’Hunger Games’: ‘Gossip Girl’ meets War on Terror | WBEZ
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Comedian Christine Tawfik says 'American Idol' + 'Gossip Girl' + War on Terror = 'Hunger Games'

Fans line up (in costume) to see the midnight show of 'The Hunger Games' (AP/Jon Minchillo)

You'd have to live under a cultural rock to miss the impact The Hunger Games movie made this week. The film adaptation of a popular YA series by Suzanne Collins made $155 million over the weekend, making it the third-highest grossing opening for a movie ever, behind The Dark Night and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. (Yes, surpassing any of the Twilight movies.)

The movie may have managed to burst those records by resonating with fans outside the teen age bracket. Take comedian and Second City castmember Christine Tawfik, for example; here, she takes on the role of The Paper Machete's "resident Egyptian film critic, Khadijah Marwan," who has some surprising things to say about the story's influences. A word of warning: Tawfik's interpretation of the plot might not help you understand the movie better than you did when you began listening.

Read an excerpt, or listen below:

"This week, I stood in line for seven hours and watched The Hunger Games. If you have not seen this film, it is about a young girl from the future who has to compete in a television show where sexy teenagers fight each other to the death while the whole country watches. Think of it as American Idol mixed with Gossip Girl mixed with the War on Terror.

The main character, Katniss Everdeen, takes the place of her younger sister, Primrose, when her name gets called in the lottery to compete in the Hunger Games. Katniss is tough, beautiful and smart-- like the hero of a tampon commercial! I wanted to be just like her. And if I could show my hair in public, I would wear funky hair braids all the live-long day, to the side.

Along with Katniss, a sexy blonde boy is picked from her district. His name is Peeta. Peeta is sweet. He works in a cake shop. And he never picks up a weapon throughout the whole film. I knew a Peeta once. His father took him away to learn be tough and like girls, and we never saw him again.

Peeta and Katniss are whisked off to a bizarre futuristic capital where everyone is dressed like trapeze people from Cirque du Soleil. And, like every movie with a likeable female lead, Katniss gets a makeover montage. This time, by American women expert Lenny Kravitz. Who looks amazing, by the way; time has really done him a favor."

The Paper Machete is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your The Paper Machete Radio Magazine needs filled here, or download the podcast from iTunes here.

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