Category Archives: Movies

Mad Max is a Feminist Masterpiece

If you haven’t gone to see Mad Max: Fury Road yet, you should definitely try to catch it this weekend.

On the surface, it’s your typical action flick. But the thing I LOVE about this film is that it depicts its male and female leads as equals. With no romance or damsel-in-distress syndrome. Just equal strength and mutual respect for one another.

Many leading feminist publications have been raving about Mad Max too. And in the wake of the release of the film, the #FeministMadMax meme was born.

And now there’s a Tumblr for it.

My favorite Feminist Mad Max meme has to be this one:

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Why? Because I love that the film doesn’t ONCE show the female characters being raped or taken advantage of. I appreciate this because too often, when rape occurs in movies, it is sexualized. It becomes an excuse to show some leading lady tit and ass. Films hardly ever depict the absolute horror that rape is, and the trauma that results from it. Rape in film should ALWAYS make you feel uncomfortable and angry.

But it doesn’t. Because Hollywood.

I respect that Mad Max: Fury Road didn’t choose this route, and instead focused on how AWESOME and kick-ass these women are, particularly Imperator Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron), who saves the day WITH ONLY ONE ARM. We believe the women’s lives under an evil ruler were brutal without having to be shown. Why else would they make such a desperate attempt to escape? 

And what a BADASS name for a female lead. Imperator Furiosa. BAM! I want to change my name to that immediately.

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And in the spirit of the film, Tom Hardy also gloriously shot down a reporter who asked a ridiculously sexist question about the story line. How hot is THAT?! (Male feminists give this chick the vapahs).

And you know what I just learned? Director George Miller recruited the Vagina Monologues writer Eve Ensler to speak with the actresses who played the sex slaves. She helped them understand what women who’ve been through war and sexual captivity might be like. Ensler is an expert on violence against women and its effects, and has worked to help end violence against women globally for more than 20 years. I cannot think of a better person to consult on this groundbreaking film!

So go watch it, and enjoy the feminist fury!!!

Can’t get enough of feminist film? Be sure to watch for Suffragette, coming out this October! Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, and Meryl Streep are starring in it. I’m SO IN.

The Typical Broad’s Awesome Mix Vol. 1

Guess what comes out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow? Only my FAVORITE Marvel movie to date: Guardians of the Galaxy!

How excited am I? Right now I’m so pumped that  I’m dancing like a Baby Groot.

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After watching Guardians of the Galaxy in the theaters this summer, I was inspired to create an “Awesome Mix” like the main character Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord), and I thought I would share it with you. Not only will these jams give you a dose of sunshine and rainbows, they’re also great to work out to!

Star-Lord

Peter’s Awesome Mix Vol. 1 often inspires him to dance, even during the most inopportune moments (which he usually turns into an opportunity to distract his enemies). I based my Awesome Mix on songs that would make me dance even if my enemies were pointing a weapon at me.

1. Love Train – The O’Jays

This song just makes me want to give the world a big old hug.

2.  Marry You – Bruno Mars

“Marry You” brings me so much joy. And the above video is the most adorable wedding proposal EVER. Watch it and try not to cry. *sniff*

3. Do You Believe in Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful

Whenever I hear this song, a montage from my childhood plays in my head. It just fun, and for whatever reason, it reminds me of being a careless kid.

4. She’s A Lady – Tom Jones

My Mum told me girls used to throw their panties at THIS DUDE when was performing on stage. For reals. Oh, the 70s.

5. The Warrior – Scandal

My favorite part of this song is when she sings, “Bang, Bang” and I get to make hand guns shooting off into the distance. In other news, how weird is this video?

6. Living in America – James Brown

Because Rocky IV. That’s why. ‘Merica.

7. Right Now – Van Halen

This song makes me feel like I can kick the world’s ass. I forgot how much I love this video.

8. Gangnam Style – Psy

My goal in life is to be the kid dancing at the beginning of this video. That kid is awesome.

9. La Copa de la Vida – Ricky Martin

From the time when Ricky Martin wasn’t gay, but he TOTALLY was.

10. He’s a Rebel – The Crystals

The reason I have an affinity for this song is because it was on my Mum’s old “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” VHS with Richard Simmons. Yeah, we did that. It was awesome.

11. I Can’t Get Next To You – The Temptations

This song makes me feel like I can accomplish anything! Except get next to you. But that’s okay. I don’t want to be next to you, because I’m awkward.

12. Get Ready – Rare Earth

There are many versions of this song and this is by far my favorite. Check out this dude killing it on the drums and vocals simultaneously!

13. Good Vibrations – Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Fun fact: Donnie Wahlberg wrote this song for his kid brother, Mark. When their mother Alma first read the lyrics, she knew it would be a #1 hit. True story. I learned it on Wahlburgers.

13. I’m Still Standing – Elton John

Elton John has to be one of my favorite people. I have so much respect for him for overcoming depression and addiction and helping many others do the same. He is also an amazing artist, and this song lifts me up whenever I’m down!

Stay tuned for the Typical Broad’s Awesome Mix Vol. 2 next week!

In the Spirit of Robin Williams, I Will Try to Bring More Joy Into the World

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I’ve been feeling angry lately. Some of it has to do with getting over a chronic cold and not being able to abide by my normal routine of working out, cooking food that isn’t crap, and being social.

But a lot of it also has to do with the fact that I’ve been spending too much time on Facebook. I scroll through my phone and sigh at depressing news headlines, read hateful comments with disgust, and sometimes offer my own color commentary. Commentary which typically reads like a mathematical equation of why I think so-and-so is an idiot.

There is so much hatred and divisiveness in our world. And I know I’m part of the problem.

This week, Robin Williams’ death was officially deemed a suicide.

When Robin died in August, it really affected me. I knew about Robin’s history with mental illness and addiction. And I always sympathized with him, because I also struggle with mental illness. Coincidentally, I am on the same depression medication that Robin was taking before he died.

When Robin died, I couldn’t help thinking, “Is there still hope for me? Will I eventually end up in the same boat? Despite all the medication and the various treatments, will it one day just be too much to take?”

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According to reports, it seems that Williams’ suicide could have been due to several factors: a combination of mental illness and a form of dementia that could cause hallucinations. There were no drugs or alcohol in his system. Just normal levels of anti-depressant medication and caffeine.

But that evening in August, I sat in our home office and sobbed uncontrollably, wondering if it was all hopeless. I watched the clip of Robin’s brilliant, Oscar-winning performance as Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting and how expertly he cut Matt Damon’s character to the core with his character’s brutal honesty and life experiences. I could see Williams channel both the dark and light side of himself into that unforgettable character.

Then I saw someone share a clip from the movie Hook. It was the scene where one of the lost boys takes Robin’s face in his hands, examines it, pushes it into a smile, and declares, “Oh there you are, Peter!” The person who shared it said, “This scene kind of depicts what people like him suffering from mental illness need. Someone who sees who they really are and will stand on their side… no matter what.”

Oh man. That one really got me.

Tuesday was Veterans Day and my husband watched Black Hawk Down. After watching it, he said, “Man, that was sad. I could really use a happier Veterans Day movie.”

“What about Good Morning Vietnam? That’s kind of happy,” I offered.

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So we put it on. And as Robin belted his famous, “GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM!!!” and hammered through that brilliant first monologue, I became teary-eyed from both laughter and sadness. There he was, being Robin, dishing joke after joke and doing what he did best: making people smile and laugh. I know the movie is a work of fiction loosely based on a real person. But to think of it… his character’s antics boosted morale in what was the worst place on earth.

And that’s what Robin Williams did throughout his career. He boosted our morale through good times and bad. He took his pain and instead of letting it destroy him, he breathed joy and happiness into the world. He encouraged us to not take life so seriously. He inspired us to be kinder to each other.

I think that was part of Robin’s personal regimen for keeping his mental illness at bay. I know I’ve used humor myself to cope with depression and anxiety. Humor helps me forget. And if I can make someone else laugh in the process, that brings me joy. And it makes me feel like I have a purpose.

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But I know I haven’t been that person lately. And due to that, I’ve questioned my purpose.

Glenn Beck also made the news this week, with the revelation that he has suffered and undergone treatment for a neurological disorder.

While I feel sorry for Mr. Beck, I think he is an example of someone who has used his gifts to inspire more hatred and division in this world. I hope that changes. Maybe it will now that he is well. But time can only tell.

Robin suffered as well, but he used his gifts to bring people joy. And that’s not what killed him. I think that’s what kept him alive for 63 years.

This week I decided that I want to be more like Robin was. I want to try to bring people more joy instead of bringing them down. I want to stop arguing with people so much and dismissing them for ridiculous reasons. Instead, I want to make them laugh. I want to encourage them. I want that to be my legacy.

It’s worth it to at least try to leave the world a happier place than it was when you entered it. I’m going to try.

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12 Times I Cried During Fried Green Tomatoes

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This weekend I was sans husband, which I always turn into an opportunity to watch a girly, sappy movie that he would NEVER watch with me. So as I was flipping through VUDU, I happened upon the Academy Award nominated film Fried Green Tomatoes, and was like, OMG YES.

While I was watching, I thought, This will be something I could write about: 5 Tear-Jerking Moments in Fried Green Tomatoes. Which was going fine until I burst into tears 12 FREAKING TIMES. (I know, I know. Typical broad…)

Here are the 12 moments from Fried Green Tomatoes that moved me to tears. (Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen the film. But if you haven’t seen it I’m totally judging you right now. GET ON THAT.)

1. When Buddy dies.

This scene sets the tone for Fried Green Tomatoes being the most heart-wrenching movie EVER.

2. When Idgie and Ruth throw food from a train to a shanty town full of hungry people.

Grüne Tomaten / Fried Green Tomatoes

The looks on the faces of kids catching the food totally did me in.

3. When Ruth leaves her abusive husband.

Watching Idgie, Julian and Big George protect Ruth from her abusive husband and help her escape led to ALL THE FEELINGS. This is such a progressive scene. You have to understand that this movie takes place in the Deep South during the 1930s, where domestic violence was likely tolerated and ignored because it’s “a couple’s business.” But the true friendship and love from Idgie, Julian and Big George give Ruth the courage she needs to leave Frank.

4. When Ninny Threadgoode tells Evelyn about her special needs son.

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Ninny explains to Evelyn how a doctor encouraged her to send her son Albert to be raised in a special home because he would be “too much of a burden” to raise. Instead of being a burden, Ninny says that Albert ended up being the joy of her life.

5. When Idgie and Ruth show kindness to Smokey Lonesome.

Smokey Lonesome is a homeless transient who doesn’t have a friend in the world. That is until Idgie and Ruth show him (likely) the only kindness he’s ever known by giving him a place to stay and treating him with dignity.

6. When Buddy Jr. loses his arm.

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This scene is so reminiscent of the initial scene depicting Buddy’s accidental death, so it’s hard to not become teary-eyed. And I just can’t stand to see a hurt kid cry. I used to make fun of my mother for crying when one of us kids was hurt. Now I’m the same way. Oh, genetics.

7. When Evelyn finds out about Mrs. Threadgoode’s house being torn down.

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Evelyn learns from Mrs. Otis’ daughter that Mrs. Threadgoode’s house has been condemned and torn down. Nobody tells Mrs. Threadgoode, because they don’t want to break her heart. But Evelyn knows this is wrong. Elderly people shouldn’t be treated like children. Later, Mrs. Threadgoode finds out about her house and is hurt that nobody told her about it.

8. When Ruth dies of cancer.

Okay so I had to straight up stop the movie at this point to ball my eyes out. This scene is so heartbreaking and real. It reminds me of when my mother lost her best friend, Anne, to cancer. She was only 46 when she died, which may be about the age Ruth is when she passes in the film. Ruth leaves behind a son who was about the same age as Anne’s daughter. There is nothing right about a person dying so young.

Love never dies. No matter how long it’s been since you’ve lost someone, they are still alive in your heart. Ruth’s death in Fried Green Tomatoes reminded me of that.

9.  Evelyn’s quote about how she’s changed because of Mrs. Threadgoode.

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“Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face. And I didn’t like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed. And that someone was Mrs. Threadgoode.” Did I mention how fantastic Kathy Bates is in this film? Her character comes such a long way and I cheered her on throughout the entire film.

10. When Evelyn believes Mrs. Threadgoode is dead.

When Evelyn mistakenly believes Mrs. Threadgoode is dead, she says to the nurse taking down Mrs. Threadgoode’s things: “She may just be another patient to you, but she was my FRIEND! And I LOVED HER!” Oh man. *sniff*

11. When Evelyn tells Ninny, “You’re the reason I get up every morning.”

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I love Evelyn and Ninny’s unlikely friendship.

Do yourself a favor in this life: Befriend an elderly person. They’re the wisest people on earth, they’re often pretty funny, and they have the BEST stories.

One of my first jobs was working with the elderly serving lunch at local senior centers and delivering meals on wheels.  This moment between Evelyn and Ninny made me miss working with the elderly. Little old ladies and gents would often tell me what a difference I made in their day without realizing what a difference they made in MY day. What a blessing that was.

12. The ending.

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People may die, but love never dies. The note Evelyn finds on Ruth’s grave at the end of the film reinforces this. So many hearts.

The novel Fried Green Tomatoes is also fantastic. It’s been many years since I’ve read it, but I remember liking it very much.

So if you haven’t already, watch Fried Green Tomatoes or read the novel if you’re in the mood for a wonderful story and a good cry!