The Social Network’s Guide to Life, Love, and Happiness

Rating: Plum

After viewing The Social Network this past weekend, I came up with a brief list of the major life lessons bestowed upon us by this film. 

Step 1- Be LoyalOnly to yourself. People may help you along the way, but that doesn’t mean that you owe them anything.  You should do what is best for you always, even if that means hurting other people.  

Step 2- Be Honest.  You should speak your mind at any time, even if that means neglecting to use a filter.  Tact means lying.  Therefore, do not use tact in your personal relationships.  That will endear people to you and make them actually want to talk to you.  Adding a touch of condescension and cynicism will surely inspire people to offer their services to you are all times. 

Step 3- Be Forward-Thinking.  In order to be the first one to do something, generally that means you have to beat out the rest of the competition.  If you know what you want to do/make/invent, find ways to stall your opponents.  Have your eye on the prize. 

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The Kids are All Right, But I’m Not Sure About the Parents

Rating: Plum

Well, it’s that time of year again.  When I go to the supermarket or the mall, I feel like I’m inside a tornado of glitter, chocolate, and (shudder) pink. 

When I was in high school, I was ambivalent toward Valentine’s Day.  With my friends, I would joke about it being Singles Awareness Day and, secretly, wait for some token from a secret admirer.  It was typically a day marked by those little paper valentines that don’t really mean anything, too much chocolate, and a twinge of disappointment. 

Now that I am a bit older, I think that Valentine’s Day is actually amazing.  Now, it is true, I am a complete romantic.  I adore movies with the “happily ever after” motif and when someone special brings me flowers, my day brightens. 

The joy that I find in Valentine’s Day comes from how I define it.  Sure, it was created by the greeting card companies, but why not create a holiday centered around love?  In a world that is filled with so many emotions that do not even resemble love, why not take dedicate one day to showing your love for the people in your life.  Why call it Singles Awareness Day, focusing on that romantic love that you may not have yet, when you may have so many other people in your life who you do love? 

The film, The Kids Are All Right, explores different types of love, the evolution of love, as well as how love can change us.  This is a story of two moms in a committed relationship raising two children borne from artificial insemination and the impact that meeting the sperm doner/father can have on all of their lives.

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Three Reasons Why I Don’t Think Toy Story 3 Should Win Best Picture

Rating: Plum


I first saw the original Toy Story in the movie theatre with my brother when I was 8 years old.  This means that the Toy Story franchise has been around for 2/3 of my life.  That is pretty intense. 

Surprisingly, after I left the movie theatre, I was not as enamored with it as my brother was.  Sure, the technology was awesome and the concept of toys coming to life interested me.  For some reason or other, it just didn’t stick with me.

As the years went on, I watched other Disney-Pixar creations and fell in love with them.  Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. , The Incredibles , and Wall-E are among my favorite movies of all time.  I can recite scenes from them by heart and no matter how many times I’ve seen them, if I turn the TV on and one is playing, I will tune in for the rest. 

No Toy Story movie has inspired that degree of loyalty in me.  Yes, they have heartfelt messages.  Yes, when I saw Toy Story 3, I cried at the end.  I am by no means saying that it is a bad movie.  In fact, I think it is fabulous that the Academy included an animated feature.  I just don’t think it deserves to win Best Picture, and here is why:

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Why Does Every Best-Selling Book Have to Become a Movie?

Rating: Plum for the book
Apple for the movie

I found myself in a movie theater a few months ago, using a straw to drink from a water bottle, watching Eat, Pray, Love.

Let me back up even further.  A few years ago, I purchased the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for my mom as Mother’s Day present.  To go with that, I also made a bookmark for her.  Personally, I think choosing a book for someone else is one of the most meaningful gifts that you can give.  As a result, when gift-giving time comes around, I head for a book store and read the backs of books to my heart’s content… all in the name of buying an appropriate gift of course.  I chose Eat, Pray, Love for my mom because it is about a woman who goes on  a journey (both physical and spiritual) to discover the secrets to happiness, harmony, etc.  I think every mother deserves the chance to go on a similar journey.  Perhaps not a year-long fling to Italy, India, and Indonesia, but a chance to get away and take care of herself, instead of always taking care of everyone else.  I have not yet experienced motherhood, but I know that I have moments when I need to be by myself and take care of my own thoughts.  Many times, I find peace in reading and writing.  I thought that the book would help my mom take a few moments to find her own peace and quiet and, for that short time, find a reprieve from  the rest of us and whatever antics/problems/issues we have.

I didn’t read the book until my mom and I set a date to see the movie.  The date was set for a Friday and on the Wednesday before, I thought it might be wise to actually start reading it.  So, I spent the 6 hours that I was proctoring a test reading about delicious food, spiritual healing, cute guys, and gorgeous beaches.  By the time I could leave, I had just finished the Italy section and a marvelous description of Naples pizza.  Man, was I hungry!

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