Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Women Are Dying To Stay Sexy; Just Get a Poster of Brad Pitt!

Jake Gyllenhaal and "I don't need anyone" Ann Hathaway in Love and Other Drugs.  I recently thought about this film because I was channel flipping. Let's consider how awesome he is.  This ties together, I promise.

I knew nothing about Premarin until I saw this ad.

I sprang up in bed, HUH?  There is no discernible difference between the before and after pictures of the women post Premarin. They remain miserable messes. So naturally I took to my computer to investigate.

AFTER SHE TOOK HER LIBIDO PILL ^ ^ ^  She looks terrifying.

Premarin is a huge business, marketed to women with pre-peri-partial-post menopause. So basically any women with a pulse. But now it's being marketed as the female Viagra, because the world has caught on that  Premarin actually kills women. Anyhoo...

MAYBE she is thinking about:

Side effects: Common:   Headaches,  nausea, back pain, eye problems, breast and bone cancer, high blood pressure, gall stones, jaundice, heart failure, blood clots, endometrial cancer, heart attacks, strokes, dementia,

The un-common side effects? DEATH is pretty much the end of the line.

It's male cousin Viagra just keeps on ticking. The Pfizer execs figuring out what to do. "Let's just dump her, that's our business model anyway."

According to Pfizer, (who manufactures both drugs) these pathetic women are so upset they lost their libido suicide is really the only option. Hey, let's market Premarin as a LIBIDO DRUG!  But what a marketing FAIL... since the company insists on showcasing these gals as angry, clinically depressed, and unapproachable.

The ads suggest without Premarin, you may as well just jump. A contemplator: ^ ^ ^

If you hang it there, you'll be a bitter, resentful harpy. ^ ^ ^  So take your Premarin dammit!

YES, I am late to the party again, but who knew Pfizer makes billions knocking up horses to get that wonder urine-- PRE MARE and no one is stopping them. Big Pharma just loves to kill people. AND animals.  Apparently they have been preying on vulnerable women for years.

I forgot to pick up my Premarin. Just shoot me! ^ ^ ^

Sex and fear SELL. It only makes sense after the public caught on to their nefarious tactics, Pfizer resorted to marking Premarin as a sex drug, the female equivalent to Viagra. So, hurry! Boost your libido, put on your French maid outfit so you don't lose your man. Or woman. But they focus entirely on heterosexuals.

Seriously? Who wants him? And why is she holding the flowers? I bet she paid for the tropical vacation too. Yet she bought into the BS. "Who will ever love me, I've over 40 with no fashion sense!"

Then compare to how they market Viagra. Hot, sexy. Also if that guy needs Viagra he clearly needs professional help. What is he, 20? I'm aware many young men take it for sport like Jake Gyllenhaal in that movie. I actually didn't know there was such a thing as a Viagra party.

NOTE TO MEN: Women aren't into ten-hour sex marathons. I don't care what Sting says.

Too bad Clyde Barrow didn't have Viagra. Poor Faye Dunaway. It's possible if he did, these two would have never went on a killing spree.

Apparently Pfizer has changed their approach with this new, cowboy type man.

He's not angry, depressed, sad. In fact, he's camping, and getting his manhood on, stoking fires and stabbing fish.

This is the Viagra poster dude. I thought it was Chuck Norris. Maybe it is. I noticed all the ads now are rugged men working on Brokeback Mountain, or looking under the hood of Mustangs.

Gone are the days of white-haired old men strolling on the beach who have lost their ability to rub one out.

Oh, my bad. But COME ON! Is he human? Also a glance at Brad would work better than Premarin.

Here's the sad sack. He is so happy  he has a dog.

Side note: Viagra has no side effects, unless you count extended erection or a mild cough. These boys don't worry about cancer or dementia.  It's also created in a lab, not by torturing Rhinos.

Because the company is run by men, naturally their main concern is sex, and by golly they need to keep women interested even if it kills them. And the horses they rode in on.

"Honey, I'm pumped up, take your Premarin or I'll go hang with the guys."

Pfizer lost interest in Viagra as a solution to possible marital problems and now basically caters to men who just want to get hard. BUT if women want to come to the party, take the death pill.

By the way Pfizer, you should use Seth Rogan for the Viagra, and James Franco for the Premarin. Sales would soar!

Instead they use the most lame adverts I've seen since scented douche bags.

Oh, but none of this is truthful.  One in four men under the age of 40 can't get an erection. This increases as they age.  Raise your hand if you've been with a young guy and he can't get it up? That's what I thought.  But we don't hear about this! We only hear about horrible crones.

Then the poster boys:

And Jack Nicholson who will be bedding the ladies forever and well into the afterlife.

Pfizer even suggests your octogenarian milkman can offer more than just milk. Also who the hell has a milkman? Further, who would shag him? Oh, the Housewives of Beverly Hills. Of course.

To create this amazing deadly drug so women will stop having emotions being bitches and start spreading their legs, Pfizer cages mares, impregnates them;  keeps the poor things cold, shackled, whipped, and often beats them with an electrical prods before they are tortured and slaughtered.  

Yet there is no law against this and Pfizer won't change their tactics because it would cost money.

Of course most women have no idea. They are being told this miracle pill/cream will give them youth, energy, vitality, an insanely high libido and they'll be attractive to men forever. Right.

Mrs. Kravitz learned the hard way. She died of a stroke while vacuuming just after her daily dose of Premarin.

MY BIG QUESTION is who the  hell cares what men think?

I guess I have never in my life given one shit whether men want to have sex with me. Let's put this into perspective. If I want to have sex with you, I'll let you know. If I don't it doesn't mean I suffer from some mental illness and need to be fixed.  Note to men: You're not all that. Get over your damn self. 

I also don't give one shit if a man threatens to have an affair if I don't want to have sex. Go. Don't forget your Viagra asshole.

After I saw the horse cruelty video I was just appalled. But not really. Because like everything in this patriarchal world, many men want what they want and will go to any length to get it. They will kill animals and risk women's lives to encourage force their wives to have sex, or take Viagra to have sex with anybody (Oh she was 18, OOOPS) and continue to remain unconscious as long as they are thinking with their sex organs.

Rhonda Talbot weighing in on Premarin, sex, Viagra, men, women, libido, Brad Pitt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Pfizer and Big Pharma equals well, small wiener.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Why Thelma and Louise Will Live On Forever

So, it finally happened. My young daughters received their first wolf-whistle while we were walking to town. I was a good 20 feet behind them, but well, reacted as I'm wont to do.

"Hey asshole! Get back here you spineless pr***!

I threw my water bottle at his car but he didn't stop. Had he turned around I would have knocked him to the ground with my massive  handbag then stomped on his genitals. Instead I just fantasized. Meanwhile my daughters were blissfully unaware of the entire ordeal.

Which leads me to Thelma and Louise.

Though I spent most of my professional career acquiring movies for large companies, be it through development, script, packaging, financing or an actual screening, nothing prepared me for or has since affected me as much as the film Thelma and Louise.

This was early days in my career, about to see a picture I knew nothing about. I worked with the principals of a few large companies, so how it worked was--- I was based in Los Angeles dealing with movie people to find films, and when the principal/owners came to town we made the "rounds," meeting with agents, producers, etc or attended film festivals.

One boss (will call him Q) and I were meeting with various people and decided to drop in on an old producer friend.

Producer, in typical huckster pitch style: "Hey, I've gotta bunch of films in the can. Wanna have a look?"

Q and I scanned his menu of movies, a number of them quite interesting, many looked like code, but I was stuck on one.

Thelma and Louise: "A road trip comedy about two gals that get in over their heads. Lots of fun and soaring action."  (The producer made up his own loglines.) Directed by Ridley Scott, starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis. He showed us the trailer, looked amusing.

Me: I like this one.
Q:  Fine. I like Ridley.
Producer: Great. I can't unload it. This sure aint gonna win any Oscars.

Q bought the film right there.  The deal was closed in 40 seconds and we were ushered into a dark screening room.

The film begins. I knew instantly this was a not a "funny road trip comedy." I was riveted from the opening scene of wide expanse before barging into a small town diner. As the movie progresses, I watched Louise, forthright, intelligent and full of helpful advice, stuck in some claustrophobic cafeteria, and then the vulnerable Thelma trapped in an abusive, oppressive marriage, acting out some 50's housewife version of a woman. They are about to embark on freedom, but in a world that does not allow that for women.

I knew I was about to witness a revolutionary film.

"Women who are completely free from all the shackles that restrain them have no place in this world. The world is not big enough to support them. They will be brought down if they stay here," Callie Khouri.

I've loved everything she's ever written, including recent amazing Nashville. I also love T-Bone Burnett so it only makes sense the two would collaborate.

So yeah.... It can be awkward sitting next to your big boss, in the quiet dark, choking on emotion. He knew I was crying and he also knew he had made the right choice. He loved the film.

Why are men allowed to act out their base impulses and never be held accountable?  Why do they rape and not go to jail? Why do they glorify the "perfect" women, objectify them, without considering what this might mean?  All of this strongly resonated with me, as it did with so many.

Q was much older, and was not only an amazing businessman, mentor, teacher and friend but also the first male figure in my life that honored women. He treated me with as an equal and respected my decisions.

In any case, I missed the 20th anniversary of this film due to the on-goings of my own life, working and raising twin girls. The reason I write this now is because over 20 years, nothing has changed. Women are still treated like sex objects, and maybe even worse due to the media's bombardment of all things that sexually exploit females. Everywhere I turn I'm staring into another American Apparel pornification ad.

Most women I know understand this:

It took me a while to comprehend that given this film was such a success, and unquestionably iconic, other films with strong female leads, laying out the truth of our world, have not been made. There was momentum, but then it stalled quickly. Since 1991, the women in Congress has dropped, women holding executive positions in Fortune 500 has dropped, and women in any kind of power position in the media is depressingly low.

Number one reason remains: It's a man's world.  Sure, we all know this, but somehow a part of me thought by now the tides would have turned.  But sadly no. Women who step out of line are still severely punished.

The brilliant political undertones of Thelma and Louise still hold, and when Thelma finally owns her sexuality in the scene with Brad Pitt, not only is she punished, but so is Louise. Now they have nowhere to turn. And here Thelma comes alive. Breaks free. Helps her best friend. Explodes with ideas. Unleashes a person that she had buried years before.

When the film ended with their deciding to drive into the Grand Canyon, I burst into tears. Q be damned. He put his arm around me.

Because I knew, and he knew, this was the only way the movie could end.  They had both tasted freedom and could never return to their old lives. The world was never going to change. So metaphorically they triumph.

Callie says it best: "After all they went through, I didn't want anybody to touch them. They flew away, out of this world and into the mass unconscious."

Though we as writers try very hard to get movies made with strong female protagonists, it's a never ending game of defeat. "Can't she be nicer? Make her more sympathetic. What are you a man hater? It's a good script, but make the lead male. Maybe if it's a woman and a man. Put a wedding at the end and we can make a deal. But two women? And they don't care about marriage? Who is going to watch that? No. We can't get it financed." On and on.

But we don't give up. Because we can't.

This film resonates strongly because there is no other. No movies get made where women take control of their own lives and bodies; particularly when no men are involved. The female heroines now are out of comic books and there is always a love story. Sometimes they are pure sitcom. Better than nothing I suppose, but these films do not inform or leave a lasting impression.

Everyone always points to Bridesmaids. But the underlying theme is -without a  man, women are nothing. Furthermore, they ought to be abandoned like contagion if they speak their mind. Kristen Wiig shines a light on the hypocrisy

but is well, ostracized for this. It's only when she plays by the "rules" she is once again accepted.

Go with a good cop and you'll be okay and hold back any further impulses to speak your mind. I mean, they gave her a cop? That what she gets for stepping outside the norm. Cage that crazy lady!

Many years, tons of books and lots of theories emerged concerning the feminism backlash. The internet shines a light to further entrench the notion that women with freedom are unhappy, careers give them cancer, they are neglecting their children, they become emotional wrecks, alcoholics and they certainly are not attractive to men.

The backlash whispers into women's ears that they secretly yearn for servitude not power. Those who say otherwise will be shutdown. This is why Thelma and Louise will never be made again.

And this is why we get movies like Bridesmaids, the deceptive Gravity or name your "chickflick" whose soul purpose is the lead's finding the right man before she is "old" but bills itself as pro-female.

"Hang on Sandra, I'm coming to save you. Darn little women still think they can drive for god sakes," said Space ghost George Clooney.

Despite all the efforts women made in the 70's, and there were some very good movies, now it's all perfect skin, leggy blondes, picket fence veneers, sex and popcorn.

And the few good films made by women but rarely get a theatrical release.

Thank god Callie Khouri exists. That we at least  have this in the cinema realm. I see no end in sight in our misogynistic world, despite the many good men that exist. We still need culture to catch up, to change; as Gloria Steinem said, "I wish we didn't have to be nude to be noticed."

Meanwhile, I will keep trying to get my movies made, my stories written and my books published. And direct my daughters to do what they love best; art, reptiles, roller skating, soccer, reading, sewing bohemian outfits and adding to their 30 plus and growing snake collection.

Their father is a great dad, protects them, guides them and provides tools so they can protect themselves. And there are many fathers like him. But not enough.

I rarely go to movies anymore. But when I'm low and can't take an other day of crassly sexist ethos that permeates Hollywood, the corporate world and politics, I pull out my Thelma and Louise DVD for relief.  Even if momentary. After countless viewings, I still burst into tears.

Rhonda Talbot weighing in on Thelma and Louise, sexism, patriarchy, female objectification and the never ending hope this will one day change.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning Under the Sheets--NO NO NO!

The Last of Robin Hood, a biopic about Errol Flynn (50) and his sexual affair with aspiring actress Beverly Aadland (15) belongs on the Horror Network, not Lifetime.

The thought of the ethereal Dakota Fanning (23) lying in bed with who could be her great grandfather Kevin Kline (66) is just going too far.

Hasn't Dakota been through enough? What with child abduction and a dangerous father (Man on Fire,) being orphaned then terrorized by her insane father (Hide and Seek,) facing down an alien apocalypse with her Peter Pan father (War of the Worlds.)  Nonetheless, her film choices are excellent and she is clearly so talented it borders on genius. But nothing in all of her 450 films can be worse than bedding with a man that is much older than her actual father.

As much as I'm an advocate for the Lifetime Network or any network that promotes stories written by or about women, this one eludes me. Somehow this feels very wrong. I know all networks need to chase ratings and a sale but at what cost?

Errol enjoyed Lolita just as much as the next guy. He gave the book to Beverly as a gift. ^^^

This is a biopic about Errol Flynn and his romance with a 15-year old starlet, one that is encourage by her fame hungry mother. The one sheet goes on to say though set in 1959, this surely mirrors today's society. Really? Apparently this romance was a paparazzi dream come true, a never ending tabloid fest, a real life Lolita.

I guess in today's world that might mirror, well nobody. I guess Johnny Depp and maybe sister Elle Fanning? But this would never happen, instead we might have James Woods (66) and Kristen Bauguess (26,) a sort of age match, an actor wanting to stay in the limelight... but frankly no one cares.

Lifetime says it prides itself on making films that empower women and I'm not seeing it here. I'm seeing something much more lurid and I find it disturbing. But that's just me. Given women have barely any outlet in which to make movies, the one TV network supposedly devoted to them makes a film about a creepy old pervert preying on a teenager while her mother encourages their union. We saw this film. It was called Lolita. It was a great novel. And a great film. But it was also about a lot of other concerns.

I find The Last of Robin Hood a rather pathetic excuse for entertainment. Lifetimes seems to have fallen down some scary rabbit hole.

In real life, Kevin Kline (66) is married to Phoebe Cates (50) but when they married, I remember thinking, wait, Kevin Kline, that great actor from The Big Chill, Sophie's Choice, A Fish Called Wanda, among so many others was marrying that teenager from The Fast Times at Ridgemont High? I loved her, then don't ever recall seeing any further acting.

Apparently she retired from acting to raise their two kids and they're perfectly happy.

I also love Kevin Kline, and really their age difference isn't anything abnormal in Hollywood. Except when they met on The Big Chill she was 20 to his 36.  I actually remember being slightly horrified. Maybe because she looked 14. Or maybe because I felt it was predatory. I don't recall.

Of course the May/December romances are nothing new.  And a number of them actually last, such as Annette Benning and Warren Beatty (21 years)  Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart (22 years) Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones (25 years) well, verdict is out.

True love ^ ^ ^ ^

And now the tide is changing. For example a few new ones, Robin Wright and Ben Foster (14 years) Joan Collins and Percy Gibbons (32 years) Jennifer Lopez and Casper Whatever (18 years) Geena Davis and Rehza Jareahy (15 years).. on an on.

Sharon Stone with some  hottie. ^ ^ ^

I like the swing of older women/young men, just for the sake of balance.

So why not make a film about a 66-year old female star and an upcoming young man? Say Goldie Hawn and Dane DeHaan? Or Diane Keaton and Ezra Miller?  Wouldn't this be a better fit for Lifetime?

I'm available... ^ ^ ^ ^

Meanwhile, what woman is going to watch adorable Dakota getting her sexy on with Kevin Kline!? How about nobody. At least he has a heart attack and dies. She inherits nothing. Her mother is a boozy freak.

I understand because this is a biopic it will carry a certain cache, and it was also sold to Goldwyn so may face an actual theatrical release. The producers and executives involved keep saying over and over how it mirrors today, despite it being set in 1959,  but this just isn't true. Yet they just keep saying this.

The only thing that is true is Hollywood will continue to support films with older, in this case geriatric men and younger leading women.

I understand that Lifetime is having a rough go, made evident by their recent Flowers in the Attic and Lizzie Bordon Took An Ax, exploitation films that portray women as murderers, crones, child abusers or innocent things that have no problem with incest.  I don't watch much TV so I don't know when the whole "women in peril" was replaced with flat out psychotics.

Until women start truly gaining a foothold on what people see on their screens, any screens, I highly recommend not watching this dreck.

There are the occasional great films that get made, ones that empower females. But they are rare.

Until then, it's still a man's fantasy out there. Lolita. Light of my life. Fire of my loins. Lo-Li-Ta.

Rhonda Talbot weighing in on Errol Flynn, the perpetuation of perverts through the media and holding out hope that change is in the air.