“Gleefully wacky and irreverent.”

–The New York Times

“Line by line, Mr. Rudnick may be the funniest writer for the stage in the United States today.”

–The New York Times

“Deeply funny musings and adventures elevate Paul Rudnick to the highest level of American comedy writing.”

–Steve Martin

“One of the funniest quip-meisters on the planet.”

–The New York Times

“Paul Rudnick is a champion of truth (and love and great wicked humor) whom we ignore at our peril.”

–David Sedaris

“Quips fall with the regularity of the autumn leaves.”

–Associated Press

November 28, 2015

Libby Gelman-Waxner: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Can I just say something? The title of this movie reminds me of my own name, because it includes way too much punctuation.

The-Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Part-2-Final-PosterIn the first Hunger Games movie, Jennifer Lawrence, as the determined, sullen Katniss Everdeen, had to slaughter other teens and children in the arena, and now, in the final film, she’s killing all sorts of evil soldiers and mutant creatures. Like the Hunger Games books, the films refuse to glorify war, which means that Jennifer has now spent four movies looking morose, sorrowful and angry, and not just because of her lifeless brunette dye job. Jennifer is amazing, but I think we’ve all suffered enough, especially after Jennifer delivers what, to my mind, is the most genuinely tragic thought imaginable: “The bakery didn’t survive.”


Jennifer says this to Josh Hutcherson, who plays her boyfriend Peeta, who’s been brainwashed into wanting to kill her; Josh also sports the worst blonde highlights since my cousin Alyssa tried using Crest whitening strips on her bangs. Jennifer’s other boyfriend, Gale, is also still hanging around, along with a tattooed, culturally diverse batch of rebels, who look like a punk band on a Nickelodeon show.
They’re all struggling to reach the capitol and assassinate Donald Sutherland as the nasty President Snow. Donald is one of the only people in the entire series with a sense of humor, along with Woody Harrelson as Jennifer’s alcoholic ally; Woody amuses himself by playing with the tendrils of his stringy blonde wig, which balances atop his head like an exhausted squid.


A lot of critics have cheered for Katniss as a feminist heroine, which doesn’t really account for her spandex military bodysuits or the fact that she’s both selfless and irritable – she’s like a cranky Joan of Arc, with stylists and a major presence on dystopian social media. She’s basically someone who, in the words of my Mom, the beloved Sondra Krell-Gelman, “has had it it up to here.” She’s being advised by Julianne Moore as a rebel leader with a helmet of stern silver hair, like Meryl Streep in The Giver: it’s a look that says, “I use menopause as a weapon.”


Mockingjay was accompanied by a lot of trailers for the big Christmas movies, many of which feature spunky sci-fi heroines with hunky male sidekicks. It’s great to see so many young women wielding swords, phasers and grenades; as I told my perfect teenage daughter Jennifer, “In the future, women will get to kill anyone who uses hurtful language or who doesn’t pay them as much as a Hemsworth brother, if you ask me.”