Monday, December 7, 2009

Dan In Real Life

Dan In Real Life stars Steve Carell as newspaper columnist Dan Burns, who's struggling to raise his three daughters (Alison Pill, Brittany Robertson and Marlene Lawston) after the death of his wife, four years previously. However, while visiting his parents (Dianne Wiest and John Mahoney) for an extended family get-together, Dan falls for a beautiful French woman (Juliette Binoche) he flirts with in a bookshop, only to discover, to his horror, that she's dating his younger brother (Dane Cook).

I really enjoyed this tender, bittersweet romance.  The big question is - can a person know they love someone in 3 days? Well, yeaaah! 

This film is not a comedy yet has snippets of comical moments throughout such as the old-hide-in-the-shower routine.  I particularly loved the scene around the family dinner table and the corny comments quoted by both brothers and I was in stitches while watching the scene where they were trying to outdo each other on the dance floor - some really funky moves by Carell and Binoche!

The believeability of the family interactions and emotional outbursts by the middle daughter and the genuineness of how a parent might deal with these was refreshing to see.  I loved the portrayal of vulnerability by Steve Carell as a father.

The film is enhanced by the soundtrack from Norwegian indie pop musician Sondre Lerche - absolutely brilliant muso!  His music complements the film perfectly!  My husband purchased the soundtrack for me after trekking all over our local music shops to find it finally.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film and have seen it more than a couple of times now on DVD from my Chick Flick collection and would recommend you give it a go.

My Personal Rating

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Julia and Julie

I had never heard of Julia Child until viewing this movie, but found myself inspired to look into French cooking or even begin a blog about food.  Actually, I have decided to have a go at learning French!

Don't you think Meryl Streep is an amazing actor?  She gives what I believe to be yet another brilliant performance in the role of Julia Child - she nailed the quirky American/french femme perfectly!  I didn't realize how tall she was until seeing her beside her devoted husband Stanley Tucci (perfect in the role).  Man alive! - she towers over him!  they were a gorgeous team as husband and wife - I enjoyed them enjoying each other as well as enjoying their food.

I was delighted by the funny nuances highlighting Julias' interactions with the food and her husband and found myself laughing out loud a few times.

What is it about turning 30 that causes some women to become so caught up in trying to somehow feel better about themselves after a supposed life of mediocrity?  What is with that?   Turning 30 is not the problem!  Carpe` diem honey buns!

Amy Adams gave a very believeable performance as Julie Powell (a neurotic and egocentric character trying to have as meaningful a life as her yuppy friends). 

The part I least enjoyed about this film was the bla ending - it left me feeling a little unfulfilled. 

I don't regret seeing this film and will look for it on DVD to add to my ever increasing Chick Flick section of my collection.

My Personal Rating

I am sad to say that since seeing the film I was inspired to purchase a copy of the book - OMG! What a let down! Reading it was like pulling teeth!

Can I say to anyone who has not read the book yet, don't bother - its not worth ruining the pleasant memory of the film. It is full of over indulgence of alcohol, expletives and sex inuendo regarding some of the recipes (thoroughly out of context).  Sadly, it also leaves out a great part of the Julia story and although I persevered as long as I could, I only got 3/4 of the way through before I put it away with great disappointment. Needless to say, I regret wasting the $25 I paid for it.

The Time Traveller's Wife

Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, Ron Livingston, Arliss Howard, Stephen Tobolowsky, Jane McLean, Brooklyn Proulx

Based on the best-selling book about a love that transcends time. Clare has been in love with Henry her entire life. She believes they are destined to be together, even though she never knows... Based on the best-selling book about a love that transcends time. Clare has been in love with Henry her entire life. She believes they are destined to be together, even though she never knows when they will be separated: Henry is a time traveler -- cursed with a rare genetic anomaly that causes him to live his life on a shifting timeline, skipping back and forth through his lifespan with no control. Despite the fact that Henry’s travels force them apart with no warning, Clare desperately tries to build a life with her one true love. --© Warner Bros

My Opinion:
I just finished reading The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and simply had to see the movie straight away despite some of the critics hailing it as a 'not as good as the book' movie.

Regardless of much of the book not appearing in the movie (including the explicit sex descriptions within the pages) I found this movie quite interesting and very enjoyable.  I don't agree with the critics who feel that the book is better than the film - it is however just as good, but without the racey bits.  I don't think the story has been robbed and feel that the film makers have been true to the essence or vibe or the original story.

I do believe however, that if I hadn't read the book first, I would have possibly needed to see it twice to fully understand the time travel concept.

Eric Bana naked is not overly annoying for any female who is an admirer and one cannot help being drawn to feeling empathy for his character.

Although this seems to be a unique love that transcends time, I can't help but think of how frustrating the reality of a husband (Henry) who is continually dropping in and out on his longsuffering and beautiful wife (Clare (Rachel McAdams) at the most in opportune times.  Very believeable acting!

This film is worthy of your 'must see' list.

My Personal Rating

Pride and Prejudice


The five Bennet sisters have all been raised by their mother with on purpose in life - finding a husband.  However, the second eldest Lizzie can think of 100 reasons not to marry.

Lost In Austen


Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) is a devoted Jane austen fan; often immersing herself into a world of dashing gents, elegant corsets and picturesque manor houses.