The Spectacular Meh

Melissa crawls out from her “two movies a year” hovel to review the film adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel, The Spectacular Now. 

I’ve been looking forward to the movie adaptation of The Spectacular Now ever since I read the novel while lounging in the grass at a country concert, waiting for Hunter Hayes. (Cougar status what?) Tim Tharp’s novel overflows with voice, humor, and terrific characters across the board. As I’m sure others have said, it has those Catcher in the Rye hues.

(Unpopular declaration: I read CitR in a day. I liked it. And I can’t for the life of me remember anything about it.)

But the movie premiered in cities not near me (UGH, so indie of you, movie), and the closest theater I could find was in Brooklyn. Honestly, I’m not trekking into Brooklyn if I don’t have to. Until this weekend, when it popped up a reasonable distance away. The reviews were glowing. Sundance loved it. Many IMDB lovers loved it. So I was pumped and ready. Looking for, dare I say it, another Silver Linings Playbook (swoon).

Remember what I said about voice, humor, and terrific characters?

Yeah. They were absent from the adaptation.

It’s just…there’s not much action in the book, and that’s cool because we’re so hooked on the voice. But it doesn’t translate here. Miles Teller does a nice job of channeling a younger John Cusack, and he’s enjoyable as our hero. But the humor, the sense that he’s a juggernaut in his tiny universe, the way everyone orbits around him — all of that is gone. We’re supposed to believe that this popular guy chooses the awkward girl, when in reality, we see one or two meaningless interactions with his “best friend,” and then Sutter’s pretty much…friendless. Okay.

There are the random appearances by his ex, Cassidy, that feel like interruptions hoping to add to the drama. She, too, is thinly developed. She and Ricky have arcs in the novel that reveal to Sutter just how far he’s being left behind, but here, it’s all, “They’re dating other people oh okay bye.” (Also, Marcus played by Thresh from The Hunger Games? Super yum. Definitely would have liked to have seen more from him…LIKE THE BOOK.)

Aimee, played by Shailene Woodley, is almost tragically naive in the novel. Here, she giggles. A lot. And the two leads stare at each other and giggle. A lot. Reviews praise the dialogue as “realistic,” yet I can’t help but think that there’s a reason novels, et. al. don’t just transcribe people talking — because it’s boring and there’s filler. It doesn’t make for compelling cinema. If I wanted to hear realistic teen dialogue, I could go stand in the theater lobby. (There were scant few teens in the theater itself.)

Is it a bad movie? Nah. You may well enjoy it. Is it worthy of Oscar buzz? To paraphrase from the movie script:

::giggle::

Every day that Melissa and I are working our adult jobs. Real life is hard, bro. 

Every day that Melissa and I are working our adult jobs. Real life is hard, bro. 

(via yahighway)

Whoa, there! New Adult Dramz

Quoteth Lauren Sarner, from the bastion of impeccable journalism,The Huffington Post:

New Adult is a label that is condescending to readers and authors alike. It implies that the books act as training wheels between Young Adult and Adult. For the New Adult books that are particularly childish, the label implies that they are a step above Young Adult—which is insulting to the Young Adult books that are far superior. For the New Adult books that are particularly sophisticated, the label implies that they are not worthy of being considered “adult.” It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”

The Problem with New Adult Books

Honestly, we find the tone a little problematic and judgmental  especially from someone who clearly has never written a novel, but we’ve had particular feelings on the subject for quite some time. Melissa has a hot novel tucked away that might qualify as New Adult. Maria thinks genre stratification is fine, as long as it showcases new and exciting authors. Essentially, it might lead to the discovery of fresh work and less starving artists! Hell, we’ve even played around the idea of co-authoring a new adult piece, for funsies and no-stakes frivolity.

What say you all? Does New Adult reek? Does it excite you? Isn’t Jennifer Lawrence the greatest? (Okay, that last one doesn’t count.) But sound off if you have thoughts! 

Sage advice as we roll toward the work week.
Onward and upward, friends!

Sage advice as we roll toward the work week.

Onward and upward, friends!

GPOY.
Happy Hump Day!

GPOY.

Happy Hump Day!

“Jennifer was amazing. She’d literally wait until like the last second to get into character.” - Jack Quaid

Your daily dose of cute.

(via onegreenoneyellow-deactivated20)

catchingupdates:

full Catching Fire cast panel!

(via girl-aflame)

Burning My Loins: Catching Fire Trailer

The trailer your mom’s been waiting for…

Maria: Holy fire shit. Like, I don’t know what to do with myself. Cinnaaaaa… I’m starting to think that Lenny Kravitz sold his soul to the devil for unabashed and ageless beauty.

So, what do we think? Costumes? Jesus Christ, Peeta looks good.

image

Melissa: Sorry, I was just jizzing in my pants. Holy GROWN UP Peeta. Sexy fiery sparks on the chariot. Mockingjay dress, and the crowd loves it! PRESIDENT SNOW IS NOT IMPRESSED. Awesome music. Awesome Katniss emotions. CHILLS.

I love the visual look of the movie so far. It has that darker, sadder District 12 tint. While the first movie went a little mild on the sense of unrest/depressing life in Panem/what exactly the term “Hunger Games” meant (pretty sure it was never made clear that “yo, errbody’s starving and you can win FOOD for your district!”), I think this one’s going way deeper into the social drama. And I think it’ll be awesome. Also, I’m hoping for some hot Katniss/Peeta loving in the arena, because I’m pervy like that. I could use some hawt smooching .gifs in my life.

image

Honestly, if I saw this trailer without reading the books or seeing the first movie, I’d be down to check it out. And that’s big, man. I go to the movies like once a year.

Maria: Some veritable razzle dazzle, amirite? Caesar would totes watch. I like that they amped up the unrest, and went balls deep on the TENSION. And I’m interested in seeing how they’ll play up the feels between Katniss and her boy Friday, Gale. Who, might I add, is looking extra corn fed these days. I’d save him, too, Katniss. Nurse his wounds. And then I’d call Peeta over, to bring us some bread. The three of us would make delicious hawk soup in the kitchen of our love…

Also, I like how they’re not shying away from making President Snow look like a bag of dicks. He’s so awful. And dude, they brought in Capote to highlight his sucking at life. This movie is so real.

We didn’t get to see much of the new cast in either trailer, though I hear everyone is wetting their pants for Finnick. I like they’re leaving us with a bit of mystery. Hollywood acting all subtle, y’all. FALL BACK.

image

Conclusion:

Bring on the heat, November. We’re ready!

Are you stoked for Catching Fire? Do you wish Finnick wore less clothing in the trailer? Let us know!

How the girls of TAYL roll back from hiatus, yo.

Losing Our Religion (RIP Cory Monteith)

We now break TAYL’s one-year hiatus to give you our feels:

image

The heart of Glee


Melissa

It’s late on Saturday/early on Sunday morning when Melissa’s trolling the Internet (let’s be real — nothing abnormal about that). There’s not much activity on Twitter at that hour. (There should really be less activity on Twitter at MOST hours, besides overnight when she’s not sleeping.) Refresh, avoid real writing, refresh.

Then a tweet pops up from a reputable source that says, “What?” followed by a retweet: “Sources confirm that Glee’s Cory Monteith has died.”

WTF? Internet hoax, obviously. But then there was a press conference. And actual confirmations from sources not TMZ.

And it felt like a punch, folks.

I haven’t watched Glee on the reg since ¾ of the way through season 3, because that was when stories just became ridonkulous for the sake of being ridonkulous. I’ve tuned into random episodes here and there, enticed by AV Club comments. The storylines are trite, the music overproduced, but the actors? Still awesome, man. Terrific chemistry and timing for all of them.

In my fandom heyday? I wasn’t running around in the forums lambasting the break-ups of my OTPs, but hey, this girl and Maria and another friend hit up the Glee tour because we’re real people who do real things, and it was pretty awesome. This homegirl was PISSED when Rachel and Finn broke up in season 2. Like, legitimately pissed, in need of new episodes to sew up that wound.

Also, I’ve done my share of celebrity creeping. Lea Michele’s always been a bit of a mystery (prima donna or just super motivated, much like her character?), but Cory Monteith? Cool, regular guy. Besides when he apparently dated Taylor Swift for a hot second? If that was even real?, he always came across as a dude who’d be happy chilling in a hoodie and jeans, kicking back with pals. Not all Hollywood-ed up. (Also, I maybe had a dream about him once where we met, somehow, and it was super cool and we were like friends who might secretly go out on a date.)

Ugh. And no matter what the cause of death may be, it just sucks.

 

Maria

Maria woke up early Saturday morning, after a restless sleep atop her thesis papers. She opened Facebook because that’s what Facebook wants you to do. (They’ll become our robot overlords one day, along with Senor Google.) Amidst the flurry of ignorant statutes about George Zimmerman case, one lone update made her pause.

RIP Cory Monteith, along with a video of the original cast members singing “Don’t Stop Believin’”.

Guh.

… The fuck just happened?

It hasn’t sunk in, folks. I still feel gutted, like I lost a piece of myself, albeit the joke-y hate-watching chunk. I’ll be honest, Glee hasn’t been quite the show for me since Season 2. Sure, I watched Season 3, and 4, the same way you watch a friend spiral into too many cranberry and vodkas at happy hour. It’s an okay ride, but the end result is always sadness. I could say the same of the current iteration of Glee, where its best episodes have been the ones that feature Type A Rachel, Sparkle Quip Kurt, and Satan Santana in their bohemian yet unrealistically affordable loft. And Finn. Beautiful, doofus Finn, with his easy half smiles and clueless one-liners. I always stayed for you (never for Marley) on the off chance, you’d save a lingering look for Rachel that reminded me of high school crushes. Or that you and Puckerman would bro-five enthusiastically. (And you did. Oh, how you did.)

Cory Monteith put much into a character that should have annoyed us all. And dare I say it, I’m not sure how Glee can function as a show without his integral voice and presence as a cast member. There’s no way of telling how any of the close knit cast members will acquiesce, if at all, to losing their friend. And Lea, I don’t even know what to say to you, girl. Sigh.

This morning on my drive to work, Glee’s cover of Losing My Religion came on shuffle. I was tempted to skip it: too much, too soon, but I let the song play on. I thought of Finn walking the hallways Rachel, the way he said Mr. Schuester like he wasn’t a 31 year-old playing a high school student. Say what you will about Glee, but dude never phoned it in. I feel this loss in a way some people may mock. But you didn’t know him, they might say. And to that my response is, he made me feel like I did.


(No, seriously. It isn't.)

Who are we? Two MFA-laden ladies on their quest to divulge, discuss, and disseminate all things teen!

Specialties include, but are not limited to: the writing/reading/publishing of YA novels, boy bands, the '90's, gymnastics, wine, grad school, bad television, and the Wakefield twins.


twitter.com/TAYLgate

view archive



@TAYLgate

About the Unicorn Club

Ask Lila Fowler

Submit