When it comes to love and romance, it has been said that opposites attract. However, that does not mean that compromise and putting in the hard work to make the relationship last can be put aside.
In the 1997 romantic comedyFools Rush In, Alex Whitman (Matthew Perry) and Isabel Fuentes (Salma Hayek) are as mismatched a couple as you can get. Fate brings them together in Las Vegas. Three weeks after a one night stand, Isabel discovers that she is pregnant. Before they know it, Alex and Isabel are married. The ceremony was the easy part. Now they have to learn to live with each other and get along with their new in-laws. Which as many married couples may tell you, is a battle in and of itself.
This movie is cute. It is the type of rom-com I would watch on a day that I needed to relax and get out my head for a little while. The comedy is also helped by the cultural differences between the main characters. It would be easy to present Alex as a typical uptight suburban white guy and Isabel as a saucy and spicy Latina. While the stereotypes are there, they are merely the backbone of who Alex and Isabel are. They are given ample room to grow well beyond the expectations the audience has for who they are and where their story will go.
When we pictures our wedding day, we picture a happily married couple, ready to spend their lives together. The image that does not come to mind is the bride leaving her groom at the altar.
In the 1999 film, Runaway Bride, Maggie Carpenter (Julia Roberts) is engaged for the 4th time. Having dumped her previous fiancés on the day they were supposed to say “I do”, she is now engaged to local high school coach Bob Kelly (Chris Meloni). Ike Graham (Richard Gere) is a reporter from New York who has heard about this supposed “runaway bride” from a colleague. Smelling a potential story, Ike decides to visit the small town in Maryland that Maggie calls home.
Using charm and writers intuition, Ike is able to get the scoop on his latest subject before she can convince her friends and family to keep their mouths shut. Along the way, Ike falls for Maggie and she begins to develop feelings for him. The impending question is, will she go through with the wedding and if she does not, how does Ike play a role in her 4th avoidance of the big day?
As romantic comedies go, this movie is pretty standard. But what makes it stand out is the re-pairing of Gere and Roberts. Almost a decade after Pretty Woman was released, it is their chemistry and on screen compatibility that slightly elevates it above others in the genre.
Living with family can be hard enough sometimes. Working with them, depending on the situation, has the potential to be ten times harder
The HGTV show, Holmes and Holmes follows the Mike Holmes and his son, Mike Jr., as they rebuild their client’s homes. Sometimes joined by Mike’s daughter Sherry, the viewer follows the family as go through the sometimes arduous process of creating their customer’s ideas of housing perfection.
At the end of the day, this is just another reality home renovation program. What makes it stand out is the unique dynamic that only comes from family.
In the last decade or so, podcasts have exploded in popularity. It goes without saying that every listener has their own preferences. However, that does not give producers and hosts the leeway to produce an incomplete product.
The WNYC podcast Bullseye has existed since 2000. Presently hosted by Jesse Thorn, it was initially entitled The Sound of Young America when it was schedule of the lineup of college radio station in California. Over the years, Thorn has interviewed actors, directors, writers, and others whose work falls under the label of pop culture.
If I were to rate all of the WNYC podcasts that I listen to (1 representing the best and 5 representing the worst), Bullseye would be a 3. It’s not all bad, but it is not one that I listen to regularly. The problem is not Thorn or his guests. The problem is that it is not as interesting as some of the other podcasts on the schedule.
The question of whether or not ghosts exist have been around since the beginning of humanity.
The A&E show,Psychic Kids aired between 2008 and 2010. It was later revived two years ago, in 2019. Hosted by Chip Coffey, the program followed children who have psychic abilities and the adults who are trying to guide them as they learn to use their unique skill set.
Maybe its the writer in me with the overactive imagination, but I get the willies watching this show. Granted, it could be classified as a part of the reality genre, creating questions of whether these kids are telling the truth. As compelling as Psychic Kids is, I won’t watch it simply because I won’t sleep at night.
We all know how important the media and the press is. Especially when it comes to maintaining democracy. But as important as both are, they are equally fallible.
On the Media is a podcast that made it’s debut on WNYC twenty years ago. Hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, the purpose of this podcast is to honestly review the different aspects of our media landscape, warts and all.
It is easy to accept a headline or a statement from a politician at face value. It is harder to dig deeper and explore the facts, particularly when those facts contradict the initial statement. On the Media examines both in a way that paints the full picture, helping us to make an educated and non-prejudicial opinion.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
New episodes of On the Media are released every Wednesday and Friday on WNYC.
For people of a certain generation, The Jackson 5 were a large part of their early years. Which naturally beckoned Hollywood to tell their story via a television two part miniseries.
The Jacksons: An American Dream aired in 1992. Starring Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Joseph Jackson and Angela Bassett as Katherine Jackson, the viewer is introduced to the Jackson family, warts and all.
The problem with some programs of this ilk is that they can be over-dramatic. This can be done by either unnecessarily adding events that did not happen or making a low key piece of the timeline more dramatic than it needs to be. Granted, it is television, but I still found the story to be compelling. If everything that happened in this fictional adaption really happened, it certainly explains the public image of the family.
There are some topics that within the bounds of polite conversation, are not usually talked about.
The WNYC podcast, Death, Sex, & Money, hosted by Anna Sale, has aired since 2014.The premise of the podcast is discuss issues around death, sex, and money, three subjects that are difficult to talk about. Even among those that we are closest with.
This is one of my favorite podcasts. Anna has a way of talking to the guests in a way that is both sensitive and genuine. By doing that, it makes these issues a little less taboo and opens the door to being less afraid of being honest with one another.
Before the internet, asking for a recommendation for a new restaurant was commonplace.
Top Five Restaurants aired on Food Network from 2015-2016. Hosted by Sunny Anderson and and Geoffrey Zakarian, each episode focuses on an individual food. Several professional foodies and chefs are interviewed, proclaiming that their favorite restaurant makes the best version of that particular dish.
Watching this show makes me hungry. The way the food is described by the interviewees is enough of an impetus to at least hypothetically, get on a plane and visit some of the places.