Monthly Archives: November 2011

Pretty In Pink, Isn’t She?

Pretty in Pink

Aw, you guys. Seeing Pretty in Pink on the big screen was just as good as I had hoped it would be. Even though I’ve watched it a million times on DVD (not to mention every time it’s on TV), there’s just something about being there in the theatre getting the full moviegoing experience that makes it really special.

This time around, I kept thinking about the fact that Robert Downey Jr. auditioned for the role of Duckie Dale and came very close to winning the part. If RDJ had been cast, I think it would have been an entirely different movie. I mean, Jon Cryer did an excellent job and imbued the character with a certain exasperating-yet-endearing charm, but there were no sparks between him and Molly Ringwald. If you watch the movie picturing RDJ in the role, you can definitely imagine Andie ending up with Duckie instead of Blane.

This works for me. You?

Anyway, here are my thoughts on seeing the movie again in the theatre, 25 years after the first time…

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You Always Said We’d Meet Again…Someday…

pretty in pink

Today is a beautiful day. It’s sunny out and (relatively) warm, it’s Friday, and I am in a great mood. But more important than all of those things put together is the fact that tonight, I am going to see…oh, only one of the best movies of all time on the big screen.

Whether or not you are a fan of John Hughes, you have to admit that his films were a huge part of 80s pop culture, helping to cement the careers of a handful of young actors (Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Eric Stoltz, Ally Sheedy, to name a few), and were seminal in the establishment of the teen movie as a genre. Which, as far as I’m concerned, was one of the most important developments of the 20th century. Sure, there were a few other “big” things that happened (women achieving the right to vote, desegregation, man walking on the moon, the invention of the internet by Al Gore, etc) but I’d say that the creation of the modern teen movie ranks pretty high up there.

Although The Breakfast Club is probably considered his masterpiece, Pretty in Pink is my favorite John Hughes movie (with Some Kind of Wonderful coming in a close second). Pretty in Pink has everything — great music, unbelievably awesome 80s fashion, a classic love triangle, new-wave hairdos…all set amidst the backdrop of the ’80s high school class divide (rich kids vs. poor kids, preps vs. outcasts) — obviously a recurring theme in Hughes’ work. Throw in a young James Spader in a crumpled linen suit in what is surely the most amazing portrayal of a rich sleazebag ever to hit the big screen, and what’s not to love?

steff

I mean, look at this guy.

james as steff

The disdainful smirk, the unbuttoned shirt, the feathered hair… goddamit, everything about this look is complete & utter perfection.

There’s one scene in the movie in which Blane (Andrew McCarthy) takes Andie (Molly Ringwald) to a party, and they stumble upon Steff (James Spader) and his rich bitch girlfriend Benny hooking up in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and oh my god Steff and Benny behave like such awesomely horrible rich douchebags to her that it makes me want to punch myself in the face from pure joy.

Steff + Benny

I need these two in my life so they can sit around all day making disparaging remarks about my outfits. Somebody please make this happen.

Anyway, I can feel this quickly devolving into a rant about why Steff is the best character in the movie so I’ll stop here for now, but there are many other amazing parts of this movie that we need to discuss (Duckie’s fashion stylings! Harry Dean Stanton! Annie Potts as Andie’s record store boss!) I’ll be posting this weekend about my thoughts on seeing Pretty in Pink again on the big screen, 25 years after I first saw it in theatres (I was 10). Will it live up to expectations? Will it be as good as it was all those years ago?*

*Spoiler alert: of course it will. Obviously I own the DVD and watch it every few months.

Most importantly, we will examine the music that appears throughout the movie and determine whether Hughes hit the mark with the songs he chose for the soundtrack.

I’m taking a walk down memory lane tonight, my friends. If all goes according to plan, at around 10:30 pm I will be sitting in a dark movie theatre sobbing with happiness as this song plays during the movie’s epic final prom scene:

“We’ve always had time on our sides
Now it’s fading fast
Every second, every moment
We’ve got to, we’ve gotta make it last…”


I Don’t Mind If You Don’t Mind, Cause I Don’t Shine If You Don’t Shine

sam's town

No, you certainly don’t shine, Brandon Flowers. And yes I do mind.

Look, people, there aren’t many things in the world that I get ridiculously, out-of-my-mind excited about*, but I read an article in Rolling Stone about 3 and a half years ago in which Brandon Flowers described a disco ball suit that he was prototyping and testing out for The Killers’ upcoming tour.

*This is a total lie. There are many things that I get ridiculously, out-of-my-mind excited about.

Well. If you’ve been reading this site for long enough (or likely if you’ve even just met me once) then you know how much I love shiny, glittery things (especially clothing). Imagine a disco ball suit. Like, seriously, close your eyes for a moment and just really take the time to consider the gloriousness of it. A suit made to resemble a disco ball!? How would this work? Would it be heavy? Who would even think of it in the first place? I became obsessed. Ask The Finn, I wouldn’t shut up about it. To this day, when he mentions The Killers and I get a faraway look in my eye, he’s like “You’re thinking about the disco ball suit, aren’t you?”

So, what of said suit? It never materialized. The Finn and I went to see the band on our first wedding anniversary, when they were touring in support of Day & Age (an excellent record) and I was pretty sure by then that the suit wouldn’t make an appearance. I hadn’t heard it mentioned again since that original interview.

I was briefly consoled this past summer by Bono’s laser jacket, but I’m still waiting for the disco ball suit. You gotta dream big, you know? I know it’ll find its way into my life someday. For now, that’s enough.


I’ve Been Thinking, Thinking About You, About Us…

emma louise

So, here’s the deal. There’s this awesome new scripted show on MTV (I know, right? I totally thought they were only doing reality shows now) called Awkward. I’ve tried to force The Finn to watch it with me, but he’s having none of it, because it’s a “teen” show. For anyone out there who likes that sort of thing (which I’m guessing is not many of you since you’re probably not as lame as I am), find this show online and watch it now, I’m telling you. It’s got a lovably snarky main character (Jenna), awesomely weird friends, plus the requisite super-hot-but-emotionally-distant love interest (Matty) as well as a secondary nice-guy love interest (Matty’s best friend, Jake. Oh yes people, it’s that kind of love triangle. I mean, the Best Friend Love Triangle. This will not end well). At the end of the season finale, our main character is torn between Matty and Jake, but there are some MAJOR swoons going on all over the place and honestly, I don’t even know who I like best. I keep going back and forth. Emotionally Distant Matty is totally…well, emotionally distant, but he is so cute. Witness:

matty & jenna

Awwww...are these two meant to be together or what?

Jake, on the other hand, is REALLY nice and totally into Jenna and not making her hide their relationship. So he gets major points for that.

jenna & jake

Also cute together...gah! I can't decide!

But Matty and Spencer Jenna really do have the best chemistry, and in the end chemistry trumps all, right? Plus Matty definitely redeems himself big time in one of the final episodes, which has a ‘Sixteen Candles’ theme — obviously one of the best movies of all time, and not only because Molly Ringwald’s character’s name is Samantha (which just so happens to be the given name of yours truly).

Anyway, it was during this episode that I first heard today’s Song of the Day. It’s playing in the background just after Matty knocks on Jenna’s door and proceeds to be totally adorable and emotionally available at last, which we all know is the magical formula for getting into the pants of teenage girls (or probably girls of any age, for that matter).

awkward

Yeah...she didn't stand a chance.

So here’s today’s Song of the Day, ‘Jungle’ by Emma Louise:


Ricky Jehovah’s Witness

trouble

Whenever I hear a song by Cat Stevens, I think of the following conversation that DamnYouSkylon had in high school with his friend Brian:

DYS: “Dude, so Cat Stevens gave away all his money, converted to Islam, and changed his name to Yusuf Islam”.

Brian: “Really? He changed his last name to the same name as his religion?”

DYS: “Yeah man, I guess that’d be like changing your name to, like, John Christian or whatever”.

Brian: “Or Bob Hindu…”

DYS: “Richard Buddhist…”

Brian: “Ricky Jehova’s Witness…!”

Now every time I think of Cat Stevens I hear a little voice in my head saying “Ricky Jehova’s Witness!” and it totally makes me laugh. You could say I’m being disrespectful of Stevens’ (Islam’s) life choices, but to be honest with you I think that “Spencer Christian” has a nice ring to it, so I might change my name too. I’m not renouncing all my worldly possessions though. I’m no dummy. My collection of old Sweet Valley High books might be worth something someday*, you know.

*They will never, ever be worth anything.

Anyway, when it comes to Stevens’ (Islam’s) music, I am totally divided. I love some of his songs (‘Morning Has Broken,’ ‘Another Saturday Night,’ ‘Father and Son’ — which always, always makes me cry) but others annoy the f*ck out of me (‘Wild World,’ for example, literally makes me want to punch myself in the face).

However, my very favorite Stevens (Islam) song is this one, ‘Trouble’. The lyrics are so sad and dejected, and yet the song is somehow uplifting. You can hear the weariness in his voice during the verses, but then all of a sudden he’s got this amazing harmonizing thing going on and it sounds so pretty and hopeful. It’s the perfect song to listen to when you’re feeling down…in fact, I’ve always thought that it was written about depression. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know, but with lines like “You have made me a wreck / Now won’t you leave me in my misery” I have to think that he’s pleading with the “black dog” of depression (as Winston Churchill so aptly described it) to move on and let him be. Anyone who has experienced a depressive episode will be able to relate to this sentiment, the feeling of being “Shattered and tossed and worn,” and the desire to have the cloud lifted.

But even if you’re not sad, it’s a great song — simple yet eloquent, haunting yet hopeful.

And as a bonus, here’s my boyfriend, Eddie Vedder, performing his take on the song:


Peaceful, Easy Feeling…

The Finn

Go west, young man

Hola amigos, and Happy Monday! We hope you all had a great weekend & hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our California playlist, ‘California Über Alles’. If you missed it, you can listen to it here. And now we move on to Part 2! Honestly y’all, there are so many songs that have been written about California, it’s kind of crazy. I guess it still holds a certain mystique as the land of opportunity, probably a carryover from the old days of frontierism and the fervour of the California gold rush. You have to admit it’d be kind of cool to be out there prospecting for gold, and I can only imagine that when people got there and saw how beautiful it was they’d be hard pressed to want to leave.

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California Über Alles

pch

Hello everyone & Happy Friday! We have a special treat for you today. Here at LTRV we are obsessed with many things, but one of the things we love the most is the great state of California.

Why California, you ask? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • It’s sunny and warm, like, all the time
  • The Terminator was its Governor
  • There are palm trees and beaches as far as the eye can see
  • You never have to put on your snow tires
  • William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon, built a castle in the countryside where he housed over 100 wiener dogs! Yes! The man was obviously more than a little eccentric, but he was a kajillionnaire so he could do whatever the F he wanted. We love wiener dogs, and it makes us happy to picture them frolicking around the hillsides at Hearst Castle
  • It never rains in Southern California
  • Beverley Hills, 90210 — only the best TV show of all time — was set there

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Have You Ever Felt Yourself in Motion?

evan dando

Here’s something that people don’t tell you when you’re a kid: life is hard. And the older you get, the harder it gets. I don’t mean to sound like a total downer, but being in your teens and early twenties seems relatively easy compared to what comes after that: the daily grind of a job, the burden of mortgage payments and other debt, the pressures & responsibilities of family life.

Anyone who’s in their teens and twenties right now and reading this would probably argue vociferously with what I’ve just said, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Whatever stage in life you may be in, if you’ve been hit with something difficult, it’s hard. I don’t mean to discount that. And I’m not trying to ignore the fact that there are lots of people out there who would be overjoyed to even have a job, no matter if they didn’t love it, or people who would be happy to have a mortgage because that meant they could afford to buy a house in the first place. There’s a part of the population for whom neither of these things are a possibility at the moment.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with people lately about the concept of personal happiness. I don’t know what it was like for my parents’ generation, or my grandparents’, but it seems nowadays that there’s this expectation that you should feel happy and personally fulfilled all the time. D’you know what I mean? It’s like people can’t cope with feeling down or unhappy or blue. This is problematic if you’re someone who’s prone to anxiety or depression — not only do you experience those feelings, but on top of that you feel like there’s something wrong with you for feeling them. Right?

If you’re tired of worrying, tired of trying to manage everything so that things turn out “right”, tired of trying to live up to expectations of what your life should look like rather than how it actually is, then here is a song for you. I’m a fan of the whole album, Baby I’m Bored, and I think this song in particular has a nice little message in it about just inhabiting the space where you are, in the moment, and not being afraid that the world around you is always changing.

Seems like a simple concept, doesn’t it? So why’s it so hard to put into practice? Good thing we have Evan Dando here to remind us ; )


Girl Crush: Nicki Minaj

It seems fitting on this day, a Friday, to profile an album called Pink Friday. This record is not new — it was released almost a year ago — but it’s one that I’ve been listening to a lot lately for a couple of reasons: 1) the songs are really good, and 2) I am slightly obsessed with Nicki Minaj.

It’s not often that I buy an album without knowing any of the tracks, but that was the case here. I can’t remember why I picked it up — I knew very little about Minaj, other than the fact that she has a RIDICULOUS ass.

Like, seriously, look at this thing:

You’re kidding right? It’s padded, right?


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