Tag Archives: The Nineties

Party Girl

I’ve really been hankering after the 90’s lately, particularly after Captain Marvel and its outstanding soundtrack. If I could go back for a weekend with no consequence or effect on my present day life, I so would.

So, with this in mind, this week’s film is perfectly placed and I might be *am* #obsessed with the fashion, the whole aesthetic and our leading lady.

Party Girl (1995)

Mary is a free-spirited young woman with a run-down New York apartment and a high fashion wardrobe. She calls her godmother, a librarian, for bail money after being arrested for throwing an illegal party. To repay the loan, she begins working as a library clerk.

Starring: Parker Posey • Omar Townsend • Donna Mitchell • Liev Schreiber

*Minor spoilers*

Mary (Parker Posey) is your average NYC party girl. More or less unemployed with an insane designer wardrobe, moving from coolest club to cooler club and getting off with Liev Schreiber in the street. When she’s booked by New York’s finest for throwing an illegal party, she is forced to call upon her godmother Judy (Sasha von Scherler) to bail her out.

Judy – tough but fair – does it but she also lectures Mary on responsibility. To pay back the bail money she gives her goddaughter a job as a clerk at the library where she works. Mary is not stoked to be there and spends more time outside talking to the falafel vendor, Mustafa (Omar Townsend), who she digs.

When we meet Mary she has a boyfriend, Nigel (Schreiber) but he’s dumped when he admits he’s peed in Mary’s shower again. This frees up our free-spirited heroine to flirt with Mustafa, who is in competition with a rival vendor, on the same corner of the street. Mustafa reveals he used to be a teacher in Lebanon.

“I like you a falafel lot…”

For a while Mary gets by at the library but she’s still preoccupied by the party scene – and she doesn’t really get the filing system. One day Judy has enough and reams her out, telling her that even a monkey could have learnt how to file by now. These stinging words obviously get to Mary as she chooses to stay overnight at the library that night to get her head around the Dewey Decimal System, rather than going to da club, where her BFF Leo (Guillermo Díaz) has just got his first gig.

His new boss Rene (Donna Mitchell) is an absolute queen I have to say and hard as nails. My favourite side character by far.

“Book ’em, Danno.”

After this Mary becomes pretty fucking good at her job but Judy still won’t really trust her, citing the irresponsibility of Mary’s mother as one of the factors. Sounds fair.

Unfortunately, Mary fucks up one last time when she bones Mustafa in the library and some books get damaged. Judy fires her and she falls into a downward spiral, fighting with her new man, doing drugs and almost getting raped by Nasty Nigel. She and Leo are also evicted and the worst thing that could happen happens – she is forced to sell her wardrobe to stay afloat.

A mood

All this serves as a wake up call and Mary finally makes a decision about her future. But she needs Judy on board – is it too late to convince her?

PG is honestly very charming and also not nearly as fluffy as I was expecting. It’s all the more endearing for it too. Posey is dreamy at the best of times but as Mary, she manages to keep you invested at all times. Even when she’s in self-destruct mode.

I love the juxtaposition between both worlds – the frivolous and the responsible. I haven’t really much more to say about it other than I love the 90’s ballroom scene vibe, the spectacle and the attention to detail.

You better werk

Posey’s wardrobe isn’t just cute, it’s a work of art and an expression of the character. This is a cool article about some of the outfits she puts together.

In my mind I hope she becomes the most successful librarian in NYC but also remains prolific on the party scene. She shouldn’t have to give up one for the other if she doesn’t want to.

⭐⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What does my favourite librarian think of Party Girl? Would she fire it unceremoniously or believe in her all the way? Find out here of course.

I Used To Love Him: Michael Jackson (AKA Teenage Idol)

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“Hey spider, you’ve got a Michael Jackson stuck to your butt…”

Who did you idolise as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end? Via The Daily Post (January 11th 2016)

Justin Bieber? How young do you think I am?! (*Fluffs hair*).

It’s been quite a pressured week, so I’m taking time out to do a blog prompt because sometimes I like to seek inspiration rather than think for myself, alright? So sue me.

Obviously this week we very suddenly and shockingly lost a true legend in the shape of Bowie, and the world is still reeling. I haven’t seen this much widespread grief since Diana (or the person I’m about to wax lyrical about) and it’s incredibly sad.

It’s made me think on and off about heroes growing up, personal influences and how they mould us as young people and how we carry them into adulthood, like pretty, shiny talismans (men?).

I was obsessed with Micheal Jackson from a very early age. Like OBSESSED. Every video, album, film starring my boy – I was all over it. My Mum made me a ‘Bad’ birthday cake and there were MJ themed parties. I even convinced the girl next door, who was terribly uncool and ate only oranges and peanut butter, that I was named after my hero.

“Michael can be a girl’s name too, you know” is what I’d haughtily respond when she questioned me. I wish my name had been Michael to be honest but alas, my parents were not major fans themselves nor mind readers.

I would lie in bed at night with my Walkman plugged in, lip syncing the Vincent Price bit at the end of Thriller to myself. I knew all the words to Liberian Girl.

Man in the Mirror actually did make me look inside myself and ponder if I really needed to change. I decided the answer was no, I was only ten and perfect as far as I could see. 

Alas, my hero did some heinous things that caused his shine to all but extinguish. I won’t rehash those things here, nor will I deny them because I believe the accusations are true. There’s no defense and no amount of love for a former idol, who carried you through the awkward years into adulthood, that can excuse what he’s done.

My hero was messed up and then he messed up very badly. I think even before he died I’d forced myself to move on because good people don’t hurt the vulnerable, they don’t hurt anybody, even if they themselves seem vulnerable and childlike.

My ultimate hero wasn’t going to be a bad man even if he was Michael Jackson, King of my Heart. The first man I ever loved who wasn’t my father.

I can’t remember how I processed all that but I must of because by the time he died I was very sad but accepting. It had seemed only a matter of time, judging by his frail outward appearance and rumours of drug abuse. And again, how could I forgive him?

I still feel sad for the loss and that I’ve never felt the way I did about him since, about anyone. No more idols for me.

Actors and Musicians I like very much, sure but nobody I’ll ever pretend to be named after.

We Could Be Heroes #1: Daisy Steiner (Fictional)

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K.O

Just before I moved to Brighton to follow my own path, I fell in love with a television show called Spaced. It was 1999 and I felt like it was written just for me.

That it became popular, and then pretty much a cult classic later on didn’t matter, back then I thought it was mine. Specifically, I thought Daisy’s character had been written with me in mind. The dufus other half (though not romantically) of Tim Bisley, I wondered how could she exist when she was so similar to me and my friends. Here was a normal woman, who looked normal, dressed eclectically and accidentally threw around the peace sign in job interviews.

Together, Tim and Daisy felt like the voice of my generation: slacker edition.

Today, I still watch Spaced with the glee of a child. The characters are nailed so brilliantly, from chain-smoking Marsha the landlady to Brian the tortured artist and his on-again-off-again love interest, Twist. Mike, Tim’s best friend and would be commando, Tyres – you can’t not love every single last one of them as they bumble through life, job searches, dole offices, petty rivalries and affairs of the heart, by way of club nights and street fights.

Yep. Me too.

Yep. Me too.

But Daisy Steiner. What is there to say? From the moment she bustled into that greasy spoon and bonded with Bisley over the accommodation section of the local paper, it was love. Not for them, mind but for the rest of us. As they convinced Marsha they were a professional couple in order to secure the keys to her downstairs flat, a beautiful friendship was born.

Daisy was an aspiring writer with a penchant for procrastination, though she eventually birthed such literary gems as ‘Bogling – is it the new Tango?’ and ‘Winter Skincare – do’s and don’ts’. She was (is) a happy-go-lucky lady-child with the sort of over-enthusiastic nature I can get behind. When Tim’s heart is broken (twice), she’s right there with him and when he’d rather mope, she takes him to the pub.

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:/

But the beauty of Daisy is her tendency to put her foot right in it. Social interaction isn’t always the most successful as she likes to waffle and just loves to get involved in other people’s business, mainly so she doesn’t have to do any work. In short, she’s a more extreme version of me, though can’t we all see a little of ourselves in Daisy?

It’s easy to forget what the nineties was like for TV, but a brief flashback reminds me that this was probably the first time something like Spaced appeared. It showcased superb comedy writing (by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes née Stevenson), contained references to films and television shows I truly loved and was the antidote to the piles of shit I’d been watching before it.

It was the opposite of serious dramas like Cracker and Band of Gold (which were admittedly brilliant) and a different humour altogether from popular comedies like The Vicar of Dibley and Ab Fab. Spaced was as different as you could get from favourites like The X Files, Twin Peaks (very early 90’s) and my personal favourite, This Life.

So I ate it up and will love it for the rest of my days. It’s quoted daily in our household and how many other households across the country, honestly?

Daisy was best when she was finding herself, getting off with the paper boy, quoting the Spice Girls, rescuing Colin, her beloved miniature Schnauzer, batting away backhanded compliments from her BFF, Twist and bringing out the big guns in bar and street brawls with men in black/culinary school kids. In short, she was always the best.

So to you, dear Daisy, I say; Girl power forever.

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N’aw

We Could Be Heroes is a new series of posts looking a women (and sometimes men) I admire, sometimes fictional, sometimes real.

All images via Google.

I Used To Love Him #1: Kiefer Sutherland

Where have all the cowboys gone?

Where have all the cowboys gone?

I was reminded this morning of my gargantuan crush on Kiefer Sutherland back when I was still a kid. It all but evaporated the minute he (allegedly) cheated on Julia Roberts back in the early nineties, but until I decided he was no longer worthy of my love, I was obsessed.

Looking back I think I fell for him in The Lost Boys, aged just ten (Me, not him, obvs). His character wasn’t exactly heart-throb material, being an evil vampire an’ all but I liked him all the same. A year later came Young Guns and suddenly, something was stirring within me.

I’m confident it wasn’t sexual desire, though maybe subconsciously as I broke through into early adolescence, but I wasn’t really thinking in those terms then. I can’t explain what it was but it was there and so were the posters on my bedroom walls.

Cheer up guys

Cheer up guys, you’re supposed to be in love

It was with to my dismay that he got together with, and subsequently engaged to nineties sweetheart, Ms Roberts. I was pretty in love with her too to be fair; that hair was so naturally gorgeous, her smile so wide that how could I not be under her spell too?

I wanted to be her and since I was head over heels for Kiefer, I accepted the union because, frankly, what more could I do? My childish heart quickly grasped the reality of being 13 and unlikely to ever meet and steal him for myself.

In 1991 they were due to marry in a lavish ceremony, according to People magazine, and a great article from that year I just found online. Although, having read it back I wonder if I’ve distorted my version of events.

Did Kiefer cheat with a stripper on his Stag night as I had been lead to believe, or did I imagine it? Or was Julia the naughty one, leaving the country pretty sharpish with Jason Patric on her arm, having just shattered Sutherland’s heart? (And who can really blame her?).

Who knows what went on back there in the heady nineties? All I know now is perhaps I should have heard Kiefer out; not reacted so strongly to a piece of celebrity gossip that could very well have been completely made up.

If only I’d had the wisdom I have now, back then, eh? Maybe he’d still be on my wall and in my heart.

Then again: Freeway, Eye for an Eye and The Vanishing – perhaps not.