Archive for Girls night

Something Borrowed

(Image: Warner Bros)

DVD (2011)  Written by Jennie Snyder/Directed by Luke Greenfield    STARRING: Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, Colin Egglesfield, John Krasinski

Beautiful, self-absorbed Darcy and meek and mild Rachel have been BFFs since childhood. Despite Darcy’s relentless attention-seeking dramatics (often at Rachel’s expense), there is a strong bond between the two women, sealed by the fact that they can break it down 80’s style to Salt-n-Pepa’s Push It. But everything’s called into question when Darcy announces she is engaged to Dex — a man Rachel has been secretly in love with since her college days. When Rachel discovers that the handsome and good-hearted Dex (Tom Cruise-esque Colin Egglesfield) has always had feelings for her too, she and Dex start down a path that can only lead to someone getting hurt. The question is: who will that someone be?

It’s a 7.5  Something Borrowed fulfills most of my rom-com needs: twists and turns, a rich cast of characters, and several trips to a beach house in the Hamptons. The lustrous Kate Hudson is always fun, and only she could make you care about a heinous little minx like Darcy. If you like romantic comedies, you will have a good time with this one. Though I felt unsatisfied with the ending, it was realistic and I can appreciate that.

Sweet extras  The supporting cast is pretty fab: John Krasinski plays Ethan, Rachel’s long-time pal and a reluctant member of the group of friends. Ashley Williams (known to me as the lovely “Cupcake” from How I Met Your Mother) is hilarious as a straight-up crazy girl.  We also have the funny Steve Howie within the circle of friends, though I thought the actor was Brian Austin Green until just five minutes ago.

Good for who?  This is a great movie for a GNO (perhaps followed by a little badminton?). This will make a super rental one day — great for having the girls over on a summer evening for supper and a movie.  Something Borrowed is rated PG for sexual references and a bit of language. Too much dirty talk for the Baptist minister’s wife, I’m afraid.

Something Borrowed is based on the 2005 best-seller of the same name, written by Emily Giffin.

Loved this movie? Live this movie! badfriend-minton: let’s make it a thing!

Wanting to out the secrets being kept by members of the group, the ever-bitter Ethan turns a friendly game of beach badminton into a vendetta. When a team scores a point, he says, someone on that team is permitted to tell a secret about someone else. This is a great game for angry and self-destructive sorts. If badminton is not available to you, try ping pong or shooting baskets from the free-throw line. It doesn’t matter which game you play, as long as you’re hurting someone!

“But Paula,” you say, “I have a badminton set and I like games but I’m not 100% sold on the idea of destroying any of my current friendships. What do I do?” Try a friendlier version of the game: turn it into a game of Truth or Dare, with the point scorers asking their opponents to either accept a dare or reveal a harmless truth about themselves.  Badminton doesn’t have to hurt, people, but the great news is that it can if you want it to!

Paula Jane

(image of Kate Hudson: celebsinstyle.com)
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Sleepless in Seattle

DVD (1993)  Written and directed by Nora Ephron                     STARRING  Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Bill Pullman, Rosie O’Donnell

Are there any rom-com lovers out there who haven’t seen Sleepless in Seattle? I suppose not. That would be like an art history student who wants nothing to do with the Louvre, or a Los Angeles police officer never spending time with Charlie Sheen. Sleepless in Seattle is required viewing. What’s unique about this movie as a romantic comedy is that the would-be lovers don’t say more than a few words to each other throughout the film. We don’t even see them kiss. It’s magical and romantic to the Nth degree. If you love love and want to believe there is a man out there who will remain lovesick and devoted to you long after you’re dead, then hurry off to the video store and indulge in this rom-com gem once again.

Tom Hanks stars as Sam Baldwin, a Seattle architect whose wife has died.  It’s a year and a half later and he is unable to move on. Out of concern, Sam’s 8-year-old son Jonah calls a radio talk-show on Christmas eve and tricks his dad into getting on the phone with the radio psychologist — where Sam eventually begins sharing about his wife and his grief. Across the country  is Annie, engaged to be married to a very nice man played by Bill Pullman (does Pullman ever not play a nice man?).  Annie listens to Sam’s story on the radio that evening and feels an immediate connection with him. She soon discovers that she can’t get Sam out of her mind and sets out to find him. Even dressed as a stylish bag lady (this was cute in 1993), Meg is adorable and a perfect match for Tom Hanks who is a true sweetheart.

Sweet extras  Watching this movie sent me back to a happier time, when Rosie O’Donnell was funny and elastic-cuff sweatpants were acceptable cozywear.  Also look for Tom Hank’s real-life wife Rita Wilson as Tom’s sister Suzy.

Good for who?  If you have a boyfriend or a husband who relentlessly mutters about hating “chickflicks” (a term I detest), then this movie is not for him. But it’s perfect for a girls night or a night alone.  For those concerned about content, it’s a rather clean movie but has a few scenes with words and phrases like “get laid” and “orgasm” chucked in to take away the movie’s sugary sweetness and bump it to a PG rating.

If you liked this movie you’ll also probably like You’ve Got Mail (which once again pairs up Tom and Meg).

 

Love this movie? Live this movie! Bringing back sweatpants and a warning to Zac Efron

“You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.”  This is what Rosie O’Donnell’s character says to her best friend Annie, and Annie knows it’s true.  Watching the super romantic film An Affair to Remember, Annie is inspired and decides to pursue Sam.  In essense, what Annie is doing is loving the movies and then living the movies. So if I were to tell you to live this movie, I could suggest that you live this movie by living this movie by living this movie. It could be a never-ending chain that blows the mindhole, but in all fairness to the exercise, of course, Annie didn’t live this movie, but rather she lived An Affair to Remember.  So you would live this movie by living that movie by perhaps meeting a lover at a secret location in 6 months time, or, if you’re adventurous, getting yourself struck by a car and nearly killed. Although, technically, to live Sleepless in Seattle, you could choose any of your favourite movies to re-live — you wouldn’t have to live that one. But be careful which one you choose because if you pick a movie like Groundhog Day, you will end up living this movie by living that movie by re-living that movie, over and over, until you learn to love unselfishly. As you can see, the levels of this exercise could go deeper and deeper until the more weak-minded of you spiral to your psychological deaths.

In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, Zac Efron said he lives out his fantasies through the movie roles he plays. So, in playing a role,  Zac Efron is simultaneously living his life. So if he chose to live this movie, he might live one of his own movies in which he is already living his life, therefore creating a rift in the space-time continuum and either creating a duplicate version of himself or negateing himself and ceasing to exist! This is not bogus science. Zac Efron, don’t live this movie!

If this whole thing frightens you, dear reader, how about you just live this movie by renting An Affair to Remember and watching it with a girlfriend? (Don’t forget the baggy elastic-cuff sweatpants — there’s nothing comfier!) 

Paula Jane

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Only You

DVD (1994)  Written by Diane Drake/Directed by Norman Jewison 

(Image: TriStar Pictures)

Damon Bradley. This is a name 11-year-old Faith Corvatch gets from a Ouija board one windy spooky evening. It’s the name of the man she’s going to one day marry. “My soul mate! My other half!” she exclaims. Cut to 14 years later: the sweet and slightly-flakey Faith (Marisa Tomei) is a school teacher who seems to have forgotten all about the mysterious Damon. She’s engaged to marry a practical podiatrist named Dwayne and although Faith still believes in true love and destiny, she has resigned herself to the fact that “life’s not like how it is in the movies.”

But 10 days before her wedding, she hears that name again — Damon Bradley. Chasing what she truly believes is her destiny, Faith flies to Italy in pursuit of the man she’s meant to be with, even though she’s never met him.  “It is irresponsible of me to marry the wrong person!” she wails. Faith is a bit self-absorbed (the kind of friend you’d love to monkey-punch now and again) but she is kept in check by her sister-in-law Kate (Bonnie Hunt) who joins her on this spur-of-the-moment trip to one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Hunt is the quintessential BFF and rom-com sidekick: she’s consistently funny and really knows how to work a chiffon scarf (see “Live this movie” below).

If you love romantic comedies, and you haven’t seen Only You, you must beg for my forgiveness and then rent this movie immediately. It’s the ultimate girl-trip movie with spectacular scenery, and it’s fun to see Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. when they were so young and unmarred by time, prison or Mickey Rourke.  Only You often rates just a “6” or “7” with most critics, but don’t listen to that nonsense. I agree with Roger Ebert: on the rom-com scale, Only You is easily a “9”.  I love this quote from Ebert’s 1994 review: “Only You is the kind of lighthearted romance that’s an endangered species in today’s Hollywood. It is total fantasy, light as a feather, contrary to all notions of common sense, it features a couple of stars who are really good kissers — and it takes place mostly in Venice, Rome, and the glorious Italian hillside town of Positano. What more do you want?”

Sweet extras  Two beautiful hotels in the film—the Hotel Danieli in Venice, and the Hotel Sirenuse in Positano—are real, and their exteriors and parts of their interiors were used in the making of the film (see “Live this movie” below).

Good for who?  This is a perfect girls-night movie – maybe not so much for the boyfriend or husband; it’s also a great one to watch alone. As for content, there’s a bit of quick groping and Robert Downey Jr. throws a couple of JCs our way, but it’s clean beyond that.  I have a friend who’s freaked out by Ouija boards,  soothsayers, and skeletons in old-lady dresses: this movie has two of those things, but only at the beginning and they are played out in a lighthearted way.

Loved this movie? Live this movie!

When taking a spur-of-the-moment trip to stalk a man you’ve never met, you’ve got to pack light. So how do you keep yourself looking fresh and sophisticated with a limited wardrobe? From Venice to Positano,  best friend Kate made genius use of a black and white chiffon scarf which reappeared with her time and again over the weekend.  Here’s how to do what Kate did while exploring la bella Italia.  You will need a square large chiffon scarf.

1. The hairband:  When that naughty Giovanni took Kate on a tour of Rome’s fountains, she wore her scarf this way with her hair down.  (a) Fold square scarf in half to form a triangle.  Continue folding along the bias like this to form a long band.  (b) Place band over the head and tie securely but not too tight into a knot behind the head. The knot should be  under the hair and at the neck. (c) Let the ends of the scarf drape over one shoulder.

2. The scarf  scarf: Dress up a plain sweater by just draping the scarf around your neck. Allow one end to fall to the front, and the other to the back.

3. The Grace Kelly:  This style is worn for drama or for protecting a hairdo. Kate wore the Kelly when the gang hit the coastal roads of Italy to Positano in an open convertible. It’s easy: (a) Fold square scarf into a triangle. (b) Place atop the head with folded side toward the front and the triangle point toward the back. (c) Cross the two ends in front of the neck and pull them to the back. (d) Tie the ends in a knot at the back, tucking in any loose edges of the scarf under the knot.

4. The shawl:  This style looks lovely with a sleeveless dress. Just fold the large square scarf into a triangle and drape it over the shoulders — either pinning it in front or allowing it to drape naturally.  Kate wore the scarf in a shawl style as she arrived at the Hotel Sirenuse in Positano.

 

Live the stalker lifestyle!  If you’re travelling to Italy, you can retrace the steps of Faith and Kate on their hunt for Damon Bradley. From Venice, down through Tuscany to Rome and then along the coast to Positano, you can stay in two of the actual hotels featured in the movie.

 

Hotel Danieli, Venice:  The girls alight from a gondola at the Hotel Danieli in Venice, but they’ve just missed the elusive Damon Bradley by an hour. The girls hang out in the lobby (featured in the film) and ransack a hotel room, looking for clues. This five-star hotel overlooks Italy’s Arno River.  For reservations, or just to drool and dream, visit www.danielihotelvenice.com. Rooms start at approximately EUR 550  a night ($700 US/CDN). The ever-generous Kate put the room on her credit card.  I’m sure your BFF will do the same for you.

Sirenuse Hotel, Positano: Faith and Kate stayed at the gorgeous Sirenuse Hotel overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.  Book online  or just watch the Positano webcam and wish you were there at  www.sirenuse.it. (photo: caprionline.it)  A two-bedroom suite with a seaview is just EUR 2,000 – EUR 3,400 per night — that’s approximately $3,000 – $5000 US/CDN per night.  Did Giovanni pay for this one, or did Kate put it on her credit card again?

Paula Jane

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