Archive for the Chick Flicks Category

When Harry Met Sally…

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Does sex make it impossible for men and women to be true friends? This romantic comedy chronicles this dilemma through the eleven year relationship between Harry and Sally who meet in college, then pursue their own lives until they reconnect ten years later.

What people are saying:

“Rob Reiner’s touching, funny film set a new standard for romantic comedies, and he was ably abetted by the sharp interplay between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan” 4 1/2 stars

“While it may be packed with whip-smart, endlessly quotable dialogue and laugh-out-loud moments, its enduring popularity undoubtedly stems from the fact that it has genuine heart.” 5 stars

When Harry met Sally was a massive critical and box office success when it was released. This is a witty comedy set in the big apple and both Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are in fantastic touch. They were both huge stars at the time and the respective king and queen of comedy, unarguably. The reason the film was so successful is because it taps into the omnipresent societal dilemma: Can a man and woman simply be friends and nothing more. Nora Ephron’s screenplay is one of the finest examples of a funny screenplay and Rob Reiner is a master filmmaker who is in sublime touch here.” 4 1/2 stars

“An extended Seinfeld episode, but not very funny, not as well written, with lower quality of invention. Oh so-with-it New Yorkers, so cool, so fast talking! The ending evoked the ending of a movie with Dustin Hoffman where he runs and runs to rescue the woman he suddenly discovers he loves as she is in the very process of being married in church, and carries her away to a city bus, so even that wasn’t original.” 1 star

“So much more than a chick flick. This is the story of boy (Billy Crystal) meets girl (Meg Ryan). He makes the argument that men and women can never be “just friends”, to which she begs to differ. You get to see how their friendship progresses through the years, and who ultimately ends up being right. This film is like an excellent Woody Allen movie without all of the cynical self-deprecation, which makes it a refreshing breath of fresh air. It truly is uproariously funny, and I know I’m 26 years late, but it has been a long while since I’ve had such a great time with a comedy. This is directed by Rob Reiner, and I have to say, I don’t think he gets enough credit as being the brilliant comedy director that he really is. The script here is bulletproof, and the chemistry is fiery; even though these two characters are constantly butting heads, you can tell at every single turn that there is something more, brewing just underneath the surface. It’s blunt vs. neurotic, and the repartee that these two share makes the movie; there is a quick-witted comeback for every line of dialogue, and When Harry Met Sally fully encapsulates how you can be attracted to somebody who is constantly driving you up the wall. This is the quintessential romance movie, and I can’t think of a movie out there that does the romantic comedy better. It raises a ton of great points about relationship, and it forces you to ask yourself the question “can men and women really be just friends?” I believe the answer to this question is no when both parties are single, but it doesn’t force any sort of agenda, it allows you to make up your own mind. There are some really good make-up effects here as well, and you can totally buy both of them as college students as well as people in their mid-30’s. There’s so much about this that works, and it’s hard not to emphatically fall in love with it, much like how the characters interact within the film.” 5 stars

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Girls Trip

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

When four lifelong friends-Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish-travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush

What people are saying:

Girls Trip is the rare R-rated comedy that pushes boundaries to truly comedic effect—and anchors its laughs in compelling characters brought to life by a brilliantly assembled cast” 4 stars

“The film is remarkable for its willingness and ability to flaunt its generic premise and go to far stranger, more empowering places than its simple setup might suggest.” 4 stars

“Have not seen Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith act in a while, maybe because they can’t. This movie was so awful. It was like see girls trying to be men and see who can swear the most, whose bodily features are bigger than the next, and last but not least….who can screw someone and have an affair…..this was going back in time where there was not a good black movie. They all run the same theme.” 1 star

“While somewhat slow to start, there are lots of laughs, but some of the comedy is on the raunchy side. If you can handle swearing & brief nudity you’ll enjoy this. The movie is about 4 friends who haven’t seen each other in 5 years getting together in New Orleans for a show, and having a ball partying. Lots of cameo’s & craziness too.” 3 1/2 stars

“This raunchy comedy with an astounding cast. Obvious storyline with gives sight to what friendships are all about. The antics are over the top but this group of great women lends authenticity to the types of relationships black women form. I hope a prequel and other sequels follow with guests stars for years to come” 5 stars

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Five years after the first film, Crown Princess of Genovia Amelia “Mia” Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) has just graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and is returning to Genovia with her bodyguard Joe (Héctor Elizondo). There, she will await her reign once her grandmother, Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews), steps down as Queen. During Mia’s 21st birthday party, she dances with all the eligible bachelors in hope of finding a husband. She becomes attracted to a handsome gentleman named Nicholas (Chris Pine). During the course of the night, Mia’s tiara falls off and is caught by a Member of Parliament, Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) who secretly plans to steal Mia’s crown. While the Parliament is in-session the next morning, Mia stumbles upon a hidden room that allows her to secretly listen in. Viscount Mabrey reveals his nephew, Lord Devereaux, is another heir to the Genovian throne. Despite Queen Clarisse’s objection, the only way Mia can assume her duties as Queen is if she marries within the month. Clarisse invites Lord Devereaux to stay at the palace, while Mia is shocked to discover Lord Devereaux is Nicholas. Mia’s best friend Lilly Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo) surprises her by visiting. Together, they pick through potential husbands. Mia eventually chooses Andrew Jacoby (Callum Blue), Duke of Kenilworth and days later they are engaged. Mabrey plans to have Nicholas woo Mia and dissolve the engagement.

For a ceremony, Mia is to ride sidesaddle but does not know how. Queen Clarisse provides an ancestral wooden leg decoy to make it look like she’s riding sidesaddle. Mabrey spooks Mia’s horse with a rubber snake and Joe rushes to Mia’s aide, but accidentally tears off the wooden leg. Humiliated, Mia flees to the stables, where Nicholas fails to comfort her. At a garden party, Mia and Nicholas quarrel about Mia’s relationship with Andrew; Nicholas tricks Mia into admitting she doesn’t love him. Angered, she argues but instead gets bombarded by a kiss. At first, she kisses him back but then backs away. Nicholas pursues her even more, which causes both of them to fall into a fountain. Queen Clarisse finally tells Mia that her behavior with Nicholas needs to stop.

During the Genovian Independence Day parade, Mia sees some boys picking on a little girl (Abigail Breslin), and abruptly halts the parade to comfort the girl. Learning the children are orphans, Mia has a vendor give them all tiaras and lets them walk with her in the parade. Everyone is impressed by her act of generosity, while Mabrey sees it as a political maneuver. Mia later decides to convert one of the royal palaces into a temporary children’s center. That night, Mia has her bachelorette/sleepover party, where Queen Clarisse surfs on a mattress and sings a duet with Princess Asana (Raven-Symoné), one of Mia’s good friends. In the meantime, Mabrey realizes Nicholas has fallen for Mia, but Nicholas says that Mia will never love him. Nicholas comes upon Mia as she is practicing her archery as part of her coronation rites. He helps her succeed in getting the arrow to hit the bullseye, something she had been struggling with. Nicholas then informs Mia that he is leaving, but asks to see her just one more time before he goes. She declines, saying she is under close guard.

That night, Nicholas appears outside Mia’s window and asks her to come out. Lilly encourages her to go, and Mia sneaks out. They ride out to a lake where they share secrets, dance and eventually fall asleep. They awaken to find a man in a boat videotaping them. Mia thinks Nicholas set her up, while he insists he had no idea. By the time Mia gets back to the palace, the scandalous footage is already being broadcast. Andrew is disappointed and kisses Mia to see if there is a romantic spark between them. They realize they do not love each other, but do not call off the wedding for the good of Genovia. The wedding is to take place the following day, and Mia’s mother Helen (Caroline Goodall) comes with her new husband Patrick (Sean O’Bryan) and their newborn son Trevor. Nicholas decides against attending, but his surly housekeeper Gretchen informs him that Mabrey engineered their televised scandal.

Right before the wedding, Joe informs Mia that Nicholas is innocent. Queen Clarisse encourages Mia to follow her heart, something she has never done and has now cost her Joe, the only man she truly loved. Mia reenters the church, and after pointing out how her grandmother has ruled Genovia while unmarried for a number of years, she tells the members of parliament in the audience to consider the significant women in their lives (such as their wives, sisters, daughters and nieces) and questions if they would have them do what they’re trying to force her to do (marrying people they don’t love). Mabrey cites the law again and once again suggests that his nephew be named King, but just then, Nicholas not only refuses the crown, but also disowns Mabrey as his uncle. Mia proposes the law on royal marriages be abolished, and the Parliament unanimously gives its assent. Encouraged by Mia to have her own happy ending, Clarisse proposes to Joe and they are promptly married.

About a week later, Mia is preparing for her coronation when Nicholas shows up. He professes his love for Mia on bended knees, and they share a romantic kiss. The next day, Mia is crowned “Her Majesty Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, Queen of Genovia”, with all in attendance in the royal palace.

An epilogue shows that Genovian Parliament now allows female members, one of whom is Charlotte. And Queen Mia officially opens the children’s home

REVIEW:

Sometimes when the end credits roll on a film you wonder if you will ever see the characters again and what will they be up to the next time we see them, should we be privileged enough to see them again. This was the case with The Princess Diaries. The film ended in a way that left the audience wondering what happens next. Enter The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, a film that I swear I was not meant to see (up until tonight, I have never been able to watch it straight through for various reasons). With all that aside, let’s see if this film is comparable to its predecessor.

What is this about?

Directed by Garry Marshall, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement picks up where its predecessor left off — that is, with American teenager Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) reeling over the news that she is a princess within the royal family of Genovia, a little-known European nation with a population of barely 50,000. As promised, Mia, along with her best friend, Lilly (Heather Matarazzo), travels to Genovia after their high-school graduation. The unlikely princess has hardly settled into the castle, let alone begun representing the country, when she learns that a larger title is approaching more rapidly than expected; it seems as though Mia will have to take over as queen. Suddenly, in addition to further schooling on the etiquette of royalty, Mia finds herself with a daunting prospect — according to Genovian law, all princesses must be married before they can be crowned.

What did I like?

One more once. Not too long before the first film was made, Julie Andrews underwent surgery on her throat/vocal chords. The operation was a success, but she was no longer allowed to sing. I’m not sure what happened, but we get a song from her during the slumber party, albeit nowhere near as strong a vocal performance as we expect from her. Still, it is great to hear her sing a few notes.

In her skin. In this second time out, Anne Hathaway, as Princess Mia, seems much more confident both as an actress and the character as a royal. Can you imagine what this would have been like if she was still bumbling around like she was when we first met her? Granted, she does still have those moments that remind us that while she is the would be queen, the clumsy prep school girl is still in there somewhere.

Grandmother. Julie Andrews’ character is on her way out of the royal spotlight and off the throne as Mia takes her rightful place as ruler of Genovia. It is because of this that I think she is able to not be such a “stick in the mud” and be more of a grandmother towards her granddaughter. We get a few scenes where she is chewing her out, of course, but for the most part, she is the dream grandmother we all wish we had. She had poise, class, elegance, compassion…not to mention she’s Julie Freakin’ Andrews!!!

What didn’t I like?

Nevermore. Aside from her best friend, Lily, who was flown in from California (and felt a bit forced into the film), Mia seems to be close to Princess Asana. There are two glaring issues I want to bring up with this. First, if they are so close, why is Asana only in a couple of scenes? Second, who is she? How did they meet? Why are they so close? Mia grew up with Lily and they were both outsider freaks in high school, so we know that’s why they were so close, but with Asana, we get none of that. She’s just a random character that gets to sing with Julie Andrews.

Formula 1. Is it me or with every film, book, or tv show that involves a royal change of power of sorts, we get someone who wants to prove they are next in line. This is such a cliché’ nowadays. One could tell what was going to happen before it actually does, just by the film’s title and the type of film this is. Come on filmmakers, be creative!

Lionel. Joe, who is retiring when the Queen leaves the throne, is sacked with an intern in his last days. What I found odd about this guy was how he reminded me of Michael from the first film, but with darker skin and slightly shorter hair. This got me thinking…with the way Mia fawned over Michael in the first film, wouldn’t it have been a cool idea for him to show up as Lionel in disguise and be her dream ending? Of course, then Chris Pine’s whole character in this film would be worthless, but he goes on too much bigger and better things after this, so he’ll be fine.

Final verdict on The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement? Let’s see…it repeats some of the same notes from the first film. The soundtrack isn’t as catchy this go-round. Chemistry among the characters is so-so, but I actually believed it in the archery scene with Hathaway and Pine. The mattress surfing scene was perhaps the most fun part of the film. Do I recommend this? Yes, a good (non animated) family film is hard to find. While not great, it is somewhat entertaining and that’s worth something. However, I would suggest going for the first film, if you can.

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Thirteen-year-old Lizzie McGuire and her pals Gordo, Kate and Ethan all pack their bags and plan to live la dolce vita while on a class trip to Italy. Once there, Lizzie is mistaken for pop star Isabella and begins to falls for Paolo, Isabella’s handsome, Italian pop star former boyfriend. When Lizzie’s mom, dad and annoying brother Matt get wind of this, they all jet their way to the boot country. In the meantime, Lizzie is transformed from a gawky teen to a beautiful pop star, Gordo struggles to understand his true feelings for her, and a whirlwind of surprising events force Lizzie to find the true meaning of friendship.

What people are saying:

“As driving-around-in-the-car-with-the-top-down, putting-on-your-lip-gloss, loving-life moviemaking, it’s all good.” 3 stars

“I’m sure every Lizzie McGuire fan will enjoy this movie. It’s just practically a Disney Channel Original Movie on the big screen. Parents, you’ll be bored. I also can’t handle Hilary Duff’s painfully unbearable auto-tuned musical performance at the end.” 2 stars

“A light movie to view to raise your spirits. Cute, sweet, and predictable, but in a bearable way. Nothing to remember, maybe not a classic, but nice for a quick watch with friends when boredom strikes.” 3 stars

“Cute, sweet, funny and watchable. We were never big fans of the series but the movie does satisfy. Though tween girls are the film’s demographic, it has humor for guys and adults. Good family film. ” 3 stars

“Let’s face it: Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) is just too darn polished to be a junior-high underdog, even by the standards of her ‘luxe suburban environs’. But that hasn’t tarnished her comeback-kid cred among the six-and-ups who faithfully follow her Disney Channel show—and it doesn’t make The Lizzie McGuire Movie, a clever, agreeably weightless theatrical outing, any less enjoyable” 3 1/2 stars

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this screwball sequel to the 2002 hit romantic comedy, there’s a new wedding on the horizon for the wacky Portokalos clan — and with it comes a new assortment of family crises and secrets.

What people are saying:

“A sequel as funny as the original. You’ll laugh out loud many times. The cast is all back and better than ever. Kudos to director Jones for a great effort. Vardalos is terrific but Lainie Kazan steals every scene she’s in. This is fun entertainment.” 5 stars

“Sequel to the popular hit comedy from the 90’s. The spark is not there anymore although the same characters are back this is inferior in every way” 2 stars

“Sweet-natured sequel gets the old gang together to answer questions nobody asked. Worth a rental, though, for old times’ sake.” 3 stars

“Sometimes no matter how much you want something you shouldn’t get it. This sequel is one shining example of that. The first movie was so funny and unexpected that a sequel, no matter how many years later, could never bring back the same joy.” 2 stars

“This was a pleasant enough film with a few mild chuckles, but if the Greeks invented comedy, there’s little evidence here. There seems to be a reason the Greek masters didn’t write sequels frequently.” 2 1/2 stars

The Holiday

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Stuck in a vicious cycle of dead-end relationships with two-timing men, Los Angeles resident Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Londoner Iris (Kate Winslet) decide to swap homes. In the process, their trade paves the way for romances they never imagined possible.

What people are saying:

“Loved this film. Typical romantic comedy but got to see all the old guys- which is always special. Eli Wallach and Shelley Berman! What more could you ask for?” 5 stars

“There’s nothing authentic or personal about The Holiday — it’s as chilling as heart-warmers get.” 2 stars

“Watching Kate’s character hopelessly follow an obviously broken relationship was heartbreaking… But seeing her find love in an unexpected, yet genuine man gave me hope.” 4 stars

“Not too bad but a bit long. Sorry but Jack Black just doesn’t cut it as a serious actor in this one. Combination of poor dialogue and bad facial expressions by his character didn’t help. ” 3 stars

“I adore this movie and have watched it many times. The four leads, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Jude Law all play their parts perfectly. Yes, it is somewhat of a fantasy, but after all it is a romantic comedy. It has plenty of laughs but enough tears to hold the viewer’s attention. It is definitely a “chick flick,” so husbands and boyfriends hold your breath and endure. You will have the everlasting gratitude of your significant other.” 5 stars

Sixteen Candles

Posted in Chick Flicks, Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Samantha’s sixteenth birthday should be memorable, but her family is so preoccupied with her older sister’s wedding that they completely forget her big day. Meanwhile, Sam tries to catch her crush’s eye.

What people are saying:

“A 80s John Hughes written film, so you know it’s hella solid in the dialogue category. Being the 1st film he directed, I thought it was great being John Hughes 1st. Their are some small side gags that would of been better left out of the movie entirely. Overall didn’t hurt the movie too much. It’s a fun, very enjoyable, and funny movie.” 3 1/2 stars

“I had seen most of the 80s Teen Flicks, but somehow never got around to this one. Probably an anti-Molly thing. Ah, foolish youth. The fact is, this is one truly funny film! Typical John Hughes stuff, funnier than The Breakfast Club, but with less meat to it. As far as the rating, I’m surprised it received a PG — the language and brief nudity would probably rate an R today. But if you can get past that issue, you’ll have a lot of fun with 16 Candles.” 4 stars

“A simple story and a well chosen cast, particularly Ringwald, prevent Sixteen Candles from being melodramatic and paces itself with plenty of humor and complexity that only a teenager can understand. Watching this film as an adult will diminish any emotional impact.” 5 stars

“Molly Ringwald has her 16th birthday but her family is so preoccupied with her older sister’s wedding that they completely forget her big day. She has a crush on the jock, but a nerd has a crush on her. She must find a way to enjoy her birthday, despite the dance where things don’t go quite as planned. A pretty typical 80’s comedy especially with John Hughes. Pretty good and pretty much typical of the 80s.” 3 stars

“John Hughes got everything right with this cute and funny comedy that defined the 80s… I have probably seen this movie 20 times and laugh at the same scenes. Molly Ringwald, who’s been in several JH films, pays a love-sick teenager whose parents forget her 16th birthday. This movie also has created alot of funny one-liners my sisters and me still use- ‘oh and they’re sooo perky!” Super funny from the great beginning all of the way to the end. And I miss John Hughes terribly, no one understood the American teenager like this guy. A little dated with the 80s clothing and hairstyles but this movie still holds its own and will make any teenager laugh today.” 5 stars