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Disney Attempts to Become Less Singlist: FROZEN, a Review April 1, 2014

Posted by Onely in film review, Heteronormativity, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys.
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FROZEN is mostly just another stupid Disney Princess movie, with one tiny difference. As the film progresses it becomes apparent that our main heroine (a princess) can only be saved from her horrid fate (slowly turning to ice) by an act of True Love. We’re led to believe that this will come in the form of True Love’s Kiss by the bumbling but good-hearted sledgedriver named–something, forget. I’ll call him Burt.

However, in the climactic penultimate action scene, the True Love occurs when–SPOILER ALERT, FOR ALL OUR COPIOUS READERS WHO ARE ALSO DISNEY PRINCESS FANS–the princess selflessly saves her sister’s life. They hug and say “I love you!” Moreover, our princess heroine never even marries Burt. There are no couples riding–or sledging–off into the sunset. Instead, everybody in the kingdom gets together and ice skates. The last “couple” we see up close are the two sisters, skating together.

I grudgingly say “Good for Disney.” Grudgingly, because I loathe Disney, not only for their singlism and marriage mania, but for their sexism and racism. Just some random examples: All the princesses look the same–skinny, with ginormous eyes and tiny or nonexistent ears. They vary only according to hair color or style and–if we’re lucky–skin color. I barely need mention that their fates revolve around men. And in Aladdin, all the Arabs except for Aladdan have accents–meaning that all the bad guys sound like they are actually from the region where the story takes place, whereas Aladdin sounds like he grew up tipping cows in Indiana.

So I look at FROZEN as one small step in a journey of about ten million miles that Disney needs to walk in order to undo all the damage they’ve done to little minds over the years.

Just saying.

–Christina

Seeking Happily Ever After, Ever After! December 8, 2013

Posted by Onely in film review, Great Onely Activities, Honorary Onely Awards, Reviews, Some Like It Single.
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Copious Readers, several months ago Onely was excited to view and review the independent pro-single-women film Seeking Happily Ever After.  Now it’s more widely available on DISTRIFY, where anyone in an English-speaking country (for now) can rent it from their own computer. (Distribution in non-English-speaking countries has not been implemented yet due to the cost of subtitling.)
Producer Michelle Cove provides some statistics that drive home the need–or rather, the market–for pro-singles films such as Seeking Happily Ever After:

• The number of single women has more than doubled over the past three decades. –2011 General Lifestyle Survey Overview from the Office for National Statistics
• In England, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, approximately one in five women in their late 40s remaining childless. –Yale Global Online, 2012
• In Australia, almost 1/3 women aged 30 to 34 do not have a partner.–Census statistics
• 62% of U.S. residents 18 and older have never been married. –U.S. Census, 2011
• In Scandinavia, the majority of mothers in all social classes are unmarried.—Sociologist and leading researcher on men and masculinity
• In Spain, 92% of women do not censure the fact that they have had a child without a partner.—NSI (National Statistics Institute)

Buoyed by the success of Happily Ever After, we at Onely hope that one day someone will make a film about single men. Granted, women are more immersed in the White Dress Marriage Myth and hence the greater need for a film such as SHEA. But a positive film about unmarried men would be interesting too. Any takers?
–Christina

Unmarried Thirty-Somethings Rock: Support ‘2 Hopeful Spinsters’! March 2, 2013

Posted by Onely in Celebrities, film review, single and happy, We like. . ., YouTube Style.
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1a2e16b2e8b07adc9aed052af4f68b69-d4molsuPeople sometimes comment on (or laugh at) the fact that Lisa and I are two people co-writing a blog about being happily and progressively single. Most other singles’ blogs are, quite logically, written by a single person. So imagine our delight when we discovered another website co-managed by pair of single women, just like Onely!  Except 2 Hopeful Spinsters consists of action-packed web video, instead of action-packed web words.Heather and Dellany (the Hopeful Spinsters)’s goal, like Onely’s, is to challenge the cobwebbed notions that thirty-something single women are bitter, jaded, ugly, and surrounded by cats (well, actually we’re not going to challenge that last one).

In their kickstarter pitch, the Hopeful Spinsters point out Webster Dictionary’s definition of spinster: a woman past the common marrying age. In the US today, that age is 27. In the pitch they also include a segment “Shit People Say to Spinsters (Inspired by actual events)”. At a college alumni shindig, the partiers demonstrate typical lines often thrown at ‘spinsters’, for example: Are you a lesbian? Have you thought about freezing your eggs? and, my personal favorite, where a man certainly over thirty years old says,

I don’t date women over 30. (more…)

Film Review: Seeking Happily Ever After November 9, 2010

Posted by Onely in film review, Singles Resource, We like. . ..
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Seeking Happily Ever After: One Generation’s Struggle to Redefine the Fairy Tale.  Directed and Produced by Michelle Cove; Produced by Kerry David. 2010.

“I keep seeing parts of the movie in my head,” said my friend Monica at dinner, after we saw Seeking Happily Ever After at its DC screening. This is usually the sign of either a very inspiring movie, or a very disturbing one. Seeking Happily Ever After deftly manages to be both.  I hope our Copious Readers get a chance to check it out. If you don’t live near a screening, maybe you can arrange one in your area.

For the award-winning documentary, director Michelle Cove and producer Kerry David didn’t so much “interview” various single women (mostly heterosexual, but including at least two lesbians) as she let them talk–if and why they like their single lives, what “happily ever after” means to them, what their pasts were like and what their hopes are now.  My favorite was the thirty-something woman who said she could imagine herself being perfectly happy as an older single woman with white hair down to her butt, turquoise jewelery, and a bunch of cats milling around at her feet as she sipped a martini with girlfriends (I may be combining one or more interviews, but you get the idea).  The film is full of such gems.

But, like life, it’s also full of nails-on-chalkboard moments of awkwardness and horror. Cove and David don’t whitewash the world of single women. (more…)

The Most Onely Video Ever August 12, 2010

Posted by Onely in film review, Reviews, We like. . ..
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Performance poet Tanya Davis is Christina’s new favorite Lyrical Person, bumping from the top slot the folks who came up with “country as a turnip green” (sorry, Richochet).  Davis’ astounding poem “How to Be Alone” was made into a video by also-awesome filmmaker Andrea Dorfman in 2009, but Onely only just learned about it.  Thanks to our Copious Reader Oriole-2 for flagging it! She didn’t mince words when she described the film as “beautiful, true, affirming, encouraging and real. . . grounded, calm, inspiring, and hope-giving.” Onely agrees with her on all counts — you should definitely check it out for yourself:

Oriole-2 also noted that the film does a good job of avoiding any trace of defensiveness. We think this is an important point. Even though we don’t (usually) write about singles/aloneness/oneliness issues out of defensiveness, readers sometimes misinterpret our message as a defensive one — and it’s difficult to find a pro-Onely position so clearly articulated as Davis’s, where there’s little room for anyone to misinterpret her life-affirming message as anything but. (Or so we thought, until we perused the reader comments in response to this Salon.com post about the video… hmph!)

Copious Readers, what do you think?

–Christina and Lisa

FILM REVIEW: LARS AND THE REAL GIRL August 19, 2009

Posted by Onely in film review.
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I watched this comedy movie, Lars and the Real Girl.  And I can’t figure out whether, as a Oneler, I hate the movie or love it. Copious Readers, can you help?

Lars is an introvert who lives next to his brother Gus and sister-in-law Karin. The movie opens with Karin at Lar’s door inviting him to breakfast. She worries about him because, as she has told her brother, he “spends so much time by himself”. After Lars doesn’t come to breakfast, later in the evening she jumps in front of his car, forcing him to brake suddenly. When he darts out of the car to see what the matter is, she asks him to dinner with her and her husband. Crazy woman, huh? Yet in the beginning of the movie, Lars is the one portrayed as wacky and incomplete. There is a backstory having to do with his depressed dad or something, but it doesn’t become clear until three quarters through the movie. Until then, whenever an eligible woman tries to strike up a conversation with Lars, he flinches and flees. There is the usual singlist rhetoric: a woman at church asks him if he’s seeing anyone, then asks him if he’s gay, then tells him it’s not good for him to live alone for too long. 

So far, so boring. But THEN it gets wierd. Lars shows up at Gus and Karin’s door saying he has a new “friend” whom he “met on the internet”. He asks if he can bring her to dinner too. Karin and Gus are thrilled, until he shows up for the meal with a lifesize, anatomically correct blowup doll named Bianca.  (more…)

Still Seeking Happily Ever After June 26, 2009

Posted by Onely in film review, Reviews, Singles Resource, We like. . ..
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imagesIn the early days of Onely, we briefly mentioned the groundbreaking film Seeking Happily Ever After , which director Michelle Cove describes in an email as, “a feature-length documentary about why there are more single 30-something women than ever in the US and whether women are redefining happily ever after”. Of course our Copious Readership already knows the answers to those questions! But it’s great to see a film giving voice to single women, and especially gratifying to hear that the film was the top-rated trailer at Sundance. And check out the pedigrees of the singles experts who contributed to the effort.  

Because all our single readers are also experts in the field, you should tell your own stories to Michelle as she assembles data for the film’s companion book, a “feel-great guide to living your own happily ever after.” Just fill out this survey, “Three Questions, Three Minutes“, designed for single (not married) women over 26. Here’s what the filmmakers learned during their project and what (I assume) will be reflected in the book: (more…)

(Old-Timey) Pop Culture: Stephen King’s The Shining April 9, 2009

Posted by Onely in book review, film review, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, Reviews, We like. . ..
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mv5bmtuzmta5otcwm15bml5banbnxkftztywndexmdq5_v1_cr00281281_ss90_My sister and I recently ghost-toured The Stanley Hotel. The building inspired Stephen King‘s The Shining, his classic novel about a classic nuclear family–father, mother, and psychic son–who move to an isolated hotel in the mountains of Colorado to care for it during the snowed-in winter.  After our tour, Caroline and I watched the The Shining miniseries, for the thrill of seeing good-looking actor types walk around the same places we commoners had just tread.

While watching, I got to thinking about whether the story is King’s commentary (conscious or not) on the Western world’s  view of couplehood (and, by extension, the nuclear family) as the core unit of society, around which our lives should preferably be built. I’m interested to know what our Copious Readership thinks the plot “means”. Here’s what happens when our three fresh-faced heroes (Jack, Wendy, and little Danny) arrive at the hotel in October: (more…)

Sexist Slumdog Millionaire: Tell Celador Films They Botched It February 11, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, film review, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys.
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(Greg Hernandez, Wikicommons)

Did anyone on the Oscar committee, or anyone voting for the Oscars, actually read the book on which the movie Slum Dog Millionaire was based? I sincerely hope not. Because if they did read the book, and they are still generating Oscar buzz after having read it, then gratuitous sexism is more frighteningly ensconced in our pop culture than I realized.

In the movie, Jamal’s love interest Latika is shuffled around at the behest of first one evil man, and then another, battered and sexually assaulted and used for her looks. Finally, her ultimate rescue is facilitated first by Jamal’s brother Salim, and then by Jamal.

But in the excellent book, Q&A by Vikas Swarup, although Latika is abused by the men in her life and suffers all sorts of injustices, in the end–guess what? She shows up at the end of the movie as a high-powered lawyer who swoops in and saves Jamal when the game show producers are beating him and accusing him of cheating.

Was that ending not exciting enough for the SDM producers? (more…)

Film Review: The Aviatrix November 20, 2008

Posted by Onely in As If!, film review, Reviews.
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OH no no no no no no no

I started this video with high hopes. A young woman with cancer draws herself as a body-armour-clad superhero and imagines fighting another woman in bright red body armour, who represents her cancer. Their fights, in a desert, rocky, otherworldly landscape, are interspersed with scenes from the woman’s life in her little suburban cottage. There is true-to-life tension with her mother, a true-to-life assholish doctor.

And then there’s the sensitive, funny lawn mowing guy. (more…)

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