Tag Archives: movies

Shut Up, I’m Trying to Dream Over Here!

Bed_of_roses_Milan34863I remember the sound of the movie, the soundtrack, playing like a hopeless romantic lullaby to young 6-year-old ears. This was my introduction into the world of entertainment and hollywood. It was the movie Bed of Roses. OKAY, I realize that at six years old, you probably shouldn’t be watching an idyllic romance about a lonely woman who finds herself with the help of a mysterious florist who delivers her flowers after peering into her window and watching her cry. (Christian Slater at his best.) But to me, the movie was enchanting, mostly because Mary Stuart Masterson had my haircut and there was an actress named Aly. By age seven, I had grand ambitions of being Mary Stuart Masterson, starring in my own movie, and producing and recording the soundtrack.

I wanted to be an actor, a singer, a purveyor of twisted plot lines and quick witted retorts. I wanted to make everyone laugh but not in the way everyone laughed when my brother shoved cake in my face at my fifth birthday party. I wanted to be in all of the televisions!

I had an explosive imagination — I believed I could fly up until about age seven because I would climb my picnic table in the backyard and think really hard as I flapped my arms like bony little girl wings, fooling myself into believing I got a little higher each time. So becoming the female lead in a major motion picture didn’t seem too farfetched — I was already a little obsessed with myself and had already proudly garnered the nickname Ms. Photogenic. The amount of times my mother would explain to me, after I came home crying because the popular girls wouldn’t let in their beanie baby club, “Oh! They’re just jealous of you because you’re so special and beautiful and talented!” may have had something to do with my attitude.

I also had no problem rationalizing my dreams — it is what I wanted to do therefore it would happen (American attitude, much?). Oddly enough, I still have this outlook — If you can’t believe in yourself how do you expect your seventh grade Creative Writing teacher to choose your story for the famed wall of story-telling?

So, I did a lot of things to reach my dreams. Mainly I begged my parents to let me take lots of lessons — I had just learned the word novice from watching Family Feud and it did NOT seem like something I wanted to be. Guitar lessons, or the worst idea for a young girl with bony, child fingers were first and I quit after it hurt my fingers too much to play with my polly pockets. All the while I wrote plays in my journal where I was the star and my older brother’s cute best friend was the male lead. I had my priorities straight at a young age.

After guitar lessons, however, my parents were a little less inclined to drop serious cash to suit the whims of their seven-year-old soon-to-be starlet. Singing lessons were off the table so I’d have to settle for wearing glittery, blue, borderline Show Girl costumes at dance competitions like I was trying out for Toddlers and Tiaras. However, I did get some encouragement from Kaitlin, the overweight girl from down the street I played with before I became a social-standing-obsessed preteen (I’m sorry, Kaitlin). I was singing Mariah Carey’s “Always be My Baby” when Kaitlin looked at me and asked if I took lessons.

48d5ba38_Toddlers-and-tiaras

How to make your child have self-esteem issues volume one.

“No,” I said, my head inflating with every breath, “you know, I just think raw talent works itself out.” I was an awful ten-year-old egotist with larger than life dreams and a My-Size Barbie to offer emotional support.

Acting didn’t come till middle school (which is also where it ended) when I joined the improv club after school because Mr. G was the hip new teacher and my parents still didn’t take my hollywood hankerings seriously. I pretty much sparked a riot of hilarity with my impression of a person doing the backstroke! It was GOLDEN.

meinplay

Hit role in elementary school play, “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise”

Obviously the next step was to try out for the school musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown with a rendition of Britney Spears’ “Hit me Baby One More Time.” I remember staring into the trash can my entire performance and thinking to myself, I bet Mary Stuart Masterson didn’t have to go through this shit. Britney let me down that day, like she would in a year’s time when my mom, brother, and I went to meet her at Copley Square only to find out she cancelled the performance due to post-Rosie O’Donnell lip-syncing rumors. Apparently, I wasn’t meant to be the next Kristen Chenoweth either.

Chasing boys on the playground, becoming “Aly Dicky” at my new school and the burgeoning prevalence of kids in after school sports overtook my performance pretensions for a while. My writing never stopped, however, and I took every opportunity available to make people laugh — I still can’t believe LaToya beat me out for “Best sense of humor” in high school (she was just louder not funnier).

Although I no longer want to be the next Mary Stuart Masterson — let’s face it, she went way downhill after Fried Green Tomatoes anyway — I still dream of being the woman in the television inspiring a young, quixotic, Tweety bird-obsessed girl (probably more like One Direction obsessed these days) to follow her larger than life dreams no matter how tone deaf she is, no matter how often no one laughs at her jokes, no matter how many times she gets beat out for class clown and no matter how stupid she feels during after school improv class.

Dreams are there for a reason, you idiots, now go do something about it.

Daily Post Memory Challenge

Movies I Hope I Remember to See Pt. 1

Perusing through IMDB this week to spot my future favorite movies I grew incredibly sad imagining all of the poor, defenseless films I’ve forgotten to watch over the years. (Please tell me you’re also a regular IMDB goer, because if so, I feel like this relationship is really going to last.) How could I forget about these once highly-anticipated plot lines? Well, because my memory is really bad — smoking pot incollege takes a lot out of you and I just have a lot on my mind, okay?

Every week I’ll go through the new trailers, and if I’m not satisfied, I’ll go scourging through old archives of favorite actors, writers, or directors to find a movie I can instantly download purchase completely legally. (Cut me some slack I haven’t had cable since Gilmore Girls was on the air.) In this particular stroll through the interwebs’ cafe of cinematic delight, however, I came across some real coming-of-age goodness that demanded my acute attention. Here’s your first installment of Movies I Hope I Remember to See. Feel free to grab some popcorn if that’s the sort of thing you like to do while reading a blog post.

Lifeguard 

Kristen Bell is playing me in my role as a community pool lifeguard in 2011. Well, okay, she plays a 29-year-old women who moves back in with her parents and becomes a lifeguard and may or may not become romantically involved with a seemingly younger skater boy. Liz G. Garcia writes this dramedy along with debuting as a director. This movie excited me almost as much as Bell bringing back my girl crush Veronica Mars.

Afternoon Delight

I like when a supporting actress finally gets that lead role she’s been waiting for. Kathryn Hahn has always been hilarious but she’s always been stuck in the the quirky sidekick role (Anchorman, Wanderlust) which, let’s face it, does fit her well. This time she appears to have some leading role rawness that lends itself well to the part. She plays a stay-at-home mom who bonds with a stripper and dedicates herself to helping this character, played by Juno Temple. Note: I just found out this movie actually came out in January so go watch it! That’s what I’m gonna do!

Wadjda

The first feature-length film by a Saudi female director tells the story of a young Saudi girl carving her own path in the world through her journey to buy a bike. It sounds simple but a go through of the trailer will have you inspired, in tears, or intrigued to say the least. More than anything, this film seeks to offer a look in to a world we haven’t before seen. I hope it succeeds. Written and directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, the movie comes out in September of this year.

Cutie And The Boxer

I love documentaries about artists and I doubt this movie will be an exception. The portrayal of the relationship between boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko is captivating and heartbreaking (and I’m just talking about the trailer here people). I’m sure this is one of those films that will simultaneously inspire me and overwhelm me with all the creative things I should be doing.

Dealin’ with Idiots

I’m a Jeff Garlin fan and any movie that aims to poke fun at the competitiveness of parents during their children’s sporting events, I’m totally game for. My mom was the parent jumping up at and down at my swim meets with an old camcorder in one hand screaming my name (I never saw video of myself swimming). This movie comes out tonight so grab your comedically-inclined friend and make a night of it.

Happy viewing, movie friends!

Do you like movie trailers or are you a no spoiler type of viewer? Are there any upcoming movies you just cannot wait to see? Do tell.

15 Signs You Are Watching (and being emotionally manipulated by) a Nicholas Sparks Movie

You’re in the middle of watching some hardcore emotional porn when you stop and say to yourself, “wait, I’ve watched this exact scene like twelve times before,” — this is the first sign you are watching a Nicholas Sparks work of romantic deception.

There are several other severely obvious signs that you are in the middle of watching a trite Sparks classic, filled with the unrealistic expectations of love you’ve always wished more movies were based upon:

1. The setting is in some enchanted southern town by the sea where, oddly enough, no one has a southern accent and everyone is white. Safe Haven supposedly takes place in Louisiana. Same with The Lucky One. There are no people of color, anywhere (Yes this is a bigger problem than just Nicholas Sparks’ movies). I don’t understand this. Okay, the nurse in beginning of The Notebook was African American. See my point?

2. There’s always a pickup truck. I think Sparks has an affinity for girls who drive pick up trucks. I wonder if this is more of a girl power thing or a trait he just finds sexy in women but either way, there needs to be a pickup truck.

Source: News.com/au

Source: News.com/au

3. There’s a beach or a river. Like I said, these movies are usually in South Carolina or Louisiana or somewhere on the Southern Coast so there has to be swimming. Of course, the scene with the main characters swimming in said river or ocean appears way funner than any time you’ve ever been swimming. The splashes are infinite. Remember: “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”

thenotebook swim

Melissa Moseley/New Line Productions
Source: nytimes.com

beach the last song

Sam Emerson/Touchstone Pictures
Source: nytimes.com

4. The central characters will get stuck in a rainstorm while having a romantic boat ride to some romantic fairy island with low-hanging oak trees surrounding them as white doves circle the sky, where they will talk about their dead spouses or how they want to achieve their dreams. This was all culminate in an emotional storm where the characters chaotically embrace and either go all the way in steamy fashion like The Notebook, or get interrupted by the town cop like in Safe Haven. Either way, it’s sexy.

the notebook

Melissa Moseley/New Line Productions
Source: nytimes.com

safe haven boat

James Bridges/Relativity Media
Source: nytimes.com

5. The bad husband is a cop who abuses his power. Cue damsel in distress plot line that inevitable leads to her being saved with (maybe) some saving grace plot twists — in Safe Haven she shoots her ex-husband herself (Go, girl, girl) and in The Lucky One the borderline abusive ex-husband cop ends up killing himself because he can’t get over Zac Efron’s biceps.

6. Some mix up always causes life-altering consequences that are worked out within the next fifteen minutes of the movie by way of actually just explaining the truth and then usually, making out. We can see this is the lovable terror of the mother (Joan Allen) in The Notebook who hides Allie’s letters, or when Zac Efron can’t find a way to show Taylor Schilling the lost picture of her he found while deployed in The Lucky One (I’ll purposefully skip the weirdness of a brother only having a picture of his sister while deployed).

7. Montages are the main platform for character and relationship development. Because we all know how tricky it can actually be to write good dialogue, so why not throw on some almost original, mood-fitting music, and film the couple shoving ice cream in each other’s faces while they ride their bikes or sail a boat?

8. There is a scene where someone is fixing up a house: In Safe Haven, Hough needs to fix up the old cabin in the woods and hilarity ensues when Josh Duhamel comes in for some primetime making out and his foot goes right through the floor board. OUCH, amiright? And of course, who could forget Gosling roofing his dream house in the rain for the love of his life? It seems as though no one hires help in these movies; Sparks seems to be a superfan of DIY-ing.

Scott Garfield/Screen Gems

Scott Garfield/Screen Gems
Building a house WHILE kissing in the rain = genius

9. There’s a dancing scene. We all know The Notebook scene (which, I have trouble including with the likes of Safe Haven, The Lucky One, and The Last Song but still) where Ryan Gosling becomes an international heart throb when he asks Rachel McAdams if she wants to dance and them hums Billie Holiday likes he’s some god in vintage trousers. Which, let’s face it, he is. Then there’s the star-gazing scene from A Walk to Remember. But the best examples are the montage scenes with the main characters spending time dancing and picnicing as if to say “Look at how well we know each other now! Can you imagine us not being together? See how natural we are together! She’s even good with my motherless kids!”

the lucky one

Alan Markfield/Warner Brothers Pictures
Source: nytimes.com

the last song

Sam Emerson/Touchstone Pictures
Source: nytimes.com

dance notebook

Melissa Moseley/New Line Productions

10. White people embrace for a movie poster that is consistently a cheap knockoff of Casablanca and Gone with the Wind Not much to say about this recycled phenomenon.

11. A serious illness or life event threatens to tear love apart, whether it be cancer (A Walk to Remember, The Last Song), Alzheimer’s (The Notebook), domestic violence (Safe Haven) — It’s just got to be super tragic while ultimately commentating on the omnipotent power of love. Love can only be beaten by death, and even then, you still have the memories of you star-gazing.

12. Some’s spouse died recently and it’s really, really, hard to get over, but this new attractive person who has a troubled past of their own will make it a lot easier.

13. Even great actors succumb to weakened, over-romanticized versions of themselves. I’m looking at you, Richard Gere (from Nights in Rodanthe).

14. The feeling of brutal manipulation when the movie is over after realizing that Ryan Gosling will never follow you to a carnival and hang on the ferris wheel until you agree to go on a date with him, and that no Marine is going to stalk you down and tell you that you are the reason he is still alive.

15. Ultimately, the lesson that tragedy is the essential backdrop to ever-lasting, romantic love. So, no, agreeing on what to buy at the grocery store with your spouse is in no way sexy or indicative of whether your relationship with last. Also, normal love is boring and will ultimately be overshadowed by grandiose ideas of what it really means to give/show love (Sorry, James Marsden, you didn’t write Allie a letter every day for a year, soooo move on).

The reality is, these movies make a lot of money and a lot of people watch them. As a sixteen-year-old girl I counted down the days till The Notebook’s release as if it were my 21st birthday. Then again, I’m a recovering romantically unrealistic loveaholic. If these movies aren’t damaging little girls’ perceptions of beauty (being white, skinny, a bit lost, and remarkably charming) and love ( it conquers all, it’s mostly white, dependent upon the male finding you/saving you/helping you save yourself, can only happen after your other spouse/brother/father/sister/best friend has died) than it’s my own fault I keep dreaming of scenarios where Matti comes and saves from that guy I keep seeing at Starbucks. Either way, love is different for everyone so stop pretending to be Rachel McAdams and go walk your dogs with your spouse like a normal person.