Jennifer Ammoscato

Aspiring author. Successful chocoholic. Debut novel "Dear Internet: It's Me, Avery." May 2014

Who’s To Say Pretty Woman Isn’t Art?

While perusing the wondrous selection of books at the Toronto Film Festival facility recently, I came to a dead stop at this title: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

I almost picked it up. Then I thought the better of it.

I love cinema. Other kids played Hide and Seek or Battleship during summer vacation. I stood in front of the movie bookshelf at our library, head painfully tilted sideways, trying to decide between Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography or Life Goes to the Movies. In another life, I’d have been a film reviewer. In real life, I was a book geek (and, needless to say, not one of the cool kids.)

I’ve got to be honest, however. I don’t like the commitment that comes attached to a list that long.

You figure that each film must be at least two hours. That’s a minimum of 2002 hours of movies (damn, I’m a math whiz!). Between work, sleep, eating frozen yogurt and incessantly checking Facebook, when will I fit it all in?

This literary theme calls to mind another book, 1001 Places To See Before You Die. What if, God forbid, I want to go somewhere twice? I’ll feel I’ve wasted time. I won’t enjoy myself.

What’s with all the pressure, people?

Do these authors know something about my health that I don’t? Are they worried I’m going to run out of time? Have they spoken to my doctor?

No. Like everyone else, they just like telling people what to do.

Well it’s not going to work I tell you. It’s not going to work!

I’ve watched Citizen Kane. I’ve also watched Hot Tub Time Machine (against my will—thanks to my husband). Once, a long time ago, I watched The Incredible Melting Man with my parents at the drive-in. I’ve got to say, Citizen Kane does not offer the pulse-pounding drama of Jurassic Park (1 and III only; II was simply unwatchable. I do have standards.)

If I only commit to movies that are considered “great cinema”, when will I ever get to watch Pretty Woman? Some days I just need me some Rodeo Drive hooker shopping scenes (you do realize, of course, that I mean shopping for clothes, not hookers, right?)

Honestly, I put enough pressure on myself with lists, post-it notes, highlighters and, when all else fails, writing on my hand when it absolutely has to get done.

That’s it. No more. I’m not taking on new obligations.

Now pass the popcorn. Twister’s on.

What’s your guilty cinema pleasure? (And no, I’m not talking about porn. Get your mind out of the gutter!) Tell me in the Comment Section below.


New Year’s resolutions? I don’t think so


It’s January 5th.

Do you know what that means?

Essentially if you haven’t already drafted up a list of New Year’s resolutions, your whole year is going to be a waste of time.

You had a chance to be better and you did nothing, absolutely nothing about it!

None of your friends’ helpful Facebook posts about grabbing the new year by the balls mattered to you. Do you care about getting fiscally and physically fit, or learning to code…or quilt. I don’t think so.

And I don’t blame you.

Resolutions. Suck.

They set us up to fail, put pressure on us and make us feel worse about ourselves if we don’t live up to their shiny promise.

Who needs that?

Instead, I prefer to see what the year brings. Hopefully that will include copious amounts of joy—or at least more good days than bad.

And wine.

And chocolate.

I think that’s all doable.

Low expectations. Don’t knock it.

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