Archive for Rome

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

Three Coins in the Fountain

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Three American working women pin their hopes for love on wishes they make as they toss coins into the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome. Their wishes come true … but only after a series of dramatic misunderstandings on their quest for true romance.

What people are saying:

“Great cinematography, great music, and three fun and at the same time quite touching stories. Well acted by a group of dependable stars [including the always great Clifton Webb]. Maybe not one of the ‘great’ movies of the 1950’s, but certainly of of the most entertaining. Presented in beautiful widescreen by Fox with plenty of extras.” 5 stars

“The shes are secretaries Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters and relentlessly cute Maggie McNamara, setting their caps respectively at, improbably, Clifton Webb, tiresomely, Rossano Brazzi, and more believably, Louis Jourdan. Sort of How to Marry a Millionaire, but not funny. And in italy.

The real stars of this comic melodrama, however, are a beautifully filmed Rome and the flogged-to-death title tune.” 2 stars

“Honestly…you just cant take this film seriously. Its the story of three women who have no other goal in life than to get married and move to Italy in order to do so. Aside from the shallow characters and ridiculous plot, the cinematography was good. However, it does not compensate for the rest of the movie. I suggest renting this film for how absolutely laughable it is, its scenery, and the opening song. ” 1 star

“If you know how to kick back, relax, suspend reality, and just enjoy a beautiful, romantic (albeit highly unrealistic) trip to another country brimming with history and culture, then you will enjoy this film. Yet if you are cynical, aged before your time, or too young to appreciate much, then you might want to skip this film. Look, the movie is really a showcase of Italy, with a sweet romantic story line that has a touch of the “fairytale” to it. (Secretaries living in posh villas and dating princes or famous literary authors? More imaginative than realistic for the most part.) So if you prefer movies that drag you through the harsh realities of life, this one might be too much for you. But if you can just use your imagination like you once did when you were young, and escape to another world that is more like a dream, then let it carry you away – and enjoy the view! It is Rome, after all” 4 stars

“Wow, the best thing about this movie is the scenery and (I would have to agree with another poster) the Frank Sinatra ‘theme’ song. The story, although appropriate to the 1950’s, is a bit too backward thinking for my 21st century mind. Three women who only want love and marriage make a wish in the Trevi fountain. The movie displays the role of women in the pursuit of different forms of love; young, forbidden, undying, eternal, and deceitful. Great film for it’s time but not now. Still if you like old fims and the actual pictures of Rome are nice (some are canned stills) and the womens fashions are great” 3 stars

Roman Holiday

Posted in Chick Flicks, Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Ann (Hepburn), the crown princess of an unspecified country, has started a widely publicized tour of several European capitals. In Rome she becomes frustrated with her tightly scheduled life. Her doctor gives her a sedative to calm her down and help her sleep, but she secretly leaves her country’s embassy to experience Rome on her own.

The sedative eventually makes her fall asleep on a bench, where Joe Bradley (Peck), an expatriate American reporter working for the Rome Daily American, finds her. Not recognizing her, he offers her money so she can take a taxi home, but a very woozy “Anya Smith” (as she later calls herself) refuses to cooperate. Joe finally decides, for safety’s sake, to let her spend the night in his apartment. He is amused by her regal manner, but less so when she appropriates his bed. He transfers her to a couch. The next morning, Joe, having already slept through the interview Princess Ann was scheduled to give, hurries off to work, leaving her still asleep.

When his editor, Mr. Hennessy (Hartley Power), asks why Joe is late, Joe lies, claiming to have attended the press conference for the princess. Joe makes up details of the alleged interview until Hennessy informs him that the event had been canceled because the princess had suddenly “fallen ill”. Joe sees a picture of her and realizes who is in his apartment. Joe immediately sees the opportunity and proposes getting an exclusive interview for the newspaper for $5000. Hennessy, not knowing the circumstances, agrees to the deal, but bets Joe $500 that he will not succeed.

Joe hurries home and, hiding the fact that he is a reporter, offers to show Anya around Rome. He also surreptitiously calls his photographer friend, Irving Radovich (Eddie Albert), to tag along to secretly take pictures. However, Anya declines Joe’s offer and leaves.

Enjoying her freedom, on a whim, Anya gets her hair cut short in a barbershop. Joe follows and “accidentally” meets her on the Spanish Steps. This time, he convinces her to spend the day with him. They see the sights, including the “Mouth of Truth”, a face carved in marble which is said to bite off the hands of liars. When Joe pulls his hand out of the mouth, it appears to be missing, causing Anya to scream. He then pops his hand out of his sleeve and laughs. (Hepburn’s shriek was not acting—Peck decided to pull a gag he had once seen Red Skelton do, and did not tell his co-star beforehand.)

Later, Anya shares with Joe her dream of living a normal life without her crushing responsibilities. That night, at a dance on a boat, government agents finally track her down and try to escort her away, but a wild melee breaks out and Joe and Anya escape. Through all this, they gradually fall in love, but Anya realizes that a relationship is impossible. She finally bids farewell to Joe and returns to the embassy.

During the course of the day, Hennessy learns that the princess is missing, not ill as claimed. He suspects that Joe knows where she is and tries to get him to admit it, but Joe claims to know nothing about it. Joe decides not to write the story. Irving plans to sell his photographs, but then reluctantly decides not to do so out of friendship.

The next day, Princess Ann appears to answer questions from the press, and is alarmed to find Joe and Irving there. Irving takes her picture with the same miniature cigarette-lighter/camera he had used the previous day. He then presents her with the photographs he had taken, discreetly tucked in an envelope, as a memento of her adventure. Joe lets her know, by allusion, that her secret is safe with them. She, in turn, works into her bland statements a coded message of love and gratitude to Joe. She then departs, leaving Joe to linger for a while, contemplating what might have been

REVIEW:

There seems to be an obsession with royals in this day and age that stems back further than I thought it did. Roman Holiday actually shows how obsessed society has been with royalty, but is that major selling point of this film? If so, why even bother watching, right? Let’s find out, shall we?

What is this about?

Audrey Hepburn stars as a stifled princess who slips away from her guardians and is taken under the wing of a tabloid reporter looking for a scoop.

What did I like?

When in Rome. I blame all those hours I spent jumping around the rooftops of Rome in Assassins Creed II and Assassins Creed: Brotherhood for my love of the scenery in Rome. Not to mention the fact that is just a beautiful city. Seeing Audrey Hepburn tour the city as a wide-eyed tourist was a highlight given the fact that the filmmaker allowed us to see the city through her eyes. I do wish we could have seen more, but that’s just me being selfish.

Green Acres. Growing up, I watched a lot of old TV shows, as if that comes as a surprise. One of the shows that I frequently watched was Green Acres, starring Eddie Albert. I, like many people, know him best for this comedic role and was surprised to see him sporting a beard and a svelte look in this dramatic (albeit comic relief) role.

Audrey. There is a commercial airing now, Diet Coke I believe, which features a woman who resembles Audrey Hepburn, or maybe they spliced some clips from her films like they did a while back with Gene Kelly. At any rate, there is a reason Miss Hepburn is so well-respected for her talents as well as her looks. She can flat-out act! I think she earned an Oscar for this role, which actually meant something back in these days! That is to not mention this was one of her first American movie roles. I may have to go back and watch her better known roles in My Fair Lady, Funny Face, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

What didn’t I like?

Implied actions. At the end of the film, rather than showing actual actions, such as handing over an envelope, it is implied that certain things happen. For the effect the filmmakers were going for, this works. However, one must wonder why not just show those things happen. The extra few seconds really couldn’t have hurt, could they?

Romance. This is a romantic comedy, so obviously the romance takes center stage and had to be believable, right? Thing is, I wasn’t buying the chemistry between Audrey and Gregory Peck. Both are great actors and they’re not phoning it in, but something about them just doesn’t seem to jive. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it is the age thing, but I doubt it, as she’s worked with older men in other films. At any rate, it just wasn’t quite working for me.

The truth will set you free. There is this sculpture in Rome called the Mouth of Truth. Peck’s character plays a prank on Hepburn where his hand was bitten off (the reaction from her was real as he had not told her he was going to do that before…um…hand). This was quite the cute scene and one of the few that shows some chemistry between the two. So, what didn’t I like about it? Nothing, other than it just seemed a bit random in the way it was presented. Other than a picture of the Coliseum, there was no real touring of the sites that we saw, so this was a bit out there.

Maybe it is my love for Aladdin, but I felt that this story of a princess sneaking out to be with the “common folk” was a bit too familiar. Still, Roman Holiday leaves the viewer with a good feeling after all is said and done, never mind the rather downer of an ending. Do I recommend this? As a fan of the classics, yes, but be warned, this is more of a chick flick than you would imagine it to be, but definitely worth checking out!

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

When in Rome

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A successful and single Guggenheim art curator Beth (Kristen Bell) is at a point in her life where love seems like a luxury she just can’t afford. Years of waiting for the perfect romance have made Beth bitter. One day, she flies to Rome to attend her younger sister Joan’s (Alexis Dziena) impulsive wedding. She meets Nicholas Beamon (Josh Duhamel), who rescues her in a couple of difficult situations but is just as much of a clumsy clod as she is. They hit it off well and reach a point where both parties take an interest in the other.

Just as Beth convinces herself to believe in love again, she sees Nick kissing another woman, who turns out to be the groom’s (Luca Calvani) ‘crazy cousin’. Slightly drunk, she picks up coins (a poker chip, a rare coin, a penny, a quarter and a Euro) from the “fountain of love” (probably based on the Trevi Fountain). She later learns from Joan that legend says, if you take coins from the fountain, the owner of the coin will fall in love with you. She has to return the coins to the fountain to break the spell, but is tied up at work with an important gala that her demanding boss, Celeste (Anjelica Huston) has pressured her into taking care of.

She is pursued back to New York by a band of aggressive suitors whose coins she took, including a diminutive sausage magnate (Danny DeVito), lanky street magician Lance (Jon Heder), a doting painter (Will Arnett), and a narcissistic male model (Dax Shepard). As she falls in love with Nick, she realizes that the poker chip belongs to Nick and is convinced that Nick is merely under a spell, not truly in love with her.

Joan calls Beth on the day of the gala and informs her that the spell can also be broken by returning the coins to the original owner. Stacey (Kate Micucci), Beth’s secretary–who is highly concerned about Beth’s miserable love life–overhears the conversation and steals the coins, believing that Beth would lead a better life with people loving her, regardless of the spell.

Beth’s suitors all show up together at her apartment and she decides to break it to them that she does not love them and plans to return them the coins. After she blurts out her love for Nick to them, she realizes that Stacey has stolen the coins and goes on a mission to retrieve the coins with her suitors aiding her.

When Beth explains to Stacey that this is not the way she believes love is, Stacey returns the coins and Beth hands back the coins to their owners. Left with the poker chip, she calls Nick and thanks him for making her believe in love again. As Nick makes his way to the gala to search for Beth in a sudden lightning storm that hits New York, Beth is in a situation with Lance who plays with the poker chip by doing disappearing tricks. She accidentally hits the chip out of Lance’s hands and chases it as it rolls down three floors of the spiral gallery.

The chip is picked up by Nick, who appears to be in love with Beth still, convincing Beth that his love was true all along. However, on their wedding day in Rome, Lance reveals to Beth that he had multiple poker chips and the one Beth knocked out on the night of the lightning storm was just one of them, which proves that Nick did not break out of the spell. While exchanging wedding vows, Beth hesitates and dashes out of the building to everyone’s surprise. She revisits the fountain of love where she originally picked up the coins and climbs in like before.

Nick appears and climbs into the fountain. He claims that he didn’t throw a chip into the fountain at all. He drops the poker chip in the water and the priest is heard yelling ‘Free of temptation!’. Nick finally believes Beth and kisses her.

REVIEW:

In all the romantic comedies I’ve seen, the one thing that seems to be a constant is that they seem to forget the comedy. When in Rome does not fall into this category, though. Having said that, this thing is also heavy on the sappiness, so much so that is goes into the chick flick category.

Don’t get me wrong, the sappy love story part of this works and is the major plot point of this film, but seriously, what straight man is going to willingly want to see a film about some chick’s quest for true love, even if she is as hot as Kristen Bell? Not many, I can tell you that, especially when there are so many testosterone driven films out there that are more appealing.

That being said, this isn’t a bad film, and isn’t a typical man bashing rom-com, but instead it makes the guy seem human, which I really liked, and the girl has her own set of issues, such as not being able to find the right guy.

There are quite a few funny moments in this films, most of which involve Josh Duhamel being accident prone or some kind of situation with the 4 guys whose coins Kristen Bell has stolen.

The basic story here is quite good, although, I belive it could have been executed a bit better. There just seemed to be a disconnect somewhere between the magic of the coins and the real world. Yeah, that makes no sense to me, either. In a nutshell, it goes back and forth between being a fantasy film and having roots in the real world, without knowing which works better.

Casting was not a problem. Jon Heder, Danny DeVito, Will Arnett, and Dax Shepard are great as the suitors. Each with their own quirk. Heder probably does the best, in my opinion, especially in the scene where hereunites with Efrem Ramirez (who is playing a Pedro-like character).

Kristen Bell fits this role perfectly. Her girl next door looks and natural talent make it easy to feel connected to her throughout the film, though one has to wonder why she just didn’t get the hint about the poker chip.

Josh Duhamel is a true surprise, as I had no idea he had comedy chops, but he does. Combine this with his natural charisma and it makes for a solid leading man for this film. I really felt sorry for the guy, though. The whole being struck by lightning in the middle of a football game, his accident prone ways, and the way Kristen Bell seemed to be falling for him, only to keep pushing him away, just got to me.

I don’t really know why the critics are so down on it. I swear, I think they’ve forgotten what it is like to watch a film and enjoy it for what it is, rather than critique every little thing and have a default setting of “it sucks”.

This is not a film your typical guy is going to like, unless they have a huge crush on Kristen Bell or are a fan of Josh Duhamel, because there really isn’t anything guys would like in this. Well, there is a scene where Alexis Dziena is wearing nothing but an apron, but you can’t see anything there, so it doesn’t really matter. I liked this film, but I didn’t fall in love with it. It made me laugh and I felt for th characters, which is pretty much all you ask for in a rom-com, but in the end, it was just too sappy for my taste. Still, I would recommend this as a good date flick.

4 out of 5 stars