Paid in Puke S4E10.1 HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Happiest Season

On our (slightly late) Holiday Special, we’re talking about the controversial 2020 film Happiest Season, directed by Clea Duvall and written by Duvall and Mary Holland. It marks our 3rd Mackenzie Davis film. It also stars Kristen Stewart, Holland, Alison Brie, Mary Steenburgen, and Aubrey Plaza. We talk about how Abby should have left Harper for Riley (2/3 of us are Team Riley, and Baxter is a Harper apologist), the very unnecessary and perplexing shoplifting plot, Dan Levy’s pitch-perfect performance, and our complex personal relationships to the holiday season.

Happy Holidays to our beloved Paid in Puke listeners. We will return in Feb-ish with Series 5!

Film Review: Happiest Season

Talented multi-hyphenate Clea DuVall (The Intervention) has achieved nothing short of a miracle with her sophomore feature, Happiest Season. She has made me love a Christmas movie. If you know me, you understand just how grand a feat this is. I have literally said “Bah, Humbug” out loud on more than one occasion. I’m not a full-on Grinch, mind you. Because I have kids, I’ve had to find things to love about the holidays. But you’ll never catch me watching a Hallmark holiday movie marathon. I think A Christmas Story and It’s A Wonderful Life are outdated and overrated. I’d rather roast my own chestnuts than watch Love, Actually or A Christmas Prince. On the other hand, if you told me someone was playing a marathon of Clea DuVall’s queer holiday rom-com, Happiest Season, I would be there with bells on.

Happiest Season follows Abby (Kristen Stewart, Personal Shopper) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis, Tully), a fun, co-habitating couple who are nevertheless fresh enough in their relationship that they have unspoken plans to spend the looming holidays apart. Abby’s parents died when she was 19 and she’s pretty much ignored Christmas ever since. Harper’s parents live in an idyllic town 50 miles outside Pittsburg where her conservative family celebrates the holidays in a major way. In the heat of a romantic moment, Harper invites Abby to come home with her, only to backpedal the next morning. But Abby remains so moved by the invitation that she insists on following through…

Read the rest at Hammer to Nail!

Paid in Puke S3E10: Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town

izzy ep artOn the Series 3 finale, we go on a journey with Christian Papierniak’s 2017 indie stay-cation road movie, Izzy Gets the F Across Town, starring Mackenzie Davis and a buffet of character actors including Annie Potts, Alia Shawcat, and Carrie Coon.

It’s not without Hot Probs, but Papierniek’s debut transcends the usual romantic comedy plot of a woman trying to get back with an ex by making Izzy an anti-hero you don’t mind rooting against. it also showcases the people she meets on her car-less journey across the expanse of L.A. Plus, the seminal Riot Grrrl soundtrack kicks ass.

On our Lunchtime Poll, we tell tales of fraught journeys from our personal pasts.

Paid in Puke returns with Series 4 in Fall 2020. In the meantime, keep your heads and masks up!

Paid in Puke S3E3: Tully

tully picOn today’s episode, we’re psychotic for Jason Reitman’s 2018 motherhood dramedy, Tully, written by Diablo Cody, and starring Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis. We discuss how motherhood seems to turn women into public property in the eyes of others, and how what a woman really needs (besides a little help with the dishes) is for people to stop judging them for one second.

In our Lunchtime Poll, we reveal what unpleasantness we would gladly hand off to an imaginary friend.

Film Review: Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town

mackenzie-davis-izzy-gets-the-f-ck-across-town-1200x520
It’s worth noting that first-time film director Christian Papierniak has a background in video games because that’s a bit how Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town plays out. When Izzy (Mackenzie Davis, Halt and Catch Fire) learns her ex-boyfriend plans to marry her former best friend, she decides it is her destiny to crash their engagement party. The problem is that Izzy’s car is as broke as she is. In L.A., no wheels mean that 5 hours might not be enough time to get from point A to point B. Izzy does her level best to squeeze favors out of people who don’t support her cause and are have clearly grown tired of her shit. But she’s in a race against time to get to Los Feliz before Roger is officially off the market (never mind the fact that an engagement party is not as binding as an actual wedding).

Papierniak’s protagonist is the manic pixie girl minus the dream. Izzy is a twenty-something lost soul convinced that getting back together with her ex is the answer to her ennui. Davis imbues what could have been a one-note character (the “hot mess”) with depth and occasionally invites empathy despite her myriad poor decisions. Izzy could be a precursor to Gillian Jacobs’ character on the Netflix series, Love. Once upon a time, Izzy was a big deal in the local indie rock scene, but now she’s relegated to the service industry. When she wakes up in bed with an (albeit very charming) stranger, she retains no memory of how she got there or how she soiled her work uniform with wine (and possibly blood). None of that matters anyway, because young Izzy is driven by Providence. In fact, it is a postcard from the Road Island capital hanging in her hook-up’s bathroom which convinces her that it’s her destiny to reconcile with her ex on the eve of his engagement to someone else. You see, the party is on Providence Road…

Read the rest at Hammer to Nail!

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