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Polymorphism

Yesterday I joined JJ in going over to the home of a work friend of…

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Yesterday I joined JJ in going over to the home of a work friend of hers for pizza and a movie.

I spent a good amount of time playing with the kids, two girls of 8 and 12 years respectively, and made a watermelon out of FunFusion beads which is now on my keychain. These beads are way fun, and I want to figure out a way to make the pegboards yourself instead of using the preformed shapes. It should be doable, doggone it! I also started them off with a system to organize the colors into ziplock bags. Their current system is to just pour beads from the jug (which originally had 11,000 beads) onto paper plates and pick out the colors they want, which takes forever. I dunno if they will continue to sort them or just dump them back into the jug, but being the sorting weirdo that I am, I had a hard time stopping when I did.*

The pizza was ok, though it had a sweeter tomato sauce than I find optimal. However, there were also baked nachos, which were a new thing to me. At first I thought the guacamole was for the pizza, which was an astonishing idea! Even though it wasn't what I thought it was, I now want to make a pizza for which guac is a good side sauce. I think I am pizza-ed out for the near future, though.

We watched In and Out, and I found that my response to it was different than the first time I saw it. Back then I wanted him to turn out not to be gay. This time I didn't, though I still think that might have made for a stronger story. If the goal is to showcase to those in the sexual mainstream what casual homophobia can do to people, that can be achieved better by using a straight man as the foil, because it would bring that treatment of the "other" home as being something that was happening to the "self". That purpose can be covered in other and perhaps better ways, though, such as by Owen of Gaytown.

Incidentally, I don't usually have high expectations of comedies as tools for social enlightenment (though it IS a valid tool for that, it's a subversive one). I find myself thinking of this movie in this analytical fashion because even though I enjoyed the movie both times I've seen it, I also found the gay stereotypes exhibited by Kevin Kline's character to be a bit heavyhanded. It pulled me out of the story somewhat and makes me consider the message rather than just the entertainment, which I normally do not do.

The main flaw of the movie is that I felt it was trying to do too much: change your POV about the position of gays in society; send up Hollywood; talk about women's body politics; and make a point about the paraphanelia of weddings and women's emotional relationships with weddings. I agree with all the messages being sent, but with so many, none of them are really as effective as they might have been.

The "Hollywood is so superficial" note was, again, heavyhanded, which made it ring hollow. I think that a subtler brand of irony works best for self-snarking. As far as the self-referentially humorous acting goes, though, Matt Dillon really brought it home, and I think it's one of his best performances ever, as normally I don't care for him at all, and I found him likeable in the Johnny Moviestar role.

The women's issues were even more shallowly glossed over, being exhibited only as individual's character traits. I do think it is interesting that they were relaying an anti-fat-hatred message by means of having an actress who is not fat talking about when she WAS. It does show that being slim isn't a happy pill any more than anything else is... but if we have to talk about body image issues, I'd rather see a fat woman as a truly happy character. To make it even more incongruous, it looked to me like Joan Cusack actually put on weight for the self-hating-former-fattie role, which I don't think I would have noted if her character hadn't talked about her weight roughly every third line.

All that being said, it's a mainstream Hollywood comedy, and there's only so much you can ask from those. I like the movie, and I confirmed yet again that I'd watch Kevin Kline do pretty much anything. I also realized he is facially somewhat similar to Brent Spiner - they could convincingly play relatives.

I had a really nice evening. I like those. :)

* This is a good example of some of the compulsive urges I've been feeling of late. In this case I felt it would have been socially inappropriate to continue, but overall it's a more productive manner of expression than the ones I had the last time I was out of work, so I'll try to channel it in useful directions rather than stifle it.
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