Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bitter Bloggings of an Optimistic Actress: Beauty and the Beast

Casting is a process that always fascinates me.  Sometimes I do really want to be a fly on the wall.

Recently a casting notice was put into the world requesting two individuals.  They specifically requested the individuals not be models.  They were looking for real people.  People who were active, but average.  Now picture that.  Got the image in your mind?


Imagine how shocked the entire acting internet was when the agent of one of the said "Normal People" posts a picture of the client who booked the job and she was GORGEOUS.  I mean drop dead perfect.  Skinny, porcelain skin, and a "bottom so tight it could do lip sync."  Honestly?  What do these people think normal and average looks like?  And I get it, the client is the one who picks who gets the job. But, how does someone who looks like they should grace a runway get picked as the average?  Average compared to who?  A VS model?  I mean congratulations on getting the gig, but seriously.

About nine months ago I was called in to read for a commercial.  The commercial asked for an intelligent female about 30-40 years old.  Once again, I arrive at the auditions and am surrounded by women, whose total weight is equal to my own individual mass.  Most of them are models who "mom" on the side.  There is one nineteen year old who doesn't know what the sides even mean.  Seriously, the sides are ripped straight from an IT manual and placed on the page.  I had to read some specs myself the night before just to understand what was going on, and my oldest friend in the world is in IT.  Any guesses as to the one who gets the role?  Seriously, what nineteen year old needs that kind of money?  When did nineteen become the new thirty?

And the last straw.  I was recently not cast in a film due to my height because the love interest would be too short for me.  "The director loved your rendition of the character but we have already cast this part and the height difference would be distracting."  Great.  So what you are saying is you are willing to put out a sub par product because you are afraid of spending an extra few minutes making my love interest a few inches taller with camera angles and standing him on a box.  They dig holes in the ground for the girls opposite Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone.  That is kinda sick.

I read an interview with Anne Hathaway.  Her twenties were great to her, but as soon as she hit thirty she actually started losing roles.  Let me repeat this.  Anne Hathaway started losing roles in her thirties to twenty-somethings.  (**Not all the twenty-somethings were Jennifer Lawrence; which would have been ok**)

We laugh at this sketch, but it is truly horrifying.  Because it is true.  Even in the context of the sketch itself.  Did you know originally it was supposed to be about an ageing actress being welcomed into the fold of already aged out actresses?  The studio thought it would be more appealing to young audiences if they had famous actresses who hadn't aged out yet sending one of their own into the void.  See how messed up that is?

All I am asking is that those businesses getting the help of a CD actually think about what they want.  Do you want an actual average thirty year old or a twenty seven year old model with mature features.  Do you want someone who can speak to your consumers on a level that makes them understand or do you want someone who will draw in your viewers with their looks.  Honestly ask for exactly what you want and I promise, you will get it.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Intern: Because Sometimes Even I Do Film Reviews!

Once again, to anyone who will attempt to use any pictures on this to try to get money from me.  This is a film review and all images underneath are actually free for my use under the FAIR USE ACT since the following is for criticism.  So NYEHH!

Found randomly online.  This is a FILM REVIEW!

So, the other night, because we love De Niro and Hatheway so much, and because we had heard good things, the better half and I watched The Intern.    I will be honest, not a fan.  If you are, that is your opinion and I can see why the general public might like it.  However if you really break it down it really is a slight film with very little to offer, except two A-listers really working for their money and a laugh or two.

So yeah...expect spoilers.  Duh.

Nancy Meyers, the brain behind such films as What Women Want and Father of the Bride, decided to make another movie.  I admit to enjoying both Father of the Bride films and What Women Want.  Both were nice little slices of life, even though they had more to do with the rich, white upper class.    She always manages to get great names for her films and there is a very sweet heartfelt message at the end.  It's something light I can enjoy since most of the film I watch is so deep and heavy.  Seriously, my must see list for last year included Room.  (Captain America: Civil War, if you break it down,  was only okay.  I watch heavy movies.)

The film starts off with De Niro in the middle of filming a kind of audition for an internship at a fashion startup that has apparently been doing very well.  He gets a job as an intern and aid to the boss, Anne Hathaway.  She immediately judges him to be incompetent, without knowing too much about old-fashioned work ethic, but through the film finds him to be the best thing that has ever happened to her and her company.  Sunshine rainbows and happiness.

Robert De Niro is playing a retired widower, Ben, looking to fill his life with activities.  After seeing an advertisement near his local coffee shop, he decides to return to the workplace.  He gets a job at an online fashion site owned by Jules.  Jules is a woman who only cares about the customer and overworks herself and this makes her "hard to work for," as is often repeated.

This is where it starts to fall apart.  And the film has just started.  Jules is constantly referred to as hard to work for, but I never saw a single moment when she wasn't kind, concerned and caring to any and all of her employees and customers.  Other than a breakdown by her assistant, who is obviously in need of a Xanax, and can't handle the workload, no one really seems to do anything but totally adore her.  She even has a house masseuse (by the way they prefer the term massage therapist) for anyone who wants one.  Why didn't they go ahead and make her a Miranda Priestly type, a la The Devil Wears Prada?  Someone who honestly doesn't care what other people think of her.  A powerful strong woman who runs her workers to death.  Missed opportunity.

Why was she the head of a fashion company and not an IT start up?  Women don't just deal in clothes and shoes.  In fact, this is something that bothers me.  So many writers pick a profession for their characters without knowing anything about that profession.  They then proceed to write about that profession without doing more research than a wiki search for a few simple phrases they can pepper in conversation.  They don't bother looking anything up about how the profession actually works.  In this particular case, I am always wondering in this film; does she design the clothes or buy from a second party and sell?  Since her entire life revolves around this job, I want to know more about it.

Ben is immediately liked by everyone at the company when he starts his internship.  He has a few problems with the technology, but there is almost zero focus on it.  A missed opportunity.  Jules kinda thinks he is nosey to start off with, but after cleaning off a desk and driving her through the city when her driver gets drunk she realizes his old-fashioned work ethic is irreplaceable.

Jules is told by some person who works for her, played by Andrew Rannels, that the people giving her money want her to get a CEO to run her company because they don't think her company will continue to grow.  Her job is now to look at possible CEOs and pick one...maybe.  So she starts vetting CEOs.  Not that she has to.  She will still have her company if she doesn't.  Why was it not written that her company would totally disband if she didn't pick a CEO?  That would have added some great tension.  Once again, a missed opportunity.  (Even Mel in What Women Want was about to lose something big if he didn't step up his game.)

Jules's husband, Matt, has given up his much better paying job (which we never see him do) so Jules can have her company.  Her job mainly consisting of riding a bike to meetings in the office, playing with tissue paper and riding in the back of a car while talking to her mother who, apparently, doesn't love her.  Seriously, what does she do?  She has TONS of money and yet I have no idea what she actually does.

In fact, if Matt didn't quit his job I think their kid would be just as well loved.  Honestly, the kid is kinda just there so Jules can be seen once as being incompetent and Matt can be seen as being a jerk.  I kinda wonder why they don't take their obvious wealth and pay for a nanny,   Are they too busy to call a service?  But anyways, Matt is now a house hubby and Jules is paying the bills, with no problem doing so.  However, apparently, the mom's at her daughter's school seem to find her incompetent.  Jules and her constant working is causing a rift between she and her husband.  Apparently, he is having an affair that Jules is aware of, that we don't find out about until almost the end of the movie when Ben sees it in progress.  When it is brought to light both Ben and Jules have a good long cry in their 5 star hotel room about how terrible life is.  How unfair.  Once again, I think he should have been having an affair with one of the mom's we see.  Then we might actually care that he is being unfaithful.

The end is simple.  Jules chooses not to get a CEO.  Matt tells her the affair is over, they cry and agree to never be unfaithful to one another.  Ben is now her chauffeur and assistant to her assistant.  All is happiness sunshine and rainbows.  And nothing all that bad really happened.

There was almost NO conflict.  Here was a great time to talk about ageism and sexism in the workplace and that topic was totally ignored.  The love interest between Renee Russo and De Niro happened too quickly.  So quickly there was zero build up, no sexual tension.  One day she meets him and by the end of the film she is sleeping with him and seems like they are living together after one date we have seen.  Matt and Jules are immediately fine as soon as he admits to the affair and claims it is over.  In real life, trust me, there is more anger than that.  There were two, maybe three moments of humor.  All having to do with De Niro and his sexual preferences.  

A"I might meet Jay-Z"
De Niro "Who is that?"
A "What if Beyonce opens the door?"
De Niro "Ok, I know who that is!"

Honestly, had the leads not been working so hard to be amazing, the film would have been nothing better than the worst made-for-TV garbage.  It was a slight film for adults, filled with hopes and dreams but no real substance. 

But that is just me.