February 14, 2014 |
Lately, some of my colleagues have bemoaned the lack of romance in popular culture and the decline of the beloved romantic comedy, which miraculously managed to capture the essence of love, loss and happily-ever-after in less than two hours. “After a million movies and a thousand love songs, the romance once abundant in pop culture seems to have just stopped,” Times columnist Chris Erskine wrote . And my colleague Alexandra Le Tellier wrote about how RomComs “are escapist fantasies full of optimism and hope,” and we need “more love stories and happily-ever-afters to rouse our sense of optimism.” There's another, scientific reason for Hollywood to bring back the RomCom: Watching such a movie with your partner and talking about it can actually strengthen your relationship.
HOME & GARDEN
February 7, 2014 |
So I'm waiting at a stoplight when another piece of techno-pop skitters across the car radio, and the notion hits me: Is romance dead? Better suited perhaps to a Time magazine cover or an article in New York magazine, the question nonetheless is soon embedded in my brain. "Hey, is romance dead?" I ask a colleague. "For you, maybe," she says. I've been married 32 years, so the truth is yes and no, hot and cold, feast or famine. You want swoony, gobsmacked love, look at my wedding photos.
January 29, 2014 |
Deport Justin Bieber? A petition asking for just that is apparently headed to the White House, having obtained the 100,000 signatures needed within a month. This puppy actually hit the mark within six days. "We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture," the petition reads. "We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive and drug-abusing Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation's youth.
December 27, 2013 |
It was Bob Dylan who transformed Brad Elterman into a teenage paparazzo. That was in 1974, when the folk-rocker was set to headline the Fabulous Forum and Elterman was a Sherman Oaks high school kid who scored a ticket, front row center. He realized: "I better bring a camera. " Nothing would ever be the same. Elterman, now 56, remembers the songs, the crowd, the aroma of smoldering marijuana. He could afford only two rolls of film, but he chose his shots carefully and came home inspired.
November 18, 2013 |
"Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley," in which the former directs a film about the latter, premieres Monday on HBO. It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel. The first black female comic to make it in the American pop-cultural mainstream - the first black female stand-up comic, possibly - Jackie "Moms" Mabley will be unknown to many today. She died in 1975, after a career that began before the First World War but was visible only to the white audience from the 1960s, when she began appearing on network variety and talk shows.
November 15, 2013 |
There are weeks when popular culture functions as if unified by a single, invisible thread, powered ever forward by ego, ambition and staggering sums of cash. At other times, the culture seems to operate in a continuous feedback loop , trumpeting and repeating perceived glories ad infinitum. This past week was governed by a kind of glorious mirroring; call it the place where entertainmentdom's parallel lines appeared to meet. How else could you possibly explain a span of days heralding the announcement of not one but two separate movie productions based on the Greek demi-god Hercules ?