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Few Smiles in ‘I Smile Back’

It’s the kind of performance you’re dying to see — but can’t bring yourself to watch.

Comedian Sarah Silverman takes a dramatic-as-a-heart-attack turn as a wealthy suburban mom devastated by anxiety and addiction in the new feel-bad movie of the season, I Smile Back.

The role’s got Oscar nod written all over it: See the actress grind on a teddy bear, sleep with strangers, snort cocaine off a bathroom floor, lie right to the face of her saintly husband — and ache with excruciating, visceral love for her still-perfect children. Silverman is 100 percent committed and compelling as Laney, the Shakespearean-tragedy-of-a-mommy so terrified of being abandoned by the people she loves that she systematically, almost willfully, destroys any reason for them to stay.

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No One Cares About Your Hymen

Tradition deems that a bride should give a few gifts on her wedding day. She might give jewelry to her bridesmaids and chocolates to her guests. She might bestow a monogrammed hankie on her mother, and will likely present her groom with a little sumpn special back at the hotel ifyouknowwhatimsayin.

But here’s a nuptial-day trinket you don’t often see a bride offer up in 2015: a note from her gynecologist to her father avowing that her hymen is thoroughly, virtuously intact. A Maryland bride did just that recently, posing with her dad, a big ole virginal grin, and a physician-signed “certificate of purity.”

Let’s review: Her wedding. Her gyno. Her father. Her hymen. The situation is wrong on so many levels. Here are just four of them.

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Best Commenters: My Awards Back Atcha

What’s a writer without readers? That is to say, if I write a column in the forest and no one is there to post rude comments after it … did I even make a point?

Wired recently predicted the end of online comments sections, as Bloomberg, the Verge, the Daily Beast, and Motherboard have all eliminated the after-article comments features from their sites. I hope The Independent doesn’t follow suit. I often read the comments posted after my columns there to see what kinds of discussions are fueled, and if I’ve missed an important consideration in my thinking. Mostly, though, I find phrases like “giant turds” and “fat chicks” and comments like this one: “This is so stupid I could vomit.”

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Lessons Learned from the Pit

stone-laughIt was the second night of the school play. The show was called Crazy for You, a collection of jazzy Gershwin tunes, and I was on drums. I was ready. There was only one problem: I felt sick.

Somewhere in the acidic underbelly of my fleshy bits, my BBQ ribs from lunch churned a little. I excused it as nothing and strode over to my flashy drum set in the orchestra pit as the lights dimmed for the beginning of the show. I sat down and felt a little wave of nausea again.

I turned to my orchestra buddy and whispered, “Bro, I feel kinda sick.” He whispered back, “You’d better not throw up on me, man,” and the show began.

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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