Everything, Everywhere, All at Once is hard to spoil, and it’s even a little hard to get your mind around (by design). But this week on You Love To See It (our movie podcast!), we tackled this beautiful, ridiculous, epic film, alongside our fantastic colleague, Imran Khan. We tried to stay on topic, and to really get at what the film is saying, while enjoying the bananapants imagery and creative flair of the filmmakers.
As always, you can listen to the show in the embed, or find it on your podcatcher of choice here. I’m including our show notes here, which contain some creative capitalization and spoilers, but should give a good sense of our research and thoughts moving into recording day. You can also read the full transcription below our show notes, if you prefer your podcast in this format!
Everything, Everywhere, All at Once is a… sci fi comedy drama martial arts movie about a struggling Chinese American family. Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn, a woman who has made a few tough choices in her life, and is now dealing with family pressure, the IRS auditing her business, and a failing marriage. But this is a multiverse movie, and we get a peek at other lives Evelyn could have — or simultaneously IS living.
Our must-discuss items:
Fernanda’s must-discuss items:
- I’m usually very quick to get into my notes after (or even during) watching any of our movies. This time, however, I needed a night to gather enough of my thoughts to have anything to put down in writing. And I still don’t think I have it? I kind of want to just be like, “You know what, don’t waste time listening to us, just go watch the damn thing.”
- …DR – BIG SAME. In fact, I am worried it will be hard to even talk about this movie in a coherent way, so, if this episode is a mess, that’s maybe to be expected and also maybe appropriate, given the material.
- I think part of it is the fact that I always have somewhat of an easy time capturing some of the “under themes” of the movies we watch, which is always a good jumping point for not just discussion but also reflection. But, beyond the obvious Asian-American link, I had a tough time putting my finger on this one, which I believe might have something to do with the fact that the under theme here is pretty much whatever you want it to be. To me the film felt very Rorschach test-y, and my impression was confirmed upon reading interviews with the Daniels about the reactions they got. They talked about it revolving around this idea of intergenerational love, about ADHD (Dan Kwan said he realized because of the movie he had undiagnosed adult ADHD), and that they read a review from a woman saying it was about menopause, while white straight man relate to it because they think it speaks to the dynamics of marriage. To me it all makes sense. I could probably be convinced that this movie is pretty much about anything, kind of like I was when reading stuff on *shudders, grits teeth* The Green Knight. And that, to me, is testament to the beauty of it. I really had no idea that a movie involving the multiverse, kung fu, a cooking raccoon, buttplugs, hot dog fingers and existential rocks could exist, let alone be so goddamn riveting, but here we are.
- My frustration to intellectually grapple with it is probably why I felt both very seen and very attacked when I read this interview the Daniels gave to Film Freak Central.
“DK: I think that’s what we’re trying to do with this film is to destroy, to just kind of smash through all the cynical, deconstructive thought processes that we’ve kind of built up around ourselves like a wall shielding ourselves from feeling. But we’re shielding ourselves from experiencing art, because we’re just trying to pick it apart, understand it, label it before we even have a chance to let it move through you. This movie was very engineered to scramble all those wires, all the intellectual pieces of language you might have to describe a movie are thrown out the window, so early on you have no other choice but to feel and to experience.”
- Not gonna lie, though, I was expecting to be a little “meh” about it. The stubborn dickhead with a uniqueness complex in me is tempted to feel unimpressed by stuff that seems to impress everyone else, and on top of it I kind of hate the multiverse. But I really don’t think that you can actually hate this movie, not if you’re honestly trying to engage with it. It can just not be your thing, I guess, but I just feel like there’s gotta be something about it that you can latch onto. Even if it’s just gawking at Michelle Yeoh.
- Speaking of which… Wow. Just… The deepest, gushiest, most sincere of wows. This truly is one of those once-in-a-lifetime performances, isn’t it? I read an interview on The Verge in which the Daniels talk about the concept of a “love letter” and how this was, in part, one for MIchelle Yeoh. I particularly loved this one quote:
“DK: Everything Everywhere All at Once is a love letter that we put in the blender, chopped up into a million pieces, burned it, turned that ash into little teabags, and then gave back to Michelle. Honestly, I think “love letter” isn’t the right word anymore; it’s so much more than that. It’s just pure, true, earnest love. The day after the premiere, she was very emotional and really thankful to us, and it was a very moving experience, having someone like Michelle Yeoh open up to us in that way”
- While we’re at it, another interesting quote from that one, also from Kwan:
“As filmmakers, the multiverse should scare all of us. It’s anti-story when you think about it. When you’re learning about screenwriting, it starts with “what are the decisions your characters make” because that’s how you build a character over the course of a movie. The multiverse posits that every decision you make doesn’t matter because every other version happens. It’s a slow watering down of why you should care about a movie. We were so excited to tackle that because we thought that’s a challenge that we haven’t seen anyone do yet. Has anyone used the multiverse to really look at what it feels like to be alive right now? This moment of feeling like 100 narratives are hitting you at the same time, and you’re laughing, and you’re crying, and you’re confused, and you’re scared.”
- Other than Michelle, the acting truly is wildly good across the board. Stephanie Hsu (and all of her perfect costumes), Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis… Even Jenny freaking Slate as the dog lady! All so supremely good, the casting is stellar. And I can only *imagine* acting on this movie without knowing exactly what the final product is gonna look like. It must take some trust on the directors to look at a bunch of dildos and butt plugs and be like “OK, I’m sure it will all come together.”
- RACACOONIE I LOVE YOU AND I WILL PROTECT YOU WITH MY LIFE!
- I know there’s a message about unfulfilled potential and possibilities and all that stuff, but I’m not gonna lie: If my multiverse husband showed up saying he’s seen several of my multiverse selves and that *this* is by far my most pathetic one, I’d feel very fucking attacked. I mean, I’d fully believe it, but still. Harsh.
- I’m gonna be my annoying lazy self and say this, though: I think we could have trimmed like 15 minutes here and there. JUST SAYING. Nothing personal, though. I don’t think there are many movies that couldn’t benefit from a 15-minute trim.
Danielle’s must-discuss items:
- I know I said last week with Batman and Robin that THAT is what a superhero movie should be, and I stand by that, at least for like, a mainstream comic series. But this, here, a truly novel blend of genres and heavy themes and also dildo butt fighting and hotdog finger-having lesbian romances and deeply felt emotional connections — is ALSO what a superhero movie should be.
- Oh my god I don’t even know if I could pick a favorite universe here because there is just so much to love.
- The queer themes made me feel everything, everywhere, all at once (see what I did there?)
- Same for the theme of fighting with love. I am the corniest, corniest person I know, and I feel this whole theme so very deeply, especially when things – such as they are with this world (and ha, this website) are chaotic and bad and confusing.
- We joke about things being a rich text all the time, but this may be the richest text we’ve ever actually tackled. Every scene – no matter how silly or poignant on its face – is deep with symbolism and thematic weight – yes, even the dildo butt fighting lol. But I do want to mention the Evelyn being a martial artist and movie star universe, especially, since that feels like the most blatant love letter to Michelle Yeoh herself, in a movie that is, as you mentioned above, a love letter.
- I straight up cackled in many scenes. I love that Racacoonie is a thing. I love the lesbian hot dog fingers. I woke up this morning and HAD to, in detail, describe the dildo butt fighting scene to my GF. The rocks! The imagery is so powerful and so silly and so imaginative, I imagine I will watch this movie every year for the rest of my life and find something new every time.
- Which is both an exciting and exhausting proposition, tbh. But I will embrace it.
Imran’s must-discuss items:
- This movie is an exploration of grief of being the child of immigrant parents
- It’s also a fantasy of the idea that your parents will apologize to you for the trauma they unintentionally pass on from their parents
- The first things Joy mentions she put on the Everything Bagel are her hopes and dreams and her report cards
- Bagels and googly eyes are inverted. Evelyn is a bagel, Waymond is a googly eye – nihilism vs. hope, dissociation vs. empathy
- We tend to think people would be nowhere without us, but if we got a chance to see them without us, we’d realize we actually need them
EXT. FANBYTE CITY – EVENING
Some very chill 80s-inspired music plays as we slowly move from an extreme wide shot of the sun setting on the city into a quiet main street revealing the You Love to See It store.
Through the window, a view of the carpeted store inside emerges. Shelves line the walls and form aisles full of bright red VHS tape covers.
INT. YOU LOVE TO SEE IT STORE – CONTINUOUS
Fernanda, store uniform rolled up to accentuate her cool tattoos, refreshes the new YLTSI@fanbyte.com email for any new messages on the dusty old computer by the register. Danielle, in the perfect combo of workout gear and her store uniform, sticks googly eyes onto a stack of tapes.
You walk through the front door and the bells chime, they both look over at you.
Danielle: Oh, hi there! And welcome to You love to See It. Fanbyte’s movie review podcast. Every month we pick a theme and every week we watch a movie and then we decide where its VHS tape- and they are VHS tapes- where they belong in our delightful neighborhood video store. That means we get to judge whether it’s got enough heart, soul, and brainpower to hit our staff picks shelf, whether it’s no Racacoonie, but it has the cooking skills to make it to the middle aisle.
Or whether it’s nothing but a hot dog fingered fumble, and it gets sent straight to the dumpster where it’s tax day, every day, and you need to paper cut four fingers constantly. Working the counter today we have your truly, I am Danielle “lesbian everything bagel” Riendeau. We also have my incredible cohost, who is here most days with me, Fernanda “existential rock with googly eyes” Prates. Fernanda, how are you today?
Fernanda: I’m doing great. Happy to be here. And I got to say being an existential rock with googly eyes, like I’ve never felt more seen than this particular character, which we will discuss in depth, but happy to be here.
Danielle: Yeah, we certainly will. And we have a very special guest here today with us to help us discuss this incredible movie we have Imran “Jobu Tupacki” Khan. Imran, how are you today?
Imran: I’m doing well. Hi.
Danielle: Thank you for being here on this holiest of days, the day where we discuss a truly great movie, I’m just going to fucking say it. A truly great movie. And we kinda just said goodbye to our theme. We were doing Payday May, but this week we’re just stepping into a multi-verse and not like a comic corporation multi-verse, not like a branded multi-verse, more like a wacky ridiculous, really heartfelt interpretation of the, the sort of many worlds theory with Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Danielle: And we’re about to go right into our our first main segment, which is called Setting the Scene where we introduced the movie at hand and we do a little spoiler free chat about our history with it. But first, just if you happen to be unfamiliar with this movie, here’s a brief summary. Everything Everywhere All At Once is a sci-fi comedy drama, martial arts movie, about a struggling Chinese-American family.
Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn, a woman who has made a few tough choices in her life and is now dealing with family pressure, the IRS auditing her business and a failing marriage. But this is a multi-verse movie. We get a peek at other lives Evelyn could have or maybe simultaneously is living at the same time, but we will get into all of that.
At least, most of it I don’t think we can actually handle everything of the, everything, because we would be here for 10 hours. So we will get into most of it in due time. But first we’re going to move into our Setting the Scene segment where I ask my dear co-hosts what their background with the movie is- normally we watch older movies so sometimes it’s “oh, I saw it when I was five” et cetera, et cetera. Imran, I want to start with you. What is your history with the movie? Did you know about it? Did you go into it blind? That kind of thing.
Imran: Yeah. So I actually- I went into this as blind as I possibly could. There was no- I didn’t know anything about it.
I just had friends that mentioned “yeah, you’re probably going to want to watch this movie. I think it would speak to you and you want to watch it in theaters.” So I spent a lot of time, like trying to convince my partner, like we should go see this movie because we had been going to Alamo Draft House every week for a month, for some reason. Because it just happened to work out that way that we were watching a bunch of movies.
And it became this question of during the pandemic, everything is this the movie that’s worth getting COVID for (Danielle and Fernanda laugh) because there is a possibility that every single time I go to the theater that it’s going to be “okay, yeah. That was a good movie. Really sucks. The next two weeks.” Yeah.
Fernanda: Is it worth the COVID? I agree with you. Yeah. That’s a calculation that had to be made. Absolutely.
Imran: Ultimately the logic was, if Sonic 2 was worth going to get COVID for, then probably this one will be too. So we went inside and yes, that is my answer. If I did get COVID it would have been worth it for this movie.
Fernanda: Was it better than Sonic 2 though? That’s the real question.
Imran: Yes, a little less Jim Carrey, but yeah…
Danielle: Yeah, I got you. I see where you’re coming from. I appreciate that. Fernanda. I want to ask you the same question. What is your history with this movie? Did you go in blind? Did you know a bit about it?
Fernanda: My history with this movie is our wonderful producer, Paul pestering us- (they all laugh in a loving manner, definitely not like they were mocking me or anything…) absolutely obsessed with this movie and trying every possible way to get us to watch it, which-
Danielle: We TRIED! (laughse)
Fernanda: I would discuss his absolute obsession because honestly, we support passion on this show and we love that he was interested, so invested in getting us to talk about it, but we had like logistical issues because it never even got to theaters here in Mexico, but then we finally were able to pull it off.
And like you mentioned, we were doing Payday May and it happened to be a a five movie month. And we were just like, you know what, let’s ditch the theme and do this or our wonderful, amazing producer, Paul. And he did not lead us astray. Part of me was like I hope I dislike the movie, just to stir some shit up with Paul, but spoiler alert: I did not dislike it. I am not a- I don’t know- anybody who is not a terrible person probably has something to like about this movie, which we’ll get into. But yeah, that was pretty much my thing. And of course I had read the rumblings and the – ’cause obviously it’s a very well-reviewed movie.
I think right now it’s 95% on rotten tomatoes and like 96 in the public, like eight point something on IMDB. Like it, it really landed really well with everyone. So I had read here and there some stuff about how this crazy movie also happened to be amazing in a very weird way. And nobody wanted to say anything about it because everything felt like spoilers.
So that was my history with it. And I’m glad Paul basically forced us to watch this. (Danielle: “At gun point.”)
(more supportive laughter)
I’m glad because if you’re going to do that with a movie, at least it’s a very good movie. It was a lot of pressure on Paul I think. He was probably sweating it a little bit last night. I’m going to go ahead and guess.
Danielle: I can honestly only imagine I know Paul’s- Paul is here with us. He is listening to all of this.
He was sweating. He was sweating.
Fernanda: Alpha Paul is here.
Danielle: Alpha Paul is here. He’s jumped into this form. Sorry. Yeah, for sure. For me, I saw a preview for it at an Alamo Drafthouse movie. So I guess that’s a little bit like maybe Imran’s first exposure here as well. And I was just like I need to that. That looks cool.
I love the star. I love interesting little weird sci-fi movies. I love little like things about pocket universes, even if I don’t necessarily love multi-verse stuff. I do like things that talk about different possibilities and choices in life, so on and so forth, which is thematically kind of what we’re dealing with here.
I went in completely fresh. All I knew was Paul really loved it. Imran really loved it. And a couple of other people in my life really loved it. And that’s all I knew. I knew it was like, okay, there’s something about universes and I know Michelle Yeoh’s in it. And I know it’s supposed to be pretty funny and quirky and that’s about it.
That’s all I knew. And then I saw it and I really loved it. I don’t think that’s any kind of spoiler. It’s pretty fucking awesome movie. I will say this. I’m almost worried that our conversation will be messier than usual. We do a lot of pre production on this podcast. I’ll be honest. I’ll pull the curtain back.
We do a lot of notes. We do a lot of trying to think about the movie at hand before we go in and there’s actually so much here that I’m slightly intimidated to talk about it. I’m like actually slightly like “will we do it justice?” And all we can do, is go with the spirit of the movie and say there’s a lot of chaos, but you got to do your best.
I guess that’s one interpretation, maybe potential interpretation of the movie. And we’re gonna, we’re just gonna head in we’re going to go in and this is, of course our spoiler filled, stripping it down in section. So if you don’t want to be spoiled on the movie, and this is almost-, I don’t know, I suppose you could spoil this movie, but it wouldn’t make sense to anyone.
Not like it who didn’t know the premise. So it’ll just sound like bullshit, but I will say it anyway. We have a spoiler filled section. Now we’re going to really go in and talk about the themes. Talk about things we found interesting about this movie and we’re going to keep it to our normal length.
We’re not going to go on for 10 hours, even though I think we could.
Fernanda: Maybe the other universe’s- the other versions of us still keep going after we’re done.
Danielle: They’ll just never stop because there’s, there is so much- and it’s not a short movie. It’s two hours and 20 minutes just about. Which we already- we’ve talked about.
The perfect length for a movie is (Fernanda: “Less than two hours.”) like 75 to 90, right? Always this one, not only is, on the longer side, I’m not saying it’s like exceedingly long, but it’s on the longer side of a mainstream release. And it also packs in so much that it’s actually a little bit tough to to fully break down, but we’re going to do our best.
We’re going to talk about what we think it’s about and we’re going to have a good time. So spoiler fill section here, spoiler filled section!
Danielle: So Fernanda, one of the things that you wrote in your notes here was that it took a while to digest, which I was trying to agree with. Do you want to like, talk about that aspect a little bit? That just how much is here? How much is on this table in front of us? This giant feast of a movie?
Fernanda: Yeah. Yeah. Usually when I’m doing my notes either I do some like during the movie or like right after, cause I like to do it when it’s fresh and then I just go back in and refine it, but. I was like staring at the screen and I had no idea what to put down on the notes. It’s just I don’t think I, yeah and I still don’t think I have anything concrete to say.
I this felt like one of those episodes that we should have just come in and be like, you know what, watch the movie. Bye. We’ll talk about it later because I really didn’t feel like I had anything. It was hard to intellectualize the concepts that I was absorbing, if that makes any sense, which for me is weird because I have that kind of brain, like I don’t, I have, I don’t just appreciate- I’m not one of those people that just appreciate art and appreciate beauty, can look at a thing and think it’s a beautiful thing and be like, oh, that’s nice.
I saw a beautiful thing. Like my brain is okay, but what does this thing that I just saw mean? And how does it fit within the general context of human existence? That’s just where my brain goes. Which probably explains a lot to the people who have to put up with my bullshit all the time, but that’s a whole other conversation.
So I was like, okay, there is this obvious theme about, being the Asian American sort of experience, the sort of intergeneration, I don’t even want to say intergenerational trauma because I feel like that’s such an overused expression, but yeah, the sort of intergenerational- (Danielle: “It works here.”) it works, even though they did say that it’s a movie about “intergenerational love.”
But that’s who the intergenerational dynamics, like these very obvious things, but there’s also so much else to unpack behind it. To me, felt like. Like a Rorschach test in a way, like you can really project into it, whatever you want. And this impression got confirmed when I read some interviews with the Daniels, because they talked about how many things are in this.
They talked about this intergenerational love thing. I mentioned, they talked about Dan Kwan said that he realized they had undiagnosed adult ADHD after watching the movie because- and that a lot of people who have ADHD talked about how that how the movie spoke to them from that perspective, he said, he read a review from a woman saying the movie felt like it was about menopause.
And they talked about like white men relating to the sort of marriage aspect of it. So you really can like project a lot and go to so many places. That to me was even hard to zoom in on one thing or pin down one sort of one of, underlying theme to unpack.
And I kinda felt seen and attacked when I read this quote Dan Kwan, because he did mention it in an interview with I think the website is film freaks central, and it’s a bit of an insufferable interview if I’m being honest, but there’s some good stuff in there. And he says I think that what we’re trying to do with this film is to destroy, to just smash through all the cynical deconstructive thought processes that we’ve built up around ourselves, like a wall shooting ourselves from feeling, but we’re shielding us ourselves from experiencing art, because we’re just trying to pick it apart, understand it, label it before we even have a chance to let it move through you.
This movie was very engineered to scramble all those wires, all the intellectual pieces of language. You might have to describe a movie are thrown out the window so early on you have no other choice, but to feel the experience. So I was like, oh! It’s not just me. (laughs)
Danielle: It’s the anti-podcaster movie basically.
Imran: So I didn’t know that bit about the ADHD before. And as someone who has fairly severe ADHD, your brain constantly feels like it’s on fire and snowy at the same time. And like knowing that he has that like undiagnosed ADHD and knowing that I really love this movie.
It just a very moment, like a moment of I get it. That explains a lot!
Danielle: Honestly I really liked that. I liked that sort of connection there too. And I also just. Oh, my God. I do want to discuss as well. Imran, sort of your top line note, and I know we are probably going to go all over the place, just cause this movie goes all over the place, but it is something I really do want to hear your take on here because it does begin very, in a more mundane setting right this family they’re struggling, Michelle Yeoh’s character, Evelyn.
She is struggling like everybody’s struggling. And there is a queer daughter who is trying to introduce her girlfriend to the grandfather. There’s a lot of trauma. There’s a lot of misunderstanding. There’s a lot of miscommunication. There’s a lot of, going on and Imran your top-line note is that this is like an exploration of grief of being the child of immigrant parents.
And also a fantasy of the idea that like your parents will apologize to you for that trauma basically. So I definitely want to hear your thoughts on that. Cause I do think that’s like a really major theme here. That is like what we start on here in this movie. And it’s a lot of like where we go to, even though we go to a lot of other places.
Imran: Yeah. So like the very first things in this movie are there. They’re having fun as a family. They are like growing up together. They’re enjoying their time together, but then it like hard cuts from that to Evelyn, Michelle’s character, like dealing with things like laundry, maintenance and taxes, three things that you have to do in life.
(Danielle and Fernanda laugh)
Imran: You can’t avoid those things or you just, you can’t really function in society. And I think that’s.- I’ve tried to talk to my parents about the lives they wanted to lead in America and how ’cause they came here. When, before I was born, when my mom was 18, my dad was like 24. And over 40 years of this, I go at this point and the lives they wanted to lead where a lot more like they’re happy with the way things turned out.
They’re happy. They had two kids are happy, they had good lives, but everyone has dreams that they came to a different country. Or when they do come to a different country, they had these dreams that they want to have. And that doesn’t always work out that way. And I think unintentionally or intentionally, you pass on the disappointment of your life, not working out the way you’ve expected to your kids.
And my parents tried to raise me in a very specific, don’t forget your culture kind of way. That didn’t work because the more you try to do that, the less I’m interested in remembering my culture or caring about any of that. And I think one of the reasons I really love this movie and I loved it so much that at the end of the movie, I was next to my partner and literally just balling in my seat.
That one of the reasons I loved it is because it spoke to me on that idea of my parents. Didn’t try to do any of the things that I consider a trauma in my life. They don’t, they didn’t try to make me feel bad because I didn’t get all A’s on a report card. They did, it did happen like that. That was just part of the thing of growing up with Asian parents is that there’s a societal expectation of the grades you’re supposed to have.
And the life you’re supposed to live. They didn’t, they wanted me to be a lawyer and I became a video game journalist, and I’m sure as successful as I am at that. It’s not what they had in mind, but they didn’t try to. Like it wasn’t abuse or anything, but it’s things that you- when your life doesn’t go the way you want it to, you tend to exude that to the world and you don’t realize it.
And I think watching Evelyn struggle with this idea of, she tried to be a singer. She tried to be, she wanted to be a martial artist at some point in her life. She wanted to, what if she was a sign spinner? What if she was a cook? And I think I’ve had those thoughts. I’ve had, what if I took this path?
What if I did become a lawyer? What if I did become the doctor? What am I’m sure. My mom and my dad have had those paths too. And it it was just a fascinating idea to think about. They went through these things too. They didn’t mean to put those problems on me, but they did. And I think the only thing- I think the thing this movie gets across to me that I wish we could have all done in our lives is when Evelyn and joy try to they try to find common ground, but they can only appear in their own selves and every universe, they can see what the different choices they would have led.
The only thing they really want is to be able to appear in each other’s shoes that, that would help them. And I think if I had dealt with my parents, so my parents had that with me, we would have had different lives, are different relationships entirely. And that I think- I left the movie, wishing I left the movie and I went home and I called my mom and I was like, we didn’t talk about the movie or anything like that.
I just was like, Hey, how are you doing? How are you? You doing okay? And my mom was like, Hey, you haven’t called him like a week. What’s up with that? I was like, cool.
(Fernanda and Danielle laugh)
Imran: But it made me realize it’s not about wishing we had a different relationship. It’s about appreciating that we had a relationship at all.
Fernanda: Yeah. It’s interesting. Because obviously with your experience is very specific, like you said, there’s a layer to these sort of the immigrant- the emotional layer that comes with that, which obviously as an immigrant now I understand that as much as something heavier than it looks from the outside, but I didn’t have that with my, my mom and dad, but it’s also, and what we were talking about, the sort of universality of the movie, it speaks to just the basic dynamics of mothers and children. And what you said, like my mom, for instance, my parents they didn’t set out to, like I said, inflict trauma or anything like that. But my mom like for instance, my mom had me very young and she had all these, again, these dreams and these ideas that she never got to fulfill.
And I, for a long time blamed myself because I was like, if I hadn’t been born when my mom was 24 she wouldn’t have been able to do all those things. And I also felt that what you were saying, right? Like the idea of have carrying the weight of some of those unfulfilled dreams. And that’s, again, a very, I think, universal experience and what I like about this movie being centered on Michelle’s character on the mom. I think she gives it a lot of dimension. We’re so used to like having the younger, this, the daughter of the teenage or young adult character being the center of it. And we all tend to look at moms and especially older moms in, I think a very dehumanizing light still.
Like it’s getting better obviously as a society on that sense, but we tend to really think of these characters, like Michelle’s as the vessels for the expectations and frustrations of the other characters. Like even when they have the moments of mutual understanding it comes as a flash from the mother’s perspective.
I feel like the narrative is often centralized in the other characters. And what I kind of love about this movie is that you can empathize with all of them and you can understand all of it and understand Michelle’s- Evelyn’s frustrations and see her as this really multi- literally multi-dimensional since she exists in several dimensions- multi-dimensional character. (laughs)
So it’s very interesting. Like obviously I feel like the emotional impact is obviously much larger with people who can absolutely relate to that experience. Like you Imran, but again, like the richness of it for me is in the fact that also you can take these themes and they feel very universal even without those specific aspects of their sort of existence.
Danielle: Yeah, I want to say I did an interview once when I worked at a queer website with a filmmaker who talked about like the more specific you make an experience, the more universal it’ll feel, because it’ll just feel real. And people just gravitate towards a sense of reality and the things that people really experience.
And, of course I am not Chinese American. I’m not, Asian-American, I’m not any of these things, but I certainly had some moments myself with the queer daughter and with coming out to, to family and having some real awkwardness about what do I call my partner to my family, to older family members or things like that really.
And there’s a really, an inciting incident. My God, the whole movie is an inciting incident, right? The, like one of the main sort of things that happens is that the mother says that Becky Joy’s girlfriend is like a close friend, to her elderly father, that she has tried to, impress her entire life.
And really obviously upsets Joy and Joy runs away and they have another moment of not understanding each other. And there’s even a line about you’re lucky your mother is open to your dating girls. There’s this like conditional acceptance about it. Oh, I’m not that old I’ll accept you, but not grandpa, that kind of thing, like happens there.
And there is like a really lovely payoff to that later on in the movie, we do go back to our kind of. I must like the vanilla universe. I don’t know, like the boring universe, right? The only kind of universe that is close to ours, the universe with taxes, because everything else is hot dog fingers and butt plugs and, rocks and puppets and crazy shit happening.
And Racacoonie happening, but there’s that lovely payoff at the end where, Gong Gong, grandpa, he accepts Becky, like girlfriend, and Becky doesn’t understand what he’s saying necessarily, but she smiles and there you have a beautiful moment.
And like later on, Becky is helping the family with the tax thing by giving everybody a ride. The slight insult that is meant to be very caring, goes towards Becky. And that’s oh, this is a sign of love and acceptance. Like she’s part of the family. Now she’s going to be told to grow her hair, whatever which in itself is of course like a complicated thing, but it feels complicated in a way that does feel like a lived experience and like a very real way of putting something in a very real way of, showcasing something.
So I, I wasn’t like bawling, but I was definitely like, I was tearing up myself, during this and just feeling oh, that’s beautiful. I was making like very high pitch noises as I do when I’m very touched by something. So it’s, it really is a movie that plays in extremes like extreme absurdity and also like extremely real themes. Very real themes and very real kinds of like lived emotions and very strong emotions and a sense of bonding and a sense of love and a sense of finding the only grounding moments in life in love and in those bonds, even if they are very imperfect and very fucked up in some ways.
Yeah, God, I love this movie.
Imran: One of the reasons this, like this is not a obviously intentional thing they could’ve done in any way. A reason I love this movie is the googly eyes because my partner and I used to date long distance, because it would just- she lived farther away. And we, when you meet someone that you’re compatible with, you don’t really consider distance as the main thing, really.
So we were dating long distance. And one of the times I came over to stay with her for a little while I brought a bag of googly eyes. I started sticking it on a bunch of things in her apartment and the ground rules were, don’t put it on the cats, but everything else is good.
(Danielle and Fernanda laugh)
Imran: Like most of the googly eyes fell off of her moving and stuff like that. But the two on her Xbox stayed for, I want to say, they’re still there. Like now that we have barely have an apartment together and they’re still just on the X-Box and are sharing entertainment center, but like in the speech Evelyn was giving to Waymond when she starts thinking about the googly eyes, which have their own symbolism within the movie and all that.
They’re optimism, they’re empathy, they’re the inversion of a bagel, essentially, that it made me- ’cause I was sitting next to my partner and I was looking at a tearing up because we are at some point in the next like year or so of getting married. And it is- she is for me the person in my life that like grounds me that that makes me happy.
That is there to make sure I don’t become someone who succumbs to nihilism and a lack of empathy and stuff like that. So that hit me very hard of, I can’t believe there is an actually incredibly specific to us thing in this movie.
Fernanda: (laughs) The googly eyes.
Danielle: I love that. I really love that. That’s so awesome. (laughs)
Fernanda: That’s amazing. Are you sure the other universe you wasn’t involved in the making of this movie? Other universe you sending yourself a message. I’m just going to say it.
Imran: It’s very funny ’cause I think there’s a the Daniels, the director of the movie, like they were clearly directors who were trained on the idea of YouTube or a trained generation of YouTube. And I think. That probably speaks to people like of our generation a lot better because we start seeing these things of- there are references in that movie to the Jackass movie with the paper cuts and stuff like that. And I think we’re all having this weird shared trauma is probably an overused word to use at this point, but like shared trauma that we’re all spilling out at the same time. And I think that’s what this movie is to a lot of people.
And like you mentioned Fernanda, it’s a Rorschach test. It was a Rorschach test, very specifically to a generation. We’re all looking at this and be like, okay, I understand the references, but I also understand like the emotions behind what you’re trying to do and say here.
Danielle: Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of the, I can’t help, but be really wowed and stunned by the visuals of course, themselves and the editing and like just how perfectly edited a lot of Joy’s wilder- I don’t even want to call them fantasy- her manipulations of matter, in the various universes where she’ll have like giant dildos in one second and then ridiculous making people exploded to confetti and the next and sh there’s one scene where she’s falling down the stairs and like on every stair hit her outfit changes and like the colors change and everything kind of changes.
Like it really is this algorithmic kind of feeling like, oh, if you put YouTube like in an insane blender and then put it in one character, this is what’s happening. And obviously she moves towards nihilism and she moves towards this sense of wanting emptiness because there’s too much there’s that’s what’s going on there.
Of course. But my God, the visuals and like the amount of visuals, like first of all, it was overwhelming. And at times, and during watching this, I was like, holy shit. Like I’m sitting there oh my God, it’s a lot. There’s just so much happening to my eyeballs and my brain. Again, very intentionally.
I think every choice in this movie is very intentional. It feels like a movie that was made with a lot of love, not just meant to be random for randomness sake, but elements that felt random, but are certainly put together in a really particular way. It just shocked me how inventive it was. And a lot of that inventiveness went towards the humor, which I really do want to talk about.
I do want to know where other people maybe found something cloying instead of funny and where other people laugh their ass off. Because I cackled at points during this movie, I like physically was like cackling watching this.
Fernanda: I love the humor part. Like honestly, I went into it expecting not to love it because it’s here’s the thing I will forever be an asshole who wants to disagree with people. That’s just, I’ve been working against the side of me for my whole life, but it’s always a little bit there. And this, I don’t like try hard things. I don’t like over intellectual things as we’ve discussed several times on this show. So I tended to, I got went into thinking like this is gonna be one of those try-hard things that people read way too much into. I don’t like multi-verse not in the way it’s been recently explored. Like I was already like getting ready to be annoyed by it.
And I think why the reason, and I agree with you, like there were moments where the visual. Like richness of it, it bordered on overload, but I feel like what works, what makes all of it work is this balance of the sentimental aspects of it, which could have been corny if it wasn’t for the humor and the visual, I feel like they it’s truly a feat to be able to marry all these aspects so well, and I feel like the fact that they went so hard with the humor.
Yeah. It’s fucking bizarre. Like Racacoonie, it’s a raccoon- it’s a universe in which Ratattouie, which Rattatooie is not the rat’s name by the way. I don’t remember the actual Rat’s name. Remi. Yes. This beloved part of movie history. The red is actually a raccoon and the record is bigger- it doesn’t make any sense..
And you’re looking at this. Hotdog fingers. And there’s a guy jumping naked on a butt plug because that’s the jumping pad to a different- and there is, Michelle you’re fighting in the middle of this so seriously. It’s if it wasn’t this bizarre, I don’t feel like you would have counteracted properly all of the very extreme elements of the movie, like you said, Danielle, this movie really operates on the extremes and I feel like all the elements had to be over done for it to work the way that it did. So I really appreciated all those stupid moments of humor. Like I was like, I love that this movie has gone this stupid.
I love it. This is exactly, this is a movie after my own heart. Yes, they’re like intellectual and conceptual and whatever else, but it’s also just fucking ridiculous. And there is a there, they also directed the Swiss army man, which I haven’t watched, but the premise is that Daniel Radcliffe is a farting corpse.
Imran: Yeah, everything just pays off so well like you said, the hotdog fingers, there’s just like this weird joke that turns out to be one of the most emotional parts of the movie. Like I could not, if you walked in without context on the silent scene of the rocks, I could not explain to you why the fact that she turns around and has googly eyes is actually like an emotionally powerful.
It is it becomes a thing that’s this is a funny joke that is like actually hitting me in the heart. The only thing I think that didn’t work well. And I think this is because some scenes were cut is the Jenny slate stuff. Oh, Yeah, that they call her big nose and then that just it I think you see her, she’s supposed to be in the fight scene at the end and Evelyn is supposed to apologize to her for “Hey, I shouldn’t have called you that.”
But I just don’t think it worked in the actual final cut of the film, I’m very eager for this movie to come out on Blu Ray. So I can watch what I assume is like a half an hour longer film.
Danielle: Yes! And that’s the one time I will say yes to that because I hate that.
Fernanda: Honestly, like I will forever think that’s movie that any movie could have 15 minutes less. I still think, I think we could have trimmed it in parts, not going to lie, but yeah. So I’m curious. And now that you said that agree that I loved Jenny Slate’s storyline, just because it’s ridiculous. But it does feel like gratuitous in a way.
So I do agree that now that you’ve mentioned that there were cut scenes, I’m like, okay, maybe this could have gotten more closure. And then again, like I just watched it yesterday and there was so much to digest that I forgot all about that particular story. I do want to, before we move on, make an observation about the rocks, because I found this completely bizarre.
So they, in that same interview that I mentioned to film freaks central they talked about the, they were like thinking that they were going to run into some trouble with some markets, as far as like censorship went and stuff, because the film like dives into all these sort of quote unquote controversial themes.
But I’m gonna create the quote exactly. Cause you need the impact of it. So the other day, who isn’t Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert. I want to say his name is, I don’t know. Daniel, not Kwan he’s sad. We had this funny experience where we knew he was provocative movie and that might be an issue because there also be an international audience for, Michelle’s a star around the globe.
So we’ve been having this conversation about censorship with this attributing, the movie. And we knew that the gay story was going to be tough, but also going to be really hard to cut out by design that kind of excites me. And it’s it’s just there deal with it. But then the sex toys it’s like, all right, even if you blur them out, the movie’s intact, but we had one territory cut out the rocks,
and I was like, what? And then Kwan steps in. We were horrified the movie’s garbage without the rocks. The other Daniel says, why on earth would you cut the rocks? They’re the sweetest. And the answer it turns out is that it’s a pretty religious country. And that the way those rocks explicitly talk about meaninglessness is essentially they’re talking about there being no God, and their censorship board was like, we can’t put this out, not with the rocks.
It’s not even the taboo stuff that scared them. So it’s it’s a very, I felt that was ’cause immediate. It was like the rocks, like that’s where you cut out? And then, yeah, it makes sense. Like girls kissing, like it’s 2022, whatever, but Confronting people with like godlessness yeah.
Danielle: That’s that was a bridge too far!
It does make sense in a way that that story almost feels like part of the movie, that thinking about it this way makes so much sense to like yes, in this universe that we live in some countries, might feel very upset about thinking about godlessness and it’s okay, that, that tracks in the way that so many things track in this movie, even if they are, on their face, might seem a little bit bizarre.
Fernanda: Yeah. Dan Kwan was like, he said in the end, let people kiss. So they like to kiss, but yeah, I can understand why he’d be upset about meaning meaninglessness. (laughs)
As a very nihilistic person, myself. Like I, nothing spoke to me more than the rocks, but I can understand how they- how that would be upsetting. It’s interesting because when it cuts to the rocks, cause it’s very sudden, like they’re going into, if I recall correctly, they’re going to be like Joy who is not Joy-
Jobu is going into the idea of the everything bagel and you have all this stimuli and all this, like you’re seeing everything you’re ever cuts the two rocks. And I feel like that’s such a metaphor for the movie as well. Like I was trying to put myself into this sort of condition that Evelyn was put in and it’s okay, if you were confronted with this concept, right?
If right now you realize that. You were leading all these other lives, that you are all these other people and that the current you is by the way, the shittiest, you there is out there in all these universes- (laughs)
it’s harsh. I’d be a little like the worst? None of them were like, I don’t know libertarians or anything? But I was like when you’re confronted with this idea, right? Your brain. My tendency is to go to the extreme nihilistic, then nothing. I feel like there’s two avenues there, right? The avenues of infinite potential and infinite possibilities and everything. Like even the shittiest you being like a vessel, or like just having all this infinite room for growth and development.
And that’s beautiful, but that’s not where my brain goes. I feel like if I was confronted with this reality, all of a sudden I would absolutely turn into a rock and not the googly-eyed one, the other rock, the suicidal rock, because it’s it’s also very easy for your brain to okay.
So if I have access to everything, if this is all, like it’s hard to put into words. It’s if I have access to all this knowledge, to all these lives, to all this kind of like stimuli, I can be all these things. If I am all these things, then nothing matters and I would slip into nothingness. And then you have the other side of it, the side of hope, the side of like fighting with love or whatever.
So to me, it was like, the rocks made such a I dunno, like they said, the movie would suck with other rocks. I agree. I feel like they’re the part that really grounded me in the experience.
Danielle: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I love also Imran your note about bagels and googly eyes being inverted and who is the bagel and who is the googly eye and who needs to come around to becoming a googly eye or like a partial googly eye?
There’s something really wonderful about that as well. Like again, the specificity of the objects that you used it’s-
Imran: Yeah, like a bagel. You think about everything around an area and just like you miss the center of it, the googly eye is just you’re only thinking about the middle that the actual- so Waymond makes a point to when he’s dealing with Jamie Lee Curtis, to treat her with empathy, to bring her cookies. And Evelyn is like, why are you doing this? This person is making their life miserable. Why are you making her cookies? And it turns out because if you do something nice for someone they’re more likely to give you some slack or you’re more likely to empathize with them.
And like the show, or movie as a whole does a great job of just inundating you with circles. Like the Longy match it’s circles, like Evelyn surrounded by sprinkles around her, the googly eyes, all that stuff. One of my favorites was I counted. I realized very early on, oh, there’s just circles everywhere.
And I saw the struggle on Jamie Lee Curtis’s is necklace. She has like a ring just on there. You don’t find out till much later that’s because she used to be divorced and her husband cheated on her and she just hates like relationships and empathy and all that now. And I like the idea that. Okay. Even though you have a little symbolism, sometimes these things people have symbols of are representations of the memories they don’t want to think about anymore, but still can’t really let go. And I really liked that idea that we choose what they mean for us. Like for Joy and Evelyn, it was a bagel of nihilism and for Waymond it was a googly eye that makes people happy.
Fernanda: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I’ve also read this in your notes and I think that’s a very.
Interesting way to look at it. And also like things you never really thought in your life that you going to be discussing. (laughs) Bagels and googly eyes are opposite concepts.
Imran: I heard a quote once it might’ve been on a podcast years ago or whatever came into my mind a lot during this movie was “all interesting movies are either puzzles or dreams” and this movie is just, it’s so uninterested in being a puzzle.
It just wants to be in a dream. It gives you rules, but it gives you rules so Evelyn could just break them immediately. And then it’s up to like me as the viewer being like, okay, but what if you were a puzzle though? What could I puzzle out about what you’re trying to tell me and what you’re trying to say?
And the answer is whatever you want, essentially? Whatever you want to feel from this, whatever you’re thinking, whatever you think the symbols mean. That’s what they mean to you.
Fernanda: And that’s hard to pull off. To do all of this and not come across incredibly pretentious, incredibly overbearing, right? Like they that’s, to me the real triumph of the movie, like you do all of this and it’s clear what you’re trying to do.
And you’re putting all these elements in and it still doesn’t come across like something. And when I talked about this, when we discussed the green night which as a reminder for everyone, I truly fucking hated because to me it is one of those movies that is just look how it wasn’t as bad as the other from the same director goes, but that was I disliked, I have a tough time wanting to watch a movie.
That’s just look how smart I am. And you have to be smart to understand me only smart people understand this and this. Could it was, it would have been so easy for everything everywhere, all at once to feel that way. And it doesn’t because it ends up being so charming and so interesting and the choices are so good.
So yeah, I just like him, I wanted to dislike it and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, which is a triumph. I would say, even though the world doesn’t revolve around me and they don’t need me to like it in particular.
Danielle: I will say this. I was describing, I immediately had to describe the sort of book plug fighting scene to my girlfriend.
She does not like movies about multiverses or anything. That’s reality is fucked up. It just like fucks with her in a way. And I totally respect that. It just scares her on a level that she’s just not about that. She did not want to see this, but she’s, she’s interested in things about it, but did not want to see it.
And I was like, I need to tell you about a scene in this movie about like butt plug fighting. And, I described the whole thing and she’s wow, that sure is a thing that happened in a movie. Then she was like, why do these things happen in this movie? And I sat there and I was like, because.
All we have are specks of time where things make sense. Like I said, whatever the line- I know I’m misappropriating it now. I’m not I’m misquoting it now, but whatever that line was really beautiful. And she said, “Aw, I like that.” And it was like a moment of I somehow didn’t fuck this up, in the moment explaining this to my girlfriend about this fucking ridiculous scene that I cracked up at.
And truly, that was a very amusing scene. Oh, how do you get great in martial arts? You shove a giant dildo up your ass. You’re great at martial arts. Like just something about this was very funny to me. I don’t know. I’m a child…
Fernanda: it’s objectively funny. The minute the butt plug scene happened, I was like, I’m that kind of person that sees 69 and says “nice!”
Like it’s, aren’t we all deep down. I feel like everybody left at the butt plug scene. If you’re alive, you thought if you’re alive, you thought it was funny.
Danielle: I mean like that in Racacoonie, I don’t know how you can’t laugh at these things like that was so fucking funny. Like to me again, I like absurd shit, but so funny, but like these things exist in the same movie and they exist on the same plane in the movie.
The movie does not say one thing is better than the other. The movie does not say that like the moments of real, very genuine emotion and trauma and love and ecstasy and misery, and all of these things are not more important than fucking butt plug fighting, like or dog fighting or Racacoonie, or the man being spanked and that made him happy.
That was fighting with love for him kind of thing. Like all of these things. Like I actually genuinely think it’s wonderful the way like sex toys are used in this movie. They’re very funny. They’re very funny things. They’re funny objects to have in this sort of random way, but also it’s like the rest of the movie, we’re just accepting these things.
These are not like, it’s almost funny going back to the interview where they talked about we really thought that was going to bother people like the queer story and like having, giant dongs everywhere and things like that. It’s going to that would be the problem.
But maybe not like it’s just like objects.
Fernanda: The butt plug is a shameful object or it’s hilarious. No, it’s it’s funny because we’re all like kind of lessens- and it’s a funniest sight, but although it’s just an object, so it’s I agree with you. It’s very interesting. There’s an interview on rotten tomatoes with Michelle and Jamie Lee Curtis, and by the way, they profess their love for each other.
And it’s amazing. A beautiful moment.
Danielle: Oh my god, I need to see this imediately.
Fernanda: And Michelle talks about like the film how it broke her brain and how she collapsed on the floor after the butt plug scene, because she was like, what am I doing with my life? And I would imagine being an actor in a movie like this, how much faith you got to have in the people directing and editing, because imagine as an actor, you don’t have access to the final film.
We know it looks amazing, but imagine you just told your, so you’re going to be putting this guy on your shoulders to run after his chef raccoon. Chef needs his raccoon. He really loves his raccoon. He’s not just using it to get ahead. Like they really are friends. So you’re just told these bits and pieces and you have to really come in and there’s a lot of commitment.
So I just imagined being an actor in a situation like this, how absolutely wild it must be and how trusting you like, okay. Like I’m sure this little I’m sure that, the scene in which I’m having, I have dildos for hands. It’s just going to really work out in the end. It’s all really going to come together.
Danielle: I can’t not think as well of the hot dog fingers romance here with I just, how fucking ridiculous and absurd it is at first. And then it becomes so poignant. Like it becomes like about real love and about this playing a piano piece and understanding like in this wild universe we have hot dog fingers. We get great with our feet.
And there’s like a moment, like just one little shot where the Jamie Lee Curtis hotdog romance woman. I don’t know everybody’s name is in every universe- she’s crying, she has the single tear and Evelyn like wipes it so gently with a toe. Again, these things are so heightened and everything is so heightened in the movie.
Every piece of this movie is in orbit around fucking Mars, but they’re all equal. They’re all like equal in our experience as human beings with brains that have to process way too much information that we could never fully process that we could never fully do this. At least I’m seeing this as a metaphor, I is my Rorschach test here.
This is a pretty direct metaphor for living right now in an age of tons of misinformation and too much information and too much stuff going on and too much stimulation and potentially having issues with your brain and all kinds of stuff, going on that, like all of it is important actually.
And you get to decide what is the most important when you make your bonds and, have your relationships with people, et cetera.
Imran: I, one thing I want to say before we close this out is I commissioned a cross stitch artist to make a cross stitch of in another life. I would have loved to do laundry and taxes with you.
So I can frame that and put it in my- in my doorway.
Fernanda: Oh, that is beautiful- that is a beautiful line. I was like (fake cries)
Imran: Every time I see someone put it on Twitter, I just get choked up again. I’m like, oh, that’s probably not a natural reaction to have several weeks after watching the movie.
Fernanda: It is! It’s the most beautiful thing anybody can say to another person!
Danielle: Honestly. Yeah.
Imran: I love that line so much because Evelyn goes to the movie thinking Waymond would have been nothing without me. Then it turns out no, he would have been fine, but he still would have wanted you. He still, his life wasn’t empty, but just because it’s not empty. Doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been, could not have been improved.
Fernanda: The love story to me feels very real in that aspect too. It’s not romantic love and the way that we’re used to seeing it. And it’s like what you said, like when she goes back and realizes, oh, I could have been this really big star and he would have been just fine.
And the visuals of those, that scene was amazing. It was like, an homage to a mood for love, which I’ve never seen, but I know the like very praise for the beautiful visuals and stuff. And it really was it was a message of. On his side Waymond’s side. I don’t need you, but I picked you I don’t need you, but I want you.
And that to me is the most romantic kind of love. I feel like we’re so used to romanticizing this idea of needing people of being incomplete without people. And I feel like the sincere it’s form of love really is I don’t need you, I’m fine without you, but I’d be better if you’re here and the laundry and taxes thing, right?
That’s why it goes so hard because it’s these are the two worst things that people can think about doing in their lives apart from I dunno, sitting next to a person who wants to describe their dream from last night in detail. And it’s and I feel like the love story kind of gets smothered a bit on all the message. And I think the main relationship really ends up being the one between Joy and Evelyn, but it’s really beautiful. It ends up being like a very beautiful, sweet love story that also feels realistic. And it’s one of the other, like several universes that we, as viewers can explore to here with the meanings.
Danielle: Yeah, absolutely. And I also just love that like he didn’t even, he didn’t even want the divorce. He just did that because it’s the only way to get her attention. There’s something both very fucked up and also very understandable about something like that, where he’s I only did this because my friends have a better relationship because one of them got divorce papers and that made them actually talk.
It also makes me think oh no, Heteros are you okay? But also that’s just me.
(Fernanda and Imran laugh in hetero)
Fernanda: We’re not Danielle. We’re not.
Danielle: I’m so sorry. Sorry to make everything gay.
Fernanda: Happily married but still we’re not. Okay.
I t’s another way that we empathize with all the characters. Cause Evelyn is an asshole to him.
Danielle: She is orders him around a little bit. Like I know he’s supposed to be a bit of a goofy guy. He has a Fanny pack everywhere. He goes. I get it. We also get that bad-ass Fanny pack moment, which is delightful.
Fernanda: Aren’t fanny packs back? The youths are wearing them now I’ve heard. I dunno.
Danielle: Okay. I wouldn’t know. I’m 5000 years old. (laughs)
Fernanda: You feel- or you feel like she’s an asshole to him, right? Like even in the moment when she’s he basically I should have shouldn’t have married you like, I should have listened to my dad. Like the reason why my life sucks is you but you also understand why she’s acting that way. She’s a person who’s deeply frustrated and under a lot of stress and didn’t get to live the life that she wanted.
So you get to empathize with Waymond, you to get to both eyes with her. You get to empathize with Joy. It’s very like those subtleties, like really amid, the absurdity is where the gold is.
Imran: Yeah. Nobody in this movie ends up looking like a bad person except maybe the grandfather. But like also we don’t really know his deal. He did a shitty thing, but we don’t like, maybe that was just culturally relevant for him at the time.
Fernanda: Yeah, absolutely. And Chad cheated. Sure. But he really loved Racacoonie. So it’s like.
Imran: If you, in the first scene where you see him, you can see the raccoon tail sticking out the back of his, like hat it looks like a ponytail at first, but oh wait, no, I know what that is.
Danielle: Oh, I love that so much. I did not pick up on that. I can’t wait to watch this movie. Something I put in my notes was I can’t wait to watch this movie every year and find something new every time. And that is both a really exciting prospect and also a kind of an exhausting one.
Again, we’re talking about this is this is a meaty watch, a rich text genuinely. We talk about rich texts all the time. When you talked about Batman and Robin being a rich text last week? I would say maybe richer?
Fernanda: In very different frequencies.
Danielle: These are frankly the two types of superhero movie. If you want to call this that I would ever like to see. I’m batting a thousand right now. I’m very happy. I did want to ask if anybody wanted to talk about anything else before we go to shelf life, which I think I know where it’s going to end up on the shelf.
Make any other points before we wrap up I’m open to some more points here.
Imran: I think my only like last point is that I really liked the fact that the lesson from this movie is not just to say the thing that your – or the other person wants to hear. It’s be supportive of whatever choice they make.
And if that is giving them the choice to let it go, let them go, let them live their own life. And that’s something you have to deal with. But if it is just giving them that choice and letting them come back to you, then that’s a good way to have that relationship and on their terms as well.
Fernanda: As Christina Aguilera, one said, they say, if you love something, let it go.
If it comes like it’s yours, that’s how you know. She taught me a lot. Christina.
(Imran: “She really is a genie in a bottle.”)
Fernanda: I agree with you. My last thing now sounds stupid. It’s not profound at all, but I just want it to I don’t feel like he needs to be said how this part could not have, I don’t know. Can’t tell in another universe, if somebody else had played this part of – would have been amazing, but I just feel like this is a part of a lifetime and this is a performance of lifetime.
And it, and I read like in an interview when they talked about the sort of idea of a love letter and how this was a love letter for, is it Michelle Yeoh? How do you pronounce it? How it was a love letter to her in a way and how thankful she was for the part later. But it really is a way it was to me, like to me sometimes when you see somebody just.
Excel at a thing, whether it’s sports or when we’ve talked about Mad Max and we were just like, going crazy over George Miller, like to me, this is one of those situations where I want to cry, watching a person be so good at a thing. I just, to me, that’s like Michelle Yeoh in this movie and everybody else, by the way, like all the performances are absolutely outstanding.
Her daughter, Joy, Stephanie, I think it’s you pronounce Hsu her last name, but I could be wrong. I pronounce every name wrong. It’s my thing. It’s my quirky thing. It everybody’s just really, truly like amazing even Jenny Slate with the little she was given.
Imran: It’s interesting to think about cause like the movie.
So they originally wrote that part for Jackie Chan and they’re like, he would not be able to do it. Except it was supposed to be Aquafina as the daughter, but she, there was some scheduling conflicts. So very late in the production, she actually ended up like really in pre-production she actually ended up giving up for that role.
There’s a multiple, there’s another universe somewhere where those two are in that movie. And it’s a much worse movie because of it, because these two definitely did a much better job than I think anyone else could have.
Fernanda: Oh my God. I was I’m crushing on Stephanie real hard now. That’s my life now.
She was absolutely amazing. And she was on Aquafina’s show too. I think for at least a few episodes. Oh my God. Yeah. Like the cast thing, like just chef’s kiss and Jamie Lee Curtis, whoever was like, let’s get Jamie Lee Curtis for this assassin auditing lady who also happens to be a hot dog, fingered, lesbian lover.
Love it for us. Let’s do it. And I it’s just genius. Whoever like I will read and watch more things about. But like the, I need an incursion to the brain, to the brains of the people involved in this.
Danielle: Oh my God. Yeah. That was something I couldn’t stop thinking about. As I was watching this myself, it’s like, how did this- genius!
Like I just kept thinking, like, how did this get made? How did this get made? This is incredible. I’m just very excited that this was made the way it was and doing the things that it does. For sure. I’m so happy. I suppose maybe the idea of fighting with love is something that really spoke to me as like a really corny person. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna leave it there. I’m going to leave it at that. I’m going to move on to shelf life.
Danielle: This is where we decide and Imran in case you don’t know, we have a very interesting staff picks shelf. Anyway, this is where we decide if where the movie, where the VHS tape specifically belongs in our video store, if it’s a bonafide staff pick displayed proudly, if it’s a middle aisle placement, which again, there is a whole continuum of the middle aisle.
There are good middle old movies that we think are great movies. They’re just not like favorite favorites. And then there’s things like Batman 1989, which is sniffing at the dumpster. And then there is of course, the dumpster. Where it just that’s where movies we do not like go and it doesn’t smell good in there. Not at all.
Fernanda: And Wild Wild West is the only movie
Danielle: that’s still the only movie there, but there’ve been a couple that came real close. They were like absolute dumpster picks for one of us. But the other one wasn’t as passionate about it being in the dumpster. So we usually have to be fairly passionate about something going in the dumpster.
But typically we like, we figure out where something should be collectively that kind of thing. Now I’m going to go out on a limb. I’m going to say this is going to be a staff pick. It’s a staff pick for me. It sounds like it might be a staff pick for everybody, but I’m going to let y’all talk to what do y’all think?
Where should we put this beautiful VHS tape?
Imran: For me, the highest praise I can give this movie is that I’m going to buy a Blu-ray, which is a thing I don’t do for any other- my Blu-ray library is like The Iron Giant, Shawshank redemption, and probably this.
(Danielle and Fernanda laugh)
Fernanda: I love it. It is high praise.
Danielle: Paul, our producer just said the holy Trinity really beautiful.
Fernanda: (laughs) I love that. So it is a staff pick.
Danielle: Oh I think so, but if you have anything to say for or against, I’m happy to hear it.
Fernanda: No I’m firmly on this. I propose that on Paul’s birthday every year, we rewatch it and find new things about it. And I have to thank Paul for this, for his insistence, because this truly was an experience.
And for me, it’s an easy, one of the easiest- Lionheart was an easy staff pick. (laughs)
Danielle: It was an easy one too. Listen, The Core is in our Staff Picks Shelf, Lionheart, Sudden Death. We’ve got a few-
Fernanda: I tried to put Striptease in there, but then it make it, but okay. But that’s very easy staff pick choice.
Danielle: Yeah. Same. This is a beautiful movie. I’m so glad it exists.
And I’m so glad it speaks to so many people in different ways. Just what a delight. I’m so proud of it on our staff pick shelf. And that is what we have dear listeners, dear friends. That is what we have for you this week. Thank you so much to my cohost. Thank you, Fernanda. Thank you Imran for joining us really appreciate you taking the time to talk about this movie with us. It has been very fun.
Imran: Thank you.
Fernanda: Thank you.
Danielle: Thank you everyone. And thank y’all at home for listening. Thank you to our producer, Paul “gross necklaces” Tamayo- really good choice, Paul, for all the help and making this show not only not suck, but also we like to say rule. We would also love to hear from you.
So if you’d like to get in touch with us, please send us an email to Y L T S I that’s. You love to see it again. Y L T S I @ fanbyte.com. You can send us reviews, recommendations, questions, any general feedback. We might even read it on the show and we would really appreciate it. If you like the work we do and want to show us some support, please do rate and review us on Apple Podcasts or rate us on Spotify.
It goes a long way in helping us out and helping other people find our delightful neighborhood video store. And of course you can find links to our other podcasts, our Discord and our socials in the show notes to go up on fanbyte.com until next time you love to see it. .
EXT. FANBYTE CITY NIGHT – YOU LOVE TO SEE IT
The camera glides backwards out of the door while Fernanda and Danielle clean up and shut the lights off. We move back to the extreme wide in front of the store.
Fanbyte City sits on the horizon, all lit up. A raccoon walks by and stops to admire the store.
[Fade to black]