Category Archives: Romance

SECOND ACT (2018): The Things I Liked…

Second Act (2018), Jennifer Lopez, STX Entertainment
Second Act (2018), Jennifer Lopez, STX Entertainment

As a fan of the two Jennifer Lopez romance / comedies, The Wedding Planner (2001) and Maid In Manhattan (2002) the news of Second Act, a brand new movie in the same genre and starring Lopez was something I simply had to see.

Set in New York City (of course!) and directed by Peter Segal, Second Act is about an underestimated retail worker who reinvents her life and her life-story, leading to her finally landing her dream job and more.

Even though Second Act is similar to the other Lopez romance / comedies mentioned – in a few ways, there’s still a difference or two that I didn’t see coming. Generally, I enjoyed the humour and watching the dynamic between the three main female characters. The fact that Leah Remini and Lopez happen to be close friends in real life somehow only added to my experience of this movie.

Other personal highlights include the way Lopez and Vanessa Hudgens were styled, the New York City setting plus the wise and very accurate wisdom shared at the very end.

Watch Second Act especially if you like Lopez and the two Lopez movies mentioned. Segal’s film is definitely a little different in a good way; and who knows, perhaps you may even prefer it. Maid In Manhattan and The Wedding Planner remains my favourites.

Happy Film Loving 

G

SOMEONE GREAT (2019): New Trailer From LaKeith Stanfield, Gina Rodriguez, DeWanda Wise, BRITTANY SNOW…

Someone Great (2019), Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, Netflix
Someone Great (2019), Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, Netflix

Someone Great is a new comedy / romance from writer / director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and featuring a cast that includes Gina Rodriguez, LaKeith Stanfield, DeWanda Wise and Britanny Snow.

Rodriguez plays Jenny who enjoys one last New York City adventure with her two best friends; all following a devastating breakup on the eve of her cross-country move to San Francisco..

I’m most interested in the chemistry between the three female leads and what is hopefully beautiful images of both New York City and San Francisco.

Faith Logan, Peter Vack, Ben Sidell, Kenneth De Abrew, Salvatore DiSanto, Thomas Kopache and David Granados also star.

Someone Great Release Dates: April 19th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

ASH IS PUREST WHITE (2018): New trailer Starring Tao Zhao, Fan Liao, Yi’nan Diao…

Ash Is The Purest White (2018), Fan Liao, Tao Zhao, Cohen Media Group
Ash Is The Purest White (2018), Fan Liao, Tao Zhao, Cohen Media Group

Ash Is Purest White (Jiang Hu Er Nü) is a new Zhangke Jia written and directed drama / romance starring Fan Liao, Tao Zhao and Yi’nan Diao.

The story starts when quick-witted Qiao (Zhao) and her mobster boyfriend stake out their turf against rivals and upstarts in 2001 postindustrial Datong, China. The narrative promises to expand out into a story of violent love over the next seven years, highlighting how abstract forces can shape individual lives…

I’m drawn in to this one by the female lead; particularly the juxtaposition of her very sweet face with her mobster lifestyle. It also helps that this is a well put together trailer with what sounds like promising dialogue.

Xiaogang Feng, Casper Liang, Zheng Xu and Yibai Zhang also star.

Ash Is The Purest White Release Dates: March 15th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

ISN’T IT ROMANTIC (2019): The Thing I Liked…

Isn't It Romantic (2019), Rebel Wilson
Isn’t It Romantic (2019), Rebel Wilson

Isn’t It Romantic is a comedy / romance about Natalie, a young woman who’s become disenchanted with love and mysteriously finds herself trapped inside a romantic comedy.

The good news about director Todd Strauss-Schulson’s movie is that I did laugh and smile a few times. The beautiful city of New York and all the scenes before Natalie wakes up in the hospital are the ones I enjoyed the most. What I like about these scenes is the way Natalie was making fun of romantic comedies. The disappointment then came for me when she found herself inside a romantic comedy, but it wasn’t an especially good one.

The vibrant colours and the humour in the super romantic New York scenes were fun in parts but after a while it didn’t do a good job of holding my interest. Something about Isn’t It Romantic made the movie feel as though it shouldn’t have been the final draft, because if it had felt more finished, maybe I’d have been more convinced by Natalie’s emotional journey and the way it was executed.

Another moment I didn’t find convincing is the actual presentation of the ‘parking lot conversion’ idea. Not that I have any actual architectural experience but as someone who’s been in many presentations, I wanted to buy into Natalie’s idea and visualise it as a good and feasible one during that presentation but it just didn’t happen.

Watch Isn’t It Romantic if you’re so curious. The trailer is pretty fun so you may find that you enjoy the finnished film more than I did.

Happy Film loving 

G

FINDING STEVE MCQUEEN (2019): New Trailer From Travis Fimmel, William Fichtner, Forrest Whitaker, Rachael Taylor…

Finding Steve McQueen (2019), Travis Fimmel,  Rachael Taylor, Momentum Pictures
Finding Steve McQueen (2019), Travis Fimmel, Rachael Taylor, Momentum Pictures

Finding Steve Mqueen is a new crime / thriller based on a true story set in 1972 Youngstown, Ohio.

Starring Travis Fimmel, William Fichtner, Forrest Whitaker and Rachael Taylor, director Mark Steven Johnson’s story is about a gang of thieves as they attempt to steal $30 million in illegal contributions and blackmail money from President Richard Nixon‘s secret fund…

Looks like this could be fun. It kind of brings to mind Leonardo DiCaprio’s Catch Me If You Can (2002).

Lily Rabe, Jake Weary, Rhys Coiro, John Finn, Molly McQueen and Gioia Libardoni also star.

Finding Steve McQueen Release Dates: March 15th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (2018): The Things I Liked…

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), KiKi Layne, Stephan James
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), KiKi Layne, Stephan James

Starring Regina King, KiKi Layne, Pedro Pascal, Stephan James, Ed Skrein, and from Moonight (2016) director Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk is a drama / romance set in early 1970s Harlem. 

Based on rightly celebrated American novelist and social critic James Baldwin’s book of the same name, at the centre of the story is Tish. Tish is a pregnant young black woman who’s desperately scrambling to prove her fiancé innocent of a terrible crime.

There are some moments in this movie where I wanted to hit the fast forward button for a few seconds. Yet, overall I’d say that at first you may resist the sometimes almost dream-like pace of this story, but soon enough you surrender to it. And you do so on account of the well written dialogue, the musical score, the great performances and Jenkins’s depiction of a truly united, loving family – generally speaking and in the face of great injustice.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Regina King
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Regina King

It was during the most heartbreaking scenes in this movie that the full meaning behind Baldwin’s book title, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ quickly came to light. And as it did so, my head and heart started wishing that the truth of the story would end up being ‘When Beale Street Spoke.’

Well edited with flashbacks that are expertly woven in, this one is a movie that will one minute break your heart and have you extremely disappointed in the capacity of the human to hate. Then the next minute make you smile at the beauty of love as you take a moment to appreciate the strength and love of family and friends when you need them most.

As a fan of great writing, I can only imagine the pride of the actors who got to speak Baldwin’s words. The writing stood out so much for me that, had I not already known that Baldwin was behind it as the movie played, I’d have definitely had to make a note to look this great ‘new writer’ up.

Watch it for all the reasons above. Especially the dialogue, the family unit, for some insight into being black in America, to discover KiKi Layne – if you didn’t already know – and of course, love.

Happy Film Loving

G

CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2018): The Things I Liked…

Crazy Rich Asians (2018), Constance Wu, Henry Golding
Crazy Rich Asians (2018), Constance Wu, Henry Golding

Crazy Rich Asians, the story of New Yorker Rachel and her trip to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick to meet his family, and attend his best friend’s wedding is a much better film than I expected.

Starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Gemma Chan, Crazy Rich Asians truly exceeded my expectations. Particularly my assumption based on the trailer that it would be anything like the Fifty Shades Of Grey romance and films. I’m therefore happy confirm that the only key similarities between both movies start end with ‘rich guy falls in love with non-rich girl’. 

I really liked director Jon M. Chu’s beautiful execution of bestselling Author Kevin Kwan’s story. My favourite scenes include the very first scene at the hotel and the surprise Mahjong game towards the end. Then there’s of course the wedding that got Nick and Rachel to Singapore in the first place. A wedding that may just be my favourite movie wedding of all time, thanks to everything that happens in that scene including Kina Grannis’s version of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love.

Seeing all the stunning locations, homes and expensive style were definitely a highlight too, as expected. However, the thing that really made watching Crazy Rich Asians a true pleasure for me is the the humour that came in the ‘crazy’ part of Crazy Rich Asians. 

If you haven’t already seen this beautiful movie, make time for all the reasons above and for the romance, of course. The romance!

Happy Film Loving 

G

ASHES IN THE SNOW (2019): New Trailer From Bel Powley, Peter Franzén, Sophie Cookson…

Ashes In The Snow (2019), Bel Powley
Ashes In The Snow (2019), Bel Powley

In new historical drama Ashes In The Snow, Bel Powley is Lina, a 16 year-old aspiring artist when in 1941, herself and her family are deported to Siberia amidst Stalin’s brutal dismantling of the Baltic region.

Also starring Peter Franzén, Sophie Cookson and directed by Marius A. Markevicius,  Lina’s love of  art and her un-relenting hope will prove more important than she imagined…

Whilst hoping that Powley’s accent doesn’t prove too distracting, I think this could be a good one. Especially since it’s based The New York Times bestselling novel, Between Shades Of Gray by author Ruta Sepetys.

Additional key cast includes James Cosmo, Martin Wallström, Timothy Innes, Jonah Hauer-King and Sam Hazeldine.

Ashes In The Snow Release Dates:  January 11th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving 

G