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This roundup was originally intended to include four—maybe five—films, but, as things progressed, a shocking truth became evident: Netflix is currently streaming a lot of films with romance in them.
Each time I finished a film, I spotted another that simply couldn't be excluded, and things quickly spun out of control; there were too many films, of too many different sorts, with no sense of organization whatsoever. An order needed to be made of the chaos, and so I arrived at this system: Here are 15 films, each aimed toward a specific audience, not unlike Netflix's bizarrely specific categories and genres.
In addition to the categorical filings, each film is analyzed for its suitability for various relationship statuses, so as to avoid such unfortunate situations as somebody recently dumped accidentally watching Sleepless in Seattle, a newly enamored couple putting Nymphomaniac on, or anybody at all watching New York, I Love You. Even with this remarkable system in place, Punch Drunk Love was still accidentally left out (it's amazing, and suitable for everybody in any romantic situation whatsoever—so there, it's been addressed).
I recommend not watching any of the trailers. I didn't watch them until embedding them into this article, and I was surprised to learn that, if I'd just watched the trailers in the first place, I could have saved myself approximately 20 hours of work. With that disclaimer out of the way, here's the list:
1) If everybody thinks you killed your significant other (but you didn't) — Horns (2013)
Before you say “BUT WHAT ABOUT GONE GIRL?!?!,” let's get something out of the way: Gone Girl isn't streaming on Netflix. And that's OK, because Horns is basically the same movie (caveat: not actually true), and it doesn't get nearly the love it deserves. People are always clamoring for more adult-themed fantasy films, but, when something like Horns comes along, they give it flak for not being a good enough whodunnit story, which is exactly why we can't have nice things.
If you go into this expecting a film noir, you'll be disappointed. If you go in looking for an incredibly directed riff on small town existence that features a shit-hammered Daniel Radcliffe growing horns out of his head—and eventually becoming a full-on demon—you're going to get that and tons of other cool stuff.
Relationship Status: The True Love factor is high with this one, so it's a solid choice for any couple. For singles, it contains plenty of horror/fantasy stuff to keep you happy, and— as you can see from the trailer—Horns Guy is single and pretty depressed for the whole movie, so there's still a lot to relate to.
2) If you're bored with your marriage — The One I Love (2014)
Three actors have speaking roles in this film: Elizabeth Moss, Ted Danson, and Mark Duplass. From that alone, it would have to commit immense atrocities to be unlikable, and (thankfully) it doesn't. From the cover, you might suspect this is about a bored couple—and it certainly is—but that theme's explored in a Twilight Zone manner that comes highly unexpected.
Basically: Danson’s therapist character recommends that Moss and Duplass’s characters take a weekend getaway to a quaint country estate, and, when they get there, they end up running into more likable versions of each other in its guest house. Who are these alternate versions? Are they from another dimension? Are they robots? Hallucinations? That’s all answered (sort of), but the plot wisely explores the emotional implications of the situation over the sheer semantics.
Relationship status: If you’re watching this with your S.O., I'd recommend not mentioning this article. Moreover, if your relationship is at all shaky, maybe pick another movie. If you're single, you're golden—you can look at these people and say "Hey, at least I'm not in that relationship!"
3) If you've been thinking about re-experiencing college and/or your youth through a relationship — Liberal Arts (2012)
Josh Radnor plays Jesse Fisher—a 35-year-old admissions officer at a New York college that doesn't appear to be NYU—and he's in a bit of a rut, because his girlfriend has just dumped him, and he's an admissions officer. When he gets an invitation to attend a former professor's retirement dinner at his alma mater's campus, he jumps at the idea—not only because he misses the place, but also because the professor is played by Richard Jenkins, and nobody turns down a chance to hang out with Richard Jenkins.
At his old stomping grounds, he meets Zibby—a 19-year-old drama student played by Elizabeth Olson. As we all know, thanks to some strange rule of dubious origins, Jesse and Zibby's age difference is too vast to work (even though Radnor looks like he's 27), because (35/2)+7=24.5, but they nonetheless form a close relationship and teach each other some things about life.
Despite how insufferable that sounds, and that a character named “Zibby” is involved, the movie's quite understated and enjoyable. It also boasts a funny Zac Efron performance a full two years before Neighbors was released and audiences en masse finally figured out that he's a legitimate actor. It's written and directed by Radnor himself, which makes it easy to call it his Garden State, but that'd be inaccurate: This is actually Radnor's second film, and it's a lot better than Garden State.
Relationship status: Great for any couple that's not in violation of the (age/2)+7 rule (not my call—it's the film that judges you). If you're single, it might be annoying to watch Jesse constantly trip and fall into relationships.
4) If you're an assassin looking for love — Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Its slightly long running time and penchant for tangents might rub some screenwriting technicians the wrong way, but I consider Grosse Pointe Blank to be a perfect movie. It's a story of the Anti-Romance Rebound Effect that occurs when you ignore your heart entirely for a whole decade and then find yourself strangely unfulfilled by the time your 10-year high school reunion rolls around.
The dialogue is amazing, and the soundtrack is one of the all-time greats. The action is extremely well-shot/choreographed, and, at times, it's downright metaphorical. It's a tough call to make, but I'm confident in marking this as my favorite John Cusack film, and the chemistry between him and the always excellent Minnie Driver is so spot-on that it makes her character’s willingness to speak to him—after ditching her on prom night, and disappearing from town for 10 years—completely believable. Once you factor in scene-chewing performances from Alan Arkin, Joan Cusack, Hank Azaria, Dan Aykroyd, and Jeremy Piven, it's obvious that this movie can't be anything but perfect.
Relationship status: This should be watched by everybody. Period.
5) If you're a
hopeless pragmatic romantic — Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
I crossed out the “hopeless” because, upon close inspection, the film certainly believes romance happens; it just keeps its expectations a bit low, with its message on love essentially being “Hey, ya take it where ya can get it.” It's the story of Ben (Nicolas Cage) going off to Vegas to drink himself to death with his severance pay after getting fired for being extremely drunk all the time. In Vegas, he meets Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a sex worker with a scary Latvian pimp/boyfriend who’s out of the picture fairly early in the film, thus allowing a relationship with Ben to develop.
The Nic Cage in Leaving Las Vegas is top-notch Nic Cage: He spent two weeks binge-drinking in Dublin, with a friend videotaping him, to get Ben's slurred speech down (if this is a kind world, we'll see that tape someday), and it netted him a well-deserved Oscar. The film’s exteriors were largely shot without permits, with cinematographer Declan Quinn capturing the scenes with long lenses from afar, which lends even more realism to roles that are already strikingly realistic.
Relationship status: Not important. If you like top-notch Cage, you'll love Leaving Las Vegas—and everybody likes top-notch Cage.
6) If you're a hopeless romantic — The Graduate (1967)
Aside from its propulsion of the MILF concept into the modern zeitgeist, The Graduate sports one of cinema's greatest tragic romances. (Yes, there have been a lot of great tragic romances, but this one is set to Simon & Garfunkel.) In its third act, The Graduate really throws you for a loop: The last leg of the film is a testament to the Grand Gesture, as Dustin Hoffman drives his red sports coupe across the country to stop the wedding of his former lover's daughter, and to proclaim his love to her. How romantic! Spoiler alert: And it works! She runs out of the chapel and hops on a bus with him. They sit in the back, smiling and happy as the camera holds on them. Hooray for love!
But the camera continues to hold on them, for quite a long time—a suspiciously long time—and then they turn and look at each other. The look isn't a good one. It seems to say "we just did something really stupid, and romantic love is a giant lie." Then the credits roll, and any hopeful romantic viewing the film has been—in its final seconds—totally trolled. After all that pining and romantic build-up, it's entirely likely that this relationship ended before the bus ride did.
Relationship status: It's not a good idea for new couples to watch this film, as it could result in an American Sniper-like silence when the credits roll. It's perfect for singles, though, who can take solace in the fact that they won't be spending their gas money on a cross-country journey to find utter disappointment. And, for fans of Arrested Development’s fourth season, you'll learn where this gag came from.
7) & 8) If you don't want a movie to get in the way of making out — New York, I Love You (2008) & Adore (2013)
If nothing else, New York, I Love You will satisfy anyone that was clamoring for Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman to be in another movie together. It's a movie that feels like it exists inside of an episode of Tim and Eric; it's made up of 10 vignettes, and often, when the sweeping romantic orchestra comes in to let you know something romantic has happened, you're confused, either because it’s difficult to understand what’s happening in the plot or because the thing that’s supposed to be romantic is actually really creepy.
The upside to all this: If you watch this with somebody you’ve only recently starting dating, it will be utterly impossible to not be making out by the middle of the second vignette.Adore is the story of Australian women (Robin Wright and Naomi Watts) who’ve been best friends since childhood… and how they eventually start hooking up with each others’ sons. The Australian coastline is absolutely gorgeous, as are all the actors that are hooking up with each other, but this is an immensely boring movie. After 20 minutes, tops, you'll be making out with whoever you're sitting next to, regardless of your attraction to them.
Relationship status: Either is perfect for any relationship that's still in the initial stages, in which neither of you has any desire to actually sit through a film. New York, I Love You can also be enjoyed with a group of highly stoned friends. There is no reason that either of these should ever be viewed alone.
9) For a couple's crash course in feminism — Don Jon (2013)
Don Jon functions well as an explainer on why feminism is as good for men as it is for women. It's subtle about this—the word “feminism” never actually comes up—but the shallow gender roles in Jon's life have undoubtedly led him to misery and isolation. While Jon's particular issue is with Internet porn, the film makes a good argument that we should define a lot more media as porn, too: After all, sexy adverts and rom-coms certainly fit the definition of sexual material that lacks social value, and these are arguably things that make society worse off.
It's certainly not the greatest feminist film—the movies actually fails the Bechdel Test—but it's a good enough intro for anybody that thinks feminism is only for vegan liberals. And, let's face it: It's the only film with feminist subtext that features Tony Danza as a testosterone-seething father who’s always wearing a wife-beater, and you have to give it props for putting those two things together.
Relationship status: Pretty good for any situation. It might persuade some couples to try looking at each other during sex, and it might persuade some singles to hit the gym, because the movie somehow makes it look really fun.
10) If you're a hopeful romantic with a terrible job and/or have an ’80s fetish — Adventureland (2009)
With Superbad, Greg Mottola directed an autobiographical coming-of-age script from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. He followed that film with another coming-of-age film, Adventureland, which he penned himself, from his very own autobiographical influences. It's certainly more understated than Superbad, but it's nonetheless hilarious, with no shortage of the humor coming from Martin Starr (if your movie ever needs a few more laughs, having Martin Starr pop up and say just about anything is a surefire win). The movie’s littered with early roles from actors that would soon after break out in major ways, including Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, and Jesse Eisenberg. If you've never understood the appeal of Ryan Reynolds or Kristen Stewart, watching Adventureland should clear these things up for you.
It lands in the “hopeful” category because its message is, more or less: “If you're meant to be together, keep on trying, and it'll work out.” If you're unsure as to whether you're a hopeful romantic or not, your reaction to the ending should help you to decide—if you loudly yell “OH, THAT'S BULLSHIT” at your television, it probably means that you're not one.
Relationship status: Great for couples. This movie's a grand proclamation that true love will prevail against unfavorable odds. If you're single, it might piss you off—but, if you’re also a comedy fan, it’s worth stomaching for the talent on display.
11) If you're tired of people telling you that true love isn't a cure-all for mental health — Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Are you certain that self-improvement doesn't necessarily need to come from within and that its most important ingredient is, in fact, your love? If so, Silver Linings Playbook is the movie for you.
I'm convinced that, six months or so after the film ends, at least one or two homicide/suicides must have occurred between these characters. It basically creates the most toxic situation possible, for every character involved, and then says “Ta-da!” and pretends they all lived happily ever after. That said, I don't hate this movie—I can't hate any movie that managed to convince Robert De Niro to actually act in a film again— and I actually think it's quite good, albeit overrated. The performances are fantastic, and the first two acts are really great, but the third act feels like it was tossed out and rewritten by Sylvester Stallone.
I'll give it this, though: It's great to see a movie tackling bipolar disorder at all, and especially one that's not awful (I'm looking at you, Prozac Nation). There's plenty of humor, but it's all circumstantial—it never laughs at its characters or their afflictions, and it shows that, even when David O. Russell misses the mark, he's still far more intelligent and talented than most screenwriters out there.
Relationship status: Great for couples that don't have any recent history of cheating (trust me, this film would make that awkward). If you're single, and you're really wanting to see a fantastic Bradley Cooper performance in a tone-deaf movie, you can always catch American Sniper.
12) If you're a craft brew fanatic and you've been considering dumping your S.O. for your best friend — Drinking Buddies (2013)Opening with Richard Swift's “Lady Luck” guaranteed high marks from me right off the bat. I'd have been fooled into thinking New York, I Love You was a smart film if it’d opened with “Lady Luck,” but I'm still pretty sure that Drinking Buddies is, this bias aside, a really good movie. The two leads, Luke (Jake Johnson) and Kate (Olivia Wilde), are coworkers at a microbrewery; it's obvious that they'd probably date each other if they weren't already dating other people. When Kate suddenly becomes single, it brings their relationship halfway closer to a reality, and you can probably guess where things go from there.
But! Your guess would probably be wrong. This is a Joe Swanberg movie, heavily rooted in the mumblecore genre, which means that it's not only going to have diegetic sounds in every scene but also that it’s going to see your expectations and gleefully choose to ignore them. Without spoiling too much, this isn't so much a romance film as it is a film about boundaries—and about how that common adage that you should date your best friend is perhaps oversimplifying things a tad.
Relationship status: Great for couples, but you can do better than watching Jake Johnson struggle over which beautiful woman he should date if you're single. Beer enthusiasts will appreciate the number of craft brews onscreen.
13) If you're tired of every single coming-of-age romance film dealing with straight people — Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
In order to see a coming-of-age film with a female lead primarily attracted to women, we must look to France for Blue Is the Warmest Color, which is a shame, because it's really hard to eat and read subtitles at the same time (the film might be French, but I'm still an American, and I need to be eating whenever I'm sitting down).
The story beings with a 15-year-old, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) dating a boy at her high school and not finding it to be very fulfilling. When she begins spending time with Emma (Léa Seydoux) whom she’s immensely attracted to, her schoolmates berate her for being a “lesbo” and ostracize her. Despite her horrible friends' disapproval, she begins a long-term relationship with Emma. This isn't a movie about a love that's doomed by social disapproval, though—the social judgment is largely limited to the flak from Adèle's schoolmates, and the fact that she must lie to her parents about her relationship with Emma—it's moreso a straightforward look at young love, budding sexuality, and how passion alone can't sustain a relationship forever.
Concerns have been raised over the infamous male-directed sex scenes, which landed the film an NC-17 rating—specifically whether they're realistic or just male fantasy versions of women making love—but regardless, this three-hour epic is one of the most honest and unflinching looks at a long-term romance ever filmed.
Relationship status: Whatever your relationship status may be, this is a beautiful movie; it looks at long-term relationships like The Godfather looks at mafia families.
14) If you want to skip the romance and get down to the psychosomatic — Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 & 2 (2013)
Not interested in love at all? Here's the movie for you. Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac avoids pairing love with sex at all costs, opting instead to get behind the psychology of the various reasons we crave sex. I don't know if the psychological analysis in Nymphomaniac is spot-on, but its explorations are never glib, and they're certainly never judgmental.
Von Trier's never been into attaching clear-cut messages to his films—his technique is more of a “Hey, here's this image. How does that make you feel?” sort of thing. Which reminds me: You will see dongs in this movie, and not just flaccid dongs—there are fully erect dongs, sort-of-erect dongs, and pretty much anything else that a dong can be in Nymphomaniac. I feel silly for disclosing that, but I've had people get genuinely angry at me, in the past, for not disclosing a Dong Warning for films I've recommended. With that made clear, it’s a fascinating, epic film, but if you’re looking for a movie that's a warm emotional blanket for Valentine's Day, this one’s probably not for you.
Two more things: 1) Shia LaBeouf is fantastic in this film (as is everybody else, but I feel like LeBeouf gets too much shit in general, and he deserves a specific mention for how amazing he is in this), and 2) and you should not watch this film with your mother.
Relationship status: As with any of Von Trier's films, I'd recommend watching this one alone. It's best to just search your feelings in silence with this sort of thing. For singles, it could be a great thing to wrap your mind around—you'll easily forget that there's something called "Valentine's Day" happening. But, you might actually just end up feeling horrible, so... it's your call.
15) If you just want to watch a good ol' rom-com without sacrificing your dignity — Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Like Night of the Living Dead, Sleepless in Seattle opens in a graveyard—but that's pretty much where the similarities end. This movie has a David Hyde Pierce level of 6.5 (5 points are automatically awarded for him showing up at all), and a Bill Pullman level of 10 (because it's always a 10). It was written/directed by Nora Ephron, who heralded the Golden Age of Rom-Coms when she penned When Harry Met Sally.
Honestly, I don't have any strong opinions on Sleepless—I'm more partial to Ephron's You've Got Mail (even though I'm fairly certain that Sleepless is an objectively better film)—but my brain kept saying “this is good” to me while I watched it, and I suppose that I trust it enough to agree. I usually consult my heart with matters like these, but I watched this movie at 5am, and my heart refused to respond to any external stimuli. So—Sleepless in Seattle is a good movie. That’s just the sort of movie it is.
Relationship status: You might be tempted to be a sadist and watch this if you're single, but try and refrain from doing so. I know that it's tempting to make yourself feel bad sometimes, but, if you must do so, just watch Adventureland instead—it'll still make you feel bad, but you'll laugh a little, too. For couples: You're golden here, of course—especially if you're married. And if you have kids, this film would probably speak very strongly to your heart—even at 5am.
Illustration by Jason Reed
"Would you want your parents to see you do these things?" Screengrab via Daily Share/YouTube
This Valentine's Day, we might all be hoping for that magic moment where we meet the partner of our dreams. But as one YouTube video shows, real life doesn't really work that way.
Creator Ilana M. Rubin explores the meet-cute, a device in rom-coms where two lovers are brought together in a picture-perfect moment of locked eyes, accidental physical contact, or adorable misunderstanding. Of course, in her YouTube parody, everything that could goes wrong does, underscored by songs from Beyoncé, Iggy Azalea, and Usher, mixed with silent film piano riffs.
So if you're feeling down this Valentine's Day, just remember it could always be worse. You could have rubbed pizza on your face.
Screengrab via Ilana M. Rubin/YouTube
Daryl Dixon and his trusty crossbow have saved—and ended—so many lives on The Walking Dead that the character and the actor that portrays him, Norman Reedus, have really stolen the spotlight.
Reedus did the same thing on The Tonight Show last night when he went head-to-head with host Jimmy Fallon in a test of skill that required each contestant to smash each other’s faces… sort of.Using crossbows, Fallon and Reedus took out their aggression on panes of glass emblazoned with the faces of one another, and both men performed admirably throughout much of the competition. It came down to the wire, but Reedus and his crossbow expertise eventually came out on top, and Fallon was doomed to what he called a “reverse dunk tank.”
Unfortunately, the crossbow skills Reedus shows off so often on The Walking Dead don’t serve him so well in Fallon’s final challenge, and he has to resort to using his fist instead. Hey, you can take out a zombie with hand-to-hand combat too, right?
Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon /YouTube
YouTube superstar Rosanna Pansino pairs food with a love song for her first original music video, "Perfect Together," which premiered today.
"I'm a romantic at heart, so I wanted it to be a romantic song," Pansino told the Daily Dot. "And I love food, so I wanted to have food involved. A food love song."
Pansino hosted a Valentine's-themed launch party at YouTube Space L.A. on Friday, complete with candy hearts and a chocolate fountain, and played the video for fans and friends, some of whom made cameos in the Beauty and the Beast-inspired video. Pansino said she started the writing process with fellow YouTuber Kurt Hugo Schneider, who helped her develop what she described as a "really sweet, simple acoustic love song."
This is not Pansino's first time singing, but it's definitely a departure from her Nerdy Nummies cooking show, which earned her 3.3 million subscribers and a spot as one of the three original YouTubers the platform promoted with an offline ad campaign last year.
"I've always been interested in music," Pansino said. "In high school, I did a lot of musical theater, and I loved it. When I started creating my content, the first thing I made was a baking series. That did really well, my community really responded to that. I sing a little bit in videos, at the end of vlogs. A lot of my fans started requesting that I do a song. They started planting this seed in me."
Pansino emphasized her family-friendly nature extends to her music, giggling over a lyric that she deemed racy. ("'If you were hot cocoa, I'd be the winter night you stay in.' That's the only racy one!")
"We like to make content that's family-friendly," she said. "The same with music. I like to make music that feels good, that I can listen to with my mom and dad. I don't think you'll see me swinging on a wrecking ball any time soon! But if I do, that will be a day! My dad might have a heart attack."
Worst-case scenario, you'll get a nasty toothache from all the sweetness in "Perfect Together," so Pansino has nothing to worry about.
Screengrab via Rosanna Pansino/YouTube
The practice of eating creepy crawly things is often left to survivalists, frat initiations, wagers, and some daring Asian cultures.With a focus on finding new sources of eco-friendly protein, the art (if you can call it that) of capturing, preparing, and dining on gnats, rats, bats, and all manner of insects and reptiles has moved into the spotlight.
Getting past the initial ickiness of eating the thing that was buzzing around your house, hopping in your backyard, or slithering underneath your garage door is about half the battle. Disguising the taste and texture of these creatures with the proper recipes will move you one step closer to earning your Andrew Zimmern merit badge.
If you are feeling culinarily adventurous, or were just the kind of kid who would put anything in his or her mouth, here are some savory recipes to help you become a true food futurist.
1) Grasshopper Parmesan
My favorite part of this recipe is when the presenter says, “When they turn red, they are done.”
A complex sort of exercise, cooking grasshoppers involves a few steps prior to rolling them in milk, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. After capture, these omnivores are put in the fridge for human killing, after which its back wings are plucked off since they are inedible.
Fried grasshoppers can be prepared ahead of time and heated up as your guests arrive for cocktail hour.
2) Cicada Kabobs
These critters are, as our barbecuing chef warns, best not eaten raw. That is, unless you like having an allergic reaction that requires a quick trip to the ER or have an EpiPen on hand. Placed on skewers with some pineapple and coated with olive oil and garlic, these morsel require only a few minutes on each side over hot coals before they are ready for eating.
The kicker here is when our daring diner calls them “lobsters of the soil.” Kind of makes the mouth water. Pass the melted butter.
3) Worm Stew
Like many others, I am a huge fan of Vietnamese cuisine, from pho to vermicelli bun dishes. To date, I have yet to see any concoctions on the menu at an American(ized) restaurant serving Vietnamese fare (a mix of French and Chinese cuisine) that includes worms.
This preparation is for a Thanksgiving celebration in Hanoi and includes a number of indigenous ingredients such as ginger, garlic, and lemongrass, added after the worms have turned gooey. After being deep-fried, the worms are eaten in lettuce leaves to keep the savory goodness from leaking.
4) Sautéed June Bugs
“It’s a little creepy, because at first they want to crawl away,” says Daniel Vitalis, as he prepares to add his freshly caught June bugs (a.k.a. May beetles) to a layer of sautéed shallots. “Just like shellfish, you want to make sure they are fresh, alive, and wriggling.”
It’s a simple preparation using ghee, shallots, and a handful of live bugs, which you hold down with your spatula to ensure they don’t crawl out of the pan. A few minutes of cooking, and you’re ready to grab the chopsticks and munch away.
5) Barbecued Rats
The ultimate recipe that “tastes like chicken,” but at a third of the price of poultry.
Here, we learn the entire process for capturing rats. (Remember, those from the rice paddies are sumptuous while those from the city are gross.) If you are looking to save a few pennies, you can skin them alive yourself, or go to your local market (that is, if you live in or are visiting Cambodia), and buy them recipe-ready.
As with other white-ish meats, it appears rats can be basted and simply cooked over some hot coals until they reach your desired degree of doneness.
From what I hear, a bottle of 2010 Fontana Candida Frascati goes well with rodent.
Photo via matsuyuki/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
There are some films kids definitely shouldn't see, but for those on the fence, IMDb has handy parental guidelines that can help you make a decision. Or at least have you laughing at how blandly people describe instances of snorting cocaine off someone's butt.
IMDb allows users to input their own specifics, issuing a strong warning for going with facts instead of personal opinions:
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
This, of course, leaves for very cut-and-dry descriptions of films that make them almost unrecognizable except to perhaps the most well-trained film buff. Can you figure out which blockbuster films these parental warnings are describing? It's harder than you think.
Film No. 1:
"One sex scene, two scenes of masturbation, and brief sexual dialogue. There is no nudity."
"16 instances of "fuck", 2 each of "whore", "ass", and "shit", as well as 1 each of "pussy", "cock", "dick", and "prick". Also 3 uses of "Jesus" and 2 of "God"."
"The movie has startling scenes and disturbing images. A woman's hand is slammed against a door and further aggravated later on. The film's climax involves intense violence and hallucinations."
Film No. 2:
One scene of a topless woman in bed. Her breasts are visible from various angles. Sex is implied, and there is some some passionate kissing.
When detective goes to visit the doc for postmortem, we see a dead man's genitals for a few seconds. Pubic hair can clearly be seen.
Film opens with photographs of a man and woman partially clothed in many sexual positions.
A man's nose is cut open, blood is shown, but he quickly covers it. This scene may be painful to watch.
Some fistfights, including characters being beaten up and thrown against walls.
There are 2 F-words, there are also some mild racial stereotyping by the characters. Also God's name taken "for Christ's sake", "son of a bitch", "asshole'.
The entire movie is fairly intense. Many characters are threatened.
Film No. 3:
Many sex scenes throughout with grunting and thrusting -- often with female nudity. Female breasts, buttocks and vulvae (some are shaven, some have pubic hair) are shown throughout the film. There is also male nudity, but it's less frequent.
A man tells another man the necessity of masturbating in the workplace.
A man snorts cocaine off a woman's bare breasts, and from what seems to be her anus.
A husband and his wife argue bitterly, she hits him in the face and he hits her back. Later, she tries to hit him again, and he then punches her in the stomach and leaves her lying on the floor.
The film also portrays characters drinking alcohol in many scenes.
Answer:The Wolf of Wall Street
Film No. 4:
Lots of crude sexual references. Some of them include references to bestiality, the shape of female reproductive organs, the scent of a man's penis, ejaculation on a man's face, porn, and having sexual intercourse. Many of these include profane and crass language as well.
Almost no violence until the last 20 minutes.
Explicit language is used throughout, specifically "fuck", which is said around 143 times and in some cases is paired with "mother".
Tobacco use is ubiquitous.
Film No. 5:
A man rapes another man. No nudity, but he is seen thrusting into him for 4 seconds.
Two men are shot in an apartment. We see mild amounts of blood.
271 f-cks, 80 sh-ts, 41 -sses, 19 n-ggers, 6 b-tches, 2 sons of b-tches, 2 d-cks, and 2 pr-cks. Also 24 instances of "Goddamn", 5 of "hell", 4 of "Christ", 4 of "piss", and 3 of "Jesus".
Characters are seen smoking (both tobacco and what may be marijuana) and drinking throughout.
A woman is seen with a bong.
The interiors of a blood-covered car are shown for some time, and a bloody body is briefly seen from a distance.
Answer: Pulp Fiction
Photo via Kenneth Lu/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
There were a lot of great moments during Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special (Kanye, Jerry, Wayne and Garth), but one of the most sensual happened during the Californians sketch.
In addition to the usual cast, the sketch featured Taylor Swift, Kerry Washington, Laraine Newman, Betty White, and Bradley Cooper. The usual ahhhrgumens take place. Then Cooper lives out every man's fantasy. Sweet dreams, everyone.Oh, and let's not forget White also made out with Will Forte.
Screengrab via SNL/YouTube
As always, Last Week Tonight's "How Is This Still A Thing?" segment is hilariously accurate.
In the latest episode, John Oliver's team tackled the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, an annual tradition that now seems hopelessly out of touch in more ways than one. First of all, you've got the inherent creepiness of middle-aged male news anchors freaking out over a bunch of semi-naked women. Then you've got the simple fact that it's a print magazine full of images that you could just as easily find online—or in your average ad for Axe body spray.
So, why is Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue still a thing?In the end, it all comes down to marketing. This year's manufactured controversy is the way cover model Hannah Davis is almost (but not quite) pulling her bikini bottom down too far. As many people have already pointed out, the magazine used this technique as recently as 2009, also to great success. At this point, we don't know who's more embarrassing: Sports Illustrated or the people who still bother to buy it.
Screengrab via Last Week Tonight/YouTube
It’s a prime example of what would happen if you stuck a bunch of clashing personalities and colorful characters in a room with Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek, and it doesn't take long before "Celebrity Jeopardy" descends into mass chaos.
It must have been hard to narrow the lineup down to two celebrities alongside Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery at the start, but the show quickly corrected itself by just letting all of them loose. And yes, they went there with the “prerecorded” Bill Cosby clip.
In "Celebrity Jeopardy," everyone wins—well, everyone except Trebek, who’s likely wondering why he’s still doing this show.Screengrab via Saturday Night Live/YouTube
Everyone knows that tobacco companies are evil. It's kind of a no-brainer; their entire job is to sell something that kills people. But according to John Oliver's new segment, what we don't realize is that tobacco companies are still doing really, really well. While smoking has become less popular in the U.S., tobacco companies are thriving overseas—especially in poorer countries, where companies like Philip Morris International can sue governments that introduce health regulations into submission.
Thankfully, Last Week Tonight was on the case.
While most of the segment is pretty grim, Oliver does come up with a solution: rebranding tobacco's image with a new mascot. Inspired by the Marlboro Man, Oliver introduces Jeff the Diseased Lung, who is already showing up on social media—and on billboards in Uruguay, where the government is currently being sued by a tobacco company.Oliver's plan is to make Jeff so popular that he shows up in Marlboro's Google image searches. We hope HBO has a good legal team at the ready.
Photo via Last Week Tonight/YouTube
In honor of Presidents Day, we dove into the vault of films currently streaming on Netflix to find a handful of films that, while involving presidents, will not endanger you with any sort of historical knowledge (except for Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, which is strictly based on well-documented facts).
So! Here are five presidential films that are recommended for your viewing pleasure, and one that's included as a dire warning for you to stay away from it. In case you don't have much time to read this, let's start with the best of the lot:
1) The Contender (2000)
President: Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges)
While the story is largely concerned with the confirmation of a new vice president, Laine Hanson—portrayed by an awesome Joan Allen—we still get plenty of screen time with Jeff Bridges’ President Evans. We even get to see him bowl in a scene that in no way requires bowling, which can only mean that director Rod Lurie—a former film critic—likes him some Lebowski.
Democratic President Evans is itching for the perfect swan song for his presidency. When his current vice president kicks the bucket, he sees a good opportunity to appoint the nation's first female vice president, and Laine Hanson is the perfect stateswoman for the job. Gary Oldman’s villainous Shelly Runyon isn’t happy with his nomination, though—he’d like a more moderate Democrat for the gig—and, as chairman of the confirmation committee, he sets out to ruin Hanson’s reputation/political career/life. With a bit of digging, he finds his golden goose: Several photos of her participating in a gang bang at a fraternity while in college.
When faced with the photos, Hanson refuses to step down as the vice presidential appointee, and the film gets down to its brass tacks of analyzing the double standard upon which male and female politicians are judged. It’s not completely realistic—I can’t imagine a real president allowing an appointee to remain in the running after photos like these have gone public—but it certainly should be realistic. And, if we can’t turn to fictional films for idealism, then where can we turn?
The film’s examination goes deeper than gender—on a larger scale, it gets into the modern disconnect of integrity and popular public image—although the commentary on integrity might be a cop-out on the commentary on gender (I know that’s confusing, but I can’t clarify without spoilers). One thing is for sure, though: President Evans gives a damn fine speech at the end of the movie.
2) American Dreamz (2006)
President: Joseph Staton (Dennis Quaid)
Before Josh Brolin and Richard Dreyfuss were, respectively, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in 2008’s W., Dennis Quaid and Willem Dafoe played them in 2006’s American Dreamz. No, they weren’t actually named Bush and Cheney, but when Dafoe looks like this, it’s pretty hard to miss who they’re satirizing.
And what a satire it is. A satirical film is a tough thing to pull off: If it’s not absolutely perfect, it’s likely to be universally despised before slinking off into obscurity, and American Dreamz is nowhere close to perfect. In hindsight, though, we can look back at American Dreamz and stand in awe at how much nerve the film had. With two years remaining in the Bush presidency (meaning that it probably went into production with at least three years left), the film brutally mocks not only that administration, but also terrorism, the Iraq War, and American Idol—so basically, everything that was sacred and/or off-limits in 2006.
Though Quaid and Dafoe are just one piece of the film’s massive ensemble—the plot loosely follows a season of American Dreamz, which is a riff on American Idol and has an amazing original song—their performances alone warrant giving the film a watch. And, if you’re a fan of satire in general (enough so to look past some serious flaws), you’ll find a lot of other stuff to like in the messy and insane American Dreamz, too. The film also serves as a reminder that, at one point, Chris Klein was poised to be the world’s next Keanu Reeves… but then Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Lihappened, and it was also discovered that Keanu Reeves won't need replacing, because he can't age.
3) Left Behind: World at War (2005)
President: Gerald Fitzhugh (Louis Gossett Jr.)
This is the third film in the Kirk Cameron-starring Left Behind film series, which was adapted from a series of novels. One of the authors of those novels, Tim LaHaye, sued the producers of the films for breach of contract, on account of how terrible they were. But the producers ended up retaining the rights, and they responded to LaHaye’s criticisms by rebooting the series in 2104, with Nicolas Cage starring in a film that managed to be even worse than the original, and received the ire of non-Christians and Christians alike.
This entry, which ended up being the last in the Cameron-verse films, follows Louis Gossett Jr.’s President Fitzhugh as he struggles with various militias that have sprung up following the Rapture and also quite possibly the Antichrist himself, who happens to be the president of the U.N. While Gossett makes for a fine president, it's not nearly enough to save this film.
In my time writing Netflix roundups, this is the only time I haven't been able to make it through a film, which is saying a lot, because I once made it all the way through this Louis Gossett Jr. Christian film series. With sufficient amounts of alcohol to protect your brain and a network of friends to laugh at it with you, it’s possible that some entertainment could be gleaned from this weird and horrible Walker Texas Rapture. But I'd advise against trying.
4) Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Presidents: Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman)
Yes, this film contains two presidents, which is appropriate: I don’t think one president is enough for the sheer amount of awesome on display in Olympus Has Fallen.
This one came as a real surprise, as the premise of a terrorist organization taking over the White House doesn’t seem too exciting—not in a modern action film, anyway, where things tend to be a tad watered down. But this isn’t a modern action film. This is Die Hard in the White House, and, in all seriousness, it’s just as fun as Die Hard… at least on the first viewing. (It might not hold up on the 14th viewing as well as Die Hard does.)
There is CGI aplenty—everything that isn’t hand-to-hand combat seems to be at least half computer-generated—but the action is so propulsive, so insane, and so I can’t believe they did that that you can forgive the film for its video-game airplanes and helicopters. It has the joy of an 8-year-old smashing action figures together, and—in the hands of Antoine Fuqua—it manages to ground that joy justenough to make it an enthralling experience.
Freeman’s been the president before, so he’s got this stuff down by now, but Eckhart is no slouch in his Oval Office debut. Maybe Gerard Butler—the film’s John McClain—will pull a Jack Ryan and be the president himself somewhere down the line.
5) Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)
President: Abraham Lincoln (Bill Oberst Jr.)
This movie starts with some pilgrim-looking people running around the woods on some ill-fated night, being attacked by zombies. If you’re wondering why this is happening, this isn’t the movie for you. The next morning, a young Abe Lincoln comes home to his log cabin, and his father is dying (inexplicably slowly) from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, and, with his last breaths, he tells Abe that he didn’t have the nerve to handle his mother. He dies, and Abe sees his zombie mother shackled to the wall, and he kills her with a scythe.
We cut (pun intended) to present day, where Lincoln is on his way to give the Gettysburg Address, when he gets word that a Union soldier has returned from a battle at a fort—as part of a mission hilariously titled “Old Shanty”—and he’s acting sick and telling stories of the dead attacking the living. Abe, having seen this before (for some reason, nobody else knows about the zombie outbreak from his youth) assembles the Secret Service and personally leads them on a mission to investigate this fort and its zombie problem. John Wilkes Booth is among the men on the mission, because, well, that's how all of this really happened. It's in your history books.
This is obviously a case of a small movie existing solely to piggyback on the success of a larger one, and, in this case, the larger one wasn’t even that successful. The title is so close to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that the Netflix description starts with "Unrelated to the big-screen vampire hunter...,"and it’s highly unlikely that the Asylum cared about this film's quality, just so long as people accidentally rented it while trying to rent Vampire Hunter.
Which is why it’s so surprising that it’s kind of good. Maybe it’s a combination of extremely low expectations, a love for old pistols, the presence of zombies, and the sheer joy of Stonewall Jackson’s Academy Award acting while donning one of the all-time goofiest fake beards, but I really enjoyed myself for most of the running time, and I might actually prefer it to the film it was piggybacking on. The production value is on par with Civil War reenactments you’d find on PBS, which isn’t fantastic, but it’s still infinitely better than it has any right to be. Also: Bill Oberst Jr.'s Lincoln is surprisingly good, as is the rest of the acting. It’s like somebody funded a cynical rip-off of a film, but everybody making it said “balls to that” and did their best to make something good. There’s only one point—when Lincoln yells “Emancipate this!” while beheading a zombie—in which the awfulness that it should have been really shines through.
Honorable Mention: The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
Potential president: Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber)
While not technically a movie that involves a president, it does involve an evil conglomerate’s plot to brainwash soldiers in the Gulf War—one of them a senator’s son—in order to install somebody in the presidency whose mind they control. Since it’s a Jonathan Demme film, with a slew of great actors, that’s close enough to earn it an honorable mention on here.
But it’s not its pedigree alone that’s landed the film in the roundup: According to Sean Hannity, President Obama is, in fact, a real life Manchurian Candidate, which makes this film—in Hannity’s world—an important explainer for understanding our current, nonfictional administration. In fact, it’s not just Hannity’s opinion: It’s also here, here, here, here, here, and here.
So, it’s time to learn how the real world works by watching this satirical political thriller starring Denzel Washington. Don't be too alarmed about Obama, though—pretty much everybody else has been a Manchurian Candidate, too.
Illustration by Jason Reed
Live from New York, it was a night of of nostalgia and laughter.
Saturday Night Live cast members, hosts, and guests spanning several generations gathered for the show’s 40th anniversary special Sunday night, and for three and a half hours, the montages, tributes, performances, and new takes on classic bits kept people tuning in. Even when the show went off the rails, it did so in a way that only SNL could manage.
The 40th anniversary special took shots at the show itself, disgraced news anchor Brian Williams, NBC, and even showrunner Lorne Michaels. People made fun of some of the hosts—like Charles Barkley, who couldn't act—continually mourned Jon Lovitz while he was in the audience (even during the In Memoriam segment), and remembered Tracy Morgan, who wasn't able to attend. The energy of the audience, filled with players and guests from SNL's 40 years, was palpable.Not everything hit the wall, though. What was supposed to be a tribute to Eddie Murphy came off as awkward, as the former cast member returned to the show for the first time in decades—and was cut off by a commercial break.
At times, it felt like there was too much star power, as celebrities like Christopher Walken were reduced to bit parts introducing other acts. After Miley Cyrus covered a Paul Simon song, some people felt that the show missed the mark by not having Simon cover a Cyrus song.Whether you still think SNL’s got it or you think the show stopped being funny years ago, you have to admit that it's still got some spark, whether it be the humor of “Celebrity Jeopardy” or the chemistry of Betty White and Bradley Cooper locking lips. The show has gone 40 years and shows no signs of stopping.
We can only imagine what the show will have up its sleeve when it hits the big 5-0.
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake recapped the show’s history
The show began by simultaneously looking back and forward—to Monday night. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake brought the energy to the stage, and we had seen enough of their collaborations on Late Night and The Tonight Show to know that something magical was going to happen.
Sure enough, they presented a spinoff of their recurring “History of Rap” segment to recap the highs and lows of SNL’s history—despite Debbie Downer (Rachel Dratch) appearing to remind them that starting the show off with a musical number often resulted in lower ratings. Fallon and Timberlake pressed on anyway, because NBC doesn't care about ratings.The ladies take back “Weekend Update” in a big way
We really hope that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler never get sick of working with each other, because it always results in comedy gold. The former castmates and “Weekend Update” co-anchors were joined by original cast member Jane Curtin for a mostly self-referential edition of the fake newscast. Curtin fit right in with the duo, shooting out zingers like she'd never left the desk.After the main newscast, the anchors had guests come on to pay tribute to their favorite characters. The cameos were worth it if only for Melissa McCarthy’s impression of motivational speaker Matt Foley, one of Chris Farley’s most iconic characters, right down to breaking the desk. Sarah Palin teased a 2016 run
Jerry Seinfeld’s audience Q&A had its highs and lows, as he referenced Rolling Stone’s cast member ranking, the show’s criticism that it didn't have enough black women on the show, and its decision to cut the writers’ tribute to give Randy Quaid time to rant about something for four minutes. But the most buzz in this segment comes around the 6:15 mark, after a question from one of Fey’s best characters, Sarah Palin—or rather, the real thing.
"Just curious, Jerry," Palin asked, "how much do you think Lorne Michaels would pay me if I were to run in 2016?"Palin mentioned picking Donald Trump as her running mate, at which point dollar signs likely appeared in Michaels' eyes. But although Palin was a good sport this time around, she’s not a fan of the Fey impression. Palin felt that Fey made her look like an idiot (but scoffs at the idea that SNL has an effect on real-life politics) and wants the actress to pay for her kids’ braces in return for capitalizing on her back in 2008.
SNL acknowledges its history of cast members breaking character
It’s been the elephant in the room for years, and on Sunday night, it finally got a fitting tribute from Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler. Their latest digital short went out to everyone who found themselves unable to keep it together in the heat of a hilarious moment, thus "breaking" and said moment even funnier. But let’s be real, it’s mostly been Fallon and Horatio Sanz.“Wayne’s World” gets revived
Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar’s return to SNL brought our favorite public access show back on the air, and how it landed depended on how you felt about it during its original run (and subsequent films). Mike Myers and Dana Carvey brought a top-10 list about SNL to demonstrate their routine, and it was one-third inside jokes, one-third Kanye West swipes, and one-third catchphrases.
Schwing, we're not worthy!Screengrab via NBC
Conan O’Brien isn't one to shy away from weird, over-the-top concepts with his remote shoots, but his latest adventure will be more than just a water-cooler topic the next morning—it’ll be historic.
O'Brien spent the weekend filming Conan in Havana, Cuba, making him the first American late-night television host to visit and film in Cuba since 1959, when Jack Paar went over to interview Fidel Castro for The Tonight Show (a trip for which he was criticized). Like Paar's voyage, this programming choice by O'Brien and his staff is likely to bring a fresh wave criticism from certain political circles.
The episode, set to air Mar. 4, will give viewers a glimpse into what life is like in Cuba. Knowing O'Brien, it'll also be full of wacky and potentially awkward moments, even if he's only allowed to show certain parts of Cuban culture.
President Obama announced that the U.S. and Cuba would start resuming diplomatic relations back in December, a seismic shift in foreign policy that quickly drew criticism from conservatives. Since then, broadcast news anchors Scott Pelley, David Muir, and Brian Williams have all reported from Cuba for their nightly news programs.
Since Conan doesn't film an episode on Presidents Day, the three-day weekend gave the crew enough time to travel to Cuba and shoot everything before the next in-studio episode. Conan's presence in Cuba went largely unnoticed, save for a few photos from members of the U.S. wrestling team, who were in Cuba to compete in the Cerro Pelado International wrestling tournament in Havana on Sunday.H/T The Guardian | Photo via Charlie Llewellin/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
We haven't heard from Jessica Simpson in a while, but that was remedied on Sunday, when the singer posted some racy photos to Instagram featuring her husband, former NFL tight end Eric Johnson.
It's the #FiftyShadesofJohnson collection, y'all.
Two of the images are fairly tame, but in one of the photos, she appears to be getting spanked. Naughty!
The comments might be the best part: While many followers commended her for the shots ("This sexy photo shoot may lead to baby #3. lol!!!"), others chastised her for attempting to be sexual while also being a mother.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall during this shoot.
Simpson is likely not the only woman who attempted a sexy photo shoot with her husband or bought some sex rope after seeing Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentine's Day weekend. But she might have been the only woman to post a photo of her impressive V-Day sexy time soundtrack. The Cure and Black Sabbath? OK, Jessica. I'm on board.
H/T Defamer | Photo via Chris Wellner/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Even though it was predicted in the ancient text known as Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Jessica Williams destroyed our hopes and dreams on Sunday night when she tweeted that she wouldn't be taking over as host of The Daily Show.
In a string of classy but disappointing tweets, Williams outlined why it wasn't her time yet and corrected people who weren't familiar with black women's hair.Perhaps sensing our disappointment, Williams quickly slapped the tears off our faces and gave us something to look forward to.
Fiiiiine. As long as we keep getting segments like this one.H/T Vulture | Screengrab via Comedy Central/YouTube
On Monday, the pop star chose to share the news of her engagement to long-time boyfriend Taylor Kinney by posting a photo of her hand sporting a heart-shaped engagement ring. The Cheek to Cheek singer wrote: “He gave me his heart on Valentine's Day, and I said YES!”
Marriage is a long time coming for these two love birds. After meeting on the set of Gaga's music video for "You & I" in 2011, she became obsessed with the 33-year-old Chicago Fire actor and the two started dating later that year. According to a report from the Times Herald-Record's Barry Lewis, the happy couple took to her parents' restaurant, Joanne Trattoria, to celebrate the engagement Saturday night.
While there are no further details about the couple's impending nuptials, Us Weekly reports that the singer recently joked with Howard Stern about what her wedding might look like. "If I get married, I'll be hanging out in a pickup truck at a David's Bridal while my stylist is screaming at me," she told the famous radio host.
One thing's for sure, the world will most definitely be waiting to see what kind of avant-garde creation she'll be sporting down the aisle.
Photo via philipnelson/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Vodka spokesmodelAmber Rose can’t resist a chance to throw some shade on Instagram. When the well-endowed wife of Wiz Khalifa isn’t posting barely there bikini pics to prove just how “MILFY” her ass is, the 31-year-old mother is trolling the Kardashians with Kanye memes.
It all began on Friday, when Rose sat down for an interview with Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club. When she was asked about her thoughts on Kylie Jenner’s relationship with rapper Tyga, Rose held nothing back.
She's a baby, she needs to go to bed at 7 o'clock and relax. That's ridiculous. [Tyga] should be ashamed of himself. For sure. He has a beautiful woman and a baby and left that for a 16-year-old who just turned 17.
Not one to let her sister’s reputation go undefended, Khloe took to Twitter to share her thoughts on Rose’s comments and lob a few jabs at the model's past as a sex worker.
But Rose doesn't just have a sense of humor, she also has a firm grasp on irony. That's precisely why she decided to take things full troll and call our Khloe's hypocrisy with an amazing Kanye meme.
Leave it to Rose to prove that moms can troll just as hard as the rest of us, if not even harder. In the infamous words of Kanye West, "Get down girl, go 'head, get down."
The brand and creator incubator is partnering with Vine stars Logan Paul, Matthew Espinosa, and Rudy Mancuso, who combined have nearly 20 million followers. Paul recently played the bad guy in the cringeworthy Gamergate episode of Law & Order: SVU.
CDS also announced a partnership with Yousef Erakat, a.k.a. fouseyTube, who recently launched a fundraiser for a fan battling cancer. YouTube a capella musician Jon Cozart, a.k.a. Paint; Snapchat artist Shonduras; and "social experiment" collective Whatever round out the signings.
Last year, CDS partnered with Sam Pepper, Mamrie Hart, Superwoman, FPS Russia, Explosm Entertainment, Madilyn Bailey, and Lauren Curtis. Shortly after partnering with Pepper, he was involved in a sexual harassment scandal and the company dropped him in September.
CDS president Dan Weinstein said in a press release that the "pranksters, innovative musical performers, and teen heartthrobs joining" the channel "will continue to attract a young, diverse demographic that is highly engaged."
Screengrab via Paint/YouTube
You're old. How old? So old that you'll remember an embarrassing number of these 10-year-old YouTube videos like you just saw them for the first time.
The mid-2000s were a heyday of viral videos, some of which are now indelibly scarred into all of our brains. Rickroll, Potter Puppet Pals, Star Wars Kid, Charlie Bit My Finger—you should probably be using all that memory space for something useful, but hey, there's a reason why these things went viral in the first place.
This compilation video takes us through ten years of YouTube's greatest hits, beginning with YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim's first upload in 2005 and running through recent memes like the Ice Bucket Challenge.
One thing that's interesting about the compilation is how YouTube's production values have gone up. Most of the viral videos from 10 years ago look pretty terrible, but over the past few years they've gotten more and more slick and professionally produced, as TV shows and celebrities got in on the action.
Is it possible that we're getting nostalgic for crappy old YouTube video footage? Oh god, we're so old.
Screengrab via Rick Astley/YouTube