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Quick Chick Flick: “Confessions Of A Shopaholic”

21 May

I recently read Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella and really, really liked it. I had seen the movie years ago not knowing it was a series of books. But when my best friend suggested I add it to my to-read list on Goodreads, naturally I took her advice. After finishing the book obviously I wanted to watch the movie again to compare. This won’t be a “Book Vs. Movie” post since the two were SO different, but rather just a review of the movie (definitely read the book, though!).

Confessions of a Shopaholic Poster

Isla Fisher stars as Rebecca Bloomwood, a girl with a serious problem. And I mean serious. She has a shopping addiction so severe that she comes up with the most outrageous (and hilarious) stories in her head to justify her spending problem. She’ll do anything to make it to a designer sale, and her problem has gotten her over $9,000 in debt. Living with her rich best friend, Suze, (played by the adorably quirky Krysten Ritter) Becky finds herself out of work as a journalist and constantly dodging pesky debt collector Derek Smeath.

Rebecca Bloomwood at a designer sale

Rebecca Bloomwood at a designer sale

Rebecca Bloomwood: Shopaholic

Desperate for money, she creates a very elaborate if not completely false resume and goes for an interview at her dream job – a top fashion magazine – only to find that the position has been filled. However, she finds out there is an opening at another magazine within the publication family – a financial advice digest. Thinking she can work her way to an “in” with the fashion mag, she goes on the interview at the financial digest and meets handsome editor Luke Brandon, played by charmer Hugh Dancy.

Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon

Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon

Following a very entertaining interview, Becky lands the job after Luke reads an article she writes for the fashion magazine that accidentally ended up in his hands instead. Seeing journalistic potential in Becky, he takes her to press conference where she shines with her tough, relevant questions about corporate raises after customer fund cuts. She writes a piece on it and becomes an overnight sensation in the financial advice world. The public love her. But what they don’t know is that Becky Bloomwood is the last person anyone should be taking financial advice from. Several hilarious plot twists later – including Becky telling Luke the debt collector is her ex-boyfriend turned stalker; getting into a pickle by being forced to speak Finnish (which she said she was fluent in on her resume); and her misadventures at a Shopaholic’s Anonymous group – Becky and Luke find themselves attracted to each other after spending more time together.

Becky and Luke Confessions of a Shopaholic

That is where things start to get interesting. Can Becky continue lying to Luke about her financial troubles and shopping addiction? Will her problem come between her and her best friend? The truth comes out in the end in a very shocking and embarrassing way for Becky, and she must finally confront her problem head on instead of running away from it. I won’t ruin the ending for you if you haven’t seen it, but I will say that everything works out in a way that none of the characters could have ever imagined.

Confessions of a Shopaholic is such a fun, absurdly amusing chick flick that I think anyone would enjoy. Be sure to check out the books, too! Sophie Kinsella created a character with Becky Bloomwood that girls everywhere will adore. She makes us laugh out loud, gasp at her ridiculousness, and find ourselves routing fiercely for her in the end, so proud to see her succeed that we may even shed a few tears (sniff). I’m currently reading Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, the second book in the series, and so far Becky still has a knack for getting herself into hilarious sticky situations.

What did you think of the movie and/or book? 

Quick Chick Flick: “P.S. I Love You”

7 Nov

As you probably know already, I am a sucker for a good chick flick. I will stop everything and sit down to watch a good movie (which I have already seen like five times) that makes me bawl my eyes out like a crazy person, knowing I am just going to end up bawling again if I watch it. This very thing happened to me this past Sunday afternoon. I had a list of things I needed to do and had a firm plan of action, but when I noticed that P.S. I Love You was coming on in the background, all my plans flew out the window. Two hours and half a box of Kleenex later I finally got around to starting my day. Here’s my quick review of this wonderful chick flick.


If you haven’t seen P.S. I Love You, I highly recommend it. It’s a great story about life, relationships and a wonderful lesson on not taking the people you love for granted.  Holly (Hillary Swank) is married to Gerry (Gerard Butler), an extremely hot Irish man and they are living the dream in New York City. They have everything anyone could ever want – a great apartment in the city, good friends, a fun social life, and each other. But that is not enough for Holly and we find out within the first ten minutes of the film she is struggling with finding out what to do with her life. She wants to have a baby but thinks they need to live in a better place to raise a family, she is not happy with her current job and she hasn’t figured out what she wants to do with her career.  Sound like some of the things we stress about, girls? Gerry proceeds to cheer his wife up by saying all the right things and even dancing a little jig for her in his boxers (drool), making us love him that much more.


Fast forward to several months later and everyone is gathering at a wake… Gerry’s wake. I know, right?? Cue the tears. Sadly, our beloved Gerry has passed away from a brain tumor, and of course Holly is absolutely devastated. She spends weeks alone in their apartment doing things like calling his cell phone just to hear his voice on the outgoing message, smelling his clothes in the closet and wearing his shirts and boxers. I’m going to warn you, it’s really sad and is a harsh reminder that anyone can be gone in the blink of an eye, even the ones we love most. But on her 30th birthday when all of her friends come over and surprise her, Holly receives an unexpected gift: a letter from Gerry.

He wrote her the letter before he died and in it tells her he wants her to get all dolled up and go out with her girlfriends to celebrate her dirty thirty in style. He also tells her that she will receive another letter the next day. And, just as he promised, she starts receiving letters from Gerry regularly with assignments, if you will, of things that he wants her to do. He even planned and made arrangements for her and her friends to travel to Ireland, where they first met and fell in love. As she reads each letter and carries out Gerry’s wishes for her, she reflects on their life together and begins to come to terms with her loss.

The letters are Gerry’s last gift to Holly, helping her cope, heal and even find herself along the way. Watching the movie, you are taken on an emotional roller coaster as you laugh out loud and cry, of course. (Oh come on, who doesn’t love a good cry every now and then?) P.S. I Love You is one of my favorite movies, and always makes me try to imagine myself in Holly’s shoes for just a minute, wondering how in the world I would survive if something like that happened to me. It leaves me feeling thankful for the people I love and reminds me to cherish the time I have with them. And that’s a good thing to be reminded every now and then.

What movies make you cry every time you watch them? Do you have any favorite chick flicks? 

Quick Chick Flick: “Footloose” (2011)

15 Aug

This weekend I finally got around to watching the new Footloose movie. I’ve been saying I wanted to see it since it came out last year, but being the original 1984 Footloose lover that I am, I was extremely hesitant. I just knew this remake would be a letdown. And although it definitely wasn’t as good as the original, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. If you’re a fan of the original Footloose like me or just a dance movie lover, I would definitely recommend this movie.

 The movie follows high school senior Ren (played by Kenny Wormald), who transfers to the small Georgia town of “Bomont” (I thought the original took place in Texas, but I could have just imagined that) from Boston when he comes to live with his aunt and uncle after losing his mother to Leukemia.  He meets and instantly is attracted to the local “wild child” and preacher’s daughter, Ariel (Julianne Hough), and also befriends the lovable Willard (Miles Teller), who is a big source of comedic relief in the film. Ren is taken aback by the town’s strict laws for teenagers which include a nightly curfew of 10:00 pm, a ban on dancing and on listening to rock and roll or loud music. These laws are the result of a car accident that took the lives of several high school seniors (including Ariel’s only brother) after a party three years earlier. The town elders blame the party’s dancing and music for the deaths of the teens, hence the ban on all things fun to teenagers in Bomont. But of course the teenagers rebel against the laws and always find a way to sneak in a dance montage at the local diner or blast some music out in the Georgia countryside.

Part of the reason I liked the remake was because (almost) everything was exactly like the original. I even wondered at one point if the movie was line for line the same. They kept all of the good songs from the original like “Holding Out For A Hero”, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”, “Almost Paradise”, “Dancing In The Sheets” and of course the title track “Footloose”. Most of the songs were remade by modern artists but they found a way to mix almost all of the old songs in at some point throughout the movie. Also, I was floored when I saw that the wardrobe for the final Prom scene was identical to what the characters wore in the 1984 version. Ariel in her light pink, ruffly, chiffon dress and Ren in his cute maroon with black trim blazer. Classic!

The film did have some differences from the original, though, like the focus on the relationship  between Ren and his deceased mother, which I don’t remember being in the original. Also, Ren had a major Boston accent in the remake (Kenny Wormald is actually from Boston) and Kevin Bacon sure didn’t talk like that in the original. The dancing was of course more modern which means there was way more grinding on the dance floor in this one than in the original (kids these days). But the biggest disappointment for me was the infamous scene where Ren dances in the warehouse to relieve all of his pent-up stress and anger. You know which one I’m talking about, ladies. Here is the original scene in all of its Totally Awesome 80’s glory.

 

Does it get any better than that? I just don’t think so. So that I don’t spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t yet seen the movie (has anyone really NOT seen Footloose??) I will only say it was exactly like the original, which is pretty much the best part of the movie. Overall, the movie was enjoyable but if you haven’t seen either movie, watch the original.

Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go turn on some Kenny Loggins and shout “LET’S DANCE”!

Goodbye, Nora Ephron… Thanks For Everything

3 Jul

Sadly, Nora Ephron died last week at the age of 71 after a battle with leukemia.

The name might not mean a lot to some of you, but to many film lovers it is a name that is respected and admired. Nora Ephron was responsible for romantic comedy classics like Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, Mixed Nuts, and most recently Julie & Julia. Basically, she was a film icon and major contributor to the “Chick Flick” genre. In addition to writer, director and screenwriter, Ephron wore many other hats including author, journalist, essayist, playwright, producer and fellow blogger. She was a well-deserved, three-time Academy Award nominee and her film Sleepless in Seattle is one of my all-time favorite movies.

I feel like Nora Ephron really got what it was to be a woman and what we want out of life. Sure we like to be swept off our feet and romanced, but in her writing Ephron captured the love, respect and happiness that all women crave, while making us laugh out loud and sometimes cry along the way. She is well-known for treasured lines from movies like Sleepless in Seattle where Sam tells Doctor Marcia Fieldstone, “Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.” And then there’s the classic line “I’ll have what she’s having” from When Harry Met Sally.

Regardless of how many movies she made or the awards she was recognized for, Nora Ephron’s true legacy will be in how she made people feel. Hopeful, comforted during a difficult time, or just happy. Universal emotions we all crave and need to feel.

Diane Sawyer from ABC World News shared a piece on Ephorn that I thought was very well done and I encourage you to watch it below (click the link to view it in YouTube). It will give you a glimpse at the woman the world will miss but is grateful to have experienced.

Quick Chick Flick – Father’s Day Edition

15 Jun

As many of you already know, Sunday is Father’s Day. And if you didn’t already know that, then shame on you! Father’s Day is the one day of the year devoted to good ‘ol Dad – the man who tucked you in every night when you were little and checked under your bed for monsters; the man who can fix anything and who you always turn to first for car advice.  Dads play a huge role in our lives, and it’s only natural that they get a day of recognition for all that they do.

Some of the all-things-manly festivities that will be happening across the nation this weekend include backyard barbecuing, sports watching, couch lounging and beer drinking. However, being the girly-girl that I am, I of course had to squeeze something into all of the hoopla that the females would appreciate, too. How about piling up on the couch with the fam and watching a father-friendly chick-flick movie!? Here are some choices that are guaranteed to channel some fatherly love.

Father of the Bride

 

Three Men and a Baby

 

Mr. Mom

 

Big Daddy

 

National Lampoon’s Vacation

 

The Lion King

 

Mrs. Doubtfire

 

Cheaper By The Dozen

 

Taken

Do you have any other Father’s Day inspired flicks to add to this list? Leave a comment below with your suggestion! 

Quick Chick Flick: Disney’s “Prom”

7 Apr

You know what I miss? 90’s high school movies like She’s All That, Can’t Hardly Wait and Clueless. I thought they were gone for good; a lost art (ok maybe not art but you know what I mean). Just when I thought I’d simply have to accept the fact that I would never again find a movie that would give me that 90’s teenage feeling, I came across Disney’s Prom. Complete with an endearing female lead, a mega hottie, and a dress shopping movie montage (every girly movie needs one of those, right?!), I highly recommend Prom for your next chick flick, girls.

I am a huge Disney fan – I think it’s the only station on my television these days where I am guaranteed to find good, wholesome family entertainment. And some days that’s just what a girl needs after seeing one too many primetime TV shows filled with sex, drugs and violence. Prom was released in theaters in 2011 and is now playing on the Starz network. In the spirit of Disney, it’s a follows the respectable lives of several American teenagers as they prepare for their school’s senior prom, and all the silly drama that comes along with being a high school student.

Nova is your typical high school senior “good girl” that everyone loves.  Class President, on the fast track to a successful scholarship funded education at a prestigious  college, and head of the prom committee, Nova is determined to make this the best prom ever for her fellow students. She sees prom as an opportunity to bring all the different types of people and “cliques” together one last time before entering the real world.

Nova

But when an accident burns down the building housing all of the prom decorations she and her friends worked on for months, Nova is left wondering if the prom will even happen. All her friends are too busy preparing for final exams before graduation to help her rebuild. Determined to make it happen no matter what, Nova tells the principal she will figure something out and work non-stop after school every day.

Enter the mega hottie I mentioned earlier. Jesse Richter is the school “bad boy” and, being punishment by the principal, has been assigned to work with Nova every day on rebuilding the prom decorations. Jesse hates the idea of prom and sees it as a waste of time where teenagers submit to high school conformity.

Jesse

Reluctantly, he helps Nova and finds out her motives for bringing everyone together at the prom are actually pretty cool. And Nova finds out that Jesse isn’t in fact the “bad boy” he has been labeled as at all. Needless to say, major sparks fly between the two and we are left hoping that Jesse man’s up and asks Nova to the prom in time. But when her dad steps in and privately tells Jesse to stay away from Nova, telling Jesse that he is exactly the kind of riffraff that will hold  her back from her bright future, their growing relationship is threatened. Will Jesse walk away and leave her dateless for the prom or realize he cares too much about Nova to do that to her?? Ah, teenage drama.

Besides Nova and Jesse, there are several other characters who are going through their own teenage troubles in Prom. Likely prom King and Queen, Tyler and Jordan’s relationship is threatened when Tyler makes a move on cute Sophomore Simone. But Simone’s classmate and lab partner Lucas is head over heels for her and desperately tries to win her affection with the advice of his nerdy BFF Corey. Mei and her longtime boyfriend Justin’s relationship is under pressure when Mei is accepted by her dream college in NYC, while Justin is under the impression they will be attending the University of Michigan together. And the lovable character Lloyd (I swear he was inspired by my favorite hopeless romantic Lloyd Dobler) is desperately seeking a prom date and asks almost every girl in the school with no luck.

And Prom has an amazing soundtrack, y’all. I’m talking some seriously happy, summer tunes! And I even caught some 90’s favorites that had been re-recorded by current bands. A remake of The Cranberries hit “Dreams” had me reminiscing of a beloved episode of My So-Called Life, and  I even heard a current version of “Alright” by Supergrass. You know, the song from Clueless…”we are young, we run green, keep our teeth, nice and clean….feel alright”! So yeah, I may be buying the Prom soundtrack.

Overall, I really enjoyed the light-heartedness of Disney’s Prom and recommend it for any girl who wants to take a trip down memory lane to the land of high school and simpler times.

Quick Chick Flick – Valentine’s Edition

11 Feb

February 14th is a very special day for women, and not just because it’s Valentine’s Day. This is the one day of the year that we can get away with watching sappy, tear-jerking, unrealistically romantic movies, and men can’t say one word to us about it. It is the ultimate day for the chick flick! No matter if you are single, attached, or married, it is likely that you will be tuning in to one of these types of movies in the next few days (either intentionally or by chance when you are flipping through the channels and one sucks you in – thanks, Lifetime).

You know by now that I love a good chick flick, but there are some that are just more appropriate than others for Valentine’s Day.  I have put together a little list of my top ten chick flick picks for V-day, and what better time than the weekend to have yourself a movie marathon!? Grab some popcorn and get your box of tissues ready girls, because you may get misty just thinking about some of these movies…

10. Sixteen Candles

I am pretty sure most girls can relate their teenage experience in some way to Samantha’s in this 80’s classic, as she falls hard for heart-throb Jake Ryan. Sixteen Candles is loaded with comedy, awkwardness, embarrassment and romance and will take you back to that feeling of gut-wrenching first love most of us experienced in high school.

9. Serendipity

Here are some things I really like: John Cusack, romantic comedies, New York City, and good music. This movie has all of these. And I love stories of fate and true-love destiny.

8. You’ve Got Mail

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are like, royalty of the romantic comedy! Put these two in a movie together and I’m sure to love it. I adore Meg Ryan in this movie – she plays this quirky New Yorker who owns a quaint bookstore (hello, dream job and city!). When her store is threatened by the big chain bookstore that is moving into the neighborhood, little does she know that the new bookstore owner, played by Tom Hanks, is who she’s been exchanging love letters emails with and is her perfect match.

7. Sweet Home Alabama

I was born, raised and still reside in the South, and really appreciate the Southern Charm of this movie. Watching Reese Witherspoon as Melanie shift from a New York socialite back to her redneck roots as she falls for her childhood sweetheart all over again is my kind of movie! Oh and Josh Lucas is pretty easy on the eyes, too.

6. Pretty Woman

How can you be a female and NOT love this movie? It’s like, mandatory. This modern-day Cinderella story follows a beautiful hoe and her rich (and hot) client who fall madly in love with each other. We all love a good fairy tale love story!

5. Romeo + Juliet

This is an iconic love story and Baz Luhrmann’s modern take on this classic is, in my opinion, genius. I think every girl who saw this as a teenager in the 90’s: 1) was utterly in love with Leonardo DiCaprio, 2) was convinced that forbidden love was the best kind of love, and 3) wanted to BE Claire Danes. I could watch this movie over and over and still want to watch it one more time.

4. Ever After: A Cinderella Story

When we were little girls, we were told the story of Cinderella. So it’s really not our fault that we are obsessed with romance and love. It’s our parents fault for telling us one of the greatest love stories of all time every night before bed. In Ever After, Drew Barrymore stars as Danielle, a servant who is in need of rescuing by Prince Charming from her stepmother and stepsisters. Sounds a little like Cinderella, eh? So yeah, we love it.

3. Twilight

Okay, so this is the worst movie in the Twilight series but come on, it’s TWILIGHT! We read the books and waited in excruciating anticipation for the movie to come out so we could finally see the story come to life. And, as painful as it is to watch Kristen Stewart in a movie, no girl can resist the forbidden love story of Edward and Bella. And it has Robert Pattinson in it. Need I say more?

2. Sleepless in Seattle

This is one of my favorite movies. Of all time. Ever. It is romantic, hilarious, heart-wrenching, classic…I could go on and on. I never get tired of watching as Annie falls in love with Sam without ever meeting him (sigh) Sleepless in Seattle is an absolute MUST SEE for females everywhere.

And finally, drum roll please…

1. The Notebook

(I went ahead and put several images in. You’re welcome.) In my opinion, The Notebook is the greatest love story of our time. I would like to thank Nicholas Sparks for writing it, and also whoever made the decision to put Ryan Gosling in this movie. In The Notebook, Allie and Noah fall hopelessly in love despite their different backgrounds – she is rich, he is far from it. And even though  Allie’s mother tries to keep them apart, they never stop loving each other and are eventually reunited in this passionate story that proves that love can conquer all. I don’t know about you, but anytime this movie is on I stop what I’m doing, sit down, and have myself a real good cry. And I plan on doing that again this Valentine’s Day.

So that’s my list! What do you think? Leave me a comment below with some of your favorite Valentine’s Day movies!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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