Movie Review: Shall We Dance? (2004)

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Plot:

A romantic comedy where a bored, overworked Estate Lawyer, upon first sight of a beautiful instructor, signs up for ballroom dancing lessons.

Rating: 6.5/10

Shall We Dance was quite a surprise to me. I was ready to go on a rampage if it turned into a film that tried to justify an older man cheating on his perfectly nice wife. It seemed inevitable when John Clark joined a dancing studio because of the lovely Paulina (Jennifer Lopez) staring out into the night dramatically every time John’s bus drove past the studio where she worked. He is warned early on that Paulina has a broken heart and a dented ego and that she’s really talented. He tries to connect as he feels the need to be involved in some stranger’s personal business. Luckily she tells him where to get off and that she’s on to his shit. The movie steers in another direction then at least, with John (Richard Gere) learning to love the new skill he’s acquiring. His busy wife is alerted by their daughter that John is happier and acting very twinkle toes suddenly. She gets PI Devine (Richard Jenkins) to investigate and he delivers the real story – John is dancing, but not cheating. Through a whole lot of escalation and dance competitions, John eventually finds himself with a wife whose feelings have been hurt because he hid so much of what makes him happy in the past few months from her.

What I liked?

The cast is charming. Richard Gere is as classically handsome as always, Susan Sarandon is as always beautiful and talented, and Stanley Tucci provides a whole lot of funny moments and impressed me with his comedic ability. The same can be said for Lisa Ann Walter, who plays the really honest and abrasive Bobbie. I liked her attitude and while she could be harsh, I really enjoyed the character. I also really thought Bobby Cannavale and Omar Benson Miller had some great moments as John’s classmates Chic and Vern.

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How Shall We Dance concluded. As I mentioned, I was sure this film would be a justification of cheating episode and I don’t have time for that. It turned out differently than expected and I am grateful for that.

The dancing was a whole lot of fun. I really enjoy dancing movies a whole lot even if they have questionable plot lines.

The pace of the movie is well executed and didn’t drag out for ages.

Stanley Tucci’s role as Link was quite funny and had some gentle reminders in that straight men are also able to be dancers and entertainers, and that society generally gives them a really hard time. His whole costume of wigs and false teeth entertained me to no end and some of the funniest moments on screen come from him.

What I didn’t like:

Jennifer Lopez can dance, she can sing, she can be Jenny from the Block, but what she is unable to do is act. I was left as uninspired as usual by her. No real emotion or even a hint of conviction in her character, all she has to rely on is her dance moves and girly voice to complete the role as Paulina. I’m not even sure why she is on the DVD cover as there were a ton of characters that deserved to be on it rather.

I enjoyed Shall We Dance. It is a reminder that life doesn’t have to be over after a certain age and that you can still experience new things. It is also to a lesser degree a film about being yourself and owning what you believe in. It also contains Richard Gere, one of the most handsome older men still alive. For a romantic drama, Shall We Dance fails to annoy and is enjoyable to sit through, which is as much as you can generally expect from these type of films.

Have you seen this? Tell me in the comment section 🙂

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Watched, Read, Loved: February 2017

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February being so short is all fun and games (particularly since payday is closer for a lot of people) but then suddenly you are in March and I don’t know about you, but I’m really like where the actual f is this year going? February was rather quiet compared to January’s movie intake, which I will blame on the shortness of the month and the fact that I got hooked on Daredevil, which certainly took up the majority of time I would usually have spent watching movies. But do you see me complaining? Nope. It changed my life, the show is THAT good.

On a personal note the start of February was rather sad. I kept thinking whether I should do some sort of separate posting about it, but decided against it as it seemed too morbid to post exclusively about death. One of my oldest friends committed suicide late January, and her birthday was on the same date as my father’s, who would have been sixty this year. In the past the weekend close to the 2nd of February would have usually been a massive amount of party juggling is now only a sad remembrance of two amazing people, and that is really just very sad to deal with.

Furthermore work was also a little crazy. I received a job offer and went through all the hoops to get a formal proposal. I ultimately decided to stay with my current company, a decision which I question daily. The pros and cons kept me awake for nights on end, and while I’m mostly happy with my decision the thought of a few things still make me wonder. It is not always easy here, but I have realized that the field I am in is rarely easy, so if I truly want to change I will do so after my degree and rather just change careers completely.

On the Tinder and dating saga: February is the month of Lurveeeee. I am very much past the point where Valentines actually holds meaning to me. I hate to be on the overly-negative-bandwagon, but it is a commercialized chaos and I am very uninterested in furthering every shop in town’s agenda. I just realized that I really have so much to say about this that I should do another Tinder and dating post. It has been a merry ride with asthma attacks during dates, single events, people who actually use the term hella cool and people who seem to think I’m dumb and don’t have basic knowledge of things.

Looking at everything I just wrote on there I am not surprised I didn’t reach my January high of movies. Here they are below, let me know what you’ve been up to as well in the comment section!

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Movies:

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016): 8.5/10

I started February off with a bang and finally got to Hunt for The Wilderpeople. I reviewed it already because I loved it too much to keep it contained for too long. It is really far out of the type of movie I would usually choose to watch. This actually can’t be classified to a genre. Full of quips, this film is designed to warm your heart and make you think long and hard about the sanity of New Zealanders.

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The BFG (2016): 6/10

Wow, I really get why people didn’t like this! Long and overindulgent. Ugh.

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Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince(2009): 6.5/10

Can a movie ever really do justice to the book it was created from? The answer is always no unless it is Lord of The Rings. I’m not sure whether I’ll even do a review for this. I had it in my head to do a series at one stage, so maybe I will just write it up and get to it one day in the distant future.

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Shall We Dance? (2004):6.5/10

I watched this with my mom, and we both enjoyed it. It is mostly about an old man finding his groove again, and I liked it by the end. It is also not about cheating and I was very suspicious about that, which made me pleased in the end.

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Notting Hill (1999): 6.5/10

I apparently really like the 6.5/10 rating. It seems like a fair score if I liked it but it wasn’t amazing. Notting Hill is a passable film but it isn’t my favorite in the genre. I still think Julia Roberts is one of the most beautiful women to have ever worked in Hollywood.

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How to Be Single (2015): 6.5/10

This is a second watch for me. I really like a number of things about this movie – Rebel Wilson and Dakota Fanning do great work together. Dakota Fanning is a really talented lady, so I hope she does more work other than that BDSM crap. The message of this film is also really important.

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Books:

The Power of Six (Pittacus Lore)

Not sure if I should even list it on here as I read the last twenty pages in February, but there you go. It was quite enjoyable although it certainly wasn’t as captivating as the first book.

After You (JoJoMoyes)

After Me Before You, the touching book and the slightly less touching film, After You comes along. Lou is dealing with her grief, her inability to convey to strangers how she loved a man so quickly and powerfully in only six months and the judgment of every ass available. It is written in typical JoJoMoyes style and so far it is really enjoyable although I can’t see how she will reach the emotional highs of her first book.

Tribute – Nora Roberts

I enjoy Tribute on a loop every year at least. All I know from reading this book again is I want a Spock.

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling

Everything. This book is everything. It makes me so happy and content. It is such an important book in the series, and there are scenes in there that fills my heart up with so much happiness and light.

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Series:

X-files Season 2 – I’m a bit at a snag right now with X-Files. I enjoy it but it is so procedural I can drop and pick up without too many holes in the conversation.

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Daredevil Season 1 and 2 – I’ve been postponing this for ages now. WHY? It is amazing. It is 10 000% better than that awful Jessica Jones BS I subjected myself too. Charlie Cox as Daredevil is AMAZING. That introduction.The tone of the series.The action.The simple badassery. I am so involved in this. WOW. I will post both reviews and JJ soon, and you will see the remarkable difference.

What have you been up to this month?

FTF: Five Favorite Films about Weddings

Happy Friday! It’s been yonks since I fired up this bad boy. Five things Friday started way back (I think probably 2013), and I’ve done a few here and there. I’d like to do some more in the future – I love lists so much, and let’s face it, they are so easy to put together! Today’s feature is about the age old institutional – tying the knot. There are so many movies focusing on weddings that it should probably be an entire genre on its’ own. There are so many! I’ve seen a ton, but I’ve never hidden the fact that I am able to enjoy the most gory and the most fluffy films equally as much:)

Let me know about your favorite in the comments section!

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5: Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement

Number 5 on this list was hotly contested, let me tell you. I ended up choosing The Royal Engagement because I’m such a huge fan of the Princess Diaries. It deviated quite badly from the books, but it managed to be pretty good. Anne Hathaway, Chris Pine and Julie Andrews are a power team in TRE, and the message is a bit lame but also strong – don’t marry for the wrong reasons (something that wasn’t already obvious), and what might seem as the best choice for you probably isn’t what you really want.

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4: Wedding Crashers

Can this film make the list? It isn’t about weddings in the way the other films here are about weddings, but it definitely deals with them. This movie is the top point of silly and has some hilarious moments. It is one of the few films where combining Vince Vaughn and Isla Fischer works, and I wouldn’t have thought it possible to combine two such horribly annoying people and get a proper result. The film also stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Christopher Walken, and those three alone can probably carry any film without too much effort.

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3: 27 Dresses (2008)

I actually smashed this movie in the review here. I do enjoy it though, and am frequently worried that I first have to be a bridesmaid 27 times before I get to put on a white dress. Anway, remember that Tinder post I put up? Still getting feedback from it which is great! Back to why I chose this as a favourite – it is about a girl that loves weddings and finds that her partner isn’t what she always expected her spouse to end up as.

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2: Runaway Bride (1999)

EEK! I love this movie. The only movie about weddings that could possibly be even more favoured than Runaway Bride is the one listed below. Julia Roberts has always been my girl crush. She’s so beautiful and smiley and talented. I loved Maggie Carpenter’s spirit and love for family and independence. Her matching with Richard Gere always results in chemistry and us wondering why they never made babies together. This film is all about identity and finding yourself before you end up with a partner – quite ahead of its’ time!

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1: The Princess Bride (1987)

❤ Is there more to say? This film is everything – Buttercup and Westley and their escape and love story ❤

Honorable mentions:

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Mamma Mia (2008)

When asked whether Pierce Brosnan can sing I would immediately think that he’s placed shortly under Rebecca Black for artistic capabilities. However, that didn’t stop him or Colin Firth going at it. This movie is definitely not for everyone. It is firstly a musical. Some of Abba’s most iconic songs get somewhat butchered (okay, a lot), and I’m sure I saw this listed as one of the films that make most heterosexual males feel suicidal. However, if you are game for watching Meryl Streep clearly having the time of her life, pondering why exactly Pierce Brosnan has such piercing blue eyes (he) and just want to watch people dancing and singing about love, this film is definitely something you can watch.

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The Five-Year engagement (2012)

I do remember this – it is Emily Blunt and Jason Segel and they are engaged for ages and end up wondering if it is worth it. I actually think long engagements are silly – its’ that thing if the guy is committed you don’t need to worry and I assure you, most modern relationships have enough things going on without having to make it seem more official. This movie didn’t suck at all, and although I can barely remember it, I think I enjoyed it at the time.

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Bride Wars (2013)

Despite this film rather pissing me off every time I watch it, I always end up watching it quite often. It is the most stereotypical of the lot, and perpetuates the notion that women turn into Godzillas the moment they get engaged. Just as a fact: the majority of brides I’ve worked with have been friendly and accommodating and calm, so it is once again a case where a few psychos make the entire bunch seem awful. It is also quite below Anne Hathaway to be degraded into the boring girl role – she’s immensely talented and deserves more. But like I said, I end up watching at least once a year for some strange reason, so I obviously don’t hate it that much.

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Made of Honour (2008)

I‘d like to watch this again sometime, but I do remember Patrick Dempsey and surprisingly Michelle Monaghan – why did I think it was Selma Blair?? I see this film holds a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but we all know the raters on there are really just haters. Made of Honor is so not Oscar material, but it was fun at the time!

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The Big Wedding (2013)

This cast is impressive AF – De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams are joined by a younger cast composed of Amanda Seyfried and Topher Grace. Okay, Katherine Heigl too, and I suspect that reviewers rate her badly on purpose. This movie is not that bad, but it can be seen as a bit boring though.

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Father of the Bride (1991)

LOVEEEE. Need to watch again to properly remember and review.

Dishonorable mentions:

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Monster-in-law (2005)

One of J-Lo’s better attempts at comedy, though without a doubt still rather low on the list of funny things.

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The Wedding Planner (2001)

Read my review here. It is such a stupid film man. I see JLo is quite frequent on this part of the list.

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Bridesmaids (2011)

Hmmm. Everyone LOVES this, though I don’t. I need to watch again to make sure this hate is accurate. It is a vulgar film and humour at its worst – just eugh.

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Sex and the City – the Movie (2008)

I never saw the show and can tell you jack shit about it. It was before my generation, and the one episode I tested out never caught. I did see the movie though, and it raises a few eyebrows in my head – this couple clearly never heard anything the other said.

Movies I haven’t seen yet:

Big Fat Greek Wedding

The Corpse’s Bride

My Best Friend’s wedding

The Wedding Singer

Well, there you have it. This post turned out way bigger than I thought, and I hoped you had as much fun as I did! Let me know what you thought in the comments below 🙂

Movie Review: Runaway Bride (1999)

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Plot: A reporter is assigned to write a story about a woman who has left a string of fiances at the altar.

Rating: 7.5/10

I’ve been making a point to watch as many films lately that I’ve been meaning to see, but never able to. It’s like the unofficial blindspot list, well, because I have an official one as well (that I continuously run out of time for!)

Runaway Bride is the second venture between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, the first being the truly excellent Pretty Woman. Gere is grayer than he was, but the chemistry between the two actors are as strong as ever. It also marks a return for Hector Elizondo, also involved in Pretty Woman, and I have always enjoyed him in any role.

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I had fun with this. It is obviously a romantic comedy, but it is really well written with acerbic bantering and well thought out dialogues. There are a few moments where I laughed out loud – especially Richard Gere’s hair being made an assortment of different colors. I also really liked the bits of character development in Maggie Carpenter – she obviously had to find herself before she found her man. I thought that the friendly relationship between Ike and his ex-wife and her husband was quite silly (I mean, have you MET divorced people and their ex-spouses? #awkward)

Julia Roberts – I hate that people can easily discuss a woman aging but not a man. It isn’t cool! I personally still find Roberts really beautiful, and for that reason alone I am avoiding that Mother’s Day film that has her typecast and it pisses me off. But how fresh and gorgeous was she as a young woman? It is astounding. She perfects the girl next door look and personality, and every girl wants to be her and every man wants her.

Then there is the delicious Gere – he’s a bit older here, but I get why the ladies thought he was so attractive. He did the 90’s man so well, and the ladies were probably fanning themselves every time he got on screen!

If I had to choose between Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride I’d go for Pretty Woman. I think most people would – it is a standout film can be viewed as a defining moment in Roberts’ career. However, this is a great staple to your movie diet regardless of your appreciation of the rom-com genre – I hope most people would love it!

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Movie Review: Runaway Bride (1999)

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Plot: A reporter is assigned to write a story about a woman who has left a string of fiances at the altar.

Rating: 7.5/10

I’ve been making a point to watch as many films lately that I’ve been meaning to see, but never able to. It’s like the unofficial blindspot list, well, because I have an official one as well (that I continuously run out of time for!)

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Runaway Bride is the second venture between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, the first being the truly excellent Pretty Woman. Gere is grayer than he was, but the chemistry between the two actors are as strong as ever. It also marks a return for Hector Elizondo, also involved in Pretty Woman, and I have always enjoyed him in any role.

I had fun with this. It is obviously a romantic comedy, but it is really well written with acerbic bantering and well thought out dialogues. There are a few moments where I laughed out loud – especially Richard Gere’s hair being made an assortment of different colors. I also really liked the bits of character development in Maggie Carpenter – she obviously had to find herself before she found her man. I thought that the friendly relationship between Ike and his ex-wife and her husband was quite silly (I mean, have you MET divorced people and their ex-spouses? #awkward)

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Julia Roberts – I hate that people can easily discuss a woman aging but not a man. It isn’t cool! I personally still find Roberts really beautiful, and for that reason alone I am avoiding that Mother’s Day film that has her typecast and it pisses me off. But how fresh and gorgeous was she as a young woman? It is astounding. She perfects the girl next door look and personality, and every girl wants to be her and every man wants her.

Then there is the delicious Gere – he’s a bit older here, but I get why the ladies thought he was so attractive. He did the 90’s man so well, and the ladies were probably fanning themselves every time he got on screen!

If I had to choose between Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride I’d go for Pretty Woman. I think most people would – it is a standout film can be viewed as a defining moment in Roberts’ career. However, this is a great staple to your movie diet regardless of your appreciation of the rom-com genre – I hope most people would love it!

July 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

Gosh I’m glad it’s August! I am over the cold in Johannesburg. For reals man. July was a pretty decent month. I got to see my bestie, and even though the circumstances weren’t that great, I am grateful that I at least got to spend some quality time with her.

Personally I think my eyes finally cleared with a few people in my life – there is a certain level of selfishness I can’t tolerate, and this person finally reached it. I should have cut ties ages ago, but when I bond to someone, you really have to nuke me out of it. Well, I’ve been nuked.

Hmm, what else? I’ve had a couple of hectic weekends and it reflected on my scarcity on my blog, which always happens and always frustrates me. I’m going to do my very best to post more often, as it makes me super happy.

And here’s a rundown of what I’ve been watching and reading. Enjoy, and tell me below what you’ve been up to 🙂

Watched:

At home:

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The Proposal

I saw this film before I opened this blog, and I have always thought that it was an okay film. I actually really enjoyed this so much when I watched it again. Queen Sandra Bullock and a very young and adorable Ryan Reynolds certainly make an interesting couple onscreen, and I thought the dialogue and hysteria was spot on and funny in the film.

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The Wedding Planner

Oh, Maththew McConaughey has a few gems under his belt before he started being all badass in things like True Detective and that other horsey movie that everyone liked. This is a boogy, definitely, and it was silly enough that I got quite annoyed. There were a few pros, which I will mention when I review the film soon, but let it be noted that Jennifer Lopez is a fantastic singer (for her genre) but acting should never be part of her repertoire.

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Valentine’s Day

VD worked well, and it is surprising because the film is packed with actors and actresses, and that rarely works. Mostly it is just a situational feel good film, but there is nothing wrong with that!

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Runaway Bride

I’m on such a Gary Marshall/Julia Roberts run, it is not even funny. They do seem to be a dream team, because when they get together there always seems to be some romantic comedy as a result that is actually enjoyable to watch. Between this and Pretty Woman I enjoyed Pretty Woman much more, but I definitely liked this.

Skyfall

I already reviewed here, and if you haven’t read it yet, rest assured that I really liked this Bond film. It’s my second favorite after Casino Royale, and I must say, I am really surprised how much I’ve enjoyed all these films.

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The Ugly Truth

It’s really ugly, and it’s really bad. The awful dialogue results in awful acting, I’m not really blaming our leads here at all, it’s just a shit film with crap writing and is as believable as anything Donald Trump says.

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27 Dresses

JAMES MARSDEN. You have no idea the amount of hilarity this man causes in my family. I really like him, but his dress sense in this film was absolutely awful. Like, AWFUL. It is also a depressing movie – I will shoot myself before I’m a bridesmaid 27 times, it’s just not right or fair. I love our girl Katherine Heigl in here, and thought there were pretty good moments between the rapid romances and problems being solved easily.

In Cinema:

The Legend of Tarzan:

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I reviewed this one here. It’s man candy season in this film. I’m not gonna lie. However, it isn’t nearly as bad as the trolls want you to believe, and I am still calling it the most pleasant surprise of 2016.

Series:

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Vampire Diaries Season 4

I finally switched it back on! It was a time issue, not because I’m struggling to watch it. It is still quite a solid show, but there are a few dips, something that probably can’t be helped when you travel this far into a show. I’ll post all the reviews once I’m done watching, then I can do them consecutively across a couple of weeks : )

Books read:

The Obsession – LOVED this!

Honest Illusions – It was okay – review here

Currently reading:

I’m actually in the middle of way too many books! I am reading Twilight again (the shame, I know) and I am definitely enjoying it more than Blood Bound (Rachel Vincent). I can promise you, when I get through this book, the review will be up here in no time and it will be a bad one – this book is so stupid. It is taking me ages to get through it, a damn shame because it is supposed to be a quick read.

So there it is – I am way behind on everything in life at the moment, but at least I got to do see and read some great material! What have you been up to?

Movie Review: Pretty Woman (1990)

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Plot: A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love.

Rating: 8/10

I’m finally catching up with some romantic comedies from the 80’s and 90’s that I feel is a crying shame I haven’t got to yet – and it is totally worth it! I absolutely loved Clueless when I first copped on that it is an adaption of Emma. Heathers was so dark and disdainful, and I thought it worked well for the film. When Harry Met Sally quickly lined up to be one of my favorite romantic comedies ever.

Pretty Woman now joined When Harry Met Hally. I loved this film quite a lot and was so depressed when it finished because I wanted more of Richard Gere’s 90’s suit and mannitude and more of the gorgeous Julia Roberts being hilarious, sweet, convincing and authentic.

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Pretty Woman is a film that would get trashed if it was released today. People are way too sensitive about suddenly not offending anyone, and this film about a prostitute and a businessman would not have gone down right – and that is society’s loss.

I enjoyed the clothes – just look at these office shorts Roberts is wearing, as well as numerous padded shoulder pieces. Gere is rarely out of a suit, but I won’t complain anytime soon, he looked so male and in charge (cue: delicious). The best outfit was naturally the night they went to the opera – breath taken away. I wish everyone can have a night like that.

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Jason Alexander as Philip Stuckey was very disgusting and convincing. He was such a cutthroat lawyer and out to always win, and jealous of Edward Lewis who had excellent business skills and enviable charm. He suited the tone perfectly proving that although Edward was decent and a gentleman, few of his friends would be like that once they found out Vivian’s occupation.

Hector Elizondo returns as the man who facilitates makeover, and I love him in that role. If you’ve ever seen The Princess Diaries, there is no way that you are not loving this man help young women (which sounds decidedly creepy!).

Pretty Woman is sweet and flows well. There is humor, and Julia Roberts has a surprising amount of comedic ability when she turns it on. I thought she really did an excellent job as Vivian – a bit tarty, but capable, kind and still being able to carry herself around with dignity even with what she does. The film is really sweet in places, and Roberts seems to genuinely enjoy herself and it shows. If you are like me and have never seen this, I suggest that you do because it is great!

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