Some might say that to have a solid career is Hollywood means that life is easy. The truth is that being successful in Tinseltown is not all that it is cracked up to be.
Harriet Evan’s 2o14 release, Not Without You, is the story of different actresses who go through very similar struggles.
Sophie Leigh (born Sophie Sykes) is the proper English princess of the moment in Hollywood. While her career up to this point has been a successful one, the movies she has made have become the predictable and formulaic rom-coms. Sophie’s idol is the 1950’s actress Eve Noel. Eve had a string of successful films before she mysterious disappeared from the limelight.
Struggling to move on from the wounds of the past, the facade the Sophie has put up slowly begins to crumble. At the same time, we learn about Eve’s story and the events that convinced her to leave Hollywood. Now Sophie must learn the reasons for Eve’s decisions before something horrible happens to them both.
I liked this book. But I am also a fan of Old Hollywood, which was the reason that I borrowed from the library in the first place. While some might think that Hollywood has changed with the times, the reality is that some things never change. Sophie and Eve’s stories are no different than any woman in Hollywood.
I recommend it.
It can be said that art can imitate life. The question is, what happens when factors change and life imitates art?
In 1984’s Romancing The Stone, Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) is a successful romance novelist whose personal life can seem rather dull compared to the lives of her characters. Then she receives news that her brother in law was murdered, her sister has been kidnapped and a mysterious treasure map lands on her doorstep. The people responsible for the murder of her brother in law and the kidnapping of her sister are willing to return Joan’s sister to safety if Joan will bring them the map. Traveling to Colombia with the map, Joan meets Jack Colton (Michael Douglas). Jack agrees to lead her out of the jungle, but not before they have an adventure that is bigger than any of Joan’s novels.
This movie is 30 years old. It is as good as it as during it’s initial release. It’s fun, it’s entertaining and it’s an old fashioned fish out of water adventure story that still holds sway over it’s audience.
I recommend it.
While there are some movies and some performers whose work receives mixed or bad reviews, there are others who are universally loved and treasured.
Julie Andrews is one of those performers, those movies are Mary Poppins (1964) and Sound Of Music (1965).
Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) is a nanny who is brought in by Mr. and Mrs. Banks (David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns) to take care of their children. But Mary is not just any nanny. She has magical powers and takes her charges into an animated, fantastical world with the help of Bert (Dick Van Dyke). But in the end, it is not just the kids whose lives she touches, but their reserved father.
This movie is a childhood classic. Successfully combining live action with animation, this movie is an experience for audience members of all ages.
A year after Mary Poppins, she starred in what may be the most iconic movie of her career, The Sound Of Music. Based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Von Trapp, the movie is the story of Maria. Maria is a young novice who has not quite conformed to the rules of the Abbey in which she lives. She accepts a job where she will be the governess for the children of widowed Navy Captain Georg Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). While the children are rebellious and test her in the beginning, their father is the real test and will force Maria to question what she really wants to do with her life.
This movie, while a little on the schmaltzy side, is incredible. I have yet to meet someone who has not loved this movie and related to it somehow on a personal level.
And just because it was so incredible, I am including Lady Gaga’s tribute to Sound Of Music from last weekend’s Oscar’s. I got chills watching her perform.
I highly recommend them both.