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Drew Barrymore Tag

Horror movies derive most of their power and enjoyment (you sicko) from a combination of novelty and surprise.The novelty: how the filmmakers will have this particular bad guy stalk and kill the good guys. The surprise: OHMYGODLOOKOUTBEHINDYOUDREWBARRYMORE! Nevertheless, because horror movies are eternally popular, Hollywood remakes

So, have we all been watching the Todd Haynes-directed Mildred Pierce mini-series on HBO? By now, episodes 1-3 have already aired, with the final two installments scheduled to premiere this coming Sunday, April 10th. I have certainly enjoyed it. I can’t say it’s the most uplifiting film I’ve ever seen — far from it — but the performances have been fantastic and Haynes’s impeccable attention to detail is present in its full glory. I’m betting that when awards season roles around, practically everyone involved will be nominated — Winslet is certainly a shoe-in for best actress for her portrayal of the titular role and I’m hoping that Mare Winningham gets recognized for her excellent turn as Ida Corwin.

Haynes definitely has a more realist take on the source material, the 1941 novel by James M. Cain, than had Michael Curtiz’s 1945 version starring Joan Crawford and Ann Blyth, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve never read the novel, but I think there’s a place in this world for both adaptations.

As I’ve been watching this epic “mini-series event,” I’ve been thinking a lot about the tempestuous relationship between Mildred and her oldest daughter, Veda, in this version played by Morgan Turner and Evan Rachel Wood. The bratty, entitled Veda got me thinking about other daughters in film and I thought it might be interesting to explore that topic, especially since it’s one I’ve rarely seen covered.

Of course, I’m not going to discuss every daughter portrayed in film — that would take ten years. And some that originally made my list I’ve held back to include in a future piece about sisters. So, these are just some of my favorites — daughters that, for one reason or another, have made an impression on me.

Who are your favorite daughters in film? Tell me in the comments!

Also, a quick warning: most of these clips are NSFW and could be kind of spoilery.

Going the Distance (Warner Bros., 2010)

Romantic comedies are as plentiful as the rain, and no matter how many postmodern wrinkles Hollywood ever adds to the genre, it’s always gonna be the same old story: Guy and girl meet, guy and girl split, guy and girl get back together. But look! Going the Distance not only boasts an impressive cast stuffed with funny people, but it was helmed by American Teen director Nanette Burstein! Those are good signs, right?

Synopsis: Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (Justin Long) are very much in love. When Erin moves to San Francisco to finish her journalism degree and Garrett stays behind in New York to work in the music industry, they gamely keep their romance alive with webcams and frequent-flyer miles. However, just when it seems the lovers will be soon be reunited, Erin and Garrett both score big breaks that could break them up for good.

What exactly is a “guilty pleasure”? I know it’s supposed to be a movie, TV show, or band that one really enjoys in spite of its dubious value. For whatever reason, even if the thing itself is lame, poorly conceived, or utterly wretched, there’s something about it that pleases or satisfies us, even as it’s eating away at our souls. I have a few such pleasures — the Meg Ryan alcoholism weepie When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), for example, which has been shown approximately 10,000 times on basic cable — but for the most part, I don’t feel guilty about the movies I love, even when no one else seems to appreciate them or even remember that they exist. Case in point: the 1984 Hollywood divorce classic Irreconcilable Differences. Yes, I called it a classic, and here’s why:

idlobby1. Drew Barrymore. Just a year and a half after becoming the breakout star of E.T. (um, Henry Thomas, anyone?), nine-year-old Drew was in demand. In her other film that came out in ’84, Firestarter, she plays a creepy Carrie White Jr. who’s on the run from evil government agents. Irreconcilable Differences finds her playing a role that was, no doubt, all too familiar to her: a child whose life is ruined by her self-absorbed showbiz parents. A scene in which her character, left unattended at a New Year’s Eve party, chugs a glass of champagne and enjoys it just a tad too much is uncomfortably — and deliciously — prescient. Indeed, this movie may have actually saved Barrymore’s life: it taught her the definition of “emancipated minor,” which she herself became at age 15.

No time for love, Dr. Jones. The fakes await! As I mentioned last week, this post is devoted to the cinematic musical alter egos (and some non-cinematic ones as well) and as Jon Cummings mentioned last week, he did it first. Undaunted, I’m sending my posse over to his abode to knock ‘im into shape. Yes, my posse consists of a penguin, a rabbit and a cat that has used up one too many lives.

So Opus, Bill and all the rest never made it to the movies, but they should have, and considering how bankrupt Hollywood is for ideas, they may yet get there someday. In the meantime, we have volumes of Berke Breathed’s Bloom County comic strips and a flexi-disc with two of Billy and the Boingers’ (formerly Deathtongue) “hits.” “I’m a Boinger” is rather hard on the ears, the kind of sledgehammer comedy fans used to send to the Dr. Demento show after listening to too much “Weird Al” Yankovic.  “U Stink But I Love U,” on the other hand, is obnoxious, but was performed by the very real hardcore band Mucky Pup. They even got the tuba in, so big points for that.

Last week, I gave credit to Bill Nighy for singing his parts in the film Still Crazy. This week, I’m doing the same for Hugh Grant. What an insane world we live in. Having never seen the film Music and Lyrics (2007), all I knew about it was that Grant played a former pop star from a band (loosely modeled on Wham!) called PoP! His forte was the music, but now as a writer for hire, he’s contracted to create a hit tune for rising pop music starlet and he’s in need of a lyricist. Enter Drew Barrymore, a lyricist on the rise. The rest is rom-com history. Now, there was no need for Grant to sing on the soundtrack, as I think an audience would have given him that latitude. I mean, it’s Hugh Grant. He’s not a singer and nobody really expects anything at all from him. To my shock, “PoP Goes My Heart” is a rather faithful approximation of ’80s synth-pop and I have to offer my apologies. What I will not apologize for is a Wiki blurb indicating David Hasselhoff covered the song and had a hit in Germany with it. I’m calling Bravo Sierra on that one…