Movies I Loved

Hello, World.

Today I am back with some movies I HIGHLY recommend. My roommate and I went a bit of a movie bender and watched so many movies over the last few weeks. I recently shared my thoughts on The Greatest Showman, Darkest Hour, and The Post. The next movies on our list were Lady Bird, I, Tonya, and Fifty Shades Freed. I’m not going to share an in-depth review of Fifty Shades Freed, but I will say if you saw the first two films, I recommend seeing the final. However, I personally liked the second movie best. Also, my roommate and I were reading excerpts of the books and were cracking up at how terribly written the books are. Still, It’s an entertaining film.

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A movie I do want to share a full review of, however, is Lady Bird. I absolutely adored this film and if I wasn’t watching with another person I probably would have been sobbing as the credits rolled. I cannot say enough about this film other than I recommend everyone see it. I think it perfectly captures the dichotomy between being a teenager and hating everything and being yourself and loving people without knowing how to show it. If I had a dime for every time my mom and I fought when I was in high school, followed closely by tears and comforting I could pay for my law school education. Being a parent is hard, but being a parent to a teenage girl has to be the worst job ever. Honestly, high school feels like eons ago and I can’t even really see the person I was anymore, but I do remember feeling like I just wanted to get away from my small town and arguing with my mom and crying in a car because some boy hurt me before jumping right back into a relationship with someone equally terrible for me.

I liked that Lady Bird was tough, smart, witty, but also frustrating and mean and imperfect at times. Hello, teenage life. As a northern California native, the setting of Sacramento also got me. This movie resonated with me because I know what it’s like to be an angsty teenage girl who desperately wants to escape her small town only to discover, some 3,000 miles away, that she really loves the small moments and the people who make it home. In short, this film was incredible and got me all kinds of emotional.

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I saw the trailer for I, Tonya months ago and I kept telling my roommate I really wanted to see it. I didn’t live through the scandal between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan (it happened the year I was born), but I was intrigued by how much attention it got and the narratives told. I thought a movie from Tonya’s perspective was bound to be interesting. What I loved about this film is that I walked away still not knowing who to believe or what to think. So many unreliable narrators and so many questions. I heard people criticize the movie for trying to make Tonya look like the victim. I disagree. I do not think there is a question who the ultimate victim is. However, I do think the movie tries to humanize Tonya and illuminate why she reacted the way she did to the attack. Further, Margot Robbie killed it. Honestly, her acting was incredible. Sebastian Stan (who will forever be the creepy, but also hot guy from Gossip Girl in my mind) also did an incredible job.

Ultimately, Tonya was a victim of terrible abuse from her mother and husband who wanted nothing more than to skate and be the best. It’s gutwrenching at the end to see her banned from skating for life at the age of 23 (my age!). Part of me wonders if the narrative would have been the same pre and post attack if this happened today. I don’t think it would be portrayed the same way, but its also hard to say because the media loves to pit women against each other (hello, Jennifer Anniston and Angelina Jolie… more than ten years later).

What movies have you seen lately that you recommend?

Truly,
Callie leigh

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3 Movies I’ve Seen Recently

Hello, World!

With awards season in full swing, my roommate and I are trying to see the nominated films. Each weekend we go to see a movie. It’s a great break from school and forces us to enjoy the movie. When we watch at home we end up on our phones or computers or generally distracted. Our town has a Movie Tavern, which is essentially a restaurant inside the movie theatre, so the food is delivered right to your seat! Anyway, I wanted to share three movies I saw that I highly recommend. In the coming weeks we plan to see Lady Bird, Fifty Shades Freed (obviously NOT a nominated film) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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We just saw Darkest Hour and it was so well done. Gary Oldman did an incredible job and I would be surprised if he doesn’t win the Academy Award. The film is long but worth it. I feel like I need to brush up on my European history. Still, it’s so well done. I love a good historical film and I felt like I was actually watching Churchill at work! I’d give this film 4/5 stars because I felt the length a bit, but other than that it was a great film!

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I LOVE this movie. Ugh. On so many levels I just loved this film. It focuses on the intersection of free speech, free press, and national security. Meryl Streep, of course, did a phenomenal job. Tom Hanks was equally great, and their chemistry was strong. I took my roommate that was the first movie I’d seen where two people had great purely platonic chemistry. I highly, highly recommend this movie. I also want to read Kathryn Graham’s Personal History.

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This is such a good movie. The soundtrack is amazing and I listen to it a lot while studying. I was hesitant about the circus theme because I like the idea in the abstract, but sometimes it feels like a con. I also felt, at times, like P. T. Barnum was a bit of a jerk… his treatment of the performers at times was troublesome, but by the end, I was happy with the storyline and enjoyed all the performances! I highly recommend if you want a great musical.

What movies have you seen recently?

Truly,
Callie leigh

My Top Holiday Movies

Hello, World.

As the holidays approach, I wanted to take a moment to share my favorite holiday movies. there are so many great holiday movie picks, and this is definitely not a comprehensive list, but I wanted to share the movies I return to year after year. For those of you studying for finals, take a break every now and then and watch one of these films to remind you there is light at the end of the finals tunnel: CHRISTMAS!

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The Holiday | starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Jude Law, this pick is a sure win. It’s corny in places, but the overall story is so good, and it’s one I can watch over and over.

Eloise at the Christmastime | If you want to return to your childhood, I recommend this winner. It’s so cute! And it makes you wish you lived in the Plaza Hotel!

The Santa Clause | Tim Allen is too good in this! I love this movie, and I especially love the sequel.

The Family Man | This is a family favorite in my house! It’s one of the few holiday movies my dad will watch. The message of this film is so good, and reminds us to be thankful!

Either of the first two Harry Potter films | Before things get too dark in the Harry Potter world, I think the first two have so much magic, and do have Christmas sequences!

What’s your holiday favorite?

Truly,

Callie Leigh

Me Before You: Movie

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Hello, World.

A while back, I shared some of the books I was reading, and one I included was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This is one of my favorite books for a number of reasons. One is that even though it’s sad, it actually has some REALLY important messages about life and living. One of my favorite quotes from the book is when Will, the main man, says, “You only have one life to live, Clark, it’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible. I think what’s important about this story line is you have someone who is super passive, who is just watching life pass without really finding a passion or experiencing the world (Lou), versus a man who is actively pursuing adventure, who works super hard, who enjoys every little thing in his life. One has adventure ripped from him, while the other learns to appreciate having the world at her fingertips.

I think we, as a society, get so caught up trying to get ahead, trying to get to the next step, that we forget to live our lives, soak up the here and now, and appreciate what we have right now. I think this movie and the book make you think about what you’re missing out on, and what you could be doing to live life better. I highly, highly recommend you read the book and go see the movie!

Truly,
Callie leigh

My Favorite Halloween Movies

Hello, World.

Halloween is on Friday, which means October is almost over! Oh, no… I refuse to accept this for multiple reasons. One being that after Halloween it is no longer socially acceptable to binge watch Halloween movies. I love holiday themed movies. Though my favorite are Christmas, I still love myself a good Halloween movie. When I was little I used to get all my homework done really quickly after school so I could watch the movies that played on Disney during October. I thought it’d be fun to compile a list of my favorite Halloween movies. To be honest, I kind of dislike really graphic and gruesome Halloween movies, so my list is more family oriented.
favorite halloween movies1) Halloweentown. Basically all movies in this series are just the best. They’re cheesy, sure, but there is something so wholesomely Halloween about them. These films encapsulate my entire childhood in regard to Halloween. I really wanted to be Marnie for a while…or at least just find out I was secretly a witch. I wanted some cool powers like any other girl.

2) Hocus Pocus. This movie used to kind of scare me, but I would always want to watch it. I guess I kind of liked being a little scared as a child. This movie is just so great…especially the part when the witches sing at the Halloween party. Oh goodness.

3) The Addams Family. Again, the movie kind of scared me, but I still always enjoyed it. You know something else? My sister and her fiance are going as Morticia and Gomez for Halloween this year. I’m so excited to see their costumes!

4) Harry Potter Series. Okay, okay, you got me. These aren’t Halloween movies specifically, but some feature Halloween time in them… and they’re about witches, wizards, supernatural, etc. SO, I’m going to go ahead and make the argument that it is perfectly acceptable to watch these films during Halloween.

5) Casper the Friendly Ghost. Hilary Duff as a young girl who’s friends with a ghost? What more can we ask for? I always adored this movie, cheesiness aside. I guess I had a major thing for witches, and I really wanted some powers.

What are your favorite Halloween movies?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Top Movie Nights Picks

Hello, World.

Today is Friday, and at my college that usually means a few things. One, people go out because it’s college and that happens. Two, people go to dinner then rent a bunch of movies and sit around talking about how great or terrible their week was. Or, three, watch a movie and eat junk food as they discuss the possibilities of their future. For my best friend, Steven and I, tonight is the dinner, movie, talking combination. So, in light of this monumental event, I thought I would take a little time to share my top movie night picks. These movies are appropriate for girl’s nights, deep conversation nights, or “I don’t know where I’m going” nights.
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1: Sixteen Candles is a classic 80s film, that I feel is just necessary to see. It’s a film that is authentic, shows the craziness of families, and includes a love story. I know that most people have probably heard of this film, and may think it’s a little cliche, but it’s not. Seriously, this film is better than most films released these days, and has a sense of authenticity that most popular films lack.

2: Dead Poet’s Society may sound a little (or a lot) morbid, and while it has some darker undertones, it is an amazing film. For any person who likes English lit, poetry, Robbin Williams, or education, this is the film for you. It has humor, friendship, grief, loss, but most importantly, it challenges the idea that education should be regimented, and that the teacher should be an absolute authority who holds all the answers. My dad insisted I see this film a few years ago, and I’m so glad I finally watched it. This is a great pick for rainy nights when you order takeout, and are feeling inspired.

3: I am seriously one of two people I know that actually enjoys Something Borrowed. Most people claim they hate this film because a friendship was ruined, and there is a cheating aspect. Interestingly, the cheating is something I can get past, even though I in no way condone it. For me, I think the larger picture of this film is that toxic friendships are not actual friendships, and when you find the person that is write for you, you should cling to that no matter what. Spoiler alert: Also, I would like to point out that Dex and Rachel only betray one person: Darcy. Darcy, on the other hand, betrays Dex AND Rachel by her actions.

4: Sex and the City is, in my opinion, the best girl’s night film. This is the film for true friends, for friends that are intense, unfailingly loyal, and compassionate for one another. This film is not for the superficial friends, or the petty friends, or the friends that cannot be happy for one another or support one another. This film reminds girls what a true friend looks like, and reminds us that sometimes we just need our girl friends to be happy and make it through things that feel like you’ll never recover from. So, grab a few blankets, a few of your closest friends (here’s looking at you, Rossy), and some cups of tea as you laugh, cry, and laugh again in this film.

5: Chick flick ALERT, The Notebook did make the cut. Feeling a little unloved? OR like you’re just never going to meet the one? Make it even worse by watching a Nicholas Sparks film in which every guy you encounter after will never be Noah. ;) Okay, I’m kind of joking, but really, Sparks’ wife is the luckiest woman, and I’m sure she goes home to roses and diamonds constantly. The romance is unreal, and yet I find myself constantly going back to this film no matter my mood. (Yes, I was that person that watched this on repeat with a gallon of soy ice cream when I was heartbroken. Don’t judge)

6: Now, for the lovely ladies who love a guy with a good body, Magic Mike is the pick for you. When I first saw this movie, I was kind of surprised that it had a lot of serious content. I was expecting constant dancing, constant removal of clothing, and constant just…magic? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I read a few interviews that Channing Tatum did when the film was released, and I was pleasantly surprised that he pushed for a more serious overtone within the film. He didn’t want it to just be a romanticized version of male stripping, but he wanted to show that it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, and that sometimes men get put down a path that is made of Molly and Cocaine.

7: Speaking of stripping, let’s segue into prostitution, and talk about the film that is Pretty Woman (I really didn’t plan on this post being so dark. Whoops). This film is awesome, and I just love Julia Robert and Richard Gere’s chemistry. So amazing. Also, did you know the scene with the necklace was improv? Don’t know what I’m talking about? GO WATCH THE FILM.

8: If you want a comedy you can watch one time and quote for the next week, go with The Hangover because it’s just perfectly humorous. I wasn’t a huge fan of the second or third films, but the first installment in the series is my favorite. It’s hilarious, and will keep you laughing the whole way through.

9: For those girls that love fashion, or feel connected to it, or maybe they don’t currently but they want to eventually, watch The Devil Wears Prada. I love Anne Hathaway and this film will always be a favorite pick of mine. When I first saw this film, I was convinced that I would be the next Miranda Priestly, and that I would make a billion dollars sipping lattes and designing a magazine. I don’t think that’s going to be the case with my future, but the idea is still fun to play with. I think this film also shows that there is a danger in changing who you are to fit what others think you should be. If you’re not a fashion guru, you don’t need to be. If you aren’t a size two, well, then you’re another size, but what that size is doesn’t matter. A number should not control women’s lives! So, for this movie I recommend going to your local grocery store, buying more junk food than you could possibly eat, and eat and converse while you watch people use Crisco and fishing line to get into a dress.

What are your favorite movie night picks?

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Valentine’s Day Girl’s Night

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Hello, World.

Valentine’s Day is on Friday, and I know that a lot of people kind of despise this holiday if they are single, and feeling a significant lack of love in their life. But fear not, I have a plan for your night that is equally as fun, and may even be a little better. A girl’s night! Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean showing your love for s significant other, it can mean getting your best girl friends together, hanging out, doing girly things, and celebrating the idea of true love. Sounds cheesy? Maybe, but I think it’s cheesy enough to work.

We don’t have to have someone significant in our lives all the time, and it’s sad that there is one day a year that makes us believe otherwise. I think sometimes we need to realize we’re still young, and we’ll find Mr. Right one day, and then we can spend Valentine’s Day doing the “romantic thing.” Until then, though, have fun with your best friends! If you’ve ever seen Sex and the City you know the importance of true friends, so why not take a day to appreciate your close friends?

A few ideas about what to do for your girl’s night? Go to your local grocery store, stock up on candy, popcorn, and the beverage of your choice, and have a romantic comedy movie night. Make a trip to Target and pick up some new nail polishes and give each other manicures as you talk about school or work or watch a good TV show. Or, if your schedules work better for a morning celebration, go grab donuts and coffee, or brunch at a fancy restaurant. It’s always important to love yourself, so take a day to treat yourself, and hangout with your friends!

What’s your favorite “just for me” treat?

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Photo c/o Pinterest!

The Best (in my humble opinion) Holiday Films

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Hello, World.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and Christmas in just a few short weeks, it is prime holiday film season. In my family it is a tradition to begin watching our favorite holiday films from now until roughly a week after Christmas. There are hundreds of holiday films, but my family usually sticks with the same cycle of nine or ten films, and I thought I would share our absolute favorite nine. Something about curling up on the couch with a cup of hot cider or coffee, a fuzzy blanket, and my favorite holiday film makes me feel at home and so warm and fuzzy inside. I know, cheesy, but that’s something I enjoy around this time of year.

So, what are my top nine holiday films? Well, first, is The Holiday. A film with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black? How could I not? We watch this film every year, no questions asked (if I’m being honest, we’re watching it right now). If you haven’t seen it, you should go rent it right now because it’s great. In short, two women are heartbroken for the holidays, and decide to get away from their problems by switching homes (England —> L.A. and vice versa). Second, The Santa Clause because who doesn’t love Tim Allen, a successful somewhat selfish man becoming Santa? Third, The Family Man. This is probably the closest to The Holiday in ranking because the script, the concept, etc. are all phenomenal in my opinion. I feel like this movie makes me appreciate family, and having parents who never fail to drop everything if I have something serious come up, and the fact that my parents go to every big event in my life.

Elf is a good movie too because it’s just silly. I’m not usually a huge Will Ferrel fan, but I actually really enjoy this movie because he’s not being crude or ridiculous. Also, I happen to really like Zooey Deschanel, and she’s in it, so there’s that. I’m kind of a softy for British films, and last year my residence hall watched Love Actually and I fell in love. This movie is a slightly better version of Valentine’s Day, with many story lines intersecting. I love myself a good chick flick romance, and this is it for me. Home Alone is a must, ya filthy animal! I’m sure you’ve seen it because to me its the epitome of a holiday movie. When I went to New York my freshman year of high school, I was a little petrified my family would forget me and I would be alone for the holidays (just kidding, but still). Because I think Jim Carrey is hilarious, and I grew up with a dad who was constantly impersonating him, I love How the Grinch Stole Christmas, with him and Taylor Momsen (Gossip Girl, anyone?). Ryan Reynolds for the holidays? Yes, please. Just Friends is a must for me, and I find myself singing “forgiveness…is more than saying sorry…” until right around the New Year. Also, the scene with the toothpaste eating is just too much. The final film on my list is a more personal choice because I just saw it for the first time recently. While You Were Sleeping is a great movie! My roommate and best friend, Holly, and I are constantly saying, “Hey! Is this guy bothering you? Because it looks like he’s leaning.” She is a movie nut, and has really great taste in movies, and I’m so glad she introduced me to this movie because it’s phenomenal.

So there you have it, my top holiday movies. Maybe go pick one up before Thanksgiving, and when you’re simply stuffed to the limit with turkey, stuffing, and pie, put one on, and relax! Enjoy your night, everyone! Also, what are your favorite holiday movies?

Truly,
Callie Leigh