroines look like wet rats in need of a hot meal.

Wouldn't you know when the girls do find shelter from the storm it is in perhaps the finest hotel Paris has to offer?  Naturally some princess rolls in (Gomez in her second role...  note to Hollywood:  done with the 2 actor playing other person genre) to the bathroom.  As she goes over her itinerary via cell phone it is determined a) Texas Gomez looks JUST like Princess Gomez and b) we are going to impersonate her to do all the things she would be doing this weekend.

Monte Carlo on private jets?  Check.  Polo Matches?  Check.  Auctions and fund raisers?  Check.  Costume balls with mystery men and love's first kiss?  Enough already!

If this World exists I need to find it.  Then I must destroy it.

Gomez is game and Cassidy and even Meester did not nauseate me.  It is all just to much.  Each women has an absurd love story arch that challenges every convention.  Cassidy's Texas beau travels to France to find her.  Meester randomly (3 times!!!) runs into an ex rugby player and becomes his steady girlfriend.  I mean, they meet at 2 tourist traps in Paris and then randomly in the streets if Monte Carlo.   I can get understand two chance meetings, but 3???  Geez.

Of course Texas Gomez falls for her "prince" (son of a French philanthropist) but cannot tell him her horrible secret.  But ya know, Texas Gomez is gonna teach us all a thing or two about charity, and finding one's real self.

Maybe that is all a good thing.  The two girls I took to see it, ok the 3rd is you include my wife, all wiped away tears from their eyes hailing it as Steel Magnolias meets Fried Green Tomatoes meets The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants.  Perhaps an exagerration.  But when given the chance I suggesting waiting for the dvd.  This way you can check the scores on your smart phone.  Unless of course you do your shopping at the cliche store.

Oh, and can we be done with the Chipmunks movies!!!  Yet another one coming out this Christmas with the appealing "Chip-wrecked" tagline.  Who is making these movies???  And more importantly, who is going to see them???

In other news, and I write this with some trepidation, Sea Bright, NJ is a wonderful beach day trip.  Located just south of Sandy Hook (a mere 55 minute drive from me) it has lots going for it including free parking (with a very short walk to the beach.)  Kids under 11 get on the beach for free.  Adults will gladly pay $8.  Granted, it is not an enormous beach and Saturday filled up nicely.  What do you expect on a July 90 degree Saturday?

We happened onto Dive ( just across the street for lunch.  Guinness was clean and the food was good and reasonably priced.  Kids were occupied and fed while we watched Derek Jeter collect his 3000 hit.  All that being said don't tell anyone about it.  Our little secret, k?

Don't forget to stop at Napoli Bros on 36 North on the way home (Napoli Boys Italian Ice & Ice. 639 State Route 36, Belford NJ).  I suggest the soft serve black raspberry.  They were also brewing Arnold Palmer Half Tea/Half Lemonade ice.  Fairly mild but refreshing.

Years since we did a true NJ beach day.  We will not make that mistake again.  Plenty to like about the Garden State's beaches.  It is high time the little one starts appreciating that the Atlantic Ocean borders our state too.  I do look forward to NC in late August.  But that need not be our only exposure to sandy cars and odd tan lines.

Great seeing Larry David back on tv too.  Curb Your Enthusiasm premiered moments ago and delivered cheap and tawdry laughs as it often does.  Nothing on television produces as much cringe-worthy laughter.  Where else can you find our hero instructing pre-teens on tampon application and questioning his attorney's worth based on his Judiasm?

Thank god for the godless.

And in that vain I leave you with the best joke of the weekend from the champion of godless...  Well said Mr. Maher.  He may be a smug, foul-mouthed mysogonist.  Give him credit for starting a format and changing the way we view news and newsmakers.

Have a great week all.

1 comment:

  1. Woody Allen is gross, molested and married his "daughter." Should be in jail not making movies. He and Roman Polanski should be back to back trying to ward off prison rapists.