We all want to be in love and most if, not all of us, would like to say “I do” to someone at some point.
In the 1954 movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Adam (Howard Keel) married Milly (Jane Powell) after knowing her for less than a day. When Milly arrives at her new home, she discovers that her husband is the eldest of seven boys. Inspired by their eldest brother, the rest of the Pontipee men are eager to marry.
While watching his wife turn his brothers in gentlemen, Adam is inspired to find wives for them. The method of finding wives comes from the story of the capture of the Sabine women by the Romans.
There are many musicals from this era that are considered to be classics. They are also slightly misogynistic. For its time, this movie musical is fine. But what bothers me is that the screenwriters gloss over the fact that the Sabine women were according to legend, raped, not captured with the intent of marriage.
Fear is one of those barriers that seems insurmountable. But, we will only get over that fear if we refuse to let it stop us.
In the 2011 film, Something Borrowed, Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is in love with Dex (Colin Egglesfield), one of her law school classmates. But she is unable to tell him how she feels. When Dex meets Darcy (Kate Hudson), Rachel’s best friend, Darcy claims him for herself. Now they are engaged and Darcy has asked Rachel to be her Maid of Honor.
Things get complicated with Rachel and Dex sleep together after a night out. Will she ever tell Dex how she feels or will he potentially be forever lost to her?
As rom-coms go, this film on a scale of 1-10 is a 7. It’s cute and slightly predictable without veering in the bland and dry territory that some films in this genre sometimes go to.
When it comes to movie sequels, there is an opportunity to expand both the narrative and the character arc. The question is, does this expansion succeed or fail?
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, the sequel to Miss Congeniality, was released in 2005. Gracie Hart’s (Sandra Bullock) life has changed in ways she did not expect. Unable to do her job as an F.B.I agent because of the notoriety that she has gained, her new role is now in media relations. Watching Gracie’s back is Agent Sam Fuller (Regina King). The hitch is that Sam and Gracie don’t exactly get along.
When Gracie’s friends are kidnapped, she has to work with Sam to find who took them and where they are.
As rom-com sequels go, this film is decent. It’s not the best film (or the best sequel) ever released, but, it could have been a lot worse.
Breast cancer, like all cancers (and all diseases) knows no boundaries.
In the new movie, Ordinary Love, Joan (Lesley Manville) and Tom (Liam Neeson) are well, an ordinary couple. When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, they must find a way to soldier on, in spite of the challenges that the disease puts in their path.
Some of the best love stories are not set in faraway fairytale-like setting or in romantic novels. The best love stories are simplest, a couple who sticks together against all odds. I appreciated that this movie is short on the drama and long on the narrative. I also appreciated the perfect chemistry between the lead actors. However, the film does not hit home as much as I would have liked it to be. There were points in the film when I was almost bored, ready to move on with the story.
Life is an adventure. The question is, do we grab that adventure by the proverbial balls or do we just do nothing?
The 1960 film, The Sundowners takes place in the Australian Outback during the early part of the 20th century. Ida and Paddy Carmody (the late Deborah Kerr and the late Robert Mitchum) are living out of their wagon, doing what they need to do to get by. Ida and their son are ready to settle down, but Paddy is not so sure if he is ready or able to settle down.
I like this film. I like it because, at its heart, it’s the story of a family who is making tough decisions that are not easy and have consequences. Tough decisions is sometimes what life is all about.
The story of humanity is chock full of stories of virus outbreaks that kills hundreds, if not thousands.
In 2011, the movie Contagion hit theaters. In the film, a virus spreads around the world like wildfire. It’s a race against time to stop the virus and save as many lives as possible.
It’s often said that art imitates life. Though this film is nearly ten years old, life has imitated art as the coronavirus is making it’s way around the world in a similar fashion. As a thriller, this film is well done, even if looking back now, it hits a little too close to home.
When it comes to art, it is more than the materials that the artist used to create it. It tells as much about the artist as it does the subject.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire was released in the US this weekend. In 1760, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is a painter whose newest commission is to paint a young woman who lives on the island of Brittany. Her subject is Heloise (Adèle Haenel), whose marriage is pending on whether or not her fiance will like her portrait. Heloise refused to sit for the previous painter, leaving their work unfinished.
Marianne pretends to be a companion for Heloise so she can complete the portrait. As the women bond, they become friends and then something more. But the reality is that while they are becoming closer, they both know that the end date of their relationship is coming.
To the naked eye, this film appears to be an LGBTQ period drama with the standard narrative and character hallmarks. But it is more than that. The film shows a world in which men are in the background and true equality exists between women. It also reminds the audience of the severe limitations on women during the period in a way that does not hit the audience over the head.
A mother’s love is endless. She will do almost anything in her power to ensure that her child is happy and successful. In a time of war, that includes nearly doing the unthinkable.
In the Oscar nominated documentary, For Sama, is the story of an ordinary woman who is merely trying to survive the Syrian civil war. As the war starts, Waad al-Kateab is doing what we all do. She goes to school, gets a job, falls in love, marries her husband and has a daughter, Sama. But the world that Sama is growing up in is not ordinary. Told through the perspective of Waad’s camera, this documentary takes the viewer into a Syria that few of us outside of that country will ever see.
Directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, this documentary is both personal and hard hitting. In telling the story of this woman and her family, the western audience is given a vantage point that only someone who is on the ground can provide.
The first job out of college is never what we think it will be.
In the new movie, The Assistant, Jane is a recent college grad. Living in New York City, she is working as an assistant to a well known and powerful Harvey Weinstein like movie executive. The lowest employee on the totem pole, she does the work of many low level assistants: she makes coffee, accepts the mail, answers the phone, etc.
But something is off about her boss. She sees a number of women come and go from his office. Her concerns lead to her to Wilcock (Matthew MacFadyen) in human resources. But HR is not exactly helpful. Can Jane continue to do her job or will her conscious get the best of her?
Written and directed by Kitty Green, the narrative is told in a real world, 24 hour narrative. The feeling of the film is very visceral. Lacking music until the very end, the sounds of an office fill up the space. Where music usually steps in to tell the story, the sounds of emails coming in, the phone ringing and typing takes the place of music.
If there was one thing that I noticed about the story is that the actions of the unseen but heard movie executive is not exactly a secret within the company. What is disturbing is that the employees either laugh it off or make side comments, but don’t do anything about it. Only Jane has the nerve to call out her the misbehavior of her boss.
This film is jarring, powerful and a seething indictment of sexism in the workplace.
When a movie is successful, the natural thinking is a sequel. The question is, how will this sequel compare to it’s predecessor?
The 1992 movie, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) is the sequel to the 1989 movie, Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Wannabe scientist Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) is again experimenting with shrinking things and people. This time, the machine he has invented makes people and things bigger, not smaller.
Instead of shrinking his older kids, Wayne has increased the size of his toddler son, Adam. But there is more. When Adam touches anything electrical, he gets bigger. At his tallest, he is over 100 feet tall. In true toddler fashion, he goes through Las Vegas, creating a path of destruction in his wake.
To be fair, I have not seen this movie since it was released into theaters. As I recall it to be, it was mildly funny. But I was also a kid back then.