Archive for Wedding

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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Made of Honor

(Columbia Pictures)

DVD (2008) Written by A.Sztykiel, D.Kaplan, H.Elfont/Directed by Paul Weiland   STARRING: Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan

The story: Hannah and Tom meet at Cornell University when he mistakes her for her roommate in the middle of the night. Hannah maces Tom in the eyes with Eternity by Calvin Klein and they are BFFL ever since. It’s now 10 years later, they’re living in New York, and they’re just as tight as ever. Tom (played by Patrick Dempsey) is a wealthy, heartless womanizer and Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) is a loveless art conservator geek. She says “I love you” too much and he has a bizarre need to only say those words to strange dogs. He’s been with so many women but Hannah has never been one of them. She’s his best friend and that’s good enough for him. Hannah, meanwhile, seems to have hidden feelings for this man-child but Tom is oblivious.

Hannah is suddenly called away to Scotland on a paintings acquisition trip for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is gone for six weeks, and this is when Tom realizes just how much he misses her. It’s a total Ross and Rachel moment (almost eerily so) when Hannah finally returns and Tom meets her at the airport with a bouquet of flowers and the intention to confess how he feels. But she’s met a new man and he’s come back to New York with her to announce their engagement. “Tom,” Hannah asks, “will you be my maid of honor?”

It’s a 6 Made of Honor is nothing near genius, but there’s something about this little story that pleases me. Perhaps it’s the Scottish scenery that woos me, or the lead characters, or the humour in watching Patrick Dempsey hanging with the girls as he carries out his MOH duties? The movie should have spent more time up front developing Hannah and Tom’s friendship, and I wish Tom’s moments with the dogs didn’t feel so obviously plopped in just to build the theme. But still, I refuse to abandon it. I think it’s cute, even though critics have not been kind (it received a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes and phrases like “bonehead plot” have been thrown around like wedding confetti.)  Several of my girl friends, however, have watched Made of Honor and enjoyed it. It’s not a movie you should buy to own, but it does make a good cheapy weekend rental.

The envelope, please Made of Honor should win a prize for Most humiliating attempt to win back a girl.  Patrick Dempsey in a mini kilt with white briefs underneath. I needn’t say more.

Sweet extras The scenery is worth the watch. Fiancée Colin lives in a Scottish castle and the last third of the movie takes place here. It’s actually the beautiful and haunting 13th-century Eilean Donan castle, which rests in the Scottish highlands just outside Dornie. The Eilean Donan castle was also featured in several other films including Highlander (1985), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), and the James Bond film The World is not Enough (1999). Interior castle shots are a mishmash of other locations, including Dunvegan castle on the Isle of Skye.

Good for who? Watch this movie if you like Patrick Dempsey, wedding-related rom-coms, or the sublimity of castles by moonlight. But watch out: there’s coarse language and sexual references scattered steadily throughout. Don’t even bother inviting the Baptist minister’s wife over for this one because just when you think you’ve heard the word “balls” enough, you’ll hear it again. I suppose if one doesn’t like the movie, one could make a drinking game of it?

The movie is rated PG-13 for language and sexual references. Here’s a full breakdown of the content on Screenit.com’s review of the movie.

Paula Jane


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So I Married an Axe Murderer

DVD (1993) Written by Robbie Fox/Directed by Thomas Schlamme

(Photo: TriStar Pictures)

Suspecting your loved one of being a serial killer: we’ve all been there. But for San Francisco poet Charlie Mackenzie, this kind of thing is becoming a habit: every girlfriend is mentally ill, or smells like soup, or steals his cats. At least according to him. Charlie has a serious fear of commitment, and as he reads yet one more of his mournful doomed-relationship poems at open-mic night, it doesn’t look as if any woman will ever be good enough for him.

But love and haggis are in the air, and Charlie (played by Mike Myers) soon meets the smart and pretty Harriet Michaels (Nancy Travis) at her butcher shop downtown. Charlie is smitten and things are going well — until he convinces himself that the sweet little Harriet is actually what the Weekly World News calls Mrs. X, the infamous Honeymoon Murderer who marries, kills, then disappears into the night in search of another victim. Will Charlie push through his paranoia and find happiness with Harriet, or will he leave her just like he’s left all the others?

As goofy and as fluffy as this movie is, So I Married an Axe Murderer is impossible to hate. Nancy Travis has never been the most convincing actress, but there is a cute chemistry between her and Myers  and I like her a lot here. As for Myers, he steals the show from himself, playing a second role as Charlie’s perpetually-smashed insult-wielding father. In his thick Scottish brogue, Stuart Mackenzie nags his son Charlie for being a mamma’s boy (“Float away, ya fairy!”) and sloppily sings the wrong lyrics to every song he knows. Axe Murderer, which is unique in the rom-com world because it’s told from the guy’s point of view, is a classic in my books. It’s no Roman Holiday, but it is a lot of fun and it’s a great pick if you’re wary of “chick flicks.”

Sweet extras Watch for the scene where Myers as Stuart Mackenzie rants about his conspiracy theories involving the pope, the queen, and Colonel Sanders. Anthony LaPaglia, who plays Charlie’s friend Tony, can’t keep himself from cracking up, and you can tell he’s laughing for real.

The envelope, please I award Axe Murderer the following prizes:

Best wedding dress in a rom-com: This gothic-looking hooded chiffon and satin wedding death, I mean “‘dress,”  is gorgeous. How I’d love to float down the aisle (or through a cemetery) in that beautiful thing.

Best honeymoon destination in a rom-com: The fictional Poet’s Corner Inn, a neo-classical mansion snuggled in the mountains, is a lovers paradise. Well, it would be if it were real. The mountains you see behind the inn are  fake, and the inn itself is actually the Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate. You can’t stay overnight, but you CAN get married there (and murdered too, perhaps?).

Good for who? An excellent choice for the gal or guy who detests romantic comedies, but feels the pressure to rent/download one for a romantic night in. Guys, if you and your wife/girlfriend/weekend lover don’t LOL at this movie, I will personally send a handwritten letter of apology to you.  Note to the Baptist minister’s wife: Sorry I said “weekend lover” up there, and second, this movie is probably a wee bit too racy for you. Sexual content is no big deal (unless you count Mike Myers bare bottom, but it’s played for laughs — nothing sexy about it), but the language is a little jarring with two F-bombs and a light peppering of other words throughout.

Loved this movie? Live this movie! The Weekly World News is 100% true — that’s a fact.

Charlie’s mother refers to the Weekly World News scandal rag as “the paper” and to her, the content of this paper is irrefutable. Cigarette in hand, she peruses the paper each evening, learning about the world around her. You can too! The infamous Weekly World News — which gave us the truth about Hitler’s gaggle of love children as well as tales of the flesh-starved Bat Boy —  stopped its hard copy version in 2007, but its website is still going. If you care about the facts and nothing but the facts, you’ll get your news here and only here: http://weeklyworldnews.com/

Samples and first lines from today’s WWN headline news, for January 2011:

Kim Kardashian crisis: “Tragedy struck Kim Kardashian last night on a private flight from New Jersey to Las Vegas.  Her left butt cheek exploded.”

Megan Fox marries but she’s still a man: “WWN has confirmed that Megan Fox married Brian Austin Green on June 24th.  WWN also confirmed that she is still a man. … One guest overheard Fox saying she thought she looked like Alan Alda in her wedding gown.”

Mike Tyson has a pigeon fetish: “…Tyson, 44, will exhibit an unfamiliar, and sometimes uncomfortable, tender side as he shows the depth of his love for pigeons.”

Tuna boy of New Jersey: “A rare mutation happened to Fred Allan on the way to his Thanksgiving feast.  His head turned into a Tuna. Last week, Fred Allan, an angler who went missing three miles off the coast of New Jersey, was spotted in Jersey City on his way to a Thanksgiving feast. Fred sat through his Thanksgiving meal with his family without them noticing that his head had turned into a tuna. … It wasn’t until he was walking home when a little boy, Chucky Thompson, saw Fred on the street and screamed, “Your head is a tuna fish!”

Paula Jane

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding

DVD (2002)  Written by Nia Vardalos/Directed by Joel Zwick

Toula Portokalos’ family is full-on Greek and proud of it. “While my people were writing philosophy, your people were swinging through the trees!” shouts Toula’s father Gus at all non-Greeks. Though the family lives in Chicago suburbia, the father roasts lamb on a spit on the front lawn and the grandmother sleeps with a knife under her pillow to ward off invading Turks. Toula’s siblings and cousins are all in her face  24/7, and it has been predestined that she work at the family restaurant until she is dead. So it is no wonder that the frumpy, loveless 30-year-old Toula (Nia Vardalos) dreams of living a “normal” non-Greekcentric  life.

Enter all-American Ian Miller, his long John Corbetty hair (easy to achieve since he is played by John Corbett) blowing in the Chicago breeze. He is perfect, we will soon see, and Toula is smitten. But will her Greek family accept him as the man she wants to marry? We have our answer when Toula’s father yells  “Is he a nice Greek boy? No! A xeno with the big long hair on top of his head!”  “Xeno” is Greek for ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’ and that is what Ian will always be to Toula’s  family because he is not Greek. The father is not pleased with their relationship and the story moves on from there.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a relatively low-budget film, but it blew away the box office in 2002. The movie is full of warmth and humour, and you are guaranteed to laugh throughout. My only complaint about the film is that there is never truly enough tension between Toula and Ian—despite the fact that Toula’s family life is threatening to tear the couple apart.  Ian is just so understanding and wonderful that the threat to their relationship just doesn’t feel real. That being said, romantic comedies operate in the world of fantasy and what’s more unreal than a man who’d be willing to be baptized in a kiddy pool at the front of a Greek Orthodox church to impress the father of the woman he loves? Truly, it’s only something John Corbett or George Costanza would do.

I like this movie and the lessons it offers, one of them being that a loving family (no matter how intrusive or out to lunch they are) is something to be valued, not spit upon. (Although, the Portokalos family does plenty of spitting, too.  So maybe a loving family IS something to be spit upon? Don’t ask. Go watch!)

Sweet extras Learn the many uses of Windex!

Good for who? A fun pick for couples (especially ones about to get married!) or girlfriend get-togethers. Very mild language and only mild sexual references, so it’s great for moms with kids or for DVD night with the baptist minister’s wife.

Loved this movie? Live this movie!

If you’re heading to Toronto Dying to see the site of  Ian Miller’s kiddy-pool baptism and the big fat wedding itself?  Two churches in Toronto were used in the film:  The Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church (23 Henry Street)  provided the exterior shots of the church in the movie, and the interior comes from not a Greek Orthodox church but the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church (4 Bellwoods Ave).  Built in the first half of the 20th century, the church’s interior is decorated in the tradition of  medieval Byzantine Christian art. To see the inside of this gorgeous church, you can attend a Catholic church service on Sundays at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 6 p.m.  (I verified with the church that services are open to everyone who’d like to attend — although be mindful that the services are probably in Ukrainian.)  photos: saintnicholas.ca

Not just for windows Says Toula: “My dad believed in two things: That Greeks should educate non Greeks about being Greek and that every ailment from psoriasis to poison ivy can be cured with Windex.” I’m sure this Windex comment was a joke, but before dismissing it as such, I felt I should collect my own data. I sprayed it on my face before going to bed last night, and this morning I woke up like this:

 

 

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