Beyond the Lights is nothing like its trailer, and that’s a good thing. I wrote off seeing it because the previews led me to believe it would be a watered down, sappy version of The Bodyguard. I decided to give it a chance after reading some surprising reviews on Twitter, and I’m glad I did.
Underneath the syrupy love story between Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Kaz Nicol (Nate Parker), the film explores more complex themes like mental health issues, complicated family dynamics, sexism, race, and self-actualization. Though Noni, an exploited pop star, and Kaz, the hero cop who tries to save her from herself, have very different lifestyles, they both struggle with overbearing parents who live vicariously through their adult children. It’s this story that didn’t make the cut in the previews. It’s this story that makes Beyond the Lights a special movie.
I wish I didn’t judge this story by its cover, and had gone to see it earlier.
Hurricane Sandy has already ripped through the Caribbean and may hit the East Coast in the next few days. If you plan to stay in the house when the storm hits, below are a few essentials you’ll need.
*Note: The Essentials listed below are not safety and hazard items. They are fun items if you decide to skip work or school.
1. SEXY SIPPIN’ – If you stay in the house with your friends, you won’t want to keep washing cups every time you have a drink. Opt for a flask.
S.S. Drunk Flask, $18
Printed Fabric Wrapped Flask, $18
2. CLASSIC MOVIES – Who doesn’t love a good movie when they are stuck at home for the day? Ferris Bueller’s Day off is one of my all-time favorite lazy day movies.
3. COMFY SLEEPWEAR – Forget a Snuggie! Go back to your childhood with a warm, comfy onesie.
Nick & Nora Women’s Zebra Footie Pajama, $24.99
4. FOOD AND SNACKS – Diet, who? Diet, what? Diets don’t exist on hurricane or snow days! Go to the grocery store and purchase your favorite snacks or order food from a take-out restaurant before the storm hits.
The Five-Year Engagement Hits Theaters April 27.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that there will never be another Wedding Crashers. Ever. Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell managed to forge a new form of rom com — one that is low on the rom and heavy on the com. Since then, what-else-could-possibly-go-wrong wedding movies like The Hangover and Bridesmaids have come close to achieving Crashers status by sticking to the formula: buddy comedy in which impossible hijinks ensue when another one bites the dust and decides to get hitched. The Five-Year Engagement starring Emily Blunt (Violet) and co-screenwriter Jason Segel (Tom) wins because it adds one more element to the mix — real-life drama.
The movie starts with a fairy-tale ending, and crams the couple’s five-year journey to their on-again-off-again wedding into two hours. Tom and Violet relocate from sunny San Francisco to frigid Michigan so that Violet can pursue her career in academia. Tom, poised to become head chef of a hot new seafood bar in the Bay Area, delays his dream and works in a sandwich shop while Violet gets closer to achieving her dream, and her boss.
Viewers will appreciate the film’s departure from the typical rom com formula. Tom and Violet become more than just characters with sarcastic one-liners, they slowly morph into a reflection of a real-life couple that struggles with the complexities of two individuals trying desperately to live one life. Things quickly go from “Nothing’s perfect” to “Nothing’s right” and they are left to decide whether the storybook ending they anticipated is worth writing in the first place.
But, “Elmo thinks there is no right cookie. You just have to pick one and take a bite.” (It’s one of those, you-had-to-be-there moments. And, trust me, you have to be there.)
So, you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day? So What! Spend some quality time with your best girlfriends. Here are three ways to get the party started:
#1 Try a new food recipe and make sexy cocktails
Cosmopolitan Magazine offers recipes for 20 sexy cocktails. Click here to view the recipes.
Photo credit: cosmopolitan.com
#2 Watch your favorite love movies!
"You are the perfect verse over a tight beat."...need we say more?
For all of you hopeless romantics, this is the movie for you. For the vain people out there, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are a hot couple to watch!
Bring your collection of nail polish to temporarily swap with your friends and pamper yourself with a pedicure.
The Miami Hearld: Movie Reviews
Excerpt from the Miami Herald- “The trailers may leave the impression that The Help is more comedy than drama, and the film can be pointedly funny. But Taylor, a close friend of Stockett’s who also adapted the screenplay, never loses sight of the sharp edge of casual, pervasive racism and how it poisons the lives of everyone — black and white — in early 1960s Jackson, Miss.”
Click here to read the full review.
Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)
I remember the smell of White Diamonds perfume on my grandmother’s skin and sitting down to watch Cleopatra with the family. Those were two of the most memorable Elizabeth Taylor moments in my early childhood. When I got a little bit older, my favorite movie was the Flinstones, in which Ms. Taylor played Wilma’s mother. I also remember her being a true friend to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. I think that’s when I started to love her the most. I could see that she really cared about Michael no matter what the media publicized about him. If I could describe Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor in three words, it would be Glamourous, Caring, and Poised. She may have passed away in death, but her memory will live on for generations. May she rest in peace.
My memories of Elizabeth Taylor:
The Flinstones (1994) Ms. Taylor plays Wilma's mother.
Cleopatra (1963) Legendary role as the Queen of Egypt
Ms. Taylor poses for an advertisment for her perfume, White Diamonds. The scent still reminds me of my beloved grandmother.