Libby Gelman-Waxner: Look, I'm back!
The columnist returns to muse on ''Twilight,'' ''Immortals,'' ''J. Edgar,'' and more
I know, I can’t believe it either, but I’m back! For many years, in the pages of Premiere magazine, I ruled as the planet’s most beloved and irresponsible film critic, along with pursuing my high-powered career as an assistant buyer in juniors activewear, and my role as a loving wife to Dr. Josh Waxner, a gifted orthodontist, and as the multitasking mom of two perfect children, my daughter Jeni4 (her spelling, don’t ask) and my son Mitchell Sean. I stopped writing my column, not just because Premiere went under but due to a crippling personal depression caused by Jennifer Aniston’s inability to hold a man. Jennifer is so beautiful and talented, but her spray tan became like a terror-alert thermometer, growing richer and more burnished as each no-good celebrity boyfriend hit the road. But now, thank God, Jennifer is happy and in love and wrapping those featherweight scarves many times around her neck, and so the time is right for me to once again bring joy and insight into the lives of my bereft fans, and to prove what anyone who’s ever gone online already knows: that I is the most important word in any language, followed closely by me, mine, oeuvre, vision, Goobers, and the question ”Why would I go see a movie called Melancholia when Immortals features Henry Cavill in a leather diaper?”
While I was away, I longed to discuss so many works of cinematic artistry, and to ponder, Why do all of the tribal characters in Avatar look like poured-resin figurines from a hospital gift shop? And in Black Swan, did Natalie Portman starve, cut herself, and experiment with lesbian sex because ballerinas almost never get to go to college? And how can I properly thank Natalie for fulfilling all of my most intimate fantasies by accepting her Academy Award while radiantly pregnant in a designer gown, accompanied by her dreamy French dancer boyfriend, who now appears in cologne ads? My only worry regarding Natalie is that she hasn’t followed my example and become Natalie Portman-Millepied. Because as every true feminist knows, hyphenating your name is a way of telling the world ”I’m no one’s chattel but I still landed a guy.” Jeni4 and I have, in fact, spent hours at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations holding placards that read ”The 1% Should Marry the 99%,” with arrows pointing to Jeni4.
Right now there’s so much to kvell about, including the fact that, like every female on earth, I’m on my fifth viewing of Breaking Dawn. Because when Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart gaze at each other, their passion is so intense that it’s like they’re trying to pass kidney stones through their foreheads. Robert and Kristen understand that when a morose human marries a gloomy vampire, it’s a very big deal, which is why Kristen wears what seems to be a white spandex wedding gown; if she added a too-tight ponytail and cheekbone glitter, she’d look like a fiercely determined Ukrainian gymnast. Robert and Kristen honeymoon at an oceanfront estate with the sort of plantation shutters and gauzy canopy bed that announce ”We can only have volcanic yet tender interspecies sex inside a Restoration Hardware catalog.”
Everything in the Twilight films is always gorgeous and slow and agonizing, and when Kristen has a baby she’s shot in such tight close-up that she appears to be giving birth with her overbite. Personally, I worship Kristen’s overbite, because I can always sense the presence of a special assistant, just off camera, who’s been hired to smile encouragingly at Kristen and to gently murmur the phrase ”Close your mouth.” Robert is beyond squeal-worthy, even if the makeup people have never really nailed the vampire paleface thing, so Kristen seems to be marrying into a clan of greasy mimes. And of course I adore Taylor Lautner as Jacob the hunky werewolf, because when he learns that Kristen’s pregnant, it takes him a long moment of deep thinking before he turns to Robert and yelps, ”You did this!” And as a special bonus, there’s even a new character named Renesmee, because what girl doesn’t yearn to sound like a new prescription drug for acid reflux?
I am so thrilled to be back, and we haven’t even begun to talk about J. Edgar, that amazing movie where the hairpieces and the prosthetic aging makeup are so extreme that everyone, even the female characters, seems to be played by Gene Hackman. The script for J. Edgar is smart and sly, but the director, Clint Eastwood, has never been known for having a light touch, so it’s a little like watching Mommie Dearest directed by your dad. And of course the best thing about seeing any movie at this time of year is getting to enjoy the 28 trailers for all the holiday blockbusters, and not just the ones where multiple SUVs explode, sending Tom Cruise hurtling into your lap, but especially the one for that tearjerker about the woman who, after an accident, develops amnesia and can’t remember marrying her husband. Just like getting turned into a vampire by a bloodsucker with great hair, that sort of amnesia has a real romantic upside, if you ask me.