One of the things I love about Netflix is that you never know what you’re gonna find. I stumbled upon this 2020 Portuguese film, which is translated as Just Another Christmas. I had no idea it was a foreign language film because of course Netflix actually has this as its ad for Americans:
I put the movie on and was surprised to hear the actors speaking (quickly) in a foreign language. Within seconds I realized it was Portuguese, which delighted me! One of the things that isn’t so pleasant is that the star of the film is constantly yelling–his normal way of talking seems to be yelling! This made my husband a little anxious. 😀
So we watched about a third of the movie and then turned it off. We tend to watch these movies at night, so we kind of needed to chill out, not wind up. The next day I decided to watch the rest of the film, but in English.
Yup, I did that horrid thing where I changed the audio to English because I was planning to multitask and listen to/watch the film, and I couldn’t do that and read the captions. While I was watching the film, Adam entered the living room and agreed that it was easier to watch with the dubbed English, but we certainly missed the original language. We did not miss the yelling. The American voice actor did not yell as much!
Let me get to the plot: it’s a Groundhog Day reboot, but Xmas style. This guy whose birthday is on Christmas hates that day, so fate has plans for him to learn a lesson about the value of Christmas. He has to live Christmas Day again and again for years.
A lot of things happen between the Christmases, which is certainly a part of the plot, but I don’t want to give everything away. I will say that one of those things has to do with breast cancer, which I was not expecting–like, damn, it’s everywhere! While there are some serious moments in the film, overall it’s a comedy. There are some funny moments for sure.
In the end I enjoyed a lot about this movie, but not all of it. I recommend you give it a watch, and you can decide if you want to listen to it in Portuguese or English (or some other language). 🙂
Today I write about Vivica A. Fox’s A Husband for Christmas. It’s streaming on Amazon Prime. Also, this post includes spoilers.
Well, at least this film isn’t hiding the fact that so many Xmas movies are about husband hunting. Kind of like the Welldon sisters from Thomas Southerne’s Oroonoko, that popular 18th-century play. Haven’t heard of it? Oh, you should read it…says the scholar of 18th-century literature! 😀
Here’s the deal: I like Fox. That’s why I decided to watch this film. But even Vivica A. Fox cannot save this movie. There are so many disturbing plot points that my husband asked me to turn off the film before we even got to the halfway point! One of these problems is that the protagonist, Brooke, is coerced into marrying a Brit (played by Rico Ross with a bad kinda British accent) so he can take a job–her job–in the US without going through immigration protocol.
Brooke’s boss, played by veteran actor Eric Roberts, kind of threatens to fire her if she doesn’t do what he says–enters into a marriage of convenience–but also offers her a pricey reward for taking him up on her offer. He will make her vice-president of something (graphic design?) and double her pay. So…he’s either gonna double her pay or take it all when he firesher. Seems fair.
The fact that Brooke takes the bait doesn’t bode well for her. My husband was like what kind of person would take the offer? Yeah. Well, the kind of person who is a work-a-holic and has a sister who is marrying her ex-boyfriend. Oops. Spoilers!
There are a lot of other plot problems I could mention, such as the fact that said Brit has a girlfriend but has been flirting with Brooke since day one. I’ll just stop now.
I still haven’t finished this film. Not sure that I need to finish it. Should I finish it? You tell me.
I enjoyed watching another episode of Sugar Rush: Christmas more than I did this film.
Is it every girl’s dream to find her prince charming? Does every girl want to be a princess? What’s so appealing about wanting to be a princess? These are questions my hubs asked me recently when he realized so many Netflix Christmas movies are about non-royals who fall in love with royals and then become royalty!
Indeed, it is a thing. There is a trope you’ll find in a lot of Xmas movies. Beautiful, but realistic girl falls for arrogant, but dashing prince. You know how this ends.
What changes in these films is what happens in the middle.
Let me introduce you to one such film that pulled at my heart strings even though the movie itself is pretty bad. I give you Christmas with a Prince. I watched this film on December 5 while it snowed outside.
I don’t generally give away spoilers, but this time I’m gonna. The film’s protagonist is Tasha, a pediatric oncologist. She treats kids who stay in hospital and receive chemo treatments. Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that, and of course it made me cry. So props to this film for finding a way to surprise me and connect with me.
I watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas! every year on TV! You know the Grinch is from the 1957 story, but my Grinch was Boris Karloff. I loved his voice. I loved his evil grin. I loved the song by Thurl Ravenscroft: those lyrics, y’all. Poetry.
I wasn’t on board with the 2000 Jim Carrey adaptation of the TV film. A live-action Grinch movie was weird, and Jim Carrey was a bit much. I commend him, and all the actors involved, for wearing so much makeup and prosthetics to pull off the Who looks.
Then in 2018 the universe gave us a new Grinch movie with Benedict Cumberbatch. This time the adaptors went back to the cartoon inspiration from the 60s and gave us something much closer to the “original” adaptation than the Carrey Grinch. I liked that much more.
I was super excited in 2018 when the movie came out, and I even went to see it in the theater, but I slept through the film. I had received a chemo treatment on the day I went to the movies, and once the movie started and I kicked back in my movie theater recliner, it was lights out!
It’s funny that I wanted to see the movie but slept through it, but it was a good nap, so when you’re sick you take them where you can get them.
Fast forward to 2020! I was browsing Netflix, and I saw the movie was available, so on December 4 I thought I’d watch it.
I put on the movie, watched about 10 minutes, and then decided to multitask: I graded proposals while watching. I found myself totally uninterested in the film. Benedict Cumberbatch does a fine job of portraying the Grinch. I found the other characters uninteresting.
I’d say I watched about as much of the film this year as I did in 2018. I kept it on in the background, and even made it through the credits, but I can’t tell you much about this film except the mom is like all moms in Xmas movies and is too busy for her kids; also, Cindy Lu knows how to snowboard. Other than that, dunno what new stuff was added; don’t really care, I guess.
The movie got good reviews, so I think I must have missed something. Maybe I should watch it again. Tell me what you think about the 2018 film. Does it deserve a third viewing? 😀
Edit: Thanks to Samantha Murphy for alerting me to the fact that NBC is going to be airing a Grinch musical on December 9. Will I watch it? Maybe. Will I like it? Probably not. I’m too wedded to the 1966 Grinch.
You know who should be in the center of this poster? Danny Glover, y’all. Danny. Freakin’. Glover. He is the movie. Sure that little girl is a cute throwback to Macaulay Culkin, and this movie has a lot of Home Alone vibes (which are intentional), but this movie would be nothing without Danny Glover.
When I recently posted that I thought Princess Switch: Switched Again was a crappy movie, a friend said in response that if I wanted to watch the worst Christmas movie, I could watch The Christmas Break-in on Netflix. So I prepared myself to watch the worst movie ever, and I asked my husband to watch it with me so that we could share this experience.
To our surprise, we really enjoyed watching this movie. There were a few funny slapstick scenes, but overall the “bad guys” were kind of goofy and downright weird (like, one of the characters gets turned on by the very idea of crime.) The family, which includes too busy parent mom played by Denise Richards, didn’t do much for me, and even though the actress playing the main character Izzy did a fine job, she couldn’t really carry the scenes alone. She needed Danny Glover, who plays the janitor, Sam.
We loved the scenes with Danny Glover. In a movie that is basically a reboot of HomeAlone, but in a school, Danny Glover breathed a breath of fresh air into a trite holiday genre. Perhaps his role was inspired by the old snow-shoveling neighbor in Home Alone, but I think there’s more to this character than that.
Adam and I really appreciated how Sam had a backstory that bore a direct relationship to what was happening in this plot. We liked that Glover was able to make us laugh in a scene emblematic of Dickens’ Christmas Carol. We also liked that Glover made us feel something; Sam’s story touched our hearts. No spoilers, but I’ll say that this character shows viewers that you can overcome past mistakes and change your life for the better. Another lesson: sometimes family members don’t respect each other, and you don’t have to put up with that!
So maybe my friend’s right–this movie could be put on the “bad Christmas movies” list, but we actually enjoyed it and recommend putting it on your watch list.
One of my favorite shows is Nailed It! It takes a lot to make me laugh when it comes to shows, but I laugh every time I watch this show. Nicole Byers is so funny. I love Jacques Torres.
My niece calls the show Door 1, Door 2 cuz she’s five. She loves to take pictures of herself in front of the TV screen when the group assembles at the end of the show to take their selfie. It’s just a great thing all around.
But I’ve watched all of the holiday Nailed It! episodes. Netflix had been pushing Sugar Rush holiday edition pretty hard, so I decided to watch two episodes on Dec. 2. I enjoyed them.
The bakers are professionals, and they have to come up with their own ideas and recipes. They are given a theme, like Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and have to come up with cupcakes, confections, and then a massive cake. The bakers work in pairs, and they know each other beforehand. Some are married. Some are baker friends. Some are colleagues. They have a working relationship, so there’s no interpersonal drama.
I thought the Charlie Brown episode was fun, as I love that show. I also love that one of the cakes was inspired by this image from the Charlie Brown episode:
So I say if you have some time and want to whet your appetite for sweet things, watch the show. It’s also good just to have on in the background while grading or sitting and staring at your Xmas tree.
Even though I don’t really like most of the movies you can freely watch through subscription notices such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and so forth, I find myself watching them anyway. Maybe it’s some kind of self-flagellation. So, as December 1 rolled around, I said, now’s the time! Now’s the time to dig in to these awful Christmas movies and shows.
I began with The Princess Switch: Switched Again. I have to admit, I had high expectations for this one. I mean look at Netflix’s poster and check out this trailer:
That looks like fun, right? Three versions of Vanessa Hudgens! What’s not to love, amirite?
I watched the first film, The Princess Switch, last year and thought it was fun. Here’s that poster, also courtesy of Netflix:
The thing is…the first film had the advantage of novelty. The second, not so much. Not at all actually. The first film had characters to introduce and develop. The second, not so much. The first movie had a plot that I was interested in exploring. The second one, not so much.
Everything about this sequel falls flat. Well, not everything. I did enjoy Hudgens’ blond wig. But other than that, the added sidekicks were goofy and boring. The plot twist was obvious and contrived. I think they could have done something, anything, to surprise us, right? Note: I’m not giving away any spoilers here because I am the kind of person who hates spoilers when I haven’t seen or read something.
If you watched the first Princess Switch, you have to watch the second one. But…may I suggest you watch it with friends, even via a Netflix watch party, and drink? Like, a lot!
Thus concludes day 1 of Misty’s 25 days of Xmas watching. Tune in for day 2!
Some of us are teaching online, and some of us are teaching m2m (mask to mask). Some of us are teaching hyflex and hybrid. Some of us are staring into cameras. Some of us are gazing over masks, and some of us are doing both–teaching to students in classrooms and students online at the same time! Here’s one thing we all have in common: We’re all doing the best we can.
Let’s start with the masks.
Well, we can’t all be Lady Gaga, can we? But y’all still got some pretty cool masks. Let’s take a look.
Some of us are wearing your uni brands on your face (like Caitlin is here):
Some of us are showing our favorite colors and animals (like Karol does here):
Some of us let cool patterns accent our style (like @DrCamHughes and Erika do):
Some of us go for pretty-in-pink (like Monica does):
Some of us go for the university issued black (like Paul here):
And some of us are making masks for others (wow, Monica!):
Let’s take a look at the unmasked:
Some of us, such as Erika, also remember to document that we have faces before we put on those masks!
Some of us who are teaching m2m are hanging out in our university offices taking mask breaks or getting ready to mask, like Kristen and Linda here:
Some of us actually dressed up the way we would normally dress for the first day of class, but actually sat in our offices and taught online (like Brett here):
Some of us are happy to have made it to school with our masks and then back home to unmask (congrats, Jim):
Some of us are teaching online and sporting the “telemarketer” look (like Rhonda here–I had to go with your joke, Rhonda, but I’m sure your students will thank you for wearing the headset!):
Some of us are enjoying mask-free times and wearing lipstick (like Randi Marie and Vivian):
Some of us are enjoying not having to wear shoes (hi, @professorafox):
Some of us experiment with Zoom backgrounds (as Robin does):
Masked or Maskless?
And some of us forgot to take pictures! (I dedicate this empty space to you!)
What I Wore
I did not forget to take my picture! Oh, no!
I wore my Revlon “Cherries in the Snow” lipstick with my clear plastic glasses (which I haven’t worn since March). I wore a zebra-print Rachel Zoe top I bought for $10 last fall when things were on sale at TJ Maxx. I never got to wear it, so I wore this new blouse that had been in my closet for almost a year. I wore some two-year-old RBX jogger pants to be comfy. Oh, yeah. Don’t forget the blue hair!
Here’s a close up of the blouse and pants:
Keep Calm and Zoom?
Was your first day the best first day you’ve ever had? Probably not. Was mine? Definitely not. I felt best at the beginning of the day. As the Zoom classes rolled on, I felt less confident about it all. I have hope, though, that things will get better day by day, week by week.
I’ll keep reporting back with my Zoom wear. Feel free to send me pics of yours, too!
No matter what, try to keep calm and carry on as Lady Gaga does.
Ah, it’s another lovely summer day in the middle of a pandemic (or is it just the beginning? who knows). I’m sitting here thinking, wow, I haven’t written a blog post for What Professors Wear in ages even though I’ve been professoring (made up that word) it every day this summer. Am I on contract; am I teaching summer classes? No, but I am working every day–working on designing three new classes for fall, stressing about the two articles I am supposed to write this summer, wondering where I’ll find the energy to complete my tenure application, etc. etc.
Then, this article was sent to me by a friend. Then I saw it on Facebook. Then I knew I had to blog about it.
This article is about “dark academia.” Full title and opening image are shown below:
Academia Lives — on TikTok
School may be out indefinitely, but on social media there’s a thriving subculture devoted to the aesthetic of all things scholarly.
OK, y’all know I’m going to disagree with this, right?
Known as Dark Academia, it is a subculture with a heavy emphasis on reading, writing, learning — and a look best described as traditional-academic-with-a-gothic-edge; think slubby brown cardigans, vintage tweed pants, a worn leather satchel full of a stack of books, dark photos, brooding poetry and skulls lined up next to candles.
Yeah…no. It’s not my subculture. Sorry not sorry. I love to read, write, and learn, but I’m definitely not one to wear brown cardigans, tweed pants or blazers, leather satchels (and that word–really??), or anything gothic. I don’t have a HP house. I don’t subscribe to one personality type. But I am a Taurus. 😀
Don’t get me wrong. I own black clothing, a lot of it. If you see me wearing a black shirt, it’s because I am offsetting polka-dotted or leopard-print pants. If you see me wearing black pants, it’s because I am wearing a turquoise and pink hummingbird shirt. I own a couple of cardigans. The one I just bought is an oversized lemon yellow sweater! And I plan to wear Jane Austen pins all over it or don my pearl-tie or gold bowtie.
So what’s being posted on TikTok or Instagram that fits the bill of “dark academia”? According to the article’s author, Kristen Bateman,
A typical post may involve teens showing off their argyle sweaters to classical tunes, followed by a series of photos of leather-bound books, handwritten notes, a page from “Wuthering Heights” and a shot of classic Greek architecture.
Oh….Wuthering Heights you say? Greek architecture?
Here’s another image from the article to show how you too can be a part of this subculture:
Bateman dishes on what is so appealing to many people about “dark academia” and how you can become a part of it.
Though it can sound niche, part of Dark Academia’s appeal is the fact that it is both more approachable aesthetically than other popular internet subcultures — one example being Cottagecore, the internet aesthetic inspired by a romanticized interpretation of rural life — and also emphasizes inclusivity and gender fluidity.
To be part of Dark Academia, you don’t have to have access to a country house, a field of flowers, a big kitchen for baking or an expensive prairie dress. Most of the clothing Dark Academia fans wear is vintage and can easily be found in secondhand stores or sites.
I’m a fan of secondhand stores, and I support inclusivity and gender fluidity. Does that mean I should join the “dark academia” club? I don’t think I’m the actual audience for this subculture. According to Bateman:
As study halls, workshopping essays and round table discussions go virtual, and many students are left wondering when they’ll be able to dress up and go to classes again, Dark Academia is filling the void.
“I think a good part of Dark Academia is aesthetics, but it’s also a community,” said Declan Lyman, 15, who posts Dark Academia videos on TikTok. “The more you get into the whole vibe, the more you feel connected to other people in the tags. The main point is a desire to learn.”
I’m all about finding ways to fill the void right now. I mean is this pandemic ever going to end? When will I have f2f relationships again? But I won’t be falling into the “dark academia” camp for a few reasons:
It doesn’t fit my personality. I like bright colors and designs!
It valorizes a dead poet’s society kind of vibe (white men + boys club doesn’t feel inclusive or gender fluid to me)
Calling it “dark academia” feels problematic. But to explain what I mean by this will be complicated. Instead, I ask you to think about it.
But maybe you are looking over this “dark academia” attire and thinking, oh, that’s my vibe! Maybe you’re thinking, I love to wear tweed, brown, black, and gray exclusively. Maybe you’re wanting to say, hey, who are you to criticize me?
I’m not criticizing you, but I am responding to the idea that this palette and certain traits associated with the “literary” or “scholarly” is being pitched as a subculture built on what seems to be nostalgia. But for what?
And why would we want to subscribe to the idea that professors–aka scholars–only dress a certain way and that we’re trying to fit into a certain mold? I don’t find this inclusive or helpful.
You might be thinking “duh!” after reading the title of this post, but hear me out. There are people who do not wear pants to Zoom meetings. The guy in this video didn’t wear pants to a meeting, and then he forgot to turn off his mic at the end of the meeting. Here’s a screenshot of that video:
I don’t Zoom a lot, but I attended a division Zoom meeting today. I decided to “dress up,” which means 1) I wore pants, 2) I wore something besides a hoodie, 3) I combed my hair, and 4) I put on some lipstick.
The whole look. I wore a forest green top (from The Limited) with a plum fleece vest (from L.L. Bean). I didn’t wear socks or shoes.
OK, kids, what have we learned today?
Wear pants while on Zoom.
Sometimes pants can look like jeans but are really sweat pants.