Movie Review: My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

My_Best_Friends_Wedding

Plot: When a woman’s long-time friend reveals he’s engaged, she realizes she loves him herself and sets out to get him, with only days before the wedding.

Rating: 6/10

I was so looking forward to this. Julia Roberts in her heyday? I am so onboard watching her films, any of her work really, but especially anything done that time period. The film also stars a really young and hunky Dermot Mulroney (SURPRISE) and an equally young and fresh faced Cameron Diaz. But here is what I can tell you about this film:

Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) is an annoying character who is having a tantrum about the fact that she’s been friendzoning an amazing man for years and now that he’s moved on she wants him back. She’s also clearly evil and doesn’t mind hurting a perfectly nice and innocent young woman just because her title as the perfect girl is being attacked. Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz) is Julianne’s nemesis in here purely because she dared to date a clearly single and unattached man.

MBFW

I can tell you that the message of this film was clear – MOVE ON AND DON’T POACH. Seriously – Kimmy was so perfect it hurt teeth to look at her, but she was a good person who loved her fiancé. Julianne, who incidentally is the “heroine” of this film, is notoriously horrible to men and obsessed with herself. I just didn’t appreciate the fact that the heroine was horrible and that the story didn’t have the traditionally happy ending we demand from romantic comedies – If I want moral lessons or unhappy endings I would rather check out another genre, thanks so much.

I’m rating this 6/10 because I’m petty and angry about the ending. The rest of the film is probably okay if you are fine dealing with the root-canal version of a heroine. As a last comment I can say that Dermot Mulroney was pretty damn hunky in his youth and suits my idea of the ultimate 90’s man as well despite the fact that he’s named Dermot. I’ll leave you with that, folks. Let me know what you thought about this in the comments!

Advertisements

Movie Review: Shall We Dance? (2004)

shall-we-dance

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.

shall-wedance

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 🙂

Book Review: River’s End (Nora Roberts)

rivers-end-nora-roberts

Hello!

Can you believe that this is my 40th book in my book challenge? I am really happy that I am getting along. Sometimes I want to move faster, but I don’t want to lose track of why I am REALLY doing this – my love for books and a good story.

Book: 40/100

The Story

Julie MacBride and Sam Tanner was the reigning Hollywood couple. Outrageously beautiful and talented, their daughter Olivia only completed their happiness when she came along. That was until Sam got addicted to drugs, which fed on his weak personality and jealous streak. When his wife was brutally murdered with scissors in their living room, he was arrested and imprisoned.

Frank Brady, the cop who investigated the case, never really got over the injustice of seeing such beauty destroyed. He made sure her daughter was safe at her maternal grandparents in a nature reserve in Washington, and made sure Sam never had his parole granted. Frank’s son, Noah, became a journalist, always remembering Julie’s murder, but never having fully committed to writing the book.

Noah’s first adult meeting with Olivia turns disastrous when he falls in love with her when upon first sight. She finds his notes and thinks he is stringing her along for the story. She shoves him out of her life, and he focuses on becoming a successful writer of other crime stories.

Years later, Sam Tanner finally gets his release from prison. He is dying, and only wants his story told before it is too late. He contacts Noah, and together they travel back in time to relive his life, and the tragic love he had for his wife. Noah is immersed in his story, and slowly starts to doubt whether Sam was really capable of killing Julie. Just when he starts to think Sam innocent, he disappears, and Olivia starts receiving phone calls from an unknown caller.

Noah goes to Olivia to try and convince her to cooperate with his book. She finally relents, knowing it is the only way she will ever be able to make sense of the violence that tore her family apart. As their relationship starts functioning, they have to face the danger that became unleashed with her father’s release.

Is Sam guilty of the crime he was locked up for? Will Olivia and Noah be able to move past his mistakes as a young man?

Rating: 8.5/10

This was the first Nora Roberts book I ever read. It seems like fate, as it is one of her best. Other books might not have caused me to become such a loyal follower. Now, I’m addicted. It is such a good book. It is ripe with emotion and detail, and draws you into it so quickly you don’t have a chance to realize what is happening.

Noah Brady seems the type of guy every woman falls for. Smart, attractive, loyal, loves his mom, and when he falls in love, fiercely protective. Olivia is strong and capable, and never the victim. I really have so much respect for Ms. Roberts for penning such characters.

You really want to read this book. Go do it.

Review: The Search

the search

The Search

Nora Roberts

Book: 2/100

Main antagonist in the book, George Allen Perry, is a fictional serial killer, focusing on young, athletic university students. His signature style is strangling and burying the victims with a red scarf tied around their necks. Perry managed to murder 12 women before finally meeting his match. Fiona Bristow, planned number 13, had a small knife hidden in her jogging pants her fiancé Greg Norwood had given to her. In Perry’s trunk, on the way to her grave, she managed to free her hands and feet, and attacked Perry when he opened the truck. She managed to identify him, had his prints, and yet the FBI only managed to capture him when Perry retaliated by murdering her fiancé and his K9 dog partner, Kong.

Years later, Fiona has moved on. She lives on the quiet island Orcas, in the USA. In memory of Greg, she started up a puppy training school and Search and Rescue unit involving trained canines.

Simon Doyle arrives at the island with an unappreciated  gift from his mother. Jaws, his little puppy, take delight in chewing everything except his toys. When Simon finds Fiona and her school, he demands she takes them on as students. They start training Jaws, and his development runs along with his human trainers falling for one another.

Davey, the deputy sheriff, arrives to tell Fiona terrifying news: a copycat serial killer is on the loose. It is obvious Perry is behind it all, since the victims contain trademarks the police never released to the public. Perry refuses to cooperate, claiming ignorance, but investigating Officer Tawney sees the excitement that lurks behind his lifeless eyes. When the victims’ burial sites get closer to Orcas, it is obvious that the final victim will be Fiona, as payment and gratitude to Perry.

Francis Xavier Eckle led a boring, restricted life until he met George Perry. Now, as a trained copycat, he meticulously follows the plans that Perry set out for him. Soon, Perry’s way of killing becomes boring to Eckle, and he starts experimenting different ways to murder his victims. That, and the taunting scarves Eckle leaves Fiona (first in an envelope and then tied around her gate) angers Perry enough to get him to give information on his student.

Kati Starr sees Eckle as her way to journalistic fame. She continuously hounds Fiona for an article, and although ignored and declined, she publishes it along with a photo of Fiona in front of her house. Starr is abducted by Eckle and taken into the woods where Fiona lives, and Fiona and the Search and Rescue team set out to find her before she becomes another victim. Fiona gives her dogs another scent: Eckle’s, and she and Simon set out to find the killer. They finally do, and when Eckle aims to shoot Simon, Fiona shoots him.

With Eckle and Perry both behind bars, Fiona is finally able to live her life with Simon in peace.

Rating: 6/10

I enjoy Roberts’ romantic suspense tales. She continuously researches her topics thoroughly, and the characters are quirky, fun and intelligent. I love how she incorporated animals and their wonderful nature into this book. Serial killers fascinate me, and reading about Perry and Eckle had chills running down my spine. I found Simon a particularly charming male lead, for he had no problem with being moody and brutally honest, and baffled first by his cute dog and then the woman he fell in love with. Fiona is a fun, inspiring character, with a backbone I appreciated – since it is rare to find romantic tales with proper female leads.