9.22.2010

Worst of Netflix: Miss Conception

Oh, the comments section. Oh, dear. I feel guilty when I don’t read them, and then when I do they spark me into irrational action that I come to regret. Case in point: last week someone wrote something to the effect of “I never think Tulane Chris is funny, but I’m a straight guy.”

In short, fuck you. If you don’t think I’m funny, fine. Neither did my elementary school teachers, my Korean boss, or the lady at the DMV. But if I’m not funny, it’s because I, as a person, suck, not because “tuh I don’t speak faggot tuh.” I don’t write in some weird gay pig Latin and I limit myself to one dick-sucking joke per post (except on high holidays obviously.) I make people laugh or not on my own merits as a humorist, not because of my extensive business contacts in the Lavender Mafia.

This pissed me off a thousand times more than the standard “you suck” and I stewed on it. I decided that if they (at this point I was kind of drunk and lost track of who, exactly, I was mad at) wanted gay THEY’D GET GAY, so I Netflixed Beaches to review.

I couldn’t handle it. I recently learned that a loved one of mine is seriously ill, and I just couldn’t deal with a movie about cancer and Bette Midler, just at that particular moment, especially in light of the fact that it’s apparently over two hours long. That’s a lot of wind beneath a lot of wings, and I rebelled against my own plan. Instead, I looked for a nice, slow-moving chick flick to fire at.

Photobucket

Miss Conception. 2008. From the mailer sleeve: Georgina is a high-powered London businesswoman who's decided and determined to add "mother" to her long list of accomplishments. Unfortunately, her longtime boyfriend, Zak, isn't ready to be a daddy. With her biological clock ticking, Georgina recruits her best friend, Clem, to help her find the perfect father for her baby-to-be.

Let he who plans revenge dig two graves. Miss Conception is bad, sure. What do you expect from a foreign-made Heather Graham vehicle? Worse, though, is the fact that it’s bad in such a predictable way. The script reads like it was assembled from a kit developed in some very literal post-Soviet land, and the characters are so dull they approach being ­zero-dimensional. Sometimes actors phone performances in; I’m fairly sure this cast sent their performances in by text message.

For those of you don’t like to read these reviews, I’ve made a list of clichés in Miss Conception:

- All the women are bitchy, at a low level, all the time, like background radiation. None are pleasant, but none have the force of character to go out and be a really admirable shrew.

- Women in their early thirties are DESPERATE TO HAVE BABIES.

- There are several jogging sequences.

- The main male love interest is tall, handsome, vaguely artistic, and as boring as a fire safety video.

- WOMEN SHOP.

- Male friendships are haunted my the specter of homosexuality, and straight men live in fear that one day they and their drinking buddy (who, in this movie, is a narcoleptic Scot) will make eye contact and just FUCK.

- WOMEN LOVE CHOCOLATE.

- Every woman has a gay male friend who is an offensive combination of stereotypical gay traits and gladly performs in pinkface for her and her clique of vapid, selfish harpies.

- There is a makeover scene.

- Americans are just awful, especially when forced to go to third-world countries like Ireland.

That, in a nutshell, is this movie. Scatter those clichés around the word “infertility” and you’ve probably reproduced the spec script. For both of my loyal fans, I’ll recap the “plot.” Clichés in red.

The first words we see on the screen are “Northern Ireland Film Commission.” Gaza Strip Opera Company. All-Tibet Youth Orchestra. Miss Somalia pageant. Sure, whatever. Throw arts funding at conflict-riven pseudo-countries and see what happens.

Heather Graham is Georgina Salt (yes), a lady construction worker in her early thirties who lives with a handsome, immature documentary filmmaker. As the film opens, we learn that Boyfriend’s sister has just given birth, and that Georgina, a woman in her early thirties, WANTS A BABY but her selfish prick of a boyfriend won’t jam her full of seed. Georgina goes shopping for a baby gift in a white, domelike baby store where the strollers are mounted high on the walls. Oh, by the way, there’s a screen on the wall playing an ad for a doctor who performs fertility check-ups: he just looks around and pronounces your womb as either rich farmland or an arid, lifeless waste. This man advertises, on a continuous loop, in an ultramodern baby store. And is French. Any sane woman in the real world would laugh and continue with her own gynecologist, but since we need Heather Graham to get some bad news about her ovaries she makes an appointment.

The choppy storyboarding makes us wait to see what happens at the French Gyno so we can have an awkward scene at the after-baby party for Georgina’s sister-in-law. Sister-in-law has, as a focal point of her drawing room, a cast of her pregnant belly and breasts. Now… no. I don’t believe that a single woman ever had a plaster cast made of her belly at its largest and displayed it. Boyfriend knocks it over, which leads to an argument about how he’s a bad person for not wanting children, which leads to his hiding out at the narcoleptic Scot’s house while Georgina cools down.

Oh, God, Mia Kirschner’s in this movie, the nightmarish Jennie from The L Word. If you hated Jennie, you’ll love seeing the same oh-so-precious sense of entitlement played with an English accent, punctuated with dead-end references to her new-age beliefs. She is Georgina’s “sassy” best friend, for some reason, and accompanies her to the French gyno. Georgina proceed to have surgery so French Gyno can count her ova.

It’s a testament to how trite this movie is that the characters aren’t even interesting when doing something objectively insane. One afternoon, Georgina has surgery on a whim so a strange French man can look at her ovaries (presumably with a penlight) and count her ova. In any other movie this would be completely unbelievable, but we’re already so benumbed 20 minutes into Miss Conception that we’d accept, nay, welcome Superman checking her gonads with X-ray vision.

Womp, womp. Georgina has ONE OVUM LEFT. She’ll be ovulating in two weeks, over the course of a four-day span culminating on her thirty-fourth birthday. She must be inseminated by her birthday or remain barren. (The insemination is new, but the whole by-your-birthday, you have three days timespan reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and every single other fairy tale.) A lot of tiresome setup takes place: the end result is that, due to the machinations of his Awful American Assistant who wants him for herself (“machinations of the other woman” and “awful American” are two cliches in one), Boyfriend doesn’t hear about The Little Ovum That Might and goes with his AAA to film a documentary on the remote Aran Islands, where his cell phone doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, Georgina, Mia, and Standard Faggot create a chart of insemination strategies, one of which will be tried on each day of her Fertility Window. This becomes a labored, labored (see what I did, pear? LABORED) device to move the plot forward. This movie is about as feminist as the Saudi remake of “Leave it to Beaver.” Georgina, though attractive, accomplished, and the owner of her own business, has to be a mother, has to be pregnant, to be complete. Somewhere in heaven, Margaret Sanger just poured Elizabeth Cady Stanton another shot and said, “Those broads just don’t get it, do they?”

THURSDAY – Georgina places an ad for a room for rent, hoping to seduce a prospective tenant. UH-OH one’s ugly, UH-OH one’s gay, UH-OH she’s about to bang the third but then Boyfriend gets a window of reception and calls. Why, yes, he does leave an “I love you” message on the machine before she can get to it, spoiling the mood! How did you know?

FRIDAY – Georgina has taken to opening each day with an alliterative Goddess-power fertility chant, along the lines of “I am a FFFertile FFField of FFFabulous FFFemale FFFecundity.” Fomit. Today’s plan is to go to a funeral and try to bed a mourner. (It’s like wedding crashers, but completely nonsensical.) So, they find a funeral of young, athletic man and crash it. UH-OH TURNS OUT HE WAS GAY TOO, so of course ALL HIS FRIENDS ARE GAY TOO, so of course THE FUNERAL TURNS INTO A DISCO AND THE MOURNERS TAKE OFF THEIR SHIRTS AND GRIND EACH OTHER. I would love to be kidding. I don’t care what you all do the day after my funeral but at the event itself I want some tears, crocodile if necessary. Georgina takes the departed’s presumably straight accountant home, where he finds her Insemination Strategy Battle Plan Sheet and leaves, after calling her a freak and insulting her décor.

SATURDAY – All this time, a mindless little subplot has been going on in the Aran Islands. Boyfriend gets tired of his Awful American assistant, who is revealed to be a spoiled Daddy’s girl. Someone accidentally says “fuck” in front of a nun, Boyfriend gets tired of his AAA and decides to go back to Georgina, following a strange and unlikely conversation with another nun. (They swarm over Ireland like ants on honey, apparently.) His flight is sold out so he has to drive to Cork and take the ferry to England. He’s suddenly in a desperate hurry for no reason – it helps the plot, but he doesn’t know about the Little Lost Ovum. Why is he in tearing haste? Too many nuns? Meanwhile, Georgina brings an Italian stripper home and he steals her purse.

SUNDAY – Georgina almost sleeps with a coworker, but it turns out he had mumps and was rendered infertile. MUMPS. You remember, that disease that almost no one in the Western world gets anymore because of aggressive vaccination? That one. Instead of going for it anyway (why on earth do you waste a construction worker clad only in briefs?) she runs off to buy semen online. She prepares the baster in the kitchen (ugh), but UH-OH her mom walks in and Georgina accidentally sends the swimmers all over her birthday cake, a la teenage gross-out comedy, although to the film’s credit no one eats the cake. She tries to get Standard Faggot to take one for England, but he can’t get it up enough to provide her with a sample, then gets a call from George Michael asking him to do costume design for him – like, that second. As he tries to leave, Georgina wrestles him to the ground and tries to tear off his pants. Just then, the housekeeper walks in, and Georgina gets kicked out of the motel room they were to use for the conception for attempted rape.

There’s still a lot of movie left. Boyfriend goes through a travel montage that implies that he walked to London from Bristol. Mia Kirschner confides that she had an abortion once. Georgina thinks Boyfriend’s cheating on her with AAA, Boyfriend thinks Georgina’s cheating with the sleepy Scot, a lot of yelling happens, it turns out the Scot’s in love with Mia Kirschner (ugh) a lot of blah happens, everyone pairs off and she gets pregnant. She figures it out during a jog, so of course she turns around and RUNS home, instead of taking it at a nice miscarriage-avoiding walk. Everyone hugs.

I’ve drawn the following lessons from the film:

A woman is only a worthless, dry husk until she falls pregnant within the context of a heterosexual union

And

Northern Ireland is less problematic as a war zone than as a sponsor of the arts.

60 comments:

Meredith said...

TC, several points --

1) I was also outraged at that comment. You pretty much covered my reasons, and if I try to explain, I'll just get worked up about it. But I was outraged.

2) Jam her full of seed. I had just taken a swig of lemonade and nearly spewed it all over my computer at work.

3) UVa (where many of your Virginia-originating Tulane friends went to school for a semester after Katrina) definitely had an outbreak of the mumps during my third year of college. So, you know... yeah.

Great post, btw! Loved the cliches in red!

Elizabeth said...

“I never think Tulane Chris is funny, but I’m a straight guy.”

I'm sorry I didn't realize straight people don't have a sense of humor. wtf mates! Lets go find him and kick his ass.

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

this was hilarious. thank you, sir.

Human & Dancer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

if you would REALLY like to see a good movie, please Netflix "Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell"

Canuck said...

It's uncommon for people to be vaccinated against mumps in Canada ...

kristyn said...

Tulane Chris, I always look forward to your posts. Good show today!

"Mike" said...

I didn't bother to read the review, but do you get to see Heather Graham's tits in the movie?

Caroline said...

I like you Tulane Chris. And not just because you talk about NOLA.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere in heaven, Margaret Sanger just poured Elizabeth Cady Stanton another shot and said, “Those broads just don’t get it, do they?”

genius, pure genius. loved this!

Ali said...

I remember reading and rereading that ridiculous comment three or four times, because I couldn't believe someone was actually ignorant enough to say that. But try not to dwell on it, TC, someone like that isn't worth your time. I think you're hysterical(and OMG, I'm straight!)

Anyways, hilarious post. I'm glad you reviewed this movie before I made the mistake of watching it, because I remember looking at it a few times on Netflix.

Kendra said...

I've never understood why people leave hateful message on blogs. If you don't like it, DON'T READ IT!!! I think it's hurtful and completely unnecessary. Personally, I think you both are TOTALLY hilarious, and I feel incomplete when I don't get to read you every day...

Anonymous said...

wait, what? i was at UVA post-Katrina.

what mumps?!!

Anonymous said...

"She figures it out during a jog, so of course she turns around and RUNS home, instead of taking it at a nice miscarriage-avoiding walk."

Pure poetry TC.

Anonymous said...

I always think Tulane Chris is funny, but I have a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

- Americans are just awful, especially when forced to go to third-world countries like Ireland.


....really? i don't know what era you are living in, but Ireland is not and has not been a third world country for a long time. maybe do a little research before you write your terrible blog entries

Anonymous said...

oh, and fuck you

Northern Ireland is less problematic as a war zone than as a sponsor of the arts.

Meredith said...

Anon (1:13 PM) -- Don't worry. Katrina was my second year. The mumps were third year. Go Hoos.

Anon (1:29 PM) -- Sarcasm. Really?

Sarah said...

So, FYI, I will spend the REST OF MY ADULT LIFE trying to work then sentence "but her selfish prick of a boyfriend won’t jam her full of seed" into everyday conversation.

I hated L-Word Jenny so much I want to kick and spit, and then tell her that she's so annoying, her selfish prick of a boyfriend won't jam her full of seed. (See what I did there?)

Thank you, also, for giving me the awesome synopsis of a movie that now, I MUST SEE!

Jennifer said...

Hey...last anon...look up the definition of SARCASM, JOKE, and maybe even IRONY. You dumb fuck.

Anonymous said...

Anon (1: 29): Sarcasm.

Mike: Clearly you don't enjoy most of the 2birds1blog features so why do you continue to read them? Is there someone holding a gun to your head daily and forcing you to read the blog that Meg/TC/QA write for FREE? Should we notify the cops of your hostage situation?

This is Meg's blog. She can run whatever features and 2nd birds that she sees fit. If you don't like it, then bounce and stop being a negative troll on the comments.

How about the 2birds1blog followers that enjoy the features and the blog in general start a new feature: Spam Mike's Blog Until He Goes Away? Who's with me?

Anonymous said...

TC, I regret to inform you that many tasteless and often granola munching hippie turned yuppie moms in West Coast states have plaster casts made of their swollen pregnant forms and display them prominently in the: dining room, formal living room, foyer, family room etc... often times also with the hands of the father/husband/life partner also shown embracing the stomach. Horrifying. I don't understand why being fat is glorified so, but I digress. Good work today!

Anonymous said...

I think your next netflix review should be "The Hills Have Thighs." What could possibly be better/worse than that?

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! I have to say I'm getting a little upset with the blog...usually it brightens my day but it's seeming to get a more than a little hostile with readers vs. No-post Mondays vs. Tulane Chris vs. the readers. Sorry I think I'm going to have to find my entertainment elsewhere from now on. :/ I can't stand to see another post starting with a rant about the blog/readers.

lolo said...

No joke, we had a pregnant plaster cast of a pregnant belly/boobs in our apartment for quite some time. But actually it was a piece of a mannequin that was retreived from the side of the road in a drunken expedition. If you ever really want to hear a roommate scream, try tucking one of those babies into his/her bed. (After disinfecting, of course.)

Lex said...

Somewhere in heaven, Margaret Sanger just poured Elizabeth Cady Stanton another shot and said, “Those broads just don’t get it, do they?”

Oh my God OH MY GOD I had to stop reading and come directly to the comments section because holy HELLZ YES.

Anonymous said...

OH my gosh, fomit! Loved the post and I will NEVER rent that movie! Well done TC! :)

abbey said...

I hate to tell you Chris but you can run up until (I believe) the 6th or 7th month of pregnancy with no risk. I was once beat by a very pregnant woman in a 5k race. It was as impressive as it was embarrassing. :)

Santa Chiara said...

A+, Tulane Chris. Next please review that one movie where the chick has the vagina that eats people. What was it called? "Teeth"? That one.

Sara said...

@abbey - you can run REALLY far into your pregnancy. My doctor had a patient who ran a marathon when she was 9 months pregnant. Just depends on what level of runner you were pre-spawn

@Anon 2:34 - belly casts are incredibly creepy but it miiiight not be the best of ideas to refer to pregnant ladies as "fat". try being skinny when you're hosting another human being =)

Laura said...

Anon (2:49pm): I'm sorry you feel that way, but I personally think that TC and Meg have every right to mention how the feel when readers are super hostile or extremely rude (that straight guy comment=fucking ridiculous). They're real people, as much as we like to worship them as gods sipping nectar. They're allowed to vent. Don't punish them for shitty 'readers'.

( suspect katherine ) said...

hi, who knows who will read this but i've simply just got to say it.

this blog rocks. it really does. the humor, the frank-ness, the openness. jeez, i love it all.

there will always be haters, heck im a yankee going to college in the deep south and ive got haters too! your blog gets me through the rough days! thanksthanksthanks!

Laura Beth said...

Two words: "Illegal Aliens."
It's got Anna Nicole Smith and Joanie Laurer (AKA: Chyna Doll)...it's ridiculously horrible to the point that I only had two types of reactions during the whole film: hysterical pee-inducing laughing fits or blank stares of confusion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMlDG5H4ANo

I vote this for the next Worst of Netflix review :)


PS- Tulane Chris, you are hilarious. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Meg, you too! Y'all keep me in stitches with every post.

Emily said...

"That’s a lot of wind beneath a lot of wings" made me laugh out loud in a shit-now-they-know-I'm-not-working kind of way.

Sorry about the haters. Maybe I understand your humor because I am sexually attracted to boys and that's why I especially liked your post about food.

IG said...

I have to agree with the anonymous commenter about Ireland. Calling Ireland a third world country and Northern Ireland a 'warzone' isn't that far off saying you can't find Chris funny unless you're gay. Both completely ignorant. Great post otherwise.

Francesca said...

Watch "Invasion of the Bee Girls." No more need be said. :)

pook555 said...

Great post TC!! Ignore the haters!! Plus, I'm half-Irish and yes, I understand the sarcasm (seriously people, he wasn't insulting Ireland, he was being sarcastic - get it???!!). I never understand the people who get offended by this blog that is SARCASTIC in nature (remember the retard debacle?). You and Meg are hilarious, TC!!

Anonymous said...

Awful post, way too gay...

Cath said...

well done, sir! one of my fave TC posts to date.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

...really? i don't know what era you are living in, but Ireland is not and has not been a third world country for a long time. maybe do a little research before you write your terrible blog entries

I have to agree with the anonymous commenter about Ireland. Calling Ireland a third world country and Northern Ireland a 'warzone' isn't that far off saying you can't find Chris funny unless you're gay. Both completely ignorant. Great post otherwise.

HAHA, I just laughed so hard a little pee came out.

It's like the Amelia Badelia books came alive and decided to leave blog comments.

Chris, like I told you when you gchatted me about it, I think my writing is actually gayer than yours and I'm the straight one.

AND! Point taken. We will write less about nasty commenters, but every now and then a NPM has to happen. I'm unemployed and Chris is a poor grad student. You solve those problems and we'll do this five days a week consistently.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stella said...

hahahaha, wowwww you seriously pissed off some Irish people. TC, you are the Jonathan Swift of 2010. ("A Modest Proposal", way back when in 1792, anyone?) At least TC didn't suggest selling children for food... although if he had, people probably would still be pissed. Man, satire is so misunderstood.

Jenni said...

surrogates, staring the one and only bruce willis. do it.

Anonymous said...

jonathan swift suggested EATING children for food, not selling them lol

Sarah said...

@Santa Chiara: In "Teeth," to be fair, she girl's vagina didn't eat entire people. . .just their dicks. It's awesome.

TC, I second this. "Teeth"? Please?

Anonymous said...

Meggles,

You aren't working at PaperSource any more?

Anonymous said...

That's an awesome post - nice to see someone other than some women pointing how annoying and rampant sexist cliches are. And you did it with really good humor, thanks!

Anonymous said...

The crazy thing about Meg's "re-crapping" and TC's "Worst of Netflix" is that it actually makes me want to see the show/movie more.

Anonymous said...

That was hilarious, and now I have netflix open and am ready click instant play on that mess... can't wait!

Also, to the people who can't understand sarcasm (regarding the Ireland/3rd world/warzone jokes) whyyyy do you read this blog? Why?

John said...

I think you're funny and I used to be straight if that counts for anything.

Anonymous said...

If you want terrible, Netflix "Juwanna Mann." My college roommate and I rented it one time as a joke because we were in this remote town and wanted to laugh at a bad movie. Funny part is...it was so bad that we actually didn't even laugh a lot. By the end, both of us were cross, and being black, embarrassed on behalf of black people everywhere. I'd love to hear your recounting.

Anonymous said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Anonymous said...

Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!

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