Now we're into 2012, it is time to make those new year's resolutions. To do that, we usually try to draw on the experiences and lessons we learned in the previous year in order to see what we can do better this year. So if you need a little help, here are some things that I learned thanks to watching films released in 2011. They're valuable lessons, indeed...(there might be some spoilers here, especially for #1)
10. It is possible to be a walking photoshopped figure.
Film: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Teacher: Ryan Gosling
2011 was undoubtedly the year of Ryan Gosling. He had a couple of star turns in Drive and The Ides of March, but what we will all remember him for is his unreal physique in Crazy, Stupid, Love. It was so unreal that it caused Emma Stone to exclaim "seriously?! It's like you're photoshopped!" Only the Gos could be a walking photoshopped figure.
9. Apparently, Kate Hudson can do whatever the hell she likes and you can still be friends with her.
Film: Something Borrowed
Teacher: Kate Hudson
Something Borrowed taught me a lot of things: like people still make crappy rom-coms and films comprised of completely detestable characters. The most detestable of those characters was Darcy, played by Kate Hudson, who was just plain horrible. She stole her best friend's 'best friend', even though it was obvious that they didn't have a connection. She slept around. She didn't even care about her husband-to-be...just the wedding. And yet, everyone still liked her. Rachel (her best friend) still stuck around, even though I would have cut off the friendship once school finished. Dex (her fiancée) didn't connect with her spirited nature, and yet he was still determined to marry her. So if you wanna be able to do whatever the hell you like and have people still stick by you, you just have to be Kate Hudson.
8. Don't piss off an Olsen twin.
Teacher: Mary-Kate Olsen, Alex Pettyfer
She may look a bit questionable, but if you piss her off, she'll make you look even more questionable. I'm not kidding. Alex Pettyfer had to learn that the hard way. But the Olsen means well: what she is really trying to do is teach Pettyfer the valuable life lesson that looks aren't everything. Apparently.
7. Wear slutty clothing and BAM! Female empowerment.
Film: Sucker Punch
Teacher: Zack Snyder, several young actress hotties
According to Zack Snyder, Sucker Punch was supposed to be an epic fantasy film which promotes female empowerment. So if we were to take his message literally, this is what we'd have to do to feel empowered: kill a baby dragon, fight large ninjas, fighting robots, fighting soldiers...all while wearing revealing clothing. Yeah, that would make me feel empowered. Sorry, Zack, you really tried, but your little rape-fantasy movie did not make me feel great about being a girl at all. All you did was make a movie for teenage boys.
6. Can't afford to take part in an exercise boot camp? Hide behind a tree and join it for free...and if you get caught, pretend you're dancing in the park.
Teacher: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph
There's something that I never thought of: it is really easy to join in on exercise boot camps that happen in the park. Though I'm not sure why they couldn't just go for a run or something. I also never thought that dancing in the park would be a good cover for it...in fact, I don't think pretending to dance in the park would be a good cover for anything. But that won't stop me from attempting it, someday.
5. You may think that you're watching a nice little drama starring Brad Pitt, but BAM! Dinosaurs!
Film: The Tree of Life
Teacher: Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick really proved that everything is possible with The Tree of Life. That's because he did everything in that movie. Including putting dinosaurs in there to show that nature and grace existed back in the dino-days. Well, that was my interpretation of it. I think most people will interpret it as "WTF ARE DINOSAURS DOING IN THIS MOVIE?!" Don't act so surprised, guys, Sean Penn was top-billed on the poster.
4. Never make your own medicines. They'll leave you feeling a little blue.
Film: X-Men: First Class
Teacher: Nicholas Hoult
Once, Hank McCoy was a lovely looking boy who had big feet, but he couldn't handle that mutation. So he decided he'd put an end to it all, as he was quite skilled with his science. His medicine made a change, that's for sure. As the NZ saying goes, just a normal-ish looking mutant who makes his own medicine, nek minnit, he turns into a big, blue, furry beast. Moral of the story: big feet aren't all that bad.
3. Everyone who presumably can't speak English is from Sri Lanka, just like M.I.A.
Teacher: Jessica Barden
One of my favourite parts of Hanna was the family that she came across, who were as funny as anything. Especially the daughter, played by Jessica Barden, who greets Hanna with a story about rapper M.I.A who was from Sri Lanka and couldn't speak English but now she's mega-famous. This was meant to make Hanna feel better because she presumed she couldn't speak English. When her brother asked where this lost Hanna was from, Sophie replies, "Sri Lanka". Because that is where everyone who can't speak English is from, obviously.
2. When the world is about to end, build a teepee with sticks.
Teacher: Kirsten Dunst
This one feels particularly relevant since, you know, the world is supposed to end this year (LOL). While it is really supposed to be a 'magic cave', it just looks like a teepee made with sticks. Which, I imagine, is the best that one could do with an apocalypse just around the corner. What Kirsten Dunst's Justine is really trying to tell us, though, is that her sister Claire's idea of getting some wine and music to celebrate the end of the world is pretty dumb. It's the end of the world, you have to get creative. And if you also hate the world, you may as well steal some of it's resources to do so.
1. Don't eat pork.
Teacher: Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow ate some pork. After doing that, she touched a few people. Then she went home, and she got sick. She touched some more people. She died. Those people got sick. Then people who got touched by those people got sick. Next thing you know, the whole world got sick. A whole lot of people died. All because of Gwyneth Paltrow's pork dinner. Moral of the story: don't eat pork. Or meat. Stick to the veges, that you grow yourself. Eat healthy, stay healthy!
There are the lessons I learned from 2011 movies. What did you learn from them?