Shortbus

John Cameron Mitchell is awesome. I met him once, a few years ago at Sundance. I’d like to say I was there hobnobbing with celebrities and attending red carpet premieres, but really, I was an unpaid volunteer at Tromadance, down the street. But for some reason we still got into cool events, and at one of these, I got to shake the hand of the one and only John Cameron Mitchell, and I thought, he’s kind of short, but quite good looking. He was really nice, but I didn’t talk to him much, as there was a breakfast buffet. I know what’s important in life.

Anyway, I think he’s awesome. So when I heard he’d made an explicit tribute to New York’s underground sex hotspots, I was there. And I am happy to report that Shortbus was everything I’d hoped it would be. The hardcore sex was (mostly) there to further the plot, the acting was believable, and the spirit was fun and oh-so-naughty. The celebrity cameos spiced up the mostly no-name cast, with some celebs even playing major roles as themselves (see Justin Bond, heading the titular sex community under his own name). The movie’s best performance comes from Sook-Yin Lee, as Sofia, our heroine on a hero’s journey to find her orgasm. Paul Dawson and P.J. DeBoy, as James and Jamie (respectively), share the screen time with their own sexual problems, which tend to the graver end of the emotional spectrum of the film. The film is a mishmash of sexual neuroses and fetishes, as well as a Saturday Night Fever-style portrait of alienated souls in a big city, whose only joy comes from a weekly escape into forbidden pleasures.

This is really the first film I can think of that portrayed the underground sex scene, in New York or anywhere, with such high production value, while still retaining some edge and humor. Shortbus got a lot of attention for its ‘graphic’ sex scenes, but most of the shocking scenes are contained within the first five minutes (perhaps to weed out the prudes). John Cameron Mitchell’s writing has all the rebellious swagger of John Waters, but he steers it away from the discomforting, just-for-shock-value aspects of Waters’ films, and explores the relationships on a slightly deeper level. It tends to work, and you find yourself hoping everything works out for the flawed leads.

So although I think Mr. Mitchell could work on his plot development a little (the story feels a little like a soap after a while, as the characters seem to only have one thing to talk about), this was still a nice movie, and it manages to feel satisfying even while it brings up troubling questions that it leaves largely unresolved. Visually, the film isn’t quite the eye candy buffet that Hedwig and the Angry Inch was, but it is often beautiful to look at, and shows that Mr. Mitchell is still adept at setting a mood or tone for a scene with color and light.

Mostly I’m just glad that alternative sexuality is showing its face so proudly these days. What with the recent success of Shortbus, Big Love, and The Girls Next Door, not to mention the continuing popularity of shows like The L Word, more and more people are being exposed to unusual lifestyles and forms of sexuality every day. Soon the vanilla nuclear family will be a thing of the past! Or not. But at least Middle America might become a little more tolerant. Or not. Sigh.

The Golden Globe Nominations

golden globes

As a film and television buff, and someone generally fascinated by celebrities and their fabulous lives, I usually look forward to the release of a list of nominations for a Hollywood awards show like a baseball fan might eagerly anticipate the release of a new player, uh, list.  Or something.

The Golden Globes are an exception to many rules, though, and this is no exception.  It’s a strange ceremony to say the least.  Television is combined with film in a nauseating heap of overrated talent, and after everyone’s done congratulating themselves for what is really merely adequate acting, directing or even writing (we’re up in three categories), it’s been like eight hours and nothing interesting has happened.  They’re kind of the loser awards, but occasionally this allows them to reward actors, films and especially writers that they know aren’t getting jack from the Oscars any time soon.  And sometimes that influences how the Oscar people vote.  So that’s cool.  And of course there is the fact that they split up Comedy and Drama, which would be a great move for the Oscars, but I hate that they combine musical and comedy, especially on a year like this, where Dreamgirls is up against movies I like in a bunch of categories, and everyone’s wetting themselves about Dreamgirls. And yes, a few years ago they used to have some ‘wacky’ occurrences every year (Christine Lahti missing her acceptance because she was in the bathroom, Jim Carrey sayin’ funny stuff, Jack Nicholson sayin’ funny stuff), but I don’t see what the big to-do is; it’s not a Friar’s Club roast of Hugh Hefner, it’s some light, Leno-style humor that would not feel out of place on The View.  In any case, this past wackiness was more due to the Golden Globe people’s odd habit, now more suppressed, to keep the camera rolling when the drunkies got on stage.  I’m not making this up, the Golden Globes actually are known for how drunk everyone gets at them, like the office Christmas party, or a Wednesday night at Liz and Laura’s apartment.

But all that aside, in the end the Golden Globes are still the awards show that always gets picked last for dodgeball, and here at LizandLaura.com, we’re all about the little guy.  So that said, here are my only thoughts on this year’s Golden Globe nominations.

*Brad Pitt nominated for Babel
He’s hot.

*Borat and Sacha Baron Cohen nominated
Weird.  But I think he ought to win.  Who else wrestled a large, hairy, naked man for their art?  I’d like to see Ben Affleck pull that off.  Well, actually, scratch that, I already saw Daredevil.  (Laura shudders, recalling Jennifer Garner’s terrifying man face)  Speaking of which…

*Ben Affleck?
What is the world coming to?  Doesn’t anyone remember Jersey Girl?  (Laura shudders, remembering Jersey Girl).

*I’m in love with Big Love!
It’s awesome that they got nominated, along with Bill Paxton, who really works his ass off on that show, what with all the pretending to have sex with ladies.  This show rules.  But it sucks that none of the wives got nominated.  Maybe the Golden Globe committee thinks what they’re doing is wrong.

*Weeds.  Heh heh heh.
It’s a show about weed and I haven’t seen it.  This is unfortunate.  But since I want Big Love to win, I guess I can’t vote for the pot show.  And I guess the lead pot selling chick is cool and everything, but I think she’s up against Edie Falco, and isn’t The Sopranos ending?  Yeah, I think Edie should win.  Sorry, Weeds.

*On the ‘Best Miniseries or TV Movie’ Category
Does anybody give a shit?  I mean, like one person?  I don’t think so.  They should get rid of this category and let us all go home a little early.  I say this because I will of course be at the Golden Globes.  I’m gonna win, dammit!  But anyway, when there happens to be a TV movie I actually like (see for example Spring Break Shark Attack, Locusts, and of course, Riding on the Bus With My Sister, or, as I call it, The Rosie O’Donnell Story), they don’t stand a chance against some dry drama about a queen, or somebody with autism, or an autistic queen.  Booooring.

Why I Love Perez Hilton

I’ve never been able to resist Hollywood gossip.  Whenever I went to the beauty salon or stood in line at the grocery store, there they would be, the faces of Hollywood’s latest starlet or hunky closeted homosexual, and I would think, nice outfits.  I wish I got to wear evening gowns every night, but alas, it’s a wonder I don’t show up to the dinner table in a burlap sack.

So when I noticed my coworker ‘surf’ over to perezhilton.com, I said to myself, what is this terrifying vision I see before me?  Is that a picture of Lindsay Lohan’s cooter?

And it was.

Ever since that day, I have been unable to surf away.  For one thing, they put up new material like nobody’s business.  I mean, I’m not saying we’re lazy, but this is the first article I’ve managed to pump out today, and it’s ten p.m..  Perez probably built a house today.  But besides the constant plethora of tasty gossip tidbits, Perez offers something that I’ve always found lacking in such publications as US Weekly, Star, and even the New York Post.  That something is a truly comedic perspective.  But Laura, you may be saying, what about Michael Musto (or Magical Mr. Musto-felees, as I call him)?  Of course I love him, but Perez gains my readership by combining the 24-hour coverage of News Channel New York 1 with the amusing bons mots of Frasier himself.  La Dolce Musto‘s weekly can’t help me when I’m jonesing for an up-to-the-second update on some life-or-death situation, like Neil Patrick Harris’ extended coming-out drama, or that time Lindsay Lohan called Paris Hilton a cunt.

Plus, Perez is always making fun of people that need to be made fun of, like Sienna Miller and all those many horsefaced actresses out there, i.e. Julia “Salt Lick” Roberts.  It is always gratifying to see that someone else noticed that so-and-so is a whore, or a cokehead, or a cokewhore.  I have to say, however, the crotch shots are pretty enticing.  You know deep in your heart that you really don’t want to see Britney Spears’ floppy bologna curtains, but there the link is, staring you in the face.  You can’t say no!  I’d like to see you try!

In conclusion, if you like making fun of slutty celebrities, or if you like looking at free pictures of famous genitals, this is the website for you.  I give it four stars (if you want the extra star, Perez, start showing more famous schlongs).

A Moral Lesson From Our Beloved Friends, Goofus and Gallant

We all remember the delightful antics of young Goofus and Gallant, as documented in the children’s magazine “Highlights for Children.” Well, here’s a look at them a few years down the line.

Gallant comes home, kisses his wife, and asks her how her day was.

Goofus comes home, smacks his wife, and says, “Bitch, where’s my bourbon?”

Gallant delights his houseguests with a rendition of his favorite piano piece, Rachmaninov’s Prelude in G minor.

Goofus beats himself senseless with a banjo.

Gallant’s wife goes to the local co-op to select healthful, organic food items for her family.

Goofus’ common-law wife goes dumpster-diving behind the Red Lobster.

Gallant married his high-school sweetheart, Susan.

Goofus bedded his first cousin, Latrina.

Gallant takes his family to the Philharmonic for a fine evening of cultural edification.

Goofus steals cable so that his family can watch Smackdown.

Gallant paints the neighbor’s fence as a friendly gesture.

Goofus sniffs paint thinner.

Gallant composes a sonnet.

Goofus writes his name in the snow.

Gallant gives expert testimony on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

Goofus doesn’t know who the president is.

Gallant’s son applies to Harvard.

Goofus’ daughter applies at Hooters.

Gallant spends quality time with his kids.

Goofus spends parole time with his kids.

Gallant rides the jitney to his summer home in Easthampton.

Goofus hitchhikes to Hoboken to squat in an abandoned Arby’s off the highway.

Oft in the evening, Gallant goes to an upscale lounge to converse with fellow members of his badminton club.

Goofus goes to the Pussycat Lounge, gets a five-dollar handjob, and passes out in a pool of his own vomit.

Gallant watches “100 Years of Broadway” on PBS and strongly considers pledging that extra fifty dollars to obtain the “Brigadoon” day planner.

Goofus jerks off to “She Spies.”

Gallant wears fine Italian suits to the office.

Goofus doesn’t own shoes.

Gallant has a trust fund set up to ensure that his children may have the opportunity to attend the college of their choice.

Goofus trades his children’s share of the food stamps for another handjob.

Gallant has a glass of Tawny Port after supper.

Goofus robs a liquor store.

Gallant volunteers at the homeless shelter.

Goofus eats at the homeless shelter.

Gallant is strongly opposed to animal cruelty.

Goofus almost graduated from taxidermy school.

Gallant’s family attends church and/or temple every weekend.

Goofus rapes nuns.

*Disclaimer: This article should in no way be confused with the actual “Goofus and Gallant,” who are fine upstanding magazine characters, with a lot of money and lawyers behind them.  Special thanks to the UHS gang.