I’ve written about the many different styles of mothering out there – and although every school of thought whole-heartedly believes it is the best and only way, there are many “right” ways to raise children. There are also some distinctly bad ways.
Take Joan Crawford, for example. In Mommie Dearest, the film based on the scandalous tell-all bestselling book by her daughter Christina, we get some insight into parenting tactics that should be avoided, like, oh I don’t know, dragging your children out of bed in the middle of the night and forcing them to clean the bathroom, demanding they give away their birthday gifts, and the mother of all horrifying acts – beating them with wire hangers. Don’t do that. The Crawfords: a family of two adorable kids and one an atrocious mom.
Then consider sweet Rosemary Woodhouse from the acclaimed Rosemary’s Baby, who lands on the other end of the spectrum. Things were looking up for her – brand new apartment, her husband’s acting career was taking off, a trend-setting pixie cut – and then suddenly she realizes she’s been impregnated by the devil. She had all of the potential in the world to be the perfect mom, but that dang Lucifer really jacked up her plans. The Woodhouses: a sweet, young couple with a sinister baby-on-the-way.
Which of the two would win the coveted ‘Mother of the Year’ award? Which would you rather have as your own mom (keep in mind – if you select Rosemary you’re labeling yourself as a malevolent beast). Watch both Mommie Dearest and Rosemary’s Baby now playing on EPIX and EPIX.com, then call your mom and thank her for not using your closet against you.
Movies make anything seem possible, even escaping from a maximum-security federal penitentiary that happens to be located on an island nearly 2 miles from the mainland. It seems highly unlikely that anyone would be able to dig through concrete walls with a spoon, crawl through an air vent, use a papier-mâché dummy as a decoy, descend a 50-foot wall, climb a 12-foot barbed-wire fence, inflate a homemade raft made of rain coats (take that, Martha Stewart crafts!) and paddle across the frigid San Francisco Bay.
Not only is it possible, but 4 prisoners did it with debatable levels of success!
Escape from Alcatraz is a fantastic film that depicts the very true escape plan and action of Frank Morris, brothers Clarence and John Anglin, and Allen West. The four amigos planned a breakout of epic proportions involving all of the crafts and cons listed above. Their plotting and perpetration took over six months but eventually everything was ready to go. The night of the escape Allen’s point of exit – his air vent – got stuck and he was forced to simply go back to bed (keep that epic FOMO in mind the next time your plans get cancelled).
The remaining 3 prisoners went ahead with their plan and although there are many different theories, many believe they successfully completed the “Dig, Dash, Dive” Alcatraz triathlon. Some people believe they made it safely to shore and eventually to Brazil where one witness claims to have spotted them, while others (including the government) say that they froze to death in the water.
You’ve got to watch the great Clint Eastwood as Frank Morris make your Spartan Race look like a walk in the park in Escape from Alcatraz, now playing on EPIX and EPIX.com.
Everyone thinks it was T-Swift who rebranded friendship as the single must-have life accessory. Why bother living an amazing life if you don’t have a crew to share it with? (Cue group scream/crying over Grammy wins.)
But what people seem to forget is that squads have been on fleek since 1968 when Peggy Lipton, Linc Hayes and Pete Cochran busted onto the scene with TV’s “The Mod Squad.” Over 20 years later, Claire Danes, Omar Epps and Giovanni Ribisi reprised the roles with lot of grit, grunge, and every late 90s fashion trend available on the market — Leather blazers! Chokers! Tiny barrettes! Baby Tees! Wallet chains!
But instead of being built on pop music careers and modeling contracts, this crew is a pack of criminal delinquents who decide to fight crime as a way to avenge their buddy. You know, like Taylor vs. Kanye but with more guns and drugs.
Invite over your friends over to watch how cool kids do undercover crime fighting in The Mod Squad, now playing on EPIX and EPIX.com. Who knows, it might make you want to turn your rebellious attitude in for a shiny new badge.
There was a time, way back in 1997, where being neat, enjoying music and poetry, having rhythm, and loving Barbara Streisand meant that you were gay. For In & Out’s Howard Brackett (played by Kevin Kline) it was these benign character traits that led his former student, Cameron Drake (played by Matt Dillon), to out him during his fictional acceptance speech at the Oscars. Luckily we’ve progressed as a society and a person’s sexual orientation is no longer determined by their ability to break it down on the dance floor, and this scenario seems totally implausible…
But believe it or not, In & Out is inspired by a real event! In 1994 Tom Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia and thanked his former drama teacher, Mr. Rawley Farnsworth, for being one of the “greatest gay Americans.” A huge compliment to announce to over 2 billion viewers but there was one tiny problem – Rawley wasn’t openly gay. Ooops!
Unlike the follies that take place in the film (no one was left at the alter in real life!), Rawley watched the Oscars in amazement and used the opportunity to formally come out. He then went on to join an organization for gay teachers and worked closely with charities that help HIV-positive children. And one more wonderful thing came out of the accidental outing – it inspired In & Out, which was released three short years later. Watch it now on EPIX and EPIX.com!
Every time I miss the train (or elevator, or flight) by a split second I ask myself if this is a Sliding-Doors-scenario. Is there another LT out there, one who caught the train, living a parallel life? How’s she doing? It’s amazing to think that a few second difference can have such an impact on your life. It’s also amazing to think that when I was in 8th grade, at the true peak of my awkwardness, I took my uni-browed forehead, braces-filled-mouth, flat chest, and 4’11” build to the hair salon where I asked for the exact pixie cut Gwyneth (or, you know, one of the Gwyneths) had in this film. Spoiler alert: it didn’t look as cute on me and I was openly mistaken for a tween boy for months to come.
It’s fascinating to explore parallel life options and how the tiny things – conscious choices and uncontrollable scenarios – add up to make a big difference. What if you didn’t take that job? What if you didn’t move to a new city? What if you hadn’t drunk texted your ex 42 times in 3 hours? We’ll never know. But thanks to Hollywood, we do know what happened to Helen (Gwyneth’s character) both when she did and did not catch the train. I won’t spoil it for you, but the end message is that everything works out in the end, despite the tube schedule. It makes me wonder – do we all have a predisposed destiny that we’re guaranteed to end up at and it’s up to us to see how fast we get there (I went on 3 “first dates” with my bae over the course of 7 years before I realized we were meant for each other) OR is it a crapshoot?
Do me a fake-ski and watch Sliding Doors, now playing on EPIX and EPIX.com, and let me know if you think our fate is written in the stars before we’re even born or if it’s all a big surprise party.