I'm alright with the fact that Glee now takes place in a universe where 60-year-old women can have babies, where teenage girls in wheelchairs can miraculously walk again, where a Spanish teacher can keep his job for decades even though he doesn't speak a lick of Español, that a giant loft in New York (even in rough, but trendy, Bushwick) can go for a little more than $1,000 a month, and that any human on the face of the earth actually likes mash-ups. I'm okay with all of these things (except that bit about mash-ups). But there is one new plot detail on the latest season of Glee I cannot abide: Kurt's job at Vogue.com.
Maybe it's because I'm a media professional, but I just can't stand the idea of this baby gay walking into the Condé Nast building blindly and ending up scribbling away for the website of the world's most vaunted and exclusive fashion magazine. The whole thing is just ludicrous. Need we remind everyone that Kurt, who moved to New York without any job or anything to do, hasn't even gotten into college? Not only hasn't he gone, he hasn't even written the essays, filled out the forms, and sent in the checks to a school other than NYADA, which he didn't get into. He is a college reject. He has no work experience except for the two weeks that he made Marble Caramel Pumpkin Spice Half-Caf Macchiatos with No Whip and a Dash of Cinnamon at some coffee shop in Lima, Ohio. He never worked on the school paper, he was never in the "fashion club," he has no extracurricular activities other than making out with boys and singing in the Glee Club (which is great and all, but it's not going to impress Miss Anna Wintour). Oh, hell no!
Fox released the scene from tomorrow's episode where Kurt goes in for his interview with his soon-to-be editor Isabelle played by the world's first fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker. It seems like she is a failed fashion designer who is going to give Kurt his big break. Wait, doesn't that sound just like Rachel and her relationship with her has-been dance teacher (played by fellow celebrity Kate Hudson)? This makes my hatred of Kurt's new gig even worse.
Okay, the editor of Vogue.com, a busy website that probably updates itself multiple times a day, has time to go through the resumés of every person who is interviewing for the job, remember their hometowns, and scroll through the Facebook photos of their various and assorted fashion don'ts? I have selected interns before for smaller magazines and websites and would go through hundreds of resumés. Actually, The Assistant usually goes through the first round of resumés and finds a dozen good ones. The Assistant looks for experience and pedigree (usually based on the university the applicant has attended) and then passes the winners along to a superior. Kurt has neither experience nor pedigree. He wouldn't have even made it past The Assistant. Now he is The Assistant.
Why? Because SJP once barfed at Breadsticks and likes that he likes her quilted miniskirts. Need I remind everyone that this is Vogue, Vogue, a place so snotty that even The Assistants won't make copies. This isn't Marie Claire where they're happy to have any Holly Hobby fresh off the turnip truck or Cosmo that is just looking for teens to make quizzes. This is Vogue. Vogue!
Why do we even need his job to be at Vogue.com (PS – Adding dot com to the end of something doesn't make it easier to get a job there, because this is no longer 1999)? No one moves to NY and gets the job of his or her dreams right off the bat. Everyone has to have a shitty job copy editing recipes (yes, I did this), working in an awful tchotchke shop in Times Square (yes, I did this), and maybe even defrauding the welfare system for some extra handouts (I will not admit to doing this in print). Why can't Kurt get a little bit closer to reality and work for a former fashion designer who is starting her own blog or Internet Fashion Startup. He can learn a lot from her and the two can become a success together and stick it to those uptight bitches at Vogue who would probably make fun of them anyway. Their thing could even get really huge and successful and Kurt can make enough money to actually afford a real giant loft in Bushwick. That is way more likely to happen than him waltzing into Vogue.com with a brooch on his blazer and walking away with a job. Having some plots that strain reality is fine for Glee but this plot has so much magic in it, it might as well be from Lost.
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[Photo Credit: Fox]
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In other words The Holiday probably falls under the “guilty pleasure” category. Its not a classic romantic comedy by any standards but darn it it still makes you smile more often than you want to admit. The story centers on two women: Iris (Kate Winslet) a British newspaper columnist hopelessly in love with a man about to marry someone else and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) a highly successful L.A. career woman who just broke up with her latest cheating boyfriend. Being at the right place at the right time these two gals meet online at a home exchange website and impulsively switch homes for the holiday. Shortly after arriving at their destinations both women find the last thing either wants or expects: A new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris' handsome brother Graham (Jude Law) and Iris with inspiration provided by legendary screenwriter Arthur (Eli Wallach) mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Jack Black). Oh just go ahead and take a big gooey bite. It’s good for the soul. The biggest problem in The Holiday is unfortunately the casting—which is real shame because you really want the chemistry to zing. They get it right with Winslet and Law who are both trying something a little different as romantic leads. Winslet in fact admitted to Reuters this was one of the more nerve-wracking parts she’s ever played because she couldn’t hide behind an American accent or a costume playing someone closer to well herself. But you would think these two Oscar-nominees had been making these type movies all along especially the insanely gorgeous Law who should have every woman swooning with his sensitivity. Where they get it wrong is with the Americans as the Brits just act giant circles around them. Black is clearly out of place. Although being very charming and funny looking like he made Winslet laugh a LOT (and who wouldn’t with that guy around?) their connection on screen is somewhat amiss. Diaz comes off looking even worse. Even though she’s the veteran of the romantic comedy (There's Something About Mary My Best Friend's Wedding) her screechy neurotic klutzy Amanda is in no way appealing. You have to scratch your head wondering why Law’s Graham would fall so hard for her. What does make The Holiday work however is writer/director Nancy Meyers. She’s proven herself quite adept at the genre with films such as What Women Want and Something's Gotta Give under her belt. With The Holiday Meyers skillfully crafts individual moments of refreshing comedy as well as heartening scenes of blossoming romance. The initial seduction scene between Amanda and Graham is particularly sweet and quirky with the crisp dialogue flying at a nice clip. And isn’t it comforting to see a holiday movie minus feuding neighbors commerciality or any sort of mean-spiritedness? But Meyers has the tendency to go more for the superficial rather than dig deep with her characters. The Holiday has a one of those glossy rosy glows whose only aim is to make you feel good. True the film will mostly speak volumes to the women in the audience (that’s a polite way of saying its a “chick flick”) but oh well. It’s fluff may be a nice reprieve during the hustle and bustle of the season.
The catastrophic battles of the Clone Wars are in their final stages as the crumbling Republic--supported by the ever-vigilant Jedi Knights--fight against the Separatist Alliance lead by a particularly nasty half-droid half-alien named General Grievous. Jedi überheroes Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are sent to kill General Grievous and end the war but it isn't easy. Meanwhile Yoda Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and the other Jedi Council members fear for the state of the Republic under the guidance of the nebulously sinister Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). I know what you're thinking "Yeah yeah just tell us how Anakin goes bad." Poor Annie. He still has some serious anger issues which now revolve around his adoring young wife Padme (Natalie Portman) and their unborn child (or children in this case). He thinks he foresees Padme's death and will do anything to keep her safe including listening to Palpatine malevolently whisper promises of immortality and the power of the Dark Side into his ear. Not the best thing for this volatile fellow. Yes Darth Vader will soon emerge and the inevitable duel between the good and the Dark Side is at hand. Get your lightsabers ready.
Happily all the main actors--save for perhaps Natalie Portman as the ineffectual Padme--get a lot more to chew on in this final installment. Christensen is thankfully done being the whining teenager from Attack of the Clones and turns into a brooding conflicted pre-Vader who can't control his anger. Of course he overdoes it a bit with the scowling and evil cold stares but that's OK. It's what the part requires. The love story between Christensen and Portman however is still kind of painful to watch. The two actors look more than a little embarrassed professing their love for one another ("I'm so much in love with you" "No I'm so much in love with YOU!"). And besides bringing back the infamous Leia "cinnamon bun" look Portman isn't given a darn thing to do but fret and pace and rub her pregnant belly praying Anakin will be all right. You'd think after wielding a gun in The Phantom Menace she'd get to do more fighting. Oh well. On the flip side McGregor Jackson and even McDiarmid all get to kick some serious butt in Revenge of the Sith each with their own action-packed fight sequences. Jackson just seems happy to be swinging a lightsaber around. McGregor with the full beard and biting commentary does a nice job setting the stage for the elderly Ben Kenobi to come. And McDiarmid a veteran British stage thesp finally gets his chance to shine as the malicious Palpatine as we see his own transformation into the ultimate evil being he becomes.
Oh George what are you going to do now that it's all over? Of course Lucas has said he is going to redo all the six Star Wars episodes in 3-D as well as produce a TV series which follows the events after Return of the Jedi. Then there's the fourth Indiana Jones movie to look forward to. But Lucas will probably hole back up at his Skywalker Ranch in northern California and dream up even better ways to generate special effects for the big screen. That's what he does best. He truly is an amazing genius at creating visuals and Revenge of the Sith is no exception. From the battle between General Grievous and Obi-Wan to Yoda's clash with Darth Sidious to Obi-Wan's climactic duel with Anakin Sith is simply riveting. The only difficulty Lucas has ever had is with the human element. I'll admit I'm one of those die-hard fans of the original trilogy who had a problem with the lack of an emotional core in the prequels. After writing and directing the first Star Wars (or Episode IV for those counting) Lucas understood then that maybe he wasn't the best choice to write the next two handing the chores off to screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. It worked. Big time. Yet with all three prequels (that's Episodes I-III) Lucas did it all himself and his obvious shortcomings are evident. But hey does it really matter how connected you feel to the characters when you've got the Force Jedi Knights evil Darths an ass-kicking little green guy clone armies droid armies Wookiee armies (yeah that's a lot of fur) and an ultimate turn towards the Dark Side? No. But it helps.