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Archive for December, 2009

A few years ago, kind of by accident, I got in the habit of watching really crappy Christmas movies on the Women’s Network here in Canada. I saw it as a test of will – how awful would things have to get before I turned it off. So I’ve watched a lot of horrible flicks. I’ve suffered through movies about stolen babies (featuring Michael Cera!). I’ve suffered through movies about rental families and kindly Mexican angels. I’ve even suffered through movies where cold career women discover their lives would be so much better as Stay at Home Moms. But nothing quite prepared me for the awfulness that was Home by Christmas, a particularly horrible movie featuring Linda Hamilton of Terminator fame.

Modern Day Linda Hamilton - She Will Haunt Your Dreams.

Anyway, the movie starts off with Linda Hamilton (whose character’s name is Julie but I will never call her that) packing up boxes with some of her high society friends to donate clothing to a homeless shelter (dramatic foreshadowing anyone?). One of Linda’s society friends is giving away a red dress that they all covet and Linda Hamilton jokes about how she’d steal it from the homeless people if only she was two sizes smaller. Blah-de-blah-de-blah boring housewife talk.

Later that evening, Linda Hamilton’s dick husband leaves his coat on a chair and walks off. Linda Hamilton, of course being a saintly housewife, goes to hang up the coat when a note falls out of it’s sleeve (seriously, that is like the only place it could have fallen from because the coat didn’t have pockets) which turns out to be a love note from the husband’s 27-year-old-mistress. Linda Hamilton confronts jerky husband about it at his office (loudly with the door open) and he announces he’s leaving her.

Never one to give up her eternal housewife pluck, when Linda Hamilton meets with her divorce lawyer, she says she needs virtually no money in the divorce settlement (she settles for $25,000 even though he’s like a millionaire) because she just wants to get the divorce over with for her sake and the sake of her Stupid Daughter. She’ll get a job and be just fine! (Woohoo! She’s going to make it after all! Sisters doing it for themselves! Etc.)

So Linda Hamilton leaves the divorce lawyer’s and goes to this coffee/furniture shop where she befriends this Kindly Old Man who serves her coffee. Across the way, she sees a Stylish and Sassy Black Lady, who smiles at her but she doesn’t really speak to her because she’s too hoity toity or something. Instead, Linda Hamilton dramatically circles ads in the newspaper for apartments. For some reason, she circles a bunch of ads for Studios, even though her Stupid Daughter is coming to live with her. I guess the prop person realized how lame the movie they were working on was and just did the bare minimum.

During this apartment-hunting time, she goes out with one of her society friends who runs a design business. She commiserates with Linda Hamilton’s plight (being a working mother), but then when Linda Hamilton asks for a job, Society friend totally shuts her down and then stiffs her on the cheque for their meal. Burn, Linda Hamilton!

Bored and not sure what to do, she goes back to the coffee shop, where she and the Kindly Old Man appear to be the only ones present. They talk a bit about his business and whatnot, and out of the kindness of her heart, offers to spruce up the place for him so he can get more customers. Apparently, finding a job is not all that pressing and she can just do a bunch of stuff for free. I thank my lucky stars she is not my financial planner.

A Handsome Silver Fox Guy shows up while they’re renovating and does that whole “Aren’t I handsome and charming?” thing that men in movies do, but Linda Hamilton is having none of it and basically shames him into going away. In this moment, I think I might actually like her, but sadly, she heads right back to sucking before I know it. *sigh* Anyway, Linda Hamilton somehow manages to secure a ONE bedroom apartment and so her Stupid Daughter comes to live there with her. Stupid Daughter is pissed off. Now, not only are her parents getting divorced, but she has to live in an Ikea showroom apartment and she has to suddenly change from her prepster high school to one with kids with dyed hair and boomboxes! (Hair Dying and Boomboxes – Cliché signs of toughness since 1983!)

This whole plan lasts about five seconds before Stupid Daughter decides she’d much rather live with Dad, a revelation she makes during a surprise meeting at her old school with her old principal, her dad and Dad’s 27-year -old chippy. This meeting is a surprise to Linda Hamilton, because apparently, Stupid Daughter called her at work (she somehow landed employment at like a Photomart/Sears Portrait Studio) and lured her to the school claiming there was some kind of medical emergency. Being a whiny bitch is a medical emergency now? If that’s true, I know sooo many people who would constantly be in the emergency room.

Anyway, so Stupid Daughter is off with the Dad and then heads off to Spain for a semester. After she leaves, Linda Hamilton is left to stew in her own juices at the Photomart/Portrait Studio, but she doesn’t get to stew for long since, suddenly from out of nowhere, she is attacked by a random thug. For a moment, she fights him off with incredibly bad dubbing, but he is bigger than her so he knocks her down and steals her purse which contains all of her Christmas money! Man, Sarah Conner wouldn’t have put up with that $h!t! You kind of suck now, Linda Hamilton!

Because she is incredibly fragile now, compared to her Terminator days, Linda Hamilton is completely knocked out by the one shove and ends up in the hospital, admitted as a Jane Doe. After a day or so, she comes to and her purse is returned, so she has to go to see the hospital administrator about settling up her bill. The administrator is played by the same woman who played Dolores Herbig from Dead Like Me and although she starts off all nice and sweet, before you know it, she’s demanding Linda Hamilton pay the hospital $6,000 for her stay. See, this is where it would have done Linda Hamilton some good to claim that she had a sickly cat at home named Murray. That might have earned her some Brownie points right there.

After she gets discharged, she goes home to her apartment, only to discover that she is evicted because her rent cheque bounced. Apparently she banks at the dumbest bank in the world because they closed her account and turned all of her money over to the thug that attacked her because he had two forms of ID. Considering all the hoops I had to jump through to close my bank account and considering that the person closing Linda Hamilton’s account was A MAN, I am not quite sure that this was realistic, but whatever. Linda Hamilton is looking pretty gaunt these days, so perhaps there was some confusion. Anyway, Linda Hamilton tries to argue with Grizzled Landlord Stereotype, but no dice. She goes to sleep in her car.

The next morning, she walks up the street to an open house and attempts to steal a bunch of sandwiches from the welcoming platter. While she’s there, the Stylish and Sassy Black Lady from the coffee shop approaches her and calls her out on sleeping in her Corolla. Before Linda Hamilton can even explain, SS Black Lady jumps right up and volunteers that she too lives in her car (Vagrant Sistas 4 Eva!) and that the clothing she is wearing is from the shelter Linda Hamilton and her friends were donating to at the beginning of the movie. Shocker!

Anyway, seeing that Linda Hamilton is new to this whole homeless person game, SS Black Lady teaches her the ropes, which apparently involve eating samples at open houses and malls, getting your haircut during Stylish Homeless Person day at a local salon and partaking in a Homeless Person Workout which involves running up and down the stairs of an office building. I have three issues with this strategy:

1) Since there appear to be security cameras in said stairwell, wouldn’t you get busted by security for doing this?

2) Are six pack abs really a great concern for homeless people?

3) If your diet is primarily little sandwiches from open houses or little Swedish meatball samples from the grocery store, do you really want to go around burning away the few precious calories you ingest each day?

I know this movie kind of defies logic but UGH!

During one of their visits to the same open house (because apparently it’s not too conspicuous to show up at the same open house every week to steal sandwiches), Linda Hamilton and SS Black Lady are chatting with the realtor. Apparently the most forth coming realtor ever, Realtor Lady admits that no one wants to buy the house and that she’s sick of wasting her Sundays sitting in the empty house (The family who is selling it has moved overseas FYI) when she could be out at her son’s soccer games (Kids play soccer in December? Really?). SS Black Lady, seeing an opportunity, completely lies and volunteers Linda Hamilton to housesit during this time as they supposedly run a company together called Home Sweet Home which specializes in this kind of thing (Sitting in houses by themselves? Doing the jobs of lazy people for them? I don’t know!). Even though this would seem incredibly suspicious to anyone with half a brain, Realtor Lady is happy to have such luck and, without asking any additional questions, gives them the lockbox combination and flounces off. I kind of hope the house burns down while she’s gone. It would totally serve her right for being such a dumb ass.

Anyway, since we haven’t seen him in a while, Linda Hamilton pops back over to Kindly Old Man’s place where she discovers that Handsome Silver Fox Guy, who came around before while she was there, is actually Kindly Old Man’s son and has apparently been jonesing for a date with Linda Hamilton ever since.

Linda Hamilton, never one to let her homelessness get in the way of a good time, agrees to go out with him for dinner . . . but not before she stops by the Shelter and STEALS the red dress. It fits her now because of her crazy homeless work out. Woohoo!

So, decked out in her stolen dress and with her glamorous bouffanty hair do from Stylish Homeless Person Day at the salon, off she goes to dinner with Silver Fox Guy and he flirts with her in a way that was probably designed by the writers to be romantic, but actually makes me nauseated to listen to since he seems really enamored with the sound of his own voice and is already planning a bunch of dates for them. Yuck! I guess thinking this is the best a girl who lives in her car can do, or perhaps seeing him as access to a hot shower and indoor heating, Linda Hamilton is charmed by his behaviour and tells him a heartwarming story about her heart shaped gold locket (which she NEVER TAKES OFF!), before bringing him to a charity ball she helped organize B.C. (Before Corolla).

Showing up with Silver Fox Guy, who is a doctor, and rocking her stolen dress, she shows up all her friends and makes her husband look wistfully after her when she dances. Being homeless apparently makes you more desirable! Eat your heart out you 27-year-old housed chippy!

Anyway, he brings her “home” and totally slips her the tongue during their good night kiss, but after he leaves, she climbs into the car and tears up his business card because he can never know her SECRET SHAME! *sniffle*

The next day, Linda Hamilton goes to check the PO box that she rents with S.S. Black Lady and discovers that Stupid Daughter felt so bad about the way she left things that she’s coming home from Spain to spend Christmas with her mother (even though she just left at American Thanksgiving, because plane tickets are cheap like that). Don’t worry, Linda, if it’s a hatchback you can just put the backseat down and they’ll be plenty of room!

Linda Hamilton starts to panic, but discovers, thanks to Realtor Lady, that the house won’t be shown during Christmas so, quick thinker that she is, Linda Hamilton decides to basically squat in the house over Christmas. You know, as you do.

But before Linda Hamilton can have her Stupid Daughter there, she needs furniture, so off she goes to Kindly Old Man’s coffee house/furniture store and he gives her a bunch of free furniture to rent for “(her) new house” until the real furniture arrives. Kindly Old Man makes mention of his Silver Fox son being completely heartbroken she never called. Linda Hamilton smiles to conceal her SECRET SHAME, but says nothing. If I were Linda Hamilton, I would have told him to get his son to back off. Just because they went on one date doesn’t mean she’s indebted to you forever, Creepy.

Next stop after the furniture store is the pawn shop where Linda Hamilton pawns the gold heart locket that she NEVER TAKES OFF. She looks torn for a moment, or at least as torn as Linda Hamilton can muster through her botox, but, saint that she is, she can’t have her Stupid Daughter come home to no Christmas presents. At the Mall, she catches Santa’s eye during one of his kid photo sessions and mouths “I believe in you.” Instead of finding this certifiable, Santa laughs and winks back. Ugh.

After her Santa Shenanigans, Linda Hamilton returns to her squat house and sees the truck pull up with the fake furniture. She gets all excited and goes down to thank Kindly Old Man, but it turns out that Silver Fox, who apparently didn’t have to be doctoring anywhere that afternoon, is the one who has come to drop off her stuff. Stalker, much? Silver Fox almost immediate starts bugging her about why things never worked out with them after that one date they had, and apparently, the interrogation is too much for Linda Hamilton and she breaks down, finally revealing her SECRET SHAME to him (live in a car, no job, squatting in the house, daughter coming to visit, pawned locket etc.) She bids him a dramatic adieu and heads off to the airport to pick up her daughter because apparently she doesn’t need to lock the door or supervise the movers or anything.

However in the next scene, I guess it’s good she didn’t look the door because when she returns to the squat house, it is all dolled up for Christmas! It’s a Christmas Miracle y’all! (Or Silver Fox Guy trying to get into Linda Hamilton’s pants – you decide).

Anyway, Stupid Daughter and Linda Hamilton are having a glorious Christmas feast when another realtor shows up to show the house. She leads a cliché family (clean cut husband/pregnant wife) into the house and, when she sees the house’s interior, asks to speak to Linda Hamilton alone. However, just when you think Linda Hamilton is about to get her comeuppance for stealing and breaking and entering, it turns out that the couple love the house and want to buy it AND not only that, the Real Estate Company wants to hire Linda Hamilton to stage all of their houses. Hooray!

Linda Hamilton and Stupid Daughter are so excited by this that they open presents and have the best Christmas ever. Until Stupid Daughter ditches Linda Hamilton to go hang out with her friends. But even then, Linda Hamilton can’t be that annoyed because she discovers that Silver Fox Guy went to the pawn shop and bought back her necklace for her. (Wouldn’t he need the pawn ticket to do that considering she just sold it to the pawn shop yesterday?) Delighted that her stupid necklace has been returned to her, she goes to a pay phone to call Silver Fox Guy (even though she tore up the card he gave her) and discovers that he is in the hospital with Kindly Old Man. Oh no! But of course, since there are only five minutes left in the movie, this is a complete fake out and he is perfectly fine. Not only that, but all that hospital drama about Linda Hamilton needing to pay her bill seems to have been completely forgotten, so we jump ahead to the next year where we see that Linda Hamilton and Silver Fox Guy are together and that she and SS Black Lady have actually started up that Home Sweet Home business they lied about previously.

I have to admit, this ending kind of bummed me out since I was really hoping that they’d join together to organize some sort of Homeless Jazzercize program. Well a girl can dream, can’t she?

Anyway, I hope you got as big a kick out of/are as traumatized by this story as I was. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a much better holiday than the one featured in this movie!

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Long time, no type!

San Francisco was amazing and we had a fantastic time sight-seeing and eating and relaxing. Unfortunately, since we got back from the vacation, it has been a nonstop workfest for both me and Boy so many things have fallen by the wayside, including my blog. Most days, by the time I get home, I just want to sit and veg in front of the TV . . . which is kind of how Boy and I came up with the Park Holiday Fest. We rounded up all the Christmas themed movies or TV show episodes we have in our house and so, for the past several days, we’ve been ploughing through about an hour and a half of holiday themed programming a night.

Anyway, when I posted about it on my Twitter, someone asked me to post what we’ve watched here on the blog, so without further ado, our holiday episodes:

Scrooged: Remember when Bill Murray made movies in which he was funny and didn’t take himself too seriously? It was a mighty long time ago I know, but this was one of my favourites growing up. I particularly liked Carol Kane and her wackiness, even though she sent Bill Murray to the hospital after ripping his lip open. Ouch.

In Living Colour  – “Episode 12 (Christmas Album/ Homey Claus)”: I actually didn’t really watch In Living Colour growing up since we didn’t have cable, but Boy did so I bought him the first couple of seasons on DVD during our second Christmas together. It is a weird ’90s time capsule of neon clothing, hiphop dancing and Jim Carrey, who was the lone white boy on the urban comedy show.

The Office S2  – “Christmas Party”: This episode was the first episode of The Office I ever saw and it made me fall in love with Jim and Pam. How badly did I want them to get together and how sad was it when he slid the card back into his pocket? Foiled for another season!

The Office S3 – “A Benihana Christmas”: Season 3 of the show was a hard one because, in spite of everyone wanting Jim and Pam to get together, you could see how Karen was actually a good dating option. She and Jim exchanging the same bad movie was definitely something I could see Boy and I doing.

Invader Zim  –  The Most Horrible Christmas Ever: Invader Zim is a little more of an obscure show but it’s still pretty funny. It’s about a little green alien with a moronic robot sidekick who is sent to Earth to take over the planet . . . except he really isn’t any good at his job. The song sung by the little green aliens minions stayed stuck in my head for days. “Bow down! Bow down! To the power of Santa! Or be crushed! Be crushed! By . . . his jolly boots of doom!”

The Big Bang Theory S2 – The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis: There are two groups of people in the world – people who get this show and people who don’t. We do and this episode in particular cracks us up. “Do you know what this means?! With a healthy ovum, I could grow my own Leonard Nimoy!!”

Family Guy S3 –  A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas: Original run Family Guy at its finest. Lois gets tranqed! The Griffins learn the meaning of Christmas! Stewie gets plutonium!

Degrassi Junior High – Season’s Greetings: This is kind of amazing in that it features the worst jump cut I have ever seen when the character of Yick enters the cafeteria twice in a period of thirty seconds. Aside from that, it is kind of a lame duck of an episode since it is mostly a clip laden retrospective that is meant to make Arthur and Yick’s friendship look meaninful, but instead makes it look kind of creepy. What kind of teenage boys have friendships that revolve around stealing, lying, and watching porn together?

Futurama S2  – XMas Story: This is the first Futurama Christmas episode. I love it because it introduces us to the Killer Robot Santa Claus and Tinny Tim and re-enforces Zoidberg’s lameness (while the malfunctioning Santa deems everyone naughty, apparently Zoidberg is okay and worthy of a pogo stick.)

Futurama S3  – A Tale of Two Santas: The second Futurama Christmas episode. I particularly love the “I Am Sparticus” inspired “I Am Santa Claus” scene where everyone shows up to Bender’s execution dressed as Santa, except for Zoidberg who comes as Jesus. Oh Zoidberg . . .

Clone High – Snowflake Day: This Clone High episode is so amazing, Boy and I threw a party themed around it last year. Lamb tacos and Snowflake Day care satchels for everyone!

Frasier S1  – A Miracle on Third or Fourth Street: Fraiser hosts a radio show and  takes some of the most depressing calls ever, but is then taught the meaning of Christmas by some random homeless dudes in a diner. Would anyone learn lessons at Christmas time without the homeless? I think not.

Frasier S3  –  Frasier Grinch: Fraiser discovers the mail order presents he got for his son were misdelivered and has to go to the mall to buy new ones. Oh the mall – the indignity! (To be fair, I have worked in a mall during the holidays and it is awful. Boy and I often joke that, like being forced to join the army in Israel, every person should have to work retail for at least one Christmas so they can know how horrible it is and then perhaps be nicer to salesclerks.)

Scrubs S1  –  My Own Personal Jesus:  I really love the early seasons of this show before they let it go on way too long and before Zach Braff creeped me out with his skeeziness. In this episode, he still manages to be fresh faced and endearing as he bangs a patient out of a coma Fonzie style.

Square Pegs  –  A Child’s Christmas in Weemawee (Parts 1 & 2): Square Pegs was an awful show Sarah Jessica Parker starred in in the 1980s. It revolved around her and her best friend starting high school, trying desperately to make the cool kids like them and failing miserable. We think it was supposed to be a comedy but it feels more like some sort of weird televised sociological experiment in that the jokes are not funny, the canned laughter seems wildly unsure of itself and the audio appears to be operated by a drunk and/or narcoleptic. Apparently a random shot of a window equals uproarious laughter. Anyway, to get through it next year, we’ve decided that we will take a shot every time they wear awful ’80s outfits or say the phrase “frozen eel chunks,” since we are pretty sure that we will be stinking drunk about five minutes in which should make the remaining 55 a lot more bearable.

The OC S1  –  Chrismukkah: The Cohens celebrate their mega holiday with Ryan for the first time. I know the rest of the seasons of this show were kind of a mess, but this first year still brings joy to my heart. It’s a Christmukkah miracle!

Veronica Mars S1 –  An Echolls Family Christmas: Yet another show that had an amazing first year. Some might say it’s not particularly Christmasy in that it features gambling and stalking and ends with a stabbing, but I say it features dudes wearing holiday boxers and snappy dialogue so it’s awesome.

Veronica Mars S2  – One Angry Veronica: Veronica does jury duty in this rip off of 12 Angry Men. There is only a minor holiday scene in this one where they eat Cornish Game Hen instead of turkey, so it’s getting cut next year.

My So-Called Life  –  So-Called Angels: Angela Chase learns the true meaning of Christmas from Juliana Hatfield who plays a homeless girl who is really an angel. The ending was a tiny bit lame but every time Angela’s mom finds poor beaten up Ricky in the church, I cry. (On a side note, never play a drinking game where you take a shot every time you see someone on MSCL wearing plaid. You will be dead within the first 10 minutes.)

The House of Eliott  –  Part 5: This show about 1920s sisters doing it for themselves and opening a fashion house is cute, but this episode was only Christmasy for maybe 5 minutes and instead focused mostly on soap opera like drama. Off the list for next year.

Grey’s Anatomy S2 – Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer: I used to love Grey’s Anatomy before all of the ridiculous ghost sex. “Because IT’S WHAT JESUS WOULD FREAKING DO!”

Gilmore Girls S1 – Forgiveness and Stuff: I miss watching Gilmore Girls on Wednesday nights. I know it was ridiculously twee, but it was sort of a homey little show. I miss you, first season Rory and Lorelai!

Gilmore Girls S7    Merry Fisticuffs: Watching this episode, we came to see the only really Christmas-y thing about it was when Luke and Stupid Christopher (yes that is what I call him) get in a fight in the middle of Stars Hollow’s Christmas diorama. While I enjoy this, it doesn’t really work with the other episodes, so it’s cut for next year.

Gilmore Girls S7    Santa’s Secret Stuff: Lorelai agrees to write a character reference for Luke who is fighting for custody of his daughter and spends practically the entire episode keeping this information from (Insecure and) Stupid Christopher. This relationship annoyed me so much, it is really hard for me to watch the last season episodes, save for the finale with the big tent and the Mighty Lemon Drops song.

Extras  – The Extras Special Series Finale: When Ricky Gervais is good, he is really good. This finale is an example of his awesomeness, not only for the Clive Owen stuff (NSFW), but for Andy finally sucking it up and admitting how important Maggie is to him. Makes me happy every time.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas – This is my favourite Christmas special of all time. I have watched it every year since I was a kid and I never stop being entertained by it. So fantastic! 

The Muppet Christmas Carol  – This is Boy’s favourite Christmas special and it has grown on me considerable. It was the last one we watched before we opened our presents to each other last night. Paul Williams might be a weird trollish looking man, but if you manage to get through this entire song without smiling, you are dead inside.

There is one other Christmas thing we watched, but it was so awful, it deserves it’s own post which will be going up later this afternoon.

What about you, kind readers? Is there anything you watch to get in the Christmas spirit? Let me know and maybe we can add it to our schedule for next year!

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Time For A Break

The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy. I’ve been dealing with Christmas shopping, a metric tonne of work at my job and today, I had what was probably the worst interview of my entire life.

But you know what? None of that matters because this time tomorrow I am going to be . . .

ON A BOAT!

IN SAN FRANCISCO!

Boy’s video game finally launched so, as a special treat, we get to go to San Francisco to celebrate with his team! How freaking awesome is that?!

I’ll write up a full report when I get back, but in the meantime, just picture me lounging in the sun wearing a nautical themed pashmina afghan.

Yeah, that’s right. Represent!*

*I don’t know if people still say “represent!” but I am an uncool white chick, so I’m going to pretend that’s still relevant.

** If for some reason, you haven’t actually heard the song “I’m On A Boat” by The Lonely Island, you have to listen to it here. It is not safe for work, but it cracks me up every time.

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