Category Archives: Romance

THE KISSING BOOTH (2018): The Things I Liked…

The Kissing Booth (2018), Joey King, Netflix
The Kissing Booth (2018), Joey King, Netflix

Director Vince Marcello’s latest teen movie The Kissing Booth (2018) is about Elle (Joey King), a high school student who’s forced to confront her secret crush.

Even though there’s plenty of focus on Elle’s crush (Jacob Elordi), for me, it’s Elle’s relationship with her best friend and their coming of age story that holds the movie together.

Overall, I wouldn’t call Marcello’s film one of the best teen movies out there. I mean, I managed to watch it all the way to the very end, but not without getting annoyed by the narration which felt largely unnecessary. There was also some cringe moments of dodgy dialogue and bad acting. However, the good news is that most, if not all of the bad acting isn’t courtesy of the main characters played by King, Elordi and Joel Courtney.

Besides King and particularly Courtney’s performances, the sunny Los Angeles setting and the way The Kissing Booth took me back to the relatively carefree nature of my teenage years are two key highlights.

If there’s one good reason to watch The Kissing Booth at all, it’s because you enjoyed the best selling books by Beth Reekles. The second best reason is to make sure you’re not lost when you watch the sequel because the The Kissing Booth 2 is the better movie. And how will you be able to fully appreciate The Kissing Booth 2 without suffering, I mean ‘getting through’ the first one?

Happy Film Loving

G

LOVE SARAH (2020): New Trailer From Celia Imrie, Rupert Penry-Jones, Bill Paterson, Shannon Tarbet…

Love Sarah (2020), Celia Imrie, Shannon Tarbet, Shelley Conn
Love Sarah (2020), Celia Imrie, Shannon Tarbet, Shelley Conn

Celia Imrie, Rupert Penry-Jones, Shannon Tarbet and Bill Paterson are the stars of Love Sarah. An Eliza Schroeder directed comedy/drama/romance about a young woman who wishes to fulfill her mother’s dream of opening her own bakery in Notting Hill, London.

She goes about doing just that with the help of an old friend and her grandmother.

The cakes, London and Celia Imrie are my reason. I’m further intrigued because the bakery reminds me a lot of the the baked goods I used to walk by in the window of restaurant/bakery Ottolenghi on Upper street, North London. I say ‘walked by’ but I most certainly walked in a few times as well.

Shelley Conn, Grace Calder, Denise Welch, Lucy Fleming, Candice Brown, Kamontip Krissy Ashton and Pano Masti also star.

Love Sarah Release Dates: September 7th, 2020 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE HIGH NOTE (2020): The Things I Liked…

The High Note (2020), Dakota Johnson, Focus Features
The High Note (2020), Dakota Johnson, Focus Features

The High Note is the story of Maggie, an overworked personal assistant (Dakota Johnson) who has a decision to make. A choice about what she wants her future to look like, and her vision involves her superstar singer boss, Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross).

Directed by Nisha Ganatra; The High Note is for me, at best an OK film that I found more enjoyable from around the one hour point. Before then, though still watchable, Ganatra’s movie seemed to have a missing piece. It certainly didn’t help that I wasn’t overly enthused by the songs featured as the ones that made Davis successful. A truth that unfortunately made me buy into the whole ‘Grace Davis as a singing superstar’ premise that little bit less. 

Luckily, as is often the case with non biographical music films, the best songs were saved for towards the end. Songs that in my opinion fit Ellis Ross’s singing voice and or my music tastes that much more than the earlier ones.

Unexpectedly, the singing I ended up enjoyed the most in The High Note comes courtesy of Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s character, David. Assuming it’s Harrison Jr. who’s actually singing, let’s just say I’m ready to hear his voice on a full album and you just might too.

All the music aside, I enjoyed the performances in Ganatra’s film. Though it’s not perfect and it all seemed to end a tad abruptly, I don’t regret watching the story of young Maggie’s challenging journey to her ideal job; one that includes a sprinkling of romance, some funny moments and an unexpected friendship.

One last very random thing, The High Note happens to be the second movie I’ve now seen where Johnson is sporting a beautiful brown suede jacket. The first was Bad Times at the El Royale (2018). I guess it’s safe to say that I have a thing for brown fringed suede jackets. Especially the one in the latter film.

Watch it if you’re curious.

Happy Film Loving 

G

GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953): Costume Design – Marilyn Monroe And Jane Russell’s Stunning outfits…

This post was always going to happen. Particularly since my review of director Howard Hawks’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes revealed William Travilla’s unforgettable costume design as a major highlight. As such, I hope you enjoy the below images at least half as much as I do.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox

Lilac magic.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox

Leopard print gorgeousness.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Elliott Reid, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Elliott Reid, Twentieth Century Fox

Wow!

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox

Double wow!

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox

A shot from the film footage that had me compelled to find out who these two characters were, and why.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox

The famous ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend number. Just ask Madonna, Lady Gaga and Margot Robbie.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox

Hello brown!

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox

From the opening dance number.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox

Just after the opening dance number.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox

Yellow roses with gold detail, for your memories.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox

The coolest blue, red, yellow and black have ever looked together? Possibly.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox

Wow.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox

Who said ‘blue and green must never be seen?’

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox

The most memorable double wedding look in film history, probably.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox

Of course, there’s no celebration of the costume design of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes without featuring the famous gold lamé dress. A creation that was deemed so risqué for the time period, that in the movie, it’s only shown from the back, and what a beautiful shot it is.

Did I miss out your favourite look?

Read my spoiler-free movie review of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)


Happy Film Loving

G

GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953): The Things I Liked…

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Elliott Reid, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Marilyn Monroe, Elliott Reid, Twentieth Century Fox

Watching movies that were made long before the 90s and 80s isn’t something I do very often. Yet, recently I came across film footage of Hollywood icons Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. Two ladies who were looking incredibly stunning while walking together.

A few Google searches later, and there I was watching director Howard Hawks’s 1953 comedy/musical classic, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. A fun movie in which Monroe and Russell play two showgirls named Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw. The ladies are two best friends who happen to be stunning. So stunning in fact that I would have fit right in among the admires Lorelei and Dorothy attracted everywhere they went in Hawks’s film. Fans including a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei’s fiancé, and a rich, enamoured old man, among many others.

I see Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as a movie that fits into the ‘perfectly pleasant, easy viewing’ category. There’s some mild to moderately amusing humour, the story moves along at a good pace, and visually, there’s much to enjoy; whether you’re taking in the production design or the very beautifully created costumes by Travilla.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jane Russell, Twentieth Century Fox

As someone who’s near enough always been aware of Monroe’s iconic status, it wasn’t until this movie that I finally understood. To put it in no uncertain terms, the lady is so incredibly magnetic, that I have to wonder whether a camera has ever loved a person more. Travilla’s costumes, Ben Nye’s makeup and the skills of those in charge of hair certainly helped, but of course, there’s a lot more to that special magnetism than the beautiful shell.

My favourite thing about Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? Two things. Firstly, the touching friendship between Lorelei and Dorothy. Secondly, all the stunning fashion! Watch it for the fashion. The story is pleasant enough – but THE FASHION!

One more thing. Here’s the link to the film footage that got me here – in case you’re curious. You see?

Happy Film Loving

G

THE LOST HUSBAND (2020): The Things I Liked…

The Lost Husband (2020), Leslie Bibb, Six Foot Pictures
The Lost Husband (2020), Leslie Bibb, Six Foot Pictures

Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb and Nora Dunn’s latest movie The Lost Husband is a film I enjoyed a little more than I expected to.

Directed by Vicky Wight, it’s a story that focuses on Libby (Bibb), a newly single mother who’s trying to put her life back together after her husband dies. And she starts by moving – along with her two children to her no-nonsense aunt’s goat farm in central Texas.

What stood from the very beginning for me as The Lost Husband played is the rather pleasant musical score. Then I noticed the films even pacing and the way it’s arguably not quite as clichéd as the Hallmark movies you may or may not have seen (*wink, wink). Particularly since this story is that little bit more complicated, among one or two other reasons.

Being in the mood mood for an ‘easy viewing’ movie experience with a little romance is the reason t I decided to watch The Lost Husband. The trailer also had me wanting to see Libby make it through the grief so she could start having fun again.

As Libby met the colourful town folk and started to learn more about farm life, largely from Duhamel’s farm manager character, James, it soon became clear that Libby was going to be all right. That’s around the time I started wishing that I too had an aunt who lived on a farm. That is until I remembered my irrational fear of earthworms, bugs and many other animals.

The only thing that I wish wasn’t quite so about The Lost Husband is its use of a specific cliché involving a group of jealous and unpleasant women during a scene in the town market. Some of the writing and acting in said scene stood out for the wrong reasons. Yet, I till say that if you’re intrigued enough, then give The Lost Husband a chance. Especially when it’s time for an ‘easy viewing’ film session.

There’s also the simple pleasure of Duhamel in a Cowboy hat. You know, in case watching Libby get her life back on track and the idea of a virtual farm-based escape doesn’t quite cut it.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE HALF OF IT (2020): The Things I Liked…

The Half Of It (2020), Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Netflix
The Half Of It (2020), Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Netflix

At the beginning, writer / director Alice Wu’s movie The Half of It doesn’t appear to be particularly different from the high school films you may have seen before. Yet, as you continue watching, it soon reveals itself to be more than you expected.

Starring Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer and Alexxis Lemire, Wu’s film turns into a beautiful, sweet and well written story about two high school students who bond over the girl they both secretly love. 

As someone who’s always been partial to well told stories of beautiful friendships, The Half of It ticks a lot of  boxes for me. From the scenes that showed the growth of the bond between seventeen year old Ellie (Lewis) and Paul (Diemer), to the film’s pacing, dialogue and the believable performances by the young talented cast. As I watched The Half of It, I found myself interested, engaged and often moved.

I also like that Paul and Ellie’s friendship isn’t the kind that doesn’t get tested. It is in fact the smart way the story navigates those all important tests through the key themes that emerge which made me like Wu’s movie even more. 

Watch The Half of It because it’s good but also for a beautiful friendship story that features the kind of connection and love that absolutely anyone would be lucky to have. After all, as per the film’s trailer, ‘Not every love story is a romance’ 

Happy Film Loving 

G

LITTLE WOMEN (2019): The Things I Liked…

Little Women (2019), Saoirse Ronan, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Little Women (2019), Saoirse Ronan, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Little Women is a book I have not read. As such, besides that Friends episode where Rachel spoils the story for Joey, I didn’t really know much beforehand.

Based on Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel about four sisters coming-of-age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War, there are three things that stood out most and in a good way while watching director Greta Gerwig’s remake.

Firstly, the beauty that is the gift of sisterhood. Beauty that is there when you’re happy with your sister, when you’re mad at your sister and when times aren’t so great. I like how accurately and honestly Gerwig captured the magic of these moments.  Second, I’ve always been partial to stories of girls and women who are determined enough to decide on the life they want and go after it; regardless of other’s expectations. An even more impressive move during far less liberated periods in women’s history. 

Lastly, unrequited love. The presence of this theme in Little Women resulted in my favourite and some of the most moving moments in the whole film. Particularly the one that takes place in a field with Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan’s characters. 

In terms of how I feel about Gerwig’s film overall, it’s very well acted by all involved. I especially enjoyed Chalamet, Ronan and Florence Pugh’s performances. Beyond that and the standout moments I’ve referenced, I can’t say that I love Gerwig’s movie. This is in part because I’m not quite a fan of the editing. The way it jumped back and forth to different time lines proved more annoying than fully necessary. Perhaps the story was to big to tell in the allotted time. Furthermore, I found that Little Women really became most interesting from Meg’s wedding onwards. The unfortunate thing about that is Meg’s wedding doesn’t take place until approximately two thirds into the movie.

Big fans of the book will probably like this film far more than I did. For everyone else, I say follow your curiosities – even if it was a Friends episode that ignited it. 

Happy Film Loving

G