with Avi Spivack
Hi, I'm Avi, and I try to put the work and the dad together, with mild success. This is all about trying to give you a view from what it looks like on the dad-man's side of the world, and I hope you find my ruminations humorous because I try not to take myself too seriously.
Okay, as promised, here is why I hated “The Holiday:”
“I’m a full-time dad. I’m a working parent. I’m a mother and a father. I’m a guy who reads parenting books and cookbooks before I go to sleep. I spend my weekends buying tutus. I’m learning to sew. I’m Mr. Napkin Head!”
This is the way Jude Law’s character, Graham, reveals to his love interest, Amanda (Cameron Diaz), that he is a widowed father of two girls. And all of that would be fine, but “bollocks” as the Brits like to say, do they have to make him so darn perfect?
I mean, yes, I know he is Jude Law, and yes, it is a cheesy, Nancy Meyers movie, but the massive discrepancy between what he says - the tonnage, the totality, the earth-shattering reality of being a single father - versus how he looks (dashingly relaxed and well-rested), would indicate that this could only be a movie, which has rampantly distorted the reality of parenthood.
Before you get all up in arms, yes, the first time I saw the movie, I sorta liked it. But after I chewed on it for awhile afterward, I realized that the Graham character really annoyed me because his reality of a single dad was so horribly wrong and impossible and blatantly picturesque.
And my annoyance itself annoyed me because I love movies and I love being enveloped in movies and not caring how Hollywood they get (unless they are dripping with sap); but because I know what it’s like (and how hard it is) to be half of a parenting duo, this glossy portrayal of the British professor banging Cameron Diaz while sewing costumes, making hot cocoa, playing dumb characters, supposedly cooking and building elaborate sleeping tents for his two daughters is just rubbish (to subtly use another British term).
I may be taking this all a little too seriously and a little too far, but as far as movies go, I would rather watch the under-rated Michael Keaton struggle through his life in “Mr. Mom” because at least the idealism is stripped away.
It’s funny, I guess I don’t mind the ultra-fantasy flicks where some smooth-talking hot guy picks up the hot chick, or some guy jumps over a building, but when the subject matter hits so close to home, I prefer not being lied to.
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