Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dating Advice

He's Just Not That Into You
Director: Ken Kwapis
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlet Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Kevin Connolly
Released: February 6, 2009

They should have called this movie He's Just Not That Into You...Unless You Are Scarlett Johansson. (Insert laughing emoji here). This movie is based on a self-help book of the same name which you have probably heard of. I am amazed and baffled that there is a book out there telling women the signs of when a guy isn't interested in her. It's really not that hard to figure out; you don't need to read a freakin' book! I suppose there are women out there like Ginnifer Goodwin's character (bless her adorable soul) who can't get a clue and need it, but there is no reason to be shelling out ten dollars for a book that tells you a guy may not be into you if 1) he doesn't call you, 2) he doesn't ask you out (again), 3) he doesn't want to date you, 4) he doesn't sleep with you, 5) he's sleeping with someone else, etc. No s&(%, Sherlock! (BTW, I looked up the price and some of the chapters on I guess ten dollars isn't too much to spend if you just want to read it and have a good laugh!) 

This movie revolves around a bunch of characters whose story lines interconnect and interweave within each other. Like I mentioned earlier, Ginnifer Goodwin's character, Gigi, is the clueless girl who can't get a hint when a guy isn't interested in her. She spends most of the movie going out with different guys and wondering why they never call her back. When we first meet her, she's on a date with Conor (Kevin Connelly), who her sister, Janine (Jennifer Connelly) has set her up with. (And I already forgot how Conor and Beth know each other....through work stuff, maybe?) Through Gigi's eyes, the date seems to be going okay, but after it's been a week and he hasn't called, she begins to second guess herself and how the date actually went. Poor thing is even more confused when Conor had told he he would give her a call. Doesn't she know that doesn't mean anything? She even goes so far as to stake out the bar where he usually hangs out. Oh, honey, you are so very adorable, but a little stalkerish! Luckily, he's not there, but she does find out the main bartender, Alex (Justin Long), is a friend of Conor's. Alex sets her straight and tells her that Conor isn't into her. She goes on dates with a couple more guys and when she gets cryptic messages about whether they'll call or not, she calls Alex for advise. Alex offers to set her up with one of his friends, but when he tells her he gave him the wrong day and his friend won't be there and it's just the two of us, Gigi thinks that Alex made up his friend because Alex is into her. There were also a few other reasons (such as he would call her out of the blue to talk to her) why she thought he might be into her. Although her reasoning is sound, I just felt so embarrassed for her because I knew - I just knew! - that she was dead wrong and I was right. Turns out he wasn't into her and did have a friend to set her up with (who was not attractive, btw, nice job there, dude!) But wait...he found out he actually WAS into her and they end up together. Insert groan here.

I already mentioned Gigi's older sister, Janine. She is married to Ben (Bradley Cooper). She tells Gigi that it took Ben eleven days to call her after they went out on their first date. Holy crap; that is insane! After the third day is when I give up hope! They have been married for awhile, but it's revealed they haven't had sex in a long time (which is a chapter in the book that he may not be into you!) When she asks if he's been smoking, he denies it (though later it turns out to be true), but he does admit that he slept with another woman, Anna (Scarlett Johansson). She is also being lusted after by Conor (remember, he was the guy who went out with Gigi). In fact, after Conor and Gigi had their first date, she saw him take out his phone as they parted their ways and was convinced she was leaving her a message, but he was actually calling Anna, who he used to date and they still sometimes hang out and he's confused by her feelings for him. I am glad they made a storyline where a guy wasn't sure if a woman was interested in him, because, trust me, there should be a book called She's Just Not That Into You! Needless to say, Janine tells Ben she wants a divorce. Thank God!

Then we have Beth (Jennifer Aniston) and Neil (Ben Affleck) who are friends with Janine and Ben. They have been together a long time, but aren't married because Neil doesn't want to get hitched. Beth wants to get married and one of her friends or sisters (I already forgot who because there are so many damn characters in this movie!) tells her (like one of the chapters from the book!) that he's just not that into her because he doesn't want to get married. They break up, but realize they miss each other when they meet other people who they have nothing in common with. Beth tells him she doesn't need to get married, but Neil ends up proposing and they have a happy ending. Honestly, I found this storyline to be the most boring of the movie. 

Anna's friend, Mary (Drew Barrymore) has been meeting guys online. One she likes in particular, she met on MySpace. MYSPACE, OMG, remember MySpace? Wow, that was a blast from the past! I literally had forgotten that site existed until this movie reminded me. Now this movie came out in 2009, but was it suppose to take place in 2004 ish? Because I feel like MySpace wouldn't be relevant anymore by 2009! One of the funniest moments of the movie comes when she gets a message from a musician she met on that site who calls and leaves her a message and sings her a song with her name. She then listens to a second message and it's the same guy, only he's singing a song with a different woman's name and he realizes his mistake in the middle of the message. She ends up meeting Conor and they hit it off. 

I think I got all the storylines! 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Me Before You

Me Before You
Director: Thea Sharrock
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam Clafin, Janet McTeer, Charles Dance, Matthew Lewis
Released: June 3, 2016

Spoilers ahoy! 

Valentine's Day may be over, but I'm continuing my trend of romance movies through the rest of the month of February (and maybe into March, depending on how fast I can roll these out!) This movie is based on a book I had never heard of by an author I'm not familiar with, Jojo Moyes. It stars Emilia Clarke (aka Khalessi (yes, I had to look that up to make sure I spelled that right!) from Game of Thrones) as Louisa "Lou" Clark. Emilia Clarke, Louisa Clark; is it me or do those names sound really similar? While she doesn't come from a poor background, her family is struggling with money and she needs to get a job after she lost her job as a barista because the place just closed for some reason...or maybe she was fired? I'm not exactly sure what happened there, but the movie clearly wants us to move on and she goes to a job agency where they hook her up as a caretaker for a man who is paralyzed. She is hired even though she has no experience with this sort of thing.

When fandoms collide
She is interviewed by the matron of the estate (oh, yeah, this is a rich family she's working for; they even own a freaking castle!), Camilla Traynor (Janet McTeer). Lou has just assumed the man she will be tending to is her husband, but is shocked when Mrs. Traynor tells her it's her son, Will (Sam Clafin), who is only a few years older than Louisa. I'm sure Game of Throne fans went giddy when they saw that Mr. Traynor was played by Charles Dance and saw Tywin Lanister and Daenerys Targaryen in the same scenes together (did they even have any scenes together in GoT? I honestly don't remember). But wait! It gets even more fandom-y crazy! Lou has a boyfriend, Patrick, and he is played by Matthew Lewis who is best known for playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies. When I first saw them in a scene together, I was like, "Wait a that...yes, that's Neville!" So Khalessi and Neville Longbottom are a couple....sure, I could buy it!

But don't get too attached to these two as a couple, because she's going to end up falling for Will. Will was in an accident two years ago where he was hit by a motorcycle. Before the accident, he seemed to be a complete douche: the rich, good-looking guy who did everything right and was handed everything on a golden platter. And let's be honest, pre-accident Will would have never given Louisa, a pretty, but quirky and talkative girl with an eccentric taste for fashion, a second glance. You know I'm right! He's also a douche post-accident, but I guess you can't really blame the guy because he's only 31 and will be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life and has a lot of physical pain. He is very rude to Lou when they first meet and doesn't want her to talk to him. She tries everyday to try to get him to open up to her, but he won't budge, so finally she just tells him he's acting like a jerk and the only reason she's there is because she needs the money. Another reason he's also so sour is because his ex-girlfriend and best friend have fallen in love and are getting married. Now, before you accuse his ex of leaving him after he got into the accident, that was not the case; instead he shoved her away and wouldn't talk to her. 

However, after about a month, they start talking and start to connect and soon a strong bond is formed between the two. When she tells him she doesn't do much besides wake up, go to work, then come home and sleep, he tells her she should live her life fully. The two attend the wedding of Will's best friend and ex-girlfriend (so awkward!) and also attend a concert together. Louisa sits on his lap as he moves around in circles in his motorized wheelchair as they "dance" to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" (which, remember, the first lyric of that line is "When your legs don't work like they used to before") and it's very cute.

There's another scene where Lou invites Will to her birthday dinner with her parents, sister, and boyfriend. When Patrick sees how close his girlfriend had gotten close to her client, he is clearly jealous. When she is opening her presents, they clearly stole that scene from one of the new episode of Fuller House, haha! Okay, remember that episode- (What am I saying? Of course nobody remembers this because nobody watches the Full House revival!) So there's this episode where it's DJ's birthday and Matt, her boyfriend, and Steve, her high school boyfriend who is still in love with her, each give her a present. Matt gives her a really lame present and Steve gives her a very meaningful present. This is exactly what happens in this scene! Patrick gives her a's a necklace with a heart pendant that says "Patrick" inside of it. So lame. Will gives her a pair of black and yellow tight aka "bumble bee" tights. Lou had told him she had a pair of these when she was a little kid and loved them so much, but she couldn't find made for a grown woman. She freaks out and gets all giddy when she opens her gift from him and gives him a huge hug.

Although they've been spending a lot of time together, Lou finds out that Will is looking into assisted suicide at a place in Switzerland. He wanted to do it six months ago, but told his parents he would wait another six months before he made his final decision. His parents, especially his mother, are both hoping he will change his mind now that he has Lou in his life. They go on a romantic vacation to Mauritius (also there is Will's physical therapist, so it's not exactly just the two of them) where they share their first kiss. (If I remember right). However, Will tells her he still plans on ending his life because he can't live with the physical pain anymore and he misses his own life. Did anyone find this to be a slap in the face to Lou? Oh, you did all these things to make me see that life is worth living and you took care of me for the last six months and showed me you loved me, but that's not enough...I'm still going to kill myself!

Lou is crying and won't talk to Will for the rest of the trip and on the plane ride back home. (Good thing he didn't tell her until the last day of their vacation!) When Will's parents are there to greet them at the airport, they can clearly see from Lou's expression that their son hasn't changed his mind about the assisted suicide. She tells them they don't need to pay her and gets on a bus to take her home. She does have a change of heart and flies out to Switzerland to see Will before he dies. There's a lot of tears and he leaves her a note with instructions to visit Paris, which was one of his favorite places to visit and she does, wearing her bumble bee tights. She also learns he left her with a bunch of money. Bet she's not crying anymore!

And what's up with the title? Is the "Me" referring to Lou and the "You" referring to Will or is it the other way around? Because I'm not quite sure...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Time of Their Lives

Dirty Dancing
Director: Emile Ardolino
Cast: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Kelly Bishop, Jack Weston, Cynthia Rhodes
Released: August 21, 1987

Oscar nominations:

Best Original Song - Franke Previte, John DeNicola, and Donald Markowitz for "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" (won)

As it is February, the month of Valentine's Day, I thought I would review movies revolving around romance and what better way to start out with one of the most romantic films of our times? (Okay, I may be exaggerating a little bit on that!)

I didn't know that Jennifer Grey's character, Baby (and we will get to that ridiculous name in a bit!), was only seventeen. I don't think they actually say what her age is in the movie, but everywhere I've read about this movie, it says she is seventeen and it is mentioned that she is planning on attending college to study economics and wants to join the Peace Corps, so it sounds like she is just barely out of high school. I guess I had just assumed she was in her early twenties, not jail bait. I also figured Jennifer Grey was in her early twenties when she filmed this, but she was 27....ten years older than her character! Considering I thought she was 22 or 23, I guess she pulled it off...barely though. Still don't see her as a teenager! Her real name is Frances Houseman, but she goes by "Baby" for God knows what reason. Who the hell calls a grown ass woman "Baby?" Okay, she's "seventeen", but still, I mean, seriously now! Yes, it did give us that iconic line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" ....but it still sounded pretty stupid when her father or mother called her "Baby". (And way creepy when the father said it). We do get a funny line where someone tells her, "Go back to your playpen, Baby." Baby's dad is played by Jerry Orbach and her mom is played by Kelly Bishop. Imagine my shock and delight when I saw that a young Emily Gilmore was in this! Wait! Does this mean that Baby is Lorelai's older half-sister? I can see Lorelai having a field day making fun of "Baby's" nickname. Although, the time line wouldn't work because this movie is set in 1963, but I think they forgot to dress some of the extras in the last scene because there are some very '80s clothes and hair on some of them who are watching the final dance! Plus there's this other scene where Baby is wearing acid wash jeans where you forget this movie is suppose to be set in the early '60s!

Baby's family, along with her older sister, Lisa (what? she doesn't have a saccharine nickname like "Honey" or "Sweetie"?) are going to a resort in the Catskill Mountains called Kellerman's which is owned by a man named Max Kellerman (Jack Weston), who Mr. Houseman knows. It doesn't really remind me of a resort, but rather a camp for families. There are cabins guests stay in and activities that include dancing (duh!), arts and crafts, golf, and boating.  

Crazy for Swayze!
While at a dance lesson, Baby (I cannot get over how stupid her name is!) sees dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and his dance partner (dance partner only, mind you!), Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) putting everyone to shame as they dance the salsa...or the mamba...or the waltz. Hell, I don't know what they were doing! Baby can't keep her eyes off the older guy and meets him when she accidentally gets invited to a party that's for staff members only. Apparently there's 400 people who work at this resort because that's how many people are dancing inside the lodge. This is where everyone is bumping and grinding against each other. They could never dance like this in front of the guests! This is when Johnny and Baby are introduced to each other and Baby is introduced to "dirty dancing". (Do people really call it that? I just call it "bumping and grinding").

There's a lot of drama involving Penny who is pregnant and wants to get money to get an abortion. We're suppose to think it's Johnny's baby since they used to date, but it's a douche bag waiter named Robby who also has his eye on Lisa. Baby asks her dad for the money who just gives it to her because she tells him it's for someone who's in trouble. Which, yes, is true, but sheesh, I would want to know more specifics before I shelled over $250 to anyone. To be fair, he does ask what the money is for, but she tells him she can't tell him. He seems happy enough to give her the money when she assures him she's not the one in trouble and whatever the money is for is not illegal (:::coughWRONG!cough:::) Turns out that $250 was a horrible investment because this so-called "doctor" only had a dirty knife and a folding table and didn't even use ether on her. Good Lord! Understandably, Penny is in agony and Baby runs and gets her father, who is a doctor. When he asks who is responsible for Penny, Johnny tells him he is. Mr. Houseman tells his daughter he doesn't want her associating with Johnny anymore.

What he doesn't know is that Baby has been taking dancing lessons from Johnny. Johnny and Penny usually perform the Mambo at the Sheldrake Hotel, but since Penny will be out of commission due to her, ahem, "procedure", Baby fills in for her. There's a lot of dancing montages and while I don't remember the abortion subplot at all, I remember all the dance montages, like when they're dancing on the log over the water together. (No way I would do that...I don't want to slip and break my neck!) Even though there's plenty of songs from the '50s and '60s, two of the most iconic scenes feature songs from the '80s. Obviously the last dance scene (probably one of the most famous dances in cinematic history) has "(I've Had) the Time of My Life" which was written for the movie and "Hungry Eyes" by Eric Carmen which is played during the montage where Baby is learning the steps to their dance also came out in 1987. It too was written specifically for the movie. While I do love both song, neither of them sound '60s at all! They're both totally '80s. (Well, I think so!)

There's a move at the end of the dance where Baby is suppose to run and jump into Johnny's arms and he'll lift her up in the air. (You know the move!) She chickens out doing it when they perform at the hotel and they just change it into another move. Aside from a few missteps, she does pretty well for her first public performance. Since Baby and Johnny have been spending a lot of quality time together and especially since most of this quality time has been spent dancing and touching each other, they start to have romantic feelings for each other. This is when the movie starts to feel a tad creepy to me. We never find out Johnny's age, but I'm guessing he's suppose to be early twenties. Their age difference wouldn't really be that big of a deal if it weren't for the fact she was's just creepy! Patrick Swayze was seven years older than Jennifer Grey in real life, so that would have made him 34 when he filmed this. And she's on vacation and she sneaks out of the cabin she's sharing with her parents and sister to have sex with Johnny. Even her sister sneaks out of their cabin to have sex with Robby (who she finds is already doing it with a cougar who is staying at the resort). Am I the only one who finds this extremely disturbing?

Grandma Gilmore!
Baby has to admit she spent the night at Johnny's cabin when he's been accused of stealing. She says she know Johnny didn't do it because she was with him in his cabin all night. Turns out the thieves were this elderly couple. Johnny is fired anyway because of his relationship with an underage girl (well, they make it sound like he was fired because he had a relationship with a guest, but really, he did have a relationship with an underage girl!) Mr. Houseman is outraged by this, but once he learns that Johnny wasn't the one who got Penny pregnant and he has some pretty sweet dance moves, he seems to be okay with the two of them hooking up.  Johnny comes back so he can dance the final dance with Baby. Nobody put Baby in a corner, indeed. If you go on YouTube, you can find a TON of videos from weddings where the bride and groom dance to this song. Although this does come from Dirty Dancing, this dance is very appropriate to dance to in front of your grandparents.

Surprise! I have a bonus movie review!

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Director: Guy Ferland
Cast: Diego Luna, Romola Garai, John Slattery, Sela Ward, Jonathan Jackson, Mika Boorem, Patrick Swayze
Released: February 27, 2004

I've seen this movie referred to as a sequel (WTF?) and a prequel, but it's neither. Even though it came out 17 years after the original, it takes place in 1958 so it comes before the original in the timeline. But it really has nothing to do with the original. It's not a remake or a reboot...I guess the best way to describe it would be a re-imagining. You will notice Patrick Swayze in the cast list. No, he does not play Johnny Castle because that would make no sense at all as Johnny would have been a teenager (probably?) in 1958 while Swayze was in his early 50s when he made this. Maybe he played Johnny Castle's father, Jonathan Castle? He is only credited as "Dance Class Instructor" so I guess you could use your own interoperation for who he really is.

Diego Luna? Si, por favor!
While I'm not the biggest fan of the original, I do understand why it's such an iconic movie. This movie is fine. It doesn't hold a candle to the original, but why would it even try? This was the movie that introduced me to Diego Luna, so therefore I love it. When I first watched this movie back when I rented it in 2004, I was like, "OMG, who is that boyishly cute, yet extremely gorgeous guy with the super swoon-worthy accent?" I rented a bunch of his movies and became a fangirl. He somehow manages to be both super cute and super hot at the same time. Usually guys are one or the other (or neither!), but rarely both. To be honest, I hadn't seen many of his movie since the early '10s, but I did see him in Rogue One, and yep, even twelve years after this movie, he's still hot. A few years after I saw this movie on DVD, I was talking with a co-worker of mine and this movie came up in a conversation and I told her how much I loved Diego Luna and she said she did too and saw the movie twice in the theaters and I was like, "Girl, I don't blame you!" Diego Luna can teach me Spanish or make me tacos or make out with me anytime.

Obviously, from the title, the movie takes place in Havana, Cuba. It is about a high school senior named Katey Miller (Romola Garia) who is moving to Havana with her parents (John Slattery and Sela Ward) and little sister, Susie (Mika Boorem). I'm not sure why they move there (with only a weeks' notice too, WTF?), but it is mentioned her dad works for Ford and was promoted. Can I just say thank God the female lead in this movie has a normal name and not a creepy nickname like "Baby"? They live in a swanky hotel where all the other rich white Americans live and Katey meets some of her peers. One of the snobby girls is played by January Jones and James, the son of Katey's dad's boss, is played by Jonathan Jackson, who you probably know best as Avery from Nashville. Katey really only cares about school and studying and reading books and doesn't really associate with her peers, but when James asks her out to a dance at the country club, she accepts so she will fit in and make new friends. Because of the time period this takes pace in, the Cuban Revolution is going on with Castro and Batista and yada, yada, yada.

During this time she also meets Diego's character, Javier Saurez who works at the hotel. They have a brief run-in there but when she sees him dancing to a Cuban band in the Town Square, she likes what she sees. (I mean, can you blame her??) She had missed the bus, so he offers to walk her back to the hotel so she doesn't get lost.

After Katey is insulted at the Country Club dance by January Jones by insinuating she's too goody-goody to come to someone's house to drink, she tells them that she and James are going to a Cuban club, La Rosa Negra because Javier told her about it. Both boys are jealous of the other because they are trying to vie for the attention of Katey, but let's be honest, it's really not a fair fight! James is cute enough you can see why Katey would accept an invitation to a dance with him. Although a bit smug, he seemed to be okay until he puts the moves on her in his parked car after he sees her dancing with the Cuban hottie even after she told James no. So you have a semi-cute smug guy who assaults his date against the super cute/super hot Cuban guy with the adorable accent (and let's not forget those sweet dance moves!) and he's super sweet because he offers to walk her home. I told you it was no contest!

Javier ends up getting fired from his job because Susie and one her friends saw him with Katey and they snitched. It was a big no-no for the staff to be conversing with the guests. Katey feels awful because she knows Javier needs the money to help out his family. She sees a poster promoting a Latin dance competition which will give the winners five grand. She figures with her knowledge of ballroom dancing (both her parents were professional ballroom dancers in their prime) and Javier's street dancing, they can marry the two ideas and come up with a winning dance. Javier is reluctant at first about the idea, but finally agrees. As I mentioned earlier, Patrick Swayze played the dance class instructor and helps Katey fine-tune some of her dance moves and gives her advice.

There's a lot of dance montages and Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" is played during it (although it's not Shakira singing...not sure who it is). Although the song works for the movie with its lyrics and Latin flair, I am still scratching my head on why a current pop song is playing during a movie set in 1958, but if you remember, the original had songs from its current day playing during a movie set in 1963. But who cares because it's a catchy song and you get to see a lot of cute dance moves in the montage!

Katey's mom, who thinks James is cute and wants things to work out between her daughter and the boss's son has no idea that Katey is spending time with a local boy as Katey is telling her she's spending the time with James. Her parents would have a heart attack if they knew she was spending her time with a poor Cuban boy and not a rich white American one! Hey! This movie is more like Titanic than the original Dirty Dancing if you think about it. I didn't find the relationship between Katey and Javier to be creepy like the one between Baby and Johnny because they were closer in age (as well as the actors) and she wasn't sneaking out to have sex with him ala Baby. Katey makes James cover for her by threatening to tell her parents of the assault if he doesn't.

The dance contest is at a swanky ballroom on Christmas and three couples will be chosen to compete in the finals set for New Year's Eve. But, surprise! Mr. Miller has a surprise for the whole family and is taking them, along with James and his parents, to watch the Latin dance contest. Katey (wearing a black coat over her slinky dress) manages to get away by telling the others she has to use the restroom. There's a funny scene where she's been gone for a few minutes and her mother asks, "Where's Katey?" and Susie (who knows about her sister's participation in the dance contest), replies, "Just wait."  Katey's parents are NOT amused at all and they are just watching her dance with stone cold faces. This is the big dance sequence of the movie and it's pretty impressive what they do. Diego Luna is adorably cute and super hot in this scene; how does he do that?? Oh, yeah, that blonde girl he's dancing with does a good job too, but who is looking at her, haha. No surprise, they are one of the three couples that will be competing in the finals. However, Katey may not get to attend that dance because, boy, are her parents PISSED! (Oh, who are we kidding? Of course she's not going to miss the final dance). Even though her parents don't approve of her relationship with Javier (even though he was totally adorable and gave her mom a flower - c'mon, Sela Ward, you weren't charmed by that?), they do want her to compete in the finals because they know how much she loves dancing. They are the last couple to dance, but they don't get to finish because Javier's brother, who is a revolutionist, has disguised himself as a waiter and opened fire in the crowded ballroom. Everyone manages to get out okay and Javier stops his brother from doing anything (more) stupid. Our favorite couple doesn't win which I thought was a little unfair since their dance was interrupted!

Katey and her family have to leave Cuba in a few days and she wants Javier to join them (like he's her new puppy she found or something!), but he tells her he has to stay in Cuba because that's where his family is and he needs to stay in his home country. Katey's mother comforts her when she gets home and yes, I would be crying too if I had to say goodbye to someone that hot (and cute!) But it's okay because she gets to have one last dance and one last make out session with him, at least.

Okay, yes, I only like this movie for purely shallow reasons! So sue me!