I’ve been feeling sorry for myself lately. It’s been the kind of self loathing week where I click on the TV, or check the news, or look at my twitter feed and the only thing I can see is how the new zeitgeist is full of ladies taking on the challenge of being a lady (ages 22 to 34.) I see only this phenomenon because I’m not part of it – try as I may. I mentally go down my masochistic list of people who’ve made it who seem just like me: Zooey Deschanel (we have the same hair), the ubiquitous Lena Dunham (both sexy and sassy), Lesley Headland (theatre chick), Lizzie Caplan (she wore the same glasses as me once), the other chick from that catering comedy (we work in the food industry,) etc. As soon as I get down to Jenny Slate I start contemplating running away to Jacksonville, FL to become a scuba instructor. However, there is one actress who gives me some sort of sick schadenfreude sense of hope – Greta Gerwig. She’s cool, smart as a whip and oddly attractive – just like me! And she can’t seem to get this whole “I’m a nutty feminist with a slutty side” thing right for the viewers – just like me! Everything she’s done this year has had the makings of being on trend and on point, but…it falls flat. Just like me.
This movie was a disaster with a capital D, as was my life the month it came out. The movie felt as though it had been made three times over and then put together from different cuts so much so it looked like your little sister had torn up all your vintage Vogue Magazines, decoupaged a teacup with the pages, stuck a used tampon in it, called it art, and gotten into your first choice college with that as her application. Natalie Portman surrounded herself with some of the funniest, quickest ladies out there, and used them as doormats to stamp her perfect size 5 ½ feet on. I once had a friend who did that to me too, Greta. Sometimes girlfriend breakups are the hardest breakups. Don’t let other girls dull your shine. Therapy helps.
On the road from Hannah Takes the Stairs to Arthur, Greta makes a pit stop with Damsels in Distress. When I was 11 all I wanted was to grow up to be in a movie by Whit Stillman. I had seen Barcelona and though I had absolutely no idea what it was about, I loved the hot Spanish girl who only wore crop tops with lettuce edging. Now I’m slightly embarrassed for Stillman, and doubly embarrassed for myself. The movie is alarmingly out of touch with reality – its whimsey is grating, the twee-ness like finger nails down a chalkboard. This was the year I stopped wearing headbands and circle skirts. Greta, I beg you to do the same.
I had super high hopes for this movie. In fact my hopes were so high that I went to see it by myself, so I could cry alone about my own ‘almost thirty, have I accomplished anything?! crisis,’ without anyone judging me. I bought a large coca cola, and three candy bars. My stomach ached with the pain of being a blocked artist for the next three days. Also the movie was bad. Oh, Greta, my darling Greta. You are simply not the everywoman this genre needs you to be! Instead of being relatable with your food and boy obsessions, you are annoying. Instead of being candidly vulnerable with your honesty and clumsiness you are confusing with a lot of pensive stares and whiny monologues. The vaudevillian slapstick of this movie (your penis is that big!) is so off, we know Greta sees that banana and the thought of landing on it correctly is making her stomach turn. Also, Lola versus what exactly? She has her own apartment in the village! I live with three other people in a foreclosed building by the river. She’s getting a PhD in poetry, which must mean her parents are rich, cause everyone knows rich kids either study poetry or join the lacrosse team. She has a small dirty mouthed friend who’s not as pretty as she is. All my friends are better looking than me and keep me around for the sole purpose to test new mascaras on before they commit to the brand. So what, your boyfriend broke up with you. We all break up, and apparently time heals all wounds, except that three years later you still might be dreaming about how you’re going on vacation with your ex, and in the dream you’ve cut off your own head and taken it as carry-on in a bowling bag.
Oh come on Greta, a Woody Allen movie? You know better. Don’t you understand that Woody will never again be able to create a female role full of the idiosyncratic charm that made us all fall in love with Annie Hall? Maybe Mr. Allen only had three great movies in him, and you are the latest Hollywood “it” girl to become bland-ified by a boring Woody movie. Do you really want to be the next Evan Rachel Wood? I thought you were a writer? Don’t you make movies, not merely star in them? For the record, if a magic Genie could make me as a tall and skinny as Evan Rachel Wood I would be ok with that. But, Greta I hold you to a higher standard. I want you to be on the top part of the “feminsance women” list. That word is a mix of feminist and renaissance by the way. So please Greta, pick up a copy of the Artist’s Way, go to a cabin in Montana where you can really feel the isolation and get back to what’s truly unique about you as a creator. You can do it, gurl.