Tag: Romance

The Kissing Booth 3

Here we go, here we go, here we go.

First of all, I apologize for never writing out my review of The Kissing Booth 2. I had a lot to rant about and did it live in person a few times, but never got it all down on a review, and that made it worse since it made my worst film of the year last year.

So I knew with the final (better be) film I would make sure to jot it all down. The Kissing Booth 3, a movie that seemingly exists just to make it a trilogy, because they damn well could have finished the storylines established at the end of the 2nd film, but left it with a cliffhanger because they think resolving any aspect of a movie is pointless, I guess.

I am mostly fine with cliffhanger endings in general, in a planned series, but I also would demand that the film tells a complete story. Avengers: Infinity War ends with a sour note, kind of a cliffhanger (because the bad guy wins?) but it also tells a complete story and no one should leave unfulfilled. The second movie ended with a single decision to make and just suddenly decides to not do it.

Fuck that.

group
Fuck this.
As you know, of course, the last time we left off, Elle (Joey King) not knowing where to go college. Harvard, or Berkeley. Because of course if she goes to Berkeley, which she has talked to going for years with her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney) and was their dream. But her boyfriend, Lee’s older brother, Noah (Jacob Elordi) is a year older and in Harvard. If she chooses to go there, she will pick her love life, her future, and you know, it is Harvard. Should she care about a promise to a best friend? Well, she is already lying to both of them saying she is wait listed on both, so she can take her time.

After a few weeks of travel with them and Lee’s girlfriend (Meganne Young), they still have a lot of summer left, and decide to go to Lee and Noah’s family beach house. But oh no! Their parents (Molly Ringwald, Morné Visser ) are going to sell the place after this summer! The kids somehow convince the parents to just let them live there the rest of the summer then, and they promise to clean it up and get it ready for the market. This is where Elle finds an old Beach Bucket list that she made with Lee. They decide to make it the best summer ever, especially since Elle has decided to go to Harvard.

But that isn’t all the plot! For example, her dad (Stephen Jennings) is maybe finding love after all these years, someone to help raise the much younger son (Carson White). And Elle hates it.

But that isn’t all the plot! Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez) is still around, making Lee jealous. And Chloe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) is still around, not making Elle jealous. Also Lee has to deal with the fact that he will be in a long term relationship with a girl he already has problems remembering, because he is a goddamn man-child. And Elle has to come to terms with the fact that she is in a relationship with Noah, who keeps having emotional bursts of jealousy (usually for good reasons), but also because he is a goddamn man-child. And Elle has to come to terms with her own shiftiness, because she is a goddamn womanchild.

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Wow, good pristine condition after 8-10 years. 

How does one start to talk about a movie, nay, a franchise, like The Kissing Booth. Something written by a teenager, and every aspect of that fact is obvious through every scene, decision, and dialogue choice.

The fact that it is called The Kissing Booth isn’t even an issue. It is, for all intents and purposes, a minor part of the first film and still fine to be a dialogue. The dialogue choices from the narrator to overhype the minor part, and constantly try to bring it back through relevance, is really what hurts. Because in the second movie, it has even less of a point on the plot, and of course, in the last movie, is just once again unnecessarily brought back up in the epilogue, six years in the future, because apparently that is where several characters need to meet up at and pretend they never really stayed in communication the times before that.  This aspect of the movie makes more sense if the movie was set in the 1920’s, where maybe there was never a kissing booth beside it, because then we could all understand the strange hype and obsession with it.

The main character Elle is a terrible person. And role model, in case anyone looks up to her for that. You can have movies about bad people, but usually those people have some sort of consequence for their action, or a really hard choice that they will live with for regret to get to their power. Important things to show that those who hurt are hurt in return. But Elle? The girl who actively cheated on her boyfriend while he was away at college, both physically and mentally, and kissed another boy publicly. The one who demanded all the free time of her best friend so much that he literally forgot about her girlfriend who for some reason stuck it with him.

So what does she do this movie? Well, she is more trusting of her boyfriend that he won’t cheat on her, which is great, because he never did. And she decides that means she can hang out and plan things with someone she did cheat on him with, who made it obvious he wants to still win her over? She also decides to get upset with her best friend who wants to do so many things with her, when it was both her idea to make him feel better for it (after lying for over a month) and she did the same thing last year with no care for repercussions?

Let’s be clear on the things that happen to Elle negatively this film. One, her dad is dating a woman and Elle gets mad at her, and lashes out cause of her other shit, over one of the worst board games ever made (Monopoly), and still doesn’t care, until her dad calls her out on her bullshit and makes her feel bad. Second bad thing that happens to her is her boyfriend broke up with her over her bullshit.

Wow. Well let us make it obvious. She has a lot of bullshit and keeps making mistakes and never learning from them. He should have never been with her over the events of The Kissing Booth 2.  But even more importantly, SHE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN WITH HIM DUE TO THE EVENTS OF THE MOVIE THE KISSING BOOTH. Where he was shown to be emotionally abusive, and threatened other guys to leave her alone for years while he was on his own path of getting experience before trying out her. He is shown to not handle any really conversation or argument well time and time again, which is why he runs off and does dumb shit all the time. And so does she. They are both really bad people, which doesn’t make it a good fit for them. Nor does it warrant spending three movies to talk about this relationship.

The problem with this movie is the impressions it leaves on people. Since there is almost no real consequences for any of the characters being terrible, it just helps reinforce that being terrible is a great thing for people to be. After all, look at all the fun they are having. Did you see those costumes? [Editor’s Important Note: Why the fuck does the go-kart track at a water park have stands for people to watch. Do people just sit there all day and look for exciting basic races? It was more than just a parent sitting area.]

I could talk so much about the other technical problems with the movie. Like how all over the place it is in time. When was it set? When did they make the beach bucket list? Why is going to Berkeley on a beach bucket list? Why would they hide it in a hidden time box if the goal was to actually complete it, and they went to the beach every summer? Why does the box have a Super Nintendo Mario Kart design, as if it was set in the 90’s? That goes with my earlier question about time. Because things on the list don’t make sense for various age groups they would have written it.

This is a trilogy that trivializes high school, relationships, proper communication, and the ability to fucking apologize.

0 out of 4.

Trust

You love her,

but she loves him.

And he loves somebody else.

You just can’t win.

Love can stink, certainly, but what about if you have already found love? Do all of your problems go away, and you live happily ever after? Eh. Maybe.

Because now you have to be with someone forever, and have to trust them when you are apart. And if you cannot Trust someone, can you truly love them?

couple1
Oh hey, here are two of the four main characters!

Brooke (Victoria Justice) and Owen (Matthew Daddario)are a couple and lovers and everything is just, just swell. Owen is some level of famous, a new reporter. Brooke handles art deals and runs galleries. You know, a very white couple with careers featured more often in films and TV shows than in real life.

Brooke thinks Owen has been acting weird, because well, he has been. He goes out drinking a bunch and meets people. He may have met a girl. Owen also doesn’t trust Brooke as much, because she has to travel for her job. And her new client, and up and comer, Ansgar (Lucien Laviscount), is suave and lovely and people want him, it happens. He also does mostly paintings of naked ladies, especially ones he has slept with.

But Brooke also doesn’t trust Owen! She ends up hiring a service in order to check out his faithfulness. A P.I. is one thing. She wants to see if he would actually cheat on her if someone flirted. Using this service, she hires Amy (Katherine McNamara) to see she can seduce him for sex, but she won’t do that of course, just get it on camera that he is totally down to fuck strangers. But but but…she also actually wants to fuck Owen though, because they have previously met it turns out and now she might go all the way.

All of these relationships are bad and doomed.

couples2
Oh hey, here are two of the main four characters!

I could have sworn when I watched this that no famous people were actually in this. Justice is famous for things. I know it is Disney related, and I only recognize her name, not her of course. McNamara is in a bunch of CW shows (which explains her character a lot in this movie). And of course Daddario isn’t famous, but his sister is (And he is also in CW shows).

Trust plays out like a sexier CW show that can show some naked lady paintings. None of the characters have any depth to them. Everyone is pretty and everyone is shallow. No one can be described as a good person in this movie. And some of these traits doesn’t always equate to a bad film. You can have a great movie about all bad and flawed people. But this doesn’t fall into the character.

The acting is so off in this film. No one character feels believable, and the melodrama is saturated across every surface. That isn’t a great description, because sometimes melodramas have exciting moments, or moments of intense feeling, even if poorly acted. I feel like this is just four characters floating blankly through their momentary existence, and just are reading lines and getting a small paycheck. Nothing is genuine and the plot is weak.

So, just so I don’t continue to shit on CW, I will say the CW shows usually have some fun moments. But this one is void of anything interesting. It is worse than the average CW show.

1 out of 4.

Taking a Shot At Love

For the longest time on Gorgon Reviews, we have not bothered to watch most made for TV films. There are of course exceptions. For example, I did watch and review A Deadly Adoption on the Lifetime Channel because it was also a parody of lifetime channel films, and had some big names attached.

But Hallmark and Lifetime churn out so many romance and drama films that go straight to their network, with very low budgets, and some famous names, but basic scripts. It is a known joke. If I started to review them, I would have to dedicate basically all of my movie time towards them and nothing else. Or cancel all of my hobbies and jobs. Either way. I think it is easier to ignore them. If we all already accept they are bad and nothing has ever changed that fact, then we don’t need a weekly reminder.

But yet here I am, now reviewing, unprompted, a Hallmark channel movie. This one being called Taking a Shot At Love. I did it because I saw it existed, and saw it was a love story involving hockey and said fuck it, let’s take a shot at Taking A Shot At Love.

coffee
And take a walk at Taking a Walk At Noon. 

Jenna (Alexa PenaVega, oh shit, the Spy Kid!) is a ballet instructor to the youths of a very rich New England small town community. You know. One of those extremely white places. And I don’t say that just because it is set in winter and there is snow. It is small enough that she is one of two ballet/dance teachers, while the other one is a dance TEAM who goes on to compete. And she just wants to teach dance for the love of dance, because she hates competition and putting that extra anger and stress on others/kids. But, she is losing dancers to the team, and the time commitment, and rent is going up, and and and and.

In New York City, we have famous hockey player Ryan “Coop” Cooper (Luke Macfarlane). He is battling some ankle injury, that affects his skate. He has seen a lot of specialists and had the surgeries, but there is something still off about it. He wants to get back on the ice and help the New York Rangers win stuff, and he is a great scorer, but if he can’t skate well, he can’t play.  His agent (Kurt Long) happens to be cousins with Jenna, and she went through the same injury but got 100% better. How? By going back to the basics of ballet, and reworking her skills from the ground up.

So sure, lets send Ryan to her guest house and studio for a month of 1 on 1 ballet training, to see if that will work for him, since they tried everything else.

And sure enough, these very different people, are gonna grow to hate each other and blow up the small community. Wait. No. Opposite. Love and stuff. Got cha.

Also starring Nolen Dubuc so we can have a main kid figure for them to bodn of, Heather-Claire Nortey so it isn’t 100% white, and Andrew Dunbar to give side plot problems to this story.

air hockey
I guess air hockey is like a bonus hockey reference.

If I focused entirely on Lifetime and Hallmark movies, I could tell you if this one was better or worse than the majority of those sort of movies. And I haven’t, which is a good reason why I won’t just randomly try to pick and choose any of these in the future too often, because it just isn’t fair to the genre. Because I have to compare this movie just to all movies I have seen before and well, it is definitely not great.

Anyways. Compared to other films, Taking a Shot at Love is indeed bad.

There never feels like any real conflict in the film, in terms of ways for the characters to grow or overcome anything. The entire film just feels like filler. Oh, we don’t have enough actual romance to work between our leads? Let’s have a side character be bitter about hockey in general because of real life circumstances kept him from getting drafted. (These real life circumstances were a choice and….a very bad choice in terms of helping his family it seems like). Let’s have literally one kid on the ballet team, one of the two boys, be able to recognize him and need help with hockey so that there is a kid figure but neither of their own kids.

The romance happens because the script says it happens. I can’t say there is real chemistry between the characters, outside of them be youthful-ish and attractive and good at their skills. There is no performance from anyone in the movie worthy of note. I am surprised the New York Rangers let them use their image.

Also, this takes place in winter, but unless I misunderstood a conversation early on…they implied the team was already done with round 1 of the playoffs. Which wouldn’t be happening until April in a normal year. Not during winter. The player wanted to get back on round 2, so he could help with that round. And instead is sent for a whole month to get fixed. Are they still in the second round of the playoffs then? Is this the finals now? Who knows. Definitely not the writers of the movie.

0 out of 4.

Malcolm & Marie

Apparently Malcom & Marie is the first “Hollywood” film to be made in Pandemic. Huh. I thought that was Locked Down. But that was filmed in October and this one was filmed in June and July in secret, so I guess I will believe it.

It is a lot easier to make a film like Malcolm & Marie, because it is about two people and stars exactly that. They are in a house together, and I am sure there some other staff, but it is very small film in regards to locations and needs. It is a bottle episode of a movie.

And I will be honest, I was a bit suspect going into it, as I generally am for movies that feel the need to be in black and white, and delayed watching it for a little bit. And, for the short answer, I am glad I got over that initial hump finally.

outside
The crew were told to stand back, so all the shots are this far away.
Marie (Zendaya) and Malcolm (John David Washington) just got back from a movie premier of Malcolm’s latest film and then they talk a lot and go to bed. The end.

That is the short version.

Malcolm is indeed a movie director and they did just get back from a premier. Marie, his current partner, is an actress, and was not part of the movie he directed. It seems a lot of people really enjoyed the movie. Malcolm is worried about the critics. What they will say about his film. Will they say is a story about race, when he was just trying to say a regular story?

But Marie is upset. It might be just one thing or it might be something that is signs of a much bigger problem in their relationship. And one thing is for certain. They are going to talk this thing out and hear each other, regardless of the events going on around the world.

kiss
And we might get a little bit of sexy time too along the way.
Like I implied in my intro, I am very excited that I got over that worry I had with this film, because it is definitely one that after the slowish intro really drew me in to the story.

This is one of those where it is not just the problems they had to discuss, or the reviews that were had for the film, but how they went about their arguments with each other. At times their words and sayings were far too harsh than they needed, and I can’t wait for them to break up because of that selfish shit. It seems like it is likely a toxic relationship, and I don’t honestly think they will work through their issues that they have hope for by the end of the movie.

The acting for Zendaya and Washington is incredible, as it has to be given they are the only elements. We get monologues, we get arguments, we get real emotions from them.

The black and white doesn’t end up being distracting at all. It makes it seem like a basic, simple film, which it certainly is in terms of size, location, and scope. It definitely does add to the atmosphere and the angst between the two lovers.

Malcolm & Marie is the type of film that you would have to assume is just a one act play first with two characters, so it is a big surprise that it is just a film. Usually I can catch those. Very sneaky movie. Very sneaky.

4 out of 4.

Little Fish

Who would have thought we would finally be getting a sequel to Big Fish. Or is Little Fish the prequel?

Really, Big Fish felt like a very complete story, so it is odd that it would have any follow up.

Oh, Little Fish is a different story. Well, shit.

Let me just take this moment to say that I don’t care what size fish you have. You can have a big fish, a little fish, a spotty fish, or a dead fish, and I equally do not want to cuddle your pet.

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I am more of a people cuddler than an fish cuddler. 
Emma (Olivia Cooke) and Jude (Jack O’Connell) have been dating for some time, hell, they are married. It hasn’t always been easy. They are in a band. Oh, and there is a pandemic affecting the world.

No this isn’t COVID. This was probably made and developed before that. As far as I can remember, this virus seemingly affect people randomly at different levels of severity. What does it attack? The memory. It takes away memories from perfectly healthy individuals. No matter the age. Sometimes it is a slow loss, sometimes it is all in a big bunch, sometimes it is somewhere in between.

People who get the virus lose their lives, forget their loved ones, their kids, their purpose, and it is not great. And sure enough, Jude gets the virus, he starts to forget, so Emma puts all of her efforts into helping him remember, helping find strategies to fight the virus, and hope that her husband doesn’t lose all memories of their relationship and find her a stranger.

Also starring Raúl Castillo.

mask
Surprisingly this scene has nothing to do with Covid. 
I know what you are thinking. “A memory wiping virus? How is that different than Alzheimer’s?”

Well, slight differences, but honestly yeah, this could be a story about that. The only difference is the sudden big wipes of memory that happens to some characters, which isn’t the most important part of this plot. Treating this like an Alzheimer’s movie that affects people of many ages helps keep it more grounded in reality, and make a lot of sense.

Early on, I didn’t expect much out of the film, but it grabbed me surely over time. I think I cried at least twice during the movie, two notable scenes involving Jude and his memory loss. A speech and a beach walk. With this sort of film, you can sort of tell where the ending is going to be, and the natural conclusion. This is true for this film, and yet despite knowing that, nothing is lost. I am there for the journey.

I loved Cooke in this role, she was so caring and raw. But is she starting to make a theme of movies of “Being in a band with a lover who has a problem affect him and she has to help him out?” At least Little Fish she is the main character and it is about her during this crisis, versus Sound of Metal where she was barely in it.  I hope her next movie is a period piece. Where she is in a relationship with someone in an orchestra, but that person she is courting ends up getting polio or something similar.

3 out of 4.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

Let’s say we had the title as a real item. You know, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.

What does that mean? Is it a treasure map thing that takes you on an adventure? One tiny prefect thing to the next? Or is it just like a regular map, but instead of street names (or in addition to street names), it has some perfect things along the way.

What a useless sounding map, holy damn.

I mean, these things that are perfect. They are tiny? And I guess they are plentiful enough to make a map? I don’t know why I’d want a map like this.

love?
“Oooh, I love it when you talk to me like a cartographer.”
Mark (Kyle Allen) wakes up one summer morning, during a time when he has summer school, and has an interesting morning. He knows stuff in the crossword, he knows what his sister will say, and he has breakfast timed perfectly. Heck, traveling around his town, he flows seamlessly around traffic and people, helping people along the way, things are going great. It is because, sure enough, Mark has been here before.

He is stuck in a time loop. Pretty normal situation for anyone to be in really, nothing weird to see here. Except he is a teenager, with limited income, and resources, so he feels pretty stuck. And while trying to go on a date with this one girl whom he barely knows (getting closer and closer each time maybe?) he spies another girl, whom he never saw in that part of town at that point of the day.

Her name is Margaret (Kathryn Newton) and, sure enough, she is also in a time loop on the same day. Great! Mark wants to hang out, someone they can share experiences about. They can meet up. They can feel less repetitive! And of course, Mark is going to fall for her, because he is a horndog and wants that physical touch, but she is uninterested.

Well, Mark has the idea that to get out of the loop, they should have a perfect day, mapping out the perfect events around town, those weird moments where something perfect occurs all the time around them in life, but now they are going to try and find them and map them (and redraw the map daily). I mean, sure, why the fuck not, you got eternity I guess?

Also starring Jermaine Harris, Josh Hamilton, Cleo Fraser, and Anna Mikami.

helmet
This must be that big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff. 
Oh hey. Did you like Palm Springs last year? The R rated movie of a similar subject matter, with two people stuck in the same day? Then you’ll love this movie! Then you might like or might hate this film.

And for me, it definitely falls in the latter. Part of Palm Springs being great was the uniqueness of the concept, having a second person in the loop, after it was already going on for a long time, and having an expert of the day.  And obviously this movie has the same concept, but it is a lot more toned down. You know, because of the age of the protagonists, and the rating.

So it is nowhere close to being a funny film, it is just a very uncomfortable romance with a “sci-fi” element. It isn’t original, but it is well shot I guess?

I will say by the end, they start to go for something profound. Just a bit. And it all deals with the Margaret character and her struggles, but they haphazardly put it together, and things get solved because of it. Oh okay. Kind of not only fumbled throughout the execution, but the ending as well? It didn’t drive the point home at all well enough, and just sort of ended. And of course, the plot about the map of little perfect things, the title, is exhaustingly boring.

One final nitpick. The “moon date” scene I hated so much. Besides feeling extremely creepy because he is just trying to court Margaret against her already stated wishes, but it is just…impossible to have done given their constraints of time. They use one line to explain it, but it isn’t believable, and that is important even during a fantasy film.

Definitely one to skip and pretend didn’t really happen.

1 out of 4.

Locked Down

Locked Down was one of the first hyped movies from the year, because it is one of the bigger straight to HBO Max things out there. I honestly don’t know if this one was ever intended to go to theaters first, but this one ended up just on the internet streaming world. And it is notable because it was made during quarantine stuff!

And uhhh, sure, a few things have been made that way now. But but but….how many were released already? Exactly. I also don’t know. This one probably isn’t the first at all. Like, remember that movie Host? That came out awhile ago. And I am sure random TV shows and other stuff have had episodes post quarantine released.

Wait, why is Locked Down special again?

no mask
WEAR YOUR FUCKING MASKS!

Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Linda (Anne Hathaway) are a couple of chumps living in London in 2020, sometime around April probably. Lockdowns are happening, only essential workers can leave to go to work, or leaving for essentials, and a whole lot of meetings are in zoom.

The problem is, these two are miserable together. They aren’t really a couple anymore. There were things that happened not soon before lockdowns began, leading them to for sure breakup once convenient to have a new place and all of that, and then…yeah, they are stuck together.

Well life sure does suck. But thanks to a series of lucky and strange breaks, both of their jobs put them in a position where they have to work together and have to ship off a very expensive diamond to some crummy dude. But what if they don’t? What if they just, like, take it and send the replica instead? They could sell the real one and live happily ever after, even apart if necessary, somewhere far away. Hooray lax security.

Also starring Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon, Ben Kingsley, Ben Stiller, Sam Spruell, Stephen Merchant, Mindy Kaling, and Marek Larwood.

couple

Are they about to kiss at home? Okay, masks can be off.

Okay, quite a few things have been made during pandemic times now. Crews get completely tested, stay in bubbles, other crew member who can’t are masked up on set and social distancing, yadda yadda. But there is something unique in this one already, because it really captures that early April time frame of 2020 with the feel of it.

The world feels mostly empty, we have one of our main characters yelling poems to people on their balcony as a way of providing entertainment. There are masks and confusion of masks. There are zoom conference calls without the annoying jokes about people using zoom wrong (although would have been justified given when this one takes place, but man, those jokes are already played out). It went so well attention wise and then uhhh, I dunno, stopped at the end?

Like, during the heist, which did take place with workers at this giant department store place, and security, and people moving and packing up boxes, no one suddenly was wearing a mask? They had a big procedure of showing people coming in with masks, taking off the mask and then putting back on, but then at some point masks didn’t matter any more and I don’t know why. What the fuck happened to this continuity? Did they film that part before the actual lock downs? If so, the entire plot and reason they could attempt it doens’t make sense.

It really bugs me. And despite that strangeness, I still liked the movie. I like the build up to the heist, which is a huge portion, just not the actual heist, for more reasons than that as well. Just none of it seemed to really make a lot of sense then.

Also to talk about Ejiofor and Hathaway, oh my goodness they are wonderful together. That loath/love vibe is strong with those two, I bet they got into some real method acting before hand. Like, I don’t know what their relationship status is in real life, but I have to assume they actually lived and bugged the shit out of each other for awhile. They probably screwed and had arguments and watched sad movies. Their chemistry is off the charts and I am all for it right now.

Locked Down could have been better, was better than I expected, and I am now trying to headcanon a secret Hathaway/Ejiofor romance throughout the years.

3 out of 4.

The Secret: Dare to Dream

Hey! Come over here. Closer. Closer. I got a secret. Let me tell you it in your ear.

AHHHHHH!

Hah, got you. Remember a decade plus ago when The Secret was a thing? Some book about unlocking the key to the universe! It lead to vision boards, if I am not mistaken. Put positivity out there, and it will come back to you with rewards and money or something. I dunno, I never read the book. They made a documentary about this topic.

And now we get a movie! The Secret: Dare to Dream! It has a fancy subtitle to, you know, daring you to dream. It thinks you are a bitch and won’t take the dare. Come on chicken, bawka bawka. Do it. Dream. They dare you.

train
That envelope better have fat stacks of cash.
Negative Nancy Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes) is so goddamn bitter. She has her reasons. Her husband died, and he was an engineer, about to come out with this great invention to make them super rich. But he died. So she is raising three kids (Sarah Hoffmeister, Aidan Pierce Brennan, Chloe Lee) mostly on her own. Her boss at a local fish restaurant is also her now boyfriend (Jerry O’Connell), which makes her feel uncomfortable when he steps in to pay for things.

And he makes her just feel uncomfortable in general, but she isn’t in it for love, just survival at this point, and her mom (Celia Weston) adores him.

This is when Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas) slams into her life. Or at least the opposite, because she slams her vehicle into his. We see Bray being super happy and helpful with people, so he is super happy and helpful with her too. Sure, no worry about insurance, let’s help fix your vehicle. Oh and roof. And other things. Help help help. Thanks stranger!

Why is this guy so positive and obsessed with Negative Nancy Miranda Wells? Can he make her happy?!.

mvp
Jerry O’Connell, playing the asshole boyfriend most of his career.
I definitely went into this film ready to just hate it. Don’t give me this nonsense. The Secret has some good life advice, but don’t turn it into some mystical thing, you know?

The beginning was very much on point with making this movie feel like the 90’s or 00’s. “Miranda Wells has so much shit on her plate! How can it get any worse?!” But you know what? Lucas is very charismatic and sweet. Hard not to get lost in his eyes, his work ethic, and his…secrets.

You see, not only is The Secret about The Secret way of thinking, but there is also a big Secret in this film. We have layers to our secrets.

And that is the reason why my rating dropped. The characters reactions at a certain birthday party came out of nowhere, and became a trope of easy to fix miscommunication makes people mad and upset. But it was even worse, because even with miscommunication, there was little justification for causing a scene the way it occurred. The movie fell back into the trash pit, and stayed there, especially as things fixed them self in one of the most ridiculous ways possible.

Overall, this movie has little going for it and is definitely a decade too late.

1 out of 4.

Emma.

Okay, so. Listen up. Emma is a book made by Jane Austen. It is likely not one of her most famous books, because it doesn’t feature alliteration in the title and is only one word.

Emma. with a period is a movie version of that book, of which we have already had movie versions, just not in a while.

One of the last times this was done as a movie was, of course, the movie Clueless! Oh you didn’t know it was based on Emma? Most people didn’t. I technically did not. I knew it was based on something but I kept forgetting what book that was. I read that fact several times, and you know what? In one ear and out the other.

But hey, now I saw a movie called Emma. so I can finally remember the Clueless fact.

sheeran
Bold move to get an Ed Sheeran looking guy for the lead.
Emma (Anna Taylor-Joy) is a woman with a lot of time on her hands. Tons. She has no schooling to keep her busy, she has not siblings in her home. She lives in it alone with her older father (Bill Nighy) who doesn’t really want her to leave. He views the marriage of his eldest daughter as a mistake, and their house is empty without her now, so he is fine with Emma just staying around, not looking for a husband.

Emma doesn’t have time for a man right now. She is rich, so she has very few people who could really help her station in life, so she makes her own fun. For example, she really likes to play match maker with people in the village. She really feels like she knows these villagers, poor and rich, and can find those star crossed lovers who would never have met without her help.

Her current plan? To match her friend, Harriet (Mia Goth) with the big eared but sort of cute priest (Josh O’Connor) in town. Her neighbor, a George Knightley (Johnny Flynn) thinks that Harriet should marry a local and honest farmer instead, so they both attempt to lure her in various directions, regardless of her own thoughts on the matter.

As for Emma? She might find love some day. Maybe Frank Churchill (Callum Turner) someone who is actually more wealthy and mysterious, who continuously does not visit their town because he is often “busy.” Yes, she should focus on him and no one else. That is the best bet.

Also starring Myra McFadyen, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Miranda Hart, Tanya Reynolds, Isis Hainsworth, Vanessa M. Owen, and Suzy Bloom.

love
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Drama food.
If you don’t think you would like this movie, just go ahead and ask yourself if you like’d Clueless. If you did, you might enjoy watching this movie just to compare it to Clueless to see how Clueless handled this old book. That is fun by itself.

Another pro for this movie is the colors and costumes. It is draped in decadence for the time period. The costumes pop, the outfits are awesome, and it makes me want to go to a Victorian era ball again in my life.

Music was also a strange highlight that I didn’t expect. They use very time appropriate music as the backdrop, much like a modern film might. As a scene transition. And yet it feels so strange, just having it going on in the back like it is a pop song that helps with a scene transition. It fascinated me, and I thought for sure, eventually, they’d show that church choir or whatever belting out these tunes, and they never appeared. It was a weird feeling, but a weird feeling I enjoyed.

The story itself doesn’t feel like it has the biggest amount of structure beneath it. It is obviously not a new story, given its old source, so that is one big reason why it will feel outdated. However, even taking that into context, the love story isn’t the strongest love story and a story that is a bit of a downer. I didn’t believe their love enough. Needed more time to grow it.

Hope they don’t get divorced a year after marriage. Anyways, now I am going to rewatch Clueless.

3 out of 4.

The Photograph

Look at this photograph…movie! Hopefully doesn’t make me laugh. It’s supposed to be serious, how did we come to this?

Okay, for The Photograph I don’t know anything about it technically. I don’t know the main woman lead. I only know the director, Stella Meghie, did Everything, Everything and I didn’t like the ending.

But, I do know who LaKeith Stanfield, who has been really solid these last few years, which is reason enough for me to be excited. If its a good romance, I will hopefully cry as well.


Oh this one has a red room as well?
Our movie tells two stories, in the 80’s and in the modern day.

Our past story involves Christina (Chante Adams). She grew up relatively poor, enjoying picture taking. Her mom was mad at her youth and freedom, and seemed to disown her just for wanting to live her life. She loved Issac (Y’Lan Noel), and they were gonna grow old together, but he never wanted to leave Louisiana like Christina did, and that made them incompatible. She moved to New York, started a family, and became a great photographer.

In our modern time, we have Michael (Lakeith Stanfield), a reporter for something, who gets to take a long time on his articles. Nice. Not given the shit work. As part of a feature, he meets Issac (Rob Morgan), old now, and learns about Christina who has since died, and meets Christina’s daughter, Mae (Issa Rae) while looking for her art. And sure enough, they find that connection.

The story is about love, its future and past, and how the simplest things can change your life.

Also starring Chelsea Peretti, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Lil Rey Howery, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Courtney B. Vance.


Staring at necks when people don’t see me is also my fetish.
The Photograph is two tales of romance, and it seems they need two tales because neither can stand well on its own feet. Two stories that are related by a single lady. Our past story is relatively basic, as they only flashback just a few times. It is needed for the main story, sure, but it isn’t the type of romance that one will walk out of and talk about how wonderful or tragic it feels. It just feels…basic.

Our modern romance story is a bit more interesting. Adding in new jobs versus new romances, getting over exes, and finding someone that is compatible vs maybe just lustful.

I like the acting from Stanfield and Rae a lot. I particularly enjoy that their stories made them seem like just regular people. It didn’t get bogged down in anything except for their relationships with each other (and for Mae, the relationship with her parents).

But it is a story with very little happening, very little of a conclusion. Decent acting saves a story that just won’t be memorable in a few months.

2 out of 4.