Welcome to a New Year and a New You, Dr. Mindy Lahiri! Sure, 2012 ended up being a bit of a loss there at the end — what with your boss leaving out of the blue, getting into a fight with your best friend, and finding out your boyfriend is actually someone else's boyfriend and you were merely his mistress — but optimism breeds positive results, right? So here's to 2013 and your new outlook on life!
The only problem is, Mindy's new outlook is decidedly... un-optimistic. She's barely leaving her apartment and has buried herself in her work. Her best friends are hanging out without her! That's when you know s**t is lookin' bleak for our poor Mindy. She needs something to take her mind off the old man suits, murderers on the subway, and all the terrible maladies of the soul that plague this modern human existence. Sigh.
Lucky for Mindy, a distraction has arrived. Meet Rishi — the burglar-esque little brother of Dr. Lahiri (though he prefers brown Channing Tatum)! You may recognize Rishi as Utkarsh Ambudkar, who shared the screen with Gwen (Anna Camp) in 2012's Pitch Perfect. They're keeping it in the family; in all of the families, you guys! But Rishi wants to turn his mini-stay away from Stanford into a full-blown rap career. Oh, no! Screams every older sister in the world. Mistakes ahead! Steer clear! Oh no, here comes the stress-vomit! Thankfully, a casual encounter with Brendan (Mark Duplass) the midwife turns into Mindy lying on a table getting stoned. And by that I mean he is putting stones on her person. Nothing illegal to see here, folks!
Only there's everything to see here, because chemistry abounds between Dr. Lahiri and the midwife! Something tells me Danny Castellano isn't going to like this. In the briefest of moments (it should've lasted at least 22 minutes) Chris Messina and Mark Duplass shared the screen, and everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. I plan on getting a screengrab of the elevator scene and replacing Mindy's face with my own. Sweet dreams!
Lessons were learned, resolutions were made, and a chance for romantic comedy splendor was born. Just another day in Mindy Kaling's New York City. Here are the valuable dating dos and don'ts we gleaned this week:
1.) Do put your mistakes behind you: It's a new year! Wipe the dry erase board of life clean, my friends.
2.) Don't be afraid to chat up a new guy: You're a modern woman! But also be careful of the knives they carry in their pants. And no, that's not a euphemism (but be careful of that, too! Safety first!).
3.) Do get a new look: Makeovers are classic! Try a little Annie Hall. Or Grandpa Hall if you're in a bind.
4.) Don't be afraid to get in shape!: You never know when you might have to run through an airport terminal after the man of your dreams before he boards the last plane to a faraway land that will keep you apart indefinitely if you don't admit your true feelings to him right now. It's also good for outrunning muggers.
5.) Don't live in fear: Whether it's fear of being a cat lady, fear of other people, or fear of the world outside your four walls: fear is bad. It keeps love at bay!
6.) Don't ever apologize for what you're passionate about in life: People do not understand the serious amount of Mockinjay points you get with those Hunger Games personal checks!
7.) Do make nerdy math jokes: Not to go on a tangent, but math jokes are a sine of intelligence! (I'll be here all night, folks!)
8.) Do not bail your own mugger out of jail: This just sounds dangerous.
9.) Do splurge on an expensive perfume: Pick something classic: like a Chanel, Dior, or Fa-breezey (it's Italian)!
10.) Don't trick the elderly: It's not very nice. Respect your elders!
11.) Don't ever forget: family comes first: Especially when your little brother is Nice Cube.
What did you think of this week's episode? Did you know Girls' Allison Williams (yay Marnie!) is on next week? Talk about it in the comments!
[Photo Credit: FOX]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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It is my estimation that there are very few people on the fence about seeing a movie about the universe of college a capella. The people who want to see this movie would all but kill to do so — on the other hand there are those who’d rather endure a three-hour documentary on the referendum to criminalize the distribution of lead-based paints. I was hardly in the latter category upon approaching Pitch Perfect. I wholeheartedly enjoyed the seasonal performances of my college’s championship-winning a capella group the Binghamton Crosbys (namedrop). I would happily welcome an influx of musical films to mainstream Hollywood. I really really liked the first season of Glee. I say all this to illustrate how open to the idea of Pitch Perfect I was and how much I really wanted to like the movie. Unfortunately as I would reluctantly acknowledge not long into the picture Pitch Perfect was missing many of its marks. Not all but many.
The movie touts itself not as Glee: The Movie as many on the opposing side are likely to deem it but as something far more self-aware. There are a handful of jokes about the rigid containment of the a capella world’s celebrity with remarks that all the authentically cool kids at the central Barden University exist beyond the confines of the a capella community. Unfortunately while it strives to adopt a self-deprecating attitude toward the tropes of the genre it draws the line at the rejection of the more hackneyed elements of its romantic and interpersonal storylines.
While the story is based in the always-worth-revisiting “be yourself” underdog theme it doesn’t quite execute this idea with full force. The highly talented Anna Kendrick plays Beca a “rebellious” aspiring deejay enticed into the nearly defunct Barden Bellas by well-meaning vet Chloe (Brittany Snow) due to her natural skill for singing but disliked by queen bee Aubrey (Anna Camp) for being just a little too different. But in all honesty she’s hardly different enough to evoke our sympathies. In fact the only outstanding characteristics Beca seems to have is that she’s pretty self-entitled and always a little bit miffed. Still she’s the apple of everyone's eye including the guileless flimsy male lead Jesse (Skylar Astin) who himself is a cherished new member of Barden's rival a capella group the all-male Treblemakers — led by the wickedly obnoxious top dog Bumper (Adam DeVine). Beca and Jesse are meant to found the real emotional crust of the movie; he teaches her about the greats of cinematic soundtracks and about not pushing people away and she... well she doesn't really teach him about anything. Their relationship lacks the real substance that would effectively carry the film based primarily on the fact that they're both cute and microscopically off-center.
And then there are the supporting characters — the Bellas' team of misfits whom we're meant to love. Rebel Wilson leads this pack as the kooky brazen self-decreed Fat Amy. Beside her the sexually-charged Stacie (Alexis Knapp) the quiet psychopath Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) and Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean) whose alluded homosexuality is quite unfortunately the punchline of her character among a few faceless sub-supporting characters. And while the theme does don a sheath of the classic “be yourself” mindset it seems to be more interested in poking fun of these girls and their quirks than it is in celebrating them.
But they do band together they do develop a camaraderie and they do come to compromise their differences in order to better one another and the team. And then comes the final musical number.
See for all of the film's faults there is something it knows how to do: it puts on one hell of a show. As much of a cynical nitpicker as you might be once the Bellas' final performance on the competition mainstage takes way you're bound to enjoy it. Showcasing the individual vocal talents of each of the (primary) singers sewn together in an expertly crafted compilation piece viewers are likely to get a chill or two. This is where Pitch Perfect hits: in its sheer unembarrassed celebration of a capella of music in general and of the girls onscreen. The movie makes the mistake of trying to have it both ways. When it goes for self-deprecation it makes it look all the more unaware of its inherent flaws in plot and character. But in being what plenty of people would be just fine with — an a capella movie that isn't ashamed of loving a capella any more than its over-the-top characters are — it succeeds. Unfortunately this sentiment feels limited to the final performance of the film. But to its credit it's a performance good enough to make up for a whole lot of the stuff that leads up to it.