Movie Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

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Plot: A teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life.

So after all that complaints about the immoral Sierra Burgess is a Loser, I thought I could at least let you know about one of the Netflix films I adored. I have seen many good things online about To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and it was high on my list when I signed on for Netflix earlier in the year. And you all know by now, I seriously love a good romcom and I also feel that the genre has been terribly neglected the last few years, so I was all on board for this.

This is the cutest movie! Lana Condor is the cutest! Noah Centineo is the cutest! Cute! Cute! Cute! Can I say cute again? All you need to know – Lara Jean Covey (Condor) is one super – cute – teenage girl, independent, kind and smart. She’s also full of anxiety and overthinking and is now dealing with her older sister Margot (Janel Parrish, thankfully sane in this role), leaving for university. Lara’s life is turned upside down when the love letters she wrote to all her crushes suddenly reach their hands, with some disastrous and hilarious side effects. The one guy is her sister’s now ex-boyfriend Josh (Israel Broussard), which could naturally mean many unpleasant situations should Margot find out, the other one turned out gay, and then the other one is the beautiful and cute Peter Kavinsky.

Enter Peter, the teenage boyfriend we all deserved. No more toxic suggestions that men should be closed off and sullen, Peter is open, warm, interested and as full of personality as Lara herself. They strike an arrangement that can only take place in romantic comedies, but it is fun to watch. The arrangement? Peter wants to show his ex-girlfriend, for whom he still pines, that he has moved on in the hopes that she will realize her terrible mistakes. It also helps Lara, because not only is Peter famous and will help her social status, he is not Josh, which will save her relationship with her unsuspecting sister. All manners of shenanigans ensue, and this adorable cast really make the situations they find themselves in cute and fun.

There is also the appearance of John Corbett, himself a leading love interest once upon a time. He plays Lara’s dad, Dr. Covey, who handles raising three girls alone like a pro. His age reminded me of MY age, but it was nice to see him in something.

Hmm, what else? This movie goes in exactly the direction you would expect it to go – no surprises or sudden twists. It carries a whole different message than the other nonsense, and for that I can only be thankful. There is also just a teensy drop of help in there about cyber-bullying, and I hope if any girl has a video leaked of herself in a compromising position she knows what to do.

Can I also just say that I really enjoy the diversity in many of these movies lately? It seems a much better representation to have Asian people, black people, white people and all the other peoples’ being treated as main characters. It’s refreshing and so much better to see this than purely whitewashed movies.

I am giving this an 8/10, because although I have seen better movies, the rating is primarily for the cuteness of the cast and the whole feel good feeling around this movie.

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Movie Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

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Plot:A young Greek woman falls in love with a non-Greek and struggles to get her family to accept him while she comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity

As we head into February, it seems like it’s that time of the year again. I am a big fan of romantic comedies that doesn’t make you want to puke, and this certainly fits the bill. I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding in June last year, and found it a really fun and sweet comedy that I will probably watch twenty times in the future again. The question is: why haven’t I ever seen this film?

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I LOVED it. It was the perfect pick me up when I watched it, and I have watched it once more already. It was so lovely. If you have a big, loud family, you will relate with all of Toula’s problems. I loved her dad and his Windex. I loved the mom and how she expertly handled dad who thought he was in charge of the house. I loved the sense of family from the women.  I loved how Ian Miller fell for and went after Toula, and how sweet and caring and understanding he was. Only a man with plenty of courage will go willingly marry in to that family! Aunt Voula was a delight, with her inappropriate comments and stories. The story about her dead twin made me laugh so hard. The film is a celebration of strange families and how we are stuck because you love them even when they embarrass you.  It is quick witted, sweet and caring. Toula’s wedding was hilarious – the level of makeup and tull and who knows what else they stuck on her was quite funny.

Definitely recommended as a delightful hilarity – it is also a quick watch so if you are like me and hate drawn out films, definitely consider this one!

Rating: 8.5/10

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Halloween Month Movie Review: Hocus Pocus (1993)

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Plot: After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to their reign of terror once and for all.

What better month to finally watch Hocus Pocus? Following news of an imminent and probably unnecessary sequel, combined with the onset of Halloween, I knew I had to finally sit down and watch this favored and loved cult classic. It was a completely different movie than I thought it would be! The acting of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy is amazing and hilarious. Sarah Jessica Parker in particular surprised me. She’s just Carrie Bradshaw in my mind, and I couldn’t see her as something else. Well, as the beautiful, crazy and really damn weird Sarah Anderson she was all the levels of entertaining – such an inspired and crazy performance. The three actresses as the Sanderson sisters work great together; they share symmetry in their movements so accurate it is almost like watching a dance routine. Realizing that Sean Murray – always Timothy McGee in NCIS to me – is the poor Thackery Binx also gave me such delight.

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I really enjoyed the performances by the Sanderson sisters and how ridiculous they were and still so nastily evil, but I did find the story just a bit lacking. There isn’t always too much structure, but even with this flaw I still had a really entertaining time with it. It’s the generic “the youth defeats the evil” storyline, and while you would just love to question everything about it, I suggest you don’t, and watch Bette Midler with really weird dentistry enchant you and make you cackle with glee.

Have you seen Hocus Pocus? Let me know what you thought!

Rating: 6/10

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#100HAPPYDAYS ROUND 2: DAYS 51-60

51Day 51: Just a basic picture of my lunch. It was really delicious and super healthy though.

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Day 52: My bestie came up for a quick pop-in, and we went to watch Beauty and The Beast.

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Day 53: Makeup spoils. I really have such a problem. Rimmel is one of my favorite brands, and I am liking Essence quite a lot these days – for a “cheaper” brand they really have quality products.

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Day 54: My mom got me these bunny slippers for Easter. They are so toasty and have the additional benefits of being bunnies.

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Day 55: Another manicure, this a Revlon one. I’ve really gone for the pinks lately.

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Day 56: To get more steps in, I again visited the Nature reserve. It is such a beautiful place and I am always so surprised that it is smack in the middle of Joburg and manages to be so quiet.

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Day 57: My favorite snacks. 70% Lindt is as dark as I’ll go, and it is such a delight of tastes. It is really low in sugar, so if you are craving some chocolate, you only need to look as far as this.

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Day 58: I watched Warm Bodies for the 100th time, and I enjoyed it. Also see my crochet project here? It is growing super-fast!

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Day 59: This was SO good.

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Day 60: Had drinks with the work colleagues at the Hogshead in Illovo. It was lovely, and although I didn’t get a picture of it, their Consol glasses look fantastic.

Music Madness – My slightly deranged playlist

Am I insane? I think so. I’ve been listening to a variety music that I love, and it is so across the board I am very amused with myself. Here it is, judge away, enjoy (some great songs on here if I say so!)

Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall

I really, really don’t like Sam Smith. He whines incessantly and sounds like a hysterical teenager. For some reason I can’t get enough of this song though. I loved the movie it was written for, it is very dramatic and melancholic, and sounds like something I should listen to on a rainy day while staring out of the window in a melancholy fashion.

The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men

So much memories to this song. The Geri Halliwell version is more in the years that I listened to, but I happen to think both are excellent. In the biggest turn of “A Girl can Dream” it is such a great song, full of drama and fun.

Gentleman – Psy

I told you that this was demented. I absolutely love this strange little Korean man though. He is so weird.

Du Has – Rammstein

YASSSSS.

Eendag as ons groot is – Dewald Wasserfal

Afrikaans music is so cheesy. Like, really cheesy. I find this guy so super adorable and secretly listen to all his songs.

Gangster’s Paradise – Coolio

This song makes me feel so badass. That is it.

Marvin Gaye  – Charlie Puth ft. Megan Trainor

In terms of South-African swearwords this guy has the best surname, trust me. He also has a golden voice and this song works really well – sweet, sexy, the whole shebang.

Sound of Silence – Disturbed

My father used to love the original by Simon and Garfunkel. Since it is a damn near perfect song it is a really risky move to do a remake. However, this is such a worthy remake I can’t be mad. This guy’s voice, the drama, the sheer talent. Goodness. Chills every single time.

So, there you have it. What is on your playlist right now?

Movie Review: Wedding Crashers (2005)

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Plot: John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey, a pair of committed womanizers who sneak into weddings to take advantage of the romantic tinge in the air, find themselves at odds with one another when John meets and falls for Claire Cleary.

Rating: 8.5/10

I watched Wedding Crashers for the first time a few nights ago. I know! It is terrible that I haven’t seen it yet! I really had the best time with it. The movie actually contains so much that I would usually find annoying – the two main characters are such womanizers, there are cliches and stereotypes everywhere, and the humor is often below the belt. Yet the Wedding Crashers worked – it was done with such a good feel that I couldn’t help enjoy it. I think Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson made an excellent comedic pair, and that Rachel McAdams and Isla Fischer made excellent counterparts. Christopher Walken and Bradley Cooper are also both really hilarious and Jane Seymore as the crazy mama made me laugh on a few occasions. The movie is well paced and ends before things become drawn out, and you all know I really do appreciate it. I wish more comedies could reach this level of bawdy and hilarity. I would definitely watch comedy more often then!

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26 Life Lessons

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Happy birthday to meeee! I am 26 today. It has been a great and jumpy ride up to here. I am scheduling this ahead of time because I took a day off on my birthday to just loaf, and that is exactly what I am hoping. Past-Me is hoping future-me had a great weekend and a great party and that no one embarrassed themselves – okay, I’m kidding, that always makes for some great stories. So today, in commemoration of me being really adulty, here are 26 life lessons that I’ve accumulated in my 26 years (I really hope I get to 26 here!)

  1. It is okay to have a small amount of real friends. In my very early twenties I had this insane drive to be at every party and be liked by everybody. It is impossible. To have people in your life that you can recount past stories with is a priceless gift.
  2. It is okay to delete someone from your social media accounts. I did this on Facebook last week, a person I’ve been keeping on out of pity – it is not worth it. Said person irritated me enough eventually that I just deleted her.
  3. Sugar is Satan. Sorry, guys. I love chocolate as much as everybody but I’ve realized that it is the silent killer. I always feel good when I don’t ingest copious amounts of sugar and always feel sick when I eat a sugary thing again.
  4. It’s okay to be single and secretly prefer it. Okay, I am very vocal about it. I’ve literally become one of those people who say things like: “You are going to be pretty amazing to change my relationship status” Yeah. I’m that one now.
  5. That said, I will tell you my tales about online dating soon. It is priceless.
  6. Get a cover for your phone. We aren’t dealing with our Nokia 3310s anymore, and your phone needs a cover.
  7. Family and friends are worth more than money and objects. I’ve seen this in the past year. When you are dying, you do not want anything fancy. You want your family by your side.
  8. It is possible to grieve and keep on living
  9. It’s not going to kill you to be a bit healthier. It might even make you live longer
  10. Keep a pair of flat shoes with you for when you have a busy day and are wearing heels
  11. You can say NO. It will shock people shitless because they expect to hear yes to everything, but you can and must say it if you feel the need.
  12. You can lose your temper, but don’t be a prick about it. I have a pretty explosive temper, and it is only in the last couple of months that I’ve learnt to keep it contained – even when people thoroughly deserves a talking to.
  13. Happiness isn’t things, it’s a state of mind. This one is especially hard, to be constantly in a state of content. Life is very rarely fair and it sucks a lot of the time, so you have to find the happy in situations where you would usually have a breakdown in.
  14. A calm person saves the situation. Don’t. Freak. Out.
  15. If you are entering a new environment, make sure your clothes are comfortable. It will make the situation that much less stressful.
  16. Coke Zero tastes like soapy water. I can drink Coke Light, I can drink Tab, I can drink Fanta and Sprite Zero. But DO NOT come close to me with your demonic Coke Zero. Eugh.
  17. Drive offensively, not defensively
  18. Block-out curtains are the answer to the universe
  19. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
  20. Do whatever the fuck you want. Seriously. People are going to judge you whether you do what they want you to or if you take your own route in life.
  21. A bottle of water, a tube of hand cream and a tweezer are essential things to always have with you.
  22. You have to sometimes remind yourself to not be self-destructive.
  23. Never teach your mother to tag people on Facebook. You will never forgive yourself.
  24. It is okay to know what you want and not lower your standards.
  25. As you grow older you will become addicted to hand cream. And naps.
  26. Most things are only scary the first time around.

Well, there you have it. I’m very impressed that I actually got to 26 relatively easy!

Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger)

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Plot: (via Amazon)

When Andrea first sets foot in the plush Manhattan offices of Runway she knows nothing. She’s never heard of the world’s most fashionable magazine, or its feared and fawned-over editor, Miranda Priestly – her new boss.

A year later, she knows altogether too much:

That it’s a sacking offence to wear anything lower than a three-inch heel to work.

That you can charge cars, manicures, anything at all to the Runway account, but you must never, ever, leave your desk, or let Miranda’s coffee get cold.

And that at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, when your boyfriend’s dumping you because you’re always at work, if Miranda phones, you jump.

But this is Andrea’s big break – it’s going to be worth it in the end.

Isn’t it?

Rating: 7/10

Hmm.Despite the incessant use of “Um” and the inexplicable length, I enjoyed this book. It is well written and paced, but it gets very (excessively) descriptive in places. I am really fond of beautiful clothes but hearing every few pages about brand upon brand upon brand from a character that claims to not care about fashion got tiring quickly.

Then there is the whole spin on first time employees. An experienced worker can spot them a mile away. With a freshly printed university degree in their hands, these children expect superior treatment just because they deigned to show up for the interview. In my book experience eclipses education every single time. I’m not saying that Anna Miranda wasn’t terrible to Lauren Andrea. I’m just saying that you are sitting here with a woman who has already lifted herself up in the world, risen to success, and a snot bag university graduate that expects to be treated like royalty just with absolutely zero experience. But it is a good look into that whole first experience of employment, as well as how relationships that worked in the carefree university life simply collapses under the weight of the real world.

Now to the farce that “this book isn’t a real life account of my experience at Vogue”

I truly don’t believe Anna Wintour gives a shit what an ex assistant says about her. Who would? By selling this book Wintour was only made more notorious and I don’t think she saw that as a bad thing. If you read Andrea’s life, and you read Weisberger’s life, it’s the same thing. At this point I’m only really interested in who Christian Collinsworth is in real life.

Book to movie adaption: They changed quite a bit, but both the book and the movie works well. I loved Emily Blunt as senior assistant Emily in the movies, but think her character was much more nasty in the movie.

The main character sporadically comes across as a petulant brat who thinks everyone was put on this planet to be nice to her, but I think that is a result of the first person way the book was written. It also seems that she has misplaced intellectual snobbery – she constantly places herself above her coworkers in the intelligence food chain. I had a really good time reading this, just thought it was a bit long to match to content, but it was pretty enjoyable. Now I must re-watch the movie because I love that movie!

Life Lately – November 2015

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Phew, I know I often say this when I write these posts, but it really feels like I’ve been waiting ages to write one of these up again. Life has just been lifing around, busy and stuff.

So what’s new? It’s been more than a month now since my father’s passed away. It is still incredibly hard and I miss him very much. You can’t really understand the feeling if you’ve never been there. I was able to sit with a friend who lost her father last week and empathize, so I am grateful that this loss has enabled me to actually help someone else too.

I have had the worst Pharyngitis and Bronchitis for a week now. I’m nearly back to a subhuman level where I can talk without coughing my lungs out, so there has been improvement. Lessons learnt: 1) go to the doctor 2) I am a terrible patient.

I’m in the middle of exams now. I have no idea what made me choose Physiology as a major. Talk about HATE. So bleak that I’ve done all my Microbiology work already because that is interesting. I hope to struggle through and pass these monsters. Also, writing Medicinal Botany the 20th, but after watching the Martian I have accepted that Botany has value and will study hard in the likely event that I get stuck on Mars.

I am also currently way behind with Blindspots – I have three left (The Prestige, The Good Life and Pulp Fiction), and I’m sure you realize that it is way too many. I hope to get through two of them within next week when I have a really quick break between my last two tests.

I’m currently reading way too many Nora Roberts romances – they are such silly, quick reads that my exam brain just laps it up. Have you ever noticed how improbable the men are in these? Amazing. I am also reading the Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, and am having such a good time with that. It really is just chick-lit but it is well written and a really good look into the politics of a first job. I am about half way with Angels and Demons – it really isn’t bad and of much better quality than The DaVinci Code, but goodness, can Langdon be anymore pompous and annoying??

Listening – mostly to Adele’s new song (yeah, totally on that boat). I have to say I’m shockingly impressed with the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. You can see what I thought about the movie here, but I think the soundtrack was really well put together. Also – Ed Sheeran. He is not really my ideal idea of a date, but he can sure sing. Rampant thought for the week: Am I getting old or is most music just truly shit these days? I so rarely enjoy anything I hear on the radio these days.

Excited about: Firstly, my new job. I initially thought that I could hold out at my current company until I received my degree, but I don’t think so. I am starting a new job in December and I have to say that I’m pretty amped. This year has been so terrible and a part of that has come from the fact that I’ve reached my expiration date with my current company. It’s not a bad place and I really love some of the people here, but you know when you’re done, you’re done, right? Anyway, I am terrified and excited and everything, so I just can’t wait anymore.

I’m also pretty excited about the New Year, mostly because I am 100% certain that nothing will suck as bad as 2015. It is going to be hectic – I already have three weddings lined up (pretty sure that I will soon star in the sequel to 27 Dresses!) and have three practical modules due, but I am so ready to drown this year in a substantial amount of alcohol.

List of things I really hate at this point of my existence:

Paper finishing in the printer. I mean really, who needs such negativity in their life?

Kardashi-anything

Scanning things into a PC. Most hated part of my job.

Sitting in an office next to the big boss.Really not on.

Studying, for obvious reasons.

Things to get done:

Watch Pulp Fiction

Watch The Prestige

Watch A Good Year

Mockingjay, Spectre, Possible Star Wars in cinema.

Finish: Angels and Demons, The Devil Wears Prada, this list.

Make new tabs on blog for: Links I Love, Blindspot.Possibly new theme for Blog. Used to love the minimalist lay out, now it only looks meh.

I really want to watch Vikings Season 2 now. It is terrible that I’m this behind!

Really amused by:

I’m pretty sure this one guy isn’t wearing underwear to work. It’s quite hilarious, though it does get awkward from time to time.

Well, now that I’ve left you with that titbit of information, what’s going on in your life?

Five Things Friday: Five Things I’m excited about

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II

I am really excited to see the conclusion of this saga. I think Jennifer Lawrence is enormously talented and her back-up cast is amazing as well. But really… if you haven’t read the books, you WILL be mad.

Downton Abbey Season Six

What I hope to see:

Mary falling in love

Anna and Bates FINALLY getting some peace

Edith finding happiness but also getting to keep her daughter – get out of that middle child syndrome, girl!

Tom coming back – I mean really now.

Matthew resurrected – improbable, I know, but a girl can dream #matthewcrawleyforever

Homeland Season 5

What I hope to see:

Carrie somehow getting a brain and a personality and no baby drowning moments.

I hope that red haired baby returns – SO GINGERY

Peter Quinn – Can I just always gush about him? Sad Peter, Avenging Peter, Badass Peter, he is the best.

I hope season 5 is as nail biting as season four. It was a fantastic season and I hope they continue on that pace.

Macbeth

Really, Michael Fassbender and Marian Cottliard both look amazing. I’ve never read the play, but it seems like Death is Everywhere. Regardless, I want to see it and hope it is absolutely amazing.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Not gonna lie: I’m not one of the superfans out there, and they are EVERYWHERE right now. However, I am STILL pretty excited about this!

What are you excited for?