Friday, September 25, 2015

"The Perfect Guy" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "The Perfect Guy" and DVDs "Leviathan" and "A Little Chaos." The Book of the Week is the inspirational "When Things Fall Apart."  I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project," "Revenge of a Kabuki Actor."]

The Perfect Guy

After a woman breaks up with her long time boyfriend because he doesn't want to get married, she meets a guy who seems "to good to be true."  You know what they say about something that is "too good to be true?"  Right.

Whenever a movie has a title like "The Perfect Guy," "The Perfect Husband," "The Perfect Roommate," "The Perfect Step Dad," "The Perfect Girlfriend, "The Perfect Dog," know that he, she or it are anything but.

Sanaa Latham plays Leah, a professional woman, who lives with her boyfriend, Dave (the hunky Morris Chestnut, who will soon be starring on TV in the new show "Rosewood.").  Dave is marriage shy and when it finally occurs to Leah that her biological clock is ticking and this guy ain't gonna marry her, she kicks him out.

Soon, too soon, she has a few encounters with Carter (the not as hunky Michael Ealy).  He is a gentleman of the highest order and seems to perceive Leah's needs.  They also have a steamy sex encounter in a nightclub that seems to seal the deal and when Leah introduces him to her girlfriends and they pronounce him "the perfect guy," Leah is hooked.

But then Carter begins to show his true colors.

Ladies.  One thing I learned from this film.  It's a major red flag when your boyfriend beats the crap out of a guy who is just talking to you and admiring your car.

Leah doesn't like that much either and decides this "perfect guy" isn't so perfect.

Let the stalking begin.  And in case we hadn't already figured out what was going to happen, a nice big coyote passes across the screen.

Leah may be a smart professional woman but she doesn't seem to understand the concept of stalking very well.

When you are being stalked, I would think it's not a good idea to park your car all the way across an underground parking garage from the elevator so that when you are walking to your car late at night all alone in a deserted underground parking garage you are not able to get your butt into your car as soon as possible. And then I have to ask, if you are being stalked, what the hell are you doing working late and going to your car alone at night? 

Likewise, when you know your psycho boyfriend knows where you hide your spare key to your house, why in hell don't you hide it somewhere else so he can't get into your house when you are not home and suck on your toothbrush?

I had to pinch myself halfway through this thing to remind myself I was sitting in a movie theatre and not at home watching a Lifetime Movie.

This plot: girl meets "the perfect guy,' "perfect guy" turns into the boyfriend from hell, "perfect guy" stalks girl and tries to derail her life, girl says, "Hell no!" and the stalker becomes the stalkee.

Sanaa, Chestnut and Ealy are all perfectly fine actors and the production values are good, but this movie has been done a million times before in various guises.

I actually think Dave (Chestnut) should have been the "perfect guy" stalker and Carter (Ealy) the "good" boyfriend. I thought Carter was creepy from the get go and would have never painted him as "The Perfect Guy."  Now, Morris Chestnut.  That's a "Perfect Guy!" Mm-mm-mm!

Rosy the Reviewer says...if this story sounds like something that interests you (which means you never saw any of the above mentioned movies that start with "The Perfect...") at least save your money and wait for it to come out on DVD.

Some Movies You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

***Now out on DVD***

Leviathan (2014)

In a Russian coastal town, a man tries to stop the local mayor from seizing his property.
Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov) is an auto shop owner in a barren part of Russia.  He is married and living on a nice piece of property on the water with his wife and son.  His wife, Lilya (Elena Lyadova), is not the mother of his son, Romka (Sergey Pokhodaev) and Romka does not like his step mom.
Kolya is part of a court case where the mayor of the town is trying to seize Kolya's land and home so he enlists the help of a friend, Pasha (Aleksey Rozin), who is a lawyer, to help him fight the case.
There is a scene where one of the judges reads the details of the case.  She reads it in a fast monotone that shows the cold-heartedness and bureaucracy that Kolya is dealing with.  It doesn't hurt that we also keep seeing scenes of barren landscapes and ice.
When the mayor wins the case, he decides to pay Kolya a visit on his way home so he can gloat. Both Kolya and the mayor are drunk.  When Kolya and his lawyer put in a complaint to the police, it's Kolya who is arrested.
Life doesn't get any better for Kolya as Lilya and Pasha get it on.  And Lilya's and Romka's relationship is not helped by the fact that he sees Lilya and Pasha having sex.
"Leviathan" is a biblical term for a sea monster and the bureaucracy shown in this film is the "monster" in question, a frightening, Kafkaesque world.  Our Libertarians in the U.S. think they have it bad. They should see this film.  Even the church is corrupt. This movie makes you thank you lucky stars for the freedoms we enjoy.
The message here is not a happy one and seems to be, resign yourself to your fate.  You can't win against the harsh powers that be and even the church is no comfort.
Directed by Andrey Avyagintsev, this film was nominated for an Oscar for 2015's Best Foreign Language Film and won the Golden Globe.
Rosy the Reviewer says...a grim and relevant reminder that not everyone in the world can enjoy the freedoms we have. 

A Little Chaos (2014) 

Two landscape artists meet and fall in love while creating a garden at Versailles for Louis XIV.

Kate Winslet plays Sabine De Barra, a female landscape architect. She comes to the attention of Louis the XIV (Alan Rickman), who is in the midst of building Versailles.  Sabine is invited to Court and it is apparent she is not accustomed to Court Life but, nevertheless, she is embraced by the Palace Court as the next new thing and Louis hires her to build a water cascade for the garden at Versailles. She is also a widow, haunted by the death of a child.  

In the course of her work, Sabine meets Andre played by Matthias Schoenaerts, who played a thug to great effect in the wonderful film "The Drop"  but who now appears to be making his mark as a romantic lead (he was a love interest in the most recent "Far from the Madding Crowd"). This is basically a "meet cute" love story under the guise of a feminist landscape architect trying to make her mark in the Court of Louis XIV.

The film starts slowly, has some good moments between Rickman and Winslet, and if you stick with it, you will find out why Sabine was a widow and what happened to her child.  But you might not care enough to hang in there.

This costume drama is beautiful to look at but unfortunately failed to engage me.  It's good when Rickman is on screen and Winslet is always good, though here she seemed distracted and the story plods. 

I am guessing Winslet was pregnant or post pregnant during the making of this film as she is zaftig to say the least and didn't bare her breasts, which she almost always does in movies.  There was a sex scene between Winslet and Schoenaerts which was welcome but too little too late. 

Written and directed by Rickman, there was just something missing here.  It felt like a longer film that was cut with a hatchet. The film looked lovely. The set design and costuming captured the gritty side of what it must have been like in the 17th century as everyone has a sort of shabby chic look.  But the story failed to engage.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like costume films that are beautiful to look at with excellent performances and an original plot, you might like this, but for me it didn't quite hit the mark.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

291 to go!


An Actor's Revenge AKA "Revenge of a Kabuki Actor" (1963)


While touring in a kabuki troupe, female impersonator Yokinojo sees three men in the audience who drove his parents to suicide so he decides to seek revenge.
Yokinojo (renowned Japanese kabuki actor Kazuo Hasegawa,) cooly and calmly murders those who wronged him, all the while being observed by the thief, Yamitaro, also played by Hasegawa.
Directed by Kon Ichikawa, this film is a remake of a 1935 film that amazingly also starred Hasegawa and was his 300th role in a film.  It unfolds like a play, often with plain black backdrops and scenery that look fake.  It's all very stylized and theatrical, but it's supposed to be that way as Ichikawa parodies kabuki theatre.  Ichikawa started out as a cartoonist and it is evident here as the film plays like a cartoon.
"[This film] is one of the most outrageously entertaining Japanese films ever produced...Far from trying to tone down the project's improbabilities and absurdities, Ichikawa gleefully plays up everything artificial and theatrical about the story...blatantly fake sets, anomalous music, and distorted visuals.  The conventions of kabuki theatre are affectionately parodied, with ultrastyalized lighting and horizontal wipes across the CinemaScope screen."
---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die."
Rosy the Reviewer says...this film lost me somewhere between the fake sets and the improbable story.  I will go with the outrageous part of the critique from "1001 Movies..." but not the entertaining part.  I could have done without seeing this one before I died.


***Book of the Week***

When Things Fall Apart  by Pema Chodron (2000)

Wisdom to help us go on living when our lives fall apart.
I first heard Pema Chodron when she was on Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday," one of those "TV Shows I Never Thought I Would Like" that I talked about last week.
When she talked about her life falling apart after her husband left her, I could relate to that experience.
Pema is an American devotee of Tibetan Buddhism, an ordained nun and a follower of Chogyam Trungpa.   She was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown and lived a wealthy life but after two divorces started to seek something more.  She met Chogyam Trumgpa in 1972 and studied with him until his death in 1987.
A central theme of her teachings is the belief in "shenpa," or attachment, which she interprets as "getting hooked" to negative and self-destructive responses to comments or situations that remind us of something negative in our pasts.
"Somebody says a mean word to you and then something in you tightens — that's the shenpa. Then it starts to spiral into low self-esteem, or blaming them, or anger at them, denigrating yourself. "
This book includes a series of talks Pema gave from 1987 to 1994 and her advice is both spiritual and practical.
She stresses using our pain to gain wisdom, compassion and courage; communication; and how to reverse habitual patterns.

Rosy the Reviewer says...comfort food for the soul.

Thanks for Reading!

 That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday for

"How To Have a Successful
(and Happy)
Mother/Daughter Getaway, Pt. 1: Santa Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque

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Check your local library for DVDs and books 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). 



Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What's In My Purse

"US Weekly" has this funny little weekly column called "What's in My Bag." 

Every week a different celebrity opens up her purse and shares the contents with some comments on why she carries that stuff around.

Here is what Heidi Klum likes to have in her bag ("US Weekly, September 21, 2015)

She hypes Wrigley gum for fresh breath, hand sanitizer, The Row (The Olsen Twins - ooh, very cool) sunglasses and her MacBook Air.

I am not a celebrity by any means, but since I have had some luck (and fun) doing my own versions of some of these regular columns ("25 Things You Don't Know About Me," another regular column in "US Weekly" highlighting various celebrities of the moment, and "What Rosy the Reviewer Loves...," my take on Nina Garcia's column "What Nina Loves" in "Marie Clare Magazine" that highlights items so expensive and out there that the likes of you and me can't afford them so I had fun with that one - those were two fairly popular blog posts of mine) - I thought I would take a stab at this one.  Besides I an on vacation with my daughter and thought this post wouldn't take that much time!  They can't all be Pulitzer worthy!

The "What's in my Bag" column in "US" is a shameless way to promote various products.  Since I am always trying to provide a public service and inspire with my blog, MY version will actually give you some practical tips.

I have written two blog posts about traveling, "Planning a Trip - Baby Boomer Style," and "Baby Boomer Travel Tips," and though I talk about the importance of having "grab and go" bags of toiletries and important accessories like your phone charger, adaptors for other countries and ear buds, I am surprised that I did not highlight the importance of your purse when you are traveling.  So much of what I carry in my purse all of the time is in anticipation of traveling somewhere, even if it's just a trip a few miles away.

I chose to call my version "What's in my Purse?" rather than "What's in my Bag?" because I feel that "the purse" has a long history with us women.  Remember when our mothers called it her "pocket book?"  So I am not inclined to call my purse a "bag." "Purse" is much more elegant, and I am that kind of gal!

The Purse is a very important part of a woman's wardrobe.  Whether she is sporting a Dooney & Bourke or a Louis Vuitton, or a really cute purse from Target, it is part of her fashion persona.

But as an object, I think the purse is not given its due.

A purse is not just a fashion statement, but an important part of our existence.  We carry in that purse items that make our lives easier, that speak to us and that make us feel safe.

Men have tried to emulate with "the murse," but men just don't get it.  They are happy if they have their wallet in their back pocket and their keys in front.  But WE, ladies, WE must carry the important stuff.

Our purses have carried diapers for our babies, band aids for our toddlers, aspirin for our mothers and condoms for our safety.  There is a reason I dream about losing my purse -- AND IT'S A NIGHTMARE!

So here goes...

"What's in my Purse?"


1.  Flats
I am the queen of "unsuitable shoes" and the philosophy that it's better to "look good than to feel good," but as I get older, I find it more and more difficult to walk around very long in shoes that are killing me.  So just in case I have put on a pair of shoes that turn out to be unsuitable for walking around, I have a pair of flats in my purse.  These fold up into a nice little ball so they don't take up much room, and they are of a fashionable fake snakeskin, just in case anyone should question my fashion sense.

2.  Filofax
I know.  I'm old school.  I have an IPhone 6 and think that I am fairly adept at using a computer.  I mean, I write this blog, don't I?  But when it comes to keeping track of my schedule (and yes, people, even though I am retired I DO have a schedule), I don't want my computer and phone beeping at me. I like to write it down.  Must be my addiction to making lists.  Plus Filofax "diaries (made in the UK and called "diaries" over there)" are very classy looking. Did I mention they are made in the UK?

3.  Glasses and contacts
I don't want to be caught dead out in the world wearing my glasses so I always have an extra pair of contacts with me.  But I also don't want to take off my contacts to watch TV in a hotel and realize I don't have my glasses.  So I carry a little glasses case with my glasses and my contact case with solution in it in my purse at all times so you will never find me in a motel...well, you will never find me in a motel...I meant to say hotel... without my glasses, contacts and saline emergency saline solution.

4.  Umbrella
Hey, I live in Seattle.  But I have also found myself on a vacation in Paris where it RAINED EVERY DAY!

5.  A bottle of wine
How did that get there?

6.  Sunscreen
I hate to say that I often don't use it, but I should because I have the whitest skin you have ever seen.  The sun sees me and decides that I am its project for the day, so I try to be good about having it on hand. 

I learned my lesson one time in Copenhagen.  I didn't have any sunscreen and it was a hot sunny day and we were planning a long walk around town.  I said to Hubby, "Honey, I forgot my sunscreen.  We need to get some."  What we didn't realize was that it was one of those random Scandinavian holidays that no one can seem to explain and nothing was open.  We heard a rumor that there was a pharmacy open over by the Tivoli Gardens so we made the trek, stood in the long line (everyone else must have needed sunscreen) and paid something like $25.00 for some imported French sunscreen.  Hubby was not amused and continues to remind me of that time so I think it's important for me to have it in my purse whether or not I plan to slather it on.

7.  Cash
I know cash is not popular with Millennials and people who like to get points on their credit cards, but there is nothing like having some cash when "The Big One" happens and the ATM's and credit card machines don't work or just when you want to buy a pack of gum or pay your dry cleaner.  Do you really want to use your credit card for a pack of gum?  And do you really want to have to say to the shop owner who doesn't take credit cards, "I don't have 50 cents?"

8.  Not sure what the half-eaten half of a sandwich is doing there or how long it's been there. 
That's the thing about big purses.  Things get lost in there.

9.  Ray-Bans
Heidi has nothing on me.  I've got a cool pair of Ray-Bans (on sale at The Rack) and I never liked the Olsen Twins.

10. Ear buds
I always have my ear buds with me in a cute little ear bud case.  So when I want to go for a walk and listen to some tunes, I have them.  When I am on a plane and want to watch some content on my IPad, I am all set.  Hubby doesn't like it that I am so self sufficient and he is forced to read the airline magazine.

11.  IPad
Speaking of my IPad, I don't actually have it with me at all times because I have an old, heavy one (which works just fine, thank you).  But when I know I am going on a road trip, plane ride or fear being bored, I have it with me.  I can access my TIVO from home on my IPad, I have magazines and books on it, I can entertain myself for hours.  Hubby gets lonely on planes because of it.  Sorry, Hubby.

12.  Fresh pair of underpants
I can't bring myself to say "panties."  I hate that word.  That's the kind of word a man would use but I don't think I have ever heard a woman say that.  But anyway, you never know when you might need a fresh pair.  That's all I'm going to say about that.  But, god, those look ENORMOUS! 

Anyway, so that's a look inside my purse.  I hope it has given you some ideas about making your life easier and some insight into me.

Oh, geez, I just saw a new column in "People Magazine," "What My Dogs Know About Me." 

Help me before I write that one!

Too Late.

"What My Dogs Know About Me"
by Rosy the Reviewer

Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 
"The Perfect Guy" 

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)
and the latest on

My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Friday, September 18, 2015

"A Walk in the Woods" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "A Walk in the Woods" and DVDs "Get Hard" and "Three Hearts." The Book of the Week is "Life on the Ramona Coaster."  I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with the British classic "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp"]

A Walk in the Woods

Writer Bill Bryson walks the Appalachian Trail with an old friend in this "buddy movie" for the geriatric set. 

Bill Bryson is a best-selling author and humorist who has written mostly about travel.  He lived in England for several years and his fame came from his funny observations about acclimating to life in England which he wrote about in "Notes from a Small Island" in 1995.  He has accumulated many honors including an OBE for his contribution to literature and an appointment as Chancellor of Durham University.

This film begins after Bryson has returned to the U.S. after 20 years in England. He attends a funeral of a friend which starts him thinking about his mortality and what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

So what do you do when you feel Father Time creeping up on you?  Why, you decide to walk The Appalachian Trail. 

Bryson, played by Robert Redford, gets a call from an old friend, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), whom he hadn't seen in years.  Probably for a reason.  They couldn't be more different.  Bryson is pretty much of a straight arrow, an accomplished writer accruing many awards over his lifetime.  Katz is a bit of a ne'er do well, an ex-womanizing alcoholic and not in very good shape. Bryson has his misgivings about this pairing, but Bryson's wife won't let him go on this trip alone, and Katz wants to go, so together they take off on their adventure. That's where this movie begins and as it progresses, there are lots of old folks and aging jokes that you may or may not find funny, eccentric characters they meet along the way and some harrowing encounters with bears and the side of a mountain.

Directed by Ken Kwapis and based on Bryson's 1998 book, the topic of this film is a good fit for Redford as he has always been an active environmentalist.  Early in his career he bought an entire ski area north of Provo, Utah he named Sundance and which has now become a famous resort and Film Festival venue.  

However this film is not such a good fit for Redford acting wise.  They say comedic acting is the most difficult because of the timing needed to deliver a line and make it funny, do a double-take and generally be funny.  There is no doubt that Redford is a great dramatic actor but his comedic abilities are in question here.  When you compare him to Emma Thompson (she plays his wife), who does have the gift, it is very apparent.  Even Nolte can do it better.

Speaking of Nolte. Remember when Nick Nolte was People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive?"  That was only 23 years ago but you would never know it.  He is overweight and grizzled and now plies his trade as curmudgeons and elderly ne'er do wells which he does here to great effect.  I felt MY heart pounding as he staggered up hills on the Appalachian Trail.  Redford plays straight man to Nolte's character, something that is surprising since Bryson is supposed to be the humorist. The film just didn't capture Bryson's wit.

Kristen Schaal as Mary Ellen, a know-it-all hiker Bill and Katz run into on the trail steals the show, but she isn't on screen very long.

And speaking of small parts. Mary Steenburgen was also in the cast in a strange little part that the film could have done without, though I'm happy to see aging actresses getting work.  Likewise aging actors.

Can't help but compare this film to "Wild" as both treks were all about dealing with what life hands you:  Strayed to get over the loss of her mother; Bryson to prove to himself he wasn't getting old. But that's where the comparion ends. This film is more like the geriatric road trip-buddy film "Land Ho," where two old guys tour Iceland.  I reviewed that one positively and liked it better.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are a big Bill Bryson fan, you might be disappointed with this as it does not capture his snarky and often hilarious observations and takes liberties with the book, but the scenery is lovely and there are a couple of funny bits, so it's a pleasant enough "walk in the woods."

You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

Get Hard (2015)

When rich guy James King (Will Ferrell) gets arrested for fraud and faces jail time, he turns to Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart), who washes his car and is the only black guy he knows, to help him train to survive in jail.

King is living large in Bel Air in a beautiful mansion with a beautiful fiancé.  He wears bespoke suits, takes martial arts classes and is building a bigger better mansion. He is one of those "one-percenters" we keep hearing about (and I don't mean the motorcycle club).

King is arrested for securities fraud and embezzlement at his engagement party and is facing 10 years in a maximum security prision.  He is terrified of becoming "someone's bitch" in prison. He has 30 days to report to prison so he asks Darnell, who washes his car and is the only black person he knows to teach him how to be "hard" for prison. 

Of course the joke here is that just because Darnell is black, King assumes he has been in prison when in fact Darnell is the owner of the car wash and is living the middle class life, trying to buy a home. He has never been in jail a day in his life.  He is in fact a middle class straight arrow.  But he sees a way to get that down payment for the house he wants, so he pretends to be "hard."

King turns his house into a pseudo-prison so he can live the life ahead of time.  Darnell tries to teach him to have a "badass face" and how to fight.  King's martial arts routines just don't cut it.  What is funny here is the visual - little "hardass" Kevin Hart and big, tall but wimpy Will Farrell.  Also Darnell makes King pick a fight with random guys in the park and that got a chuckle out of me. But just not enough funny scenes to carry this film.

Later, Darnell figures out that King actually didn't do the crime and is encouraged by his wife to find out who did, thus making us feel some sympathy for King.

Directed by Eton Cohen (not to be confused with one of the Cohen brothers), the film has some funny moments but too many racial and gay stereotypes and rape jokes.  There was an opportunity here to say something about the one-percenters and racial stereotypes but those opportunities were lost in the sympathy we felt for King, our one-percenter, and the racial stereotypes. 

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are two very funny guys.  This could have been a comic movie made in heaven.  Unfortunately, two funny guys does not a funny movie make.

Rosy the Reviewer says...another comedy that really wasn't one.

Three Hearts (2014)

A man gets involved with two sisters ("Three Hearts," get it?).

Marc (Benoit Poelvoorde), a tax inspector misses his train back to Paris and sees Sylvie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) walking around alone.  He asks for a light in an irritating bit with a lighter that doesn't quite ring true but it comes back to haunt everyone later in the film.  He puts the moves on Sylvie in a very French, suave way. Marc is a bit of a letch.  "He likes women."  I think it's a French thing. They walk around all night together and decide to meet on Friday at 5pm in Paris at the Tuileries.

Sylvie has a boyfriend but this meeting with Marc serves as a catalyst for her to leave him.  She moves home with her mother (the gorgeous Catherine Deneuve, who has decided to save her face instead of her butt - and those who are regulars on this blog will understand the reference).

When the time comes to meet, Marc is in a meeting that is running long because the Chinese businessmen he is meeting with don't speak French or English.  In his hurry to make his meeting with Sylvie he thinks he is having a heart attack. He faints and misses the train.  Turns out it was just a panic attack.  Marc is kind of an anxious guy.

Ominous music plays throughout.

Sylvie is there on time and waits but when she thinks he is not coming, she leaves, and naturally just misses him in one of those excruciating "just missing the person" scenes.   Sylvie returns to her failed relationship and when her boyfriend, Christophe, is offered a job in Minneapolis, they both move to the U.S.

When Marc finally gets to the meeting place, Sylvie has already gone.  Marc returns to the town where they first met hoping to find her again but she has already gone. 

Marc is a tax inspector and runs into Sylvie's sister, Sophie, at the tax office because she is having some problems with her taxes for her business. 
Sylvie and her sister, Sophie (Chiara Mastroianni), run an antique business together. He sees her crying in the hallway and comes to her aid.  We already know that Marc "likes women" so he naturally puts the moves on her not realizing it's Sylvie's sister.  They bond over her missing her sister and her tax issues. 

Her issue is the same as Sylvie's.  When she meets Marc she also is living with a boyfriend she doesn't really love.  She falls in love with Marc and they move in together all the while with Marc not realizing that Sophie is Sylvie's sister.  However, Sophie Skypes with her sister and after a few scenes where Marc almost sees Sylvie during a Skype session, notices some gestures Sophie makes that are the same as Sylvie's and finding a lighter just like Sylvie's (I told you the lighter would turn up again), Marc gets the picture.

When he discovers the truth, Marc starts to brood over Sylvie, who it seems he has never gotten over despite spending only one night with her walking around.

But Marc and Sophie get married and have a son.  Sylvie finally returns and Sylvie and Marc are both finally able to explain why they didn't meet that fateful day, but the film ends as it only can, especially since we have been listening to all of that ominous music throughout the film and having some magical thinking about what might have happened had they not missed each other on that fateful day. 

Charlotte Gainsbourg (the daughter of French Singer Serge Gainsbourg and the model Jane Birkin, for whom the purse none of can afford is named) is always good in a moody, hardly ever smiling way, but I have not really forgiven her for "Nymphomanic 1 & 2," which made my worst of 2014 list

Poelvoorde does a convincing job as the point of the triangle, but his obsession with Sylvie is a bit difficult to understand since it was just one night and we didn't feel much passion between them. Mastroianni is lovely and convincing as Sophie and there seems to be much more going on between her and Marc.

But it's a romantic, though excruciating story.  All very French.

Rosy the Reviewer says...If you liked "An Affair to Remember," you will like this film.
(In French with English subtitles)


***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

292 to go!

The 40-year career of a British soldier, from the Boer War to World War II.

The film is an extended flash-back on the military career of Major-General Clive Wynne-Candy (Roger Livesey) beginning in 1902 with his just returning from the Boer WarHe receives a letter from Berlin from a Miss Edith Hunter (a very young Deborah Kerr) where she complains about a man named Kaunitz who is spreading anti-British propaganda in Berlin.  She demands that the British Embassy do something.  Candy brings this to their attention but they do nothing, so Candy decides to travel to Berlin where he meets with Edith.  When he confronts Kaunitz, he is challenged to a duel.  Theo (Anton Walbrook), a German soldier, is chosen by lot to fight Candy in the name of the Imperial German Army.  They wound each other, but fortunately no one died and, ironically, they inadvertently become friends while recuperating in the hospital.  Edith visits both of them and ends up marrying Theo, though it is clear she has feelings for Candy and he for her.

The film tracks Candy through WW I, where he becomes a Brigadier General and up to WW II where Candy is brought back to the active list as part of the Home Guard.  He and Theo have reunited.  Their wives have died (both played by Kerr), and Candy confesses to Theo that he had loved Edith and never gotten over her, though he also loved his wife.

A young Deborah Kerr (she was only 20 and this was only her 7th feature film in what was to be a long career) adds romance to this film as she plays three different parts (she also plays Candy's driver at the end of the film). Director Powell was in love with her and it shows with the juicy close-ups he affords her.  

Why it's a Must See: "[Director] Michael Powell and [producer] Emeric Pressburger made [this film] at the height of World War II, when London was being bombed nightly by the Germans. A comedy of manners may not appear the best way to address current events, but the Powell-Pressburger team...[reveals] the horrible truth of modern warfare with grace and humor...It all adds up to one of the most ambitious and impressive all of British cinema."
---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Powell and Pressburger were a successful duo who had already produced "The Red Shoes" and "I Know Where I'm Going, which also starred Livesey , but this film was a daring film for the times.  Made in 1942 in the midst of WW II where most films were blatantly patriotic, this film was ambivalent about war, questioning the idea of winning at any cost.  It even had a major sympathetic character who was German.  It has been compared with Welles' "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "Citizen Kane."

Colonel Blimp was a British cartoon character portraying a pompous, irasicible military British stereotype. There is no mention of that character here except in the title and how Candy looks as an old man, but he is a metaphor perhaps for the loss of traditional British values.  Clive Candy is an honorable soldier and his only relationship to Blimp is the fact that as he aged, his views did not change with the time, especially about winning wars. He didn't believe in doing whatever necessary to win. So there is a mourning here for the loss of traditional British values, but more importantly, this film highlights how little we value the wisdom of the old as time marches on.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Despite the valuable theme, the gorgeous cinematography and the accolades, I found this film overdone, melodramatic and too long. 

***Book of the Week***

Life on the Ramona Coaster  by Ramona Singer (2015)
Ramona Singer, one of the stars of the reality show "The Real Housewives of New York City,"  shares her reality.
If you are not a fan of "The Housewives of NYC," you can stop reading now.  I won't be mad.  I know it's an addic...I mean, acquired taste.  But if you have a loved one watching and you are interested in what has happened up until now, believe it or not, Ramona does a good and rather balanced job of bringing you up to date.
Ramona is one of the original NYC Housewives and Andy Cohen just gave her a "Lifetime Achievement Award" on his "All Things Bravo" show "Watch What Happens Live."  She is one of those characters you love to hate, because she can be a bit of a nutter, and doesn't appear to have a filter, but surprisingly, this book is calm, honest and answers all of your questions about her relationships with the other "Housewives" and her recent surprising breakup with her husband of 20 years, Mario. After reading this, I liked her.
Rosy the Reviewer says...a fast can get it done in a couple of hours so you won't feel guilty afterwards.

Thanks for Reading!

That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday for

"What's in My Purse?"

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Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."