Monday, 31 October 2011

Jennifer Aniston romcoms

Jennifer has been around for some time now and there are a lot of films to wade through. In fact I just looked her up on Wikipedia and am a little overwhelmed by the task at hand. Yes, I've seen most of them, what of it?

She's The One.

Remember when Ed Burns was the hot thing in Hollywood? Yeah, I'd forgotten too. I've seen this and can honestly say I remember nothing about it. It has Cameron Diaz in it too yet I couldn't tell you a single thing about it. I remember it was reasonably well received at the time. Her film career started off promisingly didn't it? Hmmmm. I can't rate this as I really don't remember it well enough.

Picture Perfect.

This is remembered chiefly for Kevin Bacon's awful hair. This should have been quite good, it has Olympia Dukakis as her mum and we all love Olympia. Kevin Bacon is always good value but Jay Mohr (yes, I had to look him up too) as the man she falls in love with? Ummm, no, don't buy it.  Teenager rating - 6/10.

The Object of My Affection.

Paul Rudd! He always adds a point just by showing up. Alison Janney! Another point right there. This was a classy film but it was, well, a bit dull. Again, not seen it for yonks, I'd have to watch it again to rate it. But Paul Rudd!

Office Space

Not strictly a romcom but too good a film to ignore. I love this film, it's hilarious. If you've not seen it, you really must give it a whirl. Anyone who has worked in an office will relate to it. Teenager rating - 8/10.

The Good Girl

Again not a romcom but it would be mean to leave out one of her best films. Where did it all go wrong Jen? This is a great little film with a really good cast. This stands up against any decent film. Teenager rating - 8/10.

Bruce Almighty

We're on the slippery slope now. While this isn't bad as such (and not compared to Heigl's output), it's really not very good either and Jen has little to do. I have a soft spot for Jim Carrey films and this has some amusing moments so... Teenager rating - 7/10.

I can't even discuss Along Came Polly.  So Rumor Has It.

You can really see why she made this. Stellar cast. Not a bad plot and it should have been quite good but oh dear, it's not, it's just icky. This film made me feel just a bit odd and not warm and fuzzy at all. Teenager rating - 5/10.

Friends With Money

I know Jen, let's make a film with other females and show you're really a woman's woman. Nice idea but you're going to need a better script. Teenager rating - 4/10.

The Break Up.

What happened to Vince Vaughn? This is much better and actually quite a sweet, sad little movie and I applaud the fact they don't reunite them at the end. Extra point for  Jon Favreau. Teenager rating - 8/10.

Marley & Me

I really enjoyed this. I really like Owen Wilson and he is perfect in this and you really believe in them as a couple. Plus it as a doggie in it. Awwwwww. Teenager rating - 8/10.

He's Just Not That Into You.

I want to tell you I hated this. I should have hated this. But I didn't. I've even, ummm, seen this twice. Oh god, it's all coming out now. First was on a trusty plane and second time was the other week on the telly. I like Justin Long, I like Bradley Cooper. DREW! This is a guilty pleasure fun film to watch. There, I said it. Teenager rating - 9/10.

The Bounty Hunter

Let's show off my kick-ass body and invent a love affair with my leading man. Whatever Jen, it's still rubbish. Teenager rating - 5/10.

That brings me up to date with my Jen films. She's made some more since but I've not seen them yet since I've not been on a plane for a while. Next week should rectify that with a 12 hour flight to LA. To prove my theory that there is always a Jennifer Aniston film playing on a plane, I've just looked it up and sure enough, Horrible Bosses is playing. I already know my first choice then.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Katherine Heigl romcoms I've sat through

I love a romcom. I know, you're all shocked to your core and had me down as a horror fan, right? Well, sorry to disappoint you. My capacity to watch truly terrible romcoms is limitless.

In my defence, I do fly quite a bit. I'm not on a plane every week but I go through phases with my job and earlier this year I was flying every month. I'd love to say that I get on business class long-haul flights and make like a CEO, spreading papers around, tapping away on a laptop looking desperately important. But I'd be lying. No, I check out the inflight entertainment and work out how many fluffy romcoms I can squeeze in while sipping the champagne and think to myself that life is sweet. Just so you know, this is what everyone does. I've yet to witness anyone on a business class flight actually do any work. Then I get to my destination and there are so many opportunities to watch crap romcoms: in the hotel (always a given in the US that a romcom will be showing, I saw A Fish Called Wanda last time - not seen that for years, it was still funny) and there are evenings to fill and what is a girl to do? Go to the movies of course and that's how I saw Life As We Know It.

That's my excuse but really I don't need one. I love a romcom and will watch almost any of them, however bad, just so I can measure it against other romcoms. I didn't know this skill would be useful until now but here we are, my moment has come. It's time to talk about crap romcoms. The reigning queen of the romcom is Katherine Heigl and yes, I've seen most of her oeuvre so we'll start with her. I like Katherine because I am shallow enough to like pretty people and I think she is very, very pretty. There are not many movie stars I feel this way about, I consider most of them overrated in the looks department but I think Katherine is gorgeous and I like watching gorgeousness. Sue me.

First up is the aforementioned Life As We Know It.

The shame is that I paid to watch this. Premise is that our two heroes have a blind date set up by their respective best friends (who are a couple),  it's a dreadful date and they hate each other. Cue a montage of them hating each other over about five years or so but being thrown together by said friends. Then, omg, friends DIE and they are left holding their baby. They move into the friends' house together and high jinks ensue as they work out how to look after a baby and of course, fall in luuuurve.  A part of my soul died typing that. A romcom where two people die? We're not in Nora Ephron territory anymore. It's terrible, the still above gives you an idea of how bad it is. Added beauty is provided by Christina Hendricks (who plays the wife who dies so we don't get much of her). The guy in this is fairly hopeless. Teenager grade = 5/10.

27 Dresses is next.

This is better. It has a better cast, the guy in this (James Marsden) is also in The Notebook and he is conventionally handsome and a good romcom lead. He is great in this, quite sexy and nonchalant. The set up here is better than Life As We Know It. Girl is always the bridesmaid (the 27 dresses) and never the bride as she's hopelessly in love with her boss. Her horrible sister (played by one of the worst actresses ever let loose on screen, I can't be bothered to look her name up, she's awful) falls in love with the boss and manipulates him and yadda yadda. The best bit about this (as I said in my Elton John post) is the scene where our heroine gets drunk and sings Bennie and the Jets. I saw this on a plane and therefore may be remembering it better than it really is. Teenager grade: 6/10.

My final Katherine film (cos even I couldn't face The Ugly Truth) is Knocked Up.

This is genuinely a funny film. I saw it a while ago (yes, on a plane) and laughed quite a bit. It's probably not fair to call it a romcom as it's aimed much more at a male audience than your traditional romcom. I can't remember much about it except I'd watch it again. Surely a good sign? Teenager grade: 8/10.

A note on grading: I grade comparatively. If Some Like It Hot is 10/10 (which it obviously is as any fool knows) then that doesn't mean Knocked Up is only 2 points less good. It's not even in the same ball park and would get a 1 if we compared both films side by side but that way madness lies. So the grading is for crap romcoms, not good romcoms. This is a particular genre. All clear? Excellent.

Next up will be Jennifer Aniston. I do this so you don't have to.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Elton John

Like any sane human being, I cringe when I see Elton John these days. He's such a twerp with his hair implants, adopting a kid at 60 something (sorry but I think it's irresponsible) and his terrible dress sense.

But wind back the years and it's a different story altogether because Sir Elton gave us some gems back in the day. So let's take a stroll down memory lane together.

I have little time for Your Song but I do love Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. This is such a beautiful song and check out his glasses!

My favourite Elton song is Tiny Dancer, surely everyone loves this song? It's wonderful.

The 70s really were his decade. The hits just keep on coming. I adore Rocket Man.

I have a soft spot for Bennie and the Jets. This is a great song and I defend it to anyone. The best scene in 27 Dresses (yes, I watched it, ok?) was when they sang along to this.

Now then, after all that wondrousness, we hit a period of Elton I don't like. I can't stand Pinball Wizard. I loathe Don't Go Breaking My Heart and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word was ruined by Blue forever. However, I do like Are You Ready For Love.

Into the 80s. It's a mixed bag, I'm not going to lie. One of my favourite songs ever is I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues. I love singing along to it.

And I'm Still Standing just sums up the 80s to me, I can't help but like this.

Nikita and Sacrifice? Urgh - awful. What was he thinking? Into the 90s and I cannot stand The Lion King songs either, mind you, I hate that film too. It's so sappy.

I had all but given up hope but then he released There's Something About The Way You Look Tonight and it's an average song I know but I like it. 

To one of the best videos ever made. This Train Don't Stop There Anymore. This is a fab song and Justin Timberlake is so good in it. I think this is Elton's most under-rated song.

In the same vein, I Want Love is also a fantastic video. Oh Robert Downey Jr, how you break my heart.

Not a bad hit rate really. It's easy to scoff at Elton however he is a genius songwriter and he has a very versatile voice, I think he has one of the best natural talents we're ever seen. I still can't forgive him for Candle In The Wind though. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Starmaker - The Kids From Fame

It's been a long and emotional week. At the end of such a week, what better way to soothe the soul than with some of those pesky Kids From Fame? I've discussed the kids before so no need to revisit here.  However,  nothing makes me laugh as much as this video, it's so earnest. The way Lydia belts out her lines, the way they all stare at the teacher, they way they raise their hands together at the end. Oh but it's fantastic.

Now I am currently obsessed with listening to the Desert Island Disc archive (as I've mentioned previously) and one morning recently I was on the way to work and listening to Matt Lucas, somebody who has never registered with me since I am not a fan of British comedy and think Little Britain is the worst show ever made. Anyway, Kirsty asked him for his next record and he said "well, this is a bit embarrassing but I just love this song so much and I sung along when I was a kid and I loved this." They started playing Starmaker and I burst out laughing because this song really would be on my desert island and I am not even embarrassed about it. Take that Matt Lucas - have the courage of your convictions and don't be ashamed of your Kids from Fame love.

Starmaker is a lovely song to sing along to and I defy anyone to disagree. Has Glee done a Fame tribute yet? Like those upstarts could come close to Doris and Coco. Pffft.

All together... "soul taaaakkkkkkerrrr, we're happy now!"

Monday, 24 October 2011

Put on your dancing shoes

It's time to dance my friends. It may be Monday but it's always disco fever chez Teenager and what better way to blow away Monday blues by having a boogie in a shimmery dress with a glitter ball spinning above our heads?

How I adore and love a bit of disco music and tonight I am going to spin some of the all-time classics. First up is one of the best songs ever committed to vinyl. Any song that mentions Gucci has my vote. I love this because it captures everything that's great about saturday night dancing and it has some very clever lyrics. Sister Sledge - He's The Greatest Dancer.

Onwards with the finest introduction to a song, when this comes on, I defy anyone to sit still, it demands a shoulder shrug and a boogie. Rose Royce - Car Wash.

Now a song to go to the bar to and float around feeling wonderful like you live in Manhattan in 1973. Odyssey - Native New Yorker

Oh Jacko, you will never beat this masterpiece. One of the best videos ever. Be one of the 45 million to watch this thanks to YouTube. Legend. Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Till You Get Enough

No list is complete without the mighty Chic. The dilemma of what song to pick but it has to be this one. Chic - Dance, Dance, Dance.

I love this next one so much, if I was on the decks (just so you know, I've never been on the decks!) then I would just play two minutes and mix it in to the next track as it is repetitive but it has such groove and you have to watch this for some spectacular disco dancing. One of the most sampled track ever - you can hear Wham and Black Eye Peas in the space of 10 seconds. Fantastic. Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight

A little more recent (well, if you call 90s recent, and I do) with the mighty Ce Ce. I still adore this song. Ce Ce Peniston - Finally

We reach that time of the evening, you're all a bit weary and it's time to sashay to Donna. I still adore this. Donna Summer - Love To Love You Baby

You have to check out this video - it's totally brilliant and this is one of the cleverest songs of the disco era. Labelle - Lady Marmalade 

We round off the night with every gay's favourite. Gay or straight, nobody can resist bellowing along to this. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive.

Honorary mentions to those that won't let me embed: The Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive (we bow to them), Dee Lite - Groove is in the Heart (really we can't embed? We can embed Michael Jackson for goodness sake), Abba - Dancing Queen (I love it but it's actually hard to dance to).

What have I missed. You tell me (once you've stopped boogying and grooving that is).

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Musings on George

I enjoyed my little stroll down memory lane with Paul McCartney and so I thought I'd do the same with my beloved George and focus on all his solo career.

My love for George knows no bounds. I follow him on Twitter (he's a tad needy but hey, he's had a tough time) and I am delighted he seems to be back on track, has ditched Kenny (I was never sure) and is off the drugs enough to tour again. One of my early posts paid tribute to Wham! And I've already discussed the masterpiece that is Careless Whisper.  So what does that leave? Oh so very much so let's get on with it.

Faith. What an album. I still adore this album and can listen to it all the way through. Faith itself is a toe-tapping delight but my favourite song on the album is Father Figure. It's a beautiful song. George is a little breathy on it but no matter, I can ignore that.

While we're here, let's just listen to Faith again as it has a great opening and an iconic video.

Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1 is a harder album to love but of course I do because I am a devoted fan. It has some really touching songs on it. I am a huge fan of Waiting For That Day:

And of course, the fabulous Freedom 90 with that video. This is one of his finest moments, Robbie's cover was a disaster, he was way too bombastic.

And I adore Cowboys and Angels which is such a pretty song and you can hear a lot of Older tracks in this song. A taste of what's to come.

Then he went all quiet for ages and some of us despaired. And out of the blue came one of my favourite songs ever, Fast Love.

This is such a 90s song and video and I love the funkiness which we hadn't heard for a while. Love, love, love it. I also really like Jesus To A Child which is a sad song but touching.

I like Older but those are the two stand out tracks for me. I like the others well enough but don't adore them. Then he made us wait again before he released Songs From The Last Century. I don't know, I love his voice but why sing other songs when he can write such great songs of his own? It's why I don't have much time for Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me or Somebody To Love (which he does well but come on, really, covering a Queen song is brave). I make an exception for As because it's just an all-round wonderful song and his voice suits Stevie Wonder songs.

Oh dear, then he got political and the less said about Freeek and Shoot the Dog the better. Patience never really did it for me. I quite like Amazing even if it does sound like it was made to be played in beach bars on the Costa Del Sol, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

 I also really enjoy Flawless probably because it reminds me of about the last time I went out to a club!

That covers the albums but he's prolific and has done many singles. He duetted with Aretha on a song I try to love but can't. I don't hate I Knew You Were Waiting For Me but it doesn't get my heart going. However I adore Too Funky and consider it one of the best things he's ever recorded.

Outside is fun but nowhere near as good as Fast Love or Too Funky. Phew. That was exhausting and I know I've missed lots out. I couldn't stand his cover of True Faith which made me sad. George, it's been ages, write your OWN song mate.

I will always listen to George though - he's a constant in my life and I love his voice, it's so pure. Keep on writing George, stay off the waccy baccy, keep it in your pants, embrace the funk and we shall continue to be happy together.

Yours forever,

Friday, 21 October 2011

Favourite scenes from Friends - Rachel and Monica lose their apartment

This episode where Ross stages a quiz and pits Joey and Chandler against Monica and Rachel is one of my favourites in the entire 10 seasons. I think my favourite questions is "How many categories of towels does Monica have*?" I do relate to Monica.

It's brilliantly played by all the cast and you can tell they are really having fun with it. The question that slays them is, of course, "What is Chandler's job?" We never really know what Chandler does and it's an ongoing joke in the series so it's a stroke of genius to include it. I also love Rachel saying she can't live in Joey and Chandler's apartment: "This is a boy's apartment!"

I can only find this version of it with subtitles in another language but nevertheless, enjoy!

* 11 of course.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Power Ballads - In A New York Minute - Don Henley

Ahhhh Don, everything can change in a New York minute. One of my very favourite songs and I don't have much more to say about it than that and the fact it was used in a great episode of The West Wing which meant two of my favourite things going on at once. I was quite overcome.


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Paul McCartney in the 80s

It's fashionable to diss Paul McCartney's 80s output but I am here to redress the balance. I loved 80s Paul! Smash Hits helped fuel my love by calling him Fab Macca Thumbs Aloft which used to amuse me every time. Let's take a look at a few of his songs from the magnificent 80s...

First up, Ebony and Ivory.

Now, this has to be Paul's answer to Imagine, no? "There is good and bad in everyone". So deep. It's hard for me to defend this one, it's a pretty bad song, I am prepared to accept it and listen to it as it has Stevie Wonder on it and I love a bit of Stevie but really, it's no Imagine.

Next, Pipes of Peace.

Just looking at the single cover is making me feel nostalgic. Naturally I bought this and played it endlessly. It's a lovely ditty! The video is atrocious but the song itself is very listenable. I've just listened to it for the first time in ages and yes, I still rather like it. Paul can always write a melody after all.

Next up, No More Lonely Nights.

I am just listening to this now, it's been years. Why don't they play this on the radio anymore? This is a great song. It's a power ballad no less! I loved this at the time (and bought it too - really Paul, you should thank me for supporting you through the 80s). I just learned that Dave Gilmour does the guitar solo on this. I can't believe I never knew that because when you listen again, it's so obvious. The campaign to get this played more starts now. Another weird video though.

Of course the 80s saw Paul pair with the mighty Jacko and give me two of my favourite songs ever. The Girl is Mine (from Thriller) and Say Say Say.

What a terrible single cover! Ahhhhh, Say Say Say. What can I say? I just think this is one of the greatest pop songs ever. It's so catchy and they sound so good together. And of course the video has the late Linda in it. At the time I thought why? But now I think it's sweet. What's with the long intros to all these videos? Just get on with it!

So you are all waiting for me to add We All Stand Together aren't you? No. John must have turned in his grave at this one. I hate it and always have done. Sorry.

But thank you Paul for the aforementioned gems. I've off to listen to No More Lonely Nights again now.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada has become the film that the team on the project I've just been working on reference endlessly. It all started because I started eating little sticks of cheese from M&S as a mid-morning snack and my colleague said it always made her think of that line in TDWP: "I don't eat anything and when I feel I'm about to faint, I eat a cube of cheese." So we started quoting lines to each other. My all-time favourite is "By all means move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me." However, I have a soft spot for "Details of your incompetence do not interest me." I so know how Miranda feels. In all seriousness, what is so wrong with Miranda Priestly? I rather like her. I find the character of Andie intolerable although that might be because I can't stand Anne Hathaway.

I love this film mainly because of the amazing fashion, but also because Meryl Streep is fantastic in it. She is so icy and I love how she says it all by pursing her lips (another thing we took to doing on the project). I also love the character of Emily who utters the immortal cube of cheese line following it up with "I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight."

This is a rare film which is better than the book it's based on which was fairly rubbish. The film is elevated by the marvellous Meryl, the wardrobes, the Manhattan scenery and some killer lines.

"You are in desperate need of Chanel."

Aren't we all?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Favourite scenes from Friends - Joey and Janice's Day of Fun!

Of all the recurring characters in Friends, Janice is my favourite. I love her nasal voice, her crazy wardrobe and she has some of the best lines. It's exactly right that Chandler one other serious relationship would be someone as insane as Janice.

There are many favourite moments; when Chandler pretends he is moving to Yemen to escape her, when she is in labour the same time as Rachel, when she calls Chandler pathetic in the grocery store, when she says she gets allergies and it makes her nasal. But I chose this one because I love what she is wearing more than anything else. Maggie Wheeler does not get enough credit.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Power Ballads - Purple Rain, Prince

Prince is a legend. I won't hear one word against him, I love him. My love for Prince spans decades and it's worthy of a whole post. Tonight we'll just focus on Purple Rain, a classic power ballad that requires you to listen from beginning to end with no interruptions.

I've just listened to this again and man alive, I adore it. Nobody can sing a song of such pain like Prince. Great album too but we won't dwell on the film...


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Sleepless in Seattle

You may have noticed I've been absent recently. I've been working very hard delivering a project at work and even working weekends. WEEKENDS. Weekends are for watching rom coms, not taking 3am calls. I kid you not. I am feeling frazzled and a little delicate and I feel what I need is an afternoon of watching feel-good comfort films and this is top of my list.

I adore this film. Made when Meg Ryan was still sweet and likeable, with Tom Hanks at his absolute best and with a fabulous soundtrack, this film is the very definition of comfort viewing. It's designed to watch while snuggling under a blanket with cashmere socks on and a pot of tea at one's side.

Reasons I love this film:

1) Meg Ryan's hair. Seriously. Her hair rocks this film.
2) Rosie O'Donnell as the best friend. She gets some great lines: "You don't want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie!"
3) All the allergies poor Walter has, it's very cleverly done.
4) The whole subtext of An Affair to Remember
5) The rush to get up the Empire State Building - *sob*
6) The lovely retro soundtrack
7) The two kids. Now I don't like most American kids in movies but these two are really good and very funny.
8) It has Niles from Frasier in it
9) Rita Wilson describing An Affair to Remember and crying as she does it.
10) The line about tiramisu.

This film was made in 1993 yet it feels so delightfully old fashioned. At the risk of sounding ancient, they simply don't make old fashioned rom coms anymore. Now they have stupid toilet jokes and tacky sex scenes in them (see Bridesmaids) and so my little old-fashioned, tea drinking, cashmere-sock wearing side is grateful for this gem.

Take it away Rita...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...