The fans of Tyler Perry films and Lena Dunham’s Girls probably do not have a large intersecting area in the Venn Diagram of entertainment. One is a large black man who is a hero in the black Church community who writes horribly written films for an often neglected section of America (black middle class), starring an underemployed segment of Hollywood actors (black people not named Will or Denzel). The other is large white woman who is a hero to the white girls who cannot find their footing in this big crazy world and find validation watching a show about unlikeable fu*k-ups. But she is 26 and to accomplish what she has is impressive. So Perry and Dunham are both remarkable role models, despite being creators of somewhat cringe-worthy content.
And to be fair, I do not have a gripe about Dunham writing a show that focuses on all white chicks, despite their saturation of music, television and movies. I already wrote a defense of it here last year. So that is not the point of this. In fact I am not sure the point of this except after watching this week’s episode of Girls, I realized that Dunham and Tyler Perry could and should form an alliance.
Watching the episode that just passed it dawned on me that Girls and Tyler Perry’s colossal failure of a film For Colored Girls (not his original work, but definitely his bad film making and terrible adaptation of the source material) provide a duo that basically amounts to a mediocre comedian doing an extended bit called “Black women have problems like this! But white women have problems like this!” (George Lopez trademark pending).
Taking the four memorable incidents from Perry’s For Colored Girls and the four big shifts for the characters in Girls so far this season let’s learn a little about what it is like to be in these different groups:
The Big Star Gets In Trouble With A Gay Man
Lena Dunham’s character has realized that she cannot date her socially awkward, but significantly more attractive boyfriend (a 5 to her .8), she bangs a black Republican and most shocking, her friend Marni banged her gay ex-boyfriend. Pretty tragic all around.
Janet Jackson gets HIV from her down low husband and reveals that she knows her husband is gay when she throws her blood test result at the overly muscular man (a favorite of Perry) and says “And take your HIV with you!”
Slight edge to Janet. Ms. Jackson if you’re HIV positive.
Shy Sidekick Has Awkward Sex
David Mamet’s daughter, Eyebrows, loses her virginity at 21 and is dating a guy who turns out to be struggling with life and living out of his car, which is literally between the Holocaust and a nuclear-armed Iran in the fears of Jewish parents.
Yasmine, a dance instructor in FCG, starts dating a seemingly nice gentleman who rapes her on their first date.
Rape is bad, but is it really as sad as a Jewish chick dating an unemployed guy? Edge – Eyebrows
Family Problems For A Supporting Character
The British chick on Girls ends up embarrassing her husband (they got married after a few bad dates as a misplaced plot point) at a dinner in front of her in-laws. They end up separating after 19 hours of marriage.
Crystal, one of the characters in FCG watches her two children get thrown out of a window to their deaths by her baby daddy.
Had it only be one child, Brit might take this one, but two kids definitely gives the edge to Crystal.
Working a Bad Job
Marni, the attractive one on Girls (though Brit’s rack turned out to be a surprise highlight of the last episode), is really having it rough, from letting a diminutive artist go raw inside of her to having to work as a hostess at a club where men treat her like an attractive hostess at a club.
Thandie Newton’s character in FCG is a sex addict with a past of sex abuse (or possibly just a super-empowered woman) to the point that dudes assume she is a prostitute.
Anytime you let a guy who wears fedoras, or at least seems like a guy who would wear a fedora, bang you – you lose. Edge – Marni
So after taking in both of these artists, it is clear that Tyer Perry and Lena Dunham need to get together and, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, have a kid together. They operate on the extremes of Hollywood. On writes for black Church folk (a group that goes “Ummmm HMMM!” to signify that Perry has validated their beliefs) and the other writes for narcissistic white women (a group that goes “That is so us!” without realizing that just makes them unlikeable tools as well). And both have ways of capturing the lives of their characters in opposite ways. For Colored Girls shows that every character has an apocalyptic level event happen to them and can still carry on, while Girls shows that every problem, no matter how small becomes a time for self-discovery and personal enrichment. It is like these people are from different planets (possibly Mars and Venus). So let’s get these two crazy kids together and let them have a kid (its celebrity name could be some mix of Dunham and Perry – Dairy!). So maybe one of you solves a series of tragedies with an empowering group hug and prayer while the other solves a marriage ending after 4 meals with a witty bathtub encounter. But I still think you can find common ground. The silver lining to these Hollywood clouds getting together is maybe, just maybe, if their child is exposed to the horrific writing and tragedies in Perry’s mind with the witty drivel from Dunham’s, he or she might see the world as it actually is (and write an angry blog about it).
For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes.
Another year is coming to a close, which means I have once again seen a lot of movies. This year, unlike last year, I made an attempt to avoid awful movies (for example I did not see or rent Grown Ups because Adam Sandler and Kevin James are the closest thing to crack-cocaine in terms of brain cell destruction, nor did I see Saw VI because I believe it is wrong for a film franchise to have three consecutive films that claim to be “the final one”).
Sidenote- seriously does Kevin James ever wake up and think, “Man if I sucked di*k for drug money on live television I would be less of a disgrace to my family. I have made three of the worst films ever recorded – Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart and Grown Ups. And I know it. And I have tons of money, but I don’t care. I want to make dumb Americans even dumber and profit off of them mercilessly.” And can we stop treating Adam Sandler like he is some beloved entertainer? I know he reminds you of that moderately cute and cool kid in your Hebrew School class, but the dude is done. Mr Deeds, Chuck and Larry, Grown Ups, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, etc. The guy has done everything he can to kill good taste. Enough – please collect your cash and go away.
So naturally, despite moderate efforts I was unable to avoid bad movies for several reasons. Travelling to comedy clubs around the country and having spare time, Oprah Winfrey and wanting to see if Samantha Jones finally gets AIDS were all contributing factors to the several terrible films I saw this year. Before I get to the Bottom 10 I want to share a special note of two movies that were not worthy of the “worst,” but based on critical praise and box office success, are the two most overrated films of the year:
Box Office Overrated Film of the Year
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Over $300 million is what this film pulled in. Weird is the best way to describe it. Boring is a very accurate way to describe it. Johnny Depp – you were cool and talented the first eight times you played a weird character, but now it feels redundant. For a change, try playing a male with genitals who does not talk like a pretentious college student who has returned from a study abroad semester and now pronounces Barcelona as Barthelona.
Overrated Movie of the Year – Critics
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
For me, the reason to give gay people all the rights they deserve is selfish: I am tired of Hollywood patting itself on the back for showing gays as regular people and then acting like they re-invented the wheel. But that was ok for me with Brokeback Mountain, which I thought was pretty damn good, but what really gets me is when a mediocre movie that is lathering itself in every indi-film cliche is praised as a great film. Enter The Kids Are All Right. Granted there were other movies that will be nominated for best picture like The King’s Speech (will be this year’s “we have to nominate at least one movie with British people and one movie related to the Holocaust, so why not nominate this one which has both?) and Black Swan (dark artsy-fartsy, but interesting in parts), which were interesting, but incredibly overrated, but the Kids Are All Right really stands out. It just is not that good. The movie is a B- at best, but critics have treated it like The Godfather fu*ked Amadeus while Goodfellas watched. If you have not seen this or have and thought it pretentious enjoy this brief cinematic interlude:
But none of those movies were worthy of being on:
J-L CAUVIN’S TEN WORST FILMS OF 2010
10. The Deuce – (tie)
Sex and The City 2 and Iron Man 2
Two sequels – two bowel movements. Iron Man 2 is shameless in what is becoming a Hollywood trend – we have a hit, we want at least three films and everyone will pay for the second so we can make it a huge bag of sh*t and make half of the movie about setting up and establishing things for the third film. It is literally the middle child before there is a third child. The movie was just mediocre, but because of how shameless it was and how much worse than the first it was – it earned a spot on the list.
Sex and the City 2: It was good to see these old bags who have influenced a generation of emotionally and spiritually lost women go out like Brett Favre – with a cinematic equivalent of an interception. Here is the summary of the Carrie Bradshaw saga: she finally gets her man (women will give a good guy one chance, good penis a few chances and a super wealthy guy almost infinite chances – see “Mr. Big”). And what does she do when she gets her better looking Trump? She complains about the monotony of married life, makes out with an ex boyfriend in a foreign country and complains to her hubby when they eat dinner in for…wait for it… two consecutive nights! The lesson for all the women who wanted to be Carrie, thought Carrie was fabulous, came to NYC to have a “Sex ad the City experience:” Carrie was a bitch.
9. Black People Besides Tyler Perry Can Make Bad Movies (tie) –
Lottery Ticket & Copout
When I saw Lottery Ticket I was hoping for something in the vein of Barber Shop and when I saw Copout I was hoping that Tina Fey was writing Tracy Morgan’s material. I was wrong on both. Lottery Ticket, starring fully grown Bow Wow produced the unthinkable – it offered a movie where Mike Epps, an incredibly unfunny human being, was the funniest thing in the movie.
Copout, combined with his deplorable HBO comedy special, proved that Tracy Morgan is completely unfunny when Tina Fey is not writing his words. I was harsh on Fey when she was the head writer of SNL, but this chick has apparently worked miracles to make Tracy Morgan appear funny every week on 30 Rock.
8. The Worst Thing Clooney Has Ever Done –
Even George Clooney can go to far. Here is how I think this boring movie was made: George Clooney spends time in Italy fu*king models so he said, what if you filmed me driving and looking thoughtful while I was on vacation in Italy? And maybe throwin a few conversations, some guns that we barely use but just show me putting them together? And what if this was all so boring and self-indulgent that when I do a sex scene with a woman who is off the charts hot, it still cannot save the movie? What, Hollywood – you love me so much, like a quarterback who is also in an A Capella group, that you are afraid to tell me no? Let’s do it!
The review for this film can be summed up by the young black woman who was siting in front of me while watching it. With about 15 minutes left in the movie she just, “Damn, this movie SUCKS.” Sometimes talking at movies is OK and this was one of those times.
7. They lost me when Adrien Brody fu*ked a lab creature –
I thought this was going to be a tense sci-fi thriller. Instead about one hour in to a relatively mediocre movie Adrien Brody fu*ks a creature he created in a laboratory. From then on it became one of the worst films of the year and the most awkward moment I saw in a movie since Willem Dafoe ejaculated blood in Antichrist (last years #3 worst movie on my blog).
6. I think it is time to admit that The Rundown was accidentally entertaining –
The Rock was the most entertaining WWF/WWE star of all time. Then his first starring movie not associated with a Brendan Fraser franchise was the very enjoyable The Rundown. Seemed like he was destined to do great things – maybe not Oscar great, but legitimately solid entertainment. Faster is the death of that optimism for me. When I saw previews for Faster I thought – “Man, that looks like Taken, but on steroids!” What it was was Taken on creatine with a lobotomy. How they managed to make a movie about a dude travelling the country murdering people for revenge somewhat boring is beyond my intellectual capacity.
5. Even low expectations could not save these bad westerns (tie) –
Jonah Hex and The Warrior’s Way
Jonah Hex I saw while on the road. I would have been better off lying in the middle of a road. I think it was written in about 14 hours because it felt like it had potential if someone had just written a story.
The Warrior’s Way I saw with a buddy because I had already seen everything that he had not promised to see with his girlfriend. The Warrior’s Way is honestly one of the 20 worst films I have ever seen, but since I had no interest in it and my expectations were zero I did not think it deserved a higher spot on the list.
4. I really hated this fu*king movie and its awful 3-D –
Clash of the Titans
I am sort of shocked that this was not the worst film of the year but it is close. Between Avatar, Clash of the Titans and Terminator Salvation it is obvious that Sam Worthington is unable to act with actual people. And after Clash of the Titans, maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to. A giant bag of crap (shame on you Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson) and the poster child for the other cinema scam – 3-D. I actually was able to watch half of the movie clearly without 3-D glasses and the 3-D was terrible (James Cameron rightly criticized the filmmakers for scamming people for extra ticket money, but not providing legitimate upgrade in quality). I hate 3-D and I hate how it is becoming an automatic surcharge on every other movie now. No one likes watching movie with special glasses. It is annoying and when it is accompanied by a giant piece of crap like Clash of the Titans it really sucks. And yes, a sequel is being made.
3. Like Mexican sex shows – only the horse was entertaining –
If the horse in Secretariat only had two film credits – sex with Mexican prostitutes and Secretariat, he should leave Secretariat off of his resume. Schmaltzy to the point that the entire dialogue could have consisted of Jon Favreau screaming “who’s the wild man now?!” from Rudy and it would not have been as corny and embarrassing. The only thing that was good in the movie were the 15 minutes of horse racing. Everything else was awful. I wanted Seabiscuit (but about the greatest horse of all time), but instead got a terrible ABC Family made-for-TV movie.
2. Even when he tries, Tyler Perry sucks –
For Colored Girls
This year Tyler Perry finally got to show off his diversity as a filmmaker. For so long he was known as the creator of shi*ty comedies. Now we all know he can make a shi*ty drama. This movie actually has several good performances, but it is a TERRIBLE movie. One dude kills his own kids, one guy gives his wife HIV, one guy rapes his date, one (unseen character) abused his daughters. The one good guy is a cop, but his wife cannot have kids because… wait for it… a man gave her an STD when she was younger. I think the movie is for colored girls by default because it is definitely not for colored men. It is also a lazy movie, because rather than adapt the original text to w workable film script he just has the character inexplicably delivering long, poetic monologues which do not work in a movie. Tyler – just stick to your day job of making shi*ty “comedies.”
1. When steroid abuse doesn’t kill who it’s supposed to (and your 2010 champion) –
A tremendously awful film. Just like when white women feel like they need some fulfillment they open a cupcake store with family money and pretend to be serious entrepreneurs; when old white men feel unfulfilled they make movies like this. An absolute embarrassment for even half-decent action movies, men and decent taste this is your champion for 2010.
I could not say it any better than I did in August on my blog – so enjoy: