Throwback Thursday-Sugar And Spice (2001)

Young love is grand. But young love is not easy and might force the lovers to do something that might deemed immoral if not illegal.

In the satirical high school comedy Sugar and Spice (2001) Jack (James Marsden) and Diane (Marley Shelton) are the typical movie high school couple. He is the dark-haired popular, star of the football team quarterback. She is the blonde, slightly ditzy head cheerleader. It is a match made in high school heaven.

Finding themselves pregnant and kicked out of their parent’s houses, Jack and Diane move into a small apartment. The problem is that Jack’s part-time retail job is not enough to support them. Diane, with the help of her fellow cheerleaders, robs a local bank. But a rival cheerleader, Lisa (Marla Sokoloff) is onto the scheme and is more than willing to go to the police.

As a comedic satire of high school, it’s cute. While the premise is there, the narrative was not as fleshed out as it could have been.

Do I recommend it? Maybe, but that is on a good day.

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I Love Lucy-65 Years And Still Going Strong

This past Saturday, October 15th, marked the 65th anniversary of the premiere of I Love Lucy.

I Love Lucy is and will forever be a classic. There is no one on planet Earth who has not seen or at least heard of I Love Lucy.

The premise of the show is simple: Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) is a homemaker whose career ambitions go well beyond her apartment door. But her bandleader husband Ricky (Lucille Ball’s then IRL husband, Desi Arnaz) seems to be preventing her from achieving her goals. The results of Lucy trying to start a career at her husband’s behest against her working produced hilarious results. Add in the comedy back up of their landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance and William Frawley) and there is nothing but comedy gold.

This show is more than iconic and a classic. This show is a trendsetter that still influences television decades after it went off the air. Lucy and Desi created the television industry as we know it to be today. Lucille Ball, in addition to being an icon for many redheads (myself included), was not just the star. She started the studio that produced her show and many other classic television shows. She was clearly the HBIC and respected for her work, in front and behind the camera. Without Lucille Ball, there would be no women in comedy. Carol Burnett, Roseanne, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, etc, would have never had careers in comedy without Lucy paving the way.

While Lucy meekly agreed at the end of every episode to return to her homemaker status, millions of women and young girls did not meekly agree to just become wives and mothers. That generation of women paved the way for future generations of women to stand up for their rights and their accomplishments.

I Love Lucy also represented the future of the country. It was the first television show to depict an interracial marriage. Quite a feat when the only people of color on television in the 1950’s were household servants.

There is something about turning on the television and putting on a classic that no matter how many times you’ve seen it, it still make you laugh.

Happy Birthday, I Love Lucy. Here is to another 65 years.

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Lucy Preston, A New Heroine For Our Era

The glass ceiling is cracking. Every crack, regardless of its size is important.

Three weeks ago, NBC introduced audiences to a new television show and a new heroine. The new series Timeless, is a science fiction/history mashup about a group of unlikely heroes who must go back in time to prevent history from being altered.

Lucy Preston, played by Abigail Spencer is the female lead. Lucy is the academic and the historian of the group. Her job is to make sure that the history, as we know it today remains as such.

Lucy is a new kind of heroine. She is smart, capable and is not treated differently by her male colleagues because she is a woman. She represents how far women have come, not just in television, but in our overall culture.

While there are still more fully developed male characters than fully developed female characters on both the big and small screen, it’s nice to see that characters like Lucy are being created and presented to audiences. We need more characters like her.

Timeless is my new favorite show of the fall season and I absolutely recommend it.

Timeless airs Monday nights at 10PM on NBC.

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Flashback Friday-City Slickers (1991)

At a certain point in our lives, many of us start to question our life choices. That usually happens when middle age starts to creep upon us.

In the 1991 movie, City Slickers, Mitch (Billy Crystal) is a New Yorker facing a mid-life crisis. His 40th birthday is approaching fast and his career feels empty. To combat the onset of a mid-life crisis, Mitch and his friends, Ed (Bruno Kirby) and Phil (Daniel Stern) decide the antidote is a two-week long cattle drive across the American southwest. One of the cowboys, Curly (Jack Palance) shares not only his experience as a cowboy, but in life.

There is a universal element to this film. Many of us reach a point in our lives and start to question if we have made the right choices and if there is still time to make the changes we keep thinking about making.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Life, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

Throwback Thursday: The Forbidden Dance (1990)

It’s no secret that the success of many movies is often linked to a successful marketing campaign. But what happens when a movie is released to drive the success of a dance?

In the 1990 movie, The Forbidden Dance, Nisa (Laura Harring) is the daughter of an Amazonian chieftain. To prevent the Amazon forest from being destroyed by white men whose only eye is on the bottom line, Nisa travels to Los Angeles. There she meets Jason (Jeff James), the son of an upper class family who convinces Nisa that the only way to save her people’s ancestral land and the Amazon forest is to win a televised dance contest.

This movie tries in vain to be another version of Dirty Dancing. It’s not, in fact it’s far from it. Yes, the topics of multiculturalism and respecting the environment are thrown in for good measure, but this movie is just plain awful. The narrative is predictable at best and the clothes are so early 1990’s that they are hideous. It’s clear that the sole aim of this film was to convince audience members that the Lambada was the dance they should all be doing.

Do I recommend it? No.

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Yom Kippur And The Sacrifice Of Atoning For Your Sins

Yom Kippur begins tomorrow night.

The holiest day of the Jewish calendar, this holiday requires Jews to fast and atone for their sins.

I’ve been fasting (or doing my best attempt to fast) for a few years now. It’s not easy, by any stretch of the imagination. The emotional will power that is required to not open the refrigerator is almost herculean.

But I do it. I do it because it is important. As I stated in my post about Rosh Hashanah, I don’t participate in many Jewish rituals. But Yom Kippur I do participate and despite the challenge of fasting for 25 hours, I somehow manage to do it.

I fast on Yom Kippur because I want to show my creator that I am proud to be Jewish and it is important that I externally share that pride with the world.

To all those who are fasting, have an easy fast and may you be written in the book of life for the coming year.

P.S. I say it every year, the best meal I have is the post-Yom Kippur meal.

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The 2016 Election, The Trump Tapes And Perhaps, Finally A Change For The Better

In light of the leaking of the tapes this weekend, perhaps a change for the better is on the horizon.

The language in the video is not new. Women have been viewed as mindless, brainless, soul less sexual objects since the beginning of time. The Republican Party (especially the male politicians) in recent years has not been shy about their repellent and antiquated views on women-centric topics (i.e. abortion, rape and sexual assault).

Only time will tell who takes the oath of office next year. I can only hope that the leak of the Trump tapes will open the door to an honest discussion of very difficult topics and the steps we need to take to ensure that these conversations are no longer needed.

I’m still with her and you should be too.

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October 9, 2016 · 8:42 pm

The Beauty And Emotional Freedom Of Tashlich

Between the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews are asked to examine their deeds from the past year, both good and bad and atone for the sins from the year that has just passed. The ritual for atoning for your sins is called Tashlich.

Jews atone for their sins by going to an open body of water, praying and throwing out bits of bread. The bread is the physical symbol of the sins that we committed during the past year.

The beauty and emotional freedom of Tashlich comes from the throwing away the sins. It is as if the weight of those sins have been lifted from our shoulders and we can start again. Tashlich for me, is the most personal of the High Holidays. It is as if G-d is our therapist and we are opening up about what we did wrong during the past year. It is a one on one conversation with the heavenly creator that is not the easiest conversation to have, but it must be done.

The beauty of my religion and the relationship with my heavenly parent is that it is implicitly understood that human beings are imperfect and will make mistakes. But we can also forgive each other, receive forgiveness from G-d and start fresh.

No one wants to be burdened with their sins for the rest of their days. Just as every day is an opportunity to make a fresh start, Tashlich allows Jews to begin again in the new year.

Have a nice Sunday and may we all have the opportunity to start again.

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The Spice Box Letters Book Review

Sometimes, when we have faced a traumatic event in our life, it is easier to just move on rather than face and relive what happened to us.

In the new novel, The Spice Box Letters, by Eve Makis, Katerina’s life is forever changed by the death of her beloved grandmother, Mariam. A survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Mariam taught her granddaughter about the food and the culture of Armenia. What Mariam did not share was her past.

After Mariam passes away, Katerina receives her grandmother’s journal and a series of letters stored in a spice box as an inheritance. Her curiosity about her grandmother’s past is peaked during a vacation in Cyprus. Her journey will lead her back to the past and to finally answer the question of what happened to Mariam, her brother Gabriel and the rest of her family.

To be honest, I am torn about this book. While the narrative was heart wrenching and engaging, I found several grammar errors and I was put off by the jumping in between character’s point of views.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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The Real Donald Trump

Yesterday, this video hit the internet.

I cannot think of a better reason to not vote for Donald Trump next month.

The progress that American women have made in not just the last few decades, but the last few years is astounding. The accomplishments that American woman can claim as their own were a dream to our fore-mothers who were simply asking for the right to be vote and count as human beings.

Do we want a President who helps American women to achieve their dreams and true equality or do we want a President who not only sees women as soul less and mindless sexual objects for his personal sexual gratification, but also views women through the very narrow scope of Madison Ave?

Hillary Clinton personifies the progress women have made in this country. As a human being and a politician, she, like the rest of us, is not perfect and therefore prone to making mistakes. However, I trust that she will protect the rights and accomplishments that American women have been fighting for generations.

I’m with her and if nothing else, this video perfectly sums up why you should be with her too.

Have a nice weekend.

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