New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.42: When In Rome


BETH: “Is this your Euro?”
ANTONIO: “that’s weird…”
BETH: “Antonio?”
ANTONIO: “It’s Anthony actually.”
BETH: “From Nunzio?”
ANTONIO: “No. Newark…New Jersey”
BETH: “Are you really a tortured artist?”
ANTONIO: “Tortured. Been in retail shoe sales for the last 9 years. As far as being an artist, I don’t know I guess I figured going to Italy would make me one.”
Thankfully, I’ve never been in the situation but watching When In Rome gave me the same feeling that a passenger on a plane might experience seconds before they realize they are about to crash. Imagine how serene the land below looks when gazing out the window thousands of feet in the air, and then your thoughts suddenly turn sour as the plane begins to take a nose dive. At least your captain makes you aware that you all need to put on your masks and take note of the exits. In contrast, a DVD does not supply that type of warning, so heed the one I’m about to bestow on you: When In Rome is a pretty stupid movie.

The crazy thing about When In Rome is that I’ve actually seen movies with lower budgets and Z-list actors that are actually better than this. As a fan of Kristen Bell I had high hopes for her big starring role. Her comedic sharpness and sly sarcasm has lent itself superbly to Veronica Mars, and even her recent role on Party Down, which you should watch if you haven’t yet. As the main character of the film she maintains those qualities, but in a very subtle way in comparison to her other roles. Her curator, Beth, is more likable than Sarah Marshall, but Bell flourishes more as the latter. She’s at her best when playing saucy, self absorbed characters full of idiosyncrasies.

The cliched, silly plot involves a fountain of love from which Beth takes back coins just like Mouth did in The Goonies. Meanwhile, the owners who originally threw those coins into the fountain all wind up falling in love with Beth, although she already has eyes for Nick, played by Josh Duhamel. The role of Nick is not too much different than the numbskull Duhamel probably is in real life. Nick is a former football player who got struck by lightning during a game and soon meets Beth at her sisters wedding in Rome.

Much like that plane that I mentioned earlier, you can probably imagine how the movie plummets from there. There’s a Napolean Dynamite connection, a kick ass performance by SNL’s Bobby Moynihan, and cameos by Newark NJ born Shaquille O’Neal and former Giant Lawrence Taylor. When in Rome also stars Don Johnson as Beth’s father, Danny DeVito as a Sausage King, Angelica Huston as Beth’s boss, Will Arnett as wannabe artist, Jon Heder doing a parody of Criss Angel, and Kristen Bell’s real life dude, Dax Shepard, who as much as I hate to admit it, is pretty funny. Even with this outstanding cast and a Jersey mention, when in Rome, do as The Sexy Armpit says and don’t bother.

The Rahway Redemption #1: Arrested Development


Welcome to a new recurring column here at The Sexy Armpit called The Rahway Redemption. The legendary Rahway Prison, a.k.a East Jersey State Prison has quite a menacing look about it. Whenever I drive by the monstrous institution, I definitely get a little creeped out. Thanks in part to it’s unsympathetic and raw reputation, this slammer is a star in it’s own right. Well, at least a star enough to get a column dedicated to it here at The Armpit! I’m attempting to break out of the prison but I need your help! In this column I need you to read on as I present Rahway Prison’s most notable appearances in pop culture. 


In Season One, Episode 6 (12/7/03) of one of the funniest TV shows of all time, Arrested Development, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) attempts to get his father George Senior (Jeff Tambor) out of prison. First, Michael tried to get to the bottom of some of his father’s shady transactions. Michael decided to get some answers while visiting him at Orange County Prison. George Sr. was too busy to talk about anything important since he was practicing softball with other inmates.

I hate to be buzzkill, but I’m trying to get you out of here.

George Sr.: 
Yeah well, I’m trying to get us out of last place Michael! 
We’re playing Rahway next week…word has it that they’re getting Jose Canseco!

I’m starting to wonder why I even bother coming.

<inmate softball player>

George Sr.
That is ridiculous!

You won’t even talk to me?!?!

George Sr.

The Sexy Armpit’s Review of The CW’s 90210

I’ve admitted so much embarrassing stuff about myself on this blog that relaying my anticipation for the new 90210 rehash wouldn’t make things any worse. Earlier tonight the new 90210 hit the CW airwaves and it would be wrong if I didn’t share my thoughts on the show with you.

Sequels and spin offs have made entertainment their bitch. This 90210 redux could have easily been the CW’s new generic teen drama for the fall season, but with a few tweaks and script changes, presto changeo…we have 90210. Again. Obviously I’m not opposed to seeing the famed characters I grew up watching like Brenda and Kelly return. One might consider them milfs at this point but I’m pretty sure they were just thrown in to grab the old school viewers of the original series. For those who were on board in the ’90s, the show uses a new recording of the same theme song, Kelly has evolved organically into a guidance counselor, and Nat still runs the Peach Pit.

The Wilson’s are a family who have moved from Kansas to Beverly Hills so Dad (played by Silk Stalkings Rob Estes) could take a principal job. Puhlease! If the girls I knew in high school had been in school with a principal who looked like Estes they’d all be mastering the art of getting called into the principals office so they could play the naughty little school girl. It seems unrealistic to me, but this is Beverly Hills we’re dealing with. Rob Estes is married to Lori Loughlin who is a fine woman and I’ll leave it at that, I’ll keep my comments to myself since she’s still ignoring my calls. Loughlin is a bit stiff in this role and I’m hoping she’ll loosen up a little as the season unfolds. Let’s face it, no wife in her right mind would be as calm and collected as Lori Loughlin was after finding out the secret that her husband has a grown child from a previous relationship.

The family lives with Rob Estes’ mom, a former Hollywood actress played by Jessica Walter of Arrested Development. Her role isn’t that much different from that of Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. As Tabitha, she’s a Long Island Iced Tea lovin‘ grandmother. She loves to tell anecdotes about her days as an actress, specifically one about the time when Ricardo Montalbon cracked an egg on her ass.

Shenae Grimes plays Annie, the main character. She looks exactly how I’d picture the daughter of Estes and Loughlin to look so the casting was brilliant there. Annie isn’t the hottest chick ever so it’s more believable as she stands out from the rest of the girls in Beverly Hills, (you know the old adage that girls from Kansas can’t be as hot as those in California.) Coming from Kansas you’d think Annie’s mom would be just a little bit happy that she has adjusted at Barry Allen speed. But no! Let’s get all up in arms about our daughter meeting a rich guy and having him take her out to an expensive restaurant that happens to be far away in his own JET. That’s every mother’s dream and Loughlin is all angry about it. Come on Lori, stop being Rebecca! I wonder if she’d like it better if Annie wound up dating a creepy rapist?

There’s no badass guys like Steve Sanders or Dylan Mckay, but we do have Ethan the manwhore played by Dustin Milligan. He got head in his car even though he’s got a girlfriend, and he tried to make up for it by giving his girlfriend a limp rose. What an asshole! Milligan reminds me of a young John Travolta mixed with the pothead from Road Trip. And guess who plays his grandmother? Linda Gray, SUE ELLEN FROM DALLAS! Seeing that surprise was possibly the highlight of the entire 2 hour premiere. Anyway, I command you to bring back Ian Ziering or Luke Perry! Absent are the badass guys that I used to look up to like the Dylans of the world. These f’n new guys are all apologizing and emotional and in touch with their feelings! What happened to all the west coast assholes? Grow some balls 90210! We need some danger!

Gushing about this 90210 rehash is not what I’m here to do. I did have a few complaints. First, there were a few moments where the “California talk” was played up a little in the dialogue. These kids just moved from Kansas and you would never know it. They were from Kansas? If there’s a Beverly Hills in Kansas then I’d believe it! Yeah totally…to the max! Also, the show seems to be playing to a younger crowd than it’s predecessor. With shenanigans like copying book reports, not making the lacrosse team, and letting pigs loose onto the football field, I wonder what other kind of wacky Saved By The Bell hijinks will be happening in future episodes? Why not get Screech in on this while we’re at it? Hopefully the drama gets trumped up a little because there’s some stiff competition with shows like Gossip Girl. Might I say that The O.C blows all of these shows out of the water in terms of acting, and dialogue? Yes I might.

Apparently I don’t wish they all could be California girls anymore. It seemed like Brenda was thrown in as an afterthought even though she was pretty much the main character in the original series. In one scene of the premiere, call me crazy, but Brenda appears to have horrible teeth and long sideburns. And blogger extraordinaire Silver played by Jessica Stroup looks ridiculously emaciated. Can we get her an In and Out Burger or something? I thought girls in Southern California were smart enough to know that anorexia isn’t healthy nor cool? I could see it now…on a very special 90210…

Judging by the premiere, 90210 wasn’t so bad and I’m definitely going to give it a few more episodes to work out it’s kinks. But if the sound keeps cutting out on my Comcast HDTV I’m going to freaking blow the set top box up cause they f—ing suck ass. I love paying close to $200 bucks for shitty cable service. I should be swimming in the Wilson’s pool in Beverly Hills, that’s how good my cable service should be for that kind of money!