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Monday, December 13, 2010

UnSweetined or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the eBook

  I'll be the first to admit that I didn't think much of eBooks. I regarded them as impersonal and rather unnecessary. I never really gave them much though until the day I accidentally bought one. The verdict: Not that bad. I had the instant gratification of reading it right away and it was refreshingly cheap. The PC app that Barnes & Noble had also came with Pride and Prejudice, Dracula, and Little Women, completely free so double bonus.

   UnSweetined is a refreshing change from the usual memoirs that child stars are known to produce. It's not a sleazy tell all exposing the secrets of her co-workers for profit. Nor is it a I-Did-Drugs-But-It's-Not-My-Fault whinefest that's been so overdone.

    Jodie tells you exactly how it was going from unknown child to sitcom star and all the bad things it can bring. Being teased at school, people slipping autograph books under toilet stalls, and even cursed out by a "fan" for not signing an autograph. This book is probably the first book by a child star that made me truly understand how difficult it was.

   The thing that really made me think was that at the age of 14, her career was considered over. Imagine a career over at the age where most kids are getting their first jobs. Also, refreshing is how she approaches her drug/alcohol abuse. Most people blame everyone and everything for their drug use, Jodie is smart enough to accept responsibility for her actions.

    This memoir definitely ranks high on the list. It's honest, enlightening, and doesn't stoop to the level of the gossipy trash memoirs that seem to be littering the bookshelves lately. Whether you are or aren't a fan of Full House, I would recommend this book. It's worth the read.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Retro Flashback: Drop Dead Fred

  Drop Dead Fred is probably one of the most surreal movies I've ever seen. No, I am not talking about the plot. I am talking about the fact that this vulgar little gross out flick managed to garner such a top-notch cast.

   Fred centers around a young, childish woman named Lizzie (Phoebe Cates) who  loses her husband, car, and job in a single day. Forced to return to her domineering mother, she accidentally releases her long captive imaginary friend; Drop Dead Fred.

   With predicable results, Fred totally destroys what's left of Lizzie's life and she spends the rest of her life in an insane asylum. Just kidding. Of course, she becomes a strong independent woman who tells her hubby and mother where to stuff it. She gets a love interest five seconds later, because movies hate female characters who could actually live a happy life sans relationship. And Fred moves on to improve some other child's life.

    I am not sure what the creators of this film intended it to be. Was it a kid's film or an adult's film? Certainly it was aimed at children with it's near manic use of fart jokes and slapstick comedy. However the sexual jokes and the psychological abuse inflicted at the main character are certainly not kid-friendly.

    The most puzzling part of this film is the star power this silly little film managed to get. The great Marsha Mason forced to play fourth banana to the love child of Yahoo Serious and Jim Carrey? Try not to cringe when Carrie Fisher yells at an empty chair thinking it's Fred. Or the cute and talented Phoebe Cates ending her iconic career on this note. Well, Drop Dead Fred merely stunned her career, Princess Cariboo delivered the death blow.