Havrilesky’s project is simple in theory, but fascinatingly nuanced in practice: to diagnose our shared cultural values, anxieties, obsessions and illusions in order to better understand the way they influence our individual emotional landscapes.
In 2012, stand-up comedian John Mulaney joked that there could never be an all-female heist movie: “Ocean’s 11 with women wouldn’t work, because two would keep breaking off to talk shit about the other nine.”
From a less capable comic, or post #MeToo, this might have registered as sexist; at the time, it simply seemed true. After all, the idea that women might have something to contribute to historically male cinematic territory was relatively new and unexplored.
I hate salad. Should I be more coy about that? Probably. But in the interest of journalistic integrity, it’s important that you have all the facts. To me, salad is the depressing pile of leaves you have to eat when your friend invites you over for dinner because it would be rude not to. It’s what you order when you go out to lunch with your mom so she’ll think that you’re a functioning human adult. It’s the universe’s sad, bitter yin to cake’s delicious yang.