Love & Mercy (A Review of Sorts)

Oh my word, you guys. Hunny took me on a date June 29th, over a month ago. My plan was to share our movie experience with you the following week. It is somewhat terrifying to me that I let 33 days slip through my fingers. Does that frighten you to your very core? If not, it should!

33 days ago, the plan was to see Love & Mercy and then watch I’ll See You in My Dreams, a Doris Day / Danny Thomas movie. I can’t even explain how excited I was to see a biopic followed by a movie made in 1951. Two types of films I love with the man I love?! Life does not get any better than that.

When we arrive at the film house, we do not see a Danny Thomas movie poster. Doris Day’s enormous smile is nowhere to be found. Hunny asks the girl behind the concessions stand about the movie. She tells us I’ll See You in My Dreams is an old person movie about old people and we did not want to see that. Undaunted, we went on to watch Love & Mercy.

I went into this movie looking forward to peeking behind the scenes at the Beach Boys and completely uninterested in Brian Wilson. You see, growing up I believed I would be involved in music. I would be a singer/songwriter for some band or just myself and that would be my life and livelihood. I watched Behind the Music incessantly. It did not matter if the bands were ones I didn’t know full of people I had never heard about, I watched to learn about the ins and outs of the music business and how they found inspiration for music. Unfortunately, the show was mainly how their lives were a train wreck: affairs, drugs, thieving managers, tragic diseases, and tragic accidents involving planes or trains. I vividly remember watching the one on Wilson Phillips where Carnie Wilson talked about what a horrible father she had and how mean he was to her. I don’t know why this burned into my brain, but I felt so sorry for her. And it made me not like her dad. I couldn’t stop loving the Beach Boys, but I knew that guy was a bad dude.

When the film ended and I emerged from the emotional roller coaster, I felt terrible for Brain Wilson. Again, great writing paired with amazing acting can change a person. For the record, I still am not a Brian Wilson fan and I will always be a Beach Boys fan. I didn’t care that Paul Dano and John Cusack look nothing alike, because their mannerisms and speech patterns were similar. They were both heartbreaking and completely genuine in expressing the pain they were independently experiencing. Paul Giamatte is legitimately horrifying as the psychotic psychiatrist Eugene. This is not a movie you want to see when you’re feeling overly emotional. It is definitely worth seeing.

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 20} Broadway Hit Turned Movie – Jersey Boys

Broadway hits becoming cinematic gold was the norm in Hollywood 60 and 50 years ago. Now it seems to be the opposite. Movies such as Legally Blonde and Spiderman are turning into Broadway hits. I’m pretty sure Beauty and the Beast was the first animated movie to become a Broadway hit.

I remember the first time I heard about Jersey Boys, the Broadway musical. I was watching Regis and Kelly with my Mom, and Regis animatedly said, “Jersey Boys! You gotta see it!” I don’t know why I remember this, but I do. I thought that sounded interesting and I thought it was crazy that Regis was friends with Frankie Valli.

Nine years later, Hunny hurries me out of my Mom’s minus the Littles saying that we need to go to the store. I thought it was strange that we were going to the store alone, but any alone time with Hunny is welcome. Especially since we can’t afford dates outside our house. When we got in the car, he turned to me and said, “We’re going to the movies.”

I cried.

Hunny hadn’t taken me to the movies in years. The last movie I saw in the theaters before Jersey Boys was The Great Gatsby and I saw that with a friend. I asked him what we were seeing and when he said Jersey Boys, I was a little disappointed. We also missed the beginning of the movie, which is irritating.

But the movie was perfect. I loved the four narratives telling the same story. I loved the characters breaking the fourth wall in a natural way that wasn’t cheesy or goofy. Director Clint Eastwood even snuck himself in the movie by having the characters watch one of his movies on TV. I especially loved the music and learning the behind the scenes information about them. I grew up listening to music from the 1950’s and 1960’s, so in a weird way, watching this film was listening to my childhood. I don’t think any of the other audience members, all at least 50 years older than Hunny and myself, had a more enjoyable time than we did.

Now it’s at the dollar theater, and I’m hoping Hunny will take me to see it again!

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 5} Biopic – Chaplin

You know how I feel about long movies. I loathe them. I get antsy. I just want it to be over already! I can read for hours (At least, I could until God put small children in my life), but you put a movie over 90 minutes in front of me and I start to loose it.

Chaplin broke me.

Chaplin is over two hours long and I was riveted from minute one to the end. As soon as the credits ended, Hunny and I watched the bonus features. It wasn’t a fluke, either. On my second viewing of the film, I found myself feeling sorry for Charlie Chaplin and even though I knew what would happen, I was still cheering him on. My being able to sit through more than two hours shows what great writing and acting can do.

The movie is based on Chaplin’s own autobiography. Before I watched this movie, I had never seen a Charlie Chaplin movie. I knew he was a silent film star, but I had absolutely no interest in him. After watching this movie, I wanted to see one of his movies. More proof of the influence movies can have.

I highly recommend viewing this as soon as possible. Robert Downey Jr. is phenomenal. Before filming, he watched every movie Charlie Chaplin made. Do you know how many that is? Eighty-seven. Sixty-two of those films were made before Chaplin was twenty-one.

Saving Mr. Banks (Disney on Disney)

I love Disney; I love period pieces; and I am beyond excited about Saving Mr. Banks. As a small child, I loved Mary Poppins.  There is home video of me and my brothers singing “Stepping Time,” and if I knew how to convert VHS into digital, I would share it on the blog.  I reviewed Mary Poppins for my 30 Days, 30 Movies challenge, and while doing research on the film, I found that P. L. Travers left the premiere in hysterics over how Disney ruined her book.  I am so looking forward to how they portray this in Saving Mr. Banks, if they portray it at all. The Disney company has a tradition of taking stories and changing them to fit a “feel good” paradigm (have you ever read or seen the original The Little Mermaid? Gruesome).

In preparation for watching the film, I am reading the book and I will review Mary Poppins with Hunny this go around.

Are there any movies coming out this holiday season that you are looking forward to seeing?