Movie Throwback

Waking Ned Divine: Your St. Patrick’s Day Entertainment

Think the only thing worth watching on St. Patrick’s Day is multiple episodes of Cheers (bars, Boston, you get my drift, right?)? Think again. Waking Ned Divine is an Irish classic and the only thing you should be pressing play on this St. Patrick’s Day.

It’s the story of a small Irish town where a miracle happens: one of its residents, a man by the name of Ned Divine, wins the lottery. The catch? Ned, er, kicks the bucket two seconds after his win. So what’s the town to do? Why pretend Ned is still alive in the form of Michael O’Sullivan, a man similar in age to Ned but unfortunately a terrible liar. What follows is the tale of two old friends who do everything they can to convince the “lotto people” Ned Divine is very much alive and ready to accept his winnings.

It’s a film that captures all the whimsy of Ireland, from lush green countryside and a surplus of pints, to old men riding naked on a motorcycle (oh, you didn’t know that was a past time in Ireland?). So while Cheers marathons are great fun, don’t miss this excuse to check out a beloved Irish classic. Make sure you have plenty of pints at the ready.

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Sisterhood Reunites for Brunch

I spotted this picture on Vanity Fair the other day, and I needed to share. It seems that even though the last Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants film came out in 2008, the Sisterhood is still kicking. Which, if I’m being honest, warms my heart more than I’d like to admit.

The idea that some version of Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), Carmen (America Ferrera), Lena (Alexis Bledel), and Bridgett (Blake Lively) is floating around out there, still getting together for something as normal as brunch all these years later, gives me hope for my own friendships and the power of, well, girl power.

Like every other girl in the mid ’00s, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was a book series I read, treasured, and tried to recreate with my own best girlfriends. While we never did find magic jeans, we still had some life-changing travels of our own.

When we heard the book was going to be made into a movie, we knew we all had to go together. So we made it an event, and we each discussed who we thought we were and who our friends knew we were. (I always felt I was a Lena/Tibby gal, but Carmen’s penchant for temper problems was more true to my form.) The book & the film were both one of my first forays into the complicated worlds of divorce, depression, and even cancer. But the idea that friendship could help you through it all was and remains a strong, positive message to young girls who tend to think anything not going their way signifies the end of the world.

The fact that these four actresses who played these characters for the first time almost ten years ago are still meeting up today only helps enforce the message of the film more. It reaffirms my belief that no matter the time or the distance, a true friendship can never really be lost or forgotten.

*Sappy post over*

Happy Birthday to my girl, Cher!

Today is Cher’s (aka Cherilyn Sarkisian’s–bet you didn’t know that) 68th birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIRL!

In honor of one of my favorite leading lady’s day of birth, I’m posting a clip of one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite Cher films, Moonstruck. (I’ve got a lot of favorites.) Released in 1987, the film captures the dramatic ups and downs of love, but with an Italian-American flair that only serves to heighten the romance. Cher and co-star Nicolas Cage (in a role he was born to play) bring such life to their romantically-linked characters Loretta Castorini and Ronny Cammareri that you can practically feel the passion heating up the screen (case in point, the scene above).

Cher won the 1988 Best Actress Oscar for her role, and I’m so glad she did. Gone is the showy glitz and sequins persona she’s known for, but it still manages to seep through a little in her character’s forceful, center stage of a personality. If you don’t understand the Cher hype, then SNAP OUT OF IT and check out this classic. With a strong supporting cast featuring the likes of Vincent Gardenia and Olympia Dukakis (who won an Oscar for her role as well), Moonstruck is the type of film that touches your heart and sticks with you long after you see it.

Bob Hoskins

About six or so years ago, I discovered the film Mermaids. I saw it mainly because two of my favorite leading ladies, Cher and Winona Ryder (yes, those are two of my favorite leading ladies), are in it. While the film focuses on a single mom who raises her two daughters in an unconventional, gypsy-like manner, there is one male cast member whose role is especially memorable, Bob Hoskins’. Although a female-dominated film, Bob’s role as a lovable shoe salesman is one of the most endearing aspects of the whole movie. Kind, charming, and generous, Bob’s Lou Landsky helps Cher’s Mama Flax come to terms with the idea that maybe all men aren’t meant to be disposed and run away from when things get complicated. Bob’s character lit up every scene and helped melt Mama Flax’s steely persona.

Today Mr. Hoskins passed away at the age of 71, and although I can’t say I’m very familiar with his career, having seen just a handful of his films, I’m still glad his role in Mermaids is one that I’ll always have to remember him by.

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Heathers: The 25th Anniversary

It has come to my attention that this year is the 25th anniversary of the film Heathers. Never seen Heathers? OH BOY. Get on Netflix now, my friend, and get watching. Oh, it’s on Instant. I’ve checked.

HeathersBack one day many moons ago, I caught the film Heathers as it began on the WB (remember when it was the WB? what does “The CW” even mean? anyone? anyone?). I had already entered a bit of a Winona Ryder phase, having seen Edward Scissorhands at least a half dozen times due to my obsession with respect for Johnny Depp at the time. I was 14 and he was, well, he was Captain Jack Sparrow. But I digress.

I remember watching Heathers and thinking, “Is this actually happening? Am I actually seeing what I’m seeing?”

Veronica, a less-than-enthusiastic member of her school’s most popular clique, suddenly finds herself committing accidental murders with the school’s resident sociopath. That killer of smile of his proves distracting though, and before she knows what she’s done, Veronica has become her own worst nightmare. But the craziest part of this film? How funny it is. I hadn’t seen a film before and I haven’t since that makes, well, death, I suppose, seem so funny. The only thing I can think of that comes close is This Is the End. But that didn’t have the smart wit of Winona Ryder or, more importantly, the flamboyant bombastic look of the 1980s. From the poufy red scrunchie Heather wears as her symbol of school dominance to the explosive ending, nothing in this movie is mellow or understated. Even as Veronica writes in her journal, she wears a monocle, showing in the most obscure of ways how different she is from her “best friends.”

Is this a style trend we can bring back?

Is this a style trend we can bring back?

Anyone who resented the popular kids in high school, or didn’t understand why they were popular in the first place, can relate in some way to Ryder’s character. Hopefully, you have more difficulty relating to J.D. the psychopath, played by a young Christian Slater, whose rye look quickly reminds one of Jack Nicholson at his schemiest of moments. (Schemiest, yes.)

Forget Mean Girls. This is the daring (and hysterical) high school film you need to see.

TCM Tonight: Eva Marie Saint & On the Waterfront

Tonight on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), my most favorite channel in the history of channels, there is an hour-long interview with the one and only Eva Marie Saint, followed by a presentation of the film On The Waterfront. It’s a special part of TCM’s Classic Film Festival, and we’re lucky enough that even if you can’t go to the actual festival, TCM still records and airs excerpts of it for the little people who want to join the fun from home.

Eva being interviewed by my main squeeze Robert Osborne.

Eva being interviewed by my main squeeze Robert Osborne.

On The Waterfront is a film I hold particularly dear because it’s the second film I ever saw on TCM. It was some time in high school, and I stumbled upon the channel as Rear Window began. I knew my grandmother had loved the 1954 Hitchcock hit, so I figured I’d stick around and watch some of it, sort of as a tribute to her. (Little did I realize that almost a decade later I’d still be “stumbling upon” the channel and “getting stuck” watching must-see classic cinema.) After Rear Window finished, TCM host Robert Osborne introduced the next film On The Waterfront. I thought, “Oh, I’ll watch the first half hour and then go to bed.” HA. That’s adorable. Like anyone could just watch the first 30 minutes of this film and walk away. You can’t even watch the WHOLE film and walk away. You’re still stuck there long after it’s over thinking, “Damn. I mean. Just damn. God, that was good.” (I never said I majored in English.)

Can you believe Saint's break out role also earned her an Oscar?

Can you believe Saint’s break out role also earned her an Oscar?

All the performances are terrific, with Marlon Brando taking the lead as Terry Malloy, a former fighter struggling to stand up against the corruption-riddled bosses of New York City’s docks. He’s joined by Karl Malden as the soul-stirring Father Barry and by Eva Marie Saint, who plays both Terry’s love interest Edie Doyle and the reminder of the guilt that tortures him daily. Guilt for his own ties to the bosses and his torturous inner struggle as he realizes the wrong that’s been done to him.

If you’re looking for something good to watch tonight, I suggest you flip to TCM at 8 pm. You’ll see an interview with a legend and you’ll see a legend of a film. Enjoy!