Tag Archive: Ewan McGregor

This is a Story About Love

Moulin Rouge

There are few things I love more in life than a good, old fashioned romantic tragedy.  I’d enjoyed musicals, costume dramas, and Ewan McGregor for years, but never dreamed they could be combined anywhere near as stylishly and heartbreakingly as in Baz Lurhmann’s genius extravaganza.  I was pretty sure this was the film for me from the moment those red curtains parted to reveal the titles, but by the time top hatted johns started signing Nirvana lyrics to petticoat flashing courtesans, my brain exploded and I was lost.  The film is fast passed, by turns funny and sad, and has an excellent soundtrack.  

Nicole Kidman has never looked more beautiful (which is truly saying something) even while coughing up blood, but Ewan McGregor steals the show as lovesick playwright Christian, who drops to his knees in the rain and bellows his beloved’s name at the top of his lungs.  That’s hot.  In the height of my obsession, I was known to watch this film several times a week (and once, even twice in one day).  It’s in my blood now, and it’s coming to the island.    T


  1. Vinyl – There’s just something about that scratchy sound, the hiss as the needle meets its grove, that can never be topped by mp3s.  Not to mention the glorious canvas that is cover art, creating the satisfyingly substantial piece of music history you hold in your hands.
  2. The noble art of falconry – Falconers just don’t get the credit they deserve.  They daily dance with death, their limbs mere gloves away from being ripped to the bone by the monstrous claws of their beloved birds.  And the cheesy jokes; we appreciate them.  This one’s for you, anonymous falconer at the prairie grass reserve event.
  3. Banjos – No longer the sole property of bluegrass bands, this timeless instrument has been adopted by punks and comedians alike to create beautiful music.  If it’s good enough for Django Reinhardt, Sufjan Stevens, and the Dropkick Murphys, it’s good enough for us.
  4. Urban Decay – For those of us who think a purple smoky eye is perfectly appropriate for seven o’clock in the morning.
  5. Flea Markets – Perhaps it’s the smell of mini donuts wafting through the air, or the tables piled high with more odds and end than you can shake a mannequin head at, but flea markets are some of our favorite places on earth!  Last year, T finally scored a mint-in-box Troll Barbie, righting a wrong committed over a decade ago when she chose to get a Polly Pocket instead of this clearly superior doll.
  6. Men in kilts – It takes a confident, dare we say badass, sort of fellow to bare his legs with the sort of frank ease required of a kilt.  Like Samuel L. Jackson or Ewan McGregor.  And if you see a man wearing his kilt with combat boot and a punk tee, please send him to us.
  7. Pancakes with beer – Quite possibly the best combination ever, yet so many restaurants overlook the genius of offering alcohol with their breakfast menu.  If only Denny’s had a liquor license, we’d never leave.  Thank you, St. Clair Broiler, for understanding and answering our plea.
  8. Pie – Best dessert ever?  It even has nutritional value!  From the edges of its hearty crust to its gooey, often fruity filling, pie is one of those perfect concoctions that time and science cannot improve upon.
  9. Steve Martin’s dance in The Jerk – This can’t be replicated with any amount of success.  We’ve tried.  Mr. Steve Martin, you sir are a golden god.
  10.  Handlebar mustaches and mutton chops – Is it just us, or do these grooming staples of old timey villains who tie damsels to railroad tracks and forgotten 19th century presidents need to make a comeback? 

I Might Be Wrong

K and I disagree about many things, yet we’ve somehow managed to stay friends over the years.  Lately, we’ve been discussing Vanilla Sky, and chiefly how K felt this movie stole two hours and sixteen minutes of her life, while I found it enjoyable and interesting.  Much is made of the baffling coexistence of couples with differing political beliefs.  How could they possibly live together, people wonder, let along fornicate and procreate?  This wouldn’t be much of a problem for me; I could and in fact do go days without engaging in any political discussions (to the eternal frustration of K).  However, I couldn’t go a single day without discussing pop culture.  It’s such an integral part of my existence that to remove it would be fatal. 

So, how is it that K and I are able to remain friends when we disagree on topics as fundamental as Tom Cruise movies (or, more accurately, Cameron Crowe movies)?  The answer is simple: I like Vanilla Sky.  I’m not madly in love with it.  Were we to disagree on something one of us loved, well, that’d be a different section of the bookstore all together.  When one of us is utterly taken with something in the world of pop culture and officially plant a flag in it to claim our allegiance, the other understands that this particular topic is now off limits for disagreement. 

This is when we get all Minnesotan and express our indifference through polite euphemisms.  “It’s really more your kind of thing than mine,” we’ll tactfully comment.  “Though I enjoyed the way it was shot/appreciated the score/liked the inventive liner notes.”  Ergo, I am allowed to insult the Cranberries to my heart’s content but under no circumstances may I utter blasphemy against Lena Headey.  K may express her lack of enjoyment during A Life Less Ordinary, but by friendship law she is forbidden from suggesting Ewan McGregor was anything less than wonderful in it.  It is through these simple measures that K and I can still be friends.  Should we run out of polite euphemisms and find ourselves facing the approaching dead end of disagreement, well then, we can always talk about the Smashing Pumpkins.


Because we don’t just insult things, we proudly present a companion list of things we especially love.

  1. Owls.  What’s not to love?  The big eyes, the gentle coos, their ability to turn their heads at unnatural angles (actually, that part’s a little creepy).
  2. Scottish accents.  Looking at you, Ewan McGregor.  You can read the phone book to us anytime.
  3. Hobo bags (terrible name, though).  K could not live without her twenty ton pharmacy…er, purse.
  4. Noel’s hair.  For those of you who don’t know, Noel Fielding is T’s beloved Vince Noir from The Mighty Boosh.  That ridiculously awesome shag is on par with our pal Tom Petty’s.
  5. Weird old movies.  Recently, we’ve enjoyed The Man Who Laughs and Freaks.  Good luck making movies like these today.  Actually, we take that back.  PLEASE don’t ever try to remake them.  Thank you.
  6. John Cusack.  Or “Cute-sack,” as we call him.  Rent Better Off Dead.  Right now.  We’ll wait.
  7. Netflix recommendations.  We’re eternally indebted to our red (as in their logo, no implication that they’re Communists) friends for priceless suggestions like Forbidden Zone.  Typing of which…
  8. Danny Elfman as the devil in Forbidden Zone.  “Minnie the Moocher” has never sounded so sexy.
  9. El Azteca.  Hands down our favorite restaurant.  Delicious Mexican food (with a vegetarian section on the menu!) and service that’s second to none.  It’s our Cheers.
  10. K’s new side table.  After scouring antique stores far and wide, at last the perfect table with neat spindles has been acquired—and for only $32!

There!  See, we can be nice, too.