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Your February 2010 RMC Results Are Indeed In!

Tagline: A woman. Her girlfriend. A sister. Her husband. Their baby.


Pizza: We Love Pizza


I have a friend named Ian. We've collaborated on a few episodes of a TV show. I love Ian and respect the hell out of him, and I'm almost certain he feels the same way about me. But as with any creative venture, we sometimes lock horns. Though it's frustrating, I don't mind that much. See, we're both out to make the best product we can, so we're both standing up for what we believe. In his eyes, I'm just wrong. In my eyes, he's wrong. Of course, none of this matters, as the Executive Producer will change it all around anyway.

For years, I've been trying to get Ian to attend a Random Movie Club screening. He won't. "What if it's utter rubbish (yep, he's a Brit!)? Why would I waste two hours on something that's shite when we can pick a good movie?" Yeah, some people just don't get RMC. They don't understand that we usually see good movies or maybe interesting movies. We've seen a few clunkers, sure, but not too many. And when we do, we make fun of them. So when it comes to Random Movie Club, there's no argument. Ian is just wrong. Until this month when we watched a movie titled CHUTNEY POPCORN. Oh man did we absolutely hate this ridiculous, self-indulgent affair. I'll keep it short, so you can thank me later.

CHUTNEY POPCORN is the story of Reena (Nisha Ganatra, who also directed), a gay Indian woman. She's an aspiring photographer with an Anglo partner, Lisa (Jill Hennessy). Reena's sister Sarita (Sakina Jaffrey) is married to Anglo Mitch (Nick Chindlun). Mitch and Sarita can't have a baby, no matter how hard they try. So Reena decides to be a surrogate.

After it doesn't work at the clinic, they bring the sperm home and try and do it with a turkey baster. Soon Reena's attempts to get pregnant, and the subsequent pregnancy itself, damage her relationship with Lisa, not to mention Mitch's relationship with Sarita.

Unfortunately, CHUTNEY is one of those movies where we're one hour ahead of the players (we see the surrogate card a mile away), and the characters are clueless (DOCTOR: Sarita, you have a rare uterine condition that cannot sustain a term pregnancy. SARITA: What exactly are you saying?). And Reena's pitch to Sarita to carry the child is like a SESAME STREET lesson.

The acting, lighting and scoring are all bad. Harsh words for a very low budgie, but true. I suppose these things are forgivable if the story rocked out, but since it didn't, we're left to be entertained by the incidentals. It also has ham-handed (or accidental?) symbolic "indie" moments like Mitch holding a hose that shuts off or Sarita planting in her garden. Hell, there's even not one but two scenes where a lesbian is hiding...in the closet. And then there's the odd moments, like why did Reena park the motorcycle in the middle of the street when there are hundreds of available spaces? And speaking of motorcycles...
There are endless (okay not endless, but maybe 14) transition scenes of characters in deep thought while riding on motorcycles. I think you're getting the idea. This movie feels like an "important" touchy-feely 70s film.

Don't get me (too) wrong. CHUTNEY POPCORN is an earnest movie that seems to have its heart in the right place. I understand the identity plights (both sexual and cultural). But it's just not good. How so many lauded this 1999 indie is beyond me. Maybe I need to be a lesbian to get this movie. It did, after all, win awards at Outfest, the Paris Lesbian Film Festival and SF International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Cara Buono in crappy Law & Order episode
I blame myself for this disaster, for I am a caveman who will never mature to rational, civilized human. I fell in love with actress Cara Buono after watching her in a crappy episode of LAW & ORDER. So I programmed my old TiVo to record anything she was in. You'd think I would have learned my lesson after, back in 2001, a movie called RIVER RED came up at RMC. RIVER RED, the worst movie we ever screened. At that point, I should have tossed any Cara Buono movie into the trash. But no, I had to see more of this beautiful woman. So I blame myself. Cara, you rock. But your movies don't. I hope you're not angry at me, but if you are, I'm up for some make-up sex.

And Ian my mate, I sure hope that while RMC was cracking its teeth on bad CHUTNEY POPCORN, you were doing something truly amazing.


So much of what's televised today are simply long commercials for other products. Case in point, ABC's special presentation of DREAMS COME TRUE: A CELEBRATION OF DISNEY ANIMATION. It's no coinkidink that ABC (owned by Disney) ran this television event seconds before THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG hit theaters. So we knew it would be FROG-heavy before going in.

But that's okay, because not only did I like the PRINCESS/FROG movie (waaay overlooked), but this TV special wasn't bad either. I always love hearing people talk about stuff that you don't get to hear them talk about. Because their careers call for so much promotion and junketeering, I sometimes forget that celebs have actual thoughts on things other than themselves. So it's kind of endearing to hear celebrities young (Miley Cyrus) and old (Betty White) yap about watching Disney movies. I mean, it's not like they have an agenda. Okay, it is.

But it's still great hearing Dick Van Dyke say, "I did see STEAMBOAT WILLIE on its first run" or Terrence Howard saying "Bambi broke my heart." To hear Magic Johnson (no relation to Magic Kingdom, or IS he?) say, "My favorite Disney film is LION KING," well, that's magic right there.

From favorite movie (PINOCCHIO/Van Dyke, LITTLE MERMAID/Serena Williams) to favorite dwarf (Doc/Whoopi, Grumpy/Selena Gomez) we get to hear their thoughts. And for a moment, you can actually relate to a celebrity.

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