Trainwreck Anything But

lebronWhat a treat!  I got to see a sneak peak of Trainwreck at USC yesterday, and I was glad to see my expectations were met– the movie was funny. Yes, some parts felt more like an impromptu stand up by Amy, but not everything was an easy joke.  There was a lot of well-thought-out humor, as well as just some funny one-liners.  The ending was a little cheesy in the lets-not-be-a-trainwreck-moments, but overall it was adorkable and you leave with a lot of warm fuzzies.

daniel

Tilda Swinton was a surprise treat in the film, as was Daniel Radcliffe.  Both were understated running jokes that were absolutely spot on.

LeBron James did a great job, excellent directing for everyone throughout the film.  They did a great job keeping what seemed like his personality, while also trying to dispel stereotypes and show the complexity of athletes– who we often dismiss as just being focused on one thing.

cuddle

I liked how this film turned a lot of rom-com tropes on its head.  From our heroine being the commitment-phobe while her boyfriend wants to be the one to cuddle, to the ending (which I won’t spoil) the film did a nice job of touching on what could have been offensive issues without offending anyone. While the film may not 100% pass the Bechtel test– Amy’s conversations with her friend all center around sex (which is what the film is about after all!) seem genuine for the most part.  The only other female in Amy’s life is her boss, and while they discuss work, it is generally focused around the article being written about the doctor. Her conversations with her sister focus on the sisters family and their father– true to family, but sometimes feeling more forced into the story than realistic. All in all, I love the treatment of women, the refusal to judge Amy for being free with her sexuality, and the many many funny (and very true) things that are said and brought up in the film.

Definitely put this film on your go-see list.

Learn, Watch a Doc

I just watched a documentary, “The Ivory Tower” and it focused on higher education, the cost of student loans, and alternatives to the traditional four year degree plan. What was really amazing about this doc (besides how well it was produced, shot, and edited) was how many options besides amassing large amounts of student loans there were, and how many schools are looking at other ways to get information to the public besides the typical lecture/student dynamic.
Link to director interview

The Cooper Union was a free art and design school in New York until early this year. The current President just instituted tuition to pay for debts the school took on by overbuilding, and in response the students had a summer long protest and are still fighting to return Cooper Union to a free education.
Students of Cooper Union Website

It is an amazing and powerful story– and one that really begs whether education is a right or a privilege. And if it is a privilege, why is it only for the rich and those able to afford it? Does continuing the class system, and potentially making it more dynamic still make it a privilege? Des a the massive student loan taken on by the poor, middle class, and those unable to fully afford college really make life better? Does the massive student debt actually give you more money in your life when you pay that debt balance until you die? When you are contacted by creditors whether you can afford it or not, and there is no way to declare bankruptcy?

I think it’s time for more people to ask questions and look at solutions when we have 1 trillion dollars of student loan debt, and over half of the students loans are in deferment or default.

Milius

On Wednesday night I had the privilege to watch a documentary about John Milius- it was a fascinating look at this influential man’s life that not only entertained throughout the film, but had emotional depth and heart.

I had heard of almost all Milius’s work, but did not know he was the man behind the scripts. A classmate of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Milius’s writing ability is in many of their movies, and they all often worked together. Having a husband at USC it makes me wonder if someday there will be docs made about him or his classmates!

I highly recommend Milius for the production value, fascinating interviews, and pieces of history.

Hollywood Reporter Review