Guests of the Ayatollah

I recently finished Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden about the 1979-80 Iranian hostage crisis. It was a very good book.

It would be hard to make it into a movie, difficult but not impossible. Lot’s of characters, a lot of purposeful, frustrating inaction. HBO has the rights but I don’t think they have done anything with it.

I think the part that would work as an action movie would be a historical re-imagining of the rescue attempt. In real life the attempt failed because of a technical problem with not getting enough helicopters because of unforeseen pockets of dust. This eventually leads to a helicopter crashing into a plane which kills eight people. 

The plan was so intricate that even if they would have gotten all the helicopters there that there would have been so many things that could have gone wrong.

Still, if everything had gone right, which includes killing as few Iranian hostage takers as possible, it would have been one of the most amazing things accomplished by the U.S. Military.

Tale of the Tape: Rebel Wilson

Like: Bridesmaids, Bachelorette

Dislike: Pain & Gain (definitely not her fault though)

Haven’t seen: Pitch Perfect (I know people really like it but I’m probably not going to see it).

Final Verdict: I like Rebel Wilson mainly because I can’t think of another actress who has embraced her image as wholeheartedly as Wilson.

I picked Rebel Wilson because she is the only person who is in both Bridesmaids and Bachelorette. These movies are a year apart, both about Bridesmaids and sometimes raunchy female-centered comedies.

I have made this argument before, and it didn’t go particularly well, so I will try to make it more nuanced. I think Bachelorette is a better movie.

It’s really about expectations though. Let’s get this out of the way, neither movie is that funny. Bridesmaids was billed as the female comedy that finally rivals its male counterparts. It was going to be the female Wedding Crashers or Caddyshack.

While it has funny scenes, the airplane sequence in particular, a laugh riot it is not. The movie is dragged down by Kristen Wiig’s sad life, which it chooses to harp on. There’s a reason we don’t go into much detail about how Chevy Chase and Bill Murray actually live in Caddyshack.

In Bachelorette, Isla Fisher overdoses at the end of the movie. Oh that doesn’t sound funny, it’s not. Bachelorette often comes from a mean place, the main characters are such assholes though that you don’t mind bad stuff happening to them.

Bachelorette is really saved by Lizzy Caplan.

I think my real point is the great lady comedy has yet to be made. When it happens, I will salute it as such. These are nice efforts but neither is a top 100 comedy.