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The 10 Most Romantic “Monster” Movies

October 8, 2014

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It’s Halloween time, when every network piles on the scary movies. We’re not ones for blood and gore, but give us a good love story, and we’ll happily take a fright or two. Not that these ten flicks are all that frightening, or blood-curdling, or horrifying — they’re mostly pretty tame compared to the usual October fare. (The scariest thing about this list is the prevalence of bad 80s hairdos and synth pop throughout.) No, these 10 films probably won’t turn your blood cold; instead, they’ll warm your heart. By the way, as a matter of principal, we left off the Twilight trilogy completely — not only did we use romance as a criteria, we used quality, too. Warning: spoilers ahead!

1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

A lot of people like to claim that Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 rendition of the 19th century novel is the truest to the book, despite the fact the entire love story between Dracula and Mina — the central element of the movie — was nowhere in Stoker’s manuscript! (And there certainly wasn’t any half-man half-beast date rape in the novel, either.) But that doesn’t make the flick any less romantic: A guy who forsakes God, becomes a vampire, and waits 400 plus years just to be with you again? That’s not scary, that’s sweet. (What’s scary are Keanu Reeves’ and Winona Ryder’s horrendous British accents.)

 

2. The Corpse Bride

Tim Burton’s 2005 stop-motion animated fantasy details the Victorian era love triangle between a shy woman (Emily Watson), her awkward fiance whom she’s just met (Johnny Depp), and the ghost who wants to marry him herself (Helena Bonham Carter). Having been killed on her wedding day, ghost Emily is eternally always a bridesmaid, never a bride — but when she finally gets the chance to tie the knot, she realizes that when you love someone you have to set them free. Awwwwwww! Honorable mention goes to Burton’s Nightmare before Christmas for the love story between Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, and animated rag doll Sally — their duet in the final scene is one of the sweetest love songs ever:

 

3. The Fly

Probably the grossest of the films in our list, 1986′s The Fly, directed by David Cronenberg (of course), stars Jeff Goldblum as the mad scientist working on teleportation and Geena Davis as the reporter who falls for him. (That the two were falling in love in real life during the filming only adds to their on-screen chemistry.) Not only is The Fly about a guy with a god complex slowly becoming a disgusting fly-man hybrid after a sci experiment gone wrong, it’s also about the dangers or jealousy, the inherent right of women to have autonomy over their own bodies, and the tragedy of loving someone who’s really, really wrong for you.

 

4. Ghost

The Dirty Dancing of ghost stories, this 1990 film is most famous for the threeway scene between Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopie Goldberg. Just kidding, it’s most famous for increasing cultural interest in pottery classes and making super short hair on girls cool for the first time since Rosemary’s Baby. Despite the cheesy demon shadows and heavenly silhouettes, there really are some nice moments exploring the depths of love and loss.

 

5. Near Dark

Before Kathryn Bigelow won a Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, she made this 1987 Western/biker movie, which Time Magazine called “the all-time teenage vampire love story.” It’s a blood-soaked star-crossed lovers story, you see, except with a happy ending: Mae, a vampire, and her victim Caleb, must escape the violent clutches of her disapproving, bloodsucking family in order to walk off into the sunrise together.

 

6. Warm Bodies

This is another Romeo and Juliet remake (the main characters are “Julie” and “R”) complete with balcony scene and a Hollywood happy ending. It’s about the transformative power of romantic love — so transformative in fact that it can turn zombies human again. If only it could make your partner’s irksome bad habits disappear, too. (Btw, is it wrong to think main dead guy Nicholas Hoult is hotter with his zombie makeup on?)

 

7. Only Lovers Left Alive

Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, this 2013 vampire film captures the banality of long-term relationships (Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston’s marriage is centuries old), without giving up on the romance of true love. Or the potential for continued eroticism. This pasty yet sexy, depressed yet funny couple make marriage so cool. The kickass soundtrack doesn’t hurt, either.

 

8. Bride of Frankenstein

Poor Monster. So alone in world, so alienated. He just want love. Just want understanding. A friend, a mate, a bride. But when Dr. Frankenstein creates one for his monster, complete with awesome hair and wicked goth makeup, she’s just not ready to settle down. “She hate me. Like others.” Heartbroken, Boris Karloff and his neck bolts decide that if he can’t have her, no one else will — indeed, no one else should. “We belong dead.”

 

9. King Kong

Not one, but three versions of this story (1933, 1976, 2005) have accomplished the miraculous feat of making bestiality seem kinda sweet. After all, King Kong is a star-crossed — there’s that word again — love story about a giant gorilla with the hots for a normal-sized human. Like Frankenstein’s monster, he’s a misunderstood softie who just wants a little companionship, someone to bathe in waterfalls and climb up phallic symbols with. Is that so much to ask? Since none of the three versions ever attempted a happy ending, with Kong and his gal picking out china patterns together, we guess it is too much to ask.

 

10. A Chinese Ghost Story

Isn’t it always the way: you find someone you really click with and it turns out they’re a ghost beholden to an evil hermaphroditic tree spirit and betrothed to a demon warlord? But hey, if it’s true love, you may just have a fighting chance.

 

What movies did we miss? Remember, we were looking for romantic monster movies, not sexy scary movies — stay tuned for that list from us next week!

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Film: How to Lose Your Virginity

September 10, 2014

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“How To Lose Your Virginity” Trailer from Trixie Films on Vimeo.

Two years ago, we asked you to give some Kickstarter lovin’ to the fledgling documentary,¬†”How to Lose Your Virginity”, being made by¬†Theresa Shecter and the gals at Trixie Films. You must have come through, because it’s now a full-length doc, all growed up! The film aims¬†”to undo centuries of myths and contradictions around¬†virginity, and to encourage an honest conversation with people¬†navigating the confusing process of deciding when and why to become¬†sexual.” Its subjects include a rock violinist, an Ivy¬†League blogger, an Ohio engineer, a porn¬†producer — all subverting the virginity narrative. The¬†trailer¬†is compelling, with interviewees including former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders and author of “The Purity Myth” Jessica Valenti. The world needs virginity taken off its pedestal,¬†as we’ve argued in the past, and this could be just the film to do it. So check out the website, watch the film online or buy the DVD, and read the V-card Diaries. If you’re in NYC this Friday, there’s a free screening of the film at 6pm at Hostos Community College presented by Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

 


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Dads Suffer Too: Helping Bereaved Fathers Cope with Loss

June 12, 2014

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The following is a guest post by Tara Shafer, Psychology Today blogger and founder of¬†ReconceivingLoss.com, a site dedicated to helping parents cope with pregnancy and infant loss, especially through story sharing. She’s teamed up with the filmmakers of “Return to Zero“¬†(which has been getting Emmy buzz lately, especially for Minnie Driver’s performance) to create a digital archive of submitted stories, essays, poems and other artistic expressions about this type of loss. In honor of Father’s Day, Shafer writes about the new roles of fathers in today’s society, and how that sense of egalitarianism should extend to men during times of grief, as well.

Father’s Day & Baby Loss

by Tara Shafer

The German poet Friedrich Ruckert once wrote: ‚ÄúO you, refuge of your father/light of joy/extinguished all too soon‚ÄĚ in reference to the death of his child. Following the stillbirth of our son in 2005, my husband and I wandered around in deep states of¬†grief¬†unable (or unwilling) to fully discuss what had happened when our baby died. In a certain way, there was no more perfect mirror of the despair I felt then than Gavin, and I think he probably felt similarly; it may have caused us to avoid one another. I am not sure. We have never really discussed it.

Some very close and dear friends somehow managed to endure us during those early dark days and invited us to dinner regularly. One night, in the car on the way home from their house I turned to Gavin and asked how he could¬†eat¬†anything. I probably said this accusingly more than I meant to. I like to think I wasn‚Äôt that angry then, but maybe I was. Gavin looked over and said, in an unbearably sad way, ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know. I just eat until I am kind of full and then I stop.‚Ä̬† He looked bereft to me. I turned my face away and looked out into the barren winter moon-swept night and focused on the backlit clouds hanging on that moon.

With Father’s Day upon us, it is time to speak to the unacknowledged grief of men who suffer baby loss.

If women feel alone in grief following the loss of a¬†pregnancy¬†or infant, the solitude of the father is both palpable and largely unacknowledged.¬† “Helping Men with the¬†Trauma¬†of Miscarriage,” published inPsychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training¬†in 2010, Mark Kiselica, Ph.D, and Martha Rinehart, PhD examined the issue of men following baby loss and concluded that the fathers’ grief was often dismissed by others. In ‚ÄúPsychological Impact of Stillbirth on Fathers in the Subsequent Pregnancy and Puerperium,‚ÄĚ researchers found that following a stillbirth, men had elevated rates of anxiety and were at heightened risk for¬†PTSD, in much the same way as their female counterparts.¬† Many fathers report wishing that they had had more and better access to care.

Speaking in broad generalities, there are a number of factors that may influence how men seek support in grief and which conspire against them. In a medical setting, for example, the health care is administered to the woman, reinforcing the outmoded notion that men are necessarily peripheral to pregnancy. Instead they are relegated to the distancing effect of phones, forced to make arrangements, and ‚Äúbe supportive.‚ÄĚ

But wait. Men are now expected to be far more involved in the day-to-day of childrearing. The expectation that Dad will be absent from the delivery room, opting instead to hand out cigars in the waiting room like Don Draper, now seems patently ridiculous.  The role of fathers has shifted over time. This raises the question: why not allow men emotional space in pregnancy, as well as companion grief in loss?  While there is no one way to experience loss, and the spectrum of grief is complex, these men would do well to receive support as they navigate and define their ownexperience.  It is a mistake to paint the masculine experience of loss with one broad stroke.  This costs more than we know.

The assumption that men are peripheral to pregnancy may unravel rapidly, especially in situations of loss. We have all heard it said that a woman becomes a mother when she discovers she is pregnant and a man becomes a father when he holds his baby.  I am not convinced that either one of these sayings is really all that true, but if it is said enough times one grows complacent and believes some version of this.

Until.  In an instant everything is gone.

Writes “Return to Zero“¬†writer/director Sean Hanish, whose son was stillborn in 2005,¬† ‚ÄúAs a husband, a partner, a man you are a passenger on the pregnancy express. You can look out the window and watch the scenery go by, her belly grow, her skin glow, and if you‚Äôre lucky, catch your baby‚Äôs elbow as it presses against her belly like the dorsal fin of some alien sea creature making it more real for you. But you‚Äôre not the engineer. When the crash comes you are struggling with your own emotions, grief and loss, desolation and¬†depression, and watching as your wife, your partner, your life jumps the tracks. Twisting metal tumbling out of control in slow motion. Prepare for impact.‚ÄĚ

I am reminded of a day several weeks or months after our loss when Gavin came home. He remarked that a lot of people were asking how I was.  We always took this beautiful gesture of concern in the spirit it was given and were, in fact, deeply appreciative of these questions. But we did laugh ruefully (and just a little) at how frequently Gavin was inadvertently left out of the equation, the expressions of concern.

On our website, Reconceiving Loss we collect the stories of loss for the Return To Zero Project. This archive reflects, in part, the lonely experience of men. Artist Louis Hemmings created a video, Goodbye, Au Revoir, Slan that shows the loss of his daughter decades ago through the eyes of his young son. Other fathers have lent their experience to the archive and their words reveal a well of sadness and loss.

As we approach Father’s Day, I call on women and men to support dads who have lost pregnancies or infants. We can begin by acknowledging their grief and understanding its nuance. We can remember to ask how they are, not just about their wives or their partners. We can engage them in a dialogue that begins to bear out the idea that we want to know how they are, how it feels to them to be missing something so central. We can acknowledge the role of fathers in childrearing as post-traditional by re-enforcing that they share the loss. This is the dialogue that creates healthier, happier families. And for the future of the men that we love, this is what will be required.

Visit ReconceivingLoss.com for more info, support and stories on this topic.

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The Top 10 Love Lessons of “Sixteen Candles”

May 8, 2014

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This week marks the 30th (!) anniversary of Sixteen Candles, one of the greatest teen movies of all time (right next to John Hughes’ other classic, The Breakfast Club). At a time when most high school/college movies were raunchy, sexist tales of young men’s pursuit of sexual conquests — think the¬†Porky’s franchise, Losing It, The Last American Virgin, Class, Revenge of the Nerds, etc — Hughes upended the genre by focusing on romance and the female perspective (e.g. the obligatory secret shower scene is from Sam and her friend’s POV). And while some of the politically insensitive aspects of the film certainly don’t fly today (the racist portrayal of Asians, use of the word “fag” and “retarded”, the drunk driving, all the date-rape-y stuff), it still holds up as a realistic portrayal of love and longing in the time of hormones and high school — and serves as a guide for young people navigating the world of sex and romance:

  1. It’s worth it to set high standards for yourself when it comes to ideal partners — you actually have a chance, even if you feel like a snowball in hell (Sam crushing on Jake, The Geek crushing on Caroline).
  2. Teenage boys aren’t interested solely in sex: they’re just as interested in relationships as girls are. Neither gender should buy into the macho stereotype.
  3. Don’t get so wasted that you can’t remember whether or not you had sex (i.e. date raped someone OR got date raped) the night before — we’re talking to you Caroline and Farmer Ted.
  4. At sixteen, you should have a decent understanding of reproduction, intercourse, and safer sex to be able to answer the question “Have you ever done it?” confidently and accurately (e.g. “I don’t think so” should not be an option).
  5. Never do sexual charity work, i.e. giving your underpants to someone out of pity so they can pretend they hooked up with you.
  6. Don’t return someone’s panties to them as a romantic gesture, especially at the dinner table — it’s not romantic, it’s creepy.
  7. Violating your passed-out girlfriend ten different ways is not a hilarious, enviable option — it’s rape.
  8. If you need to take four muscle relaxers to get through your period and/or your wedding, you should probably go see a doctor and/or not get married.
  9. “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ‘em something else.” — words of wisdom spoken by Sam’s awesome dad.
  10. Fedoras are (still) hot.

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Top 10 Sex and Relationship Tips from The Breakfast Club

March 25, 2014

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Earlier today we imagined a 2014 remake of The Breakfast Club (and, yes, just the thought of this horrifies us, too!). As we took a trip down memory lane, calling up some of our favorite lines from the movie — still verbatim: no wonder we have trouble remembering who’s president of Iraq these days — we realized just how much excellent love and sex advice there is in there.

Here are some of our favorite life lessons culled from the movie:

1. You Don’t Have to Tell Anyone If You’ve Had Sex Yet
And anyone who pressures you into talking about this subject or calls you a tease and/or slut is probably hiding something (or else just an asshole).

2. …And If You Lie About Having Sex, Everyone Will Know You’re Lying
Especially if the object of your cherry-popping conveniently lives in some far-flung vacation destination.

3. “When You Grow Up, Your Heart Dies”
Ah, just kidding. It just feels this way sometimes in high school. And then the popular girl gives you a makeover or the cute jock kisses you and all of a sudden you hear birds singing and you realize that being goth was just a phase you were going through.

4. Taping Someone’s Buns Together Really Hurts
So if you’re thinking of doing this in bed, you better really like pain.

5. Giving Away Your Diamond Earrings Means It’s Love
Because love is stronger than diamonds! And just in case you didn’t get this from The Breakfast Club, then Some Kind of Wonderful hammers the point home, too.

6. Dating a Bad Boy Will Really Piss Off Your Parents
Especially when they find out you gave him your diamond earrings that were a sweet sixteen birthday present!

7. Math and Physics Clubs Are Terrible Places to Find a Date
Sure, they’re sorta social. But they’re demented and sad, too, remember?

8. Stupid Pet Tricks Are for Pets, Not People
Nobody really wants to see you apply lipstick by holding it between your boobs. Or if they do, they’re probably not the person you really wanted to impress.

9. High School Sucks for the Really Cool Kids
We’re pretty sure that dating in high school (or hooking up, or whatever the kids call it these days) is a lot more like the opening of this movie than the close of it. In other words, the chances of you getting stoned with a jock, a nerd, a criminal, a basket case, and a princess — and making out with one of them — are slim to none. But, hey, at least it gets better!

10. You Are Not Your Label
Whether you’re seventeen or seventy, there will always be someone who wants to reduce you to a tag: jock, princess, nerd, mom, feminist, bitch, playa, prude, careerist, leftist, buddhist, whatever. Don’t buy into it! This is the age of Twitter, after all: You can hashtag yourself however (and however many times) you damn well please.

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Re-Casting the Breakfast Club for 2014

March 25, 2014

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Did you know that this week is the thirtieth anniversary of the Saturday detention in the 1985 movie The Breakfast Club? Thirty freakin’ years! Man, we’re old. Not only do we know the entire movie by heart, we could even recite for you the differences between the original theater version and the dubbed-for-TV version (wherein “eat my shorts” became “eat my socks”… which sounds way dirtier, if you ask us).

In honor of this momentous — at least to us — occasion, we decided to imagine who would probably get cast if The Breakfast Club were remade today. Note: We think that remaking this movie would be a terrible thing to do — sacrilegious even. We’ll say that one more time: Hollywood, please don’t do it! Our best guesses at who would probably be cast should tell you why.

The Brain (nee Anthony Michael Hall): Michael Cera
Okay, so of all the possible re-casting decisions that could befall a remake, this one at least has a little potential. Cera could probably pull off the nerdy weirdness of that anecdote about borrowing his cousin’s shoes for a wedding. But deep down, we’d all know that he was really kind of a cool funny dude. Whereas we actually believed that Anthony Michael Hall had worn those creepy borrowed shoes.

 

 

The Athlete (nee Emilio Estevez): Channing Tatum
While we’d love to see Channing Tatum defend wrestling “tights” as the “required uniform,” we’re not sure we buy him having any inner sadness about his jock status. Nope, he seems pretty happy being a jock.

 

 

 

The Basket Case (nee Ally Sheedy): Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart wears a lot of black and she wears sneakers to red carpet events and she chews her hair and she gets vague blank looks during interviews. None of which adds up to interesting or rebellious in our book.

 

 

 

The Princess (nee Molly Ringwald): Selena Gomez
She’s so perky! She’s so pretty! She not-so-secretly loves bad boys (emphasis on the boy, Bieber). But can she do the Molly? Also, Selena is totally not a fat girl’s name.

 

 

 

The Criminal (nee Judd Nelson): Shia LaBeouf
Plagiarism is a crime, okay? And we could kinda see Judd Nelson’s Criminal doing that whole paper bag over the head gimmick. But watching Shia and Selena mash faces in the supply closet just wouldn’t get us all tingly in the right places (we mean our hearts, people) like watching Molly and Judd.

 

 

 

Okay, so we know this was kind of a straw man argument. We created a flimsy cast and then shot it down. But you just know this is what it would look like if the movie actually got remade! If you could remake it with anyone, who would you cast?

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Everyone You’ve Ever Dated, By 2014 Oscar-Nominated Roles

February 28, 2014

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Did you get a weird sense of deja vu while Oscar-cramming all the movies before Sunday’s big awards show? It’s not just because you can chart your dating style based on the Oscar-nominated movies (as we explained last week) — it’s because this year’s crop of best acting nominees, in the lead and supporting roles, somehow manage to represent the archetypes of every person you’ve ever dated. To wit…

The One You Date for Their “Potential”: Christian Bale, American Hustle

On paper, these people are all wrong for you: Maybe they’re already married, for example, or unemployed, or a con artist. But there’s something charming about them — maybe it’s their incongruous body confidence, or their tenderness toward stray animals or children — that takes you off guard, and convinces you that they have the ability to be a great person. While you hang around waiting for this person to change, you find yourself forgiving everything from premature hair loss to infidelity.

The Bad Boy/Unavailable Woman: Leonard DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

It’s lust at first type with these partners: You find it hard to believe that someone so hot/charming/rich/sought-after would be interested in little old you. As soon as you have sex for the first time — which may or may not be on the first date but, let’s be honest here, probably is — this person becomes a little more distant, a little harder to reach, a little less likely to call, a little more likely to show up drunk or high. You hang in there ¬†– often through bouts of infidelity, emotional abuse, and unreciprocated oral sex — because you want to believe that you are the one to make this bad boy/unavailable woman change their playa ways. See also: Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave.

The High School Nerd Who Grew Up Hot: Sandra Bullock, Gravity

If only you’d noticed this person back in high school when there was zero competition and you had no date for prom! If only you’d joined chess club! If only you’d asked for their help on your college application essay! Instead, you track this person down on Facebook, many years later, and try to pretend that you’re more than just a superficial asshole who finds it hard to pay attention to what ugly people are saying. If this is true — hey, maybe you grew up to be a nice person — then this could be The One.

The One You Underestimate Because They’re Less Attractive Than You: Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

This is the person you treat as Plan B — someone who will always pick up the phone when you call (or when you booty call), who will always be your plus-one when you’re invited to your cousin’s wedding, who will always boost your ego, and who will probably be willing to marry you if you don’t find someone better. You treat them like a back-up plan because they’re less attractive than you, or not as smart, or not as successful, or not as charming. And then they up and surprise you with a makeover/I.P.O./super-hot partner, and you’re left in the dust.

The One You Overestimate Because of Their Accent: Amy Adams, American Hustle

We’re talking to you, Juan Pablo Bachelor contestants! Before you take the relationship any further, ask yourself, would you still sleep date this person if they sounded like the Nanny/Peewee Herman? A sultry accent (even a fake one) can certainly make up for a nose like Gerard Depardieu, or a goiter, but it can’t make up for Tea Party-politics or an inability to ask an intelligent question.

The Hot Mess: Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

When you first meet, you’re incredibly turned on by this person’s brand of crazy, be it addiction or chronic narcissism or rage or stalking. You have wild, unpredictable sex — in public, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the day. You have phone sex and kinky sex and group sex and acrobatic sex. Until, eventually, the sex starts to slow down — to, say, just once a day — and you realize that the craziness outside the bedroom isn’t worth the craziness inside it. See also: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle; Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips.

The Surprise Hit: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

This person woos you with persistence or proximity until you finally give in and go on a date. Or maybe you drunkenly hook up after happy hour drinks and then realize you actually kind of like them. Or a mediocre date ends in mind-blowing sex and suddenly the next date is awesome. This person is not your type, and they don’t check any of your boxes, but somehow, it works. When friends found out you dated this person, they’ll be all like, “You dated them?” and you’ll smile slyly and say, “You have no idea.”

The Secretly Needy One: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

When you first start dating, this person is cool as a summer’s breeze. They’re confident, carefree, independent, and possibly even independently wealthy. But the deeper into the relationship you get, the more you realize that this person is an insecure black hole of neediness (and possibly even broke). Even worse, they resent their own neediness, which leads them to strike out at the people they need the most. You just better hope they don’t threaten suicide or social-media embarrassment when you dump them.

The Intellectual Connection: Judi Dench, Philomena

You make each other laugh, you make each other think, you make each other want to be better people. Unfortunately, however, this person just doesn’t inspire you in the sack. Everyone thinks you’re perfect for each other — especially you parents — and you probably are… if only you could get past that sex thing. Hey, maybe you’ll look each other up again on Facebook when you’re eighty and past caring about sex.

The One with Big Dreams: Bruce Dern, Nebraska

They tell you they want to be president (maybe of the local knitting club, you think). They tell you they want to make movies (but they never do). They talk about how awesome it would be to fly to Paris on a whim (you never go). They show you their poetry and ask if you think it’s good enough for The New Yorker (it never is). They have big hopes and dreams — for life, for love, for your relationship. But somehow, all you get out of the relationship is a beer belly and a commemorative baseball hat (and a sense that the relationship lasted a lot longer than it actually did).

The Delicate Flower: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

If only this person would realize what a catch they are! They’re sweet, smart, and fun to be around… until the sensitivity kicks in. A night in bed frequently ends in hugs and tears and warm cups of tea, while you rub their back and insist they’re good enough for you. Once in a blue moon, these hugs and teas and cups of tea are enough for this person to blossom into a ten-feet-tall sunflower, and you live happily ever after. More often, though, you end up feeling more like a therapist than a lover.

The Right Person, Wrong Time: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Maybe you were too young, or too stupid, or too ambitious, or too into blondes at the time, or too busy being a, you know, slave. Life’s like that sometimes. Fortunately for you, there’s Facebook. The one who got away can still be got back!

The One You Grew Apart From: Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

It was all so right, until it went so wrong. You were the envy of all your couple friends, and you used to look down your noses at couples who needed marriage therapy or spa weekends away from each other or forced date nights. But maybe if you’d allowed yourself a little marriage therapy or a spa weekend away from each other, or a cornball “date night,” you’d still be together. Or maybe you still would have slept with your executive assistant/tennis coach, who knows?

The One with the Bad Perm: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Everything about this relationship is perfect, except for their bad perm. Or maybe it’s their refusal to pluck their eyebrows. Or their inattention to pubic grooming. Or their preference for pleated khakis over flat-front pants. Or their goatee. If you can suck it up and move on from this trivial detail, you may well live happily ever after. But, more likely, you’ll obsess over this one thing until it snowballs into a serious relationship deal-breaker. Too bad.

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Your Dating Style, According to 2014′s Oscar-Nominated Movies

February 25, 2014

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Last week we dished up sex and dating wisdom¬†from Matthew McConaughey, according to the various characters he’s played over the years — from Dazed and Confused all the way through to True Detective. This week we’re going to let you figure out your love/sex/dating style, according to which is your favorite Oscar-nominated movie of the list below…

American Hustle

You like kinky power play and roleplaying (especially with wigs). And you approve of mind games, both in and out of the bedroom.

We fight and then we fuck, that’s our thing. –¬†Rosalyn Rosenfeld

You’re nothing to me until you’re everything. — Sydney Prosser

She was the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate. — Irving Rosenfeld

 

 

Captain Phillips

You think that communication is the cornerstone of all good relationships, and you won’t give up until you’ve perfected this. You play by the rules, because that’s how good relationships prosper.

The problem is not me talking. The problem is you not listening. — Captain Phillips

I came too far, I can’t give up. — Muse

I got bosses. They got rules. — Muse

We all got bosses. — Captain Phillips

 

 

August, Osage County

You like to talk dirty, and you like to fight dirty, too. You’ll hang in there until the bitter end, even if it kills you.

Eat the fish, Bitch! — Barbara Weston

Oh… oh… I got a big bite of fear! And it never tasted so good! — Charlie Aiken

My wife takes pills, and I drink. That’s the little deal we’ve struck, a little paragraph in our marriage contract. — Beverly Weston

Barbara Weston: Marriage is hard.
Karen Weston: That’s one thing about mom and dad. You gotta tip your hat to anybody who can stay married that long.
Ivy Weston: Karen, he killed himself.

 

The Wolf of Wall Street

Sex and love — it’s all just mergers and acquisitions to you. Which means you want more-more-more of everything… and you’ll screw over what really matters to you in the process of acquiring more and merging more.

Jordan Belfort: [holding his child] Does Daddy get a kiss from both of his little girls?
Naomi Lapaglia: Oh, no. No, Daddy doesn’t even get to touch Mommy for a very, very… very long time.
Jordan Belfort: Daddy’s really sorry about what he said in the other room, he didn’t mean any of it!
Naomi Lapaglia: Daddy shouldn’t waste his time. And from now on… it’s gonna be nothing but short, short skirts around the house. And you know something else, Daddy? Mommy is just so sick and tired of wearing panties.
Jordan Belfort: Yeah?
Naomi Lapaglia: Yeah.
Naomi Lapaglia: [pushes him away with her legs] But no touching.
Jordan Belfort: Oh, god.

 

Gravity

You like long walks in space, lots of extended, meaningful eye contact, and deep conversations about What It All Means. You like your personal space, but you also like being tethered to someone… it makes the abysss that much more bearable, no?

Matt Kowalski: So, what do you like about being up here?
Ryan Stone: The silence.

 

 

Her

Who really knows what it all means? Who really knows what love is? Who really knows if this post even exists? In that case… screw it! You do what you want, screw who you want, love who you want.

I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity. — Amy

I wanted somebody to fuck me. I want somebody to want me to fuck them. Maybe that would have filled this tiny little hole in my heart, but probably not. — Theodore

Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt. — Theodore

The past is just a story we tell ourselves. — Samantha

We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy. — Amy

The heart is not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love. I’m different from you. This doesn’t make me love you any less. It actually makes me love even more. — Samantha

We spend a third of our lives asleep, and maybe that’s the time when we feel the most free. — Amy

 

Frozen

You’re a commitment-phobe who thinks that holding onto your independence is the best way to protect yourself from heartbreak. The problem with this approach is, you never get any practice at serious, long-term relationships, so when The One (or someone you think is The One) comes along, you might leap into a forever commitment without really thinking things through.

Anna: Why do you shut me out? Why do you shut the world out? What are you so afraid of?
Elsa: I said enough!
[In her fury, she conjures up an icicle wall around herself.

Anna: But I want to help!
Kristoff: No! I don’t trust your judgement!
Anna: Excuse me?
Kristoff: Who marries a man they just met?
Anna: It’s true love!

 

Before Midnight

You need to learn to appreciate comfortable silence in a long-term relationship. Just because you don’t have a fresh witty anecdote to share with your partner every minute of every day, doesn’t mean the “magic” has gone. In fact, you should consider it one of the benefits of long-term commitment, that you don’t have to perform constantly. Sometimes it’s okay to just be.

Jesse: You’re just like the little girls and everybody else. You wanna live inside some fairy tale. I’m just trying to make things better. I tell you that I love you unconditionally, I tell you that you’re beautiful, I tell you that your ass looks great when you’re 80. I try to make you laugh.
Celine: Okay.
Jesse: All right, I put up with plenty of your shit. And if you think I’m just some dog who’s gonna keep coming back, then you’re wrong. But if you want true love, then this is it. This is real life. It’s not perfect, but it’s real. And if you can’t see it, then you’re blind, all right, and I give up.

 

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Sex and Dating Advice from Matthew McConaughey

February 21, 2014

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about how Matthew McConaughey has reinvented himself as a Serious Actor, launching himself out of the chick flick ghetto (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past¬†et al) and into Oscar-nominated territory with Important Movies like Dallas Buyers’ Club. But what we want to know is, how has his characters’ approach to love and sex changed over the years, and over the movies?

Turns out, it’s not just¬†McConaughey’s Rust Cohle in HBO’s True Detective who has a bit of a philosophical bent. It was there from the start — it’s just been honed over the years, you might say. So here is a chronological timeline of¬†McConaughey’s advice on love and sex over the years, according to his characters.

 

1993: Dazed and Confused

“Man, it’s the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain’t that piece of paper, there’s some other choice they’re gonna try and make for you. You gotta¬†do what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man,¬†L-I-V-I-N. ”

“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”

 

1997: Contact

“Is the world fundamentally a better place because of science and technology? We shop at home, we surf the Web… at the same¬†time, we feel emptier, lonelier and more cut off from each other than at any other time in human history.”

 

2001: The Wedding Planner

“[My fiance] is great. But… what if what I think is great really is great, but not as great as something greater?”

 

 

 

 

2003: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

“Andie: True or False: All’s fair in love and war.
Ben: True.
Andie: Great answer.
Ben: Good question!”

“Andie: Does Princess Sophia want to come out and play?
Ben: Who’s Princess Sophia?
[Andie points at his crotch]
Andie: Little, big, little, big… I don’t know… we will find out!
Ben: You can’t name my member… Princess Sophia.
Andie: Yes, I can!
Ben: If you are gonna name my… member, you have to name it something hyper masculine. Something like Spike, or Butch, or Krull the Warrior¬†King!”

“Guys, a woman’s purse, alright, it’s her secret source of power. Alright? There are many dark and dangerous things in there, that we, the¬†male species, should know nothing about.”

2006: Failure to Launch

“I’m not afraid of love. I love love. Look, I’ve had a lot of girlfriends, right? And sometimes I’m the rebound guy. Other times, when I get lucky, I’m the “explore new areas of your sexuality” guy. But every single time, we have fun. Thank you. I have fun, they have fun. It’s good for me, it’s good for them. And I would argue that it’s damn good for civilization as a whole.”

[You're going to let her walk away?] “I’m giving her space, Mr. Axelrod. Now, I’m going after her.”

 

2009: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

“Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less, and he was right. But power isn’t happiness, and I think that maybe happiness comes from caring more about people rather than less.”

“Get over [him cheating on you]. It was years ago! With some slutty friend of yours! A friend, incidentally, that you’re not even mad at. And you know why? Because you don’t actually care. You love Paul so much you forgave him the second you heard, and that’s what scares you.”

“I’ve been in your shoes. You know what? It scared the hell out of me too. What if she hurt me? What if she left me? What if she died? It would have been the end of me. So I cut it short, before she ever could. And you know what? It was the biggest mistake I ever made. And you’re making the same mistake right now, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to sit by and watch. You’ve got to risk love, Sandra! I didn’t and look at me! I’m a lonely ghost of a man. It doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get hurt, but the pain you feel will never compare to the regret that comes from walking away from love. And from someone who’s felt a lot of both, trust me, regret beats pain every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Don’t run away. Don’t do it… Now. Do you still want to get married?”

“When did casual sex become a crime? Really? I mean, now a days being a single means, what? You’ve lost your way? That something is missing? Never mind that every night I swim in a lake of sex, and they fall asleep in each others arms, spooning.” [Spooning is nice.]¬†”Yeah, not as nice as forking.”

2012: Magic Mike

“You are the husband they never had! You are that dreamboat guy that never came along!”

 

 

 

 

2012: Mud

“People just sometimes forget why they fell in love in the first place.”

“Don‚Äôt judge your life on all of our mistakes.You‚Äôll make plenty mistakes of your own, no need takin‚Äô on everybody else‚Äôs.”

 

 

 

2013: The Wolf of Wall Street

“You gotta stay relaxed. Do you jerk off?” [Uh, I don't know, like two, three times a week?] “Okay, you’re going to want to raise those numbers. You’re in the fucking minor leagues. Me, I jack it twelve to fifteen times a week. Twice a day. Once in the morning after I work out, once after lunch. If you don’t do it, the stress of this job, it’ll make you explode. Or worse, you’ll implode. You don’t wanna implode. … I want to jerk off, but that’s not why I do it. I do it because I need to.”

 

 

2013: Dallas Buyers Club

“Watch what you eat and who you eat.”

 

 

 

 

 

2014: True Detective

[Can you imagine if people didn't believe? All the things they'd get up to?] “Exact same thing they do now, just out in the open.” [past]

“I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.” [present]

 

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10 Problems with the Sex Scenes in “Captain Phillips”

February 6, 2014

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1. We know that when a movie is literally swimming in strong female roles, it’s tempting to include gratuitous lesbian sex scenes, but we simply didn’t feel they added much to the story.

2. Okay, okay, we get it. Sailors stranded at sea masturbate. A lot. But did we really need the close-up on that industrial-sized vat of lube shared by the crew?

3. We read Captain Phillips’ memoir, and we’re fairly sure that he didn’t, in fact, secure his release from the pirates by trading in sexual favors.

4. Yes, everybody loves tight white sailor pants, but we think that tight white sailor hot-pants was a step too far.

5. What happened to the Navy SEAL striptease?! We were told there would be a Navy SEAL striptease.

6. Sorry, but we simply don’t buy that a seasoned, responsible, safety-conscious man like Captain Phillips would choose to indulge in kinky sex without a safeword.

7. For any viewers who may take this movie at its word: No, dunking your dong in seawater immediately after sex does not protect you from STDs.

8. Tom Hanks used a prosthetic penis for this role?! WTF!

9. We love the idea of dirty-talking pirates roaming the seas with their two-way radios, but we’re not convinced that pirates, even the Somali kind, would use the term “throbbing python of love.” Something maritime-themed, perhaps, like “deep-V diver,” would have been less likely to take us out of the moment.

10. Why does Hollywood feel the need to sexualize every single story it takes to the screen? If any movie needed more sex this year, it was The Wolf of Wall Street. Leave poor Captain Phillips alone.

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