Sunday, January 10, 2016

Prep School Jewels and a Few Funny Flicks





Sweater: Kohl's
Skirt: Marilyn Monroe, Macy's
Shoes: Christian Siriano for Payless
Bag: Marshalls
Jacket: Gap Outlet
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's






Sweater: Arizona Jean Company, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: Ellen Tracy, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Candie's, Kohl's
Bag: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Jacket: Gap Outlet
Sunglasses: Kohl's






Sweater: Macy's
Skirt: Macy's
Shoes: Rocket Dog, DSW
Bag: Princess Vera, Kohl's
Jacket: Mossimo, Target
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's






Dress: Macy's
Shoes: Payless
Bag: Marshalls
Coat: Candie's, Kohl's
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's


Nothing says back to school like a big old mess of plaid. Even if September is long gone and my Moondreamers lunchbox is decorating a landfill. Still, January is as good a time as any to "Schoolhouse Rock" your style (whether you're angling for the honor roll, a social security check, or something in between), especially in this, the first month (and post!) of the year. And few things say schoolgirl like hearts. You know. Dotting i's in passed notes and notebooks, dominating drugstore-issue valentines, and popping up on post-study sesh pendants.

Ah, pendants. And barrettes. And Koosh balls. And, at least before they were banned, those snappy neon slap bracelets. When I was a kid, I lived to spend my allowance on all this and more at Afterthoughts and Claire's Boutique. Truth be told, I still have some of it! (Not the slap bracelets, though; safety first, people.)

Which is just one of the reasons I so enjoyed the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler extravaganza Sisters, an homage to 1980s kitsch -- and house parties -- as told through the story of the sisters Ellis. Fey plays freewheeling beautician and single-mom Kate to Poehler's divorced do-gooder nurse Maura, and the results are hilarious. When we meet Fey, she's giving Chris Parnell a heinous eyebrow wax; when we meet Poehler, she's giving sunscreen to a hobo who turns out to be a construction worker. Yet they're forced to put aside their differences when they find out that their parents (Dianne Wiest and Josh Brolin, just like on CBS's "Life in Pieces"!) are -- sigh -- selling their childhood home. They promptly meet up in Orlando and embark upon an epic bedroom-cleaning sequence that highlights Kate's wild child and Maura's geek girl personas in an awesome outpouring of lava lamps, trolls, feather boas, headbands, scrunchies, colorblock sweatshirts, and, that star of all such montages, diaries. (Kate's chronicles X-rated escapades whereas Maura's recounts episodes in rock tumbling. Nuff said.) Like many a repressed heroine before her, Maura is desperate to, as she puts it, "let her freak flag fly," and Kate conspires to help her by throwing a kick-ass rager cleverly coined Ellis Island Revamped, where she can chat up nice guy neighbor James (Ike Barinholtz, a.k.a. kooky nurse Morgan on "The Mindy Project"). Never mind that a stuck-up couple (the wife's wardrobe is 70% dry clean only, a sure barometer of yuppie-dom if ever there was one) has already purchased the house. Kate will stay sober so Maura can party, and everything will be okay.

Which is how movies work out never.

Before long the Brady Bunch-esque Ellis homestead is overrun with high school friends and frenemies under the influence. So, comedians abound. Maya Rudolph! Bobby Moynihan! Rachel Dratch! Kate McKinnon! Samantha Bee! Things are said, stuff is defaced, and a ballerina music box ends up somewhere it shouldn't. Kate and Maura fight, then pick up the literal and metaphorical pieces in a way that avoids being sappy. Although their personalities are at odds with each other, they have a few of those simpatico bonding moments that happen only to siblings. Which is to say, underneath the layers of Aquanet and eyeliner, Sisters keeps it real.

That having been said, Sisters is something of a foil for Daddy's Home (Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg) which I saw a week before and feel compelled to bring up partly because 1) both are raucous comedies headlined by SNL powerhouses and 2) both feature John Cena, a hulk of a man that I didn't know existed until seeing him in Trainwreck (yet another raucous comedy costarring an SNL favorite). Both were good, delivering on the promise of holiday hijinks, but my takeaway was this: Daddy's Home had a more cohesive plot, but I learned more from Sisters. Probably because I'm a sister. As opposed to a daddy.

Who says comedies can't be deep?

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