Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ruffle Kerfuffle: Of Monsters and Zen, What a Mother

Top: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Macy's
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Top: Maison Jules, Macy's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Chinese Laundry, DSW
Bag: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Belt: Marshalls
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Top: So, Kohl's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Nine West, Marshalls
Sunglasses: Brigantine beach shop

Blouse: American Rag, Macy's
Tank: Macy's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Payless
Bag: Modcloth
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Every outfit in this post features a swallow-print, ruffle-tiered mini I got from Target, that one-stop trend candy shop.  Part festival, part fairy tale, this skirt is the kind of sassy yet muted not-so-basic staple that Snow White might've worn if the seven dwarfs had ever carted her off to Coachella (now, there was a damsel who could rock crazy colors).

Speaking of which, it's time to talk about some ladies who put the rough and tumble in ruffle, namely the casts of two of summer's biggest blockbusters: Ghostbusters and Bad Moms.  Fun and frothy with a topping of let's-take-on-the-world, both center around fantasies, some supernatural, some suburban.  Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones do battle with poltergeists in New York City while Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn take on the PTA outside of Chicago (the latter is, in my opinion, the more formidable of the two villains; when faced with a bitch or a beast I'll take my chances with Slimer), putting it all on the line in the name of justice, whether it be for the safety of humankind, some much-deserved me-time, or a heady elixir of the two.  Sure, on the surface, these women couldn't be more different.  Ghostbuster McKinnon zings zany one-liners as she builds whoa-Nelly weapons; bad mom Bell daydreams about getting into a (minor) car accident so she can spend a week in the hospital eating Jell-O.  World-class physicist Wiig gets tongue-tied at the mere sight of delicious but dumber-than-dirt secretary Chris Hemsworth; come-hither Hahn flashes married dads in the school drop-off zone.  But at the end of the day, they're all women fighting adversity, whether in the form of phantoms or frenemies.  As such, both casts shine with brave yet vulnerable, laugh-a-minute comediennes.  Ghostbusters was funnier, but I enjoyed the plot of Bad Moms more.  Maybe that's because Bad Moms is a little like Mean Girls: Mommy Edition.  The cliques are the same; just the ages have changed.  And there's not a woman alive who doesn't appreciate a good comic commentary on (as Tina Fey so eloquently put it in Mean Girls) the age-old theme of girl-on-girl crime.  In Moms, the pressure doesn't come from the need to be popular, but the need to be perfect, which is, when you think about it, merely popularity all grown up.  

In Bad Moms, Amy Mitchell (Kunis) is the poster child for mother martyrdom.  Put-upon and stretched-to-the-limit, this marketing maven is an always under-it everywoman who bears the added burdens of dealing with an incompetent fetus of a boss (Clark Duke) and an overgrown frat boy of a husband (David Walton).  So, when Amy ambles into a PTA meeting, late as always, fresh from a horribly hellish day, and resident queen bee and PTA president Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) shames her into bake sale police duty (no sugar, no oil, no dairy!), Amy tells her to forget it, makes a grand exit, and plops down on a bar stool at the nearest dive to drown her proverbial sorrows.  There she meets perennially-on-the-prowl single mom (and, may I add, dressed-to-kill) Carla (Hahn) and eager-to-please mother of four Kiki (Bell).  The liquor flows, the ladies vent, and before you can shout "Tequila!", the trio is wreaking havoc at a grocery store, Fruit Loops and inhibitions flying.  What follows is a wicked spin on sugar and spice and everything nice as the fast friends turn the stereotype of the perfect mom on its head, blowing off cooking and cleaning to day drink and cruise guys.  But when Gwendolyn gets Amy's daughter kicked off the soccer team, what began as a game turns into a full-fledged revolt against the powers that be.  Amy launches a campaign to run for PTA president in a brush with the dark side that is faintly reminiscent of Cady Herring's (Lindsey Lohan's) in Mean Girls.  Yet although Amy tries on a new persona and even sometimes stumbles, unlike the callow Cady, she never loses sight of who she is.     

Bad Moms is a sweet satire sprinkled with the surprises that make movies sparkle.  SPOILER ALERT: if you read any further, then this one will be a surprise no longer.  (I'm talking to you, party scene headlined by paragon of perfection Martha Stewart offering up Jell-O shots.)  Although lighthearted, Bad Moms touches upon the complexities of female relationships, intertwined with that old chestnut of a theme: freedom vs. duty.  That having been said, once the chaos has run its course, peace predictably descends upon suburban Chicago, more than restoring the status quo as each mom, mean ones included, embraces a more warts-and-all way of life.  Peace, after all, is the goal of most stories (and, indeed, of that great story life), dressed in the finery of happy endings.  

Yep, peace is pretty important.  As Gavin Rossdale once sang, "everything's zen."  Of course, he followed that up with an angry "I don't think so," and now his ex is doing a duet with Blake Shelton.  

So maybe he needs to try yoga.         

1 comment:

Jewel Divas Style said...

Love the lady bug purses.

Haven't seen either movie yet, and not sure if I want to see Ghostbusters. I'm so used to the original and I'm getting really sick and tired of Hollywood not coming up with anything new, but rehashing everything just to satisfy women in roles. It's annoying.