Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tale as Old as Time

Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson, Josh Gad, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci
Released: March 17, 2017
Viewed in theaters: March 21, 2017



After I saw this movie, I tweeted, "I saw a movie where Emma Watson plays a character who loves to read and spends most of her time in a castle surrounded by enchanted objects." I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice those Harry Potter parallels! Beauty and the Beast is the latest of a slew of animated movies to be turned into live action films. And so far, I believe it to be the best. Now I may be biased because Beauty and the Beast, the one that came out in 1991 and is the ONLY animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture before there was an Best Animated Movie category and before they allowed up to ten slots for Best Movie, is my favorite animated Disney movie. I have also seen it twice in the past six years while it's been over a decade since I last saw Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and God knows when was the last time I saw The Jungle Book. I've seen all of their remakes and Beauty and the Beast is my favorite.

Let's be clear here: as much as I enjoyed this live action remake of the 1991 classic, the animated film is still so much superior and remains the better of the two. I've heard people say that this movie is an exact replica of the animated movie which is true...but also not. First of all this movie is longer by about 40 minutes, so obviously it has extra scenes. There's some backstory with Belle's mom (she's not present because she died from some disease) and we do get a few more scenes with Belle and the Beast (just like with the animated movie, I don't think we ever learn what his name is, ever!) Another reason for the added length is the number of songs. They keep all of the songs from the original (which won the Oscar for Best Score and Best Song for the title song), so yay! Believe me, I was biting my lip from singing because I wanted to sing along so bad! I grew up with all these songs; I have the soundtrack and I remember my friend's mom would play it her car when she would drive us somewhere. You better believe I know all the words to "Belle" ("Little town, it's quiet village; everyday like the one before; little town, full of little people; waking up to say...."); I know all the words to "Gaston" ("No one's slick as Gaston, no one's quick as Gaston, no one's neck's as incredibly thick as Gaston's"); I definitely know all the words to "Be Our Guest" ("Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test. Tie your napkin round your neck, cherie, and we'll provide the rest!"); I know all the words to "Something There" ("New and a bit alarming! Who'd have ever thought that this could be? True, that he's no Prince Charming, but there's something in him that I simply didn't see"); and, of course, I know all the words to "Beauty and the Beast" ("Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, barley even friends, then somebody bends, unexpectedly)." My favorite number was Belle...even though it did sound like Hermione was singing to me! During the reprise of that song, I did love when Belle tied a handkerchief around her head while singing "his little wife", which is what she did in the movie. And, also, just like in the movie, she ran out into an open field ala Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. It was much more awe-inspiring in the animated movie because in this one you could clearly tell it was a green screen. I did laugh a lot during the "Gaston" number when Le Fou is spelling Gaston's name and sings, "GAST...T...it just occurred to me that I'm illiterate and have never had to spell his name!"

However, those familiar tunes aren't the only songs in the movie. There are quite a handful of other songs. They're okay, but not very memorable. I couldn't sing you anything from them, but that might be unfair since I've known the original songs for the last 25 years. I had just assumed the songs I didn't know were from the Broadway play, but they're not. They were specifically written for the movie. Celine Dion sings one of them (called "How Does a Moment Last Forever") at the end credits which is a nice throwback since she sang the pop version of the title song. This time they have two current pop singers in Ariana Grande and John Legend who sing the pop version of the song. I think they're both talented (well, I might be a little too kind to Ms. Grande as I've only liked one of her songs), but I am not feeling their version of that song at all. Honestly, I don't even know why they even recorded a new pop version of the song. The reason they did it for the animated movie with Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson was to put it on the radio and I remember hearing that song quite a few times on the radio back then. Has anyone heard the Grande/Legend version on the radio? Has it even had any air play? It's not even the first song you hear during the ending credits! I've only heard it on Spotify. Of course, if they DIDN'T have a new pop version of the song, then I'm sure I would be complaining about that, so I should just shut up!

The characters are all the same characters from the original that we all love (or love to hate!) You have Emma Watson as the beautiful and bookish Belle who lives with her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline). Gaston (Luke Evans) is the arrogant and egotistical hunter who wants to marry her because she's the most beautiful girl in town (and that makes her the best! And doesn't he deserve the best?) and Le Fou (Josh Gad) is his goofy sidekick. There's a funny scene where we see Gaston saying, "You are the most gorgeous thing" and the camera pans back to reveal he's looking in a mirror. Even Philippe the horse is in the movie!

Of course, those were all the human characters; it was the inanimate animated objects that I was more concerned about. For the most part, I think they did a pretty good job bringing these everyday household objects to life. I loved the way they did Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), but I was SO DISAPPOINTED he didn't make his joke about, "Like I say, if it isn't Baroque, don't fix it!" Boo, movie! Boo for not having that awesome line! Chip was so cute and I loved he did his blowing a bubble trick for Belle. It's hard to imagine anybody other than Angela Lansbury voicing the teapot, Mrs. Potts, but Emma Thompson in this movie is a very good actress to get. There's a scene in the movie when Mrs. Potts get offended when Le Fou calls her the little tea cup's grandmother (which was not in the animated movie) and they do make a good point about how weird it was that Chip was Mrs. Potts' son rather than her grandson. When you see her in the animated movie as a human, she's this gray-haired granny type and Chip is this little five year old boy! They should have just made her his grandmother. Audra McDonald voices the wardrobe and we see her at the beginning of the movie before she changes into her inanimate object as someone who ofter sang and entertained as the Prince's fancy parties. Her husband is the maestro (played by Stanley Tucci) and he is turned into a piano, a character who wasn't in the 1991 film. Lumiere is my favorite character in the animated movie, but something about him in this movie didn't work for me. Ewan McGregor voices him and he's fine, though I don't understand why they just didn't get a French actor to voice him (though, to be fair, Jerry Orbach wasn't French either). It's very interesting that there's only one character with a French accent when the story is set in France! Ewan McGregor does fine on the singing too, but listen to this movie's version of Be Our Guest and the original and you will hear that he sings it a bit differently than Jerry Orbach did. Just listen to the way they both sing, "Try the gray stuff, it's delicious! Don't believe me? Ask the dishes!" But it's not Lumiere's talking or singing voice that I find offputting; it's the way he was designed. I absolutely hate the way he was designed! Now Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts aren't exactly designed the exact same way as they are in the animated movie, but you at least you know it's a clock and a teapot. In the animated movie, Mrs. Pott's mouth is right under the spout so it looks like the spout is her nose. In this movie, her face is painted on the side of the teapot. Lumiere has two designs: the one when he's an actual candelabra (and an actual prop so the actors could carry it around) and one when he's the CGI moving character. And I wouldn't mind that at all except for that fact when he's a talking object, he doesn't even look like a candlestick! He's this weird doll-sized brass man who has candlesticks right above his hands and his head! He doesn't look like a damn candelabra! It drives me absolutely crazy! I suppose they did it this way because it was easier, but ugh!

They must have been worried that Gaston wasn't unlikeable enough because they created a new storyline where, after Maurice has told the townspeople about the Beast and Gaston has asked him to take him to the castle where Bell is trapped, he punches Gaston in the face once it's clear that Maurice can't find the castle, then ties him up to a tree and leaves him to the wolves. Another added storyline is that the Beast has this magical book, where, if you close your eyes and touch the page, you can wish to be anywhere you want to be and he and Belle go to Paris, the place of her childhood. We also get more information about the Beast's background in that he used to be a very sweet young boy up until his mother died, then his awful father groomed him to be a jerk just like him. In the opening scene of the movie, he is having a fancy party with all his fancy friends and turns away an old, haggard woman who is seeking shelter from a storm. She reveals herself to be this beautiful enchantress (personally she freaked me out...I thought she looked like Cate Blanchett as Galadriel when she becomes possessed for that split second in Lord of the Rings) and warned the Beast not to let looks be deceiving and thus cast that spell on him (and the other people in the castle).

Yule Ball!
Just like in the animated movie, Belle discovers the enchanted rose that is keeping the spell over the Beast and the other people in the castle who have turned into objects. The Beast yells at her and she runs away and is almost killed by the pack of wolves in the woods. The Beast saves her, but it attacked by the wolves and she nurses him back to health. She is tempted to get back on her horse and escape and she easily could, but she knows he needs her help. After that, they learn more things about each other, such as their love for books and this is when the Beast shows her his library stock full of books because he thinks she should read something better than Romeo and Juliet, her favorite book. Not gonna lie: the library in the 1991 movie was much more impressive; though I guess it is way easier to draw an amazing library than to build one! Same goes for the ballroom. Yes, the ballroom for the dance scene is beautiful with its marble floors and many chandleries, but it doesn't hold a candle to the grand ballroom in the animated movie. That scene remains one of my favorite all time scenes in any animated movie, ever. They should have just cut to the animated version during the dance scene, then cut back when it was over. Because that wouldn't have been odd at all!

The Beast lets Belle see her father in the magic mirror he has and he lets her go when she sees that he has been locked up. He apologizes to the objects, but they understood he let her go because he loved her. It's a little different in this movie, because, and correct me if I'm wrong, in the 1991 movie, if the spell wasn't broken, then everyone would remain the household object they were, but they would still be able to talk (and dance and sing); they would just never be human again. In this movie, the Beast would die and all the objects would turn into literal inanimate objects: no more talking or singing or dancing for them. Belle learns her father has been locked up for his talk about a Beast and talking teacups and a castle full of magic. (This place is a little crazy if you think about it; even Hogwarts didn't have taking teacups!) Belle defends her father and says that there IS a Beast and this makes Gaston and the other wants to kill him and they lock up Belle with her father when she tries to stop them. Of course, she ends up getting them out and goes to stop the Beast from being killed. All the townspeople are in the castle, fighting with the objects. There was a scary moment where Mrs. Potts falls and you think she's going to smash to the floor, but she is caught by Le Fou who has decided to join their side because Gaston, he's learned, is not a very nice person. Belle is too late, though, as Gaston has shot him and she tearfully says "Come back, I love you!" to the dying creature. The last petal on the rose has fallen and all the objects are no longer alive. However, the possessed Galadriel-like enchantress has come to the castle and has witness Belle admitting her love for the Beast, so she lifts the spell and the Beast comes alive and becomes a human and all the inanimate objects return to their human forms. Whew! The townspeople are still on the castle ground and we find out that Mrs. Pott's husband and Cogsworth's wife were among them, so that was a bit of a new twist. The movie ends with Belle and the Beast dancing to Audra McDonald as the opera singer singing "Beauty and the Beast" and I'm thinking, "Ooh, I bet Mrs. Potts is mad that she's singing HER song!", but then she sings the next verse. I absolutely loved the dress Belle was wearing in this scene.

So this movie gets point knocked off for 1)Too many songs I didn't care about, 2)Weird Lumiere design 3)No "If it isn't Baroque, then don't fix it!" line. Other than that, I give it high marks. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

P.S. The Book Was Better

P. S. I Love You
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Cast: Hilary Swank, Gerald Butler, Kathy Bates,  Harry Connick Jr.,  Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Released: December 21, 2007
Viewed in theaters: December 23, 2007


This is a perfect example of a perfectly acceptable book being turned into a crap movie. I saw this movie in the theater because I had read the book two years prior and had enjoyed it. It is the first book by Cecelia Ahern who wrote it when she was only twenty one years old. She is the daughter of Bertie Ahern, a former Prime Minister of Ireland, so I have no doubt that helped her launch her writing career! I've read many of her books and many of them very whimsical. For the most part, I have really liked getting lost in her novels. They're just mindless fun. 

The only book of hers I really don't like is If You Could See Me Now which is about a 30 year old woman's childhood invisible friend coming to life and only she and her young nephew can see him and she doesn't know he's invisible to everyone else. I was thinking there was going to be some kind of Fight Club-esque twist where this was all in the woman's mind, but nope, the invisible friend was actually real and worked with other invisible friends. (Cut me a break...this was only the second Cecelia Ahern book I had read so I didn't know how whimsical she could get!) And she falls in love with her invisible friend, so ick! Totally creeped me out! 

The Gift is Ahern's take on A Christmas Carol as it is set around the holiday season and one of the few times where her main character is male. He is a rich businessman and he meets a homeless man outside the building where he works and offers him a job. This one has an interesting twist that lets the busy working man spend more time with his family thanks to the homeless man. 

Then you have There's No Place Like Here which is about a 30 year old woman (you will soon notice that all of Ahern's protagonists are all 30 or thereabouts) who is obsessed with finding missing things and works with people who want to be reunited with long lost loved ones. This was the fourth Ahern book I had read so by this time I was used to her whimsical and quirky story lines. She ends up in a location aptly named Here (I am not joking!) and it's where all the missing people go. If this had been my first Ahern book I had read, I would have thought this was a weird purgatory where all the people who have been adducted and killed gathered. But no, that would be much too dark for Ahern's writing. The whole thing was just weird. Interesting, but weird. 

The Time of My Life is about a, yep, you guessed it, 30 year old woman who finds herself stuck in a rut with family problems, boyfriend problems, and job problems. She finds out that her Life wants to meet with her. Her Life is an actual person, a man, oddly enough. (You would think if your life was another person, it would at least be the same gender as you!) I didn't mind that her life was a person...in this universe it is normal, but it didn't make sense that her life had his own life too. Someone asked him if he was allowed to have a girlfriend and he said yes. How does that even work? Would that mean she would have a girlfriend as well as her new boyfriend? Luckily that doesn't happen but it is so weird. I think Ahern wanted to make him his own person but it got in that weird territory where a lot of things didn't make sense. I give her props for trying something new and it was a charming, original story. 

The Book of Tomorrow actually has a 17 year old spoiled teen as the main character and she finds a book that tells her what's going to happen the next day and uses it to her advantage. From this she finds out her real dad who she had thought had died in a fire, never died at all. That's all I really remember. 

Thanks for the Memories is really weird. It's about a woman who falls in love with the guy who donated blood to her after a terrible accident and because she has his blood, she's able to see his life...yeah, I know very weird! They fall in love but it takes forever for them to meet even though you know it's going to happen. 

So those are all the books of hers I have read. I would say that The Gift, The Time of My Life, and P.S. I Love You are my favorites. Despite being super weird, There's No Place Like Here was pretty interesting. The rest are either meh to non memorable, but If You Could See Me Now is the worst. There's also a handful I haven't read.

Ironically, P.S. I Love You is probably the most realistic of all of Ahern's novels (the ones I've read anyway). There are no people with magical abilities or invisible people or books that predict the future or made up places. It's just a straight-forward story about a married couple, Holly (Hilary Swank) and Gerry (Gerald Butler). He dies from a brain tumor and leaves behind messages for his widow, one for each month and encourages her to do things to stay strong. The book, like all of Ahern's novels, is set in Ireland, obviously as she is Irish herself. This was set in New York, so Swank does not have an Irish accent. I really hate it when a book that is set in a country that is not America is made into a movie and then the city is changed into a big American city. I guess I understand because probably it will sell more tickets. To me, the casting of Hilary Swank in this didn't work for me. I'm used to seeing her in these dramatic movies and this film, despite the fact that one of the main character dies, is a fairly light and frothy movie. I think someone like a Reese Witherspoon or Kate Hudson would have worked better (you know, if they had to absolutely keep it set in the U.S.). I defintely feel like this movie was only made for the people who had read the book because if you hadn't read the book, you would probably be going, what is going on? The first scene starts with Holly and Gerry arguing in this long drawn out scene that goes on forever (and by God, she is super annoying...I'm surprised he stayed married for her for ten years or however long they were together!) By the end, they have made up and are making out.

Then, in a new scene, we're at a funeral and it turns out it's Gerry's! What the huh! Of course I knew this was coming up because I had read the book. (Oh, I suppose you would know it you saw the previews...I don't think they keep it a huge secret that he dies, but still! His death comes out of nowhere!) Now I don't have the book....I lent it to someone and never got it back (insert angry emoji here) so I don't have it to see how things differ. I'll just have to look it up online like I do for all my other reviews!

I do remember in the book, Holly receives one message from her husband beyond the grave each month for one year. In the movie, it was more like one per season. They definitely cut out a lot of the letters he left for her.

Is it bad that all I could think of throughout this movie is that I bet their friends wished it had been Holly who had died instead of Gerry? He was obviously the more fun one, the life of the party while Holly was more uptight and needed to take a chill pill. Although, since Gerry is from Ireland (at least one character is from the country of origin!), that would mean Holly has known their friends the longest. They are much more fleshed out in the book, obviously, as is her family.

Holly's 30th (of course!) birthday is not long after Gerry's death and she's still mourning him when her mom (played by Kathy Bates) and friends come over to surprise her with a cake and presents. The cake comes with a recorded message from Gerry telling her she's going to be receiving messages from him and he doesn't want her trying to figure out how he's doing this (the real reason for this is they never explain how a dead man set this up months in advance. Yes, I realize he knew he was going to die, but obviously people were involved in this, but yet Holly's mom and friends are all shocked by this, so we never have any idea who was helping him as the movie never says. I can't remember if they reveal it in the book).

The first letter is fairly simple and just tells Holly to buy a lamp for the bedside table. I remember this from the book. Whoever was the last up had to turn off the overhead light and that person would usually stub their toe. How can you have a bedside table, but not a lamp? Gerry signed it, like he did with all his other letters, "P.S. I Love You". The next letter tells her to buy a new outfit so she can wear it when she sings a karaoke song and overcome her anxiety of that. We see a flashback where Jerry goaded Holly into singing and she does, but ends up breaking some bones when she trips into the wires of the karaoke machine. Then there's a letter where Gerry has planned a trip to Ireland for Holly and her two friends (played by Lisa Kudrow and Gina Gershon) and her friends find letters from Gerry at the little cottage they stay at. Holly meets a guy named William (William Dean Morgan) and it is so obvious she has a type because this guy is not only Irish, like Gerry was, but also looks similar to him with the same build and coloring. They end up sleeping together and Holly is SHOCKED and MORTIFIED when she finds out that William knew Gerry. Well, duh! Any idiot could have figured out that. One of the requests Gerry gave to them was to go to a pub and see the performers. William was one of them and he ended up singing a song that touched one of Holly's nerves. It was a song that Gerry would often sing to her, so obviously he had called up his friend William and asked him to sing it when Holly and her friends would be there. But the kicker is that William had no idea that the woman he had slept with was the same one he had played for a couple nights earlier - just how drunk he was to not remember that?

I don't remember William from the book, although obviously she didn't go on a trip to Ireland since she already lived there. However, I do remember the character of Daniel who is played by Harry Connick Jr. There is a small spark between them, but once they do kiss, the realize it's like kissing their brother/sister, so really, what was the point of that character?

One of Holly's last letters from Gerry is him telling her to get a new job. I think she's a real estate agent, but she hates it, so she decides she's going to design shoes! And she's a huge success! Uh huh. (And her dad wasn't even the President!) The movie ends with her finding closure with Gerry's death as he writes in his last letter that he wants her to find love again and it looks like she will...with his good friend and lookalike, William!

Ugh, I hated this movie! The only good thing about it was that it introduced me to the song "Love You Til The End" by The Pogues which I really like. Who knows if I would even still like the book if I ever read it again...though I'm sure it would still be better than the movie! 

Monday, March 6, 2017

My Oscar Thoughts

If you're a cinephile like me, I'm sure you, like others were watching and tweeting about the Oscars, especially that moment at the end! (At one point, I had tweeted, "Okay, can we wrap this up, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! #Oscars). Actually, to be honest, I didn't even know about the mix up until the next morning as I had to get up at the crack of dawn Monday morning so I was just waiting for them to announce the Best Picture so I could finally go to bed. When La La Land was announced I had my answer and turned off the TV. I figured there was a 80% chance La La Land would win, but I wouldn't be surprised if Moonlight stuck in there for the win.

So when I wake up the next morning, there's an announcement on my phone saying Moonlight had won and I was very confused so I watched the clip on YouTube. I felt really bad for Warren Beatty; you know everyone was going to blame him for reading the wrong name so I understand why he wanted to explain that his card said "Emma Stone, La La Land." I guess that explains why he was taking such a long time to announce the card. I THOUGHT he was trying to be cute and funny and was thinking, "Get on with it, Clyde!" I am a little confused why he didn't say he had the wrong card, though. Surely he knew he had the Best Actress card, right? I'm pretty sure he did know it was wrong and was trying to get Faye Dunaway's attention, but she just blurted out the name. And everyone thought La La Land was going to win, so nobody was surprised. I mean, what if Casey Affleck had won right before the Best Picture was announced and they the Best Actor card and read Manchester by the Sea as the Best Picture? Surely they would know there was something up then because that movie didn't have a chance of winning, right? It was La La Land with Moonlight as a possible upset. I'm seen so many jokes on Twitter asking what if they had the Best Makeup card and Faye Dunaway announced Suicide Squad as the winner? At least then they would definitely know they had the wrong card!

While I still wonder why Beatty didn't say anything, I don't place any of the blame on him. I do think he tried to do something, but just went bout it the wrong way. The blame lands 100% on the guy from Price Waterhouse Cooper. I guess he was taking photos of Emma Stone backstage and tweeted a pic of her (which was then deleted, but someone saved a screenshot of it) and got so distracted that he handed Beatty the wrong card. I've seen people saying, "Oh, leave the poor guy alone. Everyone makes mistakes. It's not like people died." To those people, I say, Are you effing kidding me? He made a HUGE mistake. He made the La La Land people look like fools for accepting an award that didn't belong to them (though they were gracious about the whole thing) and took the moment away from the Moonlight people. He also had people blaming poor Beatty and Dunaway. This guy is an idiot and he deserved to be fired for his mistake. I do feel bad for the woman who was fired, but I guess she didn't stop the mess in time. There were three speeches from the La La Land people before they finally realized what was going on! This guy had ONE job...and not a difficult one! Just give the right envelope! Not that hard! I will say it gave us one of the most memorable moments from the Oscars!

And this scenario is exactly what I wished had happened at the 2006 Oscars....Jack Nicholson reads Crash as the winner, but oops! He had the wrong card and it was Brokeback Mountain that really won! Why couldn't that have happened that year?

Overall, I really liked the show...all the winners (as usual) were who I expected. I think the opening with Justin Timberlake singing "Can't Stop the Feeling" was one of the best openings I've seen at the Oscars in a long time.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Unfaithful

Unfaithful
Director: Adrian Lyne
Cast: Diane Lane, Richard Gere, Olivier Martinez, Erik Per Sullivan
Released: May 10, 2002


Oscar nominations:

Best Actress - Diane Lane (lost to Nicole Kidman for The Hours)



If, for some reason, you've never seen this movie in the fifteen years it's been released, I highly recommend that you see it before you read this review because I will be spoiling it! It is a really good movie and you do not want to be spoiled! Okay, you have been warned!

Diane Lane and Richard Gere play Connie and Edward Sumner, a couple who have been married for eleven years. They have a young son, Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan...you may remember him as Dewey from Malcolm in the Middle) and live in quite the house in the suburbs outside of New York City.

As you may have guessed from the title, it doesn't take a genius to figure out one of them is going to commit adultery. Connie is in the city on a very blustery day, trying to catch a taxi. She is carrying two shopping bags and the heavy winds are whipping her hair and skirt (why is she wearing a skirt? Didn't she check the weather forecast for that day?) every which way. She runs into a man carrying a stack of books and falls on top of him. So you could say she literally fell for him. He is Paul (Olivier Martinez) a good-looking young French guy who collects and sells books (hence the stack of books he was carrying). He tries to help Connie hail a taxi as she watches his books, but he doesn't have any luck either. Connie has a nasty cut on her leg and he tells her she can come up and bandage it since they are right in front of his apartment. She sees a taxi pass by right then and she could have easily hailed it, but decides to follow the handsome stranger instead. We see the elevator is out of order which is going to come into play later in to the movie. There is some slight flirting on Paul's side and it makes Connie a little jumpy. Paul offers her a book to take with her and she sneaks it into her bookshelf amongst the other books. While she doesn't tell her husband about the book, she does tell him about what happened that day and how this man offered to help her when she scraped her leg. Edward jokingly asks if that man was good-looking. Little does he know he has to worry about him!

Connie finds Paul's phone number while flipping through the book he gave her. She decides to call him, but it's obvious she knows she shouldn't be doing it because she's calling him at a pay phone in Grand Central Station. She has to get up the nerve to call him a couple times before she actually places the call. She gets his machine and is about to hang up until she hears his voice answer the phone. She calls under the pretense to say thank you for helping her and that her leg is doing better. Of course, we know this is not true! He asks her over for coffee and she looks at the paper cup of coffee she's holding and places it in front of her and goes over to his place. There is more flirting occurring and it still makes Connie a little bit uncomfortable. After she tells Paul she took some French in high school, he says something to her in his native language and she thinks he wants her to take something off, but he meant would she like to take her coat off.

Despite her nervousness, she returns a third time. He has some music playing and they start to dance. She realizes what she's doing is wrong and decides to leave. However, when she comes back in to retrieve her coat she forgot, Paul grabs her and takes her to his bed and they have sex. This seemed a little rape-y to me. She's saying no to him, that this isn't right, but he keeps on going. We see this part as a flashback because as she's on the train back home, we see her having flashbacks of them together. While she did seemed to enjoy her little tryst, you can tell she also feels really guilty. They will meet up several more times to continue their affair and the first time is really the only time where she's uncertain they should be doing that. The other times she seems very happy and excited to be with him even though she still knows what she's doing is wrong.

There really is no rhyme or reason why she's cheating on her husband. We see a scene of them earlier in the movie where they are being intimate and they both seem to be attracted to each other. Edward is a good guy; he's not a jerk and he's very attentive to his wife. In order to sneak out and see Paul, Connie makes up stories why she needs to go to the city. During one visit to the city, she runs into two friends she hasn't seen in awhile. They ask her what she's doing in the city and she lies and says she's shopping for window shades. They invite her to coffee and she has to go because she can't get out of it. I had to pause the movie at this point because the two women looked so familiar, so I had to go on IMDb and see where I knew them from. One of them played Meredith's mom on Grey's Anatomy and the other one played Blair's mom on Gossip Girl and it was like, Oh, duh, of course. Doesn't it drive you crazy when you see a character actor and you can't quite place where you know them from? Thank God for IMDb! Since Connie is stuck having coffee with the two women, she uses the pay phone to call Paul and tell him she's going to be late. (One of her friends is confused she uses the pay phone and says Connie could have borrowed her cell). He actually comes to the coffee shop and they go at it in the bathroom.

The other two women saw Paul when he came in and was sitting at the counter. They talk about how hot he is and one of them says she would be on her back in a second if he looked at her. This scene felt very forced because what are the odds that your friends would be discussing how hot the guy you're hooking up with right in front of you and they don't actually know you're hooking up with him? You know what I mean, right? The Kate Burton character (that's Dr. Grey) says she once had an affair a long time ago and it was the worst thing she ever did.

Edward starts to have suspicions about his wife. The stories she tells him don't match up and he notices that she's been wearing sexier dresses and heels out. She's also been a little distant towards him. He hires a private detective to have her followed and his worst fears come true when he finds out that his wife has been with another man. I should mention that Connie and Paul have been out in public, which is how the PI caught them: when they were coming out of movie (they were the only ones in the theater and were having sex - I would hate to be the person who had to clean that theater! Ugh!) he snapped photos of them holding hands and embracing. The first time they're out in public together is when they're at a restaurant and Connie feels very exposed, as she should. She is seen by someone that knows Edward (but she doesn't notice him) and you think that might be the way Edward finds out, but, obviously it isn't. I felt it was very stupid for Connie to be in public with Paul. Well, I thought it was stupid of her to have this affair in the first place, but don't flaunt it in public! We've already seen that she knows people in the city and is bound to run into someone she knows. Just really sloppy on her part.

Edward confronts Paul at his apartment and we see an aerial shot of Connie running out of his apartment just as Edward is about to cross the street and enter it. He confronts Paul and tells him he's Connie's husband and Paul tells him that Connie finds the city more exciting and implies that she is bored with her life. Edward sees Paul's bed and you know he's imagining what was going on in that bed with the handsome young Frenchman and his wife, but things get even worse for him when he notices a snow globe on his bedside. Earlier in the movie we see a collection of snow globes at the Sumner's home so it was obviously taken from that collection. This particular snow globe seems to mean a lot to Edward and he demands to know where Paul got it and he says that Connie gave it to him as a gift. I have to say that was a pretty stupid thing of her to do. Why would she give him a gift from her house that her husband was bound to know it was missing? Why not buy him something? She was certainly capable to go shopping; she even did it with her husband when she stopped by his office to bring him a sweater she had bought for him, obviously out of guilt. And why would she think Paul would want a snow globe anyway? It just seems like a weird gift to give your lover. But all that really doesn't matter because this snow globe is going to play a huge role in the movie.

Overcome with rage, Richard smashes the snow globe on Paul's head, cracking his skull. While this is defintely the most cringe-worthy scene of the movie, I can't say it's the grossest scene of the movie, even with the blood. No, the grossest scene happens much earlier when Connie tells Charlie to spit out whatever he's chewing (I'm not sure what it was, maybe gum?), then later pops it in her mouth! Ugh, eww! That just churned my stomach! Yes, I understand it hadn't been in someone else's mouth when Diane Lane put it in her mouth, but it was meant to be that way in the movie. To me, that was the most disgusting part of the movie! Anyway, back to death by snow globe. Edward (rightfully!) starts to panic. He has a lot of work to do: wrap up the body in a rug, thoroughly clean the apartment, and wipe down his fingerprints. He must have done a pretty damn good job because he is never caught! While he is doing all of this, the phone rings and there's a message from Connie telling Paul that she needs to end their affair. She realizes this once their affair starts affecting her life as she forgot to pick up Charlie at school. Edward was probably thinking, Great, I just committed murder for nothing! Remember the broken elevator that I said would come back into play? It stops working on the way down and Edward has to heave the carpet/body up onto the floor and climb out. When he finally gets outside, lugging the heavy carpet, someone offers to help him carry it, but he says he's good. By this time he's late to his son's play and when he gets there he's very flushed and out of breath (he went into the bathroom to throw away his blood-stained shirt and change into an extra shirt he had) and Connie asks if he's okay. When they are about to get in his car and leave, someone accidentally bumps into the back of his car and the trunk opens just a little. What are the odds that would have happened?! Edward has to slam it a few times before it latches and you can tell he's in a panic. It's not like the body was showing, but I do understand why he didn't want that open! The guy who hit his car wants to double check the trunk to make sure it's not broken, but Edward snaps "NO!" at him.


In the middle of the night, Edward sneaks out to rid the body in a junkyard. He's a little too good at this if you ask me. In fact, he's much better at murdering someone and hiding the evidence than Connie is at having an affair! Although, he didn't get rid of ALL the evidence because a few days later policemen show up at their house, investigating the disappearance of Paul. Edward didn't see that Paul had Connie's name and number written down. The police question her with Edward present and she lies and tells them she was going to buy a book from him, but never did. They obviously don't believe her, but don't have any real evidence to press further. Connie figures out pretty quickly that her husband has something to do with the disappearance of Paul when she sees the snow globe she gave him back in its place. Okay, maybe Edward isn't that great at getting away with murder...why would you keep the murder weapon? But remember, he never got caught while Connie did. But there's no way he could have thrown it away because it has sentimental value to Edward. We realize why he was so upset when he found out his wife gave her lover it because he gave it to Connie during a trip to Chicago on one of their anniversaries and Connie finds out that he had hidden a note in the base that told her if she found this before their 25th anniversary, she had to wait to open it. Of course she opens it then and Edward, who is playing the piano with Charlie, looks over as she reads the note which says "To my beautiful wife, the best part of every day." It's written on the back of a photo of them with Charlie as a baby. I bet she felt pretty s***y for what she did!

I think Edward should have left Connie. Not only did she cheat on him, but she gave a very personal gift from her husband to her lover! I would have been livid! Obviously, Edward was furious and even admits to Connie that he wanted to kill her. They decide to try to make it work as a couple, although it's left a little ambiguous what happened with them. Did Edward turn himself in (the last scene shows them in their car next to a police station) or did they continue on with their life as though nothing happened?