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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

July 10: DVD alternatives to this weekend’s multiplex offerings

Who has time to go to the movies, darling, when there’s all those fashion shows to attend and fabulous celebrities to stalk? But did you know that DVDs are for more than porn? Ich had no idea. So instead of the disgusting multiplex, where it’s all proles and unfabulous people anyway, you can stay in your magnificent Austrian bunker and still sound uber cool on Monday, when the press hounds you with questions about how you spent ihr Wochenende. When they ask, “Did sie see that Bruno movie?” you can tell them to bumsen off, you saw that Fälscher Sacha Baron Cohen in other roles instead.
INSTEAD OF: Bruno, in which Sacha Baron Cohen dons gayface in order to send up homophobia…

WATCH: Well, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, for starters, to see Baron Cohen in fine mocking form as an Eastern European “journalist” loose in the United States. For straight-up but still comedic performances by Baron Cohen, don’t miss him as the French Formula One racer in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (against Will Ferrell) and as the singing barber Pirelli in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (against Johnny Depp). For mockumentary aggression that holds up a caricature in order to ridicule the embrace of it by some, check out Bob Roberts, in which ultra-liberal Tim Robbins portrays the titular protofascist politician with a popular following.

INSTEAD OF: I Love You, Beth Cooper, in which a nerdy high-school valedictorian (Paul Rust) declares his love for the school’s “hottest” female student (Hayden Panettiere) on the day of their graduation, leading to an unexpected night for both of them….

WATCH: Any John Hughes movie from the 1980s — which, despite being a quarter of a century old, would still feel fresher than Beth Cooper — but in particular Pretty in Pink (which Hughes wrote but didn’t direct), about two kids from opposite sides of the high-school-clique track (Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald) who try to get together, or The Breakfast Club (written and directed by Hughes), which dumps kids from all over the secondary-school social spectrum into Saturday detention with one another, during which day they learn all sorts of interesting stuff about themselves. Or try Cameron Crowe’s 1989 Say Anything…, the ultimate high-school romance of star-crossed adolescents (John Cusack and Ione Skye).

INSTEAD OF: Blood: The Last Vampire, a manga-inspired, English-language suck-fest about a half-vampire, half-human high-school slayer of the bloodthirsty undead…

WATCH: You could try the 2000 animated adaptation of the same source material, also called Blood: The Last Vampire. Or you could try the Blade movies, in which Wesley Snipes is also a half-vampire, half-human vampire killer. But you’d be best off with any episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, which anyone hoping to score with a story about a teenage girl undead hunter must contend with, and usually cannot compare to.

INSTEAD OF: Humpday, in which two male best friends decide to have sex on camera for an amateur porn festival, the hook being that they’re both actually heterosexual…

WATCH: Almost any “bromance” would do, since that subgenre is always about sublimated male sexual attraction anyway, but certainly Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is most explicit about that: Jason Mewes’ Jay describes Kevin Smith’s Silent Bob as his “hetero life mate.” Smith touched on the same sort of unexpected sweetness and discomfort involved when friends contemplate becoming lovers in his Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which — like Humpday — is neither as lascivious nor as nasty as the premise makes it sound. Or you could check out Love Actually, for its subplot about the movie body doubles who fall in love, which is a wonderful counterpoint to this movie about the separation — or lack thereof — between the mechanics of sex and the mysteries of attraction.

Where to buy:

Blade [Region 1] [Region 2]
Blood: The Last Vampire [Region 1] [Region 2]
Bob Roberts [Region 1] [Region 2]
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan [Region 1] [Region 2]
The Breakfast Club [Region 1] [Region 2]
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer [Region 1] [Region 2]
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back [Region 1] [Region 2]
Love Actually [Region 1] [Region 2]
Pretty in Pink [Region 1] [Region 2]
Say Anything… [Region 1] [Region 2]
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [Region 1] [Region 2]
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby [Region 1] [Region 2]
Zack and Miri Make a Porno [Region 1] [Region 2]

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