Television Show Review: Togetherness: Season 1

Togetherness: Season 1

Togetherness: Season 1 created by Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, and Steve Zissis (Duplass Brothers Productions, Home Box Office) Starring Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zissis. Searching for Identity Divorce, the unmentionable. Much like Fight Club, the one rule about divorce is that you never mention divorce. With so many families rendered asunder, it seems wise to never bring such a topic to the table in good times or in bad. Intuitively, such thoughts are self-fulfilling. One doesn’t mention divorce if he or she is happily married. Thus, the mere mention of it necessitates its action. Even though divorce represents a common occurrence in the American household, our idiot boxes don’t root for it. The narrative trends on… Read More →

Film Review: Enough Said

Enough Said

Enough Said written and directed by Nicole Holofcener (Fox Searchlight Pictures, Likely Story, PG-13, 93 min) Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, and Catherine Keener. Target Markets Everyone’s favorite target market is the 18-35-age range. They are the youth that carry culture, start fashion trends, and usually spend money on themselves. When it comes to popular culture, this age range becomes the focal point of just about everything. Most trendy musicians sit in that range. Most movies circle around the difficulties of young adulthood. In particular, the romantic comedy funnels the 18-35 into a predictable narrative about a search for love and that perfect partner. Kate Hudson made a career out of it. Then it was Katherine… Read More →

Book Review: Stag’s Leap

Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds

Stag’s Leap: Poems by Sharon Olds (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.  112 pp) Born in San Francisco, Sharon Olds graduated from Stanford University and earned a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. Olds teaches creative writing at New York University. Her work has received many awards including a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the San Francisco Poetry Center Award. 16 Stories There’s a story about how people meet. I met my wife in the union building at the University of Washington. My parents met at a Halloween party. Some relationships are an obvious result of a connection—school, church, or work. A friendship emerges; first impressions become lasting relationships. Other relationships are serendipitous. Aziz… Read More →

Book Review: A Thousand Pardons

A Thousand Pardons: A Novel by Jonathan Dee (New York: Random House, 2013. 214 pp) Jonathan Dee is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for his novel, The Privileges, which also won the 2011 Prix Fitzgerald and the St. Francis College Literary Prize.  He is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a former senior editor of The Paris Review, and the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. A Divorce Looming “She knew what the right thing to do was. Dismantle it together: help him find a new place, work out the money, sign whatever needed to be signed, put on a united front for poor Sara, who’d already had two parents abandon her, after all. But for… Read More →

Film Review: Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook written and directed by David O. Russel (The Weinstein Company and Mirage Enterprises, R, 122 minutes) Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro. Making Light of the Dark There’s nothing more difficult than creating comedy out of mental disorders, failed marriages, and gambling. These themes are dark; they force the viewer into introspective spaces. The narrative can’t make light of such scenarios because too many people have dealt with the deep pain associated with these occurrences. But Silver Linings Playbook gives it a shot, and it is mostly successful. To Starting Over—or Staying the Same Silver Linings Playbook follows Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) as he seeks to pick up the pieces of his broken life…. Read More →