My inner tweenie is elated by today’s release of ‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser,’ especially on the heels of my two favorite Netflix rom-coms, ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ and ‘The Kissing Booth.’ It’s an exciting time for teen flicks, and it’s especially exciting that Netflix has introduced us to some new stars, including the very endearing Noah Centineo, who seems to have stayed humble on the heels of his massive shot into the fame stratosphere. The film also stars Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth, and RJ Cyler. Directed by Ian Samuels and written by Lindsay Beer, the story centers on Sierra (Shannon Purser), an intelligent teen who does not fall into the shallow definition of high school pretty but, in a case of mistaken identity that results in unexpected romance, must team with the popular girl (Kristine Froseth) in order to win her crush (Noah Centineo).
The release of today’s Netflix film is accompanied by a new soundtrack, which was scored by Leland (Troye Sivan, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez) and Bram Inscore (Troye Sivan). It has nine original songs, and it’s the first release on Leland’s own label Good Pop in partnership with Sony/ATV and Black Label Media. The soundtrack features performances by Sabrina Carpenter, MNEK, Betty Who, Allie X, K.I.D, Carlie Hanson along with a duet between Leland and Vincint called “Middle of Love.” A full track listing can be found below, and you can find it on any streaming platform.
The Other Side (Performed by Betty Who)
Lights (Performed by Leland)
Kid Wonder (Performed by Allie X)
Half of You (Performed by MNEK)
The Phone Call – Score from the Motion Picture
Lie for Love (Performed by Sabrina Carpenter)
Sunflower – Movie Version (Performed by Shannon Purser)
Ruth Wilson as Alison in The Affair (Season 4, Episode 6) Photo: Ali Goldstein/SHOWTIME
Anyone who knows television history or has worked in Business Affairs is aware of the monumental change that occurred as a result of the ‘Friends’ cast, who formed a fierce front for their salary demands on the heels of the show’s massive success. Leading the charge was David Schwimmer, who stood to make the most money by comparison to his castmates, given that he and Jennifer Aniston were the breakout stars. The cast quickly agreed with Schwimmer’s kind proposal, and despite massive push-back from the powers that be, they refused to back down, insisting that they all deserved to be paid the same. Matt LeBlanc once recounted that the negotiations got so heated he once had to walk off the set in solidarity with his castmates, who were all receiving their own type of pressure.
Since the “Friends deal” entered the consciousness of television pay, we’ve now entered a new world, with new issues to tackle. Women are rising up against pay disparities, and Hollywood actresses have boldly declared their distaste for being paid less than their male costars. One such actress is Ruth Wilson, who recently made the world aware that she gets paid less than her costar Dominic West, despite having received a Golden Globe for her role on the Showtime series. Wilson said, “Certainly when I signed up to that project, I would have got paid less. Then they [the producers] might argue, ‘Well, he’s already done a major American TV show [‘The Wire’] so he’s already got a level.’ But even after a Golden Globe I’m not going to be on parity.” Dominic West got wind of her statements and said, “There was absolutely no reason for her to get paid less than me, and that’s part of what is being hopefully confronted now. You can’t get away with it anymore, and there’s no reason why a producer should get away with that.” But here’s where it gets sticky. When asked if he’d take a pay cut, West said, “I would as long as the resources are limited, and in an independent film then of course, but in a long-running TV show, money is not a problem and there’s no excuse for it.”
In Hollywood, almost everyone’s deal is negotiated separately, but people talk, and it’s easier than you’d imagine to find out salaries. And since everyone is connected, it’s even easier for actors to stand united (like the ‘Friends’ cast) in their negotiation demands. Remember when Ellen Pompeo tried to get Patrick Dempsey to unite and he declined? Conversely, Jessica Chastain recently wielded her power on behalf of Octavia Spencer, with Spencer making five times her salary as a result. It therefore stands to reason that West could have done the same. While I don’t blame West for failing to navigate these uncharted waters, the Mark Wahlberg debacle should teach men an important lesson. While fighting for yourself, you can also fight for others, and that includes banding together.
It is now no secret that Ruth Wilson exited ‘The Affair.’ Though no explanation was given, showrunner Sarah Treem made it clear Ruth wanted to leave the show. Contract law would mean she can’t leave unless the studio approved of her exit, which sometimes occurs in this industry because no one wants an unhappy actor on set, regardless of their importance to the show. Connie Britton left ‘Nashville’ before the end of her contact, for example, and by all accounts her exit was amicable. Britton even appeared in a sendoff on the series finale. In the case of ‘The Affair,’ Wilson’s exit seems far less amicable. Wilson recently said she is not allowed to talk about why she chose to leave the show and in response, Showtime released a cryptic and childish statement, saying, “. . . everyone agreed the character’s story had run its course.” That’s a fancy way of implying she was in fact fired. Clearly, Showtime has had enough of Ruth Wilson, and they fought back. Given that this is a Hollywood show with a female showrunner, I find that response to be disappointing. Either be specific or let Ruth Wilson freely speak about her exit. I also find the timing to be even more curious. One can’t help but wonder if this was about pay and if it was, why wasn’t the situation equitably handled to everyone’s satisfaction? Everyone in that cast has equal screen time, so that brings me back to my original point. Why didn’t they stand in solidarity?
My secret weapon on all things music has brought a new little gem to my attention, which is a good thing considering the noticeable absence of hip hop on my blog. Seattle’s The Bad Tenants have teamed up with Nick Weaver for “Switch,” a song that’s released on the heels of their special co-headlining event at Neumos. Weaver most recently released a five-song EP ‘Photographs Of Other People.’ Listen below.
It’s of no surprise that Lindsay Lohan thinks the #MeToo movement is filled with “weak” people, considering Lohan herself has yet to give an honest, authentic interview about her own troubled past. In fact, her “reality” show for OWN was almost unwatchable for that reason, because each and every time Lohan had a difficult day and simply could not get out of bed, she refused to film and only appeared back on camera when she felt bright and shiny again. Her disturbing “friends” enabled her, and when her life coach confronted her about relapsing on camera, that life coach was immediately fired. Lohan scolded her for making a private moment public, despite the fact that the show itself was meant to expose those private moments. Oprah lent her an olive branch that began with a post rehab one-on-one interview, and even that felt forced. Here’s a direct quote from Lohan’s interview with The Times:
“If it happens at that moment, you discuss it at that moment. You make it a real thing by making it a police report. I’m going to really hate myself for saying this, but I think by women speaking against all these things, it makes them look weak when they are very strong women. You have these girls who come out, who don’t even know who they are, who do it for the attention. That is taking away from the fact that it happened.”
Before bashing Lohan for her ignorant, tone-deaf comments, I’m going to simply feel sorry for her given that this is her perspective on being vulnerable. Perhaps I’m having a peaceful day, but I see no benefit on returning a sad statement with anger. When she learns the truth about vulnerability and strength, perhaps she will finally have a career comeback. Until then . . .
Nestled in the stunning town of Steamboat, Colorado is the Strings Music Pavilion, which showcases over 60 genre-spanning performances during the summer months. The venue houses just 569 people, which provides for a beautiful, personal experience between the audience and the artist. As a devoted Steamboat-goer since a very early age, I can safely say that the venue and concerts have only improved over the years. And given its uncompromising quality at the outset, that’s a mighty task.
For my first summer visit back to Steamboat in over a decade, I was graced with the greatness of Mr. Amos Lee. His new album, ‘A New Moon,’ will be available on August 31, 2018, and judging from what I heard up on that stage, it might be his strongest songs yet. If my math is correct, it will be the Philadelphia-born singer/songwriter’s seventh studio album.
Lee’s stage presence actually surprised me. For someone whose most notable tracks are both heartbreaking and low tempo, I expected a much darker and more intense performance (think Ray Lamontagne). Instead, I got a playful personality who seemed to truly enjoy engaging the audience while simultaneously jamming with his best mates. As for the audience, it’s worth noting that I’ve been to a lot of concerts, and this might be the first time I’ve seen such a rabid group of girls determined to get the singer’s attention. Either Amos was doing something seriously right or seriously wrong to garner that kind of flirting frenzy (I can’t decide). It’s not often that I get to witness such greatness from the third row of such an intimate venue, and it’s an experience I won’t soon forget. To catch Amos on tour, visit his website. It is well worth it.
Unfortunately for Jennifer Aniston, she’s had quite a few breakups in the public eye. Were she to date a banker from Iowa, she’d avoid the minefield of questions about Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughn, John Mayer, and Justin Theroux. Instead, she’s forced to not only defend her relationships, but to also defend the end of those relationships. And in an effort to fight against the media’s unfair narrative of Aniston as the sad, lonely girl who can’t keep a man, she’s pushed up against it with a consistent, opposing strategy. In a new interview with InStyle, Aniston insists she not heartbroken. This is not the first time she’s taken this route, and despite my love for all things Aniston, her comment begs an even more important question. What’s so wrong with being heartbroken, anyways?
Many celebrities air their dirty laundry in public, and it’s an act I often question. It is certainly no one’s right to know the personal business of our public figures, but broad-sweeping generalizations about divorce, breakups, grief, etc. are an easy way to relate without fully fanning out the deck. For example, when discussing her divorce from Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon told Elle Magazine, “Right around Christmas time I was sitting in a parking lot and I felt like I just couldn’t get out of the car. . . . I thought, ‘Okay, half of the parking lot has dealt with this. More than half of the parking lot has dealt with this. Okay, let’s make it a little bigger. Half of this city has dealt with this. Okay, let’s make it a little bigger – half of this country, until I finally got out of the car.’” Conversely, Phillippe told Man About Town Magazine, “After the divorce, I was a physical wreck. I wanted to die. I was ready to kill myself. I was not taking care of myself at all. I would wake up and cry and vomit.” I use these examples to illustrate that A-listers like Aniston need not always take the strong-girl route. Though she might not in fact be heartbroken, she certainly has the right to feel sad and lonely without being dubbed the “sad, lonely” girl.
Famous people often document their personal struggles in hopes of helping the masses, and given that they are so far away from my own life, it’s something I simply don’t relate to. But Michelle Williams is the exception. Her statements on grief have been immensely helpful, most notably when she discussed her torment about leaving the town house she once shared with her late love Heath Ledger. Of the painful decision, she said, “At that time, I was inconsolable, because I felt, How will he be able to find us? This is where we lived, and he won’t know where we are. And now I can’t believe I thought that. Maybe what’s making me cry is I feel sad for the person who thought he won’t be able to locate [us].” Having left a job after my boss/best friend passed away and thinking almost the EXACT same thing, I was extremely grateful for her her honesty. She also said, “Grief is like a moving river, so that’s what I mean by it’s always changing. It’s a strange thing to say because I’m at heart an optimistic person, but I would say in some ways it just gets worse. It’s just that the more time that passes, the more you miss someone.”
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Williams once again solidified all the reasons I love her. For starters, she discussed the dread of dressing up for interviews, which is something I never noticed until expressly pointed out. As women, we often read interviews that begin by discussing a woman’s appearance, and in this new world, those days are hopefully over. Williams also addressed that infamous pay gap between her and Mark Wahlberg for ‘All the Money in the World,’ saying, “I was one woman by myself and I couldn’t do anything about it. But in the wolf pack—the phrase Abby Wambach uses—things are possible. And that’s really what it took: somebody who was at the head of the pack, Jessica Chastain, pulling me up with her, and then all these other women surrounding me, teaching me.” Though I was not aware that the story only gained traction after Chastain’s tweet (having been originally printed months prior), it’s certainly no surprise that Chastain led the movement. It is; however, surprising that Williams stayed with her longtime agent, but she is apparently very forgiving, having said she believes in “second chances.” Hopefully those suits at Hollywood’s top studio learned a thing or two also.
Finally, the intensely private Williams discusses her new marriage to musician Phil Elverum, hoping to help women in similar circumstances who might have given up on the hope of finding love. To put it simply, she says, “I am finally loved by someone who makes me feel free.”
For more of her beautiful interview, visit VANITY FAIR.
At thirteen years old, I received a Bat-Mitzvah gift from a good friend. It was a heart-shaped red stone on a black lanyard, and it felt special. It was later revealed that his mother picked out the gift, and that he gifted the exact same heart to every one of his female friends for their Bat Mitzvah. Did that make it less special? I can only imagine how I’d feel if the gift actually came from a boyfriend, and said boyfriend gave the same symbol of his love to every girl he dated. Such is the case with Pete Davidson, whose scream-from-the-rooftops whirlwind affair with Ariana Grande has made the news just about everywhere. Not only is Davidson inked with a Grande-inspired tattoo (a gesture of love previously given to his ex Cazzie David), but he also gave Grande the necklace his father wore the day he died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Fans quickly noticed that Cazzie was once photographed wearing the same necklace, at which point Davidson claimed that Cazzie’s was simply a replica, and Grande has the real thing.
For starters, does it matter if the gift Cazzie wore is a replica? The thought is exactly the same. It’s ludicrous to argue that distinction, and it’s also a reach. Second, it’s extremely disrespectful to Cazzie David to publicly proclaim the distinction at all. It’s akin to saying, “That former gesture was meaningless and I’m WAY MORE in love now than I was then.” As someone who has been in serious, long-term, meaningful relationships that did not last, I would never undermine their significance with a comparison. Furthermore if Pete once loved Cazzie and now callously demeans their connection, whose to say he won’t do it again? A man is judged by his exit, Mr. Davidson. Also, if you feel you have something to prove, perhaps you should ask yourself why.
There is a soft spot in my heart for Dispatch, given that the indie band made the rounds in my college, and since they’re still playing to sold out crowds, their new song is worth mentioning. With their first album in five years. ‘America, Location 12,’ they will be releasing a special song every couple of weeks throughout the summer and the collection will culminate as one bundle after the last song is out later this year. Listen to their latest release below, and catch them on tour soon.