Friday, May 23, 2014

Movies That Made Me Go...What the...? And The Week in Reviews

[I review the movie "Moms' Night Out," DVDs "A Case of You," and "Bettie Page Reveals All" plus Diane Keaton's new book and a lovely little Vancouver, B.C restaurant.]

But first

Have you ever watched a movie and when it was over, thought What the...? 
(I could be more explicit with that, but there might be children in the room)

Here are some movies I have questions about:


Scarlett wanted Ashley Wilkes over Rhett Butler?  You're kidding, right?

         Him?                                                                   Or him?

You be the judge.

If it's never ending, how come it ends?

Alien (1979)

"In space no one can hear you scream." 

Is that really true?  Do you mean, if I was in space and Hubby was standing right next to me when a bloodthirsty alien was coming toward us, he couldn't hear my bloodcurdling scream?


In general, ???????  I don't have a clue what this was about.


How can Bruce Willis not know he is dead?  No one talks to him except the kid who sees dead people.

Citiizen Kane (1941)


How did they know Kane's last words were Rosebud?  It looked to me like he was alone when he uttered his last words.

What movie plot twists didn't make sense to you?

***In Theatres Now***
Allyson (Sarah Drew), a harried young mother who can't handle the stresses of motherhood and  her own perfectionism, arranges a night out with her girlfriends to "unplug" and unwind.
Rosy, repeat after me.  "I will never again go to a movie I know nothing about, especially starring Patricia Heaton." 
"I will never again go to a movie I know nothing about, especially starring Patricia Heaton."
Here I have been nagging you all to read reviews (mine, I hope), and I didn't follow my own advice.

But, in my own defense, I live in the 'burbs and film choices are limited.
Anyway, I was expecting something along the lines of "Adventures in Babysitting," "Bridesmaids," or a female version of "Hall Pass" or "The Hangover."  Instead, I found myself at a movie with a decidedly Christian focus extolling the virtues of motherhood. That in and of itself is not a bad thing, but the most egregious part was that it was not funny (and I am fairly certain it was supposed to be).
The women plan a nice dinner out and leave the kids with the husbands (Sean Astin and Robert Amaya).  In the course of the evening, there is no dinner reservation, a baby goes missing, a parakeet gets sat upon and a tattooed biker named Bones (Trace Atkins) gives our heroine the message she needed to hear.  God doesn't expect her to be perfect.  And her husband confirms the importance of her role as a mother.
And let's not say this film didn't try to emulate those aforementioned films.  Hard-working women want a night out so they leave the kids with the husbands, so you expect them all to get into trouble, which they do.  But it's silly trouble.  Not "The Hangover" kind of trouble.  Not even "Adventures in Babysitting" kind of trouble.
At the start of the film, Sarah Drew, best known for roles on "Mad Men" and "Grey's Anatomy," was almost as annoying as Leslie Mann in "The Other Woman," another film that failed (See my review in my blog "Must See Biopics").  However, as the film progressed, she got better.  The film didn't.
How this film scored a PG Rating, I will never know.  It's G all the way as far as I can tell.  I haven't seen a film like this since Summer Bible Camp.  It's perfectly safe to take the kids and Grandma.  But again, it's not funny.

This one will definitely make my worst of the year list.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Even if you have been wishing for a Christian-themed film or something non-offensive, this is not worth your time.  The fact that it is not funny makes it very offensive. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

(Some You Might Have Missed
And Some You Should Be Glad You Did)!
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)
A Case of You (2013)
Sam, a nebishy writer (Justin Long) tries to impress Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood), a free spirit,  by becoming what she says she admires on Facebook that she admires in a man.  The problem is:  they fall in love and that's not who he really is.

It starts out cute and promising, but the second half deteriorates when our hero finally gets what he wants and then resents what he thinks he has to do to keep her.  He takes ballroom dancing, guitar and judo lessons to impress her and then gets mad at her for the pretense.  But it's a rom-com and through some contrivances, he sees the error of his ways.

My big problem is the fact that Sam found out everything he needed to know about Birdie on her Facebook profile - without friending her.  Is Birdie so clueless that she doesn't know how to do privacy settings on FB?

Also, nebishy or not, I just don't get Justin Long as a leading man.

The real stars here are the supporting cast:  Peter Dinglage as the fussy barista, Sam Rockwell as Sam's nutty guitar teacher, Brendan Fraser as Birdie's ex and Keir O'Donnell as Sam's horny roommate who loves Princess Leia but pleasures himself to Carrie Fisher as she is today because he feels it is more "age appropriate."  Justin Long and Keir O'Donnell wrote the screenplay so it looks like Long had to call in some favors.

Classic:  A guy does everything he can to get the girl and then when he gets her, he finds a reason to not want her.

The Moral?:  Don't try to be something you are not.
Rosy the Reviewer says...good rom-coms are hard to come by these days so despite a few wrong turns, this is a charming rom-com with some funny moments that outweigh the unbelievable ones.  If you liked "You've Got Mail" and "Silver Linings Playbook," you might like this one.

Bettie Page Reveals All (2012)

A documentary on the life of fetish pin-up and style icon of the 1950's, Bettie Page, in her own words.

The film starts with everyone from Dita Von Teese to designer Todd Oldham giving props to the influence Bettie Page had on the world of fashion, style and free expression.  Her dark black hair, iconic bangs and banging body influenced Madonna and Rhianna among others, as well as Uma Thurman's character in "Pulp Fiction," which was a direct homage to Page.

Bettie's story is told in her own words with the help of some stock photos and footage as well as many of Bettie's photos, from cheesecake to nudes to bondage.

She was an abused child whose personality and looks brought her to the attention of camera club photographers. She found fame as a photographer's model, but her apex in the mainstream was probably as Miss January in Playboy 1955. From 1952 through 1957, she posed for photographer Irving Klaw who catered to specific requests from his clientele for stills and films. These silent featurettes showed women clad in lingerie and high heels, acting out festishistic scenarios of abduction, spanking and bondage.

Her personal life was less successful. She was called before the Congress to testify against Klaw and to label his work as pornographic. Since she didn't feel that was the case, she never got over that. She had failed marriages, became an Evangelical Christian and tried to become a missionary but was rejected because she was divorced.  She had a mental breakdown and spent several years in a mental hospital. She eventually chose a quiet life until her popularity experienced a resurgence in the 1980's.

Bettie tells her own story but we never see her. It's eerie hearing her voice, but not seeing her.  She preferred to be remembered as she was.  Since she died in 2008 at the age of 85, one can understand that.

Some of the stock footage and photos used to illustrate the story are cheesy, but the actual photos of Bettie are amazing and make up the bulk of the film.  She exuded a combination of "girl next door" and temptress and her light hearted exuberance and self confidence in her body shine through in her photos, even when she is spanking another girl or wearing bondage gear and hanging from ropes.  Thus her popularity.

Homage was paid to Bettie in the film "The Rocketeer" and she continues to be a style icon today.

Rosy the Reviewer says... You need to know who Bettie Page is so you will know what all of the fuss is about.

***Book of the Week***

Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton (2014) 

In this sequel to her first memoir, "Then Again," Keaton waxes about her looks, her hair, aging, her kids and life in general.

Who knew Diane Keaton was so insecure about her looks and that she wears those signature hats because she is self conscious about her hair?

This is a rambling series of musings on life, which is what you do, I guess, when you are in your 60's, she said writing her blog.

Keaton was Woody Allen's inspiration for Annie Hall and now I see why.  She IS Annie Hall with all of Annie's um's and la-te-dahs and interesting fashion choices. Keaton's writing is also as fidgety as that character. 

But those of us of a certain age will find comfort to know that a famous actress has the same issues with aging as we civilians do, she embarrasses her children just like we do, and that she too wonders what it's all about.
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you were expecting a straightforward memoir, you might be disappointed, but if you liked the character of Annie Hall, here she is at 68.

***Restaurant of the Week***

La Brasserie Vancouver

If you are ever in Vancouver, B.C. you won't go wrong at this little French-German bistro right in the center of trendy Davie Street in the West End.

We arrived late on a Friday night as we started our 30th Wedding Anniversary celebration (if you missed my post about that, here it is), had not made reservations anywhere and happened upon this restaurant as we strolled Davie Street.  We sat at the bar and engaged the chef, who was from Germany.  He was charming and friendly.  I had the moules frites; Hubby had the steak frites and we topped it all off with a lovely crème brulee.  Hubby is a frites expert so of course we had the frites - magnifique!

Rosy the Reviewer says...Unpretentious relaxed setting with classic French comfort food and the best French fries outside of Paris.

That's it for this week.
See you Tuesday for

"A Retired Librarian's Bucket List"

Thanks for reading!

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Check your local library for DVDs and book mentioned.

Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database).
If I reviewed a movie, you can now find my reviews there too.
Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Stay [Happily] Married for 30 Years

Hubby and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.

I can't believe we have been married for 30 years. 

That fact makes me reflect on what kept us together through all of the highs and lows of life during that time.

What does it take to stay happily married for 30 years?

Well, thank you for asking.  I do have some ideas about that.

Here are what I think are the necessary  ingredients to stay happily married for 30 years:

This is a film term for the charming, ironic or amusing ways a guy and a girl meet in movie rom-coms, such as Woody Allen meeting Diane Keaton's Annie Hall on the tennis court. 

 Hubby and I "met cute" when he hit me on the head with a full can of beer in Big Sur, California, and we ended the night singing a duet of "Endless Love." 
(If you are interested, the full, and brilliantly entertaining, story can be found in my review of the remake of the movie "Endless Love" in my blog "The Best Films of 2013 that No One Saw"). 

But my point here is, if you "meet cute," together you can bore people endlessly at cocktail parties recounting how you met.  It's a bonding thing and will keep you together for 30 years at least. 

How 80's can you get?  Headband, armband and, Hubby, what's with the chest hair and the ciggy?

Also if you both are single when you meet, that helps. 

Getting together while cheating on your spouses or significant others doesn't bode well for the next 30 years.

  • Kiss on bridges
Hubby and I have this tradition. 

 Not sure how it started, but whenever we walk across a bridge, we must kiss (I think Hubby started it. He's an affectionate guy).

The point here isn't that you must kiss on bridges to stay happily married for 30 years, but that you need little rituals that are just yours to add to that all important "history" that you need to make together.

  • Take turns planning the wedding anniversary
I think I got this idea from a magazine article, but it has worked well over the years. 

The article said something about if you want your husband to remember your wedding anniversary, take turns planning what you will do to celebrate. 

So that's what we did.  Each year it's one of our turns to plan the event (Hubby get's the even years, I get the odd years). 

And I'm not talking about a card and dinner.  I am talking about planning something BIG.  Our anniversary celebrations have taken us as far from home as Paris and the UK and as close to home as British Columbia, but it has always constituted something special.  This year's celebration was Vancouver and the Okanagan wine country in B.C.  

And the article was right.  Hubby has never forgotten an anniversary, and we have had some wonderful adventures together.

In England's Lake District c. 1994 with my hair in an 80's "Flashdance" side pony.

At Lake Okanagan 2014 - wish I could still rock that 80's side-pony.

  • Thoughtfulness

My father was the most thoughtful person on the planet so it's not easy to fill those shoes. 

I hope I have inherited some of his thoughtfulness, but being thoughtful also means recognizing when someone else is being thoughtful in all of its incarnations, large and small.

When Hubby fixes a big breakfast for himself (because as you know, I am not up yet) he always leaves me two pieces of bacon. He remembers things I am "wishing for." And he never forgets my birthday, Valentine's Day, our Anniversary, Mother's Day.  And when he travels, he always calls me every night before bed.

For my part, I try to be a "full-service wife and mother," meaning I don't forget to do what I am asked, I remember what people like and don't like, I think of fun things to do, I celebrate all accomplishments big and small, bring home gifts for no reason and anticipate what needs to be taken care of.
  • Pull your weight
If you both contribute equally to the marriage, then there won't be any resentment. Contributing equally can take many forms.  

I always worked and there were times when I made more than Hubby and times when he made more than I did
(mostly he made more than I did.  Librarians aren't in it for the money). 
Even when we had children, I didn't say, "I'm staying home with the kids."  Much as I would have liked to (and I know I missed a lot), we couldn't afford it.  And I did have a career I cared about.  However, I often wonder what my life would have been if I had been a full-time Mom.  Maybe my kids would have liked me better.

And I am not saying that the people who stay home with the kids don't pull their weight.  They do.  It's not easy taking care of kids, but I think staying home with the kids also means housework, cooking and other household chores, so the person who commutes off to work each day doesn't have to add yet more to his or her list of duties.  That doesn't mean, however, that the person who goes off to work doesn't also have household duties and needs to take the burden off of the person staying home. 

This is something that needs to be decided between the two of you.  Whatever you decide, it must feel right to each of you - that no one is being taken advantage of.  Think of it this way.  You are basically roommates albeit roommates with benefits, but you wouldn't like it if your roommate was always late on the rent, left the bathroom dirty or ate all of your food without fixing you any. 

See "Be Considerate" below.

  • Be considerate
More marriages than we can count have broken up over the toothpaste cap or the toilet seat.

 Hubby is a morning person.  I mean, he gets up at seven even when he doesn't have to.  I just don't get it, but at least he keeps things quiet for me while I am sleeping in because I am decidedly NOT a morning person.  He also will run to the store for me when I am cooking and suddenly realize I don't have those two eggs I thought I had, though they are probably gone because Hubby ate them.

On my part, I don't put walnuts in the brownies, I put things back after I use them, I am never late and I pick up after myself.  You can thank my Dad for that (except for the walnuts.  That's Hubby's thing).

  • Interests in common; interests of your own
I think you need to have some common interests.  If not, you will never do anything together, or one of you will be resenting having to do things he or she doesn't want to do.  On the other hand, you want to have something interesting to bring to the table and that only happens if you also have your own interests, friends and activities.
    For example:
Hubby likes sports; I don't (but I sometimes let him talk to me about them).
Hubby plays golf; I don't.
Hubby is in a band; I'm not (but I usually go watch him play so some groupie doesn't get him.  That's important for staying married too!)

I like to watch "Ru Paul's Drag Race;" Hubby doesn't, but he's not judgmental.
I write a blog; Hubby doesn't (but he shares it).
I meditate; Hubby doesn't.
I like to shop for clothes; Hubby fumes. 

But we both love fine dining, wine tasting, concerts, theatre, travel, dogs, stair walking and going to the gym.  Well, the gym, not so much.

One of the Seattle stairs we walked.

  • If one of you is bossy, then the other one can't be. 

        Bossy?  Hello, that's me. 

This child may not look bossy, but at seven she already knew how to pose and tell people what to do, so I rest my case.  Believe it or not, I am in a fashion show here rocking the latest fashion in pajamas for seven-year-olds with a little bunny as an accessory.

But by bossy, I mean I like to get things done, don't like procrastination, don't like being late, don't like lazy, so there is a certain amount of nagging going on.  Hubby certainly doesn't like to be bossed around or nagged, but he will be the first to admit my sometimes Teutonic methods have helped him. 

Being bossy, though, does not mean thinking I am always right, needing the last word or being a know-it-all.  That's Hubby's department. 

I can see the "smart-ass" element already forming.

In our early days, we argued more about the "being right" thing, but now I say, "OK, fine, whatever," knowing that if I really cared, I would look it up and point out the error of Hubby's ways (and he is wrong a lot).  But if you spend all of your time looking things up to prove someone wrong, then you won't have a life, will you? 

So he lets me boss him to a certain extent, and I let him think he is right, and answer questions about which he has no knowledge whatsoever.  The family joke used to be calling him "Mr. Know-It-All."  "He will answer any question whether he knows the answer to it or not including rhetorical questions."

Which leads me to the next criteria. 

  • Having a sense of humor.
Hubby makes me laugh and also has allowed himself to be the subject of a bit of family ridicule.  It's his own fault.  Once the family started watching "The Simpsons (and we were there from Day 1)," and Hubby started imitating Homer doing "Doh!," what did he expect?  It made the kids laugh, but he was forever after Homer.

But, the point is, he has a sense of humor about himself which is absolutely essential.  I feel I do, too.  If you can't make fun of yourself, you shouldn't be making fun of anyone else, says Ms. Bossypants.

I also make Hubby laugh because he gets a kick out of my foibles and my sense of humor.  He gets me.  And he still thinks I'm cute.

  • Be on the same page in the bedroom, if you know what I mean.
       That's all I am going to say about that.

  • Happy Hour
You can call it Happy Hour, sitting by the fire, reading together, whatever rings your bell. It's a euphemism for spending time alone together.  But the important thing is spending time together, quality time, no kids. 

Don't get me wrong, we adored our children, but I don't think we would have been doing them any favors by letting them stay up until they dropped.  No, they had a bedtime and we adhered to it.  And, yes, sometimes it wasn't necessarily convenient to "do bedtime," but we did.  I even did it when I was going through a terrible divorce, because it is comforting to a child to have a routine.  I would do "The Old Gray Mare (on my hands and knees, child on my back, singing)," perhaps there would be another song, then bath, two stories and then lights out. 

Then it was "adult time."  

Now that the kids are gone, we still make time for each other. 

At the end of the day, we get together on the deck or in the kitchen, share a cocktail and talk...or sing.  Out on the deck, we might crank up Pandora and enjoy our surroundings.

We are known to sing The Animals' "We Gotta Get Outta this Place" at the top of our lungs.  What the neighbors must think.  Who cares?

Each person needs to feel the other really wants to spend time with them. And it needs to be fun. You are supposed to be each other's best friends, right? If you can't do that, you might want to figure out if you really like spending time together without your kids, because once they are gone, what will you talk about? Do you have fun together, just the two of you?

Finally and probably most important,

  • Commitment.
None of what I have written will make any difference at all if you don't want to stay married.

When I discovered my ex-husband had been cheating on me with a coed, while we had a two-year-old son and I was slaving away to put my ex through college, I was devastated.  But what hurt even more was when I still tried to make it work, and I asked him if he wanted to stay married to me and he said he didn't know.  Wrong answer!

You will never make it for 10 years let alone 30 if the commitment is not there, because there will be times when you might resent or even hate your spouse for awhile.  Stuff will happen that you will both need to go through, stuff that isn't fun. There will be temptations. If you are not committed, forget it.  You just won't want to make the effort.

It's your choice.  Every day you need to *choose* to love, choose to forgive, choose to stay together.

I don't mean to preach.  I'm just celebrating.  After all, it's been 30 years.

I really don't have all of the answers by any means.  I just know that somehow, through thick and thin, Hubby and I are still together after 30 years.  My parents and Hubby's parents were together for over 50, so we have some years to go.  But at least, this is what has gotten us this far. 

And we still love each other.  And we still have had fun together.

Sure, you need to be on the same page about money and child rearing, but more than that, it's a shared history, it's those little things like kissing on bridges and going on stair walks, it's your shared love of your children, it's being best friends, it's having fun, it's wanting to stay married.

If that helps anyone, then I am happy.

And who knows? I could get served with divorce papers tomorrow. 

This is just how we got through 30 years.  If I make it the next 20, I will probably have more to say when I write, "How to stay married for 50 years," if I can still write...or see...or sit up...or stop drooling...

What are your tips
for a happy marriage?

See you Friday for

"Movies that make you go...What the...?
and The Week in Reviews"

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it, email it to your friends and
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