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Coal Miner’s Daughter

I may be ignorant, but I ain’t stupid!

My affection for Coal Miner’s Daughter runs pretty deep. It was often shown on cable when I was a kid, so I watched it a lot when I didn’t like whatever titty movie Up All Night was showing that week. Also, my grandpa was a coal miner (and a farmer and a World War II vet, I am full of pride). If you do it at the right time of the month, you can make me cry by playing the song that the movie title comes from.

Coal Miner’s Daughter is the award-winning biopic about Loretta Lynn, from her childhood in a poor family in Kentucky to the height of her success in the early 70’s. Most of the movie focuses on her often rocky marriage to Doolittle Lynn, who she married when she was only fifteen. It seemed like she was doomed to a life of raising babies and keeping house for a drunken husband until he gives her a guitar for their wedding anniversary. I’m pretty sure you know that this turned into a really long music career with lots of big hair and sparkly gowns. But maybe you don’t know that Sissy Spacek and Beverly D’Angelo (as Patsy Cline) did all of their own singing! Sissy won quite a few awards for her “dumb hillbilly act”.

Starring Sissy Spacek (Carrie, Big Love), Tommy Lee Jones (Men In Black, The Fugitive), Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, Entourage), and Levon Helm (from the band…The Band).

Entree: Since Loretta Lynn is a real person, and she has a cookbook, I was able to find out that one of her favorite meals is Chicken and Dumplings. (No squirrel meat here, sorry Loretta.)
Side: I don’t know what your favorite southern side is, but mine is fried okra, always and forever.
Dessert: I do NOT recommend substituting the sugar with salt in your chocolate pie, we can only take the authenticity of our movie dishes so far.

posted: October 17, 2012
under: 70s, drama, period piece
12 Comments on Coal Miner’s Daughter

Fried Green Tomatoes

Someone pointed out to me that for Clue I should’ve done something with plums and mustard because, duh (I felt pretty dumb). If you have any suggestions for the movies I post, including specific links, feel free to post them! The more ideas, the merrier.

Although most of my favorite movies do involve blood and boobs, I wanted to do a wide range of movies this year. Fried Green Tomatoes is one of the few ‘chick flicks’ that I like, and I think it’s because it’s not some ridiculous love story where we’re supposed to believe that making out in the rain is romantic or some shit. It’s about friendship, food, and maybe…a little murder. Crap, even my chick flick involves murder. I tried, okay?

Fried Green Tomatoes is set in two time periods, current day (1991) and Alabama in the 1920-40’s. While visiting an old folks home, Evelyn meets Mrs. Threadgoode (Ninny) and they strike up a friendship. Ninny tells Evelyn stories from the 20’s and inspires Evelyn to do something about her unhappy marriage and life. The stories are about a tomboy named Idgie and her relationship with her brother’s fiance, Ruth.

There are good times and bad, wacky hijinks and run-ins with the KKK. Eventually, Idgie and Ruth open The Whistle Stop Cafe together, which is where the title comes from. And since this is a chick movie, there’s some sadness that will make even my black heart cry after the 18th viewing.

One interesting tidbit is that the movie left out the romantic relationship that occurs between Idgie and Ruth in the book. It’s implied that Idgie is a lesbian, but that’s as far as the director took it.

Also, the town my sister-in-law lives in has a street called Towanda and I think it took at least a dozen visits before I got screaming “TOWANDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” out of my system as we drove past. No, I did not ram anyone’s sports car while doing so.

Starring Kathy Bates (The Office, Misery), Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy, Cocoon), Mary Stuart Masterson (Benny & Joon, Some Kind of Wonderful), and Mary Louise Parker (Weeds, The West Wing).

Let’s get our menu from some awesome southern ladies!

Entree: If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know why eating Susan’s famous Barbecued Seitan Ribs is worth a chuckle. Heh, cannibalism.
Side 1: I mean…duh.
Side 2: I don’t think they’re are specifically mentioned in the movie, but when you want a green vegetable and you want it southern, you can’t go wrong with collards!
Dessert: While looking up a recipe for a different movie, I found out that there is actually an entire blog dedicated to veganizing recipes from the Whistle Stop Cafe cookbook! I thought this Frozen Fruit Salad looked interesting, if you don’t want to mess with agar you can make a peach cobbler for Ruth’s time spent in Georgia.

posted: October 4, 2012
under: 90s, comedy, drama, period piece
10 Comments on Fried Green Tomatoes

Hairspray

Let’s dance!

Another childhood favorite, Hairspray didn’t just entertain me. It didn’t just teach me about the music, style and dances of the 60’s. It taught me about segregation and racism, more specifically, racism is for crazy assholes. I was a sheltered kid, and Penny’s mom being a paranoid lunatic in a black neighborhood in Baltimore, made little Katie scrunch up her nose and say, “Man, what’s wrong with that woman?” The Von Tussles were the bad guys, and if they supported segregation, clearly it was a bad thing. Also, they didn’t like Tracy and kept making fun of her for being fat. What a bunch of dicks!

Besides the theme of overcoming social injustices, Hairspray is about dancing. All Tracy wants in life is to be on the Corny Collins show, so one night she and her friend Penny sneak off to a dance event where Tracy wins a dance contest and is invited to try out. She gets on, steals the bitchy girl’s boyfriend, becomes a spokesmodel, fights against segregation, and despite some monkey wrenches, come out on top. It would be an underdog story, but Tracy is never really presented as an underdog. The only people who diss her are, like I said, obviously assholes. John Waters managed to take the issues of segregation and racial tension and weave them into a fun storyline, but still treat them seriously.

John Waters is well known for assembling awesome casts. He managed to get a whole slew of musicians in this one: Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Ric Ocasek, Pia Zadora, Toussaint McCall, and Colleen Fitzpatrick before she morphed in Vitamin C (yes, Amber = Put A Smile On Your Face). Ricki Lake (her talk show, VH1’s Charm School), Jerry Stiller (Seinfeld, King of Queens, fathering Ben Stiller), Mink Stole (every single other John Waters movie), and Divine round out the cast. When I was a kid, I did not know that Divine was a drag queen and apparently I never paid attention to the credits of the movie or that would’ve been incredibly obvious.

Appetizer: Homemade seaweed snacks!
Entree: A hearty macaroni and (cashew) cheese, for the growing teenager in us all.
Side: There are so many Corny jokes that we could make. So, so many. I decided to keep it simple with baked corn on the cob (video link).
Side 2: Gimmie gravy on my mashed potatoes!
Dessert: If you have room and the want to be adventurous, try your hand at making eclairs while wishing your clothing store provided pastries.

And as a bonus, the opening scene complete with the title song, which will be stuck in your head all week. You’re welcome!

posted: October 2, 2012
under: 80s, comedy, kid friendly, period piece, teen
11 Comments on Hairspray

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