Posted on May 10, 2018
So, as I said on my Facebook page – I saw Tully the other night and I’ve had a lot of feelings about it. I found it really difficult to watch and as such it’s really difficult to review. Reviews for me are usually fairly easy to do – I don’t think film reviewing is a particularly important thing at all. It’s a fairly pointless thing to do in my view – which is why I like doing it. It’s not important writing and I don’t need to think too hard. It’s a turn off my brain hobby for me – just a bit of fun – other people take my film reviews far more seriously than I ever take them.
And then a movie comes along like Tully and it’s hard to work out what to say about it – I don’t review all of the movies I see, I’m not paid to do this, so I could just ignore it. But I want to talk about it, as much as I’m not sure how I feel about it.
I guess I’ll just jump right in and say – the marketing sucks and they should feel bad. In my view Tully is totally marketed as a feel good movies for new mums. A you’ll totally relate to this film. I mean – I could absolutely relate to that trailer. Who hasn’t dropped a phone on their kid’s head? And it’s clearly suggested that the film is full of these “isn’t this just so us?” comic moments.
Except this movie is not a feel-good movie about real parenting. This movie is a grim and heartbreaking work that is really important. And what frustrates me is that it could have stood on its own merits instead of pulling a bait and switch with vulnerable mothers. The irony of a movie about a vulnerable mother being marketed in such a way that it surprises new parents with horror is just beyond really.
You might think it’s a realistic Bad Moms. But it’s more like The Babadook (an amazing film – that is also very heavy). But The Babadook was not framed as a rom com dramedy as it is in fact a psychological horror film.
So does that mean I hated it? No. I found it devastatingly accurate. Painfully real. Especially as a mum who has suffered from PND and anxiety – and recently *deep breath* a really bad mental health break.
I don’t want to go into details, but earlier this year I had a breakdown and ended up in hospital. I can’t describe how much it hurt. I went offline for two weeks, took as much leave from my jobs as I could, and my sister came over from Australia to help care for me. It was agony – not being able to trust yourself with yourself is a pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I almost lost everything and not a day goes by that I don’t think about it.
So to go out to a film for a bit of a night off (as many mums seeing it are expecting based on the trailer) and instead have well…what the film actually is was rough as guts.
And this is the shitty part – I have to say “Spoilers ahead” to talk about it. And that kind of sucks. Here is this thing we need to talk about, that has been turned into a spoiler. I’m not sure how I feel about that. We need to talk about Tully – but we’re gagged because to do so “ruins” the movie. That’s not right is it?
I fear for the mums who leave the cinema and sit in their car and feel numb. My bestie and I had tried to go to a comedy show after but instead of laughing we mostly just sat close to each other, hands almost touching, waiting for that sinking feeling to dissipate. The morning after I sobbed in my husband’s arms. In saying that – it’s a good film, whatever that means. It’s raw and real and we need it. It’s visceral (I swear I had boob pangs during it like I almost started fucking lactating again).
And I don’t agree with a lot of the criticism around it.
And if you had an easy ride with parenting – you’ll probably be fine. It’ll probably just be a buzzkill for you. But if you’ve struggled – it’s a lot.
If you’re booked to see it (as I know many mums are): I think it’s an amazing movie and I felt incredibly seen, but I want you to be prepared for how hard it is to watch if you’ve had a rough time with your mental health. Go with a friend, take some time afterward to talk through your feelings. Don’t go alone. x
So I don’t know spoilers ahead …..sigh. If you don’t want it to be “spoiled” STOP HERE.
Posted on May 1, 2018
So what if you were at the supermarket and you’re a solo mum because if you had a partner you don’t now and the kids are screaming and you’re trying to hold one of them on your hip while also carrying five bags and feeling guilty that you keep forgetting your canvas bag and then Mark Ruffalo comes over and says can I help you and he bends down to grab one of your bags but you bend down at the same time and then you knock heads and he just gently touches your forehead and says are you ok and you’re like I’m fine but you’re dizzy because his eyes are so kind and he says let me help you and he picks up your baby and the baby immediately likes him and he holds hands with your other child who has stopped screaming and then he grabs the bags and walks to your car and he says I’m Mark Ruffalo and he tries to shake your hand but he can’t because it’s full of bags and he blushes and laughs and then you laugh and he says this is crazy but can I make you dinner tonight and you’re like oh well yes but I can’t because my baby has to stay in his routine I can’t take him out and he says I’ll bring you dinner and you just agree and two hours later you’re wondering if you should put make up on and he just appears at your door holding peonies and hiding behind him is a little girl the same age as your son and he says this is my daughter my wife died in a terrible basement flooding accident and his daughter shyly shakes your hand and then he holds up a perfectly made macaroni cheese and you invite him in and you and your kids and Mark Ruffalo and his adorable polite child all eat together on the floor on a mat so the kids don’t smear cheese everywhere and then the kids say can we have a sleepover and you both laugh and say I think they like each other and then he looks at you a shrugs and says sleepover? And you’re like this is crazy I just met you at Pak n Save but then the kids fall asleep on the couch and you say I have some wine and you go out onto the deck and toast the stars with your cleanskin Pinot Gris and he says can I kiss you and you do and then you finish him like cheesecake and then the next morning the kids sleep in until 10am and you wake up to him making them pancakes and singing and he says I have to tell you something I have this flatmate called Steve Rogers and have you heard of polyamory and I think you’d really like him and we only believe in one sided polyamory where it’s just you and us and you’re just like yes thanks that sounds great I am keen as and have no plans tonight please lock it in. What if that happened.
Posted on April 20, 2018
So, let me start at the beginning: Penthouse Cinema has a “girls night out” each month which involves bubbly and nibbles. And I usually go because they always have nice bubbles and I live nearby. It’s a good excuse to get the girls together and the spot prizes are fun. Penthouse isn’t my favourite cinema (they don’t have popcorn) but it’s still a good cinema (though it never shows good movies like Rampage). In case you’re wondering – My favourite cinema is Empire in Island Bay (good seats + wine + popcorn + plays movies like Rampage) or Reading Courtney Gold Lounge (nice staff + good seats + wine + popcorn + will bring you wine halfway through).
But anyway – so I went to I Feel Pretty and I know you’re probably thinking – But why? Because the premise looks terrible from the trailer. But the thing is – I went because it was the Girls Night Out movie and I wanted to hang with my girl Jean. And it was close by and I’d seen everything else. And also I can put aside my feminism for some movies – I subscribe to the Roxane Gay Bad Feminist model of consuming content – but and it’s a bit but – there’s putting your feminism to the side for a bit for some guilt-free, not particularly harmful, not denting the patriarchal wall that much consumerism, and then there’s movies like I Feel Pretty.
Posted on April 15, 2018
My anxiety is quite out of control right now. I mean I guess it is in control because I’m taking my meds for it like a good crazy person but still – I have not been on an even keel for some time now and I can’t help but think: is this it? Am I always going to be someone who spends a wasteful amount of time consumed by the horror of sex robots?
I worry about the feelings of sex robots. It’s not right. I am as sex positive as they come but can a sex robot give consent and what if it comes to life like that episode of Black Mirror and you have to keep it in the attic. I wouldn’t buy one obviously. I have not the money nor the need for a sex robot. If I somehow won a sex robot I would simply get it to fold my washing.
Posted on April 1, 2018
I saw some movies. Here are my reviews of those movies.
I literally can’t even remember what this movie was about but Eddie liked it because he didn’t insist on leaving before it was finished.
I wanted to leave during this but I was with my friend who wanted to keep watching. The whole movie felt like being hugged too long by your uncle. Like it is weird how in 2018 they can just be like hey let’s make a torture porn movie with Jennifer Lawrence in it and just make most of the story an excuse to degrade her and see her naked and bloody and also boobs and then someone was like “Yeah cool cool”. I mean was it made by the Weinstein Company?
I mean there was a very hot sex scene in there but that made it all worse because it’s like rape rape rape rape hot sex rape rape and I mean fucking hell what was the point of it? Why do they keep trying to sell this shit to women as empowerment? It’s not. It’s just some gross dude’s gross fantasy. Stop putting Jennifer Lawrence in shit movies dot com.
Finding your Feet
This was cute but also very long. It’s like an inspo old people movie and I saw it while I had my period so I cried but it was a good cry you know. It’s all very English but you know – better than a poke in the eye with a stick. And I saw it after Red Sparrow so frankly anything would have been good after that steaming pile of fetid butt juice.
You should go see Love, Simon right now. It’s ADORABLE. For real. Damn it made me realise how much I miss teen romances! I used to love Ten Things I Hate About You – and this is like Ten Things for 2018. It’s basically a perfect teen romance. Just the kind of sweet and gentle content I need for a Friday night. It is also – of course – special because it’s a gay couple and I spent a solid amount of it thinking: Damn I wish I’d had this as a teenager. It would have changed many things for me – I didn’t think romance was possible as queer teen. It was mostly just like “hey let’s practice for boys because we are definitely NOT GAY” and that makes me sad. But also very happy for 2018 teens. Who get this lovely, lovely, perfect movie. Also – parents should see it. Every Mom Jennifer Garner who I know I have insulted deeply by referring to her has white bread is very Every Mom Jennifer Garner in this movie. The dad is very hot and is either Fergie’s ex husband or the dad from Santa Clarita Diet – he is very good at making you cry. Dads should see this film. Mums should see it. Teens should. Everyone should. Because it’s great and I loved it.
You see John Cena’s butt at the end. Eight hundred trillion stars.
I am really excited about seeing A Quiet Place. Not just because John Krasinski rocks my socks. I am not seeing Peter Rabbit. I’d rather stick a pencil in my ear than see anything with that James Cordon idiot in it.
Posted on February 22, 2018
I saw some movies. Here are my reviews 🤷🏻♀️
Margot Robbie is very good. Allison Janney is very good. I don’t know though – this left me feeling a bit cold and weird and I’ve not been able to put my finger on why. Maybe it’s that the audience laughed when Tonya was called a cunt by her mother. Or that they laughed when her mother repeatedly abused her and disregarded her boundaries. Or that the domestic violence seemed so sudden and glossed over – that the narratives around that violence were threaded so even-handedly. Margot at Tonya would be slapped or thrown against a wall – and then her husband would say “that didn’t happen” to the camera. It felt like the audience was being encouraged to decide her truth. It felt like her life was up for debate and we were all eating popcorn while we considered it.
Posted on January 22, 2018
I saw lots of movies this month because I was given some vouchers and sent some tickets (thank you!) and so here are my reviews for the month! No spoilers. Unless it’s a spoiler to say that Sally Hawkins bangs a lizard fish man which I think it isn’t.
The Shape of Water
So I finally saw a Guillermo del Toro movie. It was good. Weird as shit. I mean at one point she’s dancing with a lizard fish man and somehow that was stranger than the banging. And when someone just banging a fish lizard man isn’t even the strangest thing in a movie then you know it’s a whack ass movie. I don’t know what was with the eggs. Nobody eats that many eggs. It’s not right. Michael Shannon is in this movie. I thought he was in Scream but he wasn’t. He was in Eight Mile. The only thing I can remember from that movie is Eminem licking his fingers in that revolting sex scene with Brittany Murphy. This is especially disturbing given the fingers on Michael Shannon in The Shape of Water. Also dead animal alert – a cat gets eaten.
Oh it wasn’t Brittany Murphy it was that other woman who was like Brittany Murphy. Do you remember she had that single in the charts? That was a weird time. Oh wait, maybe it was Brittany Murphy.
I was surprised at how much I loved The Post. I mean I like journalism movies as I am a failed journalist. They remind me of where my life might be if I didn’t have such an appalling work ethic. This is kind of like Wonder Woman but journalism. Like Wonder Woman if Wonder Woman had only like two maybe three women if that and the rest are white men in striped shirts. Actually fine it’s not like Wonder Woman at all. But it did make me feel idk momentarily not gripped with despair over the state of the world.
It’s fascinating and truly gripping. I was actually on the edge of my seat for some of it. Which I wasn’t expecting at all. Tom Hanks aye. Would you bang him? I might. I might with those tight pants and the rolled up sleeves.
I do love the Paddington movies. Everyone says this is better than the first but I don’t know. I love them both so much. It is delightful. Just like the first. I loved that the first was fairly clearly a message about refugees and kindness and open hearts and I love that the second was kind of a subversive critique of the industrial prison complex. He’s such a cute little bear.
Everyone shits themselves for Pixar and I get it. Coco is an absolutely stunning movie it really is. But IDK it’s a lot, like a lot, for kids. There is quite a complex storyline – my five year old just gave up half way through. But also it’s a lot of emotion – my son cried and was quite upset. He’s a sensitive sausage but it was a lot. We left immediately after and then I had to parent a lot after it. Like a lot. There were so many questions about how we make sure Aunty and nanna come back from the dead, and then lots of conversations about how they won’t. Because they’re dead. And then questions about why don’t we believe in Day of the Dead and what do we believe (I don’t know you just die – well handled by me). Then what does everyone else believe. And I just couldn’t be fucked talking about world religions you know when it’s this damn hot. But the music was nice.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I loved this. It’s my fave movie of 2018. Which is fairly easy since we are only in January. But it’s great. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it given the nature of the film. It’s about a mum whose daughter is raped and murdered. But it moved me so much. Frances McDormand’s performance was just incredible. The movie is actually about strength and resilience of women – how women are worn down by violence, by a society immune to that violence. It’s about how we see each other in the world, the ways we hurt each other. The fury we feel over the pain women so often have to carry. It’s powerful. I loved the ending. It felt true. And real. It’s a powerful and important film. Agonising. And also I don’t know how it’s so blisteringly funny? It’s such a brutal balance. It’s incredible. Definitely a must-see.
All The Money In The World
So boring. Good lord. How did they make such an interesting story so fucking boring. And Mark Wahlberg is so Mark Wahlberg. Who in their right mind said “you know what this movie needs? Mark Wahlberg”.
Pitch Perfect 3
Exactly what you would expect from Pitch Perfect 3. Still you do have moments where you say: Wow, it’s 2018 and we really have movies where the only character trait a main character is allowed to have is that she’s fat. Like literally a whole character whose only purpose is to be a landing pad for fat jokes. I hope this is the last Pitch Perfect. In the age of Wonder Woman surely this shit has sailed.
Posted on January 21, 2018
You might remember that in 2016 I took my eldest son Eddie and his bestie to Auckland City Limits. They had the best time and I am so excited that the festival is coming back and is again having a special kids festival as part of it. AND I’M GIVING AWAY TICKETS! (But we will get to that).
Usually festivals are not kid-friendly. And that’s a real shame because who loves music more than kids? And why should kids miss out on art? I love that the organisers of Auckland City Limits have made it not just kid friendly but actually actively welcoming to kids!
This year Auckland City Limits is on March 3 and Auckland Kiddie Limits their kids festival within the main festival looks awesome.
Children 10 years old and under get in free to to the festival and they are welcome in all corners not just the kids area. Our babes loved it all – there is art, music, the Kiddie Limits area, and a water spray zone. They were both fast asleep on the way home (They were three and four then). Getting to and from the venue at Western Springs was really easy. And they have pass outs for parents so if you’re lucky enough you can take the kids out at 5pm and drop them off and then come back for the rest of the festival.
Activities in Auckland Kiddie Limits 2018 include pirate games, a photo booth, karaoke, face painting, temporary tattoos, and workshops in paper plane making, magic, balloon twisting, and jewellery.
You also have MOTAT right there – we loved having nice toilets and a chill out area and indoor playground to escape to.
Auckland Kiddie Limits opens with the main gates at 11am and will run until 5pm –the festival headliners, who play through to 11pm so if you can drop the kids home with a babysitter you can come back.
Finn, the host of the 95bFM kids show, has once again curated the musical and entertainment lineup. Performers include Christchurch duo Itty Bitty Beats, winners of the 2016 Best Children’s Song and Best Children’s Album, musical comedy pantomime troupe Captain Festus McBoyle’s Travelin’ Variety Show, singer songwriter Chanelle & Friends, magical circus performer Le Cirque De JP, award winning kids folk musician Claudia Robin Gunn and an interactive show from Chris Sam Lam’s Musical Mayhem.
Eddie loved it last year and I’m looking forward to hopefully going this year. And I’m hoping I can get a babysitter because I’d love to see Grace Jones, Head Like A Hole, and Disasteradio (I know what a mix!) Other festival headliners are Beck, Justice, Future, Phoenix, Peking Duk, Tash Sultana, George Ezra, The Avalanches, The Libertines and more (see here). There’s also comedy and poetry and some really cool art installations. The food was amazing last time. So you’re not slumming it like Big Day Out. It’s a genuinely awesome family day out.
And I have tickets!! So comment below or on my Facebook page (on the link to the post) and you’ll go in the draw for a double pass. Kids under 10 get in free so that’s all you need. I’ll draw the competition on Tuesday 23rd January. Tickets are on sale here.
Posted on December 31, 2017
It has been an absolutely enormous year for everyone. For my little whānau – there have been mostly huge ups but a few shitty downs. I am writing this from my bed. We just returned from Taupō. I have strep throat again. Sleep deprivation ruins your immune system. It sucks. I read an article on how to avoid recurring strep throat last night and it said “Stay away from small children” and I was like yeah OK and it said “if you can’t stay away from children at least stay away from carriers” and just as I read that Ham shoved his little paw into my mouth and his hand was wet. Like I don’t know what was on it. It was about 10pm and I’d only just got him to sleep. He is Patient Zero that kid. I pushed him over toward his father and he rolled straight back to me like a magnet. I pushed him away again and he sat up sleepily, grabbed my arm, and dragged it under his snotty nose then went back to sleep. Disgusting. This is why I am literally a flesh sack of illness 24-7.
Anyway, that’s not what I am here to write about. It’s New Years Eve. It’s the afternoon. I’m in my PJs already. I wanted to share with you a true story to inspire you as you slide into 2018.
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked Dwayne The Rock Johnson about it.
“My greatest love, I know you’ve been like super busy and I promise I am super grateful for Baywatch I mean I feel like that movie was made for me, and I mean Jumanji – LOVE IT honestly LOVE IT and you know I fully realise you are married and have your own family and I’m in New Zealand and you know whatever I know you’re busy but you have always been there for me, so it like super surprised me when I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I just don’t get why, when I needed you the most, you would straight up just leave me.”
He whispered, “Emily, babe, I love you and will never leave you. Never, ever, I was even there when you fell into the hummus trying to get a kebab at 2am after the media awards. I have always been there, for your highs and your lows.
When you saw only one set of footprints –
It was then that I carried you.”
True story. So as you head on into 2018 make sure you thank the people who have carried you. The lesson I have learned in 2017 is that I’ve never been alone. I’ve always had someone with me, guiding me on, encouraging me, pushing me, challenging me, and celebrating me. We all need that. We all deserve it.
Personally, I am grateful beyond measure for you – well, maybe not you specifically if you’re having a good old hate read right now – but you like the nice you who helped me write my book, you who encouraged me to keep going, you who bought my book and you who sat in the front row at readings because you know how scared I am about public speaking. You who sent me lovely and kind messages when things were really bad, you who celebrated with me when I got invited to my first writers festival, you who shared my posts and tagged in your friends to read it. All of you really so nice people – you’re so special to me. I feel like the luckiest dickhead in the world. I know I have been shot up the butt with a rainbow. I know it’s absurd. I love you for sharing this ludicrous thing with me. Thank you a million times. I never ever thought I’d have a published book – then to not only have one but to have people actually buy it and read it – it’s just too much for me to wrap my head around. Thank you for making it happen. I’m forever in your debt.
May your 2018 be beautiful – just like you are. May your village here and at home care for you, hold you up, and cheer you on.
Arohanui my friends.
Posted on December 27, 2017
So the weather has been effen terrible in Wellington after we had so many beautiful days in a row. Typical bloody Wellington. So I’ve been seeing heaps of movies. Here are my reviews. I’m writing this while the kids fuck up the lounge because they’ve been inside for three days. My husband has been the best ever and is basically just like – take a nap love, or go see a movie love. Which I’m taking to mean he loves and appreciates me and not that he wants me out of the house.
Whichever one it is – I’m taking it.
Boxing Day I saw two movies. First up was Ferdinand.
If you consider Ferdinand to be a parable of the way toxic masculinity consumes and hurts young boys and men it’s basically the feminist movie of the year. So I mean, that’s how I see it. Throw in John Cena and Kate McKinnon and it’s my favourite kid movie of the summer. Considering I’ve seen some shit – I mean have you seen Lego Ninjago? What a steaming pile of sensory overload and then afterward I kept getting kicked by my child who was convinced he was a ninja. Anyway, back to Ferdinand. It’s adorable. A bull who doesn’t want to fight – who is teased for being soft and weak because he doesn’t want to fight. Can you be a winner if you don’t fit the mould etc – you know the rest. Anywho – it’s adorable and Kate McKinnon is hilarious. She is a “calming goat”. She’s perfect. There are some genuinely laugh out loud funny moments. I was in a packed cinema and the kids were hooting along. I was next to the most delighted little one who was squealing with excitement. It was great. My little one had a lot of questions like “Why did he have a sword to fight the bull – that’s not fair?” Yeah, no it’s not. And “What was the metal house they got taken to” – A slaughterhouse and if my son gives up meat he’s basically going to live on plain white bread rolls so I said “it was a shed”. Yes, I lied. Don’t judge me. John Cena is adorable just like he is in real life. Even as an animated bull I was like I want to [redacted]. He’s got such a great fat neck. He waxes though. Which I guess they have to because of the wrestling but still ugh how weird would it be if you pulled down someone’s daks and they had no pubes. That’s not in Ferdinand by the way – I just know that about John Cena. So don’t worry – there’s nothing dodgy in the movie. I was just thinking about…never mind.
What did we ever do right to deserve Dwayne The Rock Johnson? Has there ever been a man who has brought more delight and wonder to the world? No there has not. Dwayne The Rock Johnson is goodness personified. All he wants for us is happiness and joy. His smile could light up the darkest day. As the bible says, Dwayne The Rock Johnson is patient, Dwayne The Rock Johnson is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. He does not dishonor others, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered (unless someone disrespects women – systemic misogyny infuriates him but he never speaks over or for women but instead creates space to boost their voices). Dwayne The Rock Johnson keeps no record of wrongs. Dwayne The Rock Johnson does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. Dwayne The Rock Johnson always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Dwayne The Rock Johnson loves us and he wants us to be successful and strong women striding forth and changing the world for the better. 650 million stars out of ten.
The Greatest Showman
If you just consider this a work of fiction (which it is) it’s spectacular. It really is. Everyone involved is beautiful and impossibly talented. Rebecca Ferguson is stunning as Jenny Lind. Zendaya is so captivating.
My favourite performance was the “bearded lady” Keala Settle. Zac Efron sings and dances – I mean there wasn’t a dry seat in the house. Personally I like my Hugh Jackman more stacked than he is in this movie. But you know – there was enough in Zac Efron wearing tight pants to keep me happy. The music and dancing was very Baz and was great etc. Like I said, it’s spectacular in the way his movies are – but the “This Is Me” empowerment self love message / PT Barnum is a a saviour to people who are “different” message is a bit on the nose considering what he was really like.
It is of course not in the movie that Barnum was a monstrous person. A horrific racist who bought, sold, abused and exploited people of colour and people with disabilities and children. He literally performed a public autopsy on a disabled woman of colour. And that just scratches the surface. Every part of the film glosses over how nightmarish he was. Like “Tom Thumb” in the Greatest Showman is “hired” and is 22 but in reality he was four years old and he was basically sold by his parents to PT Barnum. There are thousands of horror stories about him. So yeah, Barnum was horrendous. I guess you can only hope that after seeing the movie people look up PT Barnum and read about him. Because this definitely isn’t the PT Barnum story.