I’ve been vegging out a bit, dealing with the standard fatigue and postpartum depression of post-show life. Will post show pix soon. Meantime, getting back into the swing of things after a long weekend. I bet many of us are in the same boat. Might I make a humble suggestion? Spend some time Lost in Austen. Streaming live on Netflix, at the moment. Some nice plot/character twists, for those of us who know the plot of Pride and Prejudice backwards, forwards and sideways. Bonus: a new stand-in for Darcy for those of us who are a bit weary of the aging, stuttering Colin Firth.
Jemima Rooper plays a “modern girl somehow transported into the events of the book via a portal located in her bathroom”, and I know it sounds cheesy as all get-out, but it somehow works. It’s fun, clever and best of all – a great escape to the world of the Bennets of Longbourn. Hey, you! Stop rolling your eyes. No one is looking. Suspend your disbelief, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy the “restorative wonder of both fantasy and classic literature“. Ah!, That’s more like it.
Can you guess which one’s Darcy? OK, **Spoiler alert **, stop scrolling through the pix if you don’t want a hint or two about what MIGHT happen. Otherwise, scroll on brave one, scroll on. And happy Austening.
So, I’m still making my way through the last half of season four of MadMen (SHHHH!, don’t tell me what happens!) and this scene between Peggy and Don really put a lump in my throat. Sweet, sad, perfectly played. Great moment.
Ok, so, I might as well admit I am a sucker for High School movies – Pretty in Pink, Rushmore, Election, Napoleon Dynamite, Heathers, The Breakfast Club, Say Anything – all guilty pleasures, the kind of movies I always stop and watch when they surface while channel surfing. (There ought to be a name for that phenomenon. PopCultureHappyHour calls them ” the movies we can’t not watch.”) For a long while Sixteen Candles was a yearly tradition. I would watch it every year on my birthday, tearing up at that last shot and cheering for Molly, loving every minute even though I already knew it by heart.
I’m a hopeless romantic, I guess, and these movies are sweet modern fairytales or at least a calorie-free box of chocolates. They make me happy, anyway. Sadly, recent movies in the High School genre have failed to hit the note for me. Not that the old standby High School movies aren’t shallow and silly at times, but jeeze, sometimes I just can’t stomach the “helpless” girl or the “makeover” plot lines one more second. What? She took of her glasses, and now she’s HOT? No way! Sheesh. Give me a little something more, please.
But, joy! Recently on my instant Netflix queue: Easy A. And it’s now on my list of favorite High School Movies of All Time! And Emma Stone is so smart, sassy and fun. And her parents are played so quirkily and well by Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci. And there are many shout-outs to High School Movies of yore. And Amanda Bynes makes the best bitch-face evah. And Yay.
This time last year I was immersed in planning a trip to Europe to visit Spain and Eastern Europe with a stop-off in Venice. Part of my nerd-girl research included late-night cramming sessions with movies set it the places we planned to visit. That’s how I foundBread & Tulips / Pane e tulipani, an Italian movie set in Venice who’s characters are “strange and wonderful, romantic and quirky, and above all, lovable (to steal a line from Ebert’s perfect summary of the movie).” I watched it three times in two days, though I could hardly afford to spend my time so recklessly, what with “the big trip” to plan and all. When we finally made it to Venice that spring, I was emotional drained and not sure what to expect but I fell in love. The city was everything promised and more. Wandering the maze of cobblestone streets and canals in the moonlight was dreamy and wonderful.
Cut to 2011. I’ve been feeling a bit restless and wistful. This time last year I was plotting our attack on the Spanish hill town of Ronda and trying to make educated guesses about the best way to get from Zagreb to Dubrovnik with public transportation. This year I’m sitting at the computer trying hard to illustrate the concepts of moisture management and odor control in a unique way. I find myself staring off into middle space contemplating grocery budgets and lawn care. Not the same thing.
Time to retreat into the world of make-believe. When I realized Netflix is currently streaming Bread and Tulips online, I was ecstatic. I’ve already watched it twice in the past week and as I write this I’m plotting ways to squeeze another viewing into my busy schedule. I’m enjoying every minute of it. Memories of visiting Venice and strolling through the skinny, damp streets at twilight add delightful richness to the already perfect movie. Watching now, I remember last year’s anticipation – eagerly soaking up the big-screen version of the city before I’d been there in real-life. I see Rosalba playing her red accordion and can’t help but smile. Sure, it’s nothing like the real thing, but it’s a wonderful story set in a beautiful place and that alone makes me very, very happy.
Sometimes you come across an image or a scene that just says something words can’t hope to say or bear to say. This one is at the end of episode 10 of MadMed season 1 and I had to watch it a second time to freeze frame and take snapshots of the tv screen. I love this so much, not sure I can even explain why. It makes me so happy and so sad at exactly the same time. It woke me up, a little, too.