It felt like it was a whole lifetime of blissful paid holiday leave, short weeks, and empty-office workdays (did I, as threatened, get all risky business during the two weeks that less than 10 of us were in the office? the world will just have to keep on wondering). And now? Now, it’s over!  In an effort to combat the back-to-work blues, I am going to try to focus on some recent news that makes the work day a little bit more bearable.   

 First up (care of the lovely and talented Claire) – Manohla Dargis’ review of Bride Wars in the Times. Coming off a season of critical acclaim and some commercial success, Anne Hathaway puts her career right back in the pot with an epically stupid chick flick, or at least that’s what Manohla Dargis has to say. While critics have had a lot of things to say about Anne Hathaway’s career and the movie itself, Dargis manages to pretty successfully avoid talking about both. Even if the review had been nothing more than its cheap cracks at the expense of the film (for example: “Liv replaces Emma’s spray-on-tan formula with an angry orange that brings to mind deep-fried Donatella Versace.” Or ““Bride Wars” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). Dangerous acts of consumerism.”), it still would’ve been a totally awesome in the news. But aside from her considerable wit and her admirable ability to get through the whole review with a single use of the word “frenemy”, Dargis also manages to engage in one of my personal favorite pastimes: finding the gay in a movie (in my case also a book, a tv show, a piece of art, a friendship between Olympic swimmers) that no one else thinks is gay at all.

Right from the beginning, she bemoans the fact that this isn’t a lezzie tale of bridal bliss, “since childhood, the two have dreamed of getting married at the Plaza (alas, not to each other)”. So to clarify, Step 1: Damn, I wish this was gay! Then, fully engaging in my personal pastime, she finds gay where others might not – “the opener — a gauzy scene from childhood that finds Liv and Emma, dressed as a bride and groom, tenderly dancing with each other — and an adult catfight, which looks like a prelude to a kiss”. Step 2: See, it sort of IS gay! She also goes on, as I would, to suggest that the gay is not all in her head saying, “there may be more to this friendship (and the fury underlying its rupture) than either the women or the movie can admit.” Step 3: Not only is it gay but they meant it to be gay, damnit! Finally, she ends the review by bringing it around to the best gay this season, the awesomely spectacular Milk. Essentially, her final analysis suggests that if the movie was actually about something significant, rather than an excuse to watch two hours of consumerism and Stepford creepy cityscapes, it might be worth watching. So Step 4: Gaying it up would’ve at least stopped it from sucking so much! Epic heterofail!

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