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Oh no! I’m ranting again! What is wrong with me? All this hostility? It’s the holidays!

Well, big fat bah humbugs to Hollywood. I’ve been duped! Duped to the tune of $18.25 worth of craptastic movies this weekend. To be fair, I knew Twilight was going to suck. And to be even fairer, I’m 20+ years past the target demographic. If they made a Sweet Valley High movie when I was 12 I’m sure I would have thought I was witnessing Movie Magic and some bitter old 30-something would be mocking the unrealistic relationship between “perfect size 6 twins Jessica & Elizabeth” and disecting the hotness factor of Elizabeth’s boyfriend, Todd. Let’s be honest; if this was written today, Jessica & Elizabeth would be a size 2. They’d wind up in a Judy Blume novel if they were a rotund size 6. How do teen girls even survive this crap? And how many times can I say crap in one entry? A lot. Crap. See?

Anyway, I digress, but not too far as we were talking about Twilight. Oh! I’m on fire today! So I went in there with low expectations and in that sense was not disappointed. The character of Bella was just as annoying on screen as she was in the book. That whole “look at my lip! It’s quivering! I’m acting!” style of acting doesn’t work for me. And ugh! The dialogue! Did they have to rip it word for word out of the book?

“Your hands… are… cold.”
“Say it, Bella.”
“You’re… impossibly fast…”
“Say it, Bella.”
“Say it, Bella.”
“I just did, Edward. Pay attention!”
“Oh. Sorry, Bella. This dialogue is so bad I was zoning out. I was in Harry Potter, you know?”
“I was in my high school production of Guys & Dolls. I’m pretty sure we had a bigger budget for that.”

Never mind that Bella is supposed to be 16 years old and at one point in the movie she pretends to have a big fight with her boyfriend (who is standing on the porch mumbling a half-asses apology) as a ruse for getting past her Chief of Police daddy. She goes upstairs, packs her bags, and proclaims she’s leaving for Phoenix. TONIGHT. BY CAR. My dad wouldn’t let me be on the phone past 9:00 let alone DRIVE TO PHOENIX IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! ALONE, people! ALONE. He just stands there, sad and dejected, in the glow of the porch light as his teenage daughter drives herself, upset at having a fake fight with her sulky, hormonal boyfriend, back to Phoenix. Phoenix is not an imaginary town a few miles from Forks, where this drivel is supposed to take place. Phoenix is not a drug store a few blocks away in some well-lit strip mall. Phoenix is not Bella’s best friend whose mother has approved an impromptu sleepover and is waiting up with hot cocoa and graham crackers. Phoenix is a city! The city! In a different state!

Ugh. That was the least of my worries. The only saving grace was the actor who played Edward. He is pretty cute (and yes, I feel like a dirty, old cougar for saying that. He’s like what? 18? Ick. I’m going to cougar hell.)

So about that budget. Apparently they really did have a small budget and something like 13 days to make the movie. One studio even had the nerve to pass on it. Can you believe that? The biggest thing to hit teenagers since Proactive, and they said “no thanks.” I wonder what those studio execs are doing nowadays. So the lack of funds may account for why some of the “effects” were laughable. I’m not kidding. We laughed. Like Edward “running” up the side of a mountain with Bella on his back. He can do that because he’s a vampire, you know? Oh wait– did I just ruin it for you? Sorry. But you would have figured it out soon enough. Know how to spot a vampire? They apparently wear white pancake make-up, red lipstick, and tons of baby powder on their faces. And they like to talk to you with their necks craned forward. Watch out for that. Leering, white-face, red-lipped, blood suckers. Seriously? That’s the best we could do in the make-up department? The Lost Boys didn’t need any pancake make-up and no one questioned Kiefer Sutherland’s immortality.

Needless to say, I did not like this movie. But it gets worse.

Know when you eat something funky and you try to immediately eliminate the funky taste in your mouth by eating something else? Something better you presume? This is how I will look back on my movie watching experience last weekend. After Twilight, I took a three hour break from theaters to go have a wonderful homemade Indian dinner at my friend’s house. We had plans to see the new Reese Witerspoon/Vince Vaughn movie, Four Christmases. Perhaps the movie gods took pity on me and where trying to send me a message. Hadn’t I already suffered enough? They tried everything to make us miss this movie. We lingered too long over dinner. The dogs needed walking, my friend M’s temporary crown fell out of her mouth. Fell out of her mouth! We can’t send her into a movie like that! After many futile attempts to glue it back into her mouth, we ended up at Whole Foods in search of clove oil which is supposedly a desensitizing agent. (Free health tip for you all.) And yet, we still made the movie! The movie gods obviously said, “Screw it. We tried. Stupid girl.” We even found parking right in front of the theater. That happens… never.

Oh, people. Where do I begin? There were so many things wrong with this movie.

1. It’s supposed to be a comedy.
2. It’s not funny.
3. It’s “not funny” in a poorly written, half-ass acted, ill-contrived storyline sort of way. Not “not funny” in a “cute baby animal is now orphaned in first 5 minutes of a Disney movie” sort of way.

Here is another big reason for the movie’s major suckage: Vince Vaughn. Sure, I like him as much as any guy with GUY being the operative word. He’s a guy’s guy. He’s a wingman! He’s a drunken ex-frat boy! He is not a romantic lead! Please, Hollywood! Get over the Vince Vaughn and “it girl” pairings! It’s not going to work! No woman in her right mind wants to picture kissing Vince Vaughn. He’s puffy and slobbery, and gives off the impression that he always has a fever and gas. He’s your boyfriend’s friend from college who you have to suffer through a few Friday nights with. He shows up with a bottle of Petrone, talks about his glory days of being president of Zeta Delta Sigma, and tells a few good stories. You laugh but only because you feel sort of bad for him. It’s more a, “Holy crap, this guy is like 40 and still drinking Irish Car Bombs” funny. You go home and immediately take a shower and feel grateful that you’re not the kind of girl who is attacted to puffy, big mouth, slobbery guys like him.

I’m pretty sure Reese Witherspoon isn’t either. Never mind the whole “no way would she be into him” aspect. I can get past that. I did just suffer through a movie about a perpetually 17 years old vampire in pancake make-up. What I find unforgivable is that Miss Witherspoon rakes in how many millions a movie and this is the kind of crap she’s cranking out? She’s an Oscar winner! Shouldn’t her bar be raised a little higher now? Can we lobby to take her statue away until she makes a movie to redeem herself? I am very angry with her! Very. I’ve never been a huge fan (she looks like a Boston terrier and is usually playing characters that are about 3 shades too whiny for me to get behind) but even so, I felt like her movies would entertain me the way a meal at Ruby Tuesdays would fill me. Nothing extraordinary, but you stop being hungry for a few hours. Sometimes that all you need.

The worst part about Four Christmases wasn’t even that I never laughed. Never so much as cracked a smile. I just sat there staring at the screen with my mouth partially open. I could not believe someone made a worse movie than Twilight. (I can’t be sure, but I don’t think that was the goal.) It was that I felt like the movie was laughing at me! It was like a mean teen who stood by its locker and made nasty remarks about my knock-off Sport-O’s. Ha! Yeah right. Like that ever happened! Knock-offs! Nope. Not to me! Not ever! Sigh

The best part about both movies was their running time. Both clocked in at 1 hour and 20 minutes. God bless you post-production crew. Perhaps it was them who “accidentally” left the 3 hours in middle on the cutting room floor?

Am I wrong to expect to be entertained by movies? I mean, someone is working hard to make these things. Someone is willing to produce them. Someone is getting reports on how things are going on the set. Someone is making decisions to keep moving forward, to keep shoving duckets of money at supposedly A-list actors who phone it in for 12 million bucks. Oh my god, I want that job!

Just think. Every day movies that suck are getting greenlit. I can’t control your futures, but I can encourage your presents. If I can stop one person from having to suffer the same anguish I did, I’ll consider my $18.25 money well spent. You should thank me. And you can do so by using the 2 hours and 40 minutes I saved for you to do something I would rather have done. Watch HGTV. Comment on your Facebook friend’s status updates. Write a bitchy blog entry. Or better yet, write a screenplay! A craptastic screenplay that can someday suck the life out of innocent entertainment seekers. I look forward to seeing it.

Onwards, Movie Makers!

Shelly Mazzanoble

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