I love movies. I love watching them, talking about them, listening to other people talk about them, and eating too much popcorn while watching them. Is there really such thing as too much popcorn? YES! In our home, we call it “pop corn belly” and it is a scourge against humanity. I am an equal-opportunity movie watcher: good, bad, ugly- I don’t care. Give ’em to me and I’ll find something to enjoy. I can be a snob when I have to, but really? I like to have fun while giving hours of my life to a screen! Even when I’m not watching movies I’m still seeking out movie-related content. I am a rabid fan of Blank Check, How Did This Get Made?, The Flop House, Maximum Film (formally Who Shot Ya), and I dabble in many other “watch a movie and talk about it with your friends” podcasts. There is a bumper sticker on my car that says “honk if you would rather be watching the 1999 cinematic masterpiece THE MUMMY starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz”. It gets A LOT of honks.
Truly, my only complaint with Shit, Actually is that it fails to mention The Mummy. That movie kicks all of the asses. Sorry, The Fugitive! Brendan Fraser walked so that Nathan Fillion could run. Nathan Fillion ran so that (uggggggh) Worst Chris could fly. How many times a day do you yell at Benny about being on the wrong side of the riiiiiii-ver? If the answer is less than five, then you are living your life wrong.
I must make a confession: I love Love Actually. Well, I love watching Love Actually. It’s a garbage movie filled with garbage people doing garbage things, but I watch it every Christmas Eve while getting too champagne drunk to remember where I hid the presents that I am supposed to be wrapping. It’s a holiday tradition! Even as a lover of Love Actually, I was delighted by Lindy West’s 2013 Jezebel post “I Rewatched Love Actually and Am Here to Ruin It for All of You”. She is RIGHT about so many things, and she has since added in more insightful spite since 2013.
A LOT of CBR folks have already praised Shit,Actually, and I am here to jump on the bandwagon. West is a riot, and her boiling anger towards our current world situation (this collection was mostly written and edited during peak-Pandemic times) bubbles and froths so well with her true love of movies. Bad ones, good ones, there are things to love about them all, and there are ways to still enjoy things that have aged poorly- her argument of how to still enjoy Rush Hour without giving your time or money to terrible Brett Ratner is particularly great. I felt like I was listening to a friend describe movies to me- a feeling that I enjoy- and West’s voice (both the sound of her reading and the words that she chooses) reminded me so much of Drea Clark, a delightful festival programmer, podcast host, and all-around cool lady. From the surface level things that I know about both Clark and West, I am going to go ahead and say that they are the Midwest and Pacific North West versions of each other. Should you read this book- which really, you must- you’d be doing yourself a great disservice by skipping the audio version!
I’ll leave you with the FIRST rule of being in the FBI:
“Never give Sean Connery a quarter!”