Tag Archives: Film

Love NOT Actually

24 Sep
love-actually-to-me-you-are-perfect

To me, this movie was PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. If wanting to rip out your eyes is the definition of the word.

Have you ever watched a movie from your past and come back with a completely different conclusion than before?

Well, that just happened to me after a viewing of Love Actually on Netflix. I first watched this in the theater while I was in college and LOVED it! What a true depiction of “love”. It was different, it was funny, it was unique. So basically, it was a movie made for me. I remember raving about the film with a friend, and we gushed and gushed over the various plot lines.

A few days ago? Not so much. It was a ridiculous pile of sh*t. Not even a little bit of an exaggeration there. It tried too hard, it made no sense, and it wasn’t sentimentally tugging at my heartstrings whatsoever. It was just plain dumb. Was I on drugs in college? I don’t remember taking drugs … does that mean I did?

It starts off with a voiceover from one of the too many famous actors in the film, Hugh Grant. People are congregating at Heathrow Airport, while Grant talks of what real love stories are. So you get the impression that you are going to hear about real love stories. Prepare to get really disappointed.

• The first story is about an aging rock and roll star Billy Mack. He goes from zero to amazing in five weeks flat, restarting his career. In ways that would make Miley Cyrus jealous, he uses shock and awe to show the world that he’s still a viable celebrity by making fun of himself. Not by writing new songs or becoming relevant (so I guess that is true to celebrities now?). At the end, he tells his manager Joe that he is the love of his life. It never clarifies if the love is platonic or if Mack just came out of the closet, so the audience is just left befuddled.

• Next, we come to Keira Knightley’s character getting married to a man named Peter. The groom’s best friend Mark might be in love with Peter? It seems that way. But then we find out that the pissed-off veneer that Mark has is really to disguise his love for Knightley’s character. What? Yeah, I understand friends falling for other friends and having to hide it, but usually it happens in a shy, standoffish way. Not by being a total jerk. Well, unless you are a 12-year-old boy. In the end, he’s still in love with her, and the film depicts the three of them just joyfully hanging out together like they are in a threesome or just accepting the situation. So confusing.

• Colin Firth’s character’s wife sleeps with his brother. Oh, well. No mention of either character after that! Because five weeks later he proposes to his Portuguese maid, someone he has not been able to communicate with. Attraction = perfect couple. Not.

• Snape, er, I mean Alan Rickman, plays Harry (was this name intentional?), a director of a design agency. His secretary is IN LOVE with him. She does this by spreading her legs, wearing devil horns, blatantly propositioning him – we get it, you like Harry. Unfortunately, he is married to Karen, played by über famous person Emma Thompson. She is just too, too busy of a mom to notice her husband buying jewelry for his maybe girlfriend/secretary. (The movie forgets to show us if he actually physically cheated on his wife or just likes buying gifts.) The only bright side of the movie is when Mr. Bean makes an appearance as the jewelry store’s salesman. BT-Dubs, Alan Rickman, please speak up. You mumble too much. For all that I know, you just cast a spell on Harry Potter or were just covering up for forgetting your lines to this awful movie. If I were in the situation: samesies! The wife eventually figures it out, but besides looking a bit perturbed, she seems just “what can you do?” at the end. Because really, what can she do? I guess Emma Thompson will just have to make some more banana bread!

• Back to the beautiful Hugh Grant. He plays the handsome prime minister. He falls in love with Natalie, a household staff member with a filthy mouth. The little bugger! But dammit, the U.S. President, played by Billy Bob Thornton, is just in the way. He’s too domineering, too take-control, and too USA. He gets what he wants. So he flirts and flirts and flirts with Natalie, finally kissing her neck. Natalie doesn’t seem to like the attention. So what does Hugh do? Well he basically butchers U.S.-U.K. political ties because he’s upset. Super smart. At a press conference, he pokes fun at the U.S. President (an easy caricature of President Bush) and says that Britain won’t be bullied and that the U.S. needs to watch out. Chivalry, dammit! The British crowd goes wild – wild I say. Because who doesn’t love allies with a long history of friendship becoming enemies? It’s sooooo realistic. He even asks Margaret Thatcher’s portrait what he should do in the situation. I would imagine she would say, “Probably the opposite of what you just did, asshole.”

• Liam Neeson plays Daniel. His wife just died. His stepson Sam doesn’t seem too upset. His mom just died. He’s a tiny little kid “in love”. So he learns the drum set in five weeks to impress a girl. Somehow, he succeeds. Child prodigy. Liam Neeson falls for Claudia Schiffer. Did I mention that his wife just died like a month ago? Is anyone listening to me?

• Laura Linney’s character has been in love with Karl FOR YEARS. They almost get together, unfortunately Linney’s brother is crazy and keeps calling! Linney can’t stop taking his phone calls! Relationship averted!

• This British guy Colin decides to go to America to find hot girls. He finds them. American girls love guys with accents. No personality, dumb as a stump, but has a great accent! YAY! This storyline was SOOO needed.

The only love scene that seems um, “accurate” is between porn stars John and Judy. They star in a movie together, go on a date, and find they have things in common. The porn star thing is obviously weird, but the whole dating and finding things in common seems about right.

WTF, I don’t know what to say. Why did I like this movie? Did I just have horrible taste in college? I just, I just – I can’t. There was nothing real about it (besides the porn couple part with the younger Bilbo Baggins). So watch it if you want, but do it to make fun of it. Please. It’s just that bad.

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The ‘favorite movie’ question

27 Aug

What is your favorite movie? I have been asked this numerous times lately. And while it shouldn’t be too hard to answer, it always is.

Do I give the snobbish reply of “Annie Hall” ? It is one of my faves of all time, but not one that I watch every day. There is a likelihood that the other person hasn’t seen it, and I can say with an air, “It’s my favorite Woody Allen,” like I watch his films all the time.

Or do I say one of the classics of my childhood that bring thoughts of the past? Some are obvious, such as the Disney classic “Cinderella.” But others might make people wonder. “Warriors” is one. My siblings and I watched it a lot. A NYC gang trying to survive the night as rival gangs try to beat the living crap out of them. It’s full of violence, horrible language, and I became entranced with it at the age of 8. “The Wiz” comes to mind, as my mother rarely listened to anything other than R&B or Motown. While we grew up in the Midwest where country ranked supreme, it was frowned upon in the Olson household. It confused me immensely in middle school that others had not heard of the likes of Marvin Gaye or the guitar skills of Eric Clapton. (I’m trailing, this would be better off left for another blog post.)

Maybe I just repeat what my go-to movies are, the ones I watch when I’m depressed or having a blue day. But that is information I don’t readily give out. See, I like to usually give the impression that I am sophisticated or worldly, and the reality is, I’m just like any other girl out there. If I’m ready to eat a gallon of chocolate ice cream, “Bridget Jones’ Diary” is it. If it’s a rainy day, I’ll reach for a Jane Austen flick, like “Sense and Sensibility.” Homesick? Then “Little Women” is my pick. And the movie marathon kind of day requires the “Harry Potter” series or a little “LOTR” action.

So? You say. So? So? That makes me look like any other girl. I’m not extraordinary or have unique tastes. I’m mainstream. And around my friends or family, that is fine. But everyone else? I’d like to pretend there is a little mystique. Oh well.

My favorite movie is likely an Audrey Hepburn movie like “Sabrina.” It might be “Ever After,” and on a given day, “Die Hard” works, too. It is ever-changing, like my mood. It’s hard for me to pinpoint a film, book or an album that is “IT,” that defines me. It’s kinda impossible, actually.

The next time I get asked that question, what will I say? The truth? Sorry. I will probably make some comment about a flick I only saw once before. This before going home to my apartment, to watch a mix of “The Princess Bride” and “Sixteen Candles.”

Bitten by Edward Cullen

9 Nov

“I thought I’d explained it clearly before. Bella, I can’t live in a world where you don’t exist.”
When Edward Cullen utters that line in the second installment of Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, you could hear girls around the world drop the book they were so enthralled in. Jaws plummeted, fainting ensued.
Those are words that every hormonal teenage girl “needs” to hear —  but never does.
“The moment Bella’s heart stops beating, I will be begging for you to kill me.” Oh, Edward.
Instead, they must fantasize that the 14- or 15-year-old crush of theirs will suddenly stop with their immaturity. Drop the baseball or football and start lessons from Edward instead. That desperate yearning of “maybe, someday, it will happen to me” takes over the girl and delusional fantasies swarm.
The “Twilight” book series and film franchise should really come with a warning. Something along the lines of: “WARNING: May cause girls to swoon and establish unrealistic expectations. Mixed with massive amounts of hormones, it may create a dangerous monster.”
After a frenzied movie marathon or finishing off one of the novels — Twi-Hards have become entranced with the idea of someone or something providing comfort from all that they fear. That dreams will come true with just a man’s touch. Such an innocent thing as text or film has become a danger to our young society.
These girls have been bitten by the pearled teeth of Edward Cullen — desperately wanting to be devoured wholly by the handsome, good-listening vampire/boyfriend/savior.
After having to endure preview after preview of the first part of “Breaking Dawn” in the last couple months — I was completely in shock and disbelief over their decision to capitalize more on the teenage girl’s foremost desires. Okay, not really.
Bella Swan and her blood-sucking fiancé are united in marriage. From what I can tell it is a beautiful, perfect ceremony, followed by the honeymoon of a lifetime. Here is where my own horrified jaw did drop. You have young actors getting married and quickly getting sexual. The amount of time spent in just the preview on the honeymoon action is what concerns me. And from what I have read in the book, it’s pretty graphic.
So you have young adults, pre-teens and children in the wee morning hours, holding onto their tickets to get the first glimpse of this romantic tryst. And what will they see? I’m going to guess a whole lot. And even if it is “well done,” “artistic,” or doesn’t show all the nitty-gritty details due to its PG-13 rating — I’m sure it will leave a lot to the imagination.
“But they’re married!” some will whine. “They can, because it’s right.” Sure, I understand Meyer’s stance on premarital sex, but I have a big problem with how it is portrayed on screen and on the page, even if they are hitched. They are young, pretty and what many kids want to portray. So even if these teens are not old enough to get married, they may think they are old enough for the rest of it.
In my honest opinion, I think that is a bit scary. Kids seeing something explicit and expecting the same beauty in reality. Okay, maybe they won’t give birth to a half-vampires — but there is the distinct possibility of earlier experimentation.
So although I know that the opening weekend will probably break more records — I’m a little more than disappointed at the lack of moral responsibility by the author and movie producers. It seems that the need to capitalize on sexual fantasies of teenagers is more important. It will make them a lot of money, but it still doesn’t make it right.

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