Oscars 2015!

Kate: It’s here it’s here it’s here!!!

Erica: Tonight, we will be joined for a few looks by my resident fashion expert, Zoe. She drew some pictures of outfits, and of the hairstyles and jewelry she thinks they ought to have worn. I will present them below, but first, since we’re not including them in the official look, here are her drawings of Kelly Osbourne’s dress:

oscars 2015 zoe kelly osbourne

Zoe: The back of her dress could use a little cut. It could just take away one frill. The shoes should be a high heel.

Erica: But they are a high heel.

Zoe. I mean like a total high heel. And less black.

 

Erica: – and Giuliana Rancic’s:

oscars 2015 zoe giuliana rancic

Zoe: I feel sort of weird that her body shows. I think it needs to be a little more covered up. It could be a little trimmed — a tiny bit, but not too much. Her hair should be in a bun-braid. The earrings should be a little fancier and longer.

Erica: And also Jason has a comment or two to make.

Kate: Ian does too, when he’s not having an aneurysm while watching Illinois basketball. My favorite Oscars ever is still the one Billy Crystal hosted when Titanic was nominated 30000 times.

Erica: Was that the same one that had Matt Damon and Ben Affleck nominated for Good Will Hunting and he sang, “Matt and Ben/You are so young” to the tune of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”? Because that was my favorite, too.

Kate: I believe so.

Erica: Also, one quick question for the evening: Am I the only person in the whole wide universe who sees Bradley Cooper and goes, “Fine”? “Fine” as in, “I mean he’s nice looking and all, but does absolutely nothing for me,” not as in, “Fiiiiiine.”

Kate: Stop it, he’s sexy. And awayyyyyyyyyyy we GO!

 

America Ferrera

oscars 2015 america ferrera

Zoe: I think that wherever it needed to be sewed or patched, there should be a gemstone line, silver, like the middle of her dress.

oscars 2015 zoe america ferrara

Erica: I think the dress is really, really lovely. I am impressed.

Kate: Really? I don’t like it at all. I’m not completely sure why, but I don’t. Her hair looks like Katharine McPhee’s at the Grammys, a.k.a. half up and bad.

 

Anna Faris

oscars 2015 anna faris

Kate: Oh this is just so sparkly and pretty. She looks like a twinkly glass of champagne and stardust.

Erica: Yeah? I mean, I think she looks nice enough but I’m not enamored.

Kate: I don’t like her hair that much, but the dress is so freaking adorable I almost don’t care. (Almost.)

Erica: I like her a lot, but I feel like her hair always looks a little meh.

 

Anna Kendrick

oscars 2015 anna kendrick

Erica: Damn, she looks good.

Kate: GORGEOUS! Omg I love this. It’s kind of Ancient Grecian/Egyptian? Love!

Erica: I think it’s more modern than anything else, but it is really flattering on her.

Zoe: I think there should be an opal-studded belt at the middle and a silver necklace with an opal at the end, with a gold frame around it. I think there should be another opal at the top of the neck triangle.

oscars 2015 zoe anna kendrick

Kate: Too much opal, Zoe, and you know how I feel about belts. In some pictures the dress looks pink/coral, in others it looks more red/orange, and the red/orange looks better. The hair is a little more structured than I like hers to be, but she probably had to do that because of the neckline of that fabulous dress. Best dressed nominee?

Erica: I’m not actually as enamored of this. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it (except that the color looks weird with the red carpet). It looks flawless on her. I just…I don’t know. I don’t love it.

Kate: Giuliana Rancic and Khloe Kardashian were discussing this dress on the pre-show and Khloe said it’s not an “Oscar color” and it looks like she’s “going to a dance”. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHAT YOU WEAR YOU EFFING HORRENDOUS DECREPIT PIECE OF GARBAGE! I’m back on my I-want-to-kill-a-Kardashian rant.

Erica: Oh, I am fast-forwarding but I thought I heard someone say that. It sounded to me like someone looking for something negative to say.

Kate: Well I’ve got lots of negative things to say about the person who said it!

 

Cate Blanchett

oscars 2015 cate blanchett

Kate: Not my favorite from Ms. Blanchett, but she might be close to if not already in that “I don’t give a f*ck” category with Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep.

Erica: I kind of love the statement necklace.

Kate: The boring dress would look a lot worse without the statement necklace, but I think the necklace itself is more I’m-going-to-brunch than I’m-going-to-the-Oscars, so I’m conflicted about it. Don’t like the hair and makeup.

Erica: I think her lip gloss is flawless and I think, once you put the necklace with the dress, you’ve got Oscars.

 

Dakota Johnson

oscars 2015 dakota johnson

Kate: Remember Er, she didn’t write 50 Shades, and she is not actually Anastasia Steele. She just chose to be in the movie. Let’s leave that aside and be objective in our judgment of her outfit.

Erica: I can put that all aside (although, if she wanted me to put aside her 50 Shades connections, maybe she shouldn’t have worn a silver rope on her dress). I still feel like, meh.

Kate: I think this is a little too night-out-on-the-town and slinky for the Oscars. Also, that ponytail? That’s what my hair looks like when I’m in my apartment and I know no one else will see it (minus the bangs, thank God I got rid of those).

Erica: Yeah, I’m not super-excited about the hair or anything to do with the outfit.

Kate: I am overall a little bored by her, I just don’t think she’s that pretty or interesting. But her mom is Melanie Griffith, apparently?

Erica: Yeah, I know that. Her and Don Johnson. She actually looks a lot like Melanie Griffith.

 

Emma Stone

oscars 2015 emma stone

Erica: Oh, man.

Kate: Hate it.

Erica: I don’t hate the hair but I hate the dress A LOT. She continues to be a charming and pleasant person, though.

Kate: Hate the hair, hate the color, hate the silhouette, very upset about the downhill-ness of her red carpet looks from year to year.

 

Felicity Jones

oscars 2015 felicity jones

Kate: Hmmm…I don’t think I love this as much as her Globes and SAGs dresses.

Ian: She’s wearing the wedding cake from Seinfeld.

Erica: So, it’s interesting. And, like I said in our Grammys coverage, I’m into not boring lately. But…I don’t know. I don’t like it. But it is interesting.

Kate: Let’s see. I like the color on her. I think it’s a beautiful and dramatic gown that looks expertly made — very Alexander McQueen — but something about the overall look is just not doing it for me. I’m sad about having that feeling because I love her.

Erica: You know what, maybe I do like it. The more I see it, the more I think, you know, it’s glamorous and well-made and a little cutting-edge and I am looking forward to her red carpet future.

 

Gwyneth Paltrow

oscars 2015 gwyneth paltrow

Kate: Ewwww!

Erica: Heehee.

Kate: That was my exact reaction upon seeing the first picture of this dress: EW. You can do better, Gwyneth!

Erica: My first reaction was, Heehee!

Kate: That shade of pink looks nice against her skin and hair but it’s so yay-we’re-having-a-girl, I can’t stand it on the Oscars red carpet. And that SLEEVE? No.
Erica: I do not like it but I am massively entertained by it. She’s looking kind of orange, no?

Kate: Orange and wearing ice blue eye shadow. I canNOT with you right now, Gwyneth.

 

Jennifer Aniston

oscars 2015 jennifer aniston

Kate: Well this just knocks it out of the park now doesn’t it?

Erica: Very sexy.

Kate: I love it. I don’t love it enough to give her a best dressed nomination because I wish she had done something else with her hair, but I love it.

Erica: I feel like it’s a little too boring for best dressed, but I like her hair. It’s her, you know?

Kate: It must be tough to show up after getting a nomination snub. #TeamJen forever. Why is the world so out to get her?!

 

Jennifer Lopez

oscars 2015 jennifer lopez

Kate: Holy cow. Now that’s an Oscars dress!

Erica: For real.

Kate: I sort of wish one of the nominees had worn this — maybe Felicity Jones, or someone with flat boobs — but it looks great on J. Lo. I really like her high bouncy pony. Makeup is a little too neon.

Zoe: That’s a winner for the night, don’t you think?

Kate: I like it a lot, Zo!

Erica: Me, too. And you know, I like that she usually looks like a sex goddess, and this is more princessy (albeit with a lot of cleavage), but it also looks amazing on her. And it’s my kind of dress, you know? I like Elie Saab. Although Emma Stone is in Elie Saab, too, and I hate that.

 

Jessica Chastain

oscars 2015 jessica chastain

Kate: Ooooh I like. I think?

Erica: I love. I really really really love. She looks fantastic. I already love that color, and I thought I loved it best on blondes but it looks damn good with her red hair.

Kate: It’s very sexy and flattering, and yes the blue looks great on her. Very Christina Hendricks. But the hair and makeup may be a bit too casual/plain, and I do not think she needs the necklace.

Erica: No way, no way, no way. This is in the top five for me.

 

Julianne Moore

oscars 2015 julianne moore

Kate: There’s something about that curved strapless silhouette that is very flattering. I just wish it only had the embellishment on top and bottom and not near the hips; the one near the hips breaks up the dress in a weird way.

Erica: Oh, I think the embellishment at the hips is very flattering and glam.

Kate: I am not so into this color on her, but the sleek low bun with the deep side part might make up for that. Yeah, I think the hair is making up for the color. #Weddinghairpossibility

Erica: I totes think your hair should look like that for the wedding. I mean, except, yours should be brown.

 

Keira Knightley

oscars 2015 kiera knightley

Kate: Her Golden Globes gown was atrocious, then she almost redeemed herself with the SAGs frock. Now she’s back to sucking. I hate this whole entire situation.

Erica: Really? I like this one. It’s romantic and pretty. I would like it if the color were just a little more fine-tuned — it looks like Silly Putty, a bit — but I love the look. I like romance and floral and embroidery. Also, pregnancy is looking good on her.

Kate: Completely disagree.

 

Kerry Washington

oscars 2015 kerry washington

Kate: Oh I’m so glad the peplum is back on the red carpet, said no one ever.

Erica: The thing is, she looks great, even if the dress does not.

Kate: This dress is half mother-of-the-bride, half quilt. Hate it. I feel like Anthony Marantino on that episode of SATC when he goes wedding dress shopping with Charlotte: “HATES IT!” I like her hair, though.

Erica: Yeah. I don’t like the dress. But her hair and makeup and general personality are flawless.

 

Lady Gaga

oscars 2015 lady gaga

Kate: Theeerreeee’s the Gaga we all know and love. She looks quite out of her mind.

Erica: No, but for real, what is going on with her face? I know she’s never been stunningly pretty or anything, but something is happening that looks severely unhealthy.

Kate: I think she has just gained weight, she was alarmingly skinny before. Alas, I hate the gloves. Way to start a stupid trend, Amal!

Erica: Please. On Amal, they were classy and glam. Lady Gaga’s are just…Well, whatever. She’s Lady Gaga. That’s what she does. Most of the time.

Kate: I just don’t like the looseness — elbow-length gloves should fit you right.

 

Laura Dern

oscars 2015 laura dern

Kate: Wow! This is much more interesting than what she usually wears. We never even include her in these posts even though she is at every single award show, but I felt like we had to include her tonight because she is nominated.

Erica: That is interesting. I don’t like it, but it’s interesting.

Kate: I don’t think she needs that big necklace with so much going on all over the dress, and the clutch is too matchy-matchy. Hair also a little too casual, very Jennifer Aniston, but this is overall a good look. Not the BEST, but good.

Ian: She looks like she’s going into a joust match. She’s dressed in a medieval suit of armor.

Erica: In that case, she’s leaving a lot dangerously uncovered. I actually like her hair. I mean, yes, I guess it’s casual, but it also looks really nice.

 

Lupita Nyong’o

oscars 2015 lupita nyong'o

Kate: She would be the one to wear a dress made partially of pearls, and I would be the one to say I do not like it, not one bit.

Erica: I want to like it, I do. I like the concept. And I love stark white on very dark skin. And I like her. But yeah, no.

Kate: There’s a scene in the truly amazing film Burlesque during which Christina Aguilera’s character performs a sexy routine in a shorter version of this. I like the Burlesque dress better. Worst dressed nominee.

Erica: I can’t do it. I can’t give her worst dressed. I like her too much.

 

Margot Robbie

oscars 2015 margot robbie

Kate: Smoke show.

Erica: She looks like sex walking.

Kate: This dress could be too old-ladyish, but I think the hair, makeup, necklace and deep V actually prevent that and make it pretty hot.

Erica: Yeah, totes agree with all of your points.

 

Marion Cotillard

oscars 2015 marion cotillard

Kate: I think you cannot look like this if you are American. There is just something about Europeans, they have an extra layer of elegance and chicness Americans can never even hope to achieve. Maybe that’s why Audrey Hepburn was so perfect.

Erica: She looks amazing and perfect. The dress is daring and interesting and high-fashion. It looks great on her and it’s interesting and glamorous.

Kate: This dress is actually pretty extreme couture — like, it would be great on an American at the Met Ball, but on Marion Cotillard at the Oscars? Effortlessly striking perfection. Best dressed nominee!

 

Meryl Streep

oscars 2015 meryl streep

Kate: Her usual flawless black-and-white, I-don’t-give-a-f*ck elegance. Could do without the belt, but Meryl does not give a f*ck about what I could do without.

Erica: She is the Grand High Duchess of Not Giving a F*ck.

 

Naomi Watts

oscars 2015 naomi watts

Kate: I do NOT like that it looks like she’s wearing a bandeau under her dress. I hate bandeaus. If you’re wearing one, you’re wearing a shirt you bought knowing you couldn’t wear a normal bra under it, and that’s just too silly for me to approve of. I get that the bandeau may just be part of her dress, but I still don’t like it.

Erica: Is she at all comfortable? Like, isn’t she awfully itchy in that? I was reading something regarding what to dress little ones in for weddings (for no particular reason) and it advised that a whole bodice with sparkles, while pretty, was going to itch under their arms like crazy. And that’s all I could think about looking at this.

Kate: I don’t like the dress at all, and I really don’t like the dark purple lipstick against her fair skin and light blond hair. It doesn’t even match the ugly dress!

Erica: Naomi Watts is very pretty but I hate all of this.

 

Nicole Kidman

oscars 2015 nicole kidman

Kate: So I still really enjoy her long bob, but I cannot help but wonder if she has worn this dress before?

Erica: I don’t know. I don’t think so. I don’t much like it.

Kate: I’m also not sure if it’s white or gold or iridescent or all three? The hideousness of that clutch is making me very angry. I blame Covet for my noticing the clutches more than I usually do.

Erica: Blame? Or thank? I really hate the color on her.

Kate: But WHAT COLOR IS IT?

 

Patricia Arquette

oscars 2015 patricia arquette

Kate: This dress is nice and she looks fine, but I was really hoping for something else from her. She knows she’s going to win!

Erica: But I think her thing is to look, basically, fine. I get the sense that she just tries to look appropriate for the occasion, and not, like wildly sexy and glam and amazing. That said, her hair? Not really acceptable for the occasion.

Kate: Agree on the hair. This is actually a very Meryl dress, and Meryl she is not.

oscars 2015 zoe patricia arquette

Zoe: I think there should be better silver earrings. I want the purse replaced with a necklace and a bracelet. I think there should be a repeating frill on the higher sleeve.

Kate: I am not sure how I feel about “repeating frill”.

 

Reese Witherspoon

oscars 2015 reese witherspoon

Kate: The hair, the makeup, the jewelry and the dress are all so very Reese. It’s interesting that she chose to wear white to every award show this year, white is a bold choice.

Erica: She really looks flawless.

Kate: Many will say this is boring, and maybe it is a little bit, but she still just looks so good. I love her. I can’t wait to watch Wild.

Erica: I don’t know, it’s just so smooth and perfect. Her hair, her makeup. It’s not a remarkable dress, but it’s a really great look on her.

 

Rosamund Pike

oscars 2015 rosamund pike

Kate: I do like me some red on the red carpet.

Ian: I likes it!

Erica: Holy moly she looks AMAZING. Very, very, very tiny, but I FREAKING LOVE THIS DRESS. And this whole look. LOVE.

Kate: Agree, she looks fantastic. I like that the dress is less “out there” than most of her other choices, and her body looks hot-damn incredible. I also really like the very simple makeup and hair. Another best dressed nominee! (So far it’s Anna Kendrick, Marion Cotillard, and Rosamund Pike. Just so we’re keeping track.)

Erica: So for me, it’s Rosamund Pike, Jessica Chastain and Marion Cotillard. And maybe Jennifer Lopez, though I agree with you that the makeup is a little much. But I have to say, I feel like these ladies brought it tonight.

 

Scarlett Johansson

oscars 2015 scarlett johansson

Kate: The color and silhouette are fantastic on her. I cannot figure out what is happening on her neck.

Erica: The neck thing looks weird.

Kate: The neck thing is probably too much for me, and the hair is way too punk for the Oscars, but if I just focus on the dress, it’s perfection.

Erica: I don’t know. It’s a good color but the neck and the neckline just look super-weird.

Jason: She looks like an alien.

Erica: And Jason usually loves her.

 

Sienna Miller

oscars 2015 sienna miller

Ian: Ooooh! What’s she in?

Kate: She played Chris Kyle’s wife in American Sniper, and we like her better as a brunette, remember?

Ian: Oh yea.

Kate: I like this dress and extremely fierce makeup. The multiple bows are a little much, but it’s overall nice on her. I HATE the hair — what is this, Little House on the Prairie? When they zoomed in on it during the pre-show it was either a) still wet, b) hairsprayed within an inch of its life or c) both, and that irked me. A lot.

Erica: I’m not sure why I can’t stand her and have, like, visceral euch reactions to her every time I see her. I might be a bad person.

Kate: When do you see her besides at award shows? But that’s how I feel about all the Kardashians. And Miley Cyrus. And Rihanna and Beyonce. Hmm…

Erica: I think you are carrying a lot more anger towards all of those people than I am towards Sienna Miller. But there is something about her that just makes me go bleh.

 

Zoe Saldana

oscars 2015 zoe saldana

Erica: She looks amazing.

Kate: The color looks absolutely beautiful against her skin, but the detail on the hips and the necklace and the hair are extremely unflattering. The spaghetti straps make it look like lingerie.

Erica: Really? I think this is so flattering on her. She doesn’t look as twig-like. This is actually on my best-dressed list.

Kate: No, we have to remove it from that list. She is not twig-like because she just had a baby.

Erica: Oh really? Mazel Tov! The extra pounds look GREAT on you, hon!

 

Kate: So, Best Dressed?

Erica: Rosamund Pike! And I say this without really knowing anything about her. I didn’t see (and probably won’t see) Gone Girl and I don’t know anything else she’s done and I have never read an interview with her or anything. I just love, love, love her dress.

Kate: I am ok with that, but can Best Dressed be a tie between her and Marion Cotillard?

Erica: Yes. Absolutement.

Kate: Yay! Worst Dressed?

Erica: You know, I really feel like they all stepped up their game tonight. I’m not giving it to Lupita, partly because she has too much credit with me and partly because, yes, I don’t like the dress, but, I feel that the dress accomplished what it meant to accomplish. I don’t want to give it to Gwynnie because, as stupid-looking as it was, it made me laugh. Kerry Washington’s done worse, and her hair and make-up were perfection. I think that leaves Naomi Watts for me.

Kate: Or Emma Stone?

Erica: Yeah, but I liked Emma Stone’s hair and make-up better than I liked Naomi Watt’s hair and make-up. It should be noted, though – the credit Emma Stone has as my dream bff DOES NOT COUNT toward red carpet looks. And she has ZERO credit there.

Kate: Well then who do we give Worst Dressed to!?

Erica: I want to give it to Naomi Watts. You can give it to Emma Stone if you like. Or we can have another tie.

Kate: Ok, I can give it to Naomi Watts. That does it for us for award show season, folks — sad face! But don’t you worry, the dynamic duo will be back this summer for So You Think You Can Dance season 12 — auditions are already under way!

Erica: You guys, I’m doing Zumba now, so by May, I might think *I* can dance!

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The Met Gala, Or, Satin Wrinkles Like Crazy, People. Like CRAZY.

That’s right, folks — we no longer limit our fashion police posts to award shows. Red carpets of the world, beware!

Adele Dazeem

met gala 2014 - idina menzel

Kate: Hah, get it?

Erica: Yes. Yes, I do.  I don’t know for whom I feel more sorry, her or John Travolta, but either way, we are never going to give this up.

Kate: This is a bit too bridal for me, and her normally gorgeous hair looks stiff and weird. I feel like she is still recovering from the Oscars shakeup.

Erica: I am not a fan of this look. I am surprised you haven’t made anything of the lipstick.

Kate: It’s a little much against the light dress, light skin and dark dark hair, but it doesn’t offend me.

Allison Williams

met gala 2014 - allison williams

Kate: Ok, she’s g-ooooor-geous, but it’s time to get her a new stylist. She keeps wearing the same dress!

Erica: Yeah, but it looks good on her. She’s so pretty.

Kate: And her hair needs to be down at all times. It’s too fabulous for up-dos, like a mini-Connie Britton!

Amy Adams

met gala 2014 - amy adams

Erica: God, she is just gorgeousness.

Kate: I like this a lot better than her usual Oscar numbers, but the color is a smidge too light for her fair skin.

Erica: I don’t have the same thing you do about dresses the color of someone’s skin although I do prefer her in color. But she gets to look like Amy Adams, no matter what the color.

Anna Wintour

 met gala 2014 - anna wintour

Kate: So I know she’s like, the queen of everything, but don’t we think Anna Wintour basically wears the same dress to every event?

Erica: Really? I thought this was unusual for her. Maybe it’s just unusual for the Anna Wintour that lives inside my head.

Kate: And hasn’t her hair not changed in decades? I mean…

Erica: That is correct. It’s her “thing.”

Anne Hathaway

met gala 2014 - anne hathaway

Kate: Not sure what that facial expression is all about, but she looks lovely. I just do not love the structured crop top, at all.

Erica: No. It is not a good choice. I find I generally do not like her fashion choices. Which is not to say I don’t like her.

Beyoncé

met gala 2014 - beyonce

Kate: This is a bejeweled bathrobe with a peplum. I’m done.

Erica: I actually . . . I mean, I don’t like it. But I’m kind of seeing the kind of look she’s aiming to pull off and I get it. And I appreciate it.

Kate: I most assuredly do not.

Blake Lively

met gala 2014 - blake lively

Kate: I looooooooooooooooooove.

Erica: Holy moly, I have never seen her looking this good.

Kate: This dress is so perfect for her body – shape, material, color, everything. I’m not fond of the red earrings and red lips, or the hairdo, but the dress is stunning. Best dressed nominee!

Erica: I kind of do like the red, actually. But she’s not nominated for . . . Oh, you’re saying you are nominating her for Best Dressed of This Post. I getcha.

Charlize Theron

met gala 2014 - charlize theron

Kate: So it’s Charlize Theron, but…It’s not that flattering?

Erica: Well, I’m on the record as not really liking black-and-white evening wear, and this certainly isn’t an exception to that.

Kate: The tuxedo jacket over the shoulders is a little much, and the dress is nice, I just expect more from her I guess.

Claire Danes

met gala 2014 - claire danes

Kate: Angela, your dress is wrinkled!

Erica: I swear I’ve seen this dress before. In Jessica McClintock. When I was prom dress shopping in 1999.

Kate: I do love her with blonde hair, though. So young and fresh looking.

Erica: I suppose. Her make-up’s a little off, though.

Diane Kruger

met gala 2014 - diane kruger

Kate: The fact that she was cast as Helen of Troy still bothers me every time I see her face.

Erica: What’s happening with her hair?

Kate: This is O-K. The two skirts thing is interesting, but the color makes her look washed out.

Erica: The two skirts thing would be interesting if the dress made more of it. As it is it’s too subtle to be interesting and instead just looks weird.

Dianna Agron

met gala 2014 - dianna agron

Kate: Oy.

Erica: Yeah, I got nothing. This is really terrible looking. Dianna, you’re such a pretty girl!

Kate: Not good Dianna, not good.

Dita Von Teese

met gala 2014 - dita von teese

Kate: Ok so I know she is generally a ridiculous human, but I wanted to include her because I actually LOVE this dress.

Erica: I in fact do not find her to be ridiculous. I find her to be mostly fabulous. And yeah, this dress is killer.

Kate: The mermaid bottom is exceptional and the whole gown is perfectly tailored – very elegant and professional. She is not messing around.

Erica: What’s crazy is, this dress isn’t even as nice as the one she wore the next day just for, like, walking around (and knowing full well she was going to be photographed walking around, but still.):

dita von teese

Emma Stone

met gala 2014 - emma stone

Erica: Still wildly adore her. Still don’t like this.

Kate: I am not even 100% sure why, but I am obsessed with this look. I would normally abhor the braid, as you well know, and everyone was calling it a “Frozen braid” on social media the night of, but it works on her. And the two pinks and the skirt with the slit and the shoes..Just wow. Best dressed nominee!

Erica: Seriously? Kate, is that even you? I mean, I actually like the Frozen braid, but the dress? For real?

Kate: For real! I agree it’s weird for me to love it, but I do dangit!

Gisele

met gala 2014 - gisele

Kate: I’m bored by this.

Erica: I mean, she looks good. But yeah, there’s nothing else to say here.

Hailee Steinfeld

met gala 2014 - hailee steinfeld

Kate: LOVE! How fun is that ballet pink bottom with those ballet pink shoes?!

Erica: Yeah? I’m a little meh on it. I like the shoes, though.

Kate: She is becoming quite the gorgeous young woman – great hair and makeup – and I really love the optical illusion dresses like this create.

Erica: I guess that’s cool but I don’t really like it. But yes, she is gorgeous and her hair and makeup look fantastic.

Hayden Panettiere

met gala 2014 - hayden panettierre

Kate: Finally!

Erica: I think hair, make-up, and shape of the dress work on her. I do not much like the dress itself.

Kate: I’m not obsessed with the colors – tis a bit cotton candy-esque – but she finally looks like the cute actress-turned-singer she is instead of trying to be something she’s not. (I’m alluding to her Golden Globes look; bleh!)

Jessica Alba

met gala 2014 - jessica alba

Kate: Is she pregnant? Or is she trying to make herself look pregnant?

Erica: You thought pregnant? I thought too skinny.

Kate: Either way, I don’t love this. Frump city.

Karolina Kurkova

met gala 2014 - karolina kurkova

Kate: I don’t really know who this person is, but I wanted to include her because this is what I call a Met Gala gown – interesting structure and looks to be a work of art in and of itself.

Erica: I could be mistaken but I think she’s a Victoria’s Secret Angel. And, yes, this dress is the Platonic ideal of Met Gala gowns.

Kate Bosworth

 met gala 2014 - kate bosworth

Erica: Whoa.

Kate: Omg, she is so frighteningly skinny. I actually love this dress and how she accessorized it, and I don’t think anyone much bigger could pull this off, but Jesus H. Christ it almost hurts to look at her.

Erica: Holy shit. I mean, I don’t like all of the magazines that are all, “She’s got an eating disorder, says me, a tabloid writer, and an ‘unnamed source’, and a doctor who has never treated her or seen her in person or done anything other than look at this picture we provided,” but seriously? Seriously? This girl needs some medical attention, stat.

Kate Upton

met gala 2014 - kate upton

Kate: Gah!

Erica: Well, this is pretty weird.

Kate: This could be the most unflattering thing I’ve ever seen on the red carpet.

Erica: Oddly enough, I can sort of see what she’s trying to do here. But yes, mega unflattering. And it’s hard to be unflattering to that face and that body.

Katie Holmes

met gala 2014 - katie holmes

Erica: Suri dressed her. I understand. I also have a fashion-forward daughter and that kind of stuff happens to me sometimes, too.

Kate: Everyone was comparing this dress to Belle’s, and I have to say a Belle costume would have looked a whole lot better than this. What a mess little Joey Potter has turned into, eh?

Erica: The thing is, she’s usually pretty polished. Here, her hair is all messy and her make-up is practically non-existent and the dress is . . . well . . . I mean, y’all can see it, I don’t need to explain. It’s just pretty weird coming from her.

Kendall Jenner

met gala 2014 - kendall jenner

Kate: I continue to hate the Kardashian clan in all possible ways, but Kendall is a striking young woman.

Erica: She’s a pretty girl, for sure.

Kate: This is a lovely dress but she is almost too tall for it, and it should be worn by an Oscar-nominated actress instead of a teeny bopper.

Erica: Her waist is super tiny. I mean, I’m assuming it has help, but still.

Kim Kardashian

met gala 2014 - kim kardashian

Kate: UGH.

Erica: Heehee.

Kate: I just hate them so much. But this dress looks terrible on her. Nice color but unflattering in the boob, hip and leg area, and the shoes with the slit make her legs look terrible.

Erica: The dress is just kinda weird. It looks more bathrobe-y even than Beyonce’s bathrobe. And she’s standing like, “Did you notice I have a slit? DID YOU?!”

Kirsten Dunst

met gala 2014 - kirsten dunst

Kate: Seriously, what has happened to this girl?

Erica: She has the Death Star on her dress.

Kate: I don’t think she was ever too good at the red carpet, but this is just weird.

Erica: I don’t know, man. I mean, if you want to wear the Death Star on your formal gown, where else CAN you do that than at the Met Gala? As far as I know, there are no formal events at ComicCon. My question is, what has happened to her acting career? Has she been in anything lately? Because, IIRC, she’s a damn good actress.

Kristen Stewart

met gala 2014 - kristen stewart

Kate: Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly hate her more.

Erica: If I were writing an SNL skit to send up Kristen Stewart, this is what I’d dress the character in. Kristen Stewart is becoming unparody-able.

Kate: Just stop showing up to these things, you ill-mannered, poorly-dressed Negative Nancy!

Erica: I saw a thing recently, with .gifs of celebrities laughing, and you had to guess who they were. And 99% of them were totally obvious because that’s what those people look like and it wasn’t in any way a challenge at all. The one I didn’t get right away was her. I’d never seen her make that expression before!

Lake Bell

met gala 2014 - lake bell

Erica: I am not a huge fan of hers, but then, I haven’t seen that thing she directed and/or wrote and I think starred in about the girl who makes movie trailers or something? Which actually looked pretty good.

Kate: This is a lovely dress, albeit too matchy-matchy with the red carpet, but she made that crazy face in, like, every photo that night. What’s up, Lake?

Erica: Pregnancy hormones.

Lea Michele

met gala 2014 - lea michele

Kate: Without that weird extra material in the middle, this would be lovely.

Erica: She’s younger than me. I think she’s younger than you. Why does she keep dressing like she’s Joan Collins?

Kate: I do think she takes herself way too seriously these days, though.

Leighton Meester

met gala 2014 - leighton meester

Kate: This would be perfect if it were tailored better, especially at the waist.

Erica: Yeah, I think you’re right about that. Astute fashion analysis.

Kate: Also, her makeup is very drab.

Erica: Oh, on that we disagree. I think it’s simple and natural-looking and nice.

Kate: Drab.

Lena Dunham

met gala 2014 - lena dunham

Kate: I can respect the attempt, but this is not a good look for her.

Erica: It sincerely is not.

Lily Aldridge

met gala 2014 - lily aldridge

Kate: I don’t really know what Lily Aldridge is famous for, but I really love this dress so I wanted to include her.

Erica: Her name is really familiar to me. Although it might be that it was used for a romance novel heroine once. And if it hasn’t been, it ought to be.

Kate: She succeeded in the whole metallic thing where everyone else has failed, I think.

Erica: Yeah, the dress is pretty spectacular.

Lupita Nyong’o

met gala 2014 - lupita nyong'o

Erica: This is kind of crazy-pants but I like it.

Kate: I do not enjoy this particular ensemble, but I do respect it from the standpoint of “This is the Met Gala and we can wear some really out-there things”. You know?

Erica: Yes, that is exactly how I feel about this ensemble, except that I do enjoy it, because I enjoy out-there things.

Margot Robbie

met gala 2014 - margot robbie

Kate: She started out so strong with her Oscars dress, but everything since has been a major disappointment. Is that a bathing suit underneath a mock turtleneck? Come on.

Erica: Who is she? Whatever, this is a weirdly shaped, weirdly fitted dress that is simply unattractive on any level.

Kate: She was in Wolf of Wall Street. And I can’t STAND ankle-length things on the red carpet.

Erica: Totes.

Marion Cotilliard

 met gala 2014 - marion cotillard

Kate: This is fun in an I’m-going-to-a-fancy-lunch-with-my-fancy-gal-pals way, but I do not think it’s appropriate for the Gala.

Erica: I don’t know, I think there’s enough out-there going on to make it interesting enough. I guess it could be schmancier but I’m digging it.

Michelle Williams

met gala 2014 - michelle williams

Kate: Too short, Ms. Lindley! I feel like you are about t0 shopping near the Met, not attend the Gala!

Erica: Yeah, this is more an after-party thing. Her hair looks pretty cute, though.

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen

 met gala 2014 - mary kate and ashley olsen

Kate: I’m not a fan of the huge coat dresses.

Erica: See, I could see it as part of the whole fashion-history-at-the-Met thing, because there are some late 19th century fashions that very much took the female silhouette with the enormous bustle in the back and the tiny waist and then put masculine styling in, like military epaulettes or business-suit fabrics, and that looked pretty awesome. But these dresses are not structured well enough to pull that off. Which is a shame because I like the concept.

Kate: Also, why are they always SO serious-looking now? Have a little fun every now and then, twinsies!

Naomi Watts

met gala 2014 - naomi watts

Erica: Blech.

Kate: Even though it’s Givenchy, I really don’t like this at all. The half-sheer skirt thing really bothers me.

Erica: I can’t remember a recent Givenchy creation I liked.

Olivia Munn

met gala 2014 - olivia munn

Kate: Lovely! I personally would never expose that much of my breasts at an event like this, but the color is great and she looks all young and tan and refreshed.

Erica: You don’t think she looks sort of like the girl who would play the X-rated version of her? I mean, I like the dress, but that’s the overall vibe I’m getting.

Posh Spice

met gala 2014 - victoria beckham

Kate: She and Kate Bosworth should start an I’m Way Too Skinny support group.

Erica: So I’m playing this game called Covet on my iPad in which you dress up your electronic model in real fashions to compete in various themed fashion events. Recently one demanded that the model be dressed up to look like a re-uniting member of a girl-power ’90s band – because I guess they can’t just say, “Spice Girls”. So I made a perfect little Posh model – and I didn’t win! I was so mad!

Kate: Every time I read an interview with her I like her, but then every time I see her in a photo I don’t. She just tries too hard. This dress is nothing special, and she should have worn her hair up with it.

Erica: I like her a lot better with short hair.

Rachel McAdams

met gala 2014 - rachel mcadams

Erica: She’s in my Top 5 Prettiest People Ever.

Kate: Flawless. It’s just not fair.

Erica: I don’t even love the overall style. She’s just so pretty!

Kate: While the dress is extraordinarily elegant and perfect for her, it is a tad on the boring side for an event such as this. But do you know anyone with a more perfect blowout? I think not.

Rashida Jones

met gala 2014 - rashida jones

Kate: Awful! Looks like something Drew Barrymore would have worn 13 years ago. Makes her look so dowdy.

Erica: Aw, man, Rashida. You’re so much prettier than this.

Reese Witherspoon

met gala 2014 - reese witherspoon

Kate: This is a great color on Reese, but I do not like the shape on top at all. And I never like her hair like that – hello, Pleasantville!

Erica: Do you think she’s been re-watching some of her old movies and taking her styling ideas from them?

Rihanna

met gala 2014 - rihanna

Erica: I kind of go, “Well, it’s Rihanna.” And at least she’s not carting around that creepy accessory on her arm.

Kate: This is gross. NO CROP TOPS ON THE RED CARPET, PEOPLE! (Except Emma Stone’s which is not really all that cropped and which I love unconditionally.)

Sarah Silverman

met gala 2014 - sarah silverman

Kate: I think Sarah Silverman is actually quite gorgeous, but this dress is completely swallowing her. It’s not a great color, the skirt is too big, and her hair is too severely pulled back.

Erica: I kind of like how big it is. But if she did up her hair the way she should have, we might think she gives a shit. Hey, did I ever tell you her sister was the rabbi at the Brandeis Hillel when I was there?

Kate: Neat-o!

Selena Gomez

met gala 2014 - selena gomez

Kate: Along with Kendall Jenner, why exactly is Selena Gomez at the Met Gala?

Erica: I got nothing.

Kate: I actually really like this dress (great color), but for me not Selena. Get outta there.

Erica: Yeah, this would be GREAT on you.

Shailene Woodley

met gala 2014 - shailene woodley

Kate: This is totally weird and different and not like anything I’ve ever seen on the red carpet and I shouldn’t like it but…Something about it on her is working. Maybe it’s the hair?

Erica: This dress is wild and kind of awesome. But is she not wearing shoes? But also, she has a long second toe, like us! And, I’m really glad she did her hair like that, not because I like it, but because before this, I kind of thought she and Hailee Steinfeld were the same person.

Sarah Jessica Parker

 met gala 2014 - sarah jessica parker - back

met gala 2014 - sarah jessica parker - front

Kate: Had to show the front and back of this one because I first saw it from the back and loved it – it’s so something Carrie Bradshaw would wear. I don’t love the huge signature at the bottom (was that really necessary, Oscar?), but from the back I thought it was really swell. Then she turned around.

Erica: Well, you can’t have just as wild a front when you’ve got that on the back.

Kate: It’s OK from the front, but the skirt is so wrinkled! And her hair is CRAZY! Maybe it would have been better without the black leaves on the top of the skirt?

Erica: Actually, I am a fan of the leaves. She looks kind of like a cupcake, but who doesn’t like cupcakes? This is one of my few exceptions to the black-and-white evening gown thing.

Taylor Swift

met gala 2014 - taylor swift

Erica: This is kind of a rare misstep for her.

Kate: I like that this is a bit of a nod to Audrey (reminds me of her famous Sabrina dress), but again with the wrinkly skirt! It’s not well tailored to Taylor.

Erica: She can do better than this. We’ve seen her do better than this. Taylor, I am not tearing you down. There is no special place in hell for me. I’m supporting you to be your best (dressed) self!

Zoe Saldana

met gala 2014 - zoe saldana

Erica: Loathe.

Kate: I really don’t like that ENORMOUS thing – one might call it an oversized peplum? — in the middle of the skirt; if it didn’t have that, she’d look perfect.

Erica: Loathe.

Zooey Deschanel

met gala 2014 - zooey deschanel

Kate: So just because she just did a collection with Tommy Hilfiger, she had to wear him to this event, eh? That’s unfortunate because this is a boring dress and she of all people could have done something really fun for this type of event.

Erica: She’s done a collection with Tommy Hilfiger? Is she regretting having been fashionably interesting all her life and now she’s trying to take it back? Zooey, your job is to amuse us on the red carpet!

Kate: So best dressed? My top 3 are Blake Lively, Emma Stone and Hailee Steinfeld.

Erica: Huh. I go Blake or the Victoria’s Secret girl. Or Dita. I actively hated Emma Stone’s ensemble and didn’t care either way for Hailee’s.

Kate: So Blake! Worst dressed has to be Katie Holmes, right?

Erica: Sadly, I think yes.

 

Oscars 2012!

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, I know.

Angelina Jolie

be lookin’ skinny. I mean, it’s nice to see her looking so cheerful and you can tell she really, really likes that slit on her gown, but her waist does in fact look smaller than her head and her arms look like they couldn’t take the strain of holding a lipstick.

Berenice Bejo

I have heard this dress being criticized for being a tad m-o-b. Which I guess would be true if an American were wearing it. But, you know, she’s French. On her it is the ne plus ultra in chic.

The Cast of Bridesmaids

I decided to address them as a group because they all looked pretty good and, with the possible exception of Rose Byrne, like they might have tried on dresses together to see what was going to look good as a group. I am especially a fan of Maya Rudolph’s look, although I might be biased, because the episode of SNL she hosted was one of the most enjoyable in memory. She still knows what she’s doing.

Cameron Diaz

The dress is kind of pageant-y and why didn’t she do something with her hair?

Although I saw a tabloid shot that was like, “Look, here’s how Cameron Diaz looked while out shopping for groceries a few days before the Oscars! And here’s how she looked at the Oscars! See how much better her skin looks? It must be some form of plastic surgery!” Yeah, or make-up. Morons. (I mean, I know the tabloid editors know that. I know they just think their readers are morons.)

Colin Firth’s Wife

That is the weirdest dress I’ve ever seen.

Emma Stone

See, Emma, you need me to be your new best friend. Because I would have told you, the color is lovely and I like the floatiness but the neck bow makes you look like a high-fashion schoolmarm in 1974. I think we can do better.

Esperanza Spalding

I’m not really sure who she is but I love the princess dress with the bigger-than-her-torso Afro. Very cool.

George Clooney’s Date

gets to date George Clooney and wear Marchesa?

Nofairnofairnofair!

Glenn Close

See, I actually watched some of the telecast this time around and the cameras didn’t really catch the color of this properly. I thought it was black. I liked it when I thought it was black, but I like it a lot better now that I see it’s green.

Gwyneth Paltrow

If I were to do some sort of modernist interpretation of The Chronicles of Narnia, this is what the Snow Queen would wear.

And, if I could get her, that’s who I’d cast as the Snow Queen, too.

Jennifer Lopez

I really would like this dress on her if it weren’t for the weird sleeve holes.

Which aren’t even actual holes but are covered by mesh! Which takes the concept from an “Almost there!” to an “Oh, dear God, no!”

Jessica Chastain

is a tiny, tiny, tiny person.

That said, I love this dress. I love Alexander McQueen.

Kate Mara

You showed up in a dress reminiscent of but not as nice as Mila Kunis’s dress from last year (Mila Kunis who is, by the way, my husband’s new dream girl), and you made that face all night. That “Ain’t I a stinker?” face. And I guess given that you managed to squeeze an invite to the Academy Awards, that’s appropriate.

Meryl Streep

got dressed up this time! I guess when you’re going to receive your 893rd Oscar, you have to put on the Ritz just a little bit.

Michelle Williams

You know, during the telecast, Nina Garcia was going on about this one, and I’m not so in love. She looks great overall, but the dress’s weird textures threw me.

Natalie Portman

How old is her baby? Is she breastfeeding? I only ask because she’s got more of a rack than usual. So it’s either the baby or a good dress.

Octavia Spencer

looks fab. And she’s a larger lady. Maybe her stylist can go work for Melissa McCarthy, too. (I mean, Melissa McCarthy didn’t look bad this time, but I still think she can do better.)

Penelope Cruz

Not many major actresses go so princess-y anymore and it’s refreshing to see.

Princess Grace’s kids

The daughter looks a lot like her. The son, poor boy, took after his father in the looks department.

Rooney Mara

Flawless fashion choice.

Sandra Bullock

First things first: When Zoe saw her on screen, she said, “That looks like Aunt Kate!”

So I was watching this with my mother and we got into a debate because y’all know how I feel about the black-and-white color-blocked evening wear. It makes people look like the waitstaff.

But. Sandra looked really good in this.

But. It’s still black and white.

My mother thinks I’m being silly about the black and white thing, and yeah, that dress does look really nice on her – but would the dress really be worse if it were all black? Or another color entirely, like red or plum (the unofficial color of this year’s academy awards)? Or even all-white?

But on the other hand it’s really a gorgeous dress and she looks fabulous.

Shaliene Woodley

I know we rag on the Britneys and the Lindsays for letting it all hang out, but sweetie, you’re, like, 19. You can wear something a little younger than this.

Tina Fey

Her dress’s color read much better on TV than it is in the pictures. I really liked it on TV on the red carpet. I mean, the peplum is not my favorite concept, and the skirt looked a little stiff, but she looked like a star and she looked like she felt like a star and I loved the color.

Viola Davis

The dress is Vera Wang, and as such, it looks like the best damn bridesmaid dress you will ever get to wear. I know that sounds like an insult but I really do love the dress and she looks great in it.

I don’t love the hair color. But that’s just me.

SAGs 2012

You all will have to excuse me today. I am sick. Zoe is sick. In addition to being sick, I can’t seem to find a way to string more than five hours of sleep together. Like, for several nights now. And I know all you new parents out there are going, “I’d kill for five hours of sleep,” and listen, I swear, it gets better. It gets so much better that you start to question the sanity of ever having another baby. And then you think, but don’t children need siblings? Shouldn’t I for her sake have another one? And then you think, if the little stinker would go to sleep before eleven and/or wake up after 5-fucking-30, maybe we could think about a sibling, but . . .

I digress.

The SAGs!

I have to say, I didn’t recognize a great many people on the red carpet, which is making me feel pretty out of it.

Aimee Garcia

Like this chick. Love the dress. Don’t recognize the girl.

Aleksa Palladino

Or her. But I only bring her up to point out that she and George Clooney’s date have nearly identical dresses on.

See?

Amber Riley

Like the shape, but the bow is dumb and isn’t that a cocktail dress and not a formal gown?

Angelina Jolie

And we’re back to draped garbage bags, huh, Angie?

Ariel Winter

This is confusing to me. Because when I first saw the picture, I went, “Oh! She looks adorable! I love this one! And the color is great!” But then I looked and looked and the bodice and the skirt started looking mismatched to me and I hated them both. But when I look at the whole picture I like it. Like a Monet. You know, from far away it’s okay and all, but up close it’s a big old mess!

Ashlee Simpson

What explains her presence here?

Berenice Bejo

I know who she is! And I must say, the dress is kind of boring and I don’t like the necklace with it. But her facial expressions in nearly every single picture were awesome and increased my already strong desire to see The Artist.

Busy Phillips

Oh, Busy. What happened, you were lying on the beach and suddenly Siri reminded you that you were supposed to be at an awards show, so you just threw on your cover-up and ran?

Or do you just really, really want people to believe that’s what happened?

Diane Lane

(sigh) Okay, fine, I like it. I refuse to like her, though.

Dianna Agron

Not the most interesting clothing anyone has ever worn, but she looks very pretty. And I love the hair.

Emilia Clarke

I am on the record as not liking black-and-white color-blocked evening wear. I think it makes you look like waitstaff. And this one has the weird shoulders and neckline happening, too, so she looks like a shrugging alien.

But her hair and make-up look absolutely fantastic.

Emily Blunt

Love. A strong color and a drapey flowiness do it for me.

Emma Stone

Adorable, if not inventive. Whatever, Emma Stone can do no wrong in my eyes.

Gretchen Mol

I seriously love this one. It’s interesting and elegant.

Heather Morris

This almost makes me mad. Because if I had her body I would adorn it in only the most beautiful of dresses.

Okay, if I had her body, I’d wear this all the damn time.

Jane Krakowski

Oh my God. I have so much hate in my heart for this dress. So. Much. Hate. I don’t understand why anyone would design a dress that looks like this and I sure as hell don’t understand why anyone would wear it.

Probably she’ll be on a best-dressed list tomorrow. I almost always disagree with the fashionistas.

Jane Lynch

She usually wears basically the same dress but I like this one the best.

Jayma Mays

I’m pretty sure Evan Rachel Wood wore this to the Emmys. Still, it’s a hundred times better than the super-weird, body-disfiguring dresses she usually wears.

Jenna Fischer

On the one hand – I love it! I love the color, I love the shape! I would wear this dress!

On the other hand . . . I would wear this dress. In fact, I think I’m going to look for something similar for my cousin-in-law’s wedding. But I’m not a glamorous actress at a major awards show. She should maybe step it up a tad.

Jenna Ushkowitz

This is terrible. This looks like the losing entry in a “Project Runway” challenge to take something from your grandmother’s closet and make it modern.

Jennifer Carpenter

I don’t know who she is, and this looks like you’d wear it to a work party or something.

Then again, this is a “work party” for these folks, isn’t it?

Jessica Chastain

Love the hair. The dress looks like it almost made it to being beautiful but stopped a little short. It needs some neck bling, is what it needs. and maybe something more interesting happening with the straps.

Judy Greer

I kept looking at the name Judy Greer and thinking, that sounds awfully familiar, but isn’t she, like, a pin-up from the ’40s or something? Then I looked at the picture and remembered who she actually is and was excited because I love her and I think she looks great! Although, I am reminded of something my grandmother once said to me. She came to visit and arrived right around the time I was coming home from school. I was maybe fourteen. She looked at my typical school outfit and said, “I’m so glad you don’t flaunt yourself,” which I understood to mean, “You look like crap.” Although possibly she just meant she was glad I wasn’t in a miniskirt and plunging neckline. (My typical outfit in those days was “boyfriend” jeans, a tank top, and either a flannel or one of my stepfather’s button-down shirts. Come on, girls born circa 1981. You know what I’m talking about.)

Anyway, this picture makes me want to say to Judy Greer, “I’m so glad you don’t flaunt,” but I mean it in a totally nice way! While I enjoy sexiness, I also enjoy women who can look beautiful and event-appropriate without particularly pumping out the sex appeal or even showing much skin.

Julianna Marguiles

Now that’s how you do it, Julianna Marguiles!

Julie Bowen

I just love it. I love her a lot already (although she’s been looking super-skinny lately on the show. Like, she’s always pretty slim but lately it’s been verging on stringy. Maybe she’s been sick or extra busy or stressed, but I sincerely hope that’s it and no one is pressuring her to lose weight) and this dress is fun and beautiful and interesting and she looks happy to be wearing it.

On the other hand, celebrities need to stop wearing dresses with interesting backs. It messes up my formatting.

Kaley Cuoco

This is awfully . . . fluffy.

Which is not to say I don’t like it.

Karine Vanasse

I really have no clue who this chick is. I am wondering why she just pulled a dress of the rack at Macy’s and didn’t bother getting it fitted or anything.

Kelly Osbourne

Okay, this dress is much, much better than her last one. But I still don’t understand the hair.

Also I kept mistaking her for Kirstie Alley in the thumbnails. And Kirstie Alley doesn’t even have gray hair. (I mean, she probably does, but . . . oh you know what I mean.)

Kristen Wiig

I would like this dress, except for the stupid choker. And the unfinished-looking waistline.

Lea Michele

Now that’s how you do it, Lea Michele! You look like a sexy glamour-puss without looking like a Joan Collins character. Good job!

Mayim Bialik

Blossom? What are you doing here?

Meryl Streep

I have to say, I kind of like this one. It still carries that vibe of, “Excuse me, I’m Meryl Streep, and I’ll wear whatever the fuck I want to,” but it’s . . . I don’t know, kind of nice. I like the color. I like the draping. I like how she’s waving and smiling in nearly every picture taken of her last evening.

Michelle Williams

I want so badly to like this dress but then it does that weird thing at the bottom and I just can’t.

Naya Rivera

The dress is fine. The vibe she’s throwing off, of being absolutely thrilled to death with herself, is beautiful.

Octavia Spencer

I really like this. I’d like a somewhat lower neckline, but I really like this. It seems I’m having a thing for shades of gray lately.

Regina King

Love it.

Renne Bargh

Don’t know who she is, but Kate, this dress would look great on you.

Rose Byrne

I want to hate it. It’s a jumpsuit, for fuck’s sake. And yet . . . kind of love it.

Sarah Hyland

I love it!

See, this one I would want to own if I had the body for it and a glamorous enough lifestyle to need it. Unlike Jenna Fischer’s dress which I would wear right now to on occasion I actually have.

Shaliene Woodley

This dress reminds me of a story. When I was fifteen, my stepsister and I were going to be in my cousin’s wedding together. My cousin didn’t want to get, like, bridesmaid-y dresses, so we went with her and my stepmom to the mall. This was going to be an excruciating process because my stepsister had a much better body than me and was going to look good in everything while I looked good in nothing.

But then we found these dresses that we both loved, and we both looked good in them. We were so excited!

Did we get those dresses? No. My stepmom felt they were too sophisticated for a fifteen-year-old and a thirteen-year-old. We got different dresses, which neither of us looked particularly good in, although she got to wear the halter-style top and I had to wear the top with the high neck and the puffy sleeves, because when you’re a chubby teenager with wide shoulders, nothing looks better on you then a high neck and puffy sleeves.

(Incidentally, my cousin’s wedding dress is still the prettiest one I’ve ever seen.)

Anyway, the dresses we wanted to wear looked like this chick’s. Of course, this was 1996 and we were just teenagers. Shaliene should step it up.

Sofia Vergara

is looking kind of skinny, no?

Zoe Saldana

This is my dress of the night. She looks awesome.

Gretchen Mol’s is a close second.

Kate?

 

Golden Globes!

I just looked and realized this never went up! So here it is, and I’ll have the SAGs up later today.

The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards were last night! Who won? Who cares?! Let’s talk about dresses. And any other idle thoughts that pop into my head.

Amanda Peet

My favorite columnist Cynthia Heimel once wrote a column called “How to Get a Man (I’m Serious).” In it, she went over all the usual stupid advice and then said this:

If he’s the wrong man, you can turn yourself inside out with wiles and perfume and French-maid’s outfits and nothing will work. You’ll never get him, you’ll never keep him, you don’t have a chance.

If he’s the right man, you can have greasy hair, spinach in your teeth, and your skirt on inside out, and he’ll still be entranced and follow you to the ends of the earth.

As an example, she brought up her friend Nora, who had a rough break-up. Cynthia suggested that maybe she should dress sexier. “You look like you’re wearing a series of lampshades,” she told her friend Nora. Low and behold, Nora’s Mr. Right came along, loving her series-of-lampshade outfits.

Maybe Amanda Peet is trying to bag Nora’s boyfriend.

(An unrelated anecdote: I discovered Cynthia Heimel as a fairly young teen in a bookstore. I saw a book with the title Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I’m Kissing You Good-Bye and knew I had found a lifelong idol. And then I got her Sex Tips for Girls, thinking the title was, um, tongue-in-cheek, like the last one, but no, it’s really a sex tips book, albeit a super-funny and irreverent and perhaps not comprehensive one. So, J, if we ever meet her – if it please God – you’ve got a lot to thank her for.

But I only had her books. I knew she wrote for Playboy throughout the eighties and early nineties, but I was born in 1981. None of my guy friends had Playboys old enough. Then when I was in college my friend and I were in a vintage store on Mass Ave and I spotted a Playboy from the 1960s out of the corner of my eye. I made some comment about being in the market for 1980s Playboys and the clerk directed me to a vintage desk, the bottom drawer of which was full of exactly what I was looking for. My dear and obviously very patient friend looked through them with me to find the ones with columns that weren’t in books I owned. I finally left that store with 20 “vintage” Playboys, which I carted around with me for a while before finally deciding I could just make photocopies of the column. But they were pretty fascinating. There was an article from a 1983-or-so issue about AIDS. You know, before we figured out what AIDS was.)

Amy Poehler (with husband Will Arnett)

You know? I think she looks pretty good. I frequently think she makes very weird choices for herself on the red carpet (or someone makes weird choices for her) but her hair looks good, her make-up looks good, and the dress . . . well, it’s not a great dress. But at least it doesn’t look like a wetsuit.

Andie MacDowell

How old is she now? What has she been doing lately? Because she looks really good. The dress is inoffensive if boring, but she looks sort of glow-y and fabulous. Seriously, how old is she now?

Angelina Jolie (with husband Brad Pitt) (in case you didn’t recognize him)

Okay, Kate, I know you hate her because you’re on Team Jennifer and isn’t she evil with her man-stealing and adopting children and formerly being sort of goth and maybe kissing her brother and not seeming to give a flying fuck what people think of her, but seriously? I f-ing love this dress. I mean, I love it. In a way, it’s almost like she’s being a caricature of Angelina Jolie – sexy, curvy, glamorous, a little cold and maybe a little evil-looking, with the matching red lips and purse, but also awesome.

Brad? Cut your hair.

Ariel Winter

You know, I’m getting the feeling that Ariel Winter the person is not at all like her character in Modern Family. Not that she has to be. But Alex Dunphy would die rather than wear that dress.

How do I feel about it? Love the bodice, hate the skirt, think she’s too damn young for the whole thing. (Commence pearl-clutching.)

Charlize Theron

I first saw a picture of this from, like, the bust up. I thought she looked fabulous. Then I saw the skirt. Oh, the skirt. Charlize. Seriously. You’re stunningly, otherworldly beautiful. You’re like an artificial creation of what the most perfectly gorgeous woman would look like if such a person could really exist, only you really do. And to top it off, you’re a really good actress.Young Adult was all you. It was a decent movie, made a really fantastic movie based purely on how good you were at playing your character. (I mean, I enjoy me some Patton Oswalt, but you carried Young Adult.)

So I guess, as good as you are, if you want to wear a giant poof on your skirt and that weird, reverse-mullet skirt (party in the front, business in the back) thing, then I guess you can. I just refuse to like it.

Claire Danes

When it comes down to it, I suppose that nothing, including a bra, could have saved that dress. So it’s just as well you didn’t wear one.

Connie Britton

Okay, the dress isn’t as fancy as I think it ought to be, or at least I think you need to wear a little more bling or something with it. But you look very nice.

But you’re making that face again. That “What am I doing here?” face. We’ve gone over this. You’re fabulous. You deserve to be at the Golden Globes. So wipe that look off your face before it freezes like that.

Dianna Agron

Wow. I don’t think you’ve gone there before. This is feisty. This is memorable. This is fierce.

Well, okay, the bodice is. The skirt then devolves into curtains in a bordello. Correction: curtains in a cheap bordello.

Still, it’s a lot more sophisticated and interesting than you usually go and the color looks fabulous on you.

Emma Stone

I love it. I mean, the skirt’s got a weird string-y looking thing happening and I kind of in general hate belts on evening dresses and those weird little shoulder pads like you’re an alien species in a SyFy miniseries . . .

Wait, why do I love it?

Oh, the colors are fabulous on you with your alabaster skiing and your gorgeous hair. And your make-up looks perfect and the dress very flattering and sexy without being slutty or excessively “I’m hot, okay? Stop talking about Ryan Gosling!”

And also I just love you. Please call me. We’d totally be good friends.

Evan Rachel Wood

I don’t care what anyone else says, I love it. It’s dramatic and cool and glamourous and even little amusing in a way, with the scales that turn into feathers like she’s some sort of mythological mermaid/harpy hybrid, which is just awesome. If I had a body that could carry it and an occasion that called for some serious amazing-ness, I would totally wear this dress.

I wouldn’t dye my hair that color. But I would wear an awesome smile that tells the world exactly how much I love my dress, like she is.

George Clooney and Date

George Clooney’s date is blonde. I thought he went for brunettes. Sigh.

Heidi Klum

From the back? Whoa, mama!

Wait, is that a little turquoise I see around her neck? That’s great, with her coloring and that dress, turquoise. Let me get a closer look.

Oh. That’s disappointing.

Jessica Biel

I aggressively hate this. I hate the sort of sad-wedding-dress look of it. I hate the ill-fittingness of it. It looks dirty and weirdly proportioned and confused. Like, why the sleeves and the prim neckline and then the slit up to your gynecologist’s office? Hate.

But she looks great. Her hair, her skin, her face. She looks so young and healthy and beautiful and I say this as a person who is not much of a Jessica Biel fan. So maybe she really likes the dress and feels great in it. They say dress in what you love, right?

Jessica Alba

This is already hitting as a top dress of the evening. I feel sort of meh about it. I don’t love the color for her and I think it’s sort of boring and old-looking. But I guess I am wrong.

Jodie Foster

I love the color but doesn’t it look sort of like it’s not really on her but just in front of her? I am reminded of that dress that Vincent of Season 3 of Project Runway made, the episode he inexplicably stayed in and Alison, who I loved, was voted off.

See what I mean? This dress (which, okay, he made out of trash) just sort of hung inches from the model’s body, and I know sometimes fashion is supposed to be “sculptural,” but sometimes that looks holy-shit-awesome and sometimes it just looks like you didn’t take the time to figure out what an actual woman’s body was going to look like in a dress. And that’s kind of how I feel about Jodie Foster’s dress. Or maybe she’s just standing awkwardly or it’s a bad picture. I don’t know.

Julianna Marguiles

Every time I see her picture I think, “Why did I stop watching The Good Wife? I really liked that show.” But that’s neither here nor there.

This isn’t an awful dress – the color is great, it’s slinky and a nice material – but she needs a better bra. And earrings that . . . relate. And hair that’s not in the same style as mine is right now.

And it needs a hem.

She normally looks fabulous on the red carpet. I don’t know what’s up with this.

Julie Bowen

I get what she was going for here, but . . . no. Hair too blonde. Dress too pale. Waistline defined weirdly. Skirt too long. Body simply not curvy enough to pull this off. She looks like a girl dressing up in Mommy’s clothes. (If one had a fabulous Mommy.) It’s just not coming together right.

Kate Winslet

Hair? Fabulous. Face? Fierce. (Both in terms of make-up and expression.)

Dress? Meh. She does look thicker than usual, but that’s not what’s bothering me. I just kind of hate it. Black and white color-blocks always look waitstaff-y to me, even when the white’s on the bottom and the black’s on the top. The sleeves are weird. The gape around her breasts is weird and revealing without being sexy. The white skirt is boring and tablecloth-like.

Maybe it’s just that my expectations for Kate Winslet on the red carpet are so high, she can’t meet them anymore.

Katherine McPhee

This is in strong contention for my favorite of the night. She looks positively lovely. I’m really into the thing that’s happening on the bottom there.

Kelly Osborn

So I get that the silver-white hair on a not-old person is, like, edgy-cool. You know. But I feel like, first of all, Kelly Osborn and I have gone through some similar body issues, and if your body is already heading in the potentially-frumpy direction, you don’t do anything that might actually make it easier for you to be mistaken for an old lady. I mean, her body looks great right now, but I do feel that adopting old-people looks works better on the otherwise slim-nearly-to-the-point-of-prepubescence. Second, I feel that, especially if you are at a fancy, red-carpet-like event, you can do one old-lady thing. You can have silver hair OR a dress that would look more suitable on Helen Mirren (or whoever Helen Mirren’s equivalent was in 1985). Not both.

Laura Linney

The woman can act the hell out of anything. But she cannot, apparently, hire a stylist.

Lea Michele

Oh, lordy.

I’m a little at a loss. I don’t understand what would possess a person such as Lea Michele – who is gorgeous, extremely talented, and only twenty-five years old – to choose this garment. This would have been fabulous on a Dallas trophy wife going to a fundraiser in 1987. Fabulous in a “Is that whore trying to steal my husband? Or is she going to whip off that skirt and go figure-skating?” way. Cher would have rejected this as being too tacky and over-bedazzled. Dolly Parton would think this is a little much.

I just . . . I don’t get it.

On another note, a recent InStyle featured her on their “10 Best Looks . . . Ever!” page. She’s been in the spotlight (on television, I mean, not on stage) for, like, three years. I mean, if they had included what she’d worn to a cast party of Les Mis when she was eight, then fine, the “. . . Ever!” would have made sense. But they didn’t.

And this dress is definitely not going to make any future “Best” lists.

Good lord.

Melissa McCarthy

Designers, do you not understand that more women look like Melissa McCarthy than like, say, Jessica Alba? Can you please figure out how to dress us?

Also, hair? No.

Meryl Streep

does not have to give a flying fuck what I or anyone else thinks about her dress.

Missi Pyle

I’m only vaguely aware of who Missi Pyle is. But I kind of love her dress. That color is definitely one that cannot be ignored, and rock on, her, for wearing it.

Morena Baccarin

I don’t know who she is, either, but she’s beautiful.

Natalie Portman

She looks like a little kid playing dress-up in Marilyn Monroe’s clothes. And I mean that in a totally good way.

Nicole Kidman

Look, this dress has created the appearance of breasts on Nicole Kidman. It must be one hell of a dress on that alone. Miraculous, even.

And actually, I like it on its merits, too. I love the color, I love the shape, I love the embellishments. It’s been a while since Nicole Kidman has worn something I’ve loved but I’m happy to see it again.

Piper Perabo

Piper Perabo is still working? And being nominated for things? Why, for the love of all that is holy, is this so?

Reese Witherspoon

has definitely looked less like a generic California blonde in the past.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

If you wanted people to talk about you come Monday, you definitely achieved that.

The thing is, I’m just enough of a hippie weirdo to appreciate where this dress is coming from and what it’s supposed to be doing. Super-glam silhouette, tie-dye. And even like the way it looks on the bodice and the . . . uh . . . poof. (My fashion vocabulary only goes so far.) But the whole thing looks like a giant joke she’s playing on the fashion-and-celeb-watching community.

And okay, I’m laughing.

The Deschanels

Zooey looks like she usually does. It’s not my favorite but it’s fine. Although, again, hem. What, are the tailors and seamstresses in L.A. on strike?

But, Bones, what are you doing? I know you just had a baby but there are fashionable and attractive ways to dress a body that, while fantastic, is maybe not as slim as it once was. You don’t have to wrap it in a blue polyester sheet and belt it like a bathrobe.

I mean, I am sympathetic with the just-having-had-a-baby feeling. I have only just come to the re-realization that, no really, sweatpants aren’t okay in public, and yes, even under a winter coat, I should wear an actual bra with a wire and all. But if that’s how you feel, just stay home. Don’t make your already-beleagured body walk around in that.

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton, you go on with your bad self.

Tina Fey

finally dressed like she thinks she belongs there. Good job.

Viola Davis

looks fan-fucking-tastic.

Kate?

Crazy. Stupid. Stalking.

SPOILERS ABOUND. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Jason and I went to see Crazy Stupid Love last week as our anniversary date, because seeing a movie about a couple on the edge of a divorce is a GREAT idea for an anniversary date. (It was my choice; I’m not blaming him.) But actually it was good because the movie turned me into a laughing, sobbing, gooey, slightly turned-on (I’m sorry to be so predictable but Ryan Gosling doing the Dirty Dancing lift is hot, okay?) mess and I was clinging to his arm the whole time. Plus we saw it here, and yeah, we shelled out for the Premium PLUS tickets. This was sort of like being a small child, or a very wealthy recluse. We reclined on cushy chairs with cozy blankies, and sodas, popcorn, and fried foods magically appeared at our table. It was pretty awesome.

Initially, I loved this movie. Like I said, I was either laughing or crying practically the whole time, and usually I don’t like crying at movies, because it feels imposed on me, but a) they cut it with lots of laughing so that’s okay, and b) the actors earned the tears the got. So I really liked it. And look, the actors are great. Julianne Moore is obviously a goddess, and if you haven’t been convinced of that fact by her myriad* film roles, go watch her spar with Alec Baldwin in the guest arc she did on 30 Rock. Go. Now. I’ll wait.

*That trailer is irritating me. Oscar Wilde’s England wasn’t Jane Austen’s England. Jane Austen’s novels were published from 1811 – 1818 (and two of those were published posthumously). Oscar Wilde was born in 1854. I know they both lived “in the past” but “in the past” continues not to be a monolith, and the 19th century was a century of major upheavals for England that were probably only second to the upheavals of the 20th. And, um, the 11th. And the 5th.

Isn’t she awesome? And Emma Stone? I love Emma Stone! I love her adorable charm. I love her whole schtick. A lot. Ryan Gosling? First of all, drool. (He takes off his shirt at some point in the movie. My husband got into the car after and was like, “I’m going to start working out.”) Second of all, he’s hilarious. I don’t think I knew he was hilarious before this. He gets the line of the night with, “The war of the sexes is over and men won. We won when pole-dancing became an exercise class.” And Steve Carell? He can make me cry with the lift of an eyebrow. He can make me laugh with the quirk of a lip. I think he is so completely invested an actor and I love him. I just love him.

And there were some really, really solid scenes. At one point, Steve Carell is in the backyard of the house he used to share with his family, tending to the lawn under cover of night, when his wife calls him. She pretends she needs his help with the furnace (I think it’s the furnace. The furnace is where you’d find a pilot light, right? She asks about a pilot light.) but he can see her through the window; he knows she’s not actually trying to fix the furnace; she’s just standing there wanting to hear his voice. But he plays along like he’s actually helping her with the furnace, with his heart in his throat the whole time. You guys, I lost it. I mean, I really lost it. That stuff gets me.

And the series of scenes in which Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling fall in love are so funny and so sexy and so sweet and, in my opinion, so well-written.

But all of these great scenes can’t save it from itself, in the end. Because (in case you didn’t get this from the he’s-watching-his-ex-wife-through-her-window thing) it’s yet another movie that promotes the idea that stalking = true love and if she tells you to bug off, it just means you haven’t made a Grand enough Romantic Gesture yet.

See, Julianne Moore and Steve Carell have a thirteen-year-old son* who is in love with his eighteen-year-old babysitter, who is herself the daughter of family friends. He – more than once – tells her he thinks about her when he masturbates, he texts and calls even when she tells him that he’s making her uncomfortable, and he (more than once) very publicly declares his love for her even though she asks him to stop embarrassing her. She tells him she loves someone else, and he doesn’t care. Until he finds out that that someone else is his dad. Then he flips a shit.

*They also have a maybe ten-year-old daughter but she barely has lines, never mind any emotions about, say, her parents’ impending divorce which may be inconvenient to her parents or the plot.

He finds this out because her parents discover the naked pictures she took of herself with the intention to give them to Steve Carell, so her father drives to the family’s house (and oddly, not Steve Carell’s new divorced-dad digs, even though it’s just a coincidence that Steve Carell is at his family’s house at that moment) to punch him out. It would have taken a two-sentence conversation with his daughter to determine that Steve Carell had done nothing to encourage this behavior from her, but, you know. Then no whacky hijinx could ensue. So the son decides that she’s a worthless whore and his dad’s an evil bastard. Ignoring the facts that a) his dad didn’t even know that the babysitter had a crush on him until that moment, and isn’t responsible for her feelings in the first place, and b) she’s not his girlfriend and can take ill-advised pictures of herself for anyone she wants. And look, I understand that the kid is thirteen. But the writers of the movie are not. And they kind of imply – or don’t do anything to avoid implying – that they think the kid is in the right here.

Then the kid makes his grand Love Stinks speech at his graduation (because why not, really?) and Steve Carell interrupts him, I guess because making inappropriate speeches in public settings has become, post-The Office, Steve Carell’s thing, and the conclusion reached by all is that a) you do have a soulmate, b) you probably met her in grade school (the ‘you’ is of course male; we’ll get to that later), and c) you should probably declare – publicly – your intention to “fight for her” forever and ever no matter what she does or says to dissuade you. Because stalking is romantic. We know that the ladies find the stalking ultimately romantic because the babysitter responds to his second public declaration of love for her, and his prediction that when he’s older, he’ll look like his dad (ew!), and she’ll love him then, by giving her former charge (ew!) the nude pictures she’d taken of herself that had been originally intended for his father (ew!). It must be twoo wuv.

And at the end of the movie Julianne Moore and Steve Carell seem on the mend, too. Because when your estranged husband takes the opportunity presented to him by his son’s salutatorian address going severely off the rails to announce to the entire town that he has no intention of ever moving on or respecting your wishes to do so, that’s love, you guys.

So I find myself, yet again, having to rail against all of the evil ideas about relationships and women Hollywood delivers.

And look, not to go off on a tangent (ha!), but, yes, this matters! We are humans; we are culture-making animals. Spiders make webs and live in them; we tell stories to each other and live in the culture those stories create. You think you can distinguish between reality and stories, but you can’t, and it’s not because you’re stupid, it’s because they’re not different things. Stories make order of reality; in turn, they create the terms by which we understand reality. Stories are seriously important and that’s why I will always, always take a poke at the stories that are creating a culture in which I do not want to live.

I don’t want to live in a culture in which stalking = romance. In the first place, it’s a dangerous method to keep perpetrating. Boys grow up on stories like this (I know, I know, this movie doesn’t have any explosions in it, so obviously boys don’t watch it. But we all know that’s a lie.) and then think the best way to show their love for a girl is to pester her all the damn time until he finally “wins” his “fight” for her. And after the fifth or sixth girl responds to this kind of attention with bitchy putdowns or restraining orders, he becomes enraged and bitter and misogynist. Girls grow up on stories like this, and don’t feel fully loved until someone is standing under their window with a boom box. Even though they don’t know what a boom box is. Furthermore, when they feel threatened by a boy’s attention, they feel guilty about having that feeling, so instead of listening to that voice going, “This behavior is inappropriate and scary,” they make allowances. Because they’ve seen the movies; this is how “nice” guys behave.

Furthermore, the idea of Grand Romantic Gestures and “fighting” for the one you love really allows a movie like this to glide over what it actually takes to keep a relationship together. Because relationships are hard. Building a life together is hard work and requires more in terms of personal strength and skill than you’d ever think it would. And you can fuck it up. You can fuck it up so that it’s beyond repair. You can fuck it up so that it’s not beyond repair, but you still have to repair it. Declaring your love for her and your memory of sharing mint chocolate chip ice cream with her on your first date in front of the entire town is not the same thing as repairing the relationship. At best, it’s an indication that you want to do the actual work. At worst, it’s just a gesture you hope will mean you won’t have to. And when the stories we tell ourselves tell us just the opposite of that, it makes the work so much harder, because both partners feel, in the backs of their minds, that this kind of work has no place in the world of True Love.

I also don’t want to live in a culture in which women are mere conduits to men’s self-actualization. Because despite hiring women like Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, and despite this being a movie about love and relationships, which are usually considered “chick flicks,” this movie is entirely about who men are and what men want. I will admit that, while in thrall to this movie, I was solidly on Steve Carell’s side in the divorce. Partially this was because she cheated, and I have low sympathy for that. I have even lower sympathy in this case because, like my husband and I, Steve Carell and Julianne Moore have only ever been with each other. I know that all cheating is bad, but I feel that, when you’re each other’s firsts and onlys and intend to be onlys forever, there’s a bubble created in which all sex is sex with each other and so the very definition of sexual experience is each other. And she busted that. So to hell with her. When, later in the movie, we’re supposed to kind of be on her side for ten seconds (just long enough so that Steve Carell can grow) because a) Steve Carell slept with nine other people, and b) one of them was his son’s English teacher, I was going, “Hey, you broke the bubble first.”

(The English teacher is played by Marisa Tomei, who did crazy/horny/crazy pretty well, as usual, but it was more misogyny, because of course the girl you wronged is batshit crazy! That’s why it was okay to wrong her!)

But the truth is, the movie made it so that I can only be on Steve Carell’s side, because I don’t know what Julianne Moore’s side is. She never has a scene where we can see why she wanted a divorce. The movie opens with couples’ feet under tables in a restaurant; they’re all playing footsie. Then we see Steve Carell’s feet, in New Balance sneakers (who must have been paid for all the negative endorsement this movie gives them, unless the idea that no publicity is bad publicity holds) not playing footsie with Julianne’ Moore’s well-shod feet. And I don’t know what that’s about, really. It might symbolize that Julianne Moore is still working on the relationship and Steve Carell is not, or that she’s grown and he hasn’t, or that women’s sartorial standards are always higher than males. Or it’s not a symbol, but a symptom of that last one. I don’t know. In any event, that non-footsie playing is the only glimpse we get of their relationship before Julianne Moore announces she wants a divorce. And Steve Carell is gobsmacked. And then they’re in the car, and she’s continuing to talk about how she wants a divorce and how she slept with this guy at work but it’s really about their problems and Steve Carell continues to be gobsmacked. And of course, Steve Carell is the King of Gobsmacked. He was great in this scene. But the scene was all about him. Julianne Moore was just the Girl-Person making noise in his ear so he could react to it. Even when she tells him she had sex with someone else, but that it was a symptom of their marital problems, we never get into what her perspective on those marital problems is. (We never even find out much about the man she had an affair with. He’s around, but he’s never a real character or even a real threat to the relationship, since it’s pretty clear that Julianne Moore has no intention of pursuing a relationship with him. And he’s played by Kevin Bacon. Why did they pay Kevin Bacon prices for such a non-entity? Why did Kevin Bacon say yes? Do we not pay him royalties every time we play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?) Ryan Gosling suggests that it’s that Steve Carell lost perspective on who he was as a man and that’s the plot line the movie follows for a while, the line of Ryan Gosling showing Steve Carell how to be a “man” (read: PUA asshole), but Ryan Gosling has never met Julianne Moore and it later becomes clear that he’s projecting his daddy issues onto Steve Carell. Steve Carell suggests to Julianne Moore that he was taking the relationship for granted, but that’s kind of meaningless and generic. So the way the movie plays out, Julianne Moore announcing that she wants to divorce Steve Carell is nothing more than Julianne Moore pushing Steve Carell off on his journey of self-discovery, and then serving as his North Star so he can keep track of where he wants to go. What she wanted, what she was missing, none of this is ever the point, none of it is ever really discussed. And this is the height of romance, for a woman. Being some schlub’s North Star.

Even the adorable Emma Stone loses all personality and perspective once she teaches Ryan Gosling to be a “man” (read: not a PUA asshole). Before that she’s sparkly and witty and has a career path; after that we never see those traits again. We barely see her again, and when we do, it’s mainly her standing by Ryan Gosling’s side, not doing much. And the babysitter can, of course, transfer her feelings of affection (and nude pics) from the father to the son, not because we’re ever shown her developing an appreciation for the son’s character but because the son has self-actualized, man! And has asked her to spend her college years and a large chunk of her twenties waiting for him. Romance!

Even worse is the way I’m supposed to believe that men who see women as conduits to their self-actualization are the “nice” guys, juxtaposed to their “asshole” brethren who see women as conduits to their sexual pleasure. That’s the Ryan Gosling self-actualization story – from PUA asshole to sensitive, partnered dude. That’s the belly of the whale Steve Carell has to crawl through – from New Balance sneakers to playah to sensitive, partnered dude. I am not any more sold on this theory than when they were trying to sell it to me on Dawson’s Creek. Not in the least because hey, if you’re only a conduit to sexual pleasure, you can spend the rest of your time doing other things. If you’ve got to be a conduit to their self-actualization, that’s pretty much a full-time, lifelong job. (Oh, excuse me, I forgot. All women really want is the full-time, lifelong job of taking care of a man’s fragile ego.) But no, seriously, this is the thing we should build a culture around instead: You are nice if you see others as whole, separate people, with existences, motivations, desires and rights that are equal to your own. You are not nice if you see other people mostly as conduits for your own desires, no matter what those desires are. You’re using someone just as surely if you use them for cuddling as if you use them for sex. Nah mean?

I didn’t come out of this movie wanting to hate it. I came out of this movie loving it. Because I live in this culture, too, and I’m just as capable as anyone else of ignoring the messages I don’t like in favor of a story I enjoyed being told. Some individual scenes were wonderfully written, poignant and funny and awesome. And I love each of these actors. A lot. Emma Stone, I don’t mean to creep you out after the whole Jim Carrey thing, but I think you and I could be friends. Call me.

But I can’t ignore these things forever. Stories are important; stories matter. I want better ones.