Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When Tony Met Bella

This post is relatively spoiler-free for those of you who have yet to see this movie.

Guess who finally got around to watching "Welcome to the Rileys" this weekend??? ME! And I coerced Mr. Snarky into watching it with me, too, since Jenny Jerkface told me she was "too busy cleaning" to come watch it with me (and then inadvertently outed her lying self yesterday by confessing to being sucked into Spartacus: Blood and Sand all weekend - BUSTED, JJ!).

Let me start off by saying that I actually liked this movie. It wasn't super-well received critically (well, the reviews were pretty mixed), but I've certainly seen much much worse. The last few dvds I'd watched prior to this one had seriously made want to get the wasted two hours of my life back (I'm lookin' at you, The Town and Dinner for Schmucks). So this movie - while not a particularly happy tale for the most part - was a bit of a pleasant surprise overall. Let's hear it for low expectations!

In lieu of an actual movie review, here are a few random observations:

  • I haven't missed listening to James Gandolfini breathe. At all. I canceled HBO in a fit of rage the day after the series finale of The Sopranos, and I can't say that I thought much about it after riding out the throes of my hissy fits. [JJ - I'm STILL not over that finale. Totally went beserk] He's a compelling actor, but from the first scene with his character in WttR, there he was again, inhaling and exhaling like the super-sized mammal he is... On a side note: Dear James Gandolfini, you need to lose weight. It's not healthy, and I'll bet you would breath less audibly if you dropped few pounds.
  • I really have a hard time seeing him do anything without being reminded of Tony Soprano. Sure, he was supposed to be a mild-mannered plumbing supply salesman from...somewhere not on a coast, but I was still kinda hoping/expecting he'd whack someone.

I'm smiling but I'm a little creeped out by your heavy breathing. Please don't whack me.

  • I get the distinct feeling that in real life, Kristen Stewart peppers many of her sentences with variations of the word "fuck" (and I'm not just talking about what she says to RPatts behind closed doors). Her character - Mallory? Allison? - had a major, Jenny-Jerkface-level potty mouth, and it was clear that KStew was pretty comfy uttering the lines. Except maybe when she spewed out the phrase "pencil dick" in a fit of rage, at which point she looked suitably uncomfortable with the use of such an adolescent insult.

"Pencil dick"? Really? I outta whack that screenwriter...

  • The woman who played James Gandolfini's wife was simply great - I don't know that I have seen her in anything before - or I don't recall, anyway - but Melissa Leo stole just about every scene she was in. Looking at her page on IMBD, I see that she has been in a ton of stuff, including "The Fighter" (for which she is considered a shoe-in for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar) and "Treme" (see my earlier note on HBO). Also, she was apparently in "The Cake Eaters" with KStew, which I still haven't watched yet, either. She's won and/or been nominated for all sorts of things and rightfully so, as far as I can tell.
  • As for KStew's performance, there was no notable blinking, but there was stuttering and awkwardness galore! I've come to the conclusion that Kristen Stewart pretty much plays some variation of herself in just about every role I have seen her in--there! I said it!--and it usually works out pretty well (see The Runaways and Adventureland). I think that she's a good actress. Not stunningly awesome, but pretty good. And you can tell she's putting her all into her performance, which I totally respect. Plus I have to give her major kudos for not toppling over in those stripper heels she wears during half the movie, and she works her tatty fishnets like nobody's business.

I want to go to sleep with makeup on and wake up looking like this, too, please...

As is our wont, we're a tad late to the party, but I did enjoy watching WttR. I'm sure that the other opinionated twatwaffles here on Twitarded will eventually get off their lazy asses and watch the movie, but in the meantime, have you watched Welcome to the Rileys yet??? Were you thinking about Tony and Stripperella too??? Share it in the comments!


  1. I'd watchi this. I've enjoyed everything I've seen Kstew in, however, she is NEVER in happy ending (the non-dirty kind :)) movies.

    The cake eaters is a really good movie but it's rough too. Kristen plays a girl with severe Cerebal Palsy (I think it's CB) and boy, she does an AWESOME job of it, she's very convincing.

    I like that she brings a dark element to the movies right now. So much is flowers and happy butterflies, it's just not real life. I gotta respect her for keeping it real.

    But shit do I wish I woke up in makeup looking like that too!

  2. Thanks for this. I cannot believe I still haven't seen it. It's been on my to do list for awhile, but you know how that goes :)

    I agree with you about Kristen's acting. She can't shake her idiosyncrasies, but she still pours her heart and soul into each role she takes on. If you look at actresses like Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts...they all have very distinct personalities and idiosyncrasies that no matter what role their in, sneak through.

    Maybe this weekend I'll find time to watch it!

    xo J

  3. I haven't seen it yet either; I just moved it to the top of my Netflix list!

  4. well i'll be watching this movie...when i have time. i'm kind of disappointed that it wasn't great, i love kstew and i think she gets a lot of crap for being bella. i saw her in adventureland and i kinda loved her. i agree with @twiredjen i love her idiosyncrasies....all great actresses have them!

    lets get real, rpatz fucks her and eats her pussy! she can't possibly be bad! wouldn't we all want to be her?

    if being kstew is bad...well then (insert old joke)i don't want to be right!

  5. I haven't seen it yet, but will check it out at some point.

    I'd reached pretty much the same conclusion about KStew's acting as you STY. She'll never be my favourite actress, but I'll happily watch her if the movie is something I want to see. I'm still wicked jealous of her IRL though. Lucky little bitch.

  6. Hubby and I watched this last weekend and we thought it was GREAT!

    The subject matter is a hard one but I applaud her for putting this subject out there...this is a real world issue. Teen girls selling themselves to be able to live.

    I thought they all did a great job. I never watched the Sopranos so I didn't have any preconceived idea of James as any other character. I will admit that seeing Kristen in the part was a little tough at first but as with all of her parts she really got into the character and brought her to true life - same as she did as Joan Jett. I also thought Melissa Leo did a great job.
    As far as the ending goes I thought it gave the viewer the opportunity to decide for themselves - did she follow in the same path in her new town or does she turn around her life? Judging from her cleaned up appearance I believed the latter.

    Overall I think the move puts out a good message to everyone to take off your blinders to life and see how the other half lives.

  7. I watched WTTR last week and really liked it. I thought Kristen gave a very convincing, believable performance. ITA that she puts a lot of herself into every role she plays and she gets a lot of shit for it, but it's apparently not scaring off the big directors, producers, or studios, who are all falling over each other trying to get her to work with them. She must be doing something right.
    Loved Melissa Leo and James Gandolfini as well. Overall, I thought it was a sad, sweet movie with heavy subject matter, but it left me with a feeling of hope. I totally recommend it-- as long as you don't have an aversion to the word "fuck", which I'm thinking most twitards don't---oh, and if you are uncomfortable with KStew's naked ass, cover your eyes, but hot damn, that's an ass worth looking at IMO!! It's no wonder Rob can't keep his eyes, and I'm sure other body parts, off of her!

  8. I've never seen it. Now maybe I will. I wonder if I can get it On Demand...huh. I still haven't seen the Runaways yet either. I mostly just like to see RPatz shine in other roles, so I tend to focus on those movies. LOL! :-)

  9. okay so I've got to say this first. i avoided watching it until last weekend..not because I was afraid it was a crappy movie. Not because i knew it would be dark and depressing. *sigh* i didn't watch it simply because I had a fear that Kristen was going to show her tits...okay. It was a weird 'maternal' kind of fear..hard to explain. I needn't have worried...no nipplage was visible..thank heaven. Yes I have 3 daughters, i just can't help myself. And now, for the same reason i'm afraid of 'on the road'. I wonder if someone could put a name to my phobia?

    I thought WTTR was very good actually. The ending was more realistic than flowery bullshit, and that was a good thing.

  10. Amanda and I rented this the day it came out on DVD and I was very surprised at how much I liked this movie. At first I thought it was slooooow and I felt a little weird watching Kstew in a bra and panties but after getting past that, I loved it. I think she did an excellent job and I found myself thinking "I bet this is how she is in real life" a lot of times in the movie.

    Side note: That bitch has legs for daaaaays!

  11. Really want to see this movie. Thanks for the review. Agree with everything you said about KStew's acting as well.

    Cake Eaters is a decent movie, it's not really up my alley. KStew did a great job in it though. I can't recall what part Melissa Leo played? KStew's mom?

    You didn't like The Town? Even the tattward in the shower part? ;) Perhaps guns and adrenaline aren't your thing.

    The Sopranos finale was a total buzz kill. It's so true about Tony's breathing. lol.

  12. Haven't seen WTTR yet but I did just watch The Cake Eaters this weekend and I loved it. I thought Kristen was amazing. If I did not know her before I might have wondered if the actress was really afflicted with Friedreich Ataxia as the character is in the movie. It is definitely an independent film but that made me like it even more. There are just some really sweet things that happen and even thought is a heavy movie over all it is worth the watch I think.

  13. I watched WTTR a few weeks ago. I liked it and thought everyone did a great job. (Melissa Leo was crazy good in this!!!) But at time it was hard to separate KStew from Mallory. I'm glade I watched it, but won't be running out to get it on dvd.
    But did think it was KStew best movie, ok no I'll tie it with The Runnaways, as her best movie yet.

  14. Really want to see this movie. KStew is my girlcrush (I know, who could have guessed?) and I will watch anything she does - I recently sat through Adventureland, and I have Catch that Kid and Speak recorded. WTTR, Into the Wild, and The Runaways are on my list too. Can't wait to see this!

    Also, I second @jaymes805's comment. Her legs are ridiculous. If I had them, I'd be wearing minidresses and stilettos to award shows... and to lunch.

  15. I haven't seen Welcome to the Rileys yet but I have seen The Town and that was a suckfest (I really had higher hopes for it). I'm waiting for WTTR from Netflix so I'm hoping its here by Saturday but in reality it will probably be here Monday.

    On a sort of unrelated note I waited too long to watch Little Ashes instantly on Netflix so if you were putting it off it's no longer on their instant list.

  16. Really STY, you grouped The Town & Dinner For Schmucks together?? You have to be kidding me.... I LOVED The Town, and couldn't even get through half of Dinner. I wanted to jump into the movie and kick Steve Carrell's characters ass and then light him on fire.

    I guess we all have questionable taste... : )

  17. I too loved The Town.. Maybe you watched The Town after Dinner W/Schmucks and there was no returning from a terrible movie like that one.
    I would give it another shot.

    I have seen WTTR and think it was a very real and sad flick.
    James Gandolfini is one of my favorite actors.. He was believable as a "broken" man.
    The Sopranos will always be untouchable for him but I easily separated the two.

    Separating KStew from Bella will never be an easy thing for me. I had to come to the realization that KStew and Bella are one in the same. Therefore if KStew stars in a movie so does Bella

    I understand why everyone dance's around KStew's acting when we are as twitarded as we are and love Robsten..
    Twilight would have still been Twilight without KStew
    Twilight would NOT have been Twilight without RPattz
    I truly cannot see the phenomenon happening like it has if Edward was played by anyone else other than Rob.

    We don't blog and chat while giving KStew, a combined name like KStella.
    However we've completed adopted Robward and have created a definition for the word pattinsane. (seriously, I looked it up)

    And I'll be hiding in the closet now...

  18. I know that almost everyone loved "the town" but for me, it just wasn't happening... i didn't feel any chemistry between the main characters, i didn't think that ben affleck's character was likable, and the ending was "meh" and wasn't justified by the relationship the characters had established imho. maybe it doesn't belong in the same sentence as "dinner for schmucks" (shame on you, steve carell! and the rest of the cast, too - what a waste of talent!), but other than the eye candy, i didn't think "the town" was all that.

  19. My lazy just-got-netflix ass has yet to see The Town, Dinner for Schmucks, WttR, fucking Inception, and many, many other movies that I've wanted to throw my 2 cents on.

    So I guess I should move WttR up and The Town and Dinner for Schmucks down, yea? Ok.

    PS I love you. I'm feeling mushy today because I just finished a marathon read of Wide Awake and Angstgoddess003 is in my soul. Fucking flap.

  20. I've never even heard of The Town and Dinner with Schmucks. Or, if I did, I was drunk.

    {{Trots off to see if they are in Netflix}}

  21. Kudos for giving Dinner for Schmuck a shot!
    I can't. There's no way.

    My thoughts exactly on KStews acting. She'll never be a fave of mine but I'll still watch her movies just_to be supportive. I saw The Runaways for the first time this weekend and was surprised at how much I liked it... it did help that I'm a big Dakota fan though. Cake Eaters is weird. And boring. A sick girl that wants to fuck would make a better fanfic one-shot, not a movie. Just_sayin.

    According to my Netflix I'll see WttR next week? I refuse to bump it up any more. How I Met Your Mother season 4 & 5 is greater than KStew ;)

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  23. OMG Lindsay Rae, I JUST got Netflix too! I have been spending the last week going batshit over the accessibility of movies. They're RIGHT THERE! It's amazing!

    I haven't seen WTTR yet because I have a hard time working myself up to watch movies that are going to depress me, or make me cry. This is also why I'm reasonably sure I'll never see Blue Valentine, even though I hear it's awesome - because as one friend put it, "If you like to get any type of joy whatsoever from a movie, this is not the movie for you." I also still haven't seen the Notebook because everyone tells me I will cry, a lot.

    @Emmamama aka Annie, that is quite a phobia! I am fascinated by this. Not being a parent, I can't say I relate, but - weird phobia! :) Let me know how it goes.

    Also, STY, thank you for saving me from watching Dinner for Shmucks.

  24. Cake Eaters is possibly the worst and weirdest movie ever. I bought it on sale at a truck stop. What does that tell you? I agree that KStew is Bella in everything she is in. Have you seen The Messangers?



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