Hubs and I love a double-feature. Early in our relationship, we went to see 300: Rise of an Empire followed immediately by Peabody and Mr. Sherman, which is the movie nerd equivalent of riding every roller coaster in an amusement park. We've also made more discerning choices, like Walk the Line followed by Walk Hard, which is the perfect way to fully appreciate John C. Reilly's sink-smashing skills. Last year we watched The Heartbreak Kid, a 1972 Elaine May comedy that features one of Charles Grodin's best performances, followed by The Heartbreak Kid, a 2007 Ben Stiller remake directed by the Farrelly brothers that is on the shortlist of Worst Movies I've Ever Seen. So we love a double-feature, and this weekend we upped our game. We had a triple feature of three very different movies, made in very different eras, but all built around the premise of the 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac: Roxanne, Whatever it Takes, and Cyrano.
There's a New Netflix Princess Movie! And it's completely ridiculous!
If you've been reading these emails awhile, you know I've got a serious fascination with the Netflix Princess Cinematic Universe. Give me your Christmas Princes, your Princess Switches, your Castles for Christmas! I'm genuinely so grateful that someone over at Netflix figured out that there's a huge, underserved audience for bonkers rom-coms. I know, I know, it's Oscar season, and there are dozens of "quiet character portraits" and "moving coming-of-age stories" that I should probably be watching. But when I saw Netflix had a new princess movie, my priorities were obvious. Who needs to watch the next Best Picture when The Royal Treatment just dropped?
It's officially January...and boy, does it ever feel like it.
Isn't January the worst? The holidays are over, the cold weather is setting in. A couple of days ago we had freezing rain that coated absolutely everything in a thin layer of ice, which is the bad weather trifecta: treacherous, ugly, but not really bad enough to justify staying at home with a good book. The shine has started to come off my New Year's resolutions. It turns out that giving up alcohol for three weeks has not magically resulted in losing ten pounds, having a bunch of extra money, and sleeping eight hours every night. And my TV choices have been similarly sobering. I just finished both seasons of HBO's Love Life, and I have thoughts.
Here's something I don't talk about much: I couldn't write for most of 2020.
For most of my life, I've been saying "oh, I could write more if I had the time!" Then in 2020, I suddenly had more time than I knew what to do with. Unfortunately, that time was also filled with anxiety, trauma, and an endless stream of problems that I was powerless to solve. I finally had the mythical time I've always needed, and I spent it doom-scrolling, comfort-reading, and stress-cleaning. Then my husband suggested that I try something different. Why not write by hand? Sure, it's slower than typing, but it's faster than absolutely no progress whatsoever, so why not give it a try?
And here's where I'm at 12 months later:
Every now and then, when I'm scrolling through the JustWatch app thinking about what I want to watch that night, I like to reflect on how far television has come. When I was a kid, there were four channels--2, 4, 7, and 9--and I still remember how exciting it was when Fox started airing on channel 13. Sure, we could have gotten cable, but a) my father was way too cheap and b) there were only, like, four more channels on cable anyway. Watching TV was basically choosing the best of your four options, then flipping to the second-best option during commercial breaks.
Now, the choices are endless. I can spend as much time deciding what to watch as I do watching. In order to combat this indecision, my husband I made a list of all the movies we wanted to watch. Here it is, in all its glory:
We opened our presents, went ham on our ham, and settled in for … EVEN MORE CHRISTMAS MOVIES!
When my family asks me what I want for Christmas, I'm always stumped. I don't need clothes--why would I, when I can just keep wearing this same 10-year old sweatshirt that is stretched out just the way I like it? I don't need toys or collectibles--frankly, it would be a gift to me if someone could get my husband to stop buying them. I don't need books or CDs--my phone holds more entertainment than I could consume in ten lifetimes. I guess you could, like, pay for six months of Spotify for me?
On my side of the family, we've basically phased out presents except for white elephants, and the obligatory pile of gifts for my nephew. However, my husband's family does a big gift exchange. When they asked him what I wanted, he cast about for a moment and then said, "well, she likes tea." How do I know?
BEHOLD MY CHRISTMAS TEA HAUL!
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