Celebrity, Love, Women

Why the Media Needs to Shut Up About Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart has been everywhere lately thanks to some photographs of her kissing marriedSnow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders that were leaked to tabloids and gossip blogs. Needless to say, Twi-hards are all a twitter over these randy photos. It isn’t so much because Stewart is kissing a married man, it’s because she cheated on Robert Pattinson, her Twilight costar and boyfriend.

Now, I have a number of issues with this “scandal.” For starters, I’m in the camp that thinks this is a huge publicity stunt to keep Stewart and Pattinson in the spotlight until Breaking Dawn Part Two comes out in November. Seriously, she’s been in the public eye for how long and she’s making out with a married man in an open parking lot? Really? I bet you dollars for doughnuts that the couple will have a miraculous reunion weeks before the premiere, where Pattinson will forgive Stewart, and all will be well in Twilight land. However, that being said, I’m still not digging the attitude many bloggers and Twi-hards are taking with Stewart.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of placing the sole blame on the “other woman,” and I’m mentioning it again. Stewart was not the only one in that parked car. I’m really sick and tired of people claiming that she single-handedly destroyed not only her relationship, but the marriage of the director who is also a father of two, who (as of this post) is still in his relationship, and has had almost nothing negative happen to him career-wise.

I’m also annoyed that Pattinson has been accused of cheating on Stewart many, many times, and he hasn’t had any negative ramifications for his actions. He hasn’t had Twilight fans make videos asking him “how could he hurt Kristen?!” He hasn’t been kicked off film projects like Stewart has–it was announced earlier this week that Stewart would not be in the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, the project is now being retooled as spin-off film for Chris Hemsworth, who played the Huntsman.

Now, is Stewart completely innocent? Of course not, she was caught with a married man while in a relationship of her own. But is she the only one involved? Uh, no. The way the tabloids and gossip blogs are treating her is awful, as if she is the first young adult woman to cheat on her boyfriend. Perhaps this “scandal” is intensified as they are in the public eye and Stewart and Pattinson are the stars of one of the biggest film franchises ever, but as I’ve said again and again–women in the popular media just can’t win. If Pattinson had been caught cheating, he’d be fine, and people would either be pissed at her for leaving him or staying with him. How the hell is that fair?

So, what’s your take, LivLunatics? Is Stewart getting what she deserves, or is it time we tell the media to back off when it comes to these situations, to stop making “good girls” and “bad girls” simply because of one bad action? Shout it out in the comments!

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Celebrity

Magic Mike: What a Feeeeeelin’!

This post originally appeared on an older version of LivLuna

Oh, LivLunatics, I’m pretty sure most of you know that I have been waiting for June 29th ever since I saw the first promotional stills for what I thought was going to be the most ridiculous, campy, over the top movie ever made back in December.  In the months leading up to it, Magic Mike (directed by Steven Soderbergh) has become a cultural phenomenon. It got people talking about topics like objectification, how great it is that women are expressing that they enjoy beefcake, why female stripping is erotic, yet male stripping is performance art, so on and so forth.

 

 

The marketing for this film has been insane. My take is that upon seeing internet response to Channing Tatum (also producer,) Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, and Alex Pettyfer ready to rock your world, Warner Brothers knew they had something on their hands, directing their marketing efforts to getting women in the theatre, focusing on the beefcake aspect rather than the less-than-sunny overall plot of the film that would (by Hollywood standards) appeal more to men. Boy, was it effective. These men were everywhere–TV, magazine covers, websites, etc. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the boy band craze of the late nineties-early 2000’s. Remember when N*Sync, The Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, ect. were everywhere, causing girls to go bananas? The intense fandom and loyalty wars? The girls who loved them are now women in their twenties and early thirties. There’s a bit of nostalgia in there–who doesn’t want to feel young again?

 

 

Sunshine after the rain?

Sunshine after the rain?

Seriously, look at this insert from Entertainment Weekly from the week of May 25th. I thought it was an outtake from a photoshoot 98 Degrees did in 1999 at first glance. And yet, I totally bought it, especially blushing and giggling over the photos that featured Joe Manganiello. Other women were especially blushing and giggling over Channing Tatum. Or Matt Bomer. Or Matthew McConaughey. Regardless, these and other magazines pretty much had every woman in the country a little more excited to see Magic Mike. The past couple weeks have been the most intense–seriously, you couldn’t turn on your television for the past few days without seeing Channing Tatum or especially Joe Manganiello promoting the film–making me SUPER excited to see it. Would Big Dick Richie live up to his name? Would Magic Mike really be magical? How much stripping would there be?

 

 

So, on June 29th, my awesome friend Regina, who I have spent months with conversing on Facebook and in person about uh, certain aspects about the movie (not the plot, I can tell you that much…) and I, despite both of us having worked all night, met at the Lowes Village VII theatre at 10:30 AM, just like we had promised each other. We were dedicated; we were pumped. By the end of the movie, however, we had gone from whispering and giggling excitedly to asking each other “what the hell did we just watch?” It was not two hours of lighthearted beefcake, that’s for sure–it was more like, ten minutes of beefcake followed by an hour and ten minutes of the darkest part of an eighties “cute young adult with a big dream” movie.  Quick premise: Mike (Channing Tatum) is a steel town girl on a Saturday night lookin’ for the fight of her life is a construction worker by day, stripper by night who actually wants to be a furniture designer. Can you see where this is going? I don’t have to give anything away because you figured out what’s going to happen? Okay then. That being said, there are two major problems with this film:

 

 

(1) The Structure

The film started off as a fun, surprisingly guy-friendly romp: Magic Mike’s  protege, “The Kid” (Alex Pettyfer) asks  if they can be best friends forever after jumping into a body of water together. I’m not kidding. You had the promised beefcake via ridiculous dance numbers (Matt Bomer’s character breaks out of a pretend Ken doll box, does the robot and then mock humps a customer. That is all.) a penis pump scene that will inspire Austin Powers jokes after you’ve made up your mind as to whether or not the penis inside is actually that of “Big Dick Richie’s” portrayer, Joe Manganiello (I’m undecided, I want to say fake, but I’ve also heard he’s a method actor, so…) and Matthew McConaughey at his most ridiculous as sleazy club promoter “Dallas.” Then, out of nowhere, the film gets very melodramatic and very weird. That’s not to say the film is bad, but it needed to pick one direction and stick with it–it could have been two hours of “man ass galore,” as the promos promised, or it could have gone the route of Boogie Nights (1997,) and stayed as a drama all the way through. By trying to blend both, it just didn’t work, especially with the the way the film is being marketed. Plus, Soderbergh, improv-ed scenes can be fun, but just make sure that the audience can’t tell–not all of the actors could pull it off, and it really showed.

 

 

(2) The Women
cody-oliviaWhy, why, why, why do TV and movie casting directors always insist on doing the Betty/Veronica, Madonna/Whore thing when it comes to women in movies with large male casts? ESPECIALLY when the project is being heavily marketed to women? It really bothers me. Magic Mike is no exception. The two main women are Joanna (Olivia Munn,) a brunette, free-spirited, sexually adventurous psychology PhD. candidate who has a friends with benefits thing with Mike, who actually really likes her. Then you have Brooke (Cody Horn,) who is tall, tan, blonde, tattooed and who is tough because she adds “fucking” after every other word that comes out of her mouth (aka “more guy friendly”) hmmm. Can you tell who is going to break Mike’s heart and who he’s going to end up with? It’s so played out, and frankly, offensive. Again, Warner Brothers, I’m sure you didn’t expect that this film was going to get the response from women that it did, but still–make sure that you avoid these overused tropes in future films. You’ll get even more women in the theatre, and there will be less eye rolling from them. I promise.

 

 

So what’s my final verdict? I say, this is one of those things you have to see for yourself–just don’t go in with any grand expectations. “Kathleen. It’s about male strippers. How big can one’s expectations really be?” you’re probably thinking. Hey, I was expecting a two-hour all male revue featuring the hottest actors on TV and in movies right now; instead, I got a hybrid Flashdance meets Boogie Nights. I’ve read reviews where the reviewer was expecting to absolutely hate the film, and they wound up loving it, so it’s really up to you, LivLunatics!

 

 

Have any of you seen Magic Mike? Was there plenty of beefcake for your liking, or did you want more? Are you disappointed by the lack of LivLuna favorite Big Dick–er, Joe Manganiello?  Were you as puzzled as Regina and I were?

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