To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Find it on: Netflix

Year: 2018

I keep leaning towards teen romances lately, I don’t know why. It may be because of the innocence and naivety. So many romcoms are just so unreal that it’s hard to take any stock into it; it’s all so modern fairy tale. But, teen romances are more believable. Hormones are going crazy and everything does feel like it’s world-stopping amazing or horrible. It’s relatable. “To all the boys I’ve loved before” had that feeling. It was down-to-earth though, simple but real, and the emotions felt on-point. The diversity didn’t feel forced either, it felt realistic. I hope other movies mimic that natural diversity in the future.

The plot itself is cute, although a familiar trope. Lara Jean is a simple high school student, not in the popular crowd and has mainly one best friend, but she’s secure and mainly has her feet on the ground. Besides her affinity for romance novels, she’s pretty much avoided all-things love related. Any crushes have been carefully hidden, known only to her in love letters she’s never sent. But Lara Jean’s life is turned upside down when somehow those forbidden letters are sent. Five embarrassing letters have been sent out and she now has to deal with the overwhelming and even detrimental consequences they have caused.

Honestly, it’s so fun. Lara Jean is such a great character because she really has this vivid imagination, but she’s still working out how her inner self relates to how she acts on the outside. In general, she’s such an easy going character it’s easy to love her. Being a Netflix movie it’s not surprising that there are a couple things that could’ve flowed better or been expanded on, but all in all it was very well done. I don’t have many complaints on the actual actors either. They all played their parts very well. I think her friend, Josh, could’ve been a touch better; he just felt awkward at times and it doesn’t feel like it was supposed to be intentional.

You’ve Got Mail

A classic 90’s romance. But really more then that. I recently read Buzzfeed post that had some completely unfounded and biased opinions about it that I finally had to rewatch the movie and, I’m happy to say, the post was completely and utterly wrong. This movie has more depth and insight into the human soul then almost any romance I’ve ever watched (including, Sleepless in Seattle). The characters are flawed individuals who have back-stories and complicated lives. The two main leads show how complicated real love is.

The movie is about man and woman who have met online and been emailing one other for a while; but their real lives are mysteries to one another. They’re friends who share little tidbits of their souls, somewhat becoming anchors for each other. In real life though their lives are unknowingly about to collide. Catherine is a small bookstore owner. Joe owns a bookstore monopoly (like Barnes and Noble). When Joe starts building only a block away from Catherine’s bookstore, it threatens her business. Their lives collide.

MILD SPOILERS:

Although it would be a rarity if you hadn’t seen this movie yet, if you want to remain surprised, read not ahead.

I think the movie was brilliant, though. It showed love in some really interested aspects. For one, Joe and his girlfriend. This has a lot of layers. It’s clear from the beginning that the relationship really doesn’t have a lot to it. He’s just going through the motions. What becomes clear as the movie goes on is that the reason he’s in the relationship is because of his dad. His dad wasn’t much for romance but continuously got married and divorced over and over again. Joe grew up with that (as the bulk of the wives had been his nannies) and was just going through the motions just like his dad. It’s probably what he thought he was supposed to do. His girlfriend was also not that great. She was selfish and conceited.

On the other hand, Catherine and her boyfriend were going through similar motions. He wasn’t a bad guy but you could really feel that there was something missing. They seemed to fit, but it just wasn’t there. Something they both realized.

Then you have the online relationship between Catherine and Joe. I feel like they both went into as the people they wished they were. Catherine had taken over her bookstore from her mom and was really kind of living her mom’s life; it was clear in her writing that she had this fire in her that really wasn’t being met by the bookstore. Joe grew up with people who didn’t care, they were businessmen who were accustomed to flickering out small businesses; he was surrounded by people where money and status were the most important thing. It’s clear though that he really didn’t feel that way. He could do it, but it wasn’t really him. The online relationship between them was where they spoke their souls.

Now, the relationship in real life. Catherine and Joe butted heads and argued. Because in the outside world, they were both playing their parts still. Joe was the big bad businessman and Catherine was the loyal bookstore owner protecting her shop. When Joe realized who Catherine was it made him stop and really think. He had to figure out who he really was. Was he NY152 or was he Joe Fox? He couldn’t stop being Joe Fox, but for the first time he could look past his influences and see that he could also be the man he was online.

Honestly, the story really showcases some great things about relationships. Things about change and being your best person. About accepting hard and sometimes painful life changes, but finding the good in what you have. About fighting for what you want and when to accept defeat. Just remember when you watch the movie, it’s not about fantasy. It’s about two people with flaws finding each other and accepting one another.

It Takes Two

 

 

It take Two Pic

My Review:

This movie from the nineties brings back all the memories. Honestly, it’s a fun watch even now. It has what a lot of romcom movies lack: kismet. It’s actually a Mary Kate and Ashley film. I don’t know if many really remember them and the storm of popularity they had for a while. The Olsen twins got their start as the infant sister in Full House. Their innate acting ability catapulted them into stardom with their own shows and line of movies before they stepped out of the limelight to pursue careers in the fashion industry.

This movie is a sweet film about two girls (who happen to be identical, but not related) who decide that their consequent parent figures belong together. Amanda is an orphan, her home leader is a kind, spirited woman who would love to adopt Amanda, but can’t because she doesn’t have the money and she’s single. They head to a week-long camp created by the Calloway foundation with the threat of adoption looming over Amanda’s head by a not-so-appealing family, the Butkis’. Alyssa Calloway has just returned from boarding school and is meeting her father at their summer home where she finds out to her dismay that he’s getting remarried to a woman who is as two-faced as they come. By some strange kismet Alyssa and Amanda meet. They realize that they might be able to help each other out if only they can get Alyssa’s father and Amanda home leader together. Of course, it bears the question. Can kismet be created between the two strangers or are Alyssa and Amanda’s fates out of their hands?

It’s no heart pounding romance or crazy rambunctious comedy, but the emotions and feelings between the characters are strong. It feels so natural and reflexive. The story line goes at a nice smooth pace with a nice resounding finale that leaves me feeling satisfied. It’s also something that can be enjoyed at any age. It’s not too childish or too adult. Definitely leaning towards more a girl movie, but not to the point it couldn’t be enjoyed by the male species.

Mr. Right

So, this was one of those finds that really show me that I like the odd stuff and I might be just a little crazy. This movie is off-the-wall love between two extreme personalities (dare I say, psychos in a very loose term). But I loved it. I thought that the story and characters were fantastic; the plot was fluid and fun. It’s definitely violent, but I mean, seriously, it’s a movie about an assassin, it’s somewhat expected. The tone of the movie is also very laid back. It’s clear that it wasn’t made to be some blockbuster, but I think that’s what I like about it. In one portion of the movie they are just talking about each other’s lives (her more then him, obviously) and it’s just so simple, natural. I like the awkwardness, because it really showcases reality and humanity. Not the Hollywood version of what they think ‘life’ is. I also want to point out that it shows that people may not have everything together and they may suffer from mental illnesses that make them seem like they are crazy, but in the end they are just humans. Messed up, sure, but who isn’t? There’s no line of ‘normal’ and ‘crazy’; and everyone deserves to find love and be happy.

I’m not going to go on too much about the plot, because with movies there’s not a lot I can say without giving too much away. It’s about a woman who falls in love with an assassin who has developed a moral code and has been killing the people who hire him. So, yeah, in essence, that’s the ‘main’ idea of the plot. Of course, there is so much to it than that. Most interesting to me is Sam Rockwell who plays the male lead. Now, I have nothing against Rockwell, honestly, I think he did an awesome job in this. I really like when these actors/actresses who have been type-casted into side characters for so long get back into the lime light. The female, Anna Kendrick, was also very good. Her scope as an actress was fantastic for this. She really was able to express the eccentric personality in this so well (now, only if she could have played Bella in Twilight, maybe there would have been hope in the shiny vampire future).

Age of Adaline

Age of Adaline is a different sort of movie. I can imagine that it’s not in the main stream of popular films as the ending almost has a bitter sweet finish that leaves one feeling reminiscent for the characters’ possible and missed futures. The actors were good, demonstrating several levels of depth that was needed for this sort of plot. The story was something different, a fantastical/sci-fi twist that kept a reasonable level of credibility in the realm of possibility.

The story is about Adaline. She lived in the 1900s when she was in a terrible and unusual accident from which she awoke frozen in time. From the day forward until the present time she would remain 29 years old. Because of this, Adaline was forced to change her identity every ten years; moving from place to place. Her life has been a stagnant one, living on the fringes of society but not truly participating. Things change when she meets a young man and she suddenly becomes unsure if she can leave it all behind this time. Her decision almost seems set until she meets his family and his father ends up being someone from one of her previous lives.

SPOILERS AHEAD: Proceed at your own risk.

The story is good. I’m unsure about the narrator though. His voice wasn’t bad, but it was like listening to a documentary commentary and it took away from the flow of the story at times. The most troubling part about the whole thing was the somewhat triangle between Adaline and Harrison Ford’s character and his son. It’s obvious as the story goes on that the real love of Adaline’s life was William (Ford) and the same for him. So it left it somewhat bittersweet at the end. They both had other people at the end who they did love but their hearts weren’t in it completely. It’s just such a sad story really. Good, but sad.

Heart to Heart

This drama was fun, different and really set a new beat for dramas. The characters were deep and the emotions behind them were very real. The show really managed to express the world of someone with severe social phobia, as well as the deep scars that form from a tragedy. It shows the rippling effect of an event and how it can affect different people. Despite all of this the drama was fun; it had great moments of comedy, humor and romance. It also showed a different side of life with characters that weren’t perfect and had problems they needed to deal with or overcome.

Cha Hong Do has severe social phobia. Hiding inside of her house and even growing much of her own food to limit how much she has to go out, she would do anything to avoid people. Even more so, whenever she is faced with someone her face becomes beet red, only increasing her embarrassment. Despite this, Cha Hong Do is very smart. She uses this to create a persona; to be able to work she uses make-up art and dresses up as an old woman. Her skill is flawless and as an old woman she can express herself more. That is until she meets Ko Yi Suk, an intense and somewhat harsh psychiatrist. Together, they try to conquer her social phobia so that she can step into the world again, but the reality may be harder then it seems. Along for the ride in the story is Cha Hong Do’s secret crush, a young handsome cop, Jang Doo Soo. And Ko Yi Suk’s wannabe actress sister, Ko Se Ra.

I really loved this drama. I know for some commenters they didn’t have a very clear understanding of the psychology behind the show and so they felt that there was abuse or some such going on. This drama is about flawed people who have deep scars that have created different forms of mental disorders in these individuals. It’s about understanding and strength; it’s about the power of connection that can heal the mind.

Go Ho’s Starry Night

So, this short drama was a cute, fun weekender. It had enough story to be interesting with enjoyable characters. It was just a fun watch about finding the right one. I also liked it because it really showed how we look at potential lovers and how methodical it sometimes is. It was also about why we like somebody, first impressions, and how our feelings for someone can change from love-to-hate and visa versa.

Go Ho is a thirty-something workaholic. Facing the death of a mentor (an older, single woman whose life was her work) Go Ho starts to wonder if that is her future. Even though she’s not embarrassed to work hard she doesn’t want to throw away the possibility of falling in love and having a family. She starts looking at the men around her and gaging their potential. The angry team leader that pushes her around, the fat and lazy manager who has a good heart, the director with his prestige and kindness or her ex and also new boss. As she tries to decide what she actually wants she realizes that love isn’t always a constant; it can change. And people aren’t always who she thought they were once she took a closer look.

What I liked about this drama was how they looked at people. It was all about looking at people without the ……….. I know some people would probably complain about the whole bad boy thing. I think that’s one of the big things I hear in comments, especially about Korean dramas, are the bad boys. In my opinion, I think the bad boys in these dramas are more realistic then most of the other characters. They’re flawed and that’s what creates the connection that not only the female protagonist feels but the audience.