Thursday, October 15, 2009
I've been really grooving on Nicole Holofcener's movies lately. I'm really interested in the way these movies fall into some sort of chick flick category but only because they have female main characters - they would totally be buddy movies, or indie movies, or just movies if the main characters were guys. Yet, the women in them are definitely women, they whine about not having boyfriends, they whine about having perfect boyfriends, they care about their cats and their moms and their weddings.....yet unlike other movies they can forget to wash their hair for weeks on end, have both good jobs and totally crappy jobs, realize their only happiness is in renting movies and then sleep with the video store clerk so they can't rent any more movies. Holofcener manages to acknowledge the cliche situations we find ourselves in without denying that we are individuals.
As Holofcener puts it "I haven't had any angry feminists banging at my door. I consider myself a feminist when asked, but I would never really label myself that. I haven't been attacked for showing the girlie or frivolous sides that women have, that I can care about the size of my ass and something else really important, it doesn't mean I'm shallow. And I think that true feminism does embrace all sides of women."
I find it interesting that her three main films feature Catherine Keener who, at least in my life, seems to be the actress the girls wanna be and the boys wanna do. Keener is smart and best friendish and something that looks appealing to grow into- so you actually don't mind when all the guys at the Oscar watching party with you won't stop talking about how hot she is. I find it interesting that Holofcener's father was the one who "discovered" Woody Allen and that she grew up on his sets. I'm not a huge Allen fan, can't get past the whiney perv factor, but theres something very talky and therapist couchish and relationship based that feels like Woody Allen in her movies.
On the other hand I think Holofcener does an awesome job dealing with issues of money and relationships. Her stance is really rare and outside the box in that sometimes whats normal is not always what works for you as a couple. In Walking and Talking, Keener ends up with Liev Schreiber who has been borrowing money from her the entire time, and yet you're totally happy for her because they're both happy. Its the kind of red flag your parents warn you about and that would never happen in an actual chick flick but yet its never insinuated that he doesn't pay her back and hey it works for them. In Friends With Money Jennifer Aniston ends up with a guys whose fairly lazy but has a lot of money,,, this solves her money problems and they have fun together so who cares. I think this attitude toward relationships and money can be taken as a greater metaphor for letting other couples do their own thing -keeping your opinion out of their household or bedroom. This attitude would never be shown in a real chick flick where women are expected to marry a man whose better, richer, smarter. Maybe Catherine Keener just likes that Liev Schreiber is fun and kind and good in the sack so she doesn't mind buying him stuff here and there.
I totally recommend netflixing Walking and Talking, Lovely and Amazing, and Friends With Money. Also I just realized Holofcener is apparently making an upcoming movie about cancer...it will be produced by Seth Rogen and star my ultimate movie crush James McAvoy. Crazy!
Clip from Walking and Talking cause i couldn't find the trailer...anyhow yay! Kevin Corrigan!
Trailer for Lovely and Amazing
Trailer for Friends With Money