At first, I thought the thing hanging from my neighbor’s tree was a Halloween decoration.
But, four months later, it’s still up.
Then I thought it was a Teru Teru Bozu, but when I drove past his house the other day, I happened to look over at it and … oh, dear God, it’s got a face.
Guys, I know it’s hard out there in the dating world, what with all the ladies dating the vampires and werewolves and what-have-you. And what have you got for mythical creatures? Ha! Mermaids, if you’re lucky.
But the good news is: you have found a girl. She seems nice, doesn’t she? But lately, you’ve noticed, she’s acting a bit … well … mutated.
So perhaps you’re dating a mutant?
Let’s find out.
1. Does your special lady friend have the power to read your mind and also turn her body into diamond-like substance, rendering her almost impossible to harm?
That doesn’t seem fair, you know. Maybe if she wasn’t hogging all the superpowers, there’d be more left for the rest of us.
2. Can she walk through walls?
Not in a ghosty way, more like in a telephase-y kind of way?
3. When you kiss, does she absorb your life energy?
Possibly sending you into a coma, depending on said kiss’s intensity?
4. Can she control the elements of nature?
And does she have a kind of stupid name?
5. Does she sometimes get possessed by something called the Phoenix Force and then try to destroy the universe or something?
Also, did she kill you in the third X-Men movie and you immediately rebounded to Superman’s ex-girlfriend?
6. Do people keep asking you why you’re two- and three-timing your girlfriend, and where did all those hot ladies come from anyway, and what do they see in you?
“Guys, she’s a shapeshifter,” you protest, and they roll their eyes?
7. Does she have a band, sometimes roller-skates, likes disco and pretty lights?
And does she have a ridiculously bad superhero name?
8. Speaking of pretty lights, can she create plasma explosions?
Also, did she later lose her mutant powers and get turned into a vampire and … really? Gods, no wonder I don’t read any X-Men series.
9. Is she scarlet and also a witch?
You could do worse.
10. Does she only have one eye and live in the future?
Stop dating her! She and Phillip J. Fry are meant to be together, dammit!
So, to answer your question: Yes, without a doubt, you are absolutely dating a mutant.
OK, so it’s not a secret, really. I mean, we’ve all seen Amanda Seyfried pick terrible, horrible, awful movies to star in. And that’s OK, Amanda! Even beautiful and talented people have to pay bills! We understand. We do.
But don’t you think by now you’ve maybe saved up enough money you could say no to things like Gone? Or maybe you need someone to help you manage your money so you don’t have to take everything that comes your way?
I think you’re great, Amanda Seyfried, and a lot of that has to do with residual love for dead Lily from Veronica Mars, because, since then … well … Dear John? Jennifer’s Body? Red Riding Hood? Can’t you throw a quality indie flick in there once in a while? (Unless it was Letters to Juliet, in which case, I’d prefer a blockbuster action film, then.)
So, anyway, in Gone, Amanda Seyfried, you play a girl who was abducted by a serial killer, but you got away and now he’s come back for you except he got your sister instead and the cops won’t listen to you. So you have 12 hours to find her omigod will you make it in time?
But what’s really bugging me, Amanda Seyfried, is the scene where you’re driving along on the phone (that’s dangerous, Amanda! Stop it!) and the man on the other end of the line says: “Who is this?” And you say: “You know who this is. And I know who you are.”
So why did it take you so long to find a guy that tried to murder you a year ago?
Obviously, the authorities weren’t going to do anything about it, so you just decided to sit back and wait for him to kill more girls? I mean, seriously, if you were able to find this guy in 12 hours (and I know it’s 12 hours, because the trailer makes a big deal about you only having 12 hours), then why didn’t you do it sooner? You knew the cops didn’t believe you, so track the guy down yourself and then we could have a movie about how you killed the guy that tried to kill you instead of this one.
Not that I blame you for that, Amanda Seyfried. It was clearly writer Allison Burnett’s fault.
But maybe it’s something to consider in the future? Like, when you’re thinking of saying yes to every single script ever?
Whenever I get gas, I’m always reminded of this thing my mother said to me, once, a long time ago, just the one time and never again, when I was a kid and I complained about the gas leaking out of the hose after I had finished fueling the car.
“Why doesn’t it happen when my brother does it?”
“Boys are just used to shaking hoses,” said my mother.
So, the other night, I was watching one of my favorite movies that doesn’t have any explosions in it, Washington Square (which, coincidentally, is based on one of my favorite books: Washington Square), and as I was cursing the mercenary lover for being so horrible to poor, sweet Catherine, I wondered: Hey, whatever did happen to that guy, anyway?
That guy, dear readers, was Ben Chaplin.
So today, we address the mystery of whatever did happen to that guy, and also, is he related to that famous silent film actor?
According to Ben Chaplin’s IMDb biography, he has charm to spare and unassumingly handsome looks, so I think we’ll assume that was written by a completely unbiased source. At any rate, it also claims he was born in July of 1970, which is probably true. Actually, he is rather handsome, so maybe it’s all true. And unbiased!
His father was an engineer and his mother was a drama teacher, so you’ve got to wonder how those two even met. At any rate, young Chaplin became interested in acting after being in a school play. He made his television debut in 1990, and got his first notable role in 1992.
Oh, I feel like, at this point, I probably should have mentioned that he’s British, so all of this was occurring in England, which is why you’ve never heard of Bye Bye Baby. Moving right along, he had roles in more British television series, including one called A Fatal Inversion, which alternately sounds like it is awesome or about math. In 1993, he made the leap to feature films with a role in The Remains of the Day as Charlie, Head Footman.
In 1995, people really began to notice the charming and unassumingly handsome Chaplin when he starred as Matthew in Game-On, a British TV series with an extraneous hyphen. (He was in another TV series that year, Resort to Murder, which I can only hope was about a tropical resort with murder!, as Joshua Penny. But, really, it was his role as Matthew that people, apparently, remember.)
Next up was some movie called Feast of July, followed by The Truth About Cats and Dogs, which I swear had Jeneane Garofolo in it, but I’m too lazy to look up. Also the spelling of her name.
This role was followed by Morris Townsend in 1997′s Washington Square, which is a great period piece and Jennifer Jason Leigh is so good in it, and you should watch it just for the varying shades of stink-eye that Albert Finney gives Maggie Smith alone. Really! There’s no gunfights, but it’s a good movie.
He followed that role up with The Thin Red Line, and then several movies I’ve never heard of, including 2005′s Chromophobia, which also had Ralph Fiennes and Ian Holm, so you’d think I’d've paid it a bit more attention, because I love those guys. He continued his streak of roles in what I can only assume are independent films, including what appears to have been a Zac Efron vehicle, Me and Orson Welles. This is seriously the first I’ve ever heard of that movie.
2009 brought Dorian Gray, which I guess I should’ve known had been made into a film, but I didn’t. In 2010, he was in Ways to Live Forever and London Boulevard. In 2011, he played Edgar Allen Poe in Twixt, which leads me to believe he is purposely picking out films that people have never heard of. (And, yes, by “people,” I mean “myself.”)
And now I’m feeling guilty about not looking up The Truth about Cats and Dogs, so it also starred Uma Thurman and it’s spelled Janeane Garofalo.
Since 2011, it looks like Chaplin has gone back to television, made another indie film and done a lot of stage work. So there you go: he’s working steadily, happily and isn’t dating Embeth Davidtz anymore. Also, I always assumed she was British, but I guess she’s American. At least I know how to spell her name, though.
Dear Dr. John Hamish Watson,
I have various and sundry reasons for loving you, not the least of which is because you are Sherlock Holmes’ best friend, and Sherlock Holmes is a god among fictional characters, making you, like, the Jesus of fictional characters or something. (The analogy kind of ran away with me there.) Also, you’re loyal, good with a gun, apparently irresistible to women and on occasion you look like Martin Freeman or Jude Law.
In addition to that, you’d satisfy my mother’s desire that, since it appears I won’t be making a success of myself, I marry a doctor, while at the same time annoying my mother because, really, you’re not that successful of a doctor, plus you’re always off gallivanting around with that consulting detective fellow.
In any case (heh, case), I’d like you to consider my proposal seriously, for these reasons:
1) I promise not to be jealous of the time you spend with your best buddy Sherlock Holmes as long as you promise to get me his autograph;
2) Or maybe, instead of his autograph, we could all three hang out? That would be nice;
3) Or if you’ve got something else to do, I’m amenable to solving crimes with the man while you’re busy;
4) And if that’s not cool, then could you just pretend not to notice when I follow you guys around London?
And 5) and most importantly: I will never, never write any slash fiction about you and Sherlock Holmes. I promise that so hard, Dr. John Watson, you just don’t even know.
Please consider me as a candidate for your second or fifth or whatever bride, Dr. John Watson. I do love you. Really. Just not quite as much as Sherlock Holmes.
So, apparently, when your coworkers are going on and on (and on) about their happy wonderful sparkletastic new relationship and all the great backrubs they’re getting, it’s impolite to tell them you don’t like them well enough to be happy for them.
So, last night, rather than watching the Grammys because, like my local Burger King, they don’t realize that adding an s changes the y to an ie, and also because they are boring, I decided to give Once Upon a Time another shot.
This was no random decision. Earlier in the week, while watching a show that I just can’t get enough of for some reason, I saw a commercial for this week’s Robert Carlyle-heavy episode of Once Upon a Time, which I shall now abbrievate as OUaT, until I forget to.
“Robert Carlyle?” I said. “I love that guy. Also, nobody tell me I’ve been spelling his name wrong all along, like I do with Ian McKellan and Dan Akroyd. (Or, you know, like I just did.)” (I swear, someday I’ll get them right without googling! I love you, Ian McKellen and Dan Aykroyd! I just suck at spelling your names!)
Back on point, though: Robert Carlyle is awesome, and he’s on OUaT right now, which it turns out is really irritating to abbreviate like that, so back to spelling it out it is.
Anyway, Robert Carlyle (who is awesome) plays Rumpelstiltskin on Once Upon a Time, and this particular episode was set up in a sort of “Beauty and the Beast” little dealie, with Emilie de Ravin, who is just sooooo pretty!
So I was like, OK, Show, if you can’t win me over with Robert Carlyle’s awesomeness and Emilie de Ravin’s prettiness, then you can’t win me over at all.
And, apparently, it can’t.
There were some good things about the show, like Jennifer Morrison wasn’t in it a lot, because every time she was in it, I was irritated by her character. Also her annoying little son only had a few minutes of screen time, so that was good.
But ROBERT CARLYLE IN LEATHER PANTS.
You guys! ROBERT CARLYLE IN LEATHER PANTS.
Also, the show was predictable and a bit boring, and why did Emilie de Ravin fall in love with Rumpelstiltskin anyway? Because he didn’t let her fall on the ground that one time?
Also, did the directors tell everybody to be so campy just because they’re fairy tale characters? Ughhhh, and why with the “Girls Night Out” storyline?
So, yeah, Once Upon a Time did not redeem itself in my eyes and, also, I can’t stop thinking about Robert Carlyle in leather pants.
So, the other day, my father asked me: “Have you seen the ad for the new Star Wars movie?”
“New Star Wars movie?” I cried. “New Star Wars movie? That’s just the prequels. In 3-D.”
“Oh,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said.
“You said that with so much derision,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said.
(Note: Portions of this exchange are probably fictional, especially the part where my dad actually said something like “derision.”)