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Festive Movie Marathon: A Rom-Com Kind Of Christmas

Christmas-movies-2Happy Christmas Eve guys. It is traditional for me on this very day to eat lots of chocolates, generally the Quality Street variety, bake up some mince pies, and watch back-to-back Christmas movies – and you guessed it that is what I am doing right now.

Last Christmas I put up my favourite festive movies – the likes of White Christmas and Santa Clause, plus a whole raft of suggestions that probably only myself and the Hallmark Channel have ever heard of. This Christmas Eve I thought I would go for a romantic-comedy theme – mixing festive cheer with a fuzzy feel good factor. So here goes – my five rom-com suggestions:

The Holiday  Many reasons why this makes the cut each festive season, first who doesn’t want to be Cameron Diaz, secondly it is the only film I actually think Jude Law is hot in, and thirdly I love the contrast between a snowy England and Los Angeles. This is a great feel-good film that even my boyfriend doesn’t mind sitting through.

While You Were Sleeping – What I love about this film is that it is a little unconventional when it comes to a festive romance film – as instead of eyes meeting across a crowded holiday party, Lucy played by Sandra Bullock actually saves her commuter crush and gets mistaken for his fiancé while he is in a coma and then falls in love with his brother. Not only am I huge Sandra Bullock fan but I also have a soft spot for Bill Pullman.

Love Actually – This film is British comedy at its very best. I love the interwoven little storylines, the incredible cast, I adore Bill Nighy as an aging rocker, and most of all I love that Hugh Grant as Prime Minister falls in love with his tea girl. You can’t help but laugh, cry and feel good when watching this film.

Serendipity – This is a film that doesn’t just come out at Christmas for me, I love the idea of Serendipity meeting a stranger and having a connection but the not so perfect timing means that they don’t stay in touch, rather they see if chance brings them back together again. If the story doesn’t get you the chemistry between John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale will!!!

Miracle on 34th Street – No Christmas list is complete without my favourite festive film – come on Richard Attenborough is the greatest Father Christmas and I don’t mind admitting it ‘I Believe’!!! OK so the main story isn’t a romantic one, but who doesn’t want to see Dorey and Bryan get together – how did she say no the first time that rock was perfection.


A couple of favourites I don’t have on DVD yet but I adore and search out each season on Christmas 24 and Sky Movies has to be ‘Christmas in Boston’, ‘His and Her Christmas’, ‘Boyfriend For Christmas’, ‘Holiday Engagement’ and one I found this festive season is ‘Hitched for the Holidays’ it has Joey Lawrence from ‘Blossom’ in it – I do wish I could get the Hallmark Channel here in the UK!!!

Which romantic Christmas movies is your favourite?

Film Review: Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’


At the weekend I went to see the much-anticipated Joss Whedon take on William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, which was shot over the course of only 12 days in the director’s Santa Monica home, and if you are a fan of Whedon’s past TV shows and films you will spot a few familiar faces in the incredible cast.

I saw a number of interviews with the guy who brought me Buffy, Angel, Firefly and of course last year’s Avenger’s Assemble, and nearly everyone seemed surprised that he would do something different, unexpected, and that it would be incredible. I wasn’t surprised by how good it was, but I wasn’t expecting the film which is filmed in black and white and uses the original text that it is written largely in prose, to be so modern, fresh and charming.

The comedy is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, I love how it portrays romance, politics, family and most of all the love-hate relationship between Benedick and Beatrice, played by Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker, who really were the standout stars of this production, especially with their screwball comedy performances. Amy Acker, best known as Fred in Angel, really did shine in this film and for me had a touch of Katharine Hepburn about her.

As well as great performances from Denisof and Acker, another highlight had to be Nathan Fillion aka the evil creepy priest Caleb from Buffy and of course Kate Beckett’s sidekick in Castle, as Dogberry and Tom Lenk, also from Buffy, as his sidekick Verges – both were hilarious as the bumbling clownish night watchmen.

Unlike other adaptations of classics that have been given the glossy treatment, with over done staging, costumes, and music, Whedon kept his version contemporary and in keeping with Shakespeare’s story, and even though on paper it maybe shouldn’t work it so does and I am sure it will be used by many an English teacher to make Shakespeare look cool!!!

I love that Whedon kept the original words, that he didn’t make the cast put on fake English accents, and that he had them wearing modern dress, and I thought the constantly drinking throughout really helped understand why the characters make the choices they do.

I went to see this with a friend and we both agreed that the only thing missing was Sarah Michelle Gellar aka Buffy and Summer Glau from Firefly, but really that is just us both being uber geeky Whedon fans and dreamers!!!

I am going to have to say this has to be the must-see film of the summer and I can’t recommend it enough, I just hope that more cinemas put on screenings as so far it looks like it is going to have a limited run. Check out the film’s website to see if it is on at a cinema near you, trust me you will love it.

Much-ado-about-nothing-1 Much-ado-about-nothing- Much-ado-about-nothing-4 Much-ado-about-nothing-3 Much-ado-about-nothing-2

Still undecided? Why not check out the trailer:

[Pics: Much Ado About Nothing]

Movie Marathon: 5 Films To Make You Smile


On days like today, when it is windy and rainy outside I like to go into hibernation mode and settle in front of the TV. A movie marathon is one of my favourite things to do on a quiet weekend, whether it is a series of fashionable films, gushing over my movie idols, swooning over the likes of Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis, or my go-to five movies that totally cheer me up. Today with the weather being so miserable I need films that make me smile.

1. Overboard

Billed as a ‘screwball comedy’ and I couldn’t agree more but it is because of the craziness of this film and the chemistry between Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell that makes it one of my favourites. If you haven’t seen it, shame on you, download it now – basically Goldie is a pampered socialite who loses her memory, Kurt’s character decides she will make a great mum to his kids – hilarity follows!!!

2. Sweet Home Alabama

This film for me is a combination of loving Reese Witherspoon, finding Josh Lucas hot, and the Southern location. Every time I watch this movie I love her hair cut short that it makes me consider chopping off my locks, well for a second, the gorgeous setting makes me want to book a holiday to Alabama, and I always say to my boyfriend we need some cool vases like that for our house, which always gets the same eye-roll!

3. High Society

Well there had to be one musical in the mix, it was hard to choose between Singing In The Rain and this, but I just love the chemistry between Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby. As well as making me smile, I love the very drunk/hungover Tracy played by Grace, I just adore her wardrobe, but most of all I love singing along with Sinatra and Celeste Holm when they ask ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire’ – all together now “I don’t”.

4. Birdcage

This is Robin Williams at his very best, he literally makes me laugh non-stop, but the moment I love the most in this film is when the butler puts shoes on – seriously hilarious that I have been known to rewind it and play it again. This film, like with Blue Brothers, which would have made it in the top 5 if I could have found the DVD, reminds me of afternoons with my mum as we both love these movies. If you watch this film and don’t laugh I just don’t think we can be friends!!!

5. Coyote Ugly

Just writing the title is making me sing ‘Can’t Fight The Moonlight’ – this movie has everything I love a hint of comedy, romance, and someone to swoon over Adam Garcia. Plus I can’t be the only one who wanted to be a Coyote Ugly so they could dance on the bar. Also every time I watch I forget that Tyra Banks is in it and I wonder why Piper Perabo didn’t make it huge as I love her in this flick.

After more suggestions? Well, I also love Blues Brothers, Some Like It Hot, Sister Act, Knight and Day – who knew Tom Cruise was so funny, and basically anything with Goldie Hawn, I love The Out-of-Towners, HouseSitter and Bird on a Wire with a young Mel Gibson.

I am always on the look out for more films to add to the marathon – so why not leave me a comment below with your favourite films that make you smile?


Movie Review: The Hunger Games – 4 out of 5

I have been a little, OK a lot obsessed with The Hunger Games trilogy, well last week the first of the series hit the big screen and I wasn’t disappointed. There is a lot of pressure on the movie, not only from Hollywood executives wanting another teen-adult hit on their hands to follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter and Twilight, but mainly from the fans of the book hoping that the film will stay true to the best-seller.

If you are new to the world of The Hunger Games let me give you a quick re-cap without giving too much away. The trilogy written by Suzanne Collins, is set in a dystopian future in a nation known as Panem, which is divided into 12 districts, that each year has to send one boy and one girl chosen by a lottery to compete in a lethal televised contest to the death, with only one victor. The idea of the big brother inspired games was created as a punishment to the districts for a rebellious uprising, and more than that as entertainment for the Capital’s eccentric residents.

Directed by Gary Ross, the film keeps very true to the book, centring around Katniss Everdeen, a survivor from the poverty-stricken coal mining District 12, after she volunteers for her little sister Prim at the reaping. It is the movie’s scary realism, which is emphasis in the use of a lot of handheld camera work, that completely draws you in from the first act, however, the building of tension with the use of quick disorienting cuts, that are sometimes blurry can be a little distracting.

As well as keeping to the tone of the books, what made this movie shine for me had to be the casting, Jennifer Lawrence was amazing as the strong female heroine, she portrayed Katniss really well showing just the right mix of vulnerability and ruthlessness. Another standout performance came from the under-used Woody Harrelson, who plays Haymitch, a previous Hunger Games champion and mentor to Katniss and Peeta. I loved his interpretation of the character, which was kind of like a washed-up alcoholic boy band member, with his long hair, I just wish we had seen more of the rapport between Haymitch and Katniss.

Two other surprising roles in the film are Stanley Tucci’s portrayal of chat show host Caesar, who really does add some light-hearted moments, as well as a narrative not included in the book of the behind-the-scenes action in the Capital, which is further helped by games master Seneca, played by Wes Bentley who really impressed me. I really did enjoy the addition of the studio, Caesar’s commentary, and the scenes between President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland and Seneca did pull the back-story of Panem through nicely.

Unlike the book where the expansive characters flowed nicely, they all seemed a little crammed into the film. This led to not much of Gale and Katniss, or the romance/friendship between Peeta and Katniss, or even between her and Cinna, which was one of the relationships I was looking forward to seeing in the film. Lenny Kravitz generally plays himself, well with a bit of gold eyeliner, but I generally left wanting more of him from every scene he was in.

Overall the film is enjoyable, I didn’t leave feeling like they’d destroyed the tone of the books, just that I wanted more. As I had read the book I found that the two and a half hours flew by, however I went with my boyfriend who hadn’t read them and he was bored, he said too much pre-games and not enough action, whereas I wanted more before.

One thing that did translate well, except maybe for Katniss’ fire dress on the chariot, which used CGI, was the fashions of the book. I loved everything about Effie Trinket’s crazy haute couture wardrobe that was completely over the top, and it is amazing how unrecognisable Elizabeth Banks is in the role.

The first things I thought after I came out of the film was that I enjoyed it, that I was sad Madge didn’t make it into the final cut seriously Greasy Sae giving Katniss the Mockingjay Pin wasn’t quite the same, but most of all I left looking forward to The Hunger Games – Catching Fire. Granted it hasn’t been confirmed they are making a second film but after raking in more than $155 at the US box office in its opening weekend I am sure an announcement is coming soon!!!


The Hunger Games, 12A is out now on general release.