Monday, August 25, 2014

August 2014 Movie Wrap-Up

By Andrea Renee Cox

Another celebration this month, readers. I turned a year older late this month. Will I ever look my age? I’m not sure. I may be in my late twenties now, but lots of people still think I look young enough to be in high school. I’m chuckling as I type this up. Honestly, who knew having a baby face would hold out so long? It’s kind of nice appearing to be a decade younger than my age. That shocked look on people’s faces when I tell them how old I am never gets old. Makes me laugh every time.

Here’s the lineup of a few of the movies I watched this month. Have you seen any of them?

Now Showing In THEATERS:

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY

What happens when a family from India opens a restaurant across the street from the best restaurant in a French town? Lots of competition and laughs. The Hundred-Foot Journey is a new favorite of mine. It’s only rated PG, which is quite refreshing these days. Wish there were more with that label. Such sweetness throughout the film, and the acting is superb. This one is definitely on my keeper list.

During the movie, one of the characters says, “Food is memories.” That’s true for me as well. When I make sweet potato casserole, I remember past Thanksgivings. Queso and chips reminds me of homeschool parties with the kids my mom has taught over the years. Cocoa cookies means Christmas (although they’re really good any time of the year).

What memories are attached to your favorite foods?

Available to Own:

LETTERS TO JULIET

There’s a tradition in Verona, Italy, that is quite unique. People come from all over the world to write a letter to Shakespeare’s Juliet. When aspiring writer Sophie assists the Secretaries of Juliet in gathering these letters, she discovers a 50-year-old letter tucked behind a brick in the wall the letters are stuck into. Of course she feels prompted to answer the letter, which launches her on a journey that could jumpstart her writing career. As the letter’s author, Claire, searches for her long-lost love, will Sophie find that romance and love come in a different form than she previously thought?

As soon as I saw Letters to Juliet in theaters, it became a favorite. It’s so sweet and romantic. Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, and Christopher Egan (who plays Claire’s grandson) have such great chemistry and play off of each other so well. I never tire of watching this one and recommend it very highly.

At one point, Claire claims that “life is the messy bits.” Another bit of truth for me. When I make mistakes or misunderstand what someone says or struggle to break a bad habit, the lessons I learn in the growing up and overcoming of these things are priceless and will stay with me for my entire life. Those difficult times are what bring me closer to the people around me. Those moments bring me to my knees where I find yet another level of God’s grace, mercy, and love.

How do the messy bits of life affect you? Do you see them as positive things to learn from and bond you closer to the people around you? Or do you just see them as something to overcome and get rid of?

RIO BRAVO

I’ve enjoyed a lot of classic movies this month, thanks to Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and their “Summer Under the Stars” where they show 24 hours of one classic movie star each day in August. Although John Wayne was not one of the stars featured this month, I found a copy of my favorite Duke movie when my family went to dinner at Cracker Barrel.

Rio Bravo tells the story of a sheriff (John Wayne) who enlists the help of his two deputies (Dean Martin and Walter Brennan), a woman with a past (Angie Dickinson), and a trigger-happy youngster (Ricky Nelson) to keep paid gunmen from springing a murderer from jail.

One reason I enjoy this film so much is because each character has their own story going on within the larger picture. It’s more of a collaboration than a one-man show. It’s a great one to watch if you’re an aspiring writer (of screenplays or manuscripts) as it shows wonderful character growth, pacing, and theme. Now that I own a copy of it, I’m sure I’ll be watching … er, analyzing it many times over the next few years.

What movies do you watch over and over and over … and why? Is it to learn more about writing? Or simply to enjoy a great story? Or some other reason altogether?

ROMAN HOLIDAY

One of the greatest classic films of all time (in my humble opinion) is Roman Holiday. Not only did it launch Audrey Hepburn’s career, but it has definitely stood the test of time. This romantic picture is about a princess (of an unnamed country) who, overwhelmed with all of her responsibilities, runs away and spends a day with an American journalist in the city of Rome, Italy. As they travel around the city doing all the things Princess Ann has always wanted—but wasn’t permitted—to do, she and journalist Joe Bradley discover there may be more to their escapade than just a little holiday.

When you watch this one, pay attention to Audrey’s reaction at the “Mouth of Truth”. Gregory Peck pulled a prank (which was left in the film) on Audrey during the scene, and it went smashingly well, I think. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Judge the scene (and Audrey’s reaction) for yourself.

This movie is the reason I fell in love with black-and-white films. The romance behind it and the bittersweetness of it all … it’s quite timeless. It speaks of a different era, and yet resounds with each generation. Then again, maybe that’s just the matchup of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

What do you think makes a classic film classic?


Readers, instead of leaving one question at the end, today I’ve scattered several throughout this article. Please drop me a note in the comment section sharing your thoughts on any or all of them. I love hearing from you guys!

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4 comments:

  1. THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY was amazing!! As a foodie, I have lots of memories associated with food and my big Italian and Mexican extended families. The first that specifically comes to mind is eating wedding cake for breakfast the morning after my wedding in a big, comfy hotel bed. Such a relief to have the stress and planning all over with! And we got to watch Never Been Kissed on TV, which is one of my absolute favorites :)

    PS: Hope you have/had a wonderful birthday :) I'm turning 29 on the 31st!

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    1. Laurie, thanks for sharing one of your "food is memories" moments. Eating wedding cake in bed... that's a major one. :) Italian and Mexican family? I'm sensing there's lots of great food at your family reunions (and daily life, too).

      Happy birthday to you as well!
      Andrea

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  2. Hi Andrea! I have the same problem! No one really believes me when I tell them how old I am! It actually annoys me a little bit, since people treat me the age they think I am. I'm insulted for the 13 year olds, actually, that people treat them like idiots. I'm glad you enjoy it, though. Everyone always tells me I'll appreciate it when I'm older. :)
    I saw Letters to Juliet when it first released on DVD - I honestly don't remember it at all, other than knowing I liked it.
    I would really like to see The Hundred Foot Journey - it sounds really good! Most of my food associations include whatever I was doing at time (generally reading or watching TV, so I remember a particular book or movie). But in the case of seasonal foods, chicken dressing always makes me think of Thanksgiving and I remember all the crazy holidays, trying to get everything ready for company and family packing in to eat and spend time together. :)
    Belated Happy Birthday!
    ~Sarah

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Sarah. Sounds like you have lots of fun creating memories with your family and friends. That's so important in life, I think. Such moments help us create better bonds with people. Hopefully you have many, many more sweet memories to come.

      Blessings,
      Andrea

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