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Go

Go

Image credit: Go, 1999

Looking back, I think my love of dystopian Christmas films originated with this week’s pick Go (DVD/Download). For a sullen girl in the 90’s, this film about drug dealers, burnouts, and Timothy Olymphant’s upper body was everything I could ever want. Watching it now, as a semi-jaded adult who still questions the “magic” of the holidays among traffic jams, retail spam, and airline price gouging, it still resonates.

Told in a series of vignettes centered around a drug deal gone bad, we see the Christmas holiday from multiple points of view. There’s the entrepreneurial, desperate Ronna (played wonderfully by Sarah Polley), who’s just trying to keep a roof over her head by selling counterfeit Ecstasy to unsuspecting teens at a rave (so 90’s). Then there’s hot drug dealer Todd, played by a very young Timothy Olymphant, who gets screwed over by Ronna, but still wants to seduce her friend Claire (played by fresh-off-the-Creek Katie Holmes). Todd loans his credit card to Simon, who works with Ronna and Claire, for use on a wild Vegas getaway where he ends up stealing a car with Taye Diggs and shooting up a strip club. Then there’s Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr, a couple of TV actors participating in a failed drug bust who later run Ronna over with their Miata. As the plots all intersect and the characters find themselves converging at a warehouse rave on the outskirts of LA, we almost forget that it’s Christmas. Most of these people had given up on the idea of a jolly holiday years ago.

Although there isn’t much alcohol in this movie (save for some strip-club champagne), there are drugs.  Specifically Ecstasy.  And what goes with Ecstasy better than orange juice? (Not that I would know from experience or anything. I definitely don’t….). While watching Go, dive right into the Christmas underbelly with a Xerxes X-mas cocktail.

Xerxes  X-mas

1 ¼ oz Orange Juice

1 oz Vodka

¾ oz Grand Marnier

¼ oz Lime Juice

4 oz Champagne

Pour orange juice, vodka, Grand Marnier and lime juice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir to combine and chill, then strain into a chilled coupe glass. Top with champagne, and orange twist.

Superdrink

It’s really easy to be cynical around the holidays because, well, not much is actually different. The money woes you had in November are still there in December, you’re continuing to clock in at a job that may or may not be of the dead-end variety, and all the mistletoe in the world doesn’t necessarily equate to true love. But for one crazy night, sometimes it’s OK to just Go. Whatever that word may mean to you, wherever it may lead, just GO. Cheers!

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The Ice Storm

Posted on
1997. TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

1997. TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

After seeing American Hustle recently, I got nostalgic for another film set in the 1970’s that made me a lover of mod furniture and sweater ponchos. This week, I’m watching The Ice Storm (DVD / Download), based on the wonderful novel by Rick Moody. This is one of the rare instances where I actually like the film adaptation of a novel, something director Ang Lee seems to have a knack for. The costumes and production design have a lot to do with why I love this film, not to mention the copious amounts of vodka being consumed, but the acting is stellar as well. I don’t think I’d want to take up permanent residence in the 70’s, however this movie does make me want to visit it for a few days.

The Ice Storm tells the story of two families in Connecticut whose lives intersect over a Thanksgiving weekend. Not only do the adults trade spouses as easily as they would recipes, but their children develop relationships with one another as well. The cast features acting heavyweights such as Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Joan Allen, along with teenage versions of Katie Holmes, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood, and Christina Ricci. There is a great deal of tension built up throughout the movie, sexual and otherwise, which seems to find its outlet when an ice storm freezes every molecule around them. Finally, they are stuck with having to confront their dysfunction. Of course the film features a lot of 70’s-era gags (Waterbeds! Nixon! Key parties!) but the relationships and character struggles could exist during any time period. It’s definitely a great film to curl up with and sink your teeth into on a cold day.

In regards to my cocktail pairing, no drink says 1970’s quite like the Harvey Wallbanger. It may have dated itself into obscurity, but my father has been trying to make these cool again for several years, and I support him fully in this endeavor. I really don’t care for screwdrivers at all, but float a little Galliano on top and we’re in business. Plus, I don’t even have to change the name to make it appropriate for the film. Well, maybe Harvey “Carbanger,” but that just seems silly.

Harvey Wallbanger

1.5 oz Vodka

4 oz Orange Juice

.75 oz Galliano L’Autentico

Combine the vodka and orange juice in a glass over ice. Float the Galliano on top.

Harvey-Wallbanger

Feel free to break out the Jim Croce records and any polyester you may still own and make this a real party (NOT a key party- gross, just gross). I love watching how dysfunctional these families are because it makes me feel so much better about my own life. I don’t have to worry about having a weird daughter whose idea of foreplay is wearing a Nixon mask, or a cheating husband who wears ascots and corduroy blazers (let’s face it- the real crime here is the ascot). No, the only fearful thing I see in this movie is the ice storm itself, which sadly found me last week even down in sunny Texas. So drink up, bundle up, and be grateful that even if you live in an icy climate like the one in the movie, at least you’re smart enough to stay indoors. Cheers!