Monday, August 23, 2010


The strawberry patch.

EAT, PRAY, LOVE is the female equivalent of THE HANGOVER. When you see these movies, you have no problems understanding why men and women don't understand each other. Both of them are deeply dumb--the movies I mean. THE HANGOVER piles one absurdity on top of the other as a bunch of guys go to Vegas to celebrate a buddie's weddding. They get so drunk/stoned they can't remember the next morning what happened to them and worse, they have lost the groom. The rest of the movie is an endlessly unfunny search for the groom as they stitch together the pieces of what transpired. In the wake of their search, you see trashed hotel suites, car wrecks, bimbos in bikinis and high heels, Elvis impersonators, thugs, geeks, and various psychopaths. I'm told lots of guys thought this movie was a laugh riot. Huh? Have I lost my sense of humor? This pathetically unfunny movie made $millions. What's wrong with me?

You'll need an umbrella, a raincoat, a large box of Kleenex to survive the tearfest that is EAT, PRAY, LOVE. A whiny, upper-middle-class woman is in a loveless marriage. Why did she marry a man she didn't love? And why do I have to give a fuck? She ends up on her living room floor, asking God--whom she's never spoken to before--to give her guidance. She goes back to bed and wakes up the next morning and dumps her husband. Understandably he's upset. And very sorry he didn't do the dance they practiced at their wedding. So off she goes to Rome in search of pasta and sensuality (and if she'd asked me in the first place, I would have told her to go to Rome and NOT get married). She learns to order from a menu in Italian and liberates herself to buy a larger-sized pair of jeans. Then it's off to dirty old India (even the locations are stereotyped), where she joins an ashram and tries to find her "balance" (whatever that means). She meets a gruff American with a dark past who helps her understand this strange and unsettling emotional state she's in, before she ends up in Bali for a further dose of insight with an ancient medicine man. For a girl who has been running away from men, our Julia ends up in the arms of Javier Bardem, not a bad state of affairs. But by now you have watched Julia either smiling radiantly at a plate of spaghetti, or the wedding of a girl she meets at the Ashram, or in the arms of Javier. In between, she 's a whiny mess, sobbing about everything and nothing. And Javier cries too. This movie reminded me of THE JOY LUCK CLUB a "girlie" movie in three acts four four boxes of Kleenex. The only thing that saves it is Julia, and her expert cast. She's the only modern movie star with the screen cred to pull off this much senseless drama, and still make you love her (unless you're part of the I-hate-Julia camp, in which case, I truly feel badly for your experience watching this movie). Richard Jenkins, Javier Bardem, James Franco, the wonderful Viola Davis, Billy Cruddup, and the other supporting players in this classy cast get big snaps for at least being convincing with the tripe they were given to act.

Neither THE HANGOVER or EAT, PRAY, LOVE will give you any insights into what make heterosexuals tick, Frankly the comic antics of Karen and Jack in WILL AND GRACE make more sense than the characters in these two movies.

But isn't it amazing that Julia can still pull this shit off!

Water fountain relocated

The garden continues to occupy my time. The water fountain got moved to a better location and Kyle put planted a strawberry patch for me just outside the kitchen. There are five plants with shoots and new potted growths. I think next summer's crop will be very big. All the hostas are now in the ground, and I found some ornamental grass that I put in a large pot and placed it in the front entryway where the cherry tree was before it was moved to the back yard. I never heard of ornamental oregano. You could live the rest of your life in a nursery and find a million plants you never heard of. It's apparently hearty and will come back next summer.

ornamental oregano

red ornamental grass

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