Dani Stone

I Hear Laugh Tracks


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This Is Where I Leave You – Cynical Critics No Longer Enjoy the Movie Experience

this is where i leave you movie

A few months ago I listed Jonathan Tropper’s, This Is Where I Leave You as one of my favorite novels of the year. I ended the post in typical excited-Dani fashion with a “Weee” and a “clap clap” after mentioning that a movie based on the book was scheduled for later this year.

Well, later is now and last night I went to see it. I was supposed to wait for my book club ladies, but on opening weekend I decided to be a jerk and go by myself. They’ll forgive me when I buy a round of queso dip and guacamole at our next meeting.

After the movie I sat in my car and ugly-faced cried while texting messages to my four siblings. My emotional sonnet of undying love took three paragraphs to convey. Their replies consisted mostly of emoticon faces and pictures of fist-bumps. Also, my brother told me to quit being the weird crying chick in the parking lot. God love ’em. And they’re all mine!

The movie, about a dysfunctional family who has to sit Shiva for seven days after their father/husband passes away, was a nice homage to the book. Was it better? No. But what movie-based-on-a-book is? This is Where I Leave You has a stellar cast with a few of my favorites including Jason Bateman (does he EVER age), Tina Fey (go read her memoir, Bossypants, right now), Connie Britton (Mrs. Coach from Friday Night Lights), Dax Shepard, and the bald guy who played Peter on House of Cards.

this is where i leave you

I loved it. Critics hated it. WHY?? *dramatic fist-raise to the sky* I cannot tell you how many times a critic has bashed a book or movie that I adored. Do I have perpetually bad taste? Possibly. On Roger Ebert.com, one uptight staffer gave the movie two stars and reported that all the siblings did was, “gripe gripe, gripe and snipe, snipe, snipe.”

Um, YEAH. You put four adult siblings in their childhood home for seven days under stressful circumstances and that’s the reality. Though with my siblings it would be more like, “gripe, eye-roll, under-the-breath mumble, fist-clench, hum Amazing Grace 278 times and finally, shout, stomp, door-slam.”

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Doughnuts, Lesbians on the Disney Channel and Other Things That Make Me Smile

Disney Channel Shows Lesbian Parents on Good Luck Charlie

Since we have 7,000 cable channels, my children watch their fair share of television. Though I can’t stand  most of the shrill little characters, there are a few shows that I will admit to having a vested interest in over the years including iCarly, Victorious and Good Luck Charlie. The writing is clever and while there isn’t always a lesson woven into the storyline, these sitcoms are entertaining and contain less violence and flatulent humor than the animated crap they zone out to in the morning.

This week the Disney Channel made my heart happy when they briefly introduced a set of gay parents. When you watch the short clip, notice how everyone acted weird and awkward and the kids were confused and frightened and . . . wait. . . nope, that didn’t happen at all. Instead, everyone acted like it was no big deal because, come on, people, IT’S NO BIG DEAL.

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