Kicking and Screaming (1995)

8.5/10 – Grilled Seal of Approval


In honor of the college friends in Kicking and Screaming who cannot seem to move on from each other and begin their lives, let’s take roll call for my own motley bunch of loons who are my regular drinking mates and romantic misadventure confidantes. And, unlike the character’s of Baumbach’s debut, they have all (unsurprisingly) led very successful lives upon finishing college.

We tend to have the good luck/misfortune of being referred to by other people as “the guys from Africa” or “the African guys.” Africa was the name of our college house during senior year. The name could be (and often is) misconstrued as something racial, but, in actuality, we were just paying homage to a song we could all agree was awesome – the 80s hit of the same name by soft rockers Toto – and then the name stuck. Go figure.

We got Bieger, a.k.a. – Beef, Beeftown, Beeftown Grand Marshall, Beef God, False God, Wellington, The Nile Perch, and countless others. Short, likable, and possessing an unusual and unfortunate affinity for all things Disney, Bieger is both an outdoors enthusiast and a lover of that most delightful (according to him) of instruments – the banjo. On business days, he works in the stressful world of sales and drives a leased car, while in his free time, he enjoys traveling, speaking German, drinking microbrews, and spontaneous adventuring. And ladies, better catch up with him now because he is currently single! Don’t wait on this one!

We got Jason, a.k.a. – J. Dog, J. Dawg, J. Money, and Money Bags. Jay is a tall, formerly hefty, man with a perennial love of bad comedies, Bjork, and Wu Tang music videos. As the most senior member of our troop, he also has the fortune (through his own skill and hard work) to be the most successful. Sometimes his face is clean shaven, and sometimes it carries a bit of  a scruff, but his brilliantly goofy smile can light up a room in either situation. His current job as a music journalist and editor is his – quote – “dream job.” Unfortunately, this package of fine meat is taken… and… what’s that… do we hear wedding bells in the future?

We got Dave, a.k.a. Pretty Boy, As the name suggests, yes, he is an extremely pretty boy. Some may even argue he has reached “Manhood,” but that is a discussion for another day and time. Mr. Pretty Boy is an engineer by trade, and we have volunteered him to build robots on numerous occasions, though, he always refuses and makes excuses like, “What?! I can’t possibly make a cleaning robot in an hour – are you crazy?” Oh, Dave… you have so much untapped potential, if only you could see it… When he isn’t product testing toys, Dave makes us the rest of us look bad by playing guitar and singing in his own 90s pop cover band, longboarding down very scary hills, and being in a committed relationship with a doctor-to-be. He’s taken ladies!

We got Chris, a.k.a. Pain, the Pain Train, C Pain on a Plane, and C. Money. Mr. Pain brings the figurative pain on a daily basis to his job as a music journalist. And yes, Pain and J do work together and at one point were living together as well. These two were able to spend inordinate amounts of time together for years without killing each other. Now that’s some fucking friendship, folks. We hail Mr. Christopher as our most hipster of our band of hipsters. Yes, he lives in Williamsburg. Yes, he drinks PBR (and he likes it). Yes, he knew about all of your favorite bands before you ever heard of them, and, frankly, their earlier stuff was better. Mr. Pain almost made the foolhardy decision of becoming a history professor, but thankfully he came to his senses and realized his true hipster/writer calling and reported to Brooklyn, as per his duty. He is also our resident “weird sports team” fanatic as he follows a variety of strange teams for a variety of strange reasons. For instance, his die hard Miami Dolphin fandom is a result of seeing NFL great Dan Marino in 1994’s greatest (and only) pet detective comedy starring Jim Carrey, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Oh, and ladies? This stud is newly single!

And me?

Well, I’m Dom. I don’t really have a nickname. Perhaps, D. Money. Everyone has the “money” nickname though. I’m a writer and a traveler and probably have worse grammar than is expected for an editor. Optimistic and realistically pessimistic. Hopeful. Lustful and cautious. Often stumbling over my written words and those spoken. Possibly mentally ill, but, also, probably not. Still fighting the good fight. Not depressed today, but tomorrow’s still uncertain. Looking for love in all the wrong ways and wrong places. Looking for love in some of the wrong ways and some of the wrong places. Putting off love for a while. Obsessed with the film world. Obsessed with writing about film, but actually spending more time not writing about them. (Hence this and many of my entries on GrilledLife.) Contrary to my OkCupid profile that lists me as being much less well-read and literary than the rest of my generation, I do read. Often and daily. (I can only imagine the rest of the population lies about how many books they read, or perhaps I hit the wrong button on my reading questions…)

I’m cheap. Or more positively known as “thrifty,” but generally only when it comes to myself. I like/don’t mind spending my money on friends/people I care about. I’d like to go back to Asia. And I’d like to go to India and Mozambique and Tokyo and about a thousand other places. And I’d like to do about a thousand other things than what I’m doing, but at the same time, I’d probably rather be doing this than those thousand other things. I’m 25 feeling like I’m going on 60 going on 12. Skinny, but recently put on weight and my pants are now defiantly a little too tight. Soon they will rebel and burst apart – probably about five minutes from entering the door of my latest job interview or joining the table of an interesting hipster-ish looking ethnic strong-spirited completely bizarre woman. Single.

Oh, yeah, and I come from the land down under. Not Australia. New Jersey.

Currently bearded.

Please form an orderly line ladies.


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