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Entries in Alicia Silverstone (8)


Silverstone and Suvari 

Kieran, here. It was recently announced that Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari will headline TV Land’s new comedy pilot “American Women”. The project, produced by John Wells (“Shameless”) is set in the 1970s against the tumultuous and backdrop of the sexual revolution.  Silverstone and Suvari will play best friends navigating marriage, divorce and motherhood.

Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari’s careers have sort of mirrored each other’s, which makes the almost the perfect pair of actresses to headline a vehicle. Both came out of the 90s, with charismatic turns in a high profile role that put them on the map (Clueless and American Beauty, respectively). Sadly, neither actress was able to find a film to match the attention and success of their star-making vehicles, though both have continued to work since their breakthroughs (Suvari more so). 

Suvari, billed as the true lead of “American Women” especially could do a lot to change the perception of her and truly give her a front-and-center showcase for her talents. Though mileage varies for everyone where all things American Beauty are concerned (who’s MVP? how poorly or not does the film age?) Suvari absolutely nailed her BAFTA-nominated role (seriously. Look it up) as the flinty, deeply insecure suburban teenager, Angela.

And what of TV Land? It’s true that the network hardly conjures thoughts of quality and prestige television.  However, the same could have been said just two short years ago about Lifetime before “UnReal”. Word is TV Land has been looking for a project for some time that will change the face of their network in a similar fashion. In this early stage where we know very little, “American Women” seems promising enough. Plus, it’d be great to see these two actresses get an interesting second act to their careers.

Are you excited for “American Women”?


The Little Twink That Could

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on King Cobra.

Film festivals make for weird bedfellows, and so it was settling in to see King Cobra - the new true crime flick detailing the rise of gay porn star Brent Corrigan and his sordid side-wind through murder - at 9am on a Sunday morning. I literally passed people dressed up for church as I went to the movie theater. Now I could make the case that I was also set for a different sort of worship, getting on one's knees and what not, but that'd be cheap, and we wouldn't want to be cheap. (No, never.)

Certainly not while talking about a film so hilariously devoted to luxurious cheapness. Think back on the film and I bet your mind will be less flooded with memories of oiled pecs than it will be by leather couches abandoned across stretches of beige suburban carpets, shades drawn, piles of video games seemingly stacked in every corner.

Anyway I'm as shocked and surprised as any of you that King Cobra is killer. Funny, sexy, and bottomlessly absurd, a wall-fly's view of the ass-smacks of the perfectly self-involved, with solid to straight great performances all around. Garrett Clayton is the lube that sticks the film together and he slides it straight into third, juggling every ball(s) the movie can throw at him. And Christian Slater is especially lovely as the lonely and aged-out home-bound pornographer inviting the world's twinks into his living-room and falling in love with every last one - his romantic weariness in a lesser film would read only as lecherous, but Cobra wants to walk the line, and it magically manages to. 

Indeed the best thing about the film is its refusal to demonize sex - I was worried as it plowed further along into its darker places it would go where all these stories inevitably exhaustingly go, getting preachy and conservative and making us feel bad for the desires that half an hour earlier it was gleefully exploiting. I mean yes its a story about young people slipping into the sex industry and yadda yadda first-degree murder, but its characters also find strength and self-actualization and even love through their bruised but beautiful sexuality. You can take this one to the spank bank - it's ribbed for all of our pleasures.

Grade: B+


Women's Pictures - Amy Heckerling's Vamps

How does it feel to be a relic in the new millenium? No shade intended towards Amy Heckerling. Her most recent film was obsessed with just that question. In Vamps, Heckerling attempted to take a bite (sorry) out of youth culture using 2012's movie monster of the moment, the vampire. But in her latest foray into social satire, the genre-defining writer/director who gave a voice to two generations of teens seemed drained (sorry) of the empathy that had made her previous work enjoyable. To put it bluntly: Vamps sucks.*

*If you dislike puns, don't B negative. They only get worse from here.

For a film about youth, Vamps has a surprising number of well-preserved throwbacks. Alicia Silverstone stars as Goody, a 300 year old vampire. She's joined by a colorful-though-pale cast including Sigourney Weaver, Wallace Shawn, Malcolm MacDowell, Richard Lewis, Marilu Henner and Krysten Ritter, who plays Goody's sister vampire, Stacy. Goody's hundreds of years of un-life as a 20-something have given her pesrpective on the fashions and follies of humanity, though she thinks the latest generation's slang and smartphones are a pain in the neck (sorry). Stacy, who was turned in the 1980s, acts as Goody's ambassador to modern youth culture, at least until Stacy falls for a human (Dan Stevens) in her night film class at NYU. Stacy's relationship, and the return of a past beau, suddenly makes Goody's world a bloody (sorry) mess. More...

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Women's Pictures - Amy Heckerling's Clueless

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a teen movie made after 1995 owes a debt to Clueless. Since its release 20 years ago, Amy Heckerling's classic has had surprising longevity: it revitalized teen fashion in the wake of grunge, resuscitated a genre (while also spawning a new subgenre), spawned a platinum soundtrack, launched a new generation of acting careers, like way altered the teenage lexicon, and inspired a rap video as late as 2014. We at Team Experience reference it at least once a year. And though Clueless landed at #3 on our recent Back To School Team Top 10, the two films that topped it were both direct beneficiaries of Clueless's wit and satire. Clueless redefined the teen film genre, divorcing it from the darkness of the 80s, while maintaining the social satire and serious observation that gave the totally quotable dialog resonance for an optimistic, clueless new generation of 90s teens. 

When Amy Heckerling was refining her Austen-inspired idea at Paramount, the genre she had helped create a decade previous with Fast Times At Ridgemont High was faltering. [More...]

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Beauty vs Beast: I'm Not That Innocence

Howdy folks, Jason from MNPP here with Monday's weekly dose of "Beauty vs Beast" -- you might be forgiven for having mistaken this series for an episode of G.L.O.W. as of late (please tell me that some of y'all are my age and know and love that reference) - it seems like it's been a lot of lady match-ups, I mean. So when I saw that today is Martin Scorsese's 72nd birthday, at first I was all, "Finally I can inject some testosterone in here! Pesci! De Niro! Guns and phalluses and junk!"

But then I looked at Marty's filmography I saw the first thing I always regrettably see these days - namely his last movie, The Wolf of Wall Street. And I haaaaaaated WoWS. And my stomach tumbled. And so in my indignation I turned against the testoterone, and where did that leave me? Lady fight!


I know aksing The Film Experience community to even consider a vote against Michelle Pfeiffer is akin to blasphemy, but know this: my vote is for May, May all the way, May got her man and didn't slink away without a fight. All the prime years of Daniel Day-Lewis were hers; nyah nyah nyah Countess Loser.

PREVIOUSLY And speaking of hauling ass to the ladies, last week we trained our eyes on the cutthroat world of high school girls, which also involves a lot of whispers in hallways and note-passing - in the battle for the Queen of Clueless, it's Cher Horowitz who gets the seat at the center of the lunch table. Said Ben:

"Have to go with Cher, due to our shared love of Beavis & Butthead and Snickers. And can you believe they still haven't put R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty? As if!"


Beauty vs Beast: Two Total Bettys

JA from MNPP here, surfing the crimson wave to today's round of "Beauty vs Beast" - today would've been the 37th birthday of Brittany Murphy, you guys. And since we can hardly let that terrible Lifetime movie be the absolute and final word on her legacy (I watched about fifteen minute of that thing and I was all, "As if!") let's step our memories back to happier times, when the skirts were short and the socks were knee-high...


It's maybe a stretch to call Tai the villain of Clueless, but she is the antagonist that shakes up Cher's insulated world, so just go with me. And it's not like anybody would vote for Cher's actual nemesis, Designer Imposter Perfume Amber.

You have seven days to negotiate your final grades in the comments!

PREVIOUSLY In celebration of Interstellar's release (here in retrospect I kind of wish I'd waited until I saw the interminable movie first - ugh) we gave last week's competition over to Christopher Nolan's most memorable battle of the comic-book titans, and y'all voted chaos to reign - Heath Ledger's Joker strutted away in a blow-out with over 80% of the vote. Said Daniel Armour:

"If were just talking about The Dark Knight then the Joker. I loved Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman overall but TDK didn't give him as much to do as the other films. Also, Ledger was excellent as The Joker and truly deserved the acclaim - and awards - he got for the film."


Sense and Sensuality (and Cinema, Natch.)

Hello, darlings.  Beau here, still filling in for Nathaniel* in this last gasp of August. (Thank fucking GOD, I’ve never been a fan of summer. Bring on the fall and the awards fodder and the pumpkin spiced lattes!)

Leslye Headland (whom you’ve all met by now) wrote something very interesting the other day that ignited a particular memory I’d long since forgotten from High School.

Follow me back all the way to late 2004...

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