Citizen Watcher

My deep dark secret.

Hi. My name is Citizen Reader, and I'm...a chickflickaholic.

You heard me. I'm addicted to Chick Flicks. Yes, I know that I abhor sentimentality. No, I do not read Nicholas Sparks novels*. But yet...you can bet if a chick flick comes out, I'll be watching it. I don't go see them in the theater or anything. But I do pick them up at the library by the armfuls and slink home to watch them whenever Mr. CR isn't around and can't ridicule me.

So when Mr. CR wasn't around this weekend I watched the movie P.S. I Love You. And you know what? I enjoyed the hell out of it. Let's examine what this movie had going for it:

1. Gerard Butler.** (Frankly, you could stop right there and have enough to go on and rent this movie. But there's MORE!)

Hilary 2. I have a little crush on Hilary Swank. I also like her because she regularly cuts all of her hair off, which is not usually acceptable in Hollywood's leading ladies. She's also likable on-screen, and I don't hear much about her off-screen, which I appreciate. 3. A FABO supporting cast, including Lisa Kudrow, Harry Connick Jr., Kathy Bates, and Gina Gershon (whom I normally don't enjoy but she did a nice job here.) 4. Beautiful shots of Manhattan. and 5. Actually, some really good lines, and more than a few very funny moments. I particularly enjoyed this exchange between Swank and Connick Jr.:

Connick: I shouldn't have said that. I have a syndrome.
Swank: Rudeness is a syndrome?
Connick: It is now. They have pills for it and everything.
Swank: They have pills for rudeness?
Connick: Yes. And yet they can't figure out the Middle East. Huh.

I don't know why that tickled me. It just did. All in all it was exactly what I needed in a chick flick: funny moments, interspersed with moments of looking at Gerard Butler. Check, and check. Sure, it was twenty minutes too long (to be perfect, in my opinion, chick flicks must clock in at no longer than 90 minutes) but I can overlook that just this once.

God, is this a half-assed review or what? I should outline the plot, I guess, although, if you'll forgive my saying so, plot is never really the point of chick flicks. Hilary (Holly) and Gerard (Gerry) are married, he dies young of a brain tumor, and leaves her letters from beyond the grave to help her get on with her life. In between letter deliveries their love story is told in flashbacks.

In other news: last week we also watched Run Fatboy Run, which I desperately wanted to see. It turned out to be average, and frankly, if you watch the trailer below, you can spare yourself watching the whole movie. You'll have seen the majority of the funny parts. I like Simon Pegg, but I LOVE Dylan Moran. If you share my opinion, skip this movie and watch Moran's comedy specials online instead. Hilarious stuff.

*I may have a problem, but I do draw the line at Nicholas Sparks movies as well. Also? Let me spare you some chick flick pain: 27 Dresses, starring Katherine Heigl and James Marsden? Boy, was that movie a piece of shit. Heigl's a no-talent ass clown,*** in my opinion.

**Gerard Butler also starred in the British film Dear Frankie, a great chick flick classic.

***Thanks to another classic film, Office Space, for this phrase.


You're killing me, Internet Movie Database.

Yes, yes, I admit it: I've still been watching rather more TV than is good for me. Blame what seems to be a ridiculously slow healing process, if you will. That's what I'm doing. This weekend I continued my tour through 80s and 90s TV by watching episodes of Remington Steele, Mad About You*, and Northern Exposure, which were all shows I enjoyed the first time around.

So whenever I watch old TV shows and movies, I often take a troll through the trusty old Internet Movie Database and check out what the stars have been doing since. And you know what I found? IMDB.com now offers some full episodes of old shows, just like YouTube, including episodes of Remington Steele and NewsRadio. This is the worst possible news for a freelancer who works at home, largely online, and has a video weakness.

So today will mostly be spent trying NOT to think about full episodes of NewsRadio just one small mouseclick away. Damn you, IMDB!

*Today's funny "everything's connected" story: I watched an episode of Remington Steele, and then I watched an episode of Mad About You. In the Mad About You episode, one of the male characters said, "You know who I had a dream about? Pierce Brosnan. Have you ever seen an episode of 'Remington Steele'?" I thought that was pretty hilarious.


Citizen Watcher: Eye strain.

Lately I've been doing a lot of reading in the name of freelance book indexing.  It's a job I love, although it does not come attached to benefits, specifically health insurance, which is (I would guess) what really keeps most Americans attending their horrible day jobs. 

But, lack of access to affordable health care notwithstanding, indexing is a great job.  I did a lot of it yesterday while wearing my bathrobe.  I'm not saying that just to perpetuate a freelance stereotype; my bathrobe's in better shape than a lot of my regular clothes, so I wear it a lot around the house.  Of course, indexing also primarily involves reading, and we all know how I feel about that.  But the last few days I've had a lot of it to do, meaning I've been reading about major league baseball in the 1950s (specifically how the economics of broadcast revenue affected the finances of the American and National Leagues), the snowboarder Shaun White, and union advocate Cesar Chavez.*

That was a rather weird mix, I'll admit, and it rather tuckered me out for recreational reading.  So I don't have much to report today; in the midst of eye strain I did watch a bit of television the night before last, when PBS played an American Experience episode about Eleanor Roosevelt.  I watched the first half but once Franklin cheated on her with Lucy Mercer, I couldn't watch any more.  Does anybody else wish they could slap the shit out of FDR on Eleanor's behalf?  I do.  Either way, I'm thinking I might get a biography of Eleanor to read.  Suggestions?

*In three different books, mercifully. 

Barack Obama in Bozeman, Mont. on Monday.THIS JUST IN: When I have eye strain, I also browse the Internet quite a bit.  Many thanks to Tripp over at Books Are My Only Friends for his excellent post about Fareed Zakaria's book The Post-American World, which I also haven't had time to read, and the link to a picture of Barack Obama carrying a book (picture provided at right).  I dislike all politicians as a matter of habit but I'll give the man this: he carries a book like a reader, holding his page.  Beautiful.