Let's all go to the lobby. Let's all go to the lobby. Let's all go to the lobby to get ourselves a
treat. Hello, and welcome to movies versus capitalism and anti capitalist movie podcast. I am Frank Capello.
And I'm Rifka Rivera. And Frank. This is our 15th episode.
I can't believe it already.
I know, while I know, 15 is I'm sure people talk about it like, well, we're like, one time, we'll be at like 100 some point and it'll be crazy. But I just in reflecting on on this in this process, because this has been such a new medium for me, and it's been so much fun. 15 feels like a lot and the journey, I was just thinking about how, when I talk about the experience so far with friends, I'm always saying how I'm so grateful for for the speed at which we turn these around, because we're doing them weekly, which is a lot of work. And a lot of movie watching.
Oh yeah, it's more work than you might think.
Then I burned HubSpot, but I'm enjoying it. And we're getting we're feeling we're finding our stride and it's, we're getting it. But what's been what's been crucial for me about it is that because we're editing and putting out the podcast, there's not time to sit on it and there's not time to overthink, you know, we're watching the movie, we're putting our thoughts together. And for me, that's been pretty liberating. Because I struggle with a lot of perfectionism. And I know that a lot of people struggle with perfectionism. So I just thought it would be be cool to just touch base and have a little Convo in our in our first blog here about particularly the culture of perfectionism, under capitalism, and how you know that the fact that I'm struggling with it isn't exact. It's not like a me issue. It's like a US it's like a we issue?
Well, so let me ask you, as we are putting these things out, is there like a part of you that like, starts getting itchy that's like, oh, that that thing could have been better? I could have done that better, or, like, we should trim this up. Like, the fact that we're, you know, by by nature of having a weekly release schedule, you just kind of have to put something out every week, does that kind of trigger your perfectionism?
You know? No, it's it's been freeing, because I think it's, it would be impossible to let my you know, if my perfectionism took over, there would be no show. So I'm loving exploring that. And certainly there, there's, you know, we listen to these over and over think, oh, wow, I literally said that word wrong, or I, I, you know, but I love it. Because I can laugh at myself. And I think that's like, so frankly, anti capitalist, you know, and I'm enjoy. It's been really healing to explore that capacity. Because what are you going to do? It's out, you know, I think I said, like, at the end of a movie, the ending credits, I call them reels. And like, what like small things like that to bigger things where I'm like, I can't believe we talked about that movie. And I didn't mention this thing, or it wasn't like to happen to you phrased or, of course, anyone who's in these mediums, I use this. I say, like, or I see this, or I say that a lot. And what's important to know contextually, is that the function of perfectionism and capitalism is crucial to making the whole thing turn, right. So there's this idea of a meritocracy that if we just strive hard enough, we'll get the rewards and status. And if we don't strive hard enough, then you know, we won't get those things. This is like up to us. And there's this competition, which means like, someone's going to do it better based on this metric that that has been set for us. And so the goal is doing the best in order to literally survive and not. And so the definition of success becomes so narrow, and we've talked about this many times of like, having to part of the recovery from record, like waking up to the matrix of capitalism is being able to widen your definition of success, but because I think when you talk about perfection, can it lands in so many different areas, right? It's like, first of all, if perfectionism is this I some ideal, who is setting that ideal. And in America under the like, white, patriarchal, colonial framework, like those things become very limiting and one dimensional and deeply harmful for anyone who's pursuing them. Gotcha. And so yeah, so I think on that level of that kind of perfect, but it's really like, it was just interesting to see how it showed up in the development of the show, just Oh, in the past, I would say like the consequences of that kind of perfectionism for a creative would be if I can't say it perfectly, or get my ideas out in a way that I think is acceptable, or the best version of that. That And I won't speak at all. Yeah. And they think that that sort of that literal censorship is so dangerous. And I think one of the, one of the things that can combat that idea of perfectionism that I've, that I'm trying to adopt and live by and remind myself of when these things come in is speaking and draft, that we always have permission to say, Oh, I learned something new. And so I'm going to re, you know, I'm going to rewrite the way, the way I think about things and the way that I am going to say those things because everything is evolving. And I think being able to embrace that evolution and recognize there's never going to be a perfect version of the things. So don't wait to speak, has been helpful for me, because that's definitely been my journey. And one of the fears about being on a, you know, doing a podcast, how do you what happens if you realize you said something wrong, and then it's out there? So yeah, that's kind of where this is all this idea, as always, has been sitting with me, but I've just like, it's been really healing to just be in it and literally practicing it.
Thank you for sharing all of that. That's so interesting, that perfectionism. I mean, it conjures a lot of things, but what what it sounds like, to me, what your experience is, is sort of the perfectionism of living within this system that has these, like you said, you know, white patriarchal colonial standards and framework that because of that, because of its control over so much of our society, it's it feels like you have to adhere to those standards, and are striving for perfectionism within that. But like, when you said, when you brought up perfectionism, to me, the first thing that I thought about was competition, which is also a very, it's also a very capitalist concept, the perfectionism of needing to do the thing better than the person that you will be competing with the perfectionism of I have to be the absolute best, the absolute most perfect, because if I am not, then I will not get XYZ thing that I want. And because we live in a meritocracy, which that's bullshit, we're meritocracy is fictional we're being are being facetious here, but because I live in a meritocracy, perfectionism will get me there. And I used to live in that mindset man for such a long time, specially when I lived in LA, and I was, you know, still when I was still trying to break into the writing industry and the comedy industry out there, just going over scripts, over and over and over again, just with a fine tooth comb, and just being like, Oh, if I change that to a witch, or if I change this line to that, like, maybe that will be the thing that sets me apart, that wins this script competition, or, you know, gets in front of this, this agent or manager. And I think attention to detail is important. And specificity is important. Those are those are artistic tendencies. But the perfectionism is yeah, it's it's, it's an impossible standard. Because who's because it's all subjective, like, who's judging what is perfect? A friend said to me, at one point, he was like, When is your art complete? And I was like, I don't know, when is it complete? The answer is five minutes before you have to turn it in. And I think he actually know that I'm not gonna say get back out out loud. Again, I'm realizing that he was saying it in a way that was like, You should always be working on the thing up until the point where you have to hand it off to somebody, which I think actually leans into that perfectionism. But it is, but it does kind of conjure the idea that like, yeah, because art is subjective, it because creativity is subjective. Like, you could just keep tinkering with it forever, you could just keep, you know, going over it and try to make it better and more perfect, more perfect. But, you know, sometimes there's beauty and messiness, and sometimes there's you know, you have to be able to let go in order to grow.
Well, I think that what's interesting about about it is how, how deep it can just all of these things, it's not, you know, it's not just some political or economic system, right. It's like, it is a culture that seeps into your very being and how you live. And so the the reason we're so passionate about being looking through a critical lens about this stuff is because it can truly liberate and change like your total existence, right? Like it I know, does that for me with writing or even, you know, whatever, whatever works, but if you can be like, Huh, wait, I heard this thing like I wonder where that came from often all like, these ideas that I use to consider just, you know, the way the way that it is, because that's what I heard about being creative. And then once you can be critical of them, and you're like, oh, actually, does that align with me being the most free and the most excited about creating you know, for me, like deadlines can be helpful and sometimes they can be really harmful. And like who, who decided on that structure and why and like, often those kinds of things do come back to some kind of production value. Well, because you need it done by this time so that you can make you know, whatever those things are, and make can be tools, but you can liberate yourself from the things that don't work. You know, yes, I want to be able to think about what I say before I say it, but also like, if that's going to choke you up, and not let you speak, go out and just start talking and be wrong, like, be willing to be wrong, I think is sort of the exploration I'm at, without, and if you cause harm, be accountable for it and learn from it and be willing to evolve. Yes, that is, which is very nice part of it, though, is like you have to be willing to do that piece out loud to I think, in order to continue moving forward, or exploring whatever, whatever the that idea of successes, which is, you know, for me, I think at this point, whatever is going to liberate everyone, in a very broad sense.
So yeah, so I think this is really important. I'm glad that you brought it up for us to chat about and grateful to
just the community that we've slowly started building through doing this show and people who've written in responses, I think it's it's been a conversation, which is what we you know, obviously not on the air with us, but to be in conversation. And I think to like, even not necessarily agree with something someone says, but be able to be be able to take that in and keep moving forward is part of this whole deal also.
Yeah, that's fucking life, baby. Life, baby. All right, we should get to our, our interview today. Ooh, this is a fun one, you've got mail. Before, we do just want to let our audience know that this podcast is brought to you by the lever, a reader supported investigative news outlet, which reports on the people in corporations manipulating the levers of power in our society, you can go to lever news.com to find all of their original reporting.
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all right, we're gonna take a quick break but we'll be right back with our conversation about You've got mail with Robin Johnson.
We are so happy to be joined by Robin Johnson she her she's an artist activist and magic maker and actor turned director her filmmaking debut beach day, currently making the rounds in the festival circuit challenges female archetypes in cinema and explores grief and rage through a supernatural lens. When she isn't making art Robin works at the communications department at the ACLU drinks too much coffee, I can relate and tries to pet every dog she passes on the streets of New York City. Welcome, Robin, it's so great to have you on movies versus capitalism.
Thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to chat today.
So we were connected to you through our mutual friend and also guest on the podcast. Ryan Christian friend and the friend of the pod. Yeah. I love that phrase friend of the pod
the official terminology. We have to use it. Yeah.
And yeah, it's just so nice to connect with an artist who's also shares the politics that we have. And I'm just I'm curious, you say you work at the ACLU as well, you have this film that's just coming out. Tell us a little bit more about yourself in the work that you do.
Yeah, sure. So Ryan and I have known each other for years, we met. We met working on a heartbreaking play about Emmett Till, in which I played Carolyn Bryant, and he played Emmett Till so doing something like that will really bond you with somebody. So we became quite close, you know, pretty fast. And something he and I share, which I knew he mentioned when he was on the pod was that as an artist, we both are drawn to projects that align with our values, our anti capitalist values, anti racist values, all of those values. I actually formally gave up acting and 2020 the pandemic hit and I didn't miss it. I had been doing a lot of commercial work and doing a lot of commercial work as an actor is frustrating as I'm sure you know, you know, the, you're like a bad craft, but doing a lot of commercial work as an anti capitalist is like just pull your hair out. How many times can I you know, go in and try to convince people to buy a vacuum cleaner. They don't need all that stuff. See So I broke up with my agent in 2020. And I started writing my own stuff I just made this film. We finished it in February of this year. We started it in 2021. It's currently in the festival circuit, it is called beach day, it will be available to view, eventually, we'll get to all of the how you can contact me later. But when I gave up acting professionally, I knew I wanted to find a way to survive and capitalism that was more in line with my values, and aggressively applied to every organization I admired. And I ended up at the ACLU. That's me, that's me in a little nutshell. Yeah, that's such a
lovely journey. And I the one thing I want to say is, because I also gave up professional acting several years ago, and I like to draw the distinction of, I mean, for anyone out there for any artists, for whatever, you know, choosing not to pursue an art on the professional on a professional scale does not mean that you are not still that type of artist. So you know, like, while I was like, Oh, I don't want to be a professional actor, and like do the whole rat race, the commercial auditions, the all that I was like, I do still love acting and performing. So like being able to draw that distinction, I think is really important, especially for people who are grappling with the pressures that, you know, the market system puts on artwork. So yeah, I'm
so happy. You brought this up, like right at the top, I think it's so important to talk about and what I heard in it is like that, you're you're more an artist in some ways than ever, like you're connecting with that. But you're you left the market, if you will, you know, like kind of what you're saying Frank is just choosing not to be in the marketplace, which can be a really painful place to be I'm still in said marketplace, and it's a considerable struggle and can be okay. It's can be great at times when you find projects that align but more and more, you know, I had an audition the other week that I just like looked at was a commercial audition and you're just like the, the money, it doesn't add up. I'm going to lose money to show up for this job. Because our union has just in between streaming and we've talked about this before. It's just like so low. I will have to give up I will have to like leave work take off work. And when you're a freelancer, there's no vacation days. So it's just it's an insane marketplace. And thank you for starting there. And speaking of the marketplace, you chose a incredible film for us to watch today.
Yeah, a movie that we have been waiting to get to. You chose You've Got Mail Wow. Directed by Nora Ephron written by Nora and her sister Delia Ephron, starring Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey and Dave Chappelle. The budget was 65 million and it made 250 million worldwide big ol hit is the third movie with Hanks and Ryan together after Joe Versus the Volcano and Sleepless in Seattle, which was also directed by F Ron synopsis of this movie, which is based on a 1937 play. This is the story of Kathleen Kelly, played by Meg Ryan and Joe Fox, played by Tom Hanks, who met in a chat room for people over 30 and start anonymously writing romantic emails to each other even though they're both in relationships. A little do they know in real life they are actually enemies because Joe Fox is a high ranking executive at Fox books a corporate chain bookstore, which is just opened a new location on the Upper West Side down the street from the shop around the corner, a beloved boutique children's bookstore, which Kelly not only owns and runs but inherited from her dead mother. And from there, the drama ensues and goddamn ton of drama in this film.
So some historical context for You've got mail. It was released on December 18. In 1988. Bill Clinton is president and in January he denies having sexual relations with his former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Smoking cigarettes is banned in all California bars and restaurants but, but still you can definitely still smoke other places. At this time. The FDA approves Viagra. The first ever erectile dysfunction pill and other movies that came out this year we're Armageddon, The Big Lebowski. There's Something About Mary The Truman Show and A Bug's Life. It's a good year. It's a good year. I know I was just thinking all those movies were so formative. America Online launched in 1989. But by 1995, it had 3 million active users. And Google Inc is founded this year. You United States Department of Justice files an antitrust case against Microsoft. So, yes, this is the landscape in which this film
releases the.com Bubble a lot of internet stuff happening a lot in the internet,
this sort of like more charming version, I think of the internet. Oh, yeah.
We'll we'll get into that this this iteration of the internet in this movie. But, Robin, first thing we like to start with is asking our guests, why did you choose this movie?
I chose this movie because simply put, I hate this movie. And I know, many people who love this movie, and I can't talk about how much I hate it with all of these people. So I thought I could talk about it with you know, I think growing up, this was one of my mom's favorite movies. I know a lot of people who love this movie. And I mean, if you strip away any sort of critical lens, you can kind of see why it is very aesthetically charming. And it has America sweethearts is the protagonist. And there are daisies coming out of Meg Ryan's eyeballs. And it's just a golden retriever. And it's very sweet. But it's actually if you actually just listen to the dialogue a little bit, it is a capitalist horror story. And I actually think that they're, this screenplay could very well have translated into a film with like a different tone and a different director and different actors. That would have been a very successful satire of like, you know, of capitalism and big business. It's not it's done in earnest, but I just wanted to get into how horrifying this film is with with y'all today. This beloved romcom Yeah, I
love everything you just said, because I felt very similarly, although I have a question. Did you? Did you always feel that way? Or were you? Did you come to that opinion? Or were you always like, were you like a kid with your mom? Loving this like, mom?
No, I was very, I was very young when I watched this with my mom. So I had no concept of what capitalism was at all. And I was very taken by you know, the chunky sweaters and the floppy hats and like, the everything is so warmly lit, you know, and you feel like, yeah, you just want to cozy up with hot cocoa.
It's a great New York movie. It's like, oh, it seems so romantic
in the fall. It's Get out your school supplies. Okay, yeah. smell some scotch tape.
Yeah, yes. smell some scotch tape. And then and then the springtime and what is where are they Riverside Park and there's like the flowers blooming? It's very romantic. But then I watched it again as a teenager and realized what it is and watching it again. For for this podcast. Even more horrifying things popped out to me.
Yeah, I agree. Every time I watch it, it's so odd. It becomes like more my simultaneously like more of a favorite movie. And like more horrifying. It's like, it's one of those. It's so strange. And I agree this movie is a horror movie. To me. It's a horror movie about capitalism. It's also like about the first catfish. It's this crazy, crazy man, Joe Fox, who just basically puts a woman who he stalks out of business and then gaslights the shit out of her. And then it's interesting. I think my big takeaway was just how it's particular. It's a love letter to this very particular piece of capitalism, which is this moment in time, during the Clinton administration, when the neoliberal agenda is really being set where, where it's like, essentially, people are so exhausted, nobody wants to have to make a choice or who wants to be political, like, big business is gonna be big business. So you given fall in love. Let the man be like, you know, let let the corporate man be the big corporate man. And you know, what, if you just shut up and stop having opinion, something good might come from it. And like that is the arc of this story.
She literally says at one point, I forgot to vote and I got a manicure. And I think that that sums up exactly what you're saying, you know, you need to disassociate a little bit and just fall in love and
fall in love with your capitalist oppressor, you know, fall in love with the big box store that is gonna put you out of business. But you know what, at the end of the day, you're gonna find out that the guy that runs that big box store, he's actually not that bad, although he is Joe Fox is Joe Fox as well. We'll get to Joe Fox as a character in a minute because there's so much to be said. But yeah, for anyone who hasn't re watch this movie basically like Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, they're falling in love and His he's like He runs Barnes and Noble. Essentially, his family runs Barnes and Noble for
a million really,
I actually read that they wanted to shoot in Barnes and Noble. And Barnes and Noble said, No, there is a lot of product placement. There is actual AOL, there's actual Starbucks and they wanted to use Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble said, no, please continue. Just one Never throw that in there.
No, I think that's important because it's the the movie is like slightly critical of the big box store, but then ultimately lands at a place of like, but it's kind of nice in here though,
you can do what you're gonna do here, like we make it work, which she does, yes, it work.
And the whole conceit is that, you know, his store Fox books is putting her store that she inherited from her mother is gonna put her out of business. Meanwhile, they're falling in love both online and in real life. And it really softens any because going in I was like, maybe this is going to be a critique of capitalism and the way that like these hyper competitive markets, and especially, that's how I kinda remembered it that way, too. I was like, I was like, Oh, this is gonna tell us that the Barnes and Noble is bad, but as the movie and there's some critical aspects of it. But I do want to play this one clip from the beginning when Joe Fox and is explaining to Dave Chappelle, what they're going to be doing here at this new Fox books location. Oh, is
that the west side? Maybe we might as well tell them opening up a crack house, they're gonna hate us. soon as they hear they're gonna be loud enough to take the bank back chain store that's out to destroy
everything they hold dear. You know what we're gonna seduce them. We're gonna seduce them with our square footage and our discounts and our deep armchairs and cappuccino. That's right. They're gonna hate us at the beginning, but but we'll get them in the end. You know why? Why? Because we're gonna sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants. Meantime, we'll just put up a big sign coming soon to Fox book superstore and the end of civilization as you know it.
So it's like he's there, he's aware and how fucking terrible they are. But then they like put this little jaunty little jazzy piano underneath and you're like, Oh, this is actually kind of edits Tom Hanks. This is kind of nice.
And what's so insidious about that quote, in particular, is that that's what happens in their relationship as well, right? He's talking about, that's how the Upper West siders are going to react to Fox books, but in the end, like they're gonna hate us, but in the end, they're gonna love us. But that's what ends up happening with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, she hates him, but in the end, she loves him. And that, quote, can be applied to both of those situations. Which is why I think this could have been an effective satire, but it's, it's not an you've thought it was or you thought it was a critique. And when you rewatched you realize it's absolutely no. And
I've also thought about like this movie could have, it's not like, you know, some movies, you're like, oh, it had to be that way to like, like, there's no reason this movie had to end or go this way. It could have been just as charming as romantic and it could have been the movie that I remembered it peeing in my head, which was very charming and romantic, and like, the little bookstore wins. And Joe Fox is just charming and not like you can be disgruntled and maybe have shit to work through. That still gives some tension and conflict. But this particular tension and conflict was like, not necessary to this charming film.
Yeah, it's not an equal playing field, right? Usually in these like enemies to lovers tropes. They're on a sort of equal playing field, but when someone is the oppressor in a larger societal sense, it doesn't really work. Frank, I know you wanted to get into Joe Fox as a character.
Oh, yeah, no, but just jump on. Yeah. Oh my god. This this fucking guy Joe Fox, Delta. The last point I want to make to what you were just saying is yeah, they're not on an equal playing field. And this movie by the end of the movie, spoiler alert, you hurt store Meg Ryan store goes out of business Kathleen stores out of business. She has lost her livelihood. She lost what her mother left to her. And at the end she does in fact choose Tom Hanks she has fallen in love with him. So it is a full on endorsement of everything that has transpired so far in the movie so it's like it doesn't it completely softens any like light critique but there might have been leading up which
is why we don't remember that because it's so effective. And I think this is something we see time and time again with these movies were like I think about so many of them where you ask someone from the era about that film and what they tell you has nothing to do with what the movies actually about. Like I'm thinking about Saturday Night Fever which I hope we do on this podcast soon but like that movie based on like collective memory is like a fun disco dancing movie and then you watch it and you're like he is I don't even enjoy the dancing. It's crazy. So that was I put You've got mail in that category put like Manhattan in that category. Like everyone tells you know, it's a very funny movie about New York and you're like this is a movie about pedophilia is what this movie is about. And that's that's plotline in So like, I don't know, I just think there's something that's so effective about these films that is, I don't know about I don't even know what I think about the word intentional at this point. Like if that even you know, matters, really, but it's just fascinating that this just we keep identifying it.
Well, it's also such an amazing snapshot of 1998 because this is the time when people were worried about the big box stores, putting the little independent mom and pop shops out of business. And now it's 2023 and Amazon has totally eaten Barnes and Nobles lunch, you know, like this, this movie has no economic relevance anymore today because the way that you know, tech and online marketplaces have completely upended the way that retail and distribution has worked. So it's it's such a unique snapshot of this specific time, except that
you could do like the sequel, like you're saying, and the sequel would be Now Joe Fox is like what I guess getting stalked and then falls in love with Jeff Bezos and like, but the storytelling would be this right? We keep being told the same thing of like, Amazon's too big. They're too big. Just like Love it. Love it. Love it. It's so romantic. It's an it is it's like but it's such a dangerous narrative and so powerful.
Yeah, I would love to see Jeff Bezos, catfish Joe Fox and just absolutely destroy his life. He deserves it. Yeah, let's get into Joe Fox robbing. Joe thought Joe Fox pro or anti the man of your dreams or a full blown psychopath? What do you what do you think
man of my dreams? Obviously, my nightmares. This movie is really banking on Tom Hanks in 1998. In order to make this at all work, obviously, the most beloved lovable guy, anyone else playing this role? I do not think that the rom com would have succeeded at all. The scene there's a scene where he's in an office with his dad and his grandpa and it's just like three generations of like generational wealth like guys. They literally laugh maniacally when he shares that another small business is going under and they can they do like a pew pew, pew. Hahaha. Like it is. So it is so over the top. It's so gross. And he continually lies to Meg Ryan. He's he's not. He's not he's also cheating on Parker Posey the whole time. They're both cheating on their partners. Right. And I mean, I forgot that to until this rewatch, and I was like, Oh, they're cheaters as well. But we really are the only reason I think the audience is washed over with that feeling is because it's Tom Hanks, and we get to see him playing at a Fall Harvest carnival with children and being adorable and carrying around a goldfish and having a golden retriever and but I mean, he he is just awful till the end. Aside from the little thing of closing down her business, which he says at the end, by the way, that is a line he's like, you know, so for folks who don't remember, he has the upper hand at a certain point and he knows that the person he's been anonymously communicating with is Kathleen Kelly, Meg Ryan's character, but Meg Ryan doesn't know that she's been communicating with Tom Hanks, she still thinks that he's like New York 5179, or whatever his name is, his screen name is. And she thinks that New York five when nine or whatever, stood her up on a date. And after breaking into her home, she's sick. And he's like, let me and I want to I want to apologize to you and she's like, Please don't come into my home. I'm sick. He comes in when someone else is leaving. And this is like the big romantic time right? This is like the last 15 minutes of the movie like the resolutions coming. She's like, Please don't come in. I'm sick. Also, I hate you. He breaks into her building forces his way into her apartment unit. He's sits on her bed while she's cozying up and blowing her nose and she's like hi on day quell and keeps pushing himself closer and closer to her like it does not stop there is no line that this man will not cross. He's just he's he's an evil villain. And in the horror movie version, he is he is grotesque. And some sort of demonic creature.
I'm so with you. I feel like as I was taking notes for this, robbing mine, I like texted Frank, I'm like, it's just turned into a list of red flags. Yeah, like I was like red flag one. I mean, it starts with he's just lies to her from the top in the store. When he meets her he's like, Oh, I'm not I'm not Joe Fox. And then I mean referencing the Godfather is teaching red flag red flag red scooping the caviar red flag. The way he speaks to there's this scene at Z bars with we have a fun cameo from Sara Ramirez. And this seems so important too because it It's teaching us as the audience I think how we're supposed to view him because she's At that, like the top of that, you know, doesn't have cash, it's a bars, great New York moment. And he comes in and they're all like, get off the line late to get off the line. And he comes in and he's so rude and condescending to Rose who's behind the who's at the cash register played by Sarah Ramirez. He's like, Happy Thanksgiving, say Happy Thanksgiving back and like, basically utilizes her infantil it's such disgusting behavior. But then she's like, charmed by him at
the end, right? Which
is like, psychotic, and then he leaves and then she's rude to Kathleen. So like, That scene is telling us like, like, No, you're supposed to it's like, not only is she being gas lit by him, I feel like there is gaslighting of us as an audience where we're watching something like, this is not okay. This is very not okay behavior. But everybody's charmed by it. So perhaps he is our, our leading man. And I think, you know, as you were talking to I was thinking, well, it really is, again, this period of time under Clinton, where I think the Democratic Party is sort of like creating this type of manipulation, which is essentially a sense, not essentially, although I guess, for some sensuality, essentially, but essentially, hey, we know this guy's an asshole. Like, we know, you know, like, what we know climate change is real. We know climate change is real. It's really bad. We're going to do everything to fight it. But then we're going to do the willow project. It's like this whole, like, you know, which they do here. They're like, we know the fox family is bad. Like that scene you were describing with the three men that the film is self aware enough that like, this is the evil character, but maybe, maybe not. Like it's such. It's psychologically like horrible to go through.
They're also making Joe Fox look better by putting him up against more evil characters, right? Like Joe Feige is evil, right? But his dad and his grandpa are objectively worse, like they have had millions of wives and have very young children and talk about them in such misogynistic terms. And they are objectively worse than him and he kind of looks at them and he thinks about it. He's like, I don't really want to be like them and, and moves out and lives in his boat and does a little internal thinking. And I think we're supposed to be like, Wow, he's not as bad as Daddy and Granddaddy. He's right. He's a bad guy, but he's trying. But another thing the movie does to make Joe Fox look eligible, is throw in so casually. plot point about meg Ryan's maternal figure playing by Jean Stapleton. We can I mean, we don't have to get into all of it now, but there's just a throwaway scene a throwaway line where Jean Stapleton who is who has known Meg Ryan for years was friends with her mother is her quirky, you know, surrogate mom Toady. Bertie gives her great advice. Birdie casually mentions that she fell in love the love of her life ran Spain. And then we cut to a scene with Greg Kinnear and Meg Ryan going to the movies and Greg Kinnear is like she she fell in love with generally smo. Francisco Franco, the fascist dictator. And is I think rightfully aghast. And Kathleen Kelly is just like, Yeah, I mean, she was in another country, right. And I think when I first watched this again, I was like, why was that thrown in there? Like why would why would we make this sweet older woman have had a past with a genocidal maniac. I don't understand what what why this rom com is doing that. And I think it's to hone in on the point that like, well love is love, you know, like love. He was this fascist dictator, but you're gonna love who you're gonna love. And at least Joe Fox, is it generally smooth Franco? He's just Joe Fox, he's a good guy.
It's also yes to everything you're saying. It's also emblematic of the mentality of, I guess, the baby boomer generation, because I think I think Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are both baby boomers, but one that has been far removed enough from the actual threat of fascism that their parents generation had to deal with and endure and struggle through to overcome that by the 90s It's just a throwaway joke. It's like, oh, yeah, he's in love with the generalise about Franco. That's it's kind of funny, we don't actually, we don't actually have any sort of material understanding of the horrors of fascism in the 20th century. So because we, you know, we got everything that our parents built from the social democracy that you know, they they created once they all get back for more. So like, it's just like a funny punch line for us. I mean, I guess it makes sense. But it's also extremely dangerous to lose sight of your history that much, because now our generations are now seeing the rise of fascism again, in this country and other countries, and we're like, oh, no, that This is like a real threat that is ever present and our parents generation really fucking dropped the ball on that one. So it made sense for them.
It makes sense and, and it's such good. It's so frustrating because it is such good writing, right? It's Oh, it's a great screenplay, such a great screenplay, doing all the selling all the wrong messaging when you really get down to it. So it's just like, oh man, great lines like because in some ways, I'm like, yes, exactly what you said Robin, it sets up. But love is love. Who cares if the politician doesn't have the right politics? I love them. I'm their fan. I'm in love with them. I love Obama. I love Alexandria Ocasio Cortez I love you know, and it's like this blinding love like, in some ways, I was like, this is the love is blind before love is blind. And and I don't know if they I don't know if they would pass the test. Certainly Joe Fox was like if she's a dog out, and so you're like, Nah, not the point, which we'll get back to. But I do think it sets up the because the following scene is like Greg Kinnear Frank Frank Vasquez character. And then right after that scene she has with birdie. They're sort of setting up that this is where she admits that she didn't even have to admitting because she didn't really seem to even ever think about it. She's like, I didn't vote, I got a manicure. But he brings up the point of like, I could never be with someone who doesn't have my politics. And I think it's framed like that supposed to be like, somehow, like that idea is antithetical to romance like romance should be, especially if we're following the logic of this story. Romance is like throw everything all your logical way. Through all your values, your values, your critical thinking, your sense of danger, your stuff, like anything, throw it away, because love is love is love. And I don't know, my question to you both. Could you have you? Well, how do you think about the idea of like, being partnered maybe long term, if that's what you are into? That kind of monogamy? Or just in dating someone with your own politics? Have you dated someone that like, cuz I was I was like, Yeah, I wonder. I put it I put it to the to the, to the room. Got it. So
you're at have have? Or would get a little personal is what's data, data fascist?
I'm gonna say no. Or maybe someone
who has like, like, Have you dated a non? Let's even say someone who doesn't align with your left? Maybe they're like, mid range liberal and don't fully align with your lefty politics?
I think when I was younger, yes. Or, or I guess, in a not very serious relationship. I think, as I've gotten older, I mean, I am in a long term, monogamous relationship right now with an anti capitalist. And I think as I got older, before, you know, we met each other and I was dating, I would bring up politics really early on, like, on the dating profile to be like, here's the thing, I talk about it a lot. If you don't like that this is not going to work out. That's just me personally. But I think when I was younger, there was more of a need to please and go along with others and not be as assertive about my points of view. That's just my particular journey. I think I probably I haven't I hadn't, but I probably would have casually dated somebody with different political views for a little bit until it verged on being serious.
Yeah. Pretty much the same I have when I was younger, casually dated people with different views, not repugnant views, like nothing, you know, like nothing like truly hateful, just like more, you know, more. I'm fiscally conservative, but socially liberal, like that type. You know, like, when I was younger, that was fine. I think for like, in a long term relationship, I definitely would want to be with someone that I had more aligned values and perspectives on because otherwise you're just kind of, I don't know, you're approaching life in a vastly different way. But I don't think it should like I don't think politics unless you again, have like truly vile, hateful politics. I don't think someone's conservatism libertarianism, whatever should discount them as like, a person that you are able to interact with? And you know, for sure get to know
but date you're, like, You're being very careful about that interact with but do you mean like,
No, I don't date. But I'm kind of like lumping, like dating, being acquaintances with like, family members with you know, like, and obviously, these are, these are all different types of relationships. Also, I don't know, personally, I am a glutton for debate. So I really enjoy, like, if I meet someone that I disagree with, I'm like, Oh, we're gonna get into it and I'm gonna enjoy that, you know,
oh, I'm the total opposite I don't I'm, I'm I get so stressed. I hate debate. Like I will. I can like write out all my thoughts and like a dissertation and like a very Like, lovely, like, argumentative something and send it out into the ether. But I hate I do not like debating people that I'm going to be intimate with, right of course, like having friends or coworkers or family members or casually dating somebody I can I can get into a debate. But if it's someone that I'm going to be building a partnership and an intimate life with, I personally definitely wouldn't need them to align with me politically. But I do want to just say about breaking news character, so in that very scene, or when they break up because he says, I could never date someone who didn't care about politics or whatever the line is. Then he breaks up with Meg Ryan and she's like, is there someone else? Is it that? You know, that talk show host who interviewed you a couple of seasons back? And he's like, yeah, and Meg Ryan was like a sheer Republican. And Greg Kinnear goes, I just can't help myself. Yes. So his I mean, so I think to answer this bed, yeah. Yeah. So I think he would answer this question even like, you know, the, his character is definitely presented as like the annoying guy who cares about politics the annoying liberal the, like, what is the granddaddy observer, the not from the observer, the Upper West Side liberal, like Louis pseudo intellectual, whatever, like he's obsessed with his typewriter. And he's such a Luddite. And he's like, you know, even he gives in to this idea of like, love is love at the end he can't help himself he's going to date this Republican you know, talking head
I think it's an interesting I do think that question of like, can you date someone with their politics is interesting that that's it's crucial to the movie because if the answer is no, I would want to value wise a line then we don't have our ending so like you it's like necessary to prove that point that like again, love transcends it almost speaks to furthermore dangerous topic with idea which is that like politics are not personal. Like keep saying business is not personal and I think behind that as politics are not personal and this this need to detach love and dating and, and personal life and anything that we really care about from politics. So there's never really any talk of like the real world material consequences of shutting down this store of anything that's going on it kind of is more like this ideological. It it's gonna be hard and then and then on the ideological factor at that same scene where we find out that birdie Loki in love with a fascist, not only that she's filthy rich, so she's she's loaded and
this is happening Kellyanne stone. Oh my god.
And she says it she says it too. Yeah, she's like, I invested in Intel.
Yesterday. I bought Intel. It's sick. Yeah,
at six and she's been going to her like, what do I do? And this birdie could party has been fucking with her. She could care less. She's like, I don't know what what numbers like. And so she says At that meeting, which, which I thought was interesting as well. When she's like, I think I'm gonna close the store. And we're like all that sad. But then she's like, closing the store. Closing the store is the brave thing to do. You're daring to imagine that you could have a different life, you are marching into the unknown, armed with nothing. Like, again, another moment to just like gaslight, us as an audience where we're like, oh, no, why would we why this is really bad. It's like, oh, no, no, no audience. It's actually good. It's brave. Give up on all your dreams just give in. It's also
again, unintended, maybe unintentionally emblematic of like that thing that happens when a super rich person or like a retired person, or you know, someone who's like just an older generation person who doesn't live in the current everyday struggles is just like, go ahead and do that. It's not that hard. Well, what's the problem? Go ahead and do it. And it's like, you have no actual perspective on what this entails whatsoever. Why should I should never, ever listen to you, you have no idea what you're talking about.
And then at the end, she she's like, it's very, very end. One of the things she mentions is I'm an I'm a writer, I'm gonna write a children's book, who would have ever thought and I think we're almost meant to believe that like, if Joe Fox hadn't destroyed her life, and taken away this business, she never would have realized her true dream, which was to write a children's book, which is absolutely ridiculous. Because she could have written a children's book. She was friends with many authors, many publishers, she could have done it while running her store. She didn't have to hit rock bottom and like, be put lose the one thing that reminded her of her mother and, you know, lose her business and be gas lit and manipulated by this terrible man. She could have just written a children's book. We didn't need all of this to happen for her to get there.
Yeah, I just I know we're not done ripping Joe Fox apart. But since we're on Kathleen Kelly, there were just too Things that I just need to say about our dear Kathleen Kelly. One is because yes, Meg Ryan is so charming, but if you really listen, you're like she's pretty unbearable for me as like a character. First I just drew, the line that I just like, cannot stop thinking about is when she's, she just has this thing about like 22 year olds and she has her thing about Kathleen Kelly, Kathleen Kelly. And he doesn't say both last name, like her last name, which granted, it's a great lesson. I'm Rifka Rivera, I like the double R she has the double K, I get it. But her response is, you know, don't they know you're talking about 22 year olds don't think no, you're supposed to have a last name. It's like an entire generation of cocktail, waitresses. And that just makes me think she's the type of woman to be like, wear more clothes like what's your problem? And like, which makes sense because she then continues to as Joe foxes, behavior is more and more ridiculous. And as this man who she's supposed to meet who she has been talking to on the internet, she doesn't even know yet. It's Joe Fox doesn't show up. She keeps making excuses for him. Just like you know, he must. He must have a really good reason. Like, if this is 2023 Anyone watching is like it's a scammer. It's a catfish, like people would know better. Like, you're crazy. Because he asked you for a bunch of money yet, but she's just making all these excuses. And it was another moment where I just another thing she said was like, no matter what he's done to me, there's no excuse for my behavior. And that also felt like another sort of this, this sort of academic beginning of like this neoliberal narrative of like, you know, when they go low, we go high, no matter what. And I was like, You know what, sometimes when they go low, you gotta go low, because it's called standing up for yourself. So that's my rant on KK.
I agree. She's totally unbearable. I completely agree. She's so it's similar to Tom Hanks, and that they're both so charming, but her dialogue is unbearable. And she has a lot of internalized misogyny. I think she's very, like, white liberal Boomer lady of like, I will just let the man do whatever, even though I am intelligent. And I have read and I have opinions, but I can't say them because there's no excuse for that. Right? There's, there's a generation of I think white liberal Boomer ladies who have been raised and brainwashed into blaming them. And you know, still, I think if you're a femme person in this world, you're you're brainwashed into, into existing that way, but her in particular, she says multiple times, there's no excuse for speaking to someone that way. And what bums me out so much she writes in her emails often about wanting to be brave, and I really wanted her to find her voice. I really wanted her to be brave. And she does a little bit when she asks Frank to me do something very unethical and write about her store and the observer and she gets a rally going, and you see her going around her little bookstore, like punching and trying to like, amp herself up and you're like, you know, maybe she's, she's going to be brave, she's going to find her voice. And then we're led to believe at the end, or at least this was how I interpreted it that her bravery in the end was being brave enough to fall in love with someone who may not seem like the right person to be with rather than fighting for her business fighting for herself fighting for her integrity. She also doesn't have any friends. Her friends seem to be the people who work at the bookstore. And they refer to the business as a family a number of times, which is a huge red flag. Even though it's they seem like they really love each other. I'm like, Meg Ryan, where are your friends? Is your only friend like this 20 year old girl from Miss Congeniality who is in college writing papers, you know that the trope of the best friend to the leading lady was noticeably absent in this movie. And
it's such a great point, because hopefully the best friend would have been like,
what are you doing? Exactly? They amp her up, they love it. They're like, Oh, I stood you up, but you probably didn't have a phone. There's no voice of reason for her at all. And maybe it's because she's their boss, essentially. Right? Like, they're sort of they're like, you know, their friends. But at the end of the day, it's her bookstore and they're her employees.
That's so funny that you both say that because I had a little bit more sympathy for Kathleen on this. Oh, I thought Yeah, I found her to be like I agree with a lot of the stuff that you're saying about like, I didn't vote I got a manicure and you know, like the the internalized misogyny, a lot of that like apologizing for standing up for herself to Tom Hanks who has been such a prick to her this whole like, halfway through the movie. The whole thing is like he's such a prick to her every time they see each other. And she's telling him online. Like this guy is such a prick to me. I wish I could just like be I wish I could just get him back. And then she finally does and she's like, gets a zinger off on him and puts them in his place. And that's when she's like, Oh, I really feel bad that I was mean to that guy who's been such a prick to me. So I agree with all that although the one difference I feel is that it, I found her to be like incredibly sincere, Kathleen has a character, like dangerously sincere for this world for this hyper capitalist market. Because, you know, when they say her employees are a family, I do believe that she believes that. I mean, she's probably had doesn't have like profit sharing setup with them. But you know, we can excuse that, but she really, she just wants to like, be the bookstore in the neighborhood and do a righteous service and, you know, have community and all of these things. And she wasn't built for this competition, she wasn't built for this market. And that is, I think that's okay. Like, it's okay for people not to be a fucking shark not to be like, I'm a business, you know, like, I know how to do business because it's not natural, it is not natural for us to be like, you know, what my, you know, what, like my modus operandi is, is to like, suss out where my competition is, and fucking kill them, like, ruin these other people's lives. And, like, that is so antithetical to her to her being as a character and so that I had a lot of sympathy for her in it just in that in that, like, Joe Fox is like, I'm a piece of shit, I'm gonna put you out of business. And she's like, and she even says, at the beginning, she's like, maybe there's gonna be room for both of us. Like, she'll build the room for our store and the fox books. And it's kind of all crystallized. I wanted to play this one clip from the end in that scene, Robin that you mentioned, where Joe breaks into her apartment, again, like a full blown psychopath, because there's this refrain that keeps getting that Joe keeps saying, and we've heard it before from capitalists. It's it's one of their favorites that justifies the horrendous way they're able to treat people which is it's not personal. It's just business. And Joe says this to hurt him multiple times. And he says it to her again, after he has put her out of business. He says it and then this is how Kathleen responds.
It wasn't personal. What is that supposed to be that I'm so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to be. It's personal to a lot of people have what is so wrong when being personal anyway.
God I love I love Meg Ryan
love Meg Ryan. And that's a really true human sentiment and one that I agree with, like one business can destroy the livelihoods of another business and say it's you know, it wasn't personal but there are still destroyed livelihoods. There are people who lost their income their people who lost their health insurance, it has a human impact. I
think that's a great point. And you know what Frank was like getting ready to come at you in the middle and I was like, Oh, I like where this is I kind of feel you where this is going but then at the end, I was like, huh So except that she says that shit and then she is like, I don't care about politics. And she's just so disconnected is my problem that I'm like it's personal it's all personal then so whatever but I hear you
Yeah. And then she ends up falling for him at the end anyway so it kind of you know again it like it totally softens all she's Yeah, it's like all of the terrible things we've seen Joe Fox to all of the lying all the manipulating he's done to hurt all the gaslighting the full on the pathological lying again fucking psychopath. This is a this character is a psychopath who happens to be played by Tom Hanks. That is the only redeemable thing about and at the end. She's like, I do love this guy. What can I say?
That's the thing. I think I really I do like the character despite her flaws. I just wish she had been given a bitter ending by the writer. I don't dislike her for falling in love with him. I'm frustrated that that is the direction that the movie decided to take in the last eight minutes. Because it does happen. So very fast. You're like, what? She just shoots. What? It's like whiplash. You're like, oh, okay, I guess we're getting coffee. And we're going to a farmers market and now we're in love and now you want it to be him. Like it's it's so fast that it does. It's like we don't even get any breathing room to come around to him, which I probably wouldn't have anyway, it's like she she doesn't get a chance to really wrestle with the fact that Joe Fox is her online lover. She gets like, she gets like an eight minute end of movie montage essentially, where they're eating apples and drinking coffee. And it's I just I wish she was given more. I wish I wish she was I wish she was done better by Nora Ephron really
truly. I just wanted to throw in just talking about because I thought watching this in the context it was like really special to get to watch this today in the context of AI and the fact that you were watching this film knowing that like the internet is just killing me it's called You've Got Mail like it's so charming to revisit this time when you're like, I think you said this Robin like it's it's sort of this very like tiny window where things could still be a little bit charming. Nobody really knows fully the dangers of cat fishing or, like, you know where this thing is gonna go Oh, there's potential in 98. Actually, I according to Pew Research Center, only 40% 41% of adults went online. And when asked 57% of non internet users said they worry not at all about missing out on something by not going online. So like, it's a wildly different landscape. And it's just wild to be watching it now when, you know, I think one of the lines in the store is like, Hey, are you online? Like you online? You know, which now it's just it's the air we breathe. And you hear that echo today, where people are like, you want are you on? Are you on charge? GPT? Have you done this thing? And we're living in this wild time where I've probably said this before on the podcast, so I don't know I was saying about Frank. Not our frank here. But Frank from the movie being like, if Frank had a tick tock, Frankie going nuts right now. And he would probably be in my algorithm just being like, oh, like ringing the alarm about Chachi Beatty and about AI? If he thought that was scary, like poor Frank, would be so I just thought that was I'm curious your thoughts on that. Like, I just was like, This is so special in such almost like unnecessary rewatch for people at this time.
I agree. And I think I think on that Joe Fox is actually Kinder in his emails, like his internet persona, is a lot nicer than his real life persona. And I think today in 2023, the opposite is true for most people, where people will be very cordial and nice in real life, but then, like, fuckin like demolish you in the comment section, or start trolling people or say things like, make tic TOCs and say things that they would never say to a person's face, right? Or, you know, the get up all in celebrities for stupid drama, right? Or they do really dark things, right, like they join 4chan or like in cell groups online, or they actually catfish people in a really negative way. But Joe Fox, who is a terrible person in real life is being kind of sweet to her over email. He's giving her advice. He's talking about wanting to send her, you know, school supplies in bouquet form. And I think it's really, like, indicative of how, yeah, it was a very charming time. We didn't know what it would be and people were perhaps, I mean, I was very young. I don't know I don't have any evidence to support this. But perhaps people were sweeter. Also the movie really captures there's that one scene where a Kathleen Kelly is about to write an email and then she gets an im from from Joe Fox, and she wasn't expecting him to be on and like that, that moment of like, you're crushed. I am and you. I had such a flashback. I was like, Oh my gosh, yes. That was what it felt like, would you just got an item from your crush that you weren't expecting on the sport? If you're listening?
Bam. Oh, yeah, most likely will not listen, but if you listen
well, but I mean, I just think you're right. It's so visceral that like, and the sound and all of it. Oh, yeah.
When the door opening closing sound for me? I am. I was just like, Who is it? Who just logged on? Oh, my God. Is it my crush? Who? Yeah, I'm
gonna come home and sit here in front of the screen. Wait,
oh my god, if you would like, you would personalize the way that your font looked in you the way that you typed and you'd like personalize all this stuff. And it was like, wow, have you seen Have you seen like NYX font? Oh my god, it's like, so edgy and cool. No, this was the honeymoon period of the internet. When it was it was all just in front of us. Like most technological advancements, you know, there's that first little bit of time where you're like, the steam engine, you know, or the combustible engine, this will be a really good thing that helps a lot of people and then you know, then it destroys the livable climate. Same thing with the internet and destroying so many different things. But yeah, it was a really, it was a really lovely snapshot to a simpler, a simpler time. All right, Robin. Well, this is the point in the show where we like to give out awards for this movie. Our first award is called a point with a view this goes to the character with the best politics in the movie.
So I am I think the easiest answer is Greg can use character or Frank. However, he does, you know, he does decide to date like who I guess were believed to be is like a like a Fox News type, like talk show host to the end. So just to be chaotic. I'm just gonna say Brinkley the dog, because frankly has no understanding of capitalism and loves everybody. Yeah, I think everybody in this movie is kind of a terrible person. They all are
kind of shitty in one way or the other. I think that's good. I think a dog always has perfect politics. I am going to give this to Frank. Only because because he there yeah, there's stuff about Frank that sucks. Like the giving up his values is like in a second when he's like Like, I'll date this woman, he's kind of has his head up his own ass. He's like very he's very highfalutin. But I was surprised to see because like, he's like a leftist. I am to presume like it, which was I was surprised to see in a 90s movie, you know, he's like extremely anti corporate. He confronts Joe Fox at the party and says, How do you sleep at night? He's an expert on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the Soviet spies that were executed the US so I was like, damn, like Frank is a socialist. He's like a leftist. So for that, I will give it to Frank.
Yeah, my votes going for Frank as well. Although it was interesting in this rewatch, it just stood out to me that the first like, the first line of the movie, is Frank's and he's like, the entire workforce of the state of Virginia had to have solitaire removed from their computers because they hadn't done any work in six weeks. And I was like, oh, it's very like you're concerned about the level of work getting done like it was just seemed so and so maybe that's also just the writers not fully understanding like a leftist perspective, you know, not really being able to write that care, you know, so I'll get that but yes, for all the reasons you said and just that he at least is that like, stands up for the shop around the corner. So yes, for it's it's to Frank and to Brinkley. So our second award is despicable you now this goes to the character with the worst politics in the movie. We've named a few already but Robin Hood, who are you giving this award to? Oh,
boy. It's got to be either Tom Hanks, his dad. Tom Hanks, but also birdie. Buck the monster so do you know like, you know, it's gotta be like a three way tie for me. I don't know. I mean, Joe Fox is the easy choice, but I think he's just like his dad and his grandpa, so you can't give it to him without giving it to them.
Yeah, I was gonna say the entire Fox family. Except to save the kids. All the fox bear though. Let's get
real. That little girl singing tomorrow.
We know where they're headed. Okay, she can be in there.
Most likely they're not turning out great. We know how this goes. But yeah, all of the but that's a good point. Like is it ours? Is it the fox? Man? Is it the corporate parasite misogynist? Or is it birdie the fascist sympathizer? I don't know, I don't know what is I genuinely don't know what's worse. What's worse,
make it easy for everybody and give it to 50 red flags. Joe Fox break the tie. I'm just gonna give it to my to my guy.
And our final award is a star is scorned. This goes to the supporting character that this movie should actually be about.
I have a very specific and niche answer for this scene. It's a bars where Tom Hanks is so charming to Rose. There is a man behind Meg Ryan really wants her to hurry the EFF up and get out so he can cook his Thanksgiving meal and he continually inserts himself into that scene. And I had to rewind it and watch it again because I laughed so hard at his line deliveries. His name is Henry. He introduces himself up because Tom Hanks is like, I'm Joe Rose. It's a beautiful name rose. And he's like, and I'm Henry. So I want to see Henry's adventures on Thanksgiving. Where is he off to? Why is he in such a rush? Why is he in such a bad mood? What is he buying? And what does he think of this very annoying man and very annoying woman in front of him holding up the line?
That's a great really good one.
I'm giving it to Patricia Eden, Parker Posey, his character. She sees like pitch perfect in this. I just love this character. And this was like this worked for me that dichotomy of she's obsessed with Frank and his writing. She's, like, one of her lines at the party is when she's like, Oh, she loves everything he's written just because it's smart. But she doesn't actually know she's like, and I have no idea what it means and her lineup party where she talks about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and she's like, I just think it's so interesting. how old they are. At that, like that's her fat. She's like, they looked
sick, but they're really our age. They're really
our age and Parker Posey is just so brilliant. Like she does she's there's always a piece of her but this character is like You're like it's still distinctly Parker Posey, but it's she she's just like a very distinct character and one that I loved and she figured out how to fit her her sort of like essence into this rom com, nor f rom world. So shout out to Patricia, what about you, Frank
Parker Posey, one of the best to ever do it. I am giving this to Christina, which is one of Meg Ryan's one of Kathleen's employees. It's all based on one line, because at one point when they're talking about how the bookstore could close, she says, and then I'm going to have to move to Brooklyn. And that is racially coded. I I think I think very much the white woman being like, I don't want to have to go move to Brooklyn where the non white people live. So I want to see her fucking have to move to Brooklyn and get her total get her world rocked and just like like completely lose her white privilege. That's that's the movie that I want to say.
That's a good one. And nobody wants to see Dave Chappelle movie, or maybe they do. But we've already seen it. Moving on, I don't even know. I just felt like I had to say it. And I'm like, why are you don't even? Okay, well, I think neither. Clearly it needed to be mentioned, there's clearly so much that we could I think, just keep going. But alas, we shapped for today, because we are going to get into another interesting topic, which is what we always like to ask our guests at the end. So just, you know, talk a little bit about as you mentioned, you're an anti capitalist, and how an actually we started kind of talking about this at the top, but how your values as an anti capitalist are, you try to live them out in your day to day even as complex as that might be. Is there one thing that you want to share with us or maybe a few things you want to share with
us? Yeah, I think just going back to our conversation at the top, I also, Frank, thank you for making clear that there are a million ways to be an artist and you know, you don't have to be in the slog to, you know, to be to be an artist, you don't have to do it professionally. But I also anyone who's listening who is a professional artist, I don't want you know, me saying this is not for me anymore to sound like I'm like, Oh, well I my values are you know, I'm I can't do that anymore. You know, we live in an imperfect capitalist system and you we make choices and if if, you know I just I just wanted to clarify that you know that if you're you're choosing to be a commercial actor, you are certainly not the person behind those corporations making those commercials Yeah, to live your life, survive and make your art I think just a really simple thing I do is I truly wear like my clothes until they break like I have been I have I've tried to practice sustainability and not be consumerist. And I have I have literally had boots fall apart on me while walking in them a very small thing you can do. Also my partner and I made our own soap this past weekend and so much came of it it was a really fun little activity little artistic activity. With you know, fresh lavender and stuff like that. I want to plug I don't actually know this person but I love this substack called the unpublishable by Jessica divino. Jessica is a journalist who has written for a lot of fashion magazines, and now has her own substack which is an anti beauty culture, anti capitalist substack. And she examines the ways that beauty culture is essentially like a scaffolding for capitalism, colonialism, racism, patriarchy, in ways you you may not consider, especially as a former actor, where you know what you are your brand, you are your product. And as a person who was raised as a woman in this country like we are really, it's really beaten into us that in order to be a value, we must present it a certain way. And I think anyone interested in dissecting that should go ahead and subscribe to Jessica divino substack. I find it really interesting, especially because she has that insider perspective, having worked for these magazines and having worked for the Kardashians themselves.
Wow, that's awesome. Robin, thank you for sharing all of that. And I'm looking forward to checking up those resources.
Robin, where can our audience find you and your work?
I am on Instagram at underscore underscore Robin Johnson R OB i n. And that's probably the best place to find me right now as we've discussed him going through a little bit of an artistic reawakening. So any website is under construction. That's the best place to find me.
Awesome. This was such a pleasure. Thank you for picking this movie. Thank you for coming on, and having this conversation with us.
Thank you for having me. Thanks for the perspectives and making me laugh and watching this terrifying movie.
Thank you all so much for listening. Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Tiktok and if you've been enjoying the show, please consider becoming a supporter. You could find all of that info at MVC pod.com
for next week's movie, we'll be watching the 2020 Best Picture winner parasite.