Posts Tagged With: movies

Listen Up Kids, Your Father Is An Idiot


…or so mainstream media would have every child believe. In the recently released, faith-based comedy “Moms Night Out“, audiences are asked to sympathize with the poor, over-worked, stay-at-home-mom’s attempt to have at least one night where, as my wife sometimes puts it, “no one needs me”.

Dumb DadsI get that. I really do. My wife is an AMAZING mother! No, seriously! Look up “Amazing Mom” in any dictionary and I guarantee, you wi… (ahem)

Well, I’m sure you get the point. I’m just saying that the concept of having a Moms’ Night Out is not lost on me. I often encourage my wife to go out with her friends and enjoy a much-needed, much deserved break from the fullness of parenthood that is our home. As a matter of fact, the MOMS Club my wife belongs to has a Moms’ Night Out at least once a month. Sometimes more if the moms are feeling particularly fried.

So when I first saw the title of the movie, I thought, “Cool! My wife really enjoys those each month! I bet this will be a great movie!” That is, until I saw the trailer. It serves up a good portion of cliche’ while attempting to draw you in with the following teaser:

"All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and 
conversation - a long-needed moms' night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult 
conversation and food not served in a paper bag, they need their husbands to watch 
the kids for three hours. What could go wrong?"

Apparently, everything when you involve dear ol’ dad. The sad answer to that question provided in the film’s plot summary. A snippet of which (according to Wikipedia) explains to us that, “… their husbands attempt to care for the children with disastrous results.”

This trailer had the familiar stench of the highly derided “Dad Test” commercials by Huggies. I have no problem finding the humor in parenting. But it shouldn’t be used to downplay the importance and value of fathers.

Over the years there has been no shortage of articles from people who’ve felt the same way about Dumbing Down Dads and the Epidemic of Stupid Men and Useless Fathers. As an involved father of 6, I just find it disheartening that we are still fighting to redefine the role and establish the importance of the father in the home. This movie is one more step backward in this struggle. dumb-dad

In his review of the movie, critic Brian Orndorf says, “Less inviting is the suggestion that all dads are buffoons, unable to keep up with their children. Before the night is an hour old, Sean has a dislocated shoulder and Marco is a rattled mess, unable to juggle the basic needs of fatherhood while tending to a parakeet he’s brought from home. It’s ugly sexism in what’s trying to be a harmless feature, pandering to the female audience with a mean-spirited attitude toward men and their habitual boobery. “

Why are we perpetuating the notion of imbecile fathers who get in the way of moms and embarrass their children? Is it too much to ask that we instead focus on laughter caused by simple everyday folly that doesn’t imply someone is a buffoon who exhibits “habitual boobery”?

Or maybe I should just start posting my own videos of the movie making process that depicts writers, directors and producers as idiots who couldn’t come up with an original thought if their lives depended on it. :-/

Categories: commentary, family, marriage, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Anniversary Bliss Recapped


It was a beautiful morning in Southern California on August 7th when I woke up and finally pushed myself out of bed at around 7:30am. I’d like to think that the sun was out from behind the clouds with a cool breeze filtering through the open windows in supportive rejoicing over the fact that it was our 9th wedding anniversary. 🙂

My morning euphoria was interrupted by the fantasy-shattering cries of a 2-year-old who was more than ready to be liberated from his crib/prison. Joined by his 6-year-old brother and 4-year-old sister, the trio accosted me with their usual demands regarding breakfast. No milk for cereal. No oatmeal to sprinkle with raisins. I only had bagels and English Muffins to work with. They conferred and settled on requesting egg & cheese bagels (the English muffins had added ham) with homemade raspberry jam. I obliged.

After that, the morning came and went in a blur of swim lessons, missed naps, the Grumpy Lunch Hour and working with my wife to try to figure out how, since our evening plans were already figured out,  we could best manage the early part of our day of celebration with 4 small children in tow. Solution? Make a trip to Skinny Minnies (Gardena location) for celebratory FroYo… that only the children get to eat, since we’re on a restrictive diet at the moment.

Back at the house, it was time to let the two older kids watch Despicable Me (the first movie) while the two younger ones went down for nap. This, of course, allowed mommy and daddy to get all gussied up for their night out. 🙂 Since I was first to get dressed, I left to go pick up my oldest son from work, who agreed to watch the smaller kids (sans August, the infant) while we went out to dinner.

Earlier in the week, my wife made reservations at a local place that consistently got rave reviews. It’s called the Tin Roof Bistro and the food in, in a word, heavenly!

But before I get into the food, I have to give a shout out to our waiter Jay, who was by far one of the best waiters I’ve ever encountered. He came to our table to take our drink order, and I couldn’t remember the name of a particular drink. So I described it briefly and Jay seemed to read my mind when I mistakenly asked for a mimosa when I really meant a mojito. 😛

You know what’s one of the wonderful things about our marriage? How much we laugh. I caught my wife in the middle of a good chuckle and couldn’t resist sharing it. I think she looks even more beautiful when she laughs. :pleased:

I thanked him and said with a smile, “What’s your name? I don’t think I caught it before. I don’t want to say ‘Hey you’ to get your attention.” He smiled back and said, “My name is Jay, but it doesn’t matter because you’ll never have to ask for anything.” And he couldn’t have been more right. In spite of the fact that it was moving into the busiest hour of the day and he had several other guest to handle, he never missed a beat with us the entire evening. He was there every time we were done with a plate. He brought additional forks for the appetizer and main course. And he continued to check on us to make sure we had everything we needed. Major props Jay!

Anyway, on to the meal… we started out with a full order Triple Green Salad that we split.

Then, my wife surprised me by ordering an appetizer (which was the main reason she wanted to go this particular place) of Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (she knows I love, love, LOVE brussels sprouts)! I can’t even describe to you how delicious they were. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming! They were sliced in half and the outer leaves were crisp and flaky. I nursed a mojito while I took my time and savored the exquisite taste explosion in my mouth. I had to wonder if they were really this amazing, or was my mouth just extra sensitive to other flavors after being on the new fitness regimen the last 3 weeks where I mostly ate broccoli, rice, chicken and extra lean ground turkey. Nah, it was just incredibly delicious!

But I don’t think my mouth or my mind was ready for what was next. On the recommendation of our waiter Jay, I ordered the Grilled Pork Tenderloin.

There were so many wonderful things about this dish that I wouldn’t be able to list them all! The sliced pork was grilled to perfection. A dollop of mashed potatoes was the perfect counter-flavor to the summer corn and bacon succotash. This is one of those rare occasions were every mouthful was immediately followed by a clearly audible moan of pleasure. Mmmmmmm… was all I could manage for the first 5 or 6 bites. Of course, I had to share this mesmerizing dish with my wife. 😉 We finished the night with two of their signature desserts: mixed berries with lemon curd and tapioca pudding topped with mangoes and toasted coconut. I have to say that this was most definitely an anniversary-worthy foodie experience. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll stop here.

When Jay brought us the check, he informed us that he took care of the appetizer and one of our desserts as a gift for our anniversary. Needless to say, I took care of him with the tip. This guy deserved every single penny and more!

Anyway, we were supposed to finish the evening by going to the movies, but since the hour was getting late, we opted to stay in. All in all, one of the best anniversaries yet! 😀

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Nudity With Friends


My wife is part of a MOMS Club and every month they have what they call a “Mom’s Night Out” or MNO. The MNO is typically an event scheduled specifically for all the members to have a night of socializing WITHOUT their children or S.O.’s involvement. The type of event can vary from having a fondue party to learning how to paint at a local artist’s gallery.

This month’s MNO will be at our house and they’ve decided to have a movie night which basically consists of all the women gathering at our home and watching a pre-selected movie while munching on appetizers and/or sharing a bottle of wine.

So, being the Keeper of All Media that I am, my wife asked me what movies I had that she could offer for selection by the moms who would be attending the MNO. As I rattled off a list of possible choices, I started thinking about the content of some of these movies. The Dramas and Sci-Fi films lean toward violence. While the Rom-Coms tend to skew more raunchy these days. Then I began to wonder if other people consider the amount of violence, profanity and nudity when enjoying a movie with other adults.

I mean, we’re all adults and I’m not saying you invite people over to view porn. But there are a lot of mainstream movies out today that contain their fair share of T&A exposure to the point where it’s all but unavoidable if you want to watch something not produce by Disney or Pixar. So where do you draw the line in situations like this? You never know how someone may react to a woman being topless (and yes, I realize it’s probably different for men than women, but that’s an entirely different story ;-)) Do you base it on the overall comfort level of those who will be there? Do you determine it based on your own convictions?

So here are my questions…
How comfortable are you watching a movie with friends or family if it has some nudity in it?
And if you are comfortable, how much nudity would it take to make you uncomfortable?

Categories: sexuality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Social Distortion


I was talking to a friend the other day about music and we got onto a topic regarding my concern about how everything in life seems to be moving toward Social Media. Currently, at your fingertips you can instantaneously enjoy music, movies, and eBooks. Unfortunately, I believe that this has created a culture of impatience. Especially in the current generation of teens that never knew TVs without a remote, never used a record player when it was actually a household appliance, and can hardly believe there was ever a time when people didn’t have mobile phones, let alone caller ID. But what I’m MOST concerned about is how this culture of immediacy has affected interpersonal relationships. Especially the romantic kind.

See, in an era where relationship statuses are broadcast in real time all over the world, couples are rarely given time to work out their issues before you get:

  • 50 people liking the fact that you’ve gone from “in a relationship” or “married”, to “single” or “it’s complicated”
  • a few dozen comments on how he/she was no good for you, interspersed with a handful of people making jokes about his/her appearance
  • name changed and photos of the ex-SO either deleted or untagged in less than 15 minutes

I think social media allows far too many outside influences and doesn’t give many fledgling relationship time to breathe, and the people in them time to grow and mature. I believe this causes people to make hasty decisions based on emotion instead of taking the time to come to a rational and often peaceful resolution. Instead, Social Networking promotes the “spectator mentality” so that people are drawn to online relationship conflicts in the same way that people will run to the scene of an accident. This increasing interference is what I like to call “Social Distortion”.

Sadly, it would seem that young people are more susceptible to this interference because they have so little life experience and diminishing personal references for healthy relationships. My hope is that by working to model healthy communication and interaction in my own marriage, it might help my children avoid buying into the restless lifestyle and unnecessary heartbreak.

What do you think, do you think the tide of social distortion can be turned?

Or are we headed for further deterioration of intimate relationships?

Categories: intimacy, marriage, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern Love


You know, I’ve been cruising the blogosphere for the better part of a decade. And I’ve seen a lot of interesting things and I’ve met a lot of interesting people. In all this time, I’ve seen a common thread among certain types of people when it comes to love. They fall into a few distinct categories:

The Skeptic: Many skeptics see LOVE merely as a theory. They often find no practical applications in the real world. To some of them, love is bitterly fleeting and inevitably temporary. They approach relationships with extreme trepidation. Failure becomes the expectation and they tend to project this onto most of their relationships, which can have the unfortunate effect of acting as a self-fulfilling prophecy. For the skeptic, LOVE at most only exists in books and movies where the outcome is predetermined by the author.

The Dreamer: Dreamers for the most part, have a wholly unrealistic perception of LOVE . They’ve bought into the fantasy that LOVE comes in the form of a knight in shining armor riding on a white horse, or a beautiful virgin damsel in distress hoping for a  handsome hero. The drawback is that dreamers measure every romantic encounter by an unattainable standard that often leaves them disappointed. No one fits the mold they’ve crafted in their mind about the perfect relationship. It’s almost as if they’ve scripted the entire story in their head to the point that even one diversion from the plan disqualifies even the most promising suitor.

The Realist: These people have usually witnessed the best and worst LOVE has to offer. It isn’t always from direct experience, but more often from observing the roller coaster rides of Skeptics and Dreamers. They have no preconceived notions of what a relationship should look like. They’re not swayed by empty declarations or sappy displays of affection. And they don’t confuse lust with LOVE.  Although many Realist would love to experience whimsical romance, they typically are more than willing to put in the work necessary to simply make a relationship successful. This saves them from the disappointment usually experienced by Dreamers and the hardening of the hearts of Skeptics.

Sometimes I wonder how many of us have a realistic outlook on LOVE. I think a lot of people would like to believe that LOVE is just like the movies or in the stories we read where everyone lives happily ever after. After the dissolution of my first marriage, I was a hardcore Skeptic and thought LOVE was a farce. But meeting and marrying Dre has been the next best thing to living the life of a Dreamer.

Do you fit any of these categories?


If not, how would you categorize your outlook on LOVE?

Do you feel as if your perception of LOVE is determined by your life experiences?

Categories: relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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