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A Very Poppy Halloween!

Good evening, boys and ghouls! Tonight is Halloween, Brigitte's all-time favorite holiday. And tonight, every body's inBITed to my extra special Halloween blog post! There will be twists and turns down a spooky alley of pop culture, a look into how the Blogulator contributors' costumes bitingly commented on pop culture of the past and present and how nostalgia has been the driving force in shaping our generation's entertainment choices, a movie review, and the newest addition to our Halloween library: The Berenstain Bears Go on a Ghost Walk.

As a nod to several generations of pop culture, several members of the Blogulator dressed as the following: Beverly Hills 90210 stars Brandon and Brenda, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote and Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. There was also a Modern Witch and a leprechaun, other pseudo-American cultural icons.

Dressing up as various cultural renditions of previous cultural icons, Truman Capote and Holly Golightly, I wonder if I have become so saturated with "pop culture" (for lack of a better term) than I can only understand something through someone else's interpretation. Can I imagine Breakfast at Tiffany's without picturing Audrey Hepburn? And now, can I imagine Capote without PSH's face coming to mind? Why do I love Beverly Hills 9021o so very much when I recognize how bad it is? Wait, did I say bad? I meant GENIUS! And I especially enjoy how Brandon and Brenda (twin siblings) are always inappropriately touching each other or flirting with each other. It was a terrific couple's costume. I think the obsession with all things early 90s in a generation of people who aren't really old enough to remember much of the very early 90s, to say nothing of the 80s, says a lot about how a sort of contrived nostalgia shapes our young adult I'm not really ready to grow up regressions has shaped our generation. Or something like that. On to the movies!

Dan in Real Life: SPOILER ALERT!

The only thing scary about this charming, romantic comedy/family film was how much I enjoyed myself!

This movie was the film equivalent of a Sondre Lerche song, who fittingly did the soundtrack for the movie: it was almost sickly sweet, and way too hokey, but for some reason you were left feeling completely content and even wanting more. Plus, he actually appeared in the final scene of the film. The all-too-predictable romantic comedy with just a bit of edge ended with a flash-forward wedding scene, and Sondre played Modern Nature as the newlyweds dance and the family rejoiced at their backyard reception.

Dan (Steve Carell) is a single father with THREE young daughters, and he spends so much time taking care of his family that he has neglected to take care of himself! He's an advice columnist, but GET THIS: he doesn't really have a handle on his own family's problems! The action of the movie takes place over the length of a family vacation, and Dan's wacky, big family, including his brother's (Dane Cook) girlfriend who just happens to be the exotic and elusive woman he met at the bookstore and instantly fell in love with, teaches him a few lessons about making mistakes, letting go, and moving on. The Sondre Lerche soundtrack was always there, telling me how I should be feeling during a given scene. At points his lyrics seemed to describe the mood or plot points of a specific scene so closely that it was distracting. His appearance at the end of the movie was wonderful. Had I directed (and I think I should have) I would have placed him in each scene, sitting in a corner and playing his guitar, sort of our minstrel-narrator for the film.

The movie had a few surprises, but overall it was fairly formulaic, and I loved every minute of it. My favorite moment was when mother of the family Dianne Wiest tells song Dane Cook that he doesn't need to shout. It sounds like I'm complaining about the movie and it's lack of originality, and I am--however, this does not mean I didn't enjoy myself. Contrarily, I really liked it a lot, and maybe this is because Steve Carell is such a comforting presence on camera or maybe it's because I'm just getting old, but whatever the reason, this movie filled the I just need to relax and see something that's somewhat predictable, not the point where I'm disinterested, but only so that I can safely expect a comfortable outcome and an enjoyable time at the theater slot. OK, so that had nothing to do with Halloween...or did it? Lerche sounds kind of like Lurch, from the Adams Family, and that's pretty Halloweeny...but moving on.

Now for the book review: EVEN MORE SPOILERS ALERT! As a huge Berenstain Bears fan I decided to give their newer Halloween book, The Berenstain Bears go on a Ghost Walk, a try. Sadly, this book had none of the charm that I loved about the Bears. This story was almost completely about Papa Bear, and the big lesson learned was don't scare people.
When compared to the lesson learned in the original Halloween saga, The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat, "don't scare little kids cause they might not like to be scared" or the even more vague "don't overdo things" seems awfully shallow and, well, m'eh. In the original Halloween book, the cubs learn an important lesson about not judging people based on appearances, when old Ms. McGrizz, who the cubs take to be a mean old witch because of her bent appearance, turns out to be a sweet old lady who gives them candy apples!
So, kids today, instead of learning that it doesn't matter what a person looks like, it's how a person is on the inside that counts, learn the importance of not going overboard on their Halloween pranks! Wow, Stan and Jan (or whoever is pumping out these new books), way to abandon your values.

To summarize, costumes are great, especially when they refer to 90s pop culture, I've gotten to the point in my life where I feel OK about going to see a nice, romantic comedy on a Friday night, and kids today don't know the true meaning of a Halloween lesson.

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  1. Blogger Brigitte | 12:52 AM |  

    click on the words Happy Halloween for a very special Halloween message!!!

  2. Blogger DoktorPeace | 1:13 AM |  

    "Why do I love Beverly Hills 90210 so very much when I recognize how bad it is? Wait, did I say bad?"

    A little slip like that can doom you. The Great Pumpkin will pass you by for more sincere lovers of 90210.

  3. Anonymous Christine | 9:06 AM |  

    I love you too, Bongo!

  4. Blogger Brigitte | 11:15 AM |  

    no! i didn't mean it! i love Beverly Hills 90210! don't pass me by Great Pumpkin!!

  5. Blogger Brigitte | 11:53 AM |  

    p.s. the photo at the top was the result of a google image search for pop culture and halloween.

    get it? HA! jeux de mots!

  6. Blogger chris | 12:25 PM |  

    i'm loving the book reviews! keep 'em coming!

    what happened on top model?!?!?!

    thanks christine for the comments!

  7. Blogger qualler | 1:26 PM |  

    Tell me more about Papa Bear and his wacky costume that scared all the kids away! The Berenstein Bears are now the children's version of the new seasons of The Simpsons.

  8. Blogger Brigitte | 3:42 PM |  

    i didn't get to watch ANTM this week...boo! i was too busy having halloween fun with all my friends...yay! don't worry, next week will return to ANTM.

  9. Anonymous Dan Waller | 11:58 AM |  

    Are there still new Berenstain Bears books? I don't think I ever read the "Ghost Walk" one!

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