Plot: Four best girlfriends hatch a plan to stay connected with one another as their lives start off in different directions: they pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that fits each of their bodies perfectly.
YAY for another chick flick from my memories as a 15 year old who thought that grown-up life would be easy. Hey, kid! For as long as possible, stay in school. Really.Growing up sucks.
I had the best time watching this movie again. This is girl power before feminism took all the rage. It is more about friendship than boys, and has a feel good vibe. I think there are a lot of people who will disagree with giving this movie a 7/10 but it is for the nostalgic factor and, well, I really do like this film.
The most annoying character was Carmen – she had that typical Please feel sorry for me no one constantly loves me and I’m mad that I’m not the centre of the universevibe to her that I really didn’t want to deal with her shit at all. Blake Lively as Bridgit was also rather annoying but at least the character had a valid reason with her mother committing suicide. Her hook-up with Eric (Mike Vogel) was exasperating but understandable and very expected – and the guy was hotcakes and she was willing to do anything to keep up her bad girl reputation. Then there is Tibby – Amber Tamblyn plays the rebel that knows who she is and doesn’t care if anyone doesn’t like that. Her friendship with Bailey (Jenna Boyd) was the most original and unexpected plot line and really sad at the end. To finish up the quartet of friends is the shy Lena who is uncomfortable accepting her beauty. Things change when she meets the handsome Greek god Kostas Dounas (Michael Rady), a free spirit that challenges her to be more herself. That is also not without problem, as an old rift between their families pushes them into the Greek version of Romeo and Juliet.
The whole pants story is a bit silly – there is no way that those pants would fit all those girls. But, if you can look past that business the movie is sweet and fun and full of hilarious teenage angst. The movie is shot quite well and in some extraordinary beautiful places – Mexico for Bridgit and Greece for Lena (Greece – sort out your money problems so I can vacay there please!)
I loved this movie, and while it is certainly not a guy movie, I think a lot of girls would have a lovely time with this!
Ever since legwarmers were cool, best friends Tara, Katherine, and Fintan have survived small-town ennui, big-city heartbreak, and endless giddy nights out on the town. But now that they’ve graduated to their slightly more serious thirties, only Fintan has what can honestly be called a “love life.” With Tara struggling daily with her eternal diet—and her dreadful, penny-pinching boyfriend—and Katherine keeping her single existence as organized as her drawer full of matching bra and panty sets, it seems they’ll never locate the exit door out of the “last chance saloon.”
But it’s always when you are least ready for change that fate insists on one. And when catastrophe inevitably follows crisis, the lives of three best friends are sure to change in unexpected ways … and not necessarily for the worse.
One of the biggest things that deter people I know from finishing a Marian Keyes novel is that she differs so wildly in writing styles, plots and execution throughout her novels. It is actually something I enjoy but I do agree that it makes her unpredictable.
It was sometimes a frustrating read and slow at certain places, I wanted to murder some of the characters at a few points in time and I wished viciously, as I often do in life, that they could just eat some cement and harden the hell up.
The main theme around Last Chance Salloon is death. One of the main characters is diagnosed with cancer, and requests that his two oldest friends, Katherine and Tara, take chances – Katherine should get a boyfriend and Tara should dump her stupid, cruel and deadbeat boyfriend.
Let’s start with Tara here – I hated her. There are a few people in life that I can’t can’t can’t tolerate, and she managed to be all of them: Obsessed with what she’s eating, constantly, her weight, all her insecurities badly managed and her desperate obsession with ALWAYS being in a relationship (I could write for decades about how that particular character trait irritates me in people). I’m glad she finds her way in the end, but she will never be my favourite character.
I think my hate for Tara was probably fuelled by my tolerance for Katherine. I appreciated her stance that she didn’t need a relationship, and I loved how her relationship developed with Joe – he was the alpha male that Keyes pens very well, and we all want a boyfriend like that. Despite being the alpha male, he was way more sweet and tolerant of Katherine’s bullshit than she deserved.
Fintan, the other main protagonist, doesn’t get his own sections of the book, and that was fine with me. It is always risky jumping between characters when telling it from a first person perspective, and yet another layer wouldn’t have worked. He was the catalyst in the book, forcing Tara and Katherine to face their own bullshit. His decent into cancer was accurate enough to tell me that Keyes has probably seen someone in her life suffer from cancer – it was way too accurate to not be real.
It took me ages to actively commit to reading this book, but when I finally did it was rewarding. It is typically Marian Keyes – she doesn’t skirt around the most basic human emotions and deal with them head on. I really enjoyed it, probably won’t read it again, but it was fun and entertaining.
Plot: High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.
In hindsight it might not have been the best idea to watch a movie about cancer when I just lost someone to cancer. If you want your opinions to change about cancer movies, see someone die because of it. In hindsight, that is such a stupid statement, but you know what I mean.
Movies involving cancer are most often idealistic and I don’t blame the producers for it. It is a very hard topic and by injecting some optimism here and there it can bring some happiness back into the world – for people who haven’t survived it / haven’t seen what the disease does.
Me, Earl and the Dying girl is the best it is going to get without killing everyone’s happiness. I have great love for Sundance and this movie is so typical Sundance – relatively low budget, quite quirky and good enough to watch. The dialogue is very fast and hilarious. Greg Gaines (fantastic performance here by Thomas Mann) is a unique and entertaining character. It is easy to miss that this child obviously suffers from a crippling self-loathing and probably has a ton of social anxiety as well because he is intelligent and does not hide in his room – dangerous qualities in any teenager with problems. Greg’s friendship with Earl (RJ Cyler) is endearing, and Earl’s spot on assessment of Greg’s personality just shows that they will be friends forever.
Oliva Cooke is Rachel, the leukemia patient. She is talented and memorable (I just had to substitute rememberable for memorable, because it is actually a real word). She did a good job with playing a cancer patient – it can’t be easy, and some of the things the character says will stay with me for a long time.
Nick Offerman plays Greg’s father, and it was nice to see him in something. Albeit strange, his character isn’t just another Ron Swanson knock-off, so it was good to see him be another character.
Jon Benrthal as Mr. McCartney is a character I really liked. Can we just get more of these teachers in school, please? Mr. McCartney wasn’t overbearing and he supplemented the story quite well.
I think the quirk and the originality of the film carries a lot of weight. It does well in addressing the genre, it isn’t this romantic film that is total bull. I enjoyed it, more than I thought I would, because it is funny and sad and has a lot of truth in it. Definitely recommended.
PS: Total LOLZ for the Hugh Jackman voice over. Was great.
It is a universally accepted truth that no parent should ever bury their child.
I’m not about to disagree with that because it is true – it is the way life is supposed to go
But what is really never discussed is how painful it is for a child to bury their parent.
My father Jan Hendrik Stander passed away on the 19th of September 2015.
He had a short battle with liver cancer.
He was first hospitalized in May 2015.
He died four months later.
Cancer is not kind. It is not romantic and it isn’t what they make in the movies.
There is nothing beautiful about it.
I saw a strong, funny, hyper intelligent man turn into a deathly pale invalid that could not move himself.
Cancer reveals what love is.
But it isn’t this pretty thing that people think.
It’s a painful, maddening love that makes you weep hysterically.
It makes you shake your fist angrily at whatever deity might be listening.
Cancer makes you question religion. I think it is impossible to blindly trust God at times like this.
But cancer makes you also realize what is important – family and a handful of friends.
Earthly possessions holds no value.
My father was a wonderful man – he had a sarcastic sense of humor, and he could be so negative that I could sometimes only laugh. He was incredibly well read and intelligent, he was kind to car guards and to waiters, he had faith that he based on facts and not because he was told to believe.
It is unreal that he is gone – how can life just be wiped away so completely?
I will miss him forever. He was one of the best men I will ever know, and the void in my life feels huge. I know the sadness will fade and that life will move on, but he will always be my father and I will love him to the end of days.
After a week of rushing around like a mad person at work, I decided to treat myself and go and watch The Fault in Our Stars with my little sister, who is turning 18 this week (FML I am OLD), since she is the only one who was willing to enter a movie with me that had became known as a tear fest.
You all know by now what happens: Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is living with lung cancer. Her mother and doctor are convinced she is depressed and encourages her to attend a cancer support group at the local church. The group is led by a strange man, but on the persistence of her parents Grace still attends.
A few meetings in, Grace stumbles into Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) at the door of the church. He is immediately taken with her and she is amused by his views on everything. When she notices that he smokes after defeating the cancer that took the bottom half of his one leg, she is disappointed and furious. He quickly assures Grace that he never lights the cigarettes he puts between his teeth, and by doing that he puts something between his teeth that could kill him, taking away its power.
Their friendship develops and Augustus makes no secret that he likes Grace. He even reads her favourite book, An Imperial Affliction, written by Peter van Houten, a recluse that now lives in the Netherlands. After reaching the end, he is furious that the book ends in the middle of a sentence, and Grace tells him it is part of the book’s charm. Grace tells him that she herself has written to Van Houten many times without answer, but Augustus finds a way around the red tape by contacting his assistant, and they get some answers. Grace is ecstatic when Van Houten invites them to come to Amsterdam and meet him, but needs to accept the fact that her parents just don’t have the finances for it.
Once again, Augustus saves the day. He uses his wish with the Genies, a company that grants wishes to cancer patients, to book a flight for him, Grace and Grace’s mom to Amsterdam. Grace is very excited, but their trip starts to fall apart when Grace is hospitalised after her lungs fill up with fluids.
A miracle happens – Grace gets better and they are allowed to visit Amsterdam. Grace is still treating Augustus as a friend after she told him that she feels like a grenade, destined to blow the things closest to her apart when she finally detonates.
The meeting with Van Houten (William Dafoe) is a disaster but the two young lovers manage to have a good time nonetheless, and a visit to the Anne Frank house makes Grace realise that even though life is bad, she should still embrace the beauty in it.
After finally entering the relationship that is way overdue, Augustus has news for Hazel – that his cancer has returned in most parts of his body. How will they handle it now that Gus is becoming sick again? Can Hazel cope with the grief that comes along with it? What is Van Houten’s big problem with them?
This movie has been reviewed frequently and excellently over the last few weeks, so I am going to try and write something fresh here. Firstly, I am not a stone cold bitch – sorry, ladies. I cried my eyes out. Well, I did cry twice. A few little tears, but they were there and they were real. I cried when Augustus told Hazel Graze his cancer had returned, and when the inevitable happened and Grace’s reaction to it. Both scenes were filled with grief and executed perfectly by Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley.
I think every actor or actress has a defining character in their career that brings their abilities to light in the best possible way. Ansel Elgort met his character in Augustus Waters. I couldn’t have found a better actor for him if I had looked at every single seventeen year old boy on the planet (which would have been weird). He did that charming confident cancer survivor perfectly and was full of attitude and cocky as hell. There is only one scene that shows a chink in his confidence, and it was so beautiful and sad and I think that few moments were so perfectly done my soul finally shattered.
Hazel Grace Lancaster became one of my favourite heroines after reading the book. She is sure of her fate and although not altogether at peace with it, she accepts that it is going to happen and there isn’t much she can do about it. Her courage, determination and intelligence set her in a class of her own and her whole persona is something young girls desperately need today in a world full of Kardashians. Shailene Woodley was perfectly cast here as well. The chemistry between her and Elgort is very strong and they made a realistic, plausible couple. Woodley seems to get her character perfectly and what Hazel is made up of, and portrayed the scenes in the book with the correct amount of humour, anger and grief.
The movie also achieved the same as the book – it made me so angry for a variety of reasons. I was angry because two teenagers who are in love should NOT have to deal with telling each other that their deaths are inevitable. Peter van Houten is another reason – I get his animosity towards Hazel and Augustus, but you have to be a truly low human being to treat a girl hooked on an oxygen tank like that.
My only (very slight) issues with TFiOS was that they completely underutilised Isaac (NatWolff), who was charming, fun and very well cast. I thought that they should have introduced Hazel’s friend who she meets at the mall once or twice in the book (I can honestly not remember her name or the frequency of her presence), as it would have showed the little sad bit of a social life that Grace did have.
A huge round of applause should to the director of TFiOS because this movie was not written to be a tear fest. There is plenty of outrageously grief stricken moments, but this wasn’t Nicholas Sparks that deliberately tried to make you cry every damn five seconds.
Recommendation: You should definitely see this at least once.
Zoë recommended that I try out The Fault in Our Stars. After her successful recommendation of the Great Gatsby, I knew I had to try it out.
I am so happy I did. It is an amazing book. It is powerful and funny and sad and excellently written. I cried and laughed so much I probably looked a bit bipolar.
Hazel Grace Lancaster meets Augustus Waters at a cancer support group. Hazel has Stage Four Thyroid cancer and Augustus is in remission after amputating his right leg to osteosarcoma.
Hazel is immediately drawn to Augustus. He is funny and knows where she is coming from. She tries to distance herself from him because she is scared what her death will do to him if he comes to love her. Her parents try to make her understand that she is not a grenade, and that they are all incredibly lucky to be able to love her.
Grace shares her favorite book with Gus; An Imperial Affliction by Peter van Houten, an American author who moved to the Netherlands. Her greatest wish is meet him and hear what happens to all the other characters after the protagonist dies. Gus finds a way to make this happen. He uses his wish “The Genies” give to dying cancer children (Grace used hers to go to Disneyland with her parents) to fly him, her mother and Grace to the Netherlands. He admits on the plane that he loves her.
On their first night in the Netherlands they go to a fancy restaurant courtesy of Van Houten and his assistant Lidewij. The next day they meet Van Houten, who is a raging, rude alcoholic. He is extremely rude to them and seems to have a particular grudge against them. Lidewij resigns as a result and together they go to the Anne Frank house. Grace kisses Augustus in Frank’s house and to the applause of the rest of the visitors. Later that night they sleep together.
Grace finally understand the “loving a grenade issue” when Augustus tells her that his cancer has returned to various parts of his body. He promises to fight the cancer. Will Augustus survive? How much time does Grace have left? What is Van Houten’s problem?
I don’t have the ability to say how much I liked this book. Nothing I write will do justice to the Fault in Our Stars. It is truly powerful. The story is so sweet and unfair. Two teenagers facing cancer is probably the saddest thing to read about it but I didn’t even care.
The book is being made into a movie this year, and I seriously suggest you read the book then watch the movie too.