Ticket to Paradise Movie Review

Not everyone is meant to live happily ever after. For every couple that spends their life together, there are many who have long since gone their separate ways.

In the new romantic comedy, Ticket to Paradise, David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) hate each other with a passion. Divorced for years, the only thing they can agree on is their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever).

A recent college graduate, Lily is on vacation to Bali with her bestie Wren (Billie Lourd) before the real world comes calling. When she meets Gede (Maxime Bouttier), their relationship goes from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye. When Lily tells her parents that she is engaged, David and Georgia book a flight to the island. Their goal is to prevent their daughter from making the same mistake they did. The pilot behind the controls is Paul (Lucas Bravo), Georgia’s boyfriend.

This is a proper rom-com. Clooney and Roberts have a chemistry that is both undeniable and off the charts. I truly believed that their characters were once in love and are now in hate with one another. It wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but there were plenty of chuckles along the way.

Given what is going on in the world right now, I needed a break from reality. Ticket to Paradise is everything I could have asked for in that break.

Ticket to Paradise is presently in theaters.

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I Don’t Know if 10-20K is Enough in Terms of Student Loan Forgiveness

For generations, we have been told that the only way to get ahead in life is to earn a college degree. While there is a certain amount of truth in that statement, the other truth is that college is getting more expensive by the day.

Earlier today, President Biden announced a plan for reducing college debt for earners making less than $125K annually. The details are as follows:

Borrowers who hold loans with the Department of Education and make less than $125,000 a year are eligible for up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness if they received Pell Grants, which are given to students from low- and middle-income families. Individuals who make less than $125,000 a year but did not receive Pell Grants are eligible for $10,000 in loan forgiveness.

Of course, the Republicans are losing their minds. G-d forbid that a politician (especially POTUS) would do something for the American people instead of themselves. This hypocrisy is disturbing given the fact that many of them accepted forgivable PPP loans during the pandemic.

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Though this is a campaign promise fulfilled (and could help the Democrats in the upcoming Midterms), I don’t know if 10-20K is enough to relieve the financial burden for some people. I understand that it was a compromise, as does Biden, but I have to question if it helps Americans who have triple digits in student loan debt.

“I understand not everything I’m announcing is going to make everybody happy,” Biden said. “Some think it’s too much — I find it interesting how some of my Republican friends who voted for those tax cuts think we shouldn’t be helping these folks. Some think it’s too little, but I believe my plan is responsible and fair. It focuses the benefit of middle-class and working families, it helps both current and future borrowers and it’ll fix a badly broken system.”

The truth is that relieving 10-20K is better than nothing. But I still think that it could have been a little higher.

If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be Series) Book Review

At its heart, Cinderella is the story of finding the good in life and rising about the shit that fate has sent our way.

If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be Series), by Julie Murphy, was published last year. Cindy Woods is a plus-sized recent college graduate. After spending the last four years in New York City, her career path is stuck in first gear. With no other options, she returns to Los Angeles and her childhood home. She is welcomed with open arms by her stepmother, Erica Tremaine, and her stepsisters.

Cindy is a fashion fanatic. Due to her size, finding the latest and greatest clothing that fits her has always been a problem. When Erica’s Cinderella‘s themed reality dating show, Before Midnight (a la The Bachelor), is down a contestant, Cindy agrees to step in. It was supposed to be a way of getting her designs noticed. It also doesn’t hurt that the guy at the center of the program is good-looking.

Instead of quietly staying in the background, Cindy becomes a fan favorite. She also starts to fall for the guy. She will have to take a jump into the unknown, not knowing if it will end in heartbreak or a happy ending.

I loved this book. Murphy pays homage to the 1950 animated Disney film while writing her own story. In another narrative, Cindy would either have to lose weight to achieve her goals or be forced into the fat and funny sister/best friend role. The cherry on top for me is that Cindy is not looking for a man, her priority is her professional future.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Flashback Friday- Meryl Streep Double Feature- The Devil Wears Prada (2006) & Prime (2005)

Meryl Streep is one of those actors.  Every actor, male or female aspires to have her storied career. Intelligent, classy and known for a variety of characters, she continues to surprise the movie going audience after decades on screen.

In the 2000’s, she played two very different, but interesting characters.

In The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep is Miranda Priestly, the editor of Runway Magazine. Ruthless and powerful, Miranda hires Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a recent college graduate who believes that a temporary position as Miranda’s second assistant will open doors to her dream job as a journalist.  Miranda’s first assistant, Emily (Emily Blunt) is more cynical about the job and their boss. Taking pity on Andy, Nigel (Stanley Tucci) helps her with her wardrobe and her attitude about her job.

Based on the book by Lauren Weisberger, Meryl Streep is terrifying as Miranda. She is the uber boss that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Anne Hathaway as Andy is every recent college graduate, knowing that they need a job, but unsure of the path to find that job. Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci, in their respective parts, represent those of us who have been in the work place long enough to develop a cynical, yet appreciative view of our jobs.

In Prime, Rafi  Gardet (Uma Thurman) is reeling from her recent divorce.  In her late 30’s she seeks the help of Dr. Lisa Metzger (Meryl Streep) to be able to move on in her life. At the same time, she meets and starts to see David Bloomberg (Bryan Greenberg), a 23 year old college graduate whose has career aspirations to become a painter.  Rafi starts to open up to Lisa about her May/December romance with David, not knowing that she is talking about Lisa’s son.

This movie has a charm to it. What drives the plot of this movie, besides the May December, inter-religious romance between Rafi and David is the sense that these characters are asking questions about the next step in the lives. That element brings them together and ultimately brings them closure.

I recommend both movies.

 

 

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