I remember reading a review of the Meryl Streep movie It's Complicated that said it was "kitchen porn." The premise was that women of a certain age just want to see Meryl having some easy sex, drinking white wine with her friends, and building her dream kitchen. Well, 50 Shades of Grey has ushered in the age of "mommy porn," and Two Mothers, an Australian movie that debuted at Sundance on Friday night, has changed that idea all over again.
To boil it down, the movie is about Naomi Watts and Robin Wright (and a Penn written with invisible ink) sleeping with each others' sons. But it's not just about that. They play best girl friends from childhood who live across the street from each other. And not just across the street, they live on the beach on an ocean so blue it could play in a jazz club. They live in stone and glass boxes that would make a cover of Archetectual Digest feel like it looked fat and would never come out of its room again. And these aren't just sons, they are buffed, bronzed gods. They are castaways from Twilight movies (one of them, Xavier Samuel, is actually in a bunch of the films in the vampire franchise).
This is perfect mommy porn. Here are middle-aged women with impossibly good skin, tight tummys, and a collection of floppy hats that would make a Chico's outlet jealous (all the better to cover up Wright's hideous '90s lesbian cut). They get reamed by hard-bodied boys standing up in their perfect houses. They bask in the glow of their friendship, the love of their boys, and the love of their mates. They are a perfect unit. They have everything they could want.
Then it all goes bad. Of course it goes bad. This thing is not supposed to go well. It's two best friends f**king each others' sons who are also best friends. That is going to screw you up in the head. Not only is it that, but there is a homoeroticism that the women (who are constantly mistaken for lesbians) get to sleep with each other by sleeping with their progeny and the boys, the only two people on earth who can call each other "motherf**ker" and mean it, get to touch each other through their mothers. And then there is the idea that the women are bonding with their sons by sleeping with their surrogates. It's like a strange psychotic rhombus of romantic entanglements.
While the romantic entanglements are fun to watch (neither Samuel nor James Frecheville wear a shirt very often and we see both of their bums), we never really get quite to the bottom of them. They fail spectacularly not because of anything innate to the characters but something innate in the situation. It is meant to fail because it is never meant to happen in the first place. That is the only takeaway we get. When asked how the actors would face this situation in real life during the Q&A after the premiere, they all responded that this would not happen in real life. No, it is porn. It is not just porn in terms of what women want, but emotional porn too. Some sort of exquisite joy and pain that is too good that we don't deserve it in real life, it is only reserved for the movies.
The other odd thing about the Q&A is that director Anne Fontaine (a Frenchwoman working for the first time in English) said she didn't understand why the audience laughed so much during the movie. She did not intend it to be funny. No, the movie finds nothing funny about this odd situation and treats it with a sort of reverence and sincerity that makes many of the overwrought scenes into camp. It's a rare gem when we get something that isn't trying to be funny to get a laugh (though Fontaine says it is "ironic," but her English is as good as Wright's haircut) and that just underlies the main problem with the movie: no one ever gets over the premise. Basically this is a log line fleshed out into a 100 minute movie. Since it never bothers to deliver emotional stakes, we just get to watch people going through the motions, their most intimate moments laid out for our vicarious enjoyment and titillation. Yes, it serves the exact same purpose as porn.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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As a proud member of the Twi-hard clan, I’ve been obsessively eagerly awaiting the release of the latest movie in the Twilight saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1. So while I was re-familiarizing myself with the series and rifling through my astounding collection of vampire memorabilia in preparation for the impending film (don’t judge me), I noticed a common trend that exists among several of today’s popular vampire franchises: supernatural love triangles. Whether it’s a television show or a major motion picture, our favorite mystical storylines involve compelling love triangles that leave us all hooked and slightly uncertain of who should get the girl.
In some cases, the girl must choose between a vampire and a werewolf, while other times the rivalry is just among two competing vampires (maybe even a pair of brothers), but either way these human chicks have some big decisions to make and time is running out. So since these characters can’t have their undead cake and eat it too, I’ve decided to make the decision for them by proclaiming who I think should win each girl’s affections.
Check out my reasoning below and see if you agree with the results!
Let’s start with the love triangle that’s been dominating the globe ever since Twilight hit theaters in November 2008. Edward, Bella, and Jacob continue to form a complicated vampire-werewolf-human web that’s only going to end in heartache. Sure, Jacob is the best friend who stuck by Bella in her dark days of depression, but Edward was Bella’s first love/obsession, which automatically leaves Jacob’s chance of winning slim to none. There’s no denying the power that comes with your first love, it’s exciting and new and will forever hold a permanent place in a girl’s heart. Think back to when Edward momentarily left Bella’s life – it nearly destroyed her – there’s no way she’d willingly choose to be without him.
Granted, Jacob would be the more reasonable choice since he can give her love, family, children, and warmth, all without wanting to suck all of the blood out of her body. She wouldn’t need to change anything in her life for him and it would just be so easy. But that’s the point – love isn’t about being easy or reasonable, it’s about taking risks and making sacrifices so you can be together, which is exactly what Edward and Bella have done since they first met. I’m sorry, but as nice as Jacob’s six-pack abs are, they don’t hold a candle to Bella’s love for Edward. These two were meant to be together.
But for those of you who like your vampires snarling, naked and covered in blood (who doesn’t?), you’re probably more into the love triangle on HBO’s True Blood between telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse and vampires Bill Compton and Eric Northman. Of course this triangle quickly became a rhombus after the third season introduced us to the werewolf Alcide Herveaux, who has also become enchanted with the half-fairy girl.
This is a really tough decision, since all three of these guys look pretty amazing with their shirts off. But I’m going to have to go with bad-boy Eric Northman on this one. Almost immediately after meeting Bill, Sookie was forced to drink his blood, automatically making her attracted to him. The relationship didn’t evolve from natural feelings, which makes me seriously question the overall foundation of their supposed “love.” For all I know, he was indeed her first love (which would have immediately discredited Eric’s entitlement), but since blood was the initial trigger that started their love affair into motion, I can’t really abide by the first love rule.
Eric and Sookie, on the other hand, developed a mutual attraction for each other well before either of them drank each other’s blood. Initially she hated the guy, but angry passion gradually turned into that of a sexual nature, which fully came to fruition this past season. I know that traditionally the deemed “bad boy” is never the right guy, but Eric has softened over the years because of his affection for Sookie. He’s placed his own immortal life on the line several times in order to save hers and while saving Sookie’s life seems to be a common theme on the show, Eric is the one who has displayed the most growth from it.
As for Alcide, he’s a great guy (and very easy on the eyes), but I’ve got to stick him in the “just friends” category. There was potentially a small amount of attraction at the beginning, but they’ve now reached the friends zone whether he likes it or not. It’s a tough choice, but Eric’s the best fit for her.
And finally there’s the love triangle that exists in CW’s The Vampire Diaries between two vampire brothers and a human girl. Damon and Stefan Salvatore have pretty much been competing for Elena’s love ever since the series began, but sooner or later she’s going to have to make a decision as to who really won over her heart.
Stefan has always done everything in his power to keep Elena safe, but then again so has Damon. The deciding factor for me ended up being that despite everything that's happened throughout the series, Damon has never run out on Elena, even though (for now) she's in love with his brother. This season, Stefan rejected Elena and told her to stay away from him and move on with her life. Granted this was all done in an attempt to keep her safe, but he really broke her heart in the process, which is something Damon has never done and never would do. She's come to depend on him in ways she never did with Stefan. And let's not forget that this isn't the first time a woman has chosen Stefan over Damon (i.e. Katherine), yet Damon cares enough about her to help get Stefan back. He'd rather see her with Stefan and happy than without Stefan and miserable. Her happiness is more important than his own, which is something Elena is slowly beginning to realize.
Unlike Elena and Stefan’s quick romance, Damon and Elena have established a deep connection overtime, which gives their relationship more meaning and depth. Elena makes Damon want to be a better person and in return; she always turns to him whenever she needs help. They both need and depend on one another in an equal capacity, making their love hold a much stronger foundation than anything she shares with Stefan.
S1E7: After giving fans a week off from all the exciting plot twists, Ringer made sure to return bigger and better than ever. Tonight's episode of was all about telling the truth -- well sort of. We found out that Bridget, who’s still impersonating Siobhan, came clean with Andrew and Henry about having a twin sister shortly after Gemma’s disappearance. Of course, she neglected to mention the fact that she’s the imposter twin who has taken over her sister’s life to escape getting killed. But those are just unimportant details, right? Her little love triangle is complicated enough, although it’s quickly becoming more like a rhombus now that Malcolm is back in the picture, although he doesn’t exactly appear to be in a stable frame of mind. Last we knew, he was about to give away Bridget’s whereabouts to Macawi, but we never actually saw him do it, but just because we didn’t witness it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, which makes you wonder just whose side he’s actually on now. On a show based entirely upon secrets and lies, I’d say that another doublecross is entirely possible. We may have to add him to the list of people Bridget cannot trust. Speaking of trust, Bridget's new sponsor, Charlie, revealed his true colors tonight in a surprise twist, so the list just keeps on growing.
But her other men have their own separate problems to deal with. Even though the police found Bridget’s fingerprints on evidence related to Gemma’s disappearance, Henry is still being considered a potential suspect and is being hounded by the police and press. Andrew is also dealing with his own form of stress regarding Juliet, who seems to be quite the magnet for trouble. It looks like her latest little escapade is going to cost her a fortune…literally.
“Oh God, there’s two of them?” – Juliet
Since Bridget knows the police will be bringing everyone in for questioning after Gemma’s mysterious disappearance, she decides to come clean to both Andrew and Henry about having a twin sister. Naturally, they're both very upset that she wasn’t completely honest with them from the very beginning, but they're fine once the initial shock value wears off. And sure enough, Bridget is right and all three of them are hauled down to the station for questioning, but not before she uses her old phone to call Siobhan's phone and leave a message as Bridget. That way when Agent Machado starts questioning her, she's able to pull up the voicemail, making it sound like Bridget is responsible for Gemma’s disappearance and announcing her plans to leave the country. Despite the evidence, Agent Machado still seems a bit skeptical of the evidence, but he goes along with it for the time being.
“Whoever did this, I want my wife back.” – Henry
Up to this point, Bridget’s covered her tracks pretty well, but what she didn’t plan on was coming face to face with Malcolm. Remember poor Malcolm, who’s been drugged, beaten, and held hostage by Macawi’s men? Well he escapes from two of Macawi’s guys who are taking him to an unknown destination in a shady van. And in what seems like no time at all, he magically appears in New York City to find Bridget (someone give me the name of his travel agent). But the Bridget-Malcolm reunion isn’t exactly a sentimental one since Bridget passes out at the mere sight of him, perhaps overcome with relief that he isn’t dead. I’m still going back and forth about whether to trust him or not. This show is giving me some serious trust issues because everyone seems to be lying or double-crossing, so I’m not convinced Malcolm’s intentions are entirely pure. Let’s keep in mind that he’s now back on the drugs and users will pretty much do anything to get another fix. I really hope I’m wrong though.
But because she fainted, Bridget is immediately taken to the hospital so the doctors can check on her and the baby. The only problem is, the real Siobhan is the one that’s pregnant, not Bridget, so she tries to stop the exam from happening, but Andrew is adamant about making sure the baby is okay. I’m having a hard time seeing how Bridget’s going to lie her way out of this one.
“Call me with the next move.” - Charlie
Since she knows the police are nowhere close to finding out who’s really responsible for Gemma’s disappearance, Bridget decides to turn to her new NA sponsor, Charlie, for help. Initially I didn’t really think much of this guy, but I immediately became suspicious of him in this episode. Bridget starts confiding in him and he seems a little too calm and willing to help (sort of like this was his plan all along). She asks him to go down to the precinct and see if he could find anything out about the investigation and he agrees, which is really suspicious since he barely knows her. But when he comes up empty on any answers, she makes the mistake in telling him exactly where Henry hid Gemma’s car. So he goes to inspect it and finds blood in the backseat and….cleans it up! Yup, it was his blood. This guy is yet another person who’s guilty of the double-cross (that seems to be the main theme of this show). A flashback reveals that Charlie is the bad guy who attacked Gemma on the real Siobhan’s orders. After cleaning up the only evidence that could’ve linked him to the crime, he calls the real Siobhan and informs her that everything is being taken care of and he awaits her further instructions. Best twist yet on the show!
This episode was a catastrophe. For so many reasons. It's almost impossible to pick a spot to start the recap because so many terrible things happened and it's just stunning that not one thing is more terrible than the others. But to sum up:
“Jionni left. I get it, like I’m a lot to handle. But to fly all the way to Florence and just leave me? It’s just like… really?” – Snooki
Snooki spent next to the entire episode crying. And not just crying and trying to hide it – crying and making it known that she was crying. And she was crying everywhere! In stairwells, on couches, in her bed, with crocadilly, in the kitchen, in the shower, in the closet… legitimately everywhere in the house was covered in a lacquer of Snooki tears. She tried several times to get in touch with Jionni by calling him, but she kept going straight to voicemail, and that would mean she’d end up crying again. But then one day she got tired of feeling sorry for herself and put on some clothes and her wooly boots and marched herself down to the bar to get drunk. She even started to dance a bit and when she noticed people were looking at her, she explained that she flew her boyfriend all the way out to Italy from America and then he just left her. The patrons listened to her story intently and then watched her go back to dancing and realized that her fable of sadness was actually not a fable at all. When she got back to the house she called her father and without telling him why Jionni left, she yelled at her dad and asked him why her boyfriend would come to Italy and then depart. Her father did what all fathers who are stuck in remote locations when problems arise do, which is realize he’s not going to get any answers about what actually happened and instead, just agreed that something bad happened. Then Snooki hung up the phone and yelled at Jenni for not caring for her that morning, and Jenni was truly apologetic and admitted that she shouldn’t have given Snooki the cold shoulder for yelling and screaming at her friends when she was drunk and when they were all trying to help her. But things got particularly sad when Snooki was sitting on the patio and having a cigarette and scolding herself for acting so out of control and telling herself that she needed to straighten out her rhombus because otherwise, she was never going to get married.
“Jionni? It’s Jenny.” – Jenny
In an attempt to show how sorry she was for getting so angry at Snooki the night before, Jenni made it her mission to get Jionni on the phone and convince him to come back to the house to talk to Snooki. As she was explaining to him how miserable Snooki was without him there, Jenni started to cry and even had to resort to begging him to even talk to his girlfriend on the phone. But Jionni finally agreed to speak to the empty redbull can that used to be our beloved Snooki…and once she got on the phone with him, she begged him to come back to the house so they could work it out. But Jionni lied and said he had already taken a train to Rome so Snooki gave the phone back to Jenni and shouted that things were over between them. Jenni then continued to poke and prod Jionni and offered to pay whatever it would cost to get him back to Florence and that’s when he admitted he was just hanging out at the train station in Florence. So Jenni hung up the phone and whisked Snooki to the train station, scolding her on the way for acting like Sam and saying things like “this relationship is over” when she didn’t mean it. When Snooki finally met up with Jionni, she pleaded with him to stay in Florence but he said he couldn’t because he’d already called his family up the night before so angry and had them change his flight, and so he really did have to go. Eventually Jionni apologized for leaving his girlfriend in the cracks of Florence and making her chase after him all through the streets, and even though the couple had worked things out by the time he left, Snooki just went back to crying and impeding foot traffic.
“Every day I get dizzy. Every day.”
At the club that night Deena confided in Jenni and explained that she felt dizzy all the time and she was beginning to believe that she was pregnant. Jenni threw her hands up in the air after realizing she had become the person who loses so much weight that their new gaunt appearance conveys they care so much about other people that they’ve stopped doing things for themselves so they can have more time to help others. But Jenni did not shirk her duty to Deena, which was to escort her to a pharmacia and obtain a pregnancy test for her. Deena began to cry in the streets about how embarrassed the situation was and told Jenni that if she was pregnant, she was going to slit her wrists! So things got serious for a bit there. But thankfully it picked up again because Deena started walking in circles and telling herself the whole situation was stupid. After Jenni interrupted the pharmacist’s innocent Saturday night of reading the Italian equivalent of a Danielle Steele novel and was in possession of a pregnancy test, the two of them walked back to the house and it turned out Deena was not pregnant. Luckily! Luckily.
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“I have to accept the fact that my girlfriend was dancing like a pig in front of me?” – Jionni
The next day, Snooki called Jionni to see how his trip back to the states was. She told him she was still very sad that he left her, and that’s when he said the worst thing I have ever heard in my entire life, which was “what was I supposed to do? My girlfriend was dancing like a pig in front of me.” That’s when Snooki’s pistachio nut shells popped off by themselves. She tried to remind him that she was still so sad that he left, and he AGAIN said he was right for leaving because she embarrassed him so much! Has this guy ever read a Cosmopolitan article in his entire life that says it’s better to laugh off an embarrassing moment than it is to harp on it so hard? THERE ARE TRILLIONS OF THEM! I’ve truly never heard a man be embarrassed about such worthless things in my entire life. I’ve literally watched kids whose parents have turrets syndrome call cans of soup “dry bitches” in grocery stores be less embarrassed than Jionni.
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“The cabs are here!” – Everyone
Snooki’s conversation with Jionni ended with her telling him she was going to take a break from him for a few days. And then she got the brilliant idea that they should all turn their house into Karma (the club in Seaside they love) and just pretend like they’re in Jersey. So the girls all put on their skinned animal rugs and Pauly got his DJ equipment out and everything was exactly as it should be. But then it got bad when Mike told Snooki that he’d give her whatever he wanted if they were together, and encouraged her to consider breaking up with her boyfriend so she could be with him and his Charlie Chaplin hair. Then he told her he loved her, and she tried once again to explain that all they were ever going to be were two Frogger frogs who relish how difficult it is to avoid trucks on the highway. Then Mike went into the living room and he started describing the wonderful event that was Snooki performing oral sex on him in Los Angeles, and everyone criticized him for going into such graphic detail about his sexual history with her while still expecting to be her friend. BUT THEN, Snooki crawled into bed with Vinny and started kissing him and probably had sex with him. To Vinny’s credit, he asked Snooki if she was still with Jionni and she shook her head to indicate that she wasn't. Meanwhile, The Situation was off in his bed, unaware of the sex Snooki was having without him. But he’ll find out soon enough. Bless his heart.
Even though most women find pregnancy to be one of the greatest times in their lives there’s still one part of it that is a drag: and it's the task of finding stylish and flattering clothes when you have to account for the rhombus-looking creature you’re about to become. But maternity clothes have come a long way since the 80s, when women were just pairing oversized men’s shirts from the Gap with lots of jewelry. Today, there’s a lot more options for women -- in fact, it’s become a trend to wear formfitting clothes so onlookers can see how far along your fetus is into growing his toenails.
But one person who isn’t stressing out about finding maternity clothes is Beyoncé, who told CNN that she actually finds dressing her new figure to be enjoyable. She said, “I’m having so much fun, it has been the most fun time now that [my pregnancy] has been announced and I don’t have to, you know, it was really difficult to conceal. But now that I can be proud and excited about it, I’m having so much fun shopping. It’s great.”
B even admitted sporting clothes from her own label, House of Deréon, even though they’re not intended to be for women who are expecting. She said, “What I’m wearing today is part of the collection and it’s not supposed to be, but it actually is really good for…maternity.” She then elaborated on her fashion mindset, saying “My mother has always taught me that beauty comes from within and what’s exciting about being a woman is you can say, ‘Today… I feel really conservative, today I’m feeling classy. Today I am going on a date and I want to just be a showstopper.’ And you know there is a variety of beautiful clothes that can bring out whatever you feel inside. But it comes from here and you should wear your clothes, they shouldn’t wear you.”
One person Beyoncé hasn't started shopping for is her baby, because she apparently doesn't know its gender yet. But once she knows what she's having, I think we all know how how she'll proceed.
Click the photo below to view more pictures of Beyoncé!