A Seriously Random List LIV / Dustin Rowles
Seriously Random Lists | February 5, 2009 | Comments ()
Tomorrow, after much delay, the Drew Barrymore romantic comedy, He’s Just Not That Into You (she also produced), finally hits theaters, and nobody is particularly looking forward to it, if only because the constant television spots and the lame viral marketing has already turned most of us off before the movie has even been released. But then again, you never know with Drew Barrymore movies. She’s made a lot more bad ones (Lucky You, Fever Pitch, Duplex) than decent ones, but there’s nevertheless a comfortable presence about Barrymore. You usually go into one of her movies with low expectations, and come out at least somewhat satisfied. She’s a terrible actress, but she’s just bubbly and adorable enough to be charmingly inoffensive. And of the few lead actresses in romantic comedies, Barrymore is probably the most likable (not exactly a feat given her competition: Sandra Bullock, Katherine Heigl, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, et. al.). Indeed, she’s perfectly suited to cable — like Chris Farley, early Adam Sandler, Michael J. Fox, and early Michael Meyers, it’s hard to turn away from her movies when they pop up on TBS early Saturday afternoon after a hard-drinking night and the morning walk of shame. She doesn’t care about your bedhead, your halitosis, about the crusties around your eyes and the encrusties elsewhere. Barrymore doesn’t judge. She says, “Don’t worry about that repulsive guy you blew last night; if you want to compare romantic failures, let me remind you that I married Tom Green, for God’s sake!”
She is, indeed: The Queen of Hangover Theater. And here are her best Hangover Cures:
5. Charlie’s Angels: Hollow, dumb, plotless, and empty. Absolutely perfect for Saturday afternoon while you’re hugging your pillow. It’s slick and glossy and cheesy and well lit (but not bright enough to hurt your brain), and Barrymore changes outfits 189 times, bounces around, shows her ass, and exudes cuteness with just a smidgen of kick-assery. Charle’s Angels barely skates by, propelled by Bill Murray, Sam Rockwell, and Drew Barrymore’s effervescence (oh, and Crispin Glover’s creepiness). Just don’t watch the sequel.
4. Home Fries: Really just an atrocious movie. What’s it about, anyway? I’ve never actually seen it all the way through. Has anyone? But I’ve seen the last 45 minutes or the last half hour a half a dozen times. It’s Catherine O’Hara and Luke Wilson in his heyday. A batshit Jake Busey. A helicopter. And Barrymore is white trash and pregnant and working at a burger restaurant. And she’s adorable. It’s messy and stupid, and it’s meant to be a dark comedy, but it’s almost impossible to be “dark” when your leading lady is Drew. Home Fries is not a movie you’d ever seek out, nor ever willingly turn on. But if you run across it on a slow day, you’d be hard pressed to turn the channel.
3. Never Been Kissed: One of the most formulaic romantic comedies in the history of romantic comedies, but who doesn’t dig the idea of returning to high school and giving it another go with the knowledge you have as an adult (even if you do screw it up all over again). Sure, it’s pointless, and the big speech at prom is a pale comparison to the one in Angus, but it’s an infectious movie. It’s light and silly and Barrymore is goddamn wonderful in it (as is, surprisingly, David Arquette). She’s so goddamn appealing in Never Been Kissed that you’re actually capable of forgetting how otherwise mediocre the film is, and damnit: In the end, while she’s standing on the pitching mound awaiting her first kiss (from Michael Vartan), you actually end up rooting for her like the ninny you are.
2. Ever After: A Cinderella Story: I won’t lie: Ever After is a solid goddamn movie, whether you’re hungover or not. There have been countless modernized versions of fairy tales, but few — if any — are as magical as Ever After. It’s a familiar tale, which lends to its comfort level, but it’s also an enchanting love story where this Cinderalla, though still in 16th century France, exhibits a modern, feminist attitude. More than that, it’s actually got a modicum of wit and intelligence, or at least more than you’d expect from a chick flick, and Barrymore is spunky and sweet and endearingly clumsy, while Angelica Huston (as the wicked step-mother) is fantastic (although, it does remind me: Dougray Scott is noticeably absent from our Disappearing Lead Actors list). Ever After is not in the same league as The Princess Bride, but it is, at least, playing the same sport.
1. The Wedding Singer: One of the greatest Hangover Theater movies of all time. I’ll let Prisco do the honors, from his Wedding Singer retrospective: “Drew Barrymore. Gaze upon her and realize there is hope for Lindsay Lohan. There is hope for every starletard ever to get residual puke on their Pradas when doubled over a toilet in some West Hollywood club stall. These girls think they are badass? Teen Drew Barrymore would have ground them under her heels, snorted them and smoked the rest. And she still would have showed up to dry hump Tom Skerritt in Poison Ivy. A little jail time? Bitch, please. Drew Barrymore has a sharpened toothbrush smeared with some prag’s blood for every minute Paris Hilton spent in her cell. She married Tom Green, the original Herpes Simplex Virus. Twice. He didn’t have testicular cancer. She took his balls. She’s made an AIDS Quilt out of all the horrible fucked up shit she did in her life, and she will make you eat every fucking square if you cross her. She walked into hell and came out with her own semi-successful production company. Drew Motherfucking Barrymore, the hope for the new generation.
“Drew Barrymore is America’s Fucking Sweetheart, and nowhere is she more endearing than in this movie, in this role. Even when they blatantly try to recapture the magic by flying her to Hawaii, smashing her on the head with a frying pan between takes to keep her delirious, and then cutting together the footage and calling it 50 First Dates, it could not hold a candle to the awesome level of adorable that she achieves in this film. Babies holding puppies holding tinier babies holding kittens wish they were the future Mrs. Julia Gulia. Granted, it’s not a particularly enlightened or empowered role. It’s the princess getting rescued from the Miami Vice dude wearing dragon by a dude with lame hair and an acoustic guitar belting out the cheesiest Kraft Mac and This Fucking Song ever. But for this movie, in this combination, it works.”