Category Archives: Hollywood

Twelve romance movies to watch over … and over … again

A few weeks ago, I somehow found myself stuck on the couch with nothing in reach but my phone and the TV remote. (Nursing moms will understand this.) Ordinarily at a time like this, I’d wind up losing myself on the web, clicking on news stories I shouldn’t, and filling online carts I’d never actually check out.

But this night, I told myself I deserved a break. I deserved to get lost in a good movie … but not one that required too much attention. What I wanted was something familiar, something that would make me smile, something that would take my worries far away and keep me company like an old friend. So scrolled down to “Leap Year” and spent the next two hours with Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, and a countryside full of jaunty Irish brogues. 

We all could use that sort of mental escape every so often. It’s like visiting a spa that works on your psyche instead of your pores. So this Valentine’s Day, I’m posting a list of the top romantic movies I could watch over and over. (In other words, while I think “An Affair to Remember” is a fantastic movie, it’s a little too heavy for this list.)

Please feel free to leave comments below. I’d love to hear what you think.

Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

LEAP YEAR

This is one of those typical girl meets boy, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl fall in love deals. But the humor and the actors make it so much more than that. Seeing the Irish countryside is an added bonus.

LOVE ACTUALLY

I can’t let a single Christmas pass without watching Love Actually. It shows love in almost every situation imaginable. And unlike the vast majority of ensemble movies, you’ll never forget this one.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

I still remember the first time I saw this movie. I was in Cape Cod with my cousin, and the theater somehow managed to stretch the film so that it looked as if John Goodman was playing Sandra Bullock’s body double. But I’ve loved both her and Bill Pullman for decades, and am pretty sure it’s a love that will last a lifetime. Continue reading

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Gilmore Girls update: It’s really happening!

I thought the cover reveal for Skipping Midnight was the most exciting thing I was going to post about this week but … the “Gilmore Girls” revival trailer is here!

One of the best shows ever made, in my humble opinion. Funny, topical, quirky, sexy (well, Dean was sexy anyway) … it almost makes me consider the name Lorelai for my next baby. Almost.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or only recognize Lauren Graham from “Parenthood” (shaking my head in shame), it’s worth a peek. Personally, I think it looks FANTASTIC and absolutely can’t wait until November 25! 

P.S. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section. Sadly, my dog and toddler don’t have much of an opinion on the matter…

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Best Christmas movies EVER

When you’re one of those people who start counting down to December 25 on January 2, making a top ten list of Christmas movies is a Herculean task. Nevertheless, after going back and forth with my Twitter friends over the past few weeks (“You’ve never seen WHAT?!”) I figured it was for the greater good.

So here, in no particular order, are my votes for the top 10 Christmas movies of all time. Or at least of my time. Please let me know what I’m missing out on. I’ve got room on the shelves!

1. A CHRISTMAS STORY

Why: Umm, electric sex gleaming in the window. You’ll shoot your eye out. Triple dog dare. Fra-geee-lay. Ohhhh fudge. Pink nightmare. The Bumpuses’ dogs. I could go on forever. Whether you grew up in 1940s Indiana or 1980s New York, this nostalgic look back at one little boy’s childhood resonates with everyone. Why else would TBS air it on a 24-hour loop on Christmas Eve?

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2. LOVE ACTUALLY

Why: SO many studios have tried to pull off the ensemble cast epic story, but no one comes remotely close to “Love Actually.” It’s the one movie that gets played every year in my house without even the slightest complaint about stale old traditions. It is heart-warming, funny, sweet, and has great comedic timing. Honestly, the trailer doesn’t even come close to capturing how good this movie is. If you haven’t seen it, just buy it. Continue reading

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Best Halloween films for wussies (like me!)

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have a confession to make. I’m a wuss. Not when it comes to roller coasters, thrill rides, or soaring around Hawaii in a doorless helicopter, mind you. But put me in a haunted house and I might clock some poor 15-year-old “zombie” in the jaw … while screaming at the top of my lungs and flinging metal props to aid in my escape.

Yet despite all that, I love Halloween. I love the colors, the fanfare, and the ability to embrace some inner wild side for a day and not care what anyone thinks. (So yes, the same reason your nice muffin-baking neighbor is reading 50 Shades of Grey … again.) That said, I could do without the psychopaths in hockey masks. And the pea soup vomit. And the creepy  children with long black hair who move like spiders and climb out from abandoned wells.

That’s why my top Halloween movies* are the fun-creepy kind. The kind you watch with friends, quote at random times, and follow with a good night’s sleep. They aren’t necessarily for kids — just kids at heart. So grab a bowl of candy corn, pick a number, and enjoy:

1. HOCUS POCUS

Why: I’ve never forgotten that sizzling rendition of “I Put a Spell on You.” The bully situation is SO early ’90s (he calls the hero “Hollywood” and is somewhat obsessed with his sneakers). It has the only CAT I’ve ever actually liked. I still want dress up as part of the Sanderson trio someday (any volunteers?). And Bette Midler’s lips in this are just, like, Wow.

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2. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Why: It’s a musical for people who detest musicals. It’s extremely clever. It takes two polar opposite holidays and fits them together perfectly. There’s something about Tim Burton. And the animation is entertaining on its own.


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3. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

Why: Tim Curry in fishnet stockings and a bustier. Plus, the Time Warp is extremely catchy; you’ve been warned.

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What’s Your Patronus?

There’s never a bad time for Harry Potter, in my opinion, but October has got to be the best. With neighborhood lawns already filling up with witches, ghosts, goblins, and all sorts of spooky … what better time for a Patronus Charm?

Thanks to M’s Bookshelf and  Sky’s Book Corner for finding this neat little quiz that predicts what your unique magical guardian would look like. A cat? A horse? A phoenix? I apparently share the latter with Dumbledore. Can’t go wrong with that!

Click here to find out yours!

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Once Upon a Time returns!

once-upon-a-time-season-4

(Warning: This post may contain spoilers from season 3!)

Summer may be the season of leisure, but there’s something truly magical about autumn. The kaleidoscopic carpet of red and yellow leaves. The smell of stripped earth. The early sunsets. The brisk nights. And the return of our favorite TV shows.

This year, however, winter descends early as the fourth season of Once Upon a Time returns with a new face in tow: Elsa from Disney’s hit film, Frozen. Will the cursed Snow Queen play a villain? A hero? A romantic rival to the long-awaited and much-celebrated “Captain Swan?”

What’s more, will the Evil Queen slide right back into her old ways now that her flame’s wife is back? Now that yet another “happily ever after” has been yanked from her grasp?

Many questions hung in the air as season 3 ended in May. Thankfully, the answers will finally start coming tonight!

Reminder: The drawing for a Once Upon a Time DVD (season 1) and a signed copy of Damsels in Distress (Book 2 in the Desperately Ever After series) ends at midnight (EST) Sunday, September 28. Click here to enter

 

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Desperately Ever After dream cast — and an extra shot at Once Upon a Time

Aside from securing a seven-figure book deal or winning a Pulitzer, the coolest thing I can imagine as an author is to one day watch my work come alive on the big screen. To see the jewel-toned spires of Carpale’s skyline. To hear Rapunzel’s rants against “true love.” To join in as others cheer Belle’s growing independence, laugh at Cinderella’s vengeful “masterpiece,” and roll their eyes at Penny’s helicopter mother-in-law.

Unfortunately, Hollywood hasn’t called just yet. But just in case, here is my Dream Cast* for the Desperately Ever After series. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared! 😉

(Contest Bonus: Leave your own picks for an additional two bids in the Once Upon a Time/Damsels in Distress giveaway. Details and instructions at bottom of post.)

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THE LADIES

"Emmy Rossum, 2011" by MingleMediaTVNetwork

“Emmy Rossum, 2011” by MingleMediaTVNetwork*

Belle (Beauty and the Beast): Emmy Rossum

During the course of the series, D.E.A.’s Belle goes from a sweet, naive, ingénue to a strong, independent, kick-ass woman. I’ve loved Emmy Rossum since she played innocent Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, but her performance as Fiona in Showtime’s Shameless really blew me away.

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"Kristen Bell" by pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA

“Kristen Bell” by pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA*

Cinderella: Kristen Bell

For D.E.A.’s Cinderella, I picture an actress who shines playing the super smart, responsible, sophisticated woman who tends to bite off way more than she can chew and gets crazy paranoid when the slightest things go wrong — but still remains cute and lovable the entire time. For those of you who’ve seen When in Rome, all I have to say is “fountain breakdown.” For those who haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

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The Giver hits Hollywood

Watch this for thirty seconds and tell me what immediately comes to mind.

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Can you say “Katniss?” Just trade Meryl Streep for Donald Sutherland and throw in a few mockingjays. The guy who plays Jonas even looks like his last name should be Hutcherson-Hemsworth!

When I heard Hollywood was making a film adaptation of The Giver, my reaction was part excitement but far more fear. Why? Because as I explain on The Love of a Good Book this week, The Giver is sacred.

giverI’ve read Lois Lowry’s masterpiece three times so far and worn my copy to the bone. (The picture at right can attest to this, though I blame the torn cover on my brothers!) The first time, I was probably about twelve years old. And while I enjoyed the story about the colorless, dystopian world that assigned marriages and careers like theatre seats, I only understood a fraction of what I would five years down the road … and again four years after that.

Assigned to read it once in middle school, once in high school, and once in college, you might think I’d be bored of the story by now. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, I’ve always reached “the end” amazed that I missed so much in the past. The story seems to be constantly evolving–revealing new connections and emotions and “ah” moments depending on my current state of mind or stage in life. To me, that is the sign of a really phenomenal book. Continue reading

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Disney Couples Therapy

Infidelity. Secrets. Problems with the in-laws. A sex life on the rocks. Oh, and fairy tales. Sound familiar?

Yes, this description fully applies to Desperately Ever After. But it’s also the premise of a series of short videos called Disney Couples Therapy.

The three-minute clips show Disney’s versions of Sleeping Beauty, Belle, the Little Mermaid, and Snow White hashing it out with their romantic counterparts well down the road. They are downright hopeless compared to Desperately Ever After, and show only the couples (no girl talk here!), but fans of the book series may find them clever and definitely worth a laugh.

It’s perfect timing too, because Damsels in Distress (D.E.A. book #2) actually has a marriage counseling scene between Sleeping Beauty and her husband. Look for that August 20. But in the meantime, exercise your funny bone for a few minutes and enjoy these clips:


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Maleficent casts a spell on D.E.A. — Just 99 cents through Sunday!

maleficent-poster06

In conjunction with the opening weekend of Disney’s Maleficent … Desperately Ever After is on sale at Amazon for just 99 cents!

This is by far the lowest price it’s been since the release, and the lowest it will be for quite a while. The drop ends Sunday (or possibly earlier, since Amazon’s timing is an enigma), so don’t let another minute go by!

*** Click here for Amazon US … or here for Amazon UK ***

A bit about the book:

A 2014 Chick-Lit finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards

Stephanie EvanovichNew York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties, says: “Laura Kenyon makes happily ever after desperately delicious!”

Chick Lit Central praised it as a great cure for “Once Upon a Time withdrawal,” or for fans who miss Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives.

According to the New Canaan Advertiser, “Kenyon’s colorful imagery and often quick, lighthearted style, makes it easy to keep flipping pages.”

dfw-lk-dea-cover-midHave you ever wondered how Cinderella would feel 10 years down the road, when her iconic ball gown no longer fits and she has four kids, a billion royal duties, and a husband who’s never ever around? Or what about Beauty? Once his curse broke, how long would it take for “Beast” to realize there are a million other “beauties” in the sea … and it’s good to be the king… 

Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, Desperately Ever After imagines what might happen if our most beloved fairy tale princesses were the best of friends and had the dreams, dilemmas, and libidos of the modern woman. How would their stories unfold after the wedding bells stopped ringing?

Years after breaking her husband’s curse and becoming his queen, Belle finds out she’s finally going to have a child. But before she can announce the wondrous news, she catches him cheating and watches her “happily ever after” go up in flames. Turning to her friends for the strength to land with grace, she realizes she’s not the only one at a crossroads:

~ Cinderella, a mother of four drowning in royal duties, is facing her 30th birthday and questioning everything she’s done (or hasn’t) with her life.

~ Rapunzel, a sex-crazed socialite and one-woman powerhouse, is on a self-destructive quest to make up for 20 years locked in a tower.

~ Penelopea, an outsider with a mother-in-law from hell, is harboring a secret that could ruin everything at any moment.

Together, these women rescue each other from life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a scandalous new take on happily ever after. At heart, it’s about ordinary women dealing with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

LINKS:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Not sure? Check out some more reviews  …

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