Heather Boerner

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Freelance pop culture writer Heather Boerner writes about films, television, theater and gay and lesbian issues, among others. Find what you’re looking for faster searching the site.

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“Where are Heather’s Two Mommies? The numbers of kids living with gay parents has increased dramatically, but the amount of media catering to them has not”
The Advocate, 07.15.08
When Leslea Newman wrote the landmark Heather Has Two Mommies more than 18 years ago, not a single publisher would touch it. Not a gay press, not an independent children’s book publisher and certainly not a major publishing house like Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins or G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Eventually, she published it via a friend’s small press, raising the money for the first run through $10 donations from readers. Then gay publisher Alyson Books picked it up.
Newman’s upcoming children’s books—the first board books for infants featuring two moms and two dads—will be released by the independent children’s publisher Tricycle Press in 2009. Tricycle publisher Nicole Geiger sought Newman out for the job.
“I think of these books as Heather’s little brothers and sisters,” says Newman. “But again, these are still the first of their kind. About once a year one will squeak through from the major publisher. But in general, for picture books aimed at kids up to age 8, I haven’t seen much change in the market over the past 18 years.”
Children’s media—DVDs, books, television programming, even songs—lag woefully behind the baby boom now underway in the gay community. Since the publication of Heather, gay parents have raised more than 400,000 children, according to statistics compiled by the Charles R. Williams Project on Sexual Orientation Law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Despite this, only about two dozen picture books aimed at those children have been published in the same time. And product is similarly scarce among other children’s media.
Download a PDF of this article here.

Movie Review: “Dan in Real Life”
Common Sense Media, 10.26.07
DAN IN REAL LIFE is kind of like 8 Simple Rules ... for Dating My Teenage Daughter on vacation. There's the same father-daughter dynamic and the same hapless-but-loving dad. And, overall, the film is just as family-friendly and cute as the John Ritter TV show -- with a few notable exceptions.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “The Final Season”
Common Sense Media, 10.11.07
The makers of THE FINAL SEASON were smart when they decided to release it during Major League Baseball playoffs. It's almost like they're extending the season, providing fast cuts, lots of field action, and a heartwarming underdog tale (which is even based on a true story).
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “The Game Plan”
Common Sense Media, 09.27.07
THE GAME PLAN isn't Baby Boom, but it's close. For years, Hollywood has been making movies in which anti-maternal women are saddled with kids and become better people. Well, switch the driven career woman for a football player, throw him in some ballet tights, and you've got THE GAME PLAN -- an adorable, if predictable, family movie from Disney.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “Hot Rod”
Common Sense Media, 09.03.07
If Jackass, Napoleon Dynamite, and the Saturday Night Live viral video "Lazy Sunday" had a love child, HOT ROD would be it, in all its dumb, dirty glory. And like any completely gratifying summer comedy, Hot Rod is far better than the sum of its parts.
Somehow Andy Samberg, the co-writer and SNL castmember, manages to soften up the extreme violence of Jackass, capture the doofus anti-hero of Napoleon Dynamite, and liberally apply the nerdy awesomeness of "Lazy Sunday." There's a reason he's an "Interweb" superstar.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “Gracie”
Common Sense Media,
Before girls could bend it like Beckham on their own soccer teams, there was no place for them to play or be taken seriously. GRACIE is a story about how all that changed, and it's a fast-paced sports movie to boot.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: “Lucky You”
Common Sense Media, 05.04.07
You know televised poker showdowns have truly saturated pop culture when one is the central theme of a Hollywood movie starring America's sweetheart Drew Barrymore and great actors like Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. Unfortunately, LUCKY YOU is a bad bet, full of saccharine platitudes, endless poker scenes, and almost no chemistry between any of the characters.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Classic video review: “The Adventures of Robin Hood”
Common Sense Media, 05.11.07
What's fascinating about this Robin Hood is that it's less a sweet and cartoonish fairy tale than it is a thinly veiled attack on American capitalism and an absentee leader.
Politics aside, it's a rare action movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, and that definitely adds to the fun here. Even during fight scenes, the music is light and upbeat. Compared to other man-against-his-government films like the dour Shooter, Robin Hood is refreshing. And don't forget to enjoy the costumes. It's delightful that in Medieval England, Marion still manages to float through Sherwood Forest in a collection of silk, lame, satin, and chiffon ball gowns. You have to admire that in a girl.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Video Review: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
Common Sense Media, 05.15.07
Complete with bad fashions (neon fingerless gloves, anyone?), bad hair, and even worse dancing, Girls Just Want to Have Fun features some of today's most popular actors doing some of the cheesiest things you've ever seen. See a pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker as Janey, the Catholic school girl Army brat who dreams of dancing on Dance TV. Watch her doing back flips and practicing dance lifts a la Dirty Dancing. Witness the august and Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt hamming it up as Lynn, the wild-child best friend in some of the most absurd -- but actually worn -- '80s ensembles and big, ratted-out hair. It's Totally Awesome without the irony. And if you love the '80s, it is totally awesome.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Video Review: “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts”
Common Sense Media, 03.01.07
When a tragedy like the attacks on the World Trade Center or Hurricane Katrina happens, what story gets told? Is it the official story, passed down in history books, full of the numbers killed and the cost? Director Spike Lee's exhaustive and brilliant WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS answers with a resounding "no."
Download a PDF of this review here.

Movie Review: "Music and Lyrics”
Common Sense Media, 02.14.07
Good date movies are like good first dates: They're charming, reasonably interesting, inoffensive, and smart, and you get a little smooching at the end. MUSIC AND LYRICS is all of those things at different points -- but unlike a lot of dates, there are no surprises. If it were a first date, you might agree to a second outing, but you probably wouldn't go much further than that.
Download a PDF of this review here.

 Video Review: "Sherrybaby”
Common Sense Media, 01.07
If anyone needed a reason to stay away from drugs and alcohol, SHERRYBABY is a great example of what substance abuse, combined with self-loathing, sexism, and sexual abuse, can do to a woman's life.
Download a PDF of this review here.

Video Review: “Totally Awesome"
Common Sense Media, 12.06
Wanna have an '80s teen movie marathon, but crappier? Condense them all into an hour and a half, sprinkle in some really horrible dance moves, and enjoy TOTALLY AWESOME, the '80s movie spoof by the channel that brought you I Love the '80s.
If the plot sounds insane, it is. But it's not meant to be sane. It's meant to cram in as many references to '80s movies as possible. There's the Dirty Dancing dance practice scenes, with Kattan's perfect Patrick Swayze mullet. There's the fabulously snarky dance number a la Staying Alive (headbands and all). There's the best-friend-as-lover moments a la Some Kind of Wonderful, complete with fingerless knit gloves. And of course there's the big hair and pink leather skirt ensembles with shoulder pads.
Download a PDF of this article here.

Video Review: “Save the Last Dance 2”
Common Sense Media, 12.06
If SAVE THE LAST DANCE 2 had been called something else, and not associated with the fabulous original, it would have been released in theaters and inspired a throng of dance-movie devotees. Instead, you'll have to get the DVD to appreciate the fun of this hip hop-meets-ballet movie.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“It Takes a Femme”
Curve Magazine, 09.06
For Elizabeth Stark and many other femmes, they come to their skirts and heels and makeup (or books and closefitting jeans and tattoos—or some combination thereof) after careful thought about their gender. Femme isn’t just a great way to catch a girl’s eye at the bar. It’s a gender, and, for Stark, becoming femme is just as thoughtful and complicated a process as coming out as butch or trans.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Honey, We’re Shaming the Kids”
Bitch Magazine: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, 09.06
Makeover shows aren’t known for being kind. Part of the appeal of tough-love shows like What Not to Wear and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is their humorous evisceration of the participants’ pre-makeover clothes, hair, or body.
But what if you didn’t choose your makeover fate? What if, without your consent, humiliating images of you were broadcast across the country as a mass warning? If you’re a chubby kid, that’s just the threat TLC’s new show Honey, We’re Killing the Kids! Poses. Here, kids are the symbol of the obesity epidemic, and their humiliation is perpetrated under the guise of good intentions and medical science.
Download a PDF of this article here.

Video Review: “All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise”
Common Sense Media, 09.06
Before she became the crass one on The View, Rosie O'Donnell was a talk show host who flung squishy balls into the audience, crushed on now-certifiable Tom Cruise and supported Broadway musicals. After coming out of the closet, O'Donnell became famous for advocating gay adoption rights. In All Aboard! O'Donnell charters a cruise liner and invites gay families and their straight parents and children for a vacation. Along the way, there are two gay weddings, lots of singing, and lots of loving shots of families at play.
Download a PDF of this article here.

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