With two of Hollywood’s most consistently funny and charming actors topping the bill, a fitting subtitle for Admission could have been “Oh My God, Tina Fey and Paul Rudd: I Love Them!” Fey stars as Portia, a strait-laced admissions officer at Princeton University whose uneventful life is intruded upon by her former classmate John (Rudd), a well-meaning high school teacher. John wants to introduce Portia to his student Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), who he believes would make a great addition to Princeton. Unfortunately, Jeremiah is far from Princeton material. Read More
Normally movies with exceedingly long shots, a drab color palette, and no soundtrack can be tough to get through. But if the stakes are high enough, this approach can actually be engaging. Exhibit A: Romania’s official Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film, Beyond the Hills—a story of two friends separated by faith. When Alina (Cristina Flutur) arrives at the Romanian monastery where novice nun Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) resides, she tries to convince her pal to flee with her to Germany. Read More
{SPONSORED POST} March is Women’s History Month. That women have a month at all is somewhat disheartening—implying, as it does, that the other 12 belong to men. It can often feel as if (to paraphrase the great philosopher Paula Abdul) for every two steps forward, we take two steps back. But we’ve come a long way. One hundred years ago, women were fighting for suffrage. Today, we’re debating the intricacies of Sheryl Sandberg’s manifesto. Still, we’ve got a long way to go—for women in the US and for those around the world. Read More
Dear Roseanne,  I’m a 25-year-old single New Yorker and I need help suggesting a threesome to my unmarried, coupled friends. What’s the best way for me to find out if they’re interested without making things awkward? This would be my first threesome, and I only want to do this with people I know, so strangers are out of the question. –Third Wheel to Threesome  Dear Third Wheel, OK, I confess that when I was a horny 20-something, thoughts like this may have crossed my mind a time or 30. Read More
Tehran-born Dina Nayeri knows all about being split between two worlds—her family immigrated to Oklahoma when she was ten. In A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, Nayeri returns to 1980s Iran to tell the story of twins Saba and Mahtab, who are obsessed with American culture. After Mahtab and her mother mysteriously disappear, 11-year-old Saba is convinced that they have moved to America without her. As she grows up, Saba imagines Mahtab’s life unfolding parallel to hers in America, while Saba struggles within the confines of a small village in post-revolutionary Iran. Read More
  Domenica Ruta grew up outside Boston as the brainy misfit daughter of a loud, buxom, peroxide-blonde Italian mother. A vain and mercurial “narcotic omnivore,” her mom loved and hated her only daughter with equal ferocity. Their home was full of contradictions. As a kid, Ruta was given OxyContin for headaches. Her mom worked extra jobs to pay for Ruta’s dance lessons, but refused to acknowledge that her daughter was being molested. As a teenager, Ruta was pushed toward both higher education and teen pregnancy. Unsurprisingly, she eventually began her own spiral into addiction. Read More
Aside from his foxiness, gangly Kiwi singer Willy Moon has a lot going for him. Apple recently used his rowdy, retro song “Yeah Yeah” for its new ad (the one with all the bouncing iPods), and it caught the earballs of countless listeners. So is there more to this neo-rockabilly pop star than one catchy song and some very well-tailored suits? We’re happy to report that we've seen him live, and he is, in fact, legit. Moon played at Piano’s recently, in a gig that seemed to be populated equally by fans, press, and record-label A&R dudes. Read More
On their sophomore album, Portland-based Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside cull the best bits from music’s past eras, creating a mercurial hybrid of rockabilly, blues, country, and garage rock. Ford’s vocals have just enough of a worn edge to sound appropriately world-weary and jaded, but she’s smooth enough in her delivery to pull off sweeter, poppier tracks. Catchy “They Told Me” brings to mind the tight hooks of fellow retro rockers the Black Keys, while Ford’s vocal style on “Do Me Right” owes a little to girl-group legends the Shangri-Las. Read More
Though she sounds melancholy on her beautifully solemn debut Ripely Pine, Aly Spaltro has something to celebrate. As Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, she offers up a winning new brand of Southern discomfort (though she’s from the North), with tastes of pop, folk, and Americana. The album begins with a guitar slowly strumming sorrow, as if Spaltro is quietly waiting for the pain to go away while offering up lyrics like, “Love is selfish/Love goes tick tock tick.” She can sound sweet and angelic, then belt like a banshee because you’re too late to sweep her off her feet. Read More
  It’s a truth universally agreed upon, at least among those of us who came of age in the 1980s, that Cyndi Lauper is one of the coolest, most interesting people in the world. Her songs made us want to dance and bop around and roller-skate. Lauper became a superstar for belting out “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and, admittedly, she did have more than her fair share of good times, sometimes criminally great times. Read More