Here’s my second movie review. I had to watch a better movie to get the stink off of me from the last one. My husband seemed to like it ok, said it was realistic, but I just can’t see it. I honestly didn’t want to do another movie review this soon, but after watching Letters to Juliet, I felt inspired to give it another go.
WHY ON EARTH DID I WATCH THIS?
Well, for starters, I have a mad lady crush on Amanda Seyfried. She’s beautiful and in everything I’ve ever seen her in she comes off as genuine and sweet. I am aware she was in a movie called Chloe that does not give off this effect, but I have not seen it, so my ignorance is blissfully still intact. I’ve had more bad experiences with R rated movies in the last few years than I care to admit.. so I’ve kinda been abstaining from them. Sorry, just not my bag. This one was surprisingly rated PG, which I believe is very rare. Everything that doesn’t have animation seems to be gearing toward the PG-13 rating these days, and quite honestly, I think the rating on most of those should be R. Maybe I’m a granny, what can I say, I just like pleasant things.
The other reason I watched it is due to it’s arrival in my mailbox from netflix over a week ago and even though I’ve brought it up about 5 times, no one at home sounded interested in watching it with me, so I watched it in a collapsed screen at work while processing rent checks. I like to have movies playing in the background, it helps me think. Also, my office is just WAY too quiet sometimes. Also, watching a nice movie on rent day helps ward off the landlord crabbies and makes me more pleasant to deal with. The way you should look at it is that the happy boost I got from this movie potentially saved the lives of my non-paying, lease skipping residents. It should win awards for that factor alone.
WHAT I LIKED:
THE PEOPLE: Amanda Seyfried plays a fact checker for The New Yorker who desperately aches to write real articles. I identified with this as I am currently trying to start writing again and finding some interesting roadblocks that have never presented themselves before. So, common ground established: There am I happy. She’s engaged to this chef who is opening up his own restaurant and they are going on a pre-wedding honeymoon (yeah, I said it right) to Verona, Italy. I, like every other woman on this planet, am totally enthralled with the idea of Italy and all it’s passion filled, pasta eating, wine drinking, vineyard working residents. Again, there am I happy.
I absolutely fell in love with Amanda in this movie, she was charming without coming off as some kind of seductress, innocent without an air of stupidity, and genuine without seeming too coarse. The naivete of her character was inspiring to me, but of course, writer-types are always fascinated and inspired by innocence in any form because it is, in fact, so incredibly rare AND it encourages people to remember that they too had dreams once.
The love interest in the movie, Christopher Egan, who to me, looks like some sort of genetic mix of Matt Damon and Heath Ledger (Again, RIP). He tries to pull of an english accent in the movie, but much the same as Ledger, he hails from the land down under, which was actually better for me, nothing better than a spicy Australian with a thick Aussie accent to match. Honestly, I thought his character’s dialogue was a bit lacking in parts. The things he said didn’t ring true for me on many accounts, but he was easy to watch, and I still liked the ending, so no harm done.
Vanessa Redgrave is so inspiring for a woman her age, I’ve always loved the roles she plays. Something I found out while watching cast interviews on the movie to bone up for this review was that Vanessa is actually married to Franco Nero, her romantic interest in this movie. That was pretty romantic to me. Also, did you know she is the mother of Natasha Richardson, who I also loved (RIP).
The bits about her character in this film that I loved the most were of course, all her responses to all these guys claiming to be Lorenzo Bartolini (there are like 50 of them!), but mostly her little interferences in getting her grandson to fall in love with Amanda. I like interfering grannies, so sue me.
There were two scenes I dearly loved in this one. A scene between Vanessa and Amanda, where Christopher has just said something upsetting to Amanda. Later that night, Vanessa goes to see her in her hotel room to make sure she’s alright and she is sitting in front of the vanity, brushing her wet hair. Vanessa says a few words of apology for her grandson’s behavior and then takes the brush and stands behind Amanda, brushing her hair. She says “One of the great joys in life is having one’s hair brushed.” I loved that. It was, to me, probably the best line in the whole movie.
The other scene I liked was where Amanda and Chris are eating ice cream and he’s reading what she’s written on the story so far. They end up having this epic ice cream battle at the end of it which made me laugh. It irks me that I couldn’t find the full scene, after she hits him in the face and says “I’m not a chicken.” He looks away for a second and then says “And I am not a gentleman.” then shoves his ice cream into her face. It was just cute, made me laugh.
WHAT I HATED: I didn’t really hate anything about it other than the fact that, yet again, the only place hollywood can find interesting story lines is in NEW YORK! I have a beef with this. But you know that from my last review. So I won’t do that whole bitter diatribe from the nose bleed section of my soap box again for your displeasure.
My only real complaint, if any, was about Christopher’s dialogue, it felt like it was missing something in almost every scene. I thought his character to deserved better writing. That bothered me only a little though. It was just something that could have made the difference between this movie being just pretty good, when it had the potential to be Awesome. I really did like it anyway though. I’ll buy it when I can get it for cheap and watch it when I need a pick me up.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give this one a 4. Pretty Good!
1. Total Waste: I can’t believe I actually spent money on this that I could have spent on books.
2. Bad B-Movie Material: I’d watch it once, if it were free, but would regret paying to see it.
3. Just OK: I’d rent it once, then maybe buy it on clearance and put it on while I’m cleaning.
4. Pretty Good: I’d buy it and watch it once or twice a year… I might even buy the book of it!
5. Awesome: I’d watch it in the theater, then buy it and watch it twice a month after that.