Tag Archives: grease

The End of Summer Lovin’

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Hello and how on earth are you, dear reader?

Back in February I wrote this blog post about how to beat the winter blues, and it occurred to me the other day that the end of summer needs some similar attention.  Like Sandy and Danny at the beginning of Grease (excuse me, but even if they hadn’t seen each other, they would definitely have heard each other singing about their summer of love), we can all get a bit blue about the end of summer.  I don’t know whether it’s the weird weather or extracting ourselves from the Edinburgh Fringe bubble, but there’s a definite back-to-school, oh-God-do-we-have-to, I-hate-my-alarm-clock-why-is-it-such-a-bastard sort of mood going on in my social circle at the moment.

So, in the spirit of cheering you up at the end of what I hope has been a spectacular summer, here are a few little things we can all do to put ourselves back in a sunshiney mood:

1) Dance around your living room 
Stick on a song that makes you happy and just have a boogie.  Look like an idiot.  Throw your back out if you have to.  You ARE the dancing queen (or king).  My personal recommendations for feel-good tunes include Classic and When Can I See You Again.  And Dancing Queen, obviously.

2) Book something
Organise a coffee date with a friend, or a real date with someone you fancy.  Book that trip you and your mates keep talking about.  Splash out on theatre tickets.  Basically, pick something that would make you happy and make it happen soon.

3) Challenge yourself
Get cracking on something that’s been lingering on your “I could probably do that” list.  For example, my next challenge is going to be writing a radio play.  I have no idea how to do that, but I’m going to find out.  Whether it’s something a bit grown-up liking saving up for a house deposit, or something a bit crazy like climbing a mountain, use this time to rise to a challenge.

4) Find the funny
Look up silly jokes, or go and see a comedian you’ve never heard of.  Watch a classic comedy film.  Let your friends drag you to an open mic night.  As the late, great Charlie Chaplin once said, “a day without laughter is a day wasted”.

5) Spruce up
Look your best.  Not because you’re not perfect the way you are, but because it will make you feel more confident.  Dress up for your next night out.  Wear your favourite pair of shoes tomorrow.  The world deserves to see you looking happy and brim full of self-esteem because, after all, whose day would not be brightened by seeing you looking fabulous?

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You Are Not Sandra Dee (Thank Goodness)

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Good morning and welcome to a brand new week!  How the devil are you?

First and foremost, I would like to apologise for the gaps inbetween my blog posts recently.  My work schedule has prevented me from writing every day, for which I can only apologise and offer you a compensatory biscuit.  That being said, I have decided that from now on I will only be posting on weekdays, mainly so that you can go about your weekend unpestered by my ramblings.  Sound good?  Marvellous.

Today’s blog post is about the sneaking suspicion most girls have about themselves, which is (brace yourselves, ladies) that we don’t actually want to be the heroine of a story.  Oh, sure, we want the romance and the struggle and the ultimate happy ending, but we want to be allowed to get there on our terms.  We want to know that we can succeed without the necessary caveat of being beautiful, or the genetic good luck to have incredibly long, climbable hair.  The women we most admire and aspire to are the funny best friends and the sarcastic sidekicks – the characters who get the best lines and the best results.

Female characters who have an amusing foible or a deplorable flaw are, in film, literature and television, much more empathetic to modern women than their swooning, seductive counterparts.  The heroines of stories are willed by the reader or viewer to get the prescribed happy ending, because that’s what we are programmed to expect: give us a pretty girl in a pickle and we are desperate for her to find her bliss.  But show us a character who is less impeachably perfect and more honestly human, and that’s who we want to be.  We want to be the girl on the sideline who manages to win just by being herself.

Wouldn’t you rather be a Rizzo than a Sandy?  Nessa wins over Stacey, outright.  And deep down, don’t you think it would be fun to be more of a Karen than a Grace?  Why do you think movie writers keep inventing ‘kooky friend’ characters, anyway?  Because they know that those are the women we actually relate to.

These female characters are not perfect, but they are perfectly believable, which is definitely more important.  They might be bitchy, crazy or even prone to singing at high school for no reason, but there are worse things they could do.  (Geddit?)  These women are actually doing us all a favour by reminding us that you don’t have to be blonde, adorable or star-crossed in order to get what you want – you can (and should) just be yourself.

And why wouldn’t you be yourself, while we’re at it?  You’re brilliant!

Have a miraculous Monday.

Top Ten Lessons Not to Learn from Rom-Coms

Hello, lovely reader! Congratulations on being half-way through the week.  You’re doing great.

Today I’ve been thinking about romantic comedy films, and how quickly we are willing to exchange our common sense for warm and fuzzy feelings.  Don’t get me wrong: I love rom-coms, and Richard Curtis provides me and my friends with ample opportunity to waste an evening bewailing our boringly realistic love lives, but seriously.  The morals and attitudes encouraged by Hollywood’s happy endings are appalling.

If we actually examine the lessons in rom-coms instead of concentrating on the smouldering glances and mushy moments, we can see that these films are dangerous.  They could create a generation of women who will negotiate the dating world with all the skill and success of a neo-Nazi who has halitosis.  (This may be slightly melodramatic, but you know what I mean.)

As I said, I do love these films, but I also worry that there’s some murky moral ground being covered.  Here are some lessons that I really hope none of us learn from our favourite romantic comedies:

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1) Grease

If your boyfriend is nice to you when you’re alone and acts like an asshat in front of his friends, get a makeover and wear clothes tight enough to give you gangrene.  That’ll get him back.  Obviously, you are the one who is not good enough and you need to adapt to his shallowness.

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2) Pretty Woman

Go on the game.  A handsome, rich and charming man will inevitably sweep you off your feet and fall madly in love with you.  You will definitely not get pregnant, contract a horrible disease or be putting yourself in serious harm’s way every night.  Not even a little bit.

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3) Four Weddings and a Funeral

Be horrible to a guy for ages, sleep with him a bit, get engaged to someone else, sleep with him again, take him WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING and then turn up on his doorstep just after he gets punched in the face at the altar.  Also, lose the ability to notice basic environmental factors like whether it’s raining or not.

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4) Bridget Jones’ Diary

Waddle everywhere.  Colin Firth will totally fall for you.

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5) Serendipity

Let the amazing guy you just met get away because a piece of paper flew away.  Obviously it’s fate and not just the traffic passing you by in the middle of a New York highway.

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6) America’s Sweethearts

Keep quiet about your feelings for years, and then get annoyed with the guy without explaining yourself.  Also, spend your entire life slaving away after your bratty sister.  Way to respect yourself.

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7) The Princess Bride

When the love of your life reappears after a few years, completely ignore his height, voice and facial features.  A few inches of eye mask should completely obscure any idea you might have about his identity.  Sure, you love him, but you’re blind and deaf, ok?

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8) 10 Things I Hate About You

Lead a guy on for as long as you can, and only be nice to him when he’s gone through ridiculous amounts of nonsense to make you happy.  If your big sister has ideals and can be a bit snappy about them, make sure that you use her as a pawn in your relationship games.  Being manipulative means that you deserve your happy ending; after all, you’ve worked for it.  Or at least your boyfriend has.

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9) Friends With Benefits

Define what you want from your relationship with a guy, and then completely change your mind.  Make sure that he is unaware of this for as long as possible.  Remember, only a flash mob is enough to regain your attention, preferably in a busy train station at peak time.

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10) One Day

Keep chasing the unobtainable guy who probably wouldn’t make you happy anyway, and in the meantime settle for someone you don’t really love.  Also, change your accent a lot.

Have a great Wednesday, and please enjoy your rom-coms responsibly.