SELFOBSESSED REPORT #1:

On Memorial Day, Patrick and I went to see “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”. When we had originally seen the trailer for this movie, Patrick and I were both like “holy shit. Yes. Yes. Yes.” but then it got really terrible reviews and the general vibe was that its terrible.

Here’s the thing though, I cannot STAND reviews and the idea that we as a society are dependant on what somebody else thinks about something determining whether or not we will experience for ourselves. What if the guy who discovered the Grand Canyon had been like “eh”? Now, I’m not comparing “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” to the Grand Canyon but if you’d like me to, give me a call and I will.

Just kidding. Please don’t call me. I also cannot STAND talking on the phone. Unless you’re in some sort of power position AND/OR a television/book executive and you’re calling to give me good news then I’m all “I fucking LOVE the phone” but if you’re say… my friend…. text pu-lease.

I digress.

“What To Expect When You’re Expecting” fucking ROOOOOOCKED. Its my newest obession. And you know what? FUCK YOU if you didn’t like it! Seriously FUCK OFF.

JK. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, yours is just, y’know. Wrong.

Here’s the movie. Its one of those movies where everyone is living their own story line and they all kind intersect at different moments KINDA like Paris Shatim or whatever that was called but more like New Years Eve, which also, by the way…. LOVED it.

Here are my initial reactions to “What To Expect”.

- Jennifer Lopez plays a photographer so we are expected to believe she has an artistic eye and sometimes doesn’t wear make up to work. However, you forgive this because A. she takes photos of adorable babies and B. her boyfriend is HOT

- Elizabeth Banks is an icon. Lets move on.

- Hey Dennis Quaid, you still look great. The news is in and the news is that Dennis Quaid is still pretty hot. Sure, his character has an unbelievably over the top margarita bar on the corner of his pool called “Margaritaville” and SURE Melissa McCarthy’s husband drive a golf cart through it and doesn’t die on impact but still…. loved him.

- Hey Jeffery, I’m a horny gay guy who can’t enjoy a movie unless I get some eye candy and Jennifer Lopez’s character’s boyfriend isn’t my cup of tea. Ladies, look no further than Chace Crawford. Sure, I’ve always been aware of Chase Crawford. Very few blond, blue eyed boys with moderately appealing biceps pass through Hollywood without my noticing. HOWEVER the man has never looked better. If you told me that the majority of the movie’s capital was raised on the promise of Chase in the perfectly fitting t-shirts he wears the entire movie, I would say…. well sure.

- Sophia Vegara isn’t in it. I LOVE Sophia Vegara. Don’t get me wrong. “Modern Family” is  a weekly masterpiece however, this seems like the kind of movie where they’d hire Sophia to basically play the same role she does on “Modern Family” and expect us not to notice because they call her Denise. I’m glad they didn’t do that.

- Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe Magnelliano. The hottest male celebrity in decades is in the movie almost always shirtless because whoever directed this movie loves America. The hot guy from True Blood who’s name I can still not pronounce even though I would pay outrageous amounts of money just to do his laundry is great. And worth however much you pay for a ticket.

- And finally, Babies! I love babies! You do too!

I loved the movie and I don’t care who knows it.

What else am I obsessed with this week? Still REALLY into wasabi peas…  granola and almond milk…. and my new favorite coffee shop in LA called “Commissary” which I guess has been there for a while but I just now went because I take a while to do pretty much anything.

Patrick and I are also rewatching “Lost” from the beginning. What a way to spend time. Shit. That show is SO good y’all. Also, I used to be all about Jack and this round its all about Sawyer for me. I don’t know what that says about growing older and my appreciation for douche bags.

I’m reading “Home At The End Of The World” which, so far, is really magical and beautiful. I loved his novel “Flesh And Blood” and I’m into this one in the same kind of all encompassing way. Before that I read the novel version of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” in a day because I’ve never seen the movie and I do NOT want to make the same mistake as I did with “The Help”. Which, thanks to Viola Davis, I will NEVER read because I will likely just feel things way too deeply.

And as far as music, I’m really digging the Dusty Springfield Pandora station, which is basically Dusty, The Shirelles, The Supremes, and Petula Clark.  Good car driving music.

And as far as Twitter, PLEASE follow Lisa Rinna if you don’t already. There’s SO much happening and it is ALL vital and important.

Thank you.

And may your week be filled with the best of obsessions.

HOW KATHY NAJIMY CHANGED THE 90′S

Sometimes, lying in that in-between space in the dead of night, where tired becomes numb and sleep scatters further away the faster she chases, even Kirstie Alley asks herself how Veronica’s Closet stayed on the air for three years. The answer, of course, is Kathy Najimy.

But hadn’t Kathy Najimy done enough? Though there isn’t an Oscar (even a Golden Globe) among them, Kathy Najimy’s IMDb page reads like a list of reasons why, for better or worse, the ’90s was the ’90s: Veronica’s Closet, Hope Floats, The Bride of Chucky. Jeffrey, It’s Pat: The Movie, Hocus Pocus, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, thirteen years as the voice of Peggy on King of the Hill and finally – arguably Najimy’s greatest achievement (America’s?) – Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act.

Yes, by the time Just Shoot Me put on a fat-suit and started waddling around NBC as Veronica’s Closet in 1997, whether they knew it or not, Americans had already come to depend on Kathy Najimy to shield us from lukewarm material, Sandra Bullock’s highlights or a comeback as ill-conceived and uninvited as Kirstie Alley’s.

So because we do not award a Purple Heart for such unflappable bravery in the face of Kirstie Alley, it is only fitting that we define Kathy Najimy’s greatness by material Kathy Najimy created herself. Specifically, just over six minutes in the middle of the 1991 taping of her two-woman stage show with Mo Gaffney, “Parallel Lives.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4dZX1eoDwU

It takes place about an hour into the performance. Gaffney and Najimy are a pair of boozy, bawdy bluehairs from the Upper East Side, trying to order sandwiches in a vegetarian cafe. Gaffney exits. We are only sort of disappointed to see her go. Left alone on the stage, Najimy begins a familiar story: an elderly woman visits her nephew and his male companion. Sassy jokes. Snaps on the punchlines. An eye for antiques. We see exactly where this is going. But how original was anything by 1991? What was left to be done that Americans hadn’t already seen in a Madonna video or an episode of Jenny Jones?

Though she is futzing with her mink shawl and holding tightly to her character’s facial tics, something in her physicality begins to shift to stillness. Something in her voice shifts from caricature to something else. Something in Kathy Najimy draws the entire house close into her wide, misty eyes. We’re listening closer than we thought would be asked of us this evening, having already settled into an hour of sketch comedy and tampon jokes.

This comedy just became a drama. Is she setting us up for a laugh? But Najimy’s performance only seems to be getting stranger, retreating further with every line from simply telling us a story, a story we swore we had already heard. She is no longer walking us through an anecdote in the past tense, but experiencing something in the present. She goes from relaying the dialogue from her nephew Michael to channeling him, giving him a voice, pausing after his lines for a response.

“So what you are telling me then, Michael, is that you are a homosexual?”

“Yes, I am. Please, Aunt Maddie. Please don’t hate me.”

“Hate you? I’d never ever hate you. Michael, I love you.”

The transcript on its own might have been cut from a made-for-television movie from the same year.

And still, it all manages to feel like a surprise. Oh, this is not a familiar story to her. Oh, she understands how hard this is for him to say. Oh she is not setting us up for a joke. This is not a comedy anymore, but something else. And so, in a theater in San Francisco, as the AIDS crisis has reached full-tilt madness, two years before Congress passes a bill prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving in the military, five years before Congress passes a bill defining marriage as between a man and a woman, Kathy Najimy looks directly into our eyes and says, “Alright, honey. This is my new dream for you: you met someone you love. You are happy.” And whether the ’90s were ready to admit it or not, they could never pretend to be the same. Something in the air had shifted; from the way things had been to the way things ought to be.

Shame on you, Kirstie Alley. May you gain it all back.

NOT JUST FAN MAIL: SMG

Dear Sarah Michelle Gellar,

Hunting down your contact info was no easy task!  But a combination of patience and perseverance led me to a minor breakdown followed by sharp, staccato moments of clarity that eventually landed me with a membership on imdbPRO.  So far I’m kind of enjoying it: The alternative layout, the daily industry news, and the overall VIP-ness.  I have a VIP membership at Century 21 and it allows me to checkout in an exclusive line that has a red carpet.  These feel paralleled in a lot of ways.  Maybe because you, my friend (are we at that point?  can we be?), are the definition of things that should be on a red carpet.  I’m living for the day when some paparazzi nobody (hate them!) steps on the train of your dress at The Oscars (you’re nominated), I happen to be nearby, I toss him out of sight, we lock eyes, you nod in approval, and ask if I want to adapt Buffy into a stage musical.  Sarah, I would be honored.

But for now, I’m eating my morning cereal as I write this to you.  It’s kashi and it’s got lots of whole grains and fiber and even some mixed berries, but all I can think about is what kind of cereal you eat.  And do you ever snack on it?  Sometimes I do before bed.  With a body as miraculous as yours, it’s hard to imagine you eating at all.  Yet your athleticism must require some kind of fueling.  I bet you love almonds!  I do, too.  Sometimes I dip them in egg whites and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top and bake them in the oven at 250 for one hour.  Would Sarah Michelle Gellar like to try my almonds?  I’ll wrap them all fancy and even include some for the fam.

Speaking of my favorite celebritoddler, how is Charlie?  I see pictures of the two of you shopping all of the time and obsess over the way you hold her: So womanly.  I can tell you’re the mother that all the other mother’s hate (but in a good way!).  Young mom’s can be so competitive, don’t you think?  I love to imagine you and Alyson Hannigan pushing your daughters as they swing at some posh California park (the park should have a name and it should be The Green Grove).  Are you and Alyson friends?  There were rumblings at one time or another (and pardon me if even referencing this is uncouth) about the two of you not getting along.  Not like I believed such nonsense, but I think a picture of the two of you with your little ones at the Green Grove could shush a naysayer.

But you probably have more important things to care about, like your best friend Shannen Doherty’s upcoming wedding.  Your gift is going to make all the other ladies so jealous!  Dish: What’s it like being friends with Heather Duke?  Note: For a large period of my life, Heathers was my favorite movie in solidarity to it being yours, until I grew to an age where the use of “Que Sera, Sera” during the opening credits finally felt ironic.  By then, it had actually become my favorite movie and I felt it safe to call us kindred spirits.  Before that point, you were just two cardboard cutouts at my Hollywood-In-Pittsburgh-themed Bar Mitzvah Party.  I couldn’t believe how high you towered above me, until I asked my dad to bring home some measuring tape only to discover that the six-foot cutout was not true to your petite, five-foot-two frame.  You are beautiful at either height.

Having two of you at my Bar Mitzvah was a real precursor to your double-duty role on Ringer.  No, David Letterman, it’s not The Ringer.  Does that frustrate you as much as it frustrates me?  When I first heard you were developing a pilot for CBS, I felt conflicted.  Highest rated network yes, but this is also the network that brought us Ghost Whisperer (which might still be on for all I and Jennifer Love Hewitt know).  When CBS passed the show off to The CW, I started guzzling cans of Coke Zero.  Even though CBS smells like a Kinko’s employee, it does offer us exposure.  The CW on the other hand… Well, look, let’s not kick a sad pony while it’s down.  Though trepidacious, I was excited by the prospect of you wearing boots on network television once again.  You look great in boots, and even greater in long coats.  If I costumed you, think thigh-high boots and lush trench coats.  I think we’d have fun choosing outfits (collaboratively, of course) and we’d also learn of a shared love for lemon ginger tea, which you’d bring into the trailer the next day for us to share!  Sarah, you’re sweet!  You really need to try these cinnamon sugar baked almonds.

Am I living for Ringer?  Sarah, remind me your favorite color.  Mine’s yellow: Banana yellow, mustard yellow, even school bus yellow.  And you know what color would be great on you, Sarah?  Broadway.  Sarah Michelle Gellar is Madea (strictly limited six week engagement, extended twice before a much hailed London run).  Chills!  The production is filmed for Live From Lincoln Center prior to passing Phantom of the Opera as the longest running Broadway show in history.  I’m just saying!

They’re telling me to wrap it up, so I’ll end by canceling my subscription to imdbPRO: What’s the point now that I got what I really needed?

Undyingly,

Evan Ross Katz

WURK DIVA: To Ellie Sattl-I mean, Laura Dern

I realize it might be rude to address you more as a role than the splendid, gorgeous, can’t-help-but-love-her-because-i-know-she’s-so-nice-in-person type of actress that you are, so I apologize in advance for the many times I refer to you as Ellie Sattler in this humble letter. You probably get it a lot, so I’ll guess its become somewhat routine. Don’t get me wrong – I loved you as Sandy, and Randy, and Ruby and Gertrude; however, I come at this subject as a twenty-something gay man who grew up a tomboy in the early nineties, and instead of favoring Superman or The Red Power Ranger, I found myself only caring about the token female in what any gay, American seven-year-old would end up watching.

Movies like Batman (Yeah yeah – Michelle Pfeiffer, but must we always forget Uma?) or Power Rangers (R.I.P. Trini…) and of course, what everyone from my generation loves to talk about when hearing your name…(welcome…to)

JURASSIC PARK!

Dr. Ellie Sattler. 24 years old. Spunky. Smart. A Paleobotanist! (“A Paleo-WHAT?” as I said at seven) In the books you were still a student, just rough enough around the edges to survive an island full of killer lizards. In the movie – you were the star, you were dating the lead man and you wanted kids and maybe Alan didn’t. You stayed behind to help a sick Triceratops (and in the book, a sick Stego). You got Jurassic Park back in business, all while hauling ass with a limp, a phone stuck to your ankle, and f*cking dinosaurs merely feet behind you! (between you and me, I’ve wanted so badly to dress as you in that scene for Halloween – sweating, moaning, dragging a phone chord and all! RUN!)

No, I wouldn’t mind at all if Jurassic Park 4 only starred you and Julianne Moore (I won’t make this letter about Sarah Harding, I won’t make this letter about Sarah Harding…) and yeah, why not throw Tea Leoni in there too? Why you three girls would ever return to the island – who cares! I’d just love to see you all fight the dinos. It’d be like mixing Sex and the City with Jurassic Park – hold New York and the fashion, NOT the sex talk.

So you see, I call you Ellie Sattler because of my deep admiration for you as an actress, and your ability (as any great actress should have) to BECOME their roles. For me and many others, you will always shine as one of my favorite women in the action/adventure genre – up there with Ellen Ripley, Buffy Summers, and Lara Croft. Your legs are meant to wear hiking boots.

Thank you for being great at what you do! Oh – and congratulations on your recent Golden Globe Award!

Just one of your many fans,

Matthew Motobuchi