Monday, March 2, 2015

(For Real) Part Four of the Movie Review: This is What I Do For You People

After several very long, painful attempts, I finally got the movie to play all the way through to the part I need to review next.  My computer shut down 6 times, plus the one time it stopped working JUST as I got to the second hour and I had to start all over again.  Somebody needs to make and send me a fake Pulitzer Prize for this.  I will treasure it.  Also, I may need a new laptop.  Just sayin'.

Before we waste more of our lives on this dumb fucking movie, let me tell you all something.  I love movies.  When I find a movie I truly enjoy (which is rare), I will watch it repeatedly to the point where it borders on insanity.  I'm one of those people.  Even if I find a movie that is only mildly entertaining, I'll still watch it a handful of times (handful= infinite number of times; I'm insane).  In fact, since I'm being honest, even if I hate a movie, I'll still watch it at least twice just to make sure it's as bad as I thought it was because sometimes I find that I was just in a bad mood and end up enjoying it the second time (99 times out of 100, it just ends up being a terrible movie).  That said, if forced, I could recite many, many movies from start to finish (but I don't and I won't because that's dumb and annoying and I like to keep my crazy to myself).  I love it when someone can cleverly insert a movie quote into conversation and I, too, do it on occasion.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those assholes who feels the need to quote movies left and right until it's obnoxious and you sorta want to punch said asshole in the face and scream, "SAY SOMETHING ORIGINAL FOR A CHANGE, YOU FUCKTARD," because we all know somebody like that.  But to quote the perfect line from something at just the right moment?  That's priceless-- unless you're with someone who has never seen the movie you're quoting and has no fucking idea what you're talking about.  Those people blow.  It's like how my boss has no idea why I shout, "I'm right on top of that, Rose!" whenever she tells me to do something impossible.

Forgive me, I'm starting to ramble.  The point of all this is that I HATE THIS FUCKING MOVIE, BUT BECAUSE I'VE BEEN FORCED TO WATCH THE FIRST HOUR OF IT ABOUT 18,000 TIMES NOW, *I CAN QUOTE THIS MOVIE* AND I WANT TO DECAPITATE MYSELF DUE TO THIS.  I wish I knew just the right angle to slam my head into a wall in order to murder the brain cells responsible for remembering lines from this piece of shit.  There aren't even any good fucking lines from it.  I can't imagine any future conversation I could have with anyone about anything when "I love cold mush" or "I'll bypass anything" would come into play.  Here's the thing-- I promised I would review this movie and I like to keep my promises.  That said, I kinda hate all of you for fucking with my brain cells.

Fuck this movie right in the face.

And now, the fourth twenty minutes of this stupid fucking piece of garbage waste of film.  You're welcome for nothing.  NOTHING, because this movie is a complete waste of time.

The second hour of the movie starts with Cheese sitting outside of her tent while eating hot mush and the very first thing I had scrawled in my notebook was, "Who fucking chews a spoon," because anytime Cheese is eating anything, it sounds like she's fucking scraping the flatware all over her goddamned teeth and it's like nails on a chalkboard.  Anyway, Cheese is failing at eating and then OMG WTF IS THAT!  No, really, what the fuck IS that?  (Notes: "CGI fox.  Dumb.  Couldn't they get a real one?")  So, yeah, this pathetically fake-looking CGI fox is outside Cheese's tent and I AM SO DISTRACTED BECAUSE IT LOOKS SO FAKE AND DUMB, but STFU, me!  *This is totally real.*  Cheese stops scraping her teeth against a spoon long enough to see the dumb CGI fox and yells, "Come back," at it three times and then tries to chase it through the snow but gives up after about five footsteps because, meh.  Snow.

Be advised, the next twenty minutes of this movie are comprised of trail-flashback-trail-flashback-trail-flashback and if you know anyone with epilepsy, I would suggest that you strongly discourage them from seeing this movie because it would be like the equivalent of throwing them into a room with a strobe light; seizures will be inevitable.  I do not have epilepsy and I started twitching after a few minutes.  THERE ARE HEALTH REASONS FOR NOT WATCHING THIS.

Oh, god.  Let's get started.

Where were we?  CGI Fox?  Right.  Okay, well, now we're in the hospital and Cheese's mom is totally dying.  Cheese tells her that she'll be back in the morning and Laura Dern is doing such an amazing job at acting like a dying person that even I would have stayed in the room for the night, but Cheese is all catch-ya-later, gonna-go!  She leaves the room and when a nurse tries to be sympathetic and caring, Cheese goes Full Asshole on the nurse-- "the doctor said it would be a year; it's been one fucking month"-- as if this is somehow the nurse's fault.  You'd think that they would have tried to make Cheese's character more likeable/relatable in the movie,  Still a giant asshole.

Cheese is walking through some St. Patty's Day festivities after leaving the hospital and how dare anyone on earth have the balls to have a good time when Cheese is suffering!

BLAM, back on the trail and Cheese says, "Go to hell, all you saints," and I'm so confused, that would have made more sense in the flashback...?  Anyway, Trail Time for a minute, and Cheese sees a trail marker for the PCT.  She says, "Thank you, god, for showing me the way," then smacks the shit out of the trail marker and finishes her thought with, "As if he gives a shit...god is a ruthless bitch," and I have no fucking idea who this is supposed to appeal to at this point.  Pretty much everyone in the audience is either exasperated or offended.

Flashback time again!  Cheese is mad at Leif-- "Where the fuck have you been!"  Leif acts like a big pussy-- "She can't die!" and Cheese is so strong!  Now it's brother+sister time in bed and I crumple my face up into a "that's gross, I'm uncomfortable" expression, and then Cheese decides to pray.  Leif laughs.  I look around the room for things to impale myself upon.  Cheese says (prays?), "I want a miracle.  A FUCKING MIRACLE."  Now, I'm an atheist, but I was brought up in a very strict Catholic home, so I'm painfully familiar with praying and I'm positive that demanding, "I want a miracle, a fucking miracle," is not how praying works.  If it worked that way, all of my wishes would have come true by now.  Anyway, Cheese doesn't understand how praying works and I can't even believe it.

Trail Time!  Cheese sings to herself.

Flashback Time!  Cheese and Leif are in a car.

Trail Time!

Flashback Time!  Hospital!

Flashback Time Even More!  Childhood!

Flashback Time!  Hospital!

Trail Time!


Trail Time!  Boot flies off cliff, Cheese screams and screams and screams.

Ice on her mom's eyes!
Heroin happening!
Oh, god, I think we're safe, she's back on the trail.  Cue duct tape sandals.  CGI fox shows up again and Cheese spits out, "What the fuck do you want," before putting more duct tape on her sandals and oh my god, I'm just so relieved that all the flashbacks are ov---
Hotel bar, hotel room with a stranger!
Flashback, getting plowed from behind in the hotel!
Flashback!  She's a waitress, has two men at her table, suddenly, she's fucking both of them in an alley!  AND her mom walks by while she's doing it because why the hell not!
Flashback!  Heroin!  Because sure!
Trail!  Holy shit, her mom is stalking her in the woods!  Psychopath!  Seek help!
Gaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh, just when we think the flashbacks are over-- Cheese is crossing a super big creek and *she nails it*-- GODDAMNIT, FLASHBACK!
Her mom is singing and being happy and trying to be positive and optimistic and Young Cheese acts like a giant douchebag.  Young Cheese points out the fact that *they're poor* and omg, apparently that's the end of the world in Cheese's mind, but her mom stays positive and says that they're "rich in love" and Young Cheese goes Full Asshole, points out a bunch of shit that has gone wrong and spits out, "What part of it do you not get?" because Cheese is clearly such a loving, understanding, inspirational person.  WHAT THE FUCK.  EVEN THE SCREENWRITER COULDN'T MAKE HER LIKEABLE.  SHE IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE.  Mom relents and tells Cheese to find "her best self" and Cheese says to her mom-- direct quote-- "This is your best self?' HOW DID EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE NOT WALK OUT OF THE THEATER AT THIS POINT.  Mom ignores the fact that her daughter is a giant douchebag and stays all smiley and thank fucking god, flashback over.
My notes at this point read, "Trail, barely."  I feel like I should point out that the breathtaking beauty of the PCT is nothing more than a background extra in this movie (a movie that is supposedly about the PCT).  We, the audience, only get seconds of the trail because anytime the beauty of the trail is shown, WE'RE IMMEDIATELY FORCED INTO CHEESE-LAND and I am so angry right now.  Cheryl-- not Cheese-- but CHERYL is so obsessed with herself that the PCT is nothing more than non-important scenery.  IT'S ALL ABOUT CHERYL.  Fuck this movie and fuck Cheryl Strayed.
Uuuuuuuugh, she reaches a town, picks up a package and inexplicably decides not to buy some Snapple-- like, that's in the movie, she brings Snapple up to the counter and then doesn't buy it and it's very confusing-- and then, I shit you not, some kids with Down's Syndrome laugh at her duct-taped sandals and................. I just got nothing.  I've gone mentally numb at this point, but I think I may have almost smiled about this. 
She gets her dumb resupply package and a letter from Paul-- he's so proud that she's hiked "600 miles" and NO SHE FUCKING DIDN'T, REMEMBER THE 450-MILE BUS RIDE?  How is Paul's letter already there?  I don't care.  I don't care about any of this.  Anyway, Paul says in the letter, "I miss you," and I start Googling ways to commit suicide.
Dude at the store (?) warns Cheese about the lack of water on the next stretch of the trail and Cheese is all pfffffft-whatever and then OMG GIRL HIKER WALKS INTO THE STORE!  Cheese says-- I shit you not-- "You're a woman!"  Goddamnit.  This movie is such a piece of shit.  Anyway, yeah, it's Stacey of The Tiny Backpack and suddenly they're BFFs and sitting on a cliff while enjoying the sunset.
Stacey tells Cheese that Greg quit the trail because he "couldn't deal with the snow" and I can't even deal with this at this point.  Cheese responds with, "Greg quit and I'm still here?  Cheers to that," and then they clink bottles of who-gives-a-shit.  Stacey tries to make it weird: "Do you get lonely?" and goddamnit.  Look.  I'm gay, I always have been, and with the exception of my time in the Army, I've been openly gay for 20 years now and at this point in the movie, even I was like, "Um, this is pretty gay."  *NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT*  But still, it was pretty gay and just...weird.  Yeah, anyway, no, Cheese doesn't get lonely because she's Cheese, but she makes it weird, too, by saying that her mom was the love of her life and I can't find the appropriate GIF to match the expression on my face right now.  Just... no.  Nothing is right about that.  I'm shaking my head back and forth with a very pained "no, just no" expression.  Not okay.
To make matters worse, Cheese says something about how her mom told her to "put yourself in the way of beauty," and Stacey says, "My kind of woman," and I cringe uncomfortably in my seat.
Really.  Again.  Me= totally gay and totally fine with being gay, still= uncomfortable with this scene.
Cheese is meeting with a therapist and she's wearing a leather jacket and chewing gum because I guess she saw "Grease" when she was younger and equates leather jackets and gum with TOTALLY HARDCORE DRUG ADDICTS and jesus christ, this is so awful.
There's a poster on the wall and Cheese throws a fit about it.  Here's the poster she finds so offensive:
She says that she "fucking hates" that poster and demands from the therapist, "Why would you ever want to teach a child they don't matter," and this is possibly the most defining example of Cheese's Cheryl's narcissism.
I FUCKING LOVE THAT POSTER.  I find comfort in it.  It reminds me that my problems are inconsequential as far as life and time in the universe are concerned.  It nudges me in the ribs whenever I'm getting a tad too big for my britches.  It humbles me, it makes me smile and it allows me a breath of relief.  NOT CHERYL.  SHE'S OFFENDED BY IT BECAUSE SHE IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.
I can't stand this woman.
Anyway, to really punctuate what I just stated, Cheese finishes the scene by saying, "I know I mattered," and then storms out of the room.
I have to stop for today.  I can't deal with this asshole for one more minute.

Since some of you have asked, here are a couple pictures of my parents (taken well before they were married).

Yes, those are my parents.  Whenever I show these pictures to people, they ask, "Is that you on your mom's lap?" and I have to take a deep breath and explain, "No...first of all, that's a boy... also, that picture was taken in the sixties and I'm not that old.  One last thing: Catholic nuns can't have children and stuff due to that whole celibacy thing, so... no."  That was one of her students (both of my parents were teachers).
Also, shout-out to my big sister for clearing things up for me-- our father died when I was eight years old (I somehow managed to avoid becoming a heroin-addicted 8-year-old whore despite this) and my memory of him/knowledge of him is very limited-- but it turns out that he was not, in fact, a "priest."  He was something called a "Marianist Brother" and I have no idea what the hell that means, other than that it sounds like he was a puppet (I don't understand how Catholicism works).  Whatever.  Always looked like a priest to me.  I was TOTES WRONG.  High-five to my sister for clarifying!  My bad for not knowing what the hell my dad was!
Anyway, there you go, everybody.  Sister Wilma and Brother Tony.  I am their daughter: God's punishment. 



  1. I totally did not pick up on any gay vibes from that scene with Stacey. Huh. I think the scene comes across very differently without them, more like two damaged people, each on their own healing/redemption journey, being damaged together for a bit. But, if Stacey was making overtures, it fits with the whole thing of everyone being attracted to Cheryl. But we all know that Cheryl likes the D.

    1. I think I was just pretty drunk at that point and the whole scene looked like a Cialis commercial to me. On the other hand, I remember feeling icky about it when I first saw it in the theater, too. Maybe it's because Cheryl is a giant whore and I didn't want her to suddenly sleep with a woman and ruin gay for me.

    2. YES, that scene does look like a Cialis commercial. That plus the lonely question, yeah, I can see how that could read as gay. Can't really see Reese Witherspoon doing a lesbian scene though.

  2. As I started reading this, I thought, "maybe I will rent the movie so I can laugh at it". Then, as I reached all those flashbacks, I thought, "Noooo...can't do it". Just like I gave up the book just into chapter 4. I just couldn't use up any more of my time or mind on it. For the record, I don't remember ever not finishing a book, before. It was like being around a huge narcissist in real life, I had to get away. When you get to the part about the poster, before I saw what your wrote right after the picture, I was nodding my head, thinking: "this tells us right here that Cheryl is a total narcissist". That is partly why there are no pictures of the beauty surrounding the PCT (aside from the fact that she was hardly there) would take a smidgen of attention away from Cheryl. On Facebook, only one of my friends has mentioned seeing this movie & he said "it was pretty bad".

    One other thing that I just couldn't stand anymore of (in the book) was all the histrionics & drama of her mother dying. Granted, both my parents are alive (although they divorced when I was 20 & that made me sad), but I just couldn't relate to any of that & I just got tired of it & bored. And then, in the middle of the histrionics, the male nurse penis discussion she had with herself. I do know people who've lost parents or siblings at a young age & I know nobody who acted remotely like Cheryl. It just seems so fake to fake as her 1000+mile hike.

    1. I lost my father when I was 23. He had cancer and they didn't give him long. I can say from experience, kids of parents who die from cancer don't act like that. I'm new to this blog, and I wouldn't give personal history but it's relevant.

    2. I mean acting out like she did and making it all about her. Im not saying she didn't go through something intense, finding out your parent is sick and losing said parent within a year can be traumatic. But the way she writes about how she dealt with everything, how she treated her mom and made it all about herself... I just found it hard to relate to Chery in all of that

  3. Sooo....let me get this straight. Cheese is getting an two dudes she just met (and, I'm going to assume, struck her fancy by leaving her a big tip specifically so they could then ram her in the alley) walks by.

    Why, again, did that happen exactly?

    1. It was *ghost mom*. I think she was supposed to be judging Cheese. I have no idea. Nothing in this movie makes sense.

  4. I just love those photos of your parents, Erin! I love old photos that look like they came from a Brownie camera, anyway. But I really love the story! I mean a nun / teacher and a "brother" THAT would make an interesting book!

  5. "saying that her mom was the love of her life"

    Why does this make me think of Norman Bates?

    Psycho(Norman Bates): Fictional story of a man who owns a unused motel and loves his mother so much he preserves her forever by using the taxidermy techniques he's learned on her remains. Any woman that dares to lust after Norman is killed, in the guise of his dead mother.

    Psyc--sorry--Wild(Cheryl Strayed): Mostly(all?) fictional story of a woman who 'owns' the PCT and loves her mother so much she preserves her by eating her remains. Any man that dares not lust after her-and fuck her whenever and whever she wants- is figuratively killed and all blame is placed on her mother.

  6. I just keep picturing her whisper-shouting "Come back!" while blowing her whistle, a la Rose in the water, post-Titanic....

  7. My Mom died.
    My horse died.
    A friend made me read Wild.
    But Erin has resumed her movie review.
    So I got that going for me, which is nice.

  8. OK now that you mention it, maybe I *don't* want to watch this piece of shit movie again. All of those flashbacks were totally incomprehensible to me, and we haven't even had the horse-killing stuff yet. It was a horrible movie. Just horrible. I don't watch a lot of movies, and I'm one of those people who stares at you in puzzlement when you quote a line from a popular film, because 99% of the time, I haven't seen it. I like OLD movies best, films like "Casablanca," and "Citizen Kane," and the Marx Brothers. The Wizard of Oz. Ben Hur. BIG movies. I hate what Hollywood churns out these days. Most of the time, if I get talked into seeing a current film, I regret the waste of time and money, and this movie was no exception. But I'm glad someone shared the misery with me, and if that's petty of me, I'm sorry. Hugs to you, Erin. I think that scene made me uncomfortable, too, I didn't read it as gay, just that Cheryl is not comfortable with other women and the dialogue seemed fake/phony, but so did all of the other dialogue so...

  9. Oh, and p.s. - Your dad wasn't quite a priest, but he probably took vows of chastity and was either going to be ordained, or had considered being ordained as a priest. So for him to leave his vocation to marry your mom would have been quite a change, and for her as well, since she also would have taken vows. That would be an interesting story to hear about, for sure. Thanks for sharing the photos with us.

  10. I have lost both of my parents so I understand grief. I also know the pain of losing a mother and can understand the "love of my life" comment. Our mothers are the first person we love and the first person to love us. That said, I did not eyeball the penis of my mothers nurse. Did not shoot her horse. Absolutely did not fuck around and do heroin when she died. And did not even consider to pass on the chips and eat her ashes instead. Cheryl (if any of these things are even remotely true) was acting out of guilt, not love. She was a horrible daughter.

    1. I've been lurking but had to jump in and comment, because what you said about acting out of guilt is so true. My grandma was the person I was closest too in the world and when she died I was heartbroken, but at peace with it (she was 82 and had had a great life). My mom on the other hand, had always put my grandma through the wringer. grandma had paid for a couple divorces, made mortgage payments, watched her go through rehab multiple times, and my mom still hardly had the time to call or visit her. It's been a while now but my mom still makes a huge deal about how she's so heartbroken and uses it to fuel her alcoholism. It could be a case of genuine remorse, but I think it's more or the "me me me, look how sad I am, how could you die on me!" grief that Cheryl shows.

  11. //But we all know that Cheryl likes the D.// - Not always, it seems. I thought that scene was the director's attempt at a not-so-subtle hint... which had me screaming... "NO! NO! We do NOT want The Herpes Hiker on our team! Check this out:

    "The people I messed around with did not have names; they had titles: the Prematurely Graying Wilderness Guide, the Technically Still a Virgin Mexican Teenager, the Formerly Gay Organic Farmer, the Quietly Perverse Poet, the Failing but Still Trying Massage Therapist, the Terribly Large Texas Bull Rider, the Recently Unemployed Graduate of Juilliard, the Actually Pretty Famous Drummer Guy. Most of these people were men; some were women. " -

  12. Shit! I forgot to close the quote! I must be channeling Cheryl's editor.

  13. After I read this blog, upon reflection, I realize Nick Hornby did an EXCELLENT job. He couldn't make America's [former] Sweetheart Reese Witherspoon blatantly unlikeable. But he left enough clues in the movie so those of us paying attention were able to recognize what a narcissistic, ungrateful, lying bitch Cheryl is. How easy would it have been to add a few gratitude lines? I mean, that's the NATURAL dialogue when people help you. He left in enough of the preposterous scenes so that he was true to the book, but still allowed her personality to shine through. Remember his source material. A bit of profound brilliance, I say.