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Beauty Is Embarrassing (2012)
I hated it, my friend loved it. Depends on your tastes I guess.
I'm an artist and I went to see this movie last week with a friend of mine who's also an artist. I'm a cartoonist/illustrator, and my friend designs avant garde costumes. I didn't hate the movie, but it wasn't worth the price of admission, and I don't think I would be missing out if I never saw it in the first place. My friend would disagree, he loved it and is encouraging everyone to see it. Where I found it only moderately inspiring, he felt deeply motivated to create more art. I watch a lot of docs, and normally I turn them off if they suck. I would have turned this off if I could have. I guess it's just not everyone's cup of tea.
The Big C (2010)
This series is for Linney/Platt fans, or Otter trappers
This series is not for the weak at heart. Being a loyal Linney or Platt fan is crucial because aside from some outrageous moments here and there this show is only addictive for one reason which is that the two lead actors are consistently unbelievably amazing. "Strong" doesn't do any justice - but it's their strong performances that carry the limping plot, ailing script (too many tongue in cheek can you believe we just said that jokes), and truly cancerous performances of the rest of the cast ( aside from inspired performances by Phyllis Somerville and Cynthia NIxon whose characters get inexplicably written off the show).
The uptight sister/free spirited brother storyline feels like a Weeds ripoff. It's less fun to watch in this series because A: We're supposed to be rooting for Cathy and it's hard to enjoy watching someone who's supposedly fighting cancer then go on to put up with such toxic abuse, and then allow herself to indulge in such wanton co-dependence. B: It's just sad seeing this kind of relationship and behavior taking place among older characters.
Side note on the brother. The character is that of a straight dude, a womanizer, and an all around guy's guy (albeit one with serious mental issues). However the actor who plays this man-child that's obsessed with having sex with women (only super thin models btw) is a gnomish lispy elf (gays would call him an Otter). The character and the actor never come together as the same person which gives a character already dealing with bi- polar disorder just too much baggage to invest in. Watching a an obviously gay guy pretend to be straight is mostly just embarrassing until season 3 in which he plays a straight guy pretending to be gay on a phone sex line for several episode at which point all creepy hell breaks loose and he becomes completely unwatchable. I commend Linney for her obsessively consistent support of the gay community (and all things minority). I have a theory that unfortunately she may have had a misguided hand in the miscasting of the truly very talented John Benjamin Hickey as the brother.
Pretty much the rest of the cast is god awful. The writers while coming up with a few enjoyable "can you believe they just said that", and "Oh yes we DID just go there." moments in their obsessed attempt to show "real life" may accidentally be creating a truer picture of real life than their talents demand. They lack any ability to write believable minors, and are unable to actually give any of the characters any of the flawed backbones that make real people admirable/despicable. However in real life we are constantly bombarded with too much unnecessary dialogue, most of the awesome people die or leave, and we often find ourselves in situations that have nothing to do with getting the plot of our lives moving along whatsoever.
All in all Laura Linney is sublime, and I can't get enough of her and Oliver Platt. This show has a lot of flaws, but as long as those two remain the main story I'll keep watching.