Movie Review: Friends With Benefits

I don’t typically do a lot of reviewing on my blog, and actually, I’m a pretty horrible reviewer, but when I see a movie I love, I have to let everyone know.

Hubby and I skipped Friends With Benefits at the movie theater because we didn’t have terribly high hopes for it. We love Justin Timberlake and we love Mila Kunis, but we had our doubts about the two of them being able to carry a whole movie on their own.

Boy, were we surprised…in the most pleasant way possible!

Mila plays a head hunter who’s been pursuing JT for many months and finally gets him to fly out to NY from LA to interview for a big time job at GQ. He gets the job, moves to NY and he and Mila become good friends. They hang out together, and there are no boundaries…they’re friends, after all.

But one night, they decide it might be a good idea to “do the deed.” Neither of them has been in a relationship for a while and they’re both a little needy, to put it lightly.

I’ll stop there in terms of summary…I don’t want to spoil anything and I’m worried I’ve already said too much!

But there were so many things to love about this movie. It’s quirky and modern, but the “true love” aspect is prevelant, and JT and Mila have amazing on-screen chemistry. They make you believe in their Happy Ever After. We laughed all the way through the movie and even got a little teary at the end. It’s the perfect movie to watch snuggled up with your significant other.

**Please be aware that this movie is R rated for language and subject matter. Definitely not something you want to watch with your teenage daughter!**

I couldn’t help but think as I was watching it that it would have made a great romance novel. And, as usual, I was kicking myself for not coming up with it first. lol.

Did you see Friends With Benefits? What did you think? Do you have a movie you thought you would hate and ended up loving? Leave a comment and be entered into the Christmas Summons Prize Extravaganza!





Twenties Girl…

Those who know me well know that one of my writing idols is Chick Lit maven, Sophie Kinsella. She has such a way with humor, and I haven’t read a book of hers that hasn’t had me LOLing throughout…unless, of course, I’m crying, because she’s brilliant at hitting you with the heart of the story when you least expect it.

I just finished her book Twenties Girl, and I absolutely loved it. My hubby is almost to the end now, too, and we have our little Chick Lit book club together to discuss what’s going on in the book. I love being married to a guy who’s willing to admit he loves Chick Lit!

Now, I’m not one to go into descriptions of books or write detailed reviews – those things you can find at her website or on Amazon. What I do like to do is share how books and movies affect my life and mood.

For instance, last night was date night for my hubby and me, and we chose a local, fairly new spot called Hamilton Inn. We had never been, but we’d heard good things and the menu was right up our alley.

We arrived at 6:30, right on time for our reservation, and the place was hopping! Despite the fact it’s small and dimly lit, it was packed, wall to wall, with locals and their kids. People in sweat pants, and others in their trendy best (us!) My immediate thought was that it felt like a London gastropub. And those that know me know that I L-O-V-E London gastropubs. One point for Hamilton Inn.

We sat down at a table for two, which was pushed up right next to another table for two where a casually dressed young couple sat eating their meal. They recommended the filet mignon sandwich, which sounded amazing, but we both decided to go different routes. Eric got the ribs (braised in Pabst Blue Ribbon beer!!) and I got the Chicken Bucheron (a fried chicken breast stuffed with pancetta, goat cheese and spinach, served with a side of the most incredible mashed potatoes I’ve ever had!)

Once we’d ordered I took another look at the drink menu. A list of prohibition-inspired drinks like a Fig Sidecar and Purple Knee High. I wasn’t planning to drink since Eric wasn’t feeling well, but then I thought What would Sadie do? Sadie being the co-heroine of Twenties Girl. I knew exactly what she would do. She would order a drink! So after consulting the waiter, I decided on Hamilton’s Sweet Tea Mint Tea.

Are you detecting a theme here? That’s right, there are southern influences majorly at play in the food and drink here!! So, yes, this southern-raised Anglophile was in heaven!

The drink came and not only was it brilliant, but by the time I was halfway through, I felt like I was a carefree flapper girl in 1925. Obviously I was under the influence of more than just a drink, but it was so easy to transport myself to that time and feeling as I sat in that restaurant with that drink and that food and that amazing man across from me. I’ll say it again, it was heaven. And I hadn’t even had dessert yet (I went with the pumpkin praline cheescake. H-E-A-V-E-N!!)

So am I going to recommend Twenties Girl? You betcha! And if you live in the NYC area, you must make the short jaunt to Jersey City to dine at The Hamilton Inn sometime. You won’t regret it!

Movie Review: Bright Star

Eric and I went to see the BBC film, Bright Star, last week. The film outlines the torrid romance and tragic (and untimely) end to the life of the great poet, John Keats.

Now, I’m a total sucker for period films (big surprise), especially when they are done well. Of course, my opinion of “well done” seems to differ from many others. For instance, one of my favorite Jane Austen adaptations is the Frances O’Conner version of Mansfield Park – I think it’s just brilliant. But many do not. So, keep that in mind as you read on…

This movie moves at a true 19th-century pace…aka, it’s slow. Not that it’s boring. But there’s a great deal of silence; a lot of observing the characters as they wool-gather. While it might be reflective of the time period itself, I’m guessing this is part of the reason it does not have “universal” appeal…and by universal I mean, it has very limited engagements at a limited number of theaters in a limited number of cities.

While Keats and Fannie were brilliantly acted, I do have to say that Paul Schneider as Mr. Brown made Eric and I both crack up every time he was on screen. We love him in Parks & Recreation; did we buy him as a 19th Century Scottish rogue with homosexual tendencies? Not so much. However, he may have been the most memorable part of the movie for us – we continue to impersonate his performance almost a week later, just for laughs! An impression is an impression, I suppose, whether good or bad.

Fannie’s performance, however, was quite wonderful. She brought a rawness to the role that you rarely get in a glossy, Hollywood film, and I was brought to a state of sobbing by her in one of the film’s final scenes.

In conclusion…

The screenplay: great. Costumes: wonderful and a far cry from the disaster that was Becoming Jane. Music: well-suited to the movie, though the “men’s glee” stuff did make us giggle. Do I recommend it? Definitely to those who have an interest in the time period, and especially to those who write in the time period. The setting alone is inspiration.