Movies: Secretariat, Cedar Rapids, and True Grit

I avoided watching Secretariat for a long time, even after it became available for free on my Netflix Watch Instantly. The previews made it look completely cheesy, and it is a Disney movie. I finally broke down and watched it last weekend, because I just needed a distraction from some current stress in my life, and sometimes Disney movies are useful for triggering a good cry. Okay, it is completely cheesy, but it was so enjoyable. I love horse movies — I’ve seen Seabiscuit countless times. I think this is because it reminds me of how excited my mom gets on Triple Crown race days. She used to show and ride horses when she was young, and she knows all the small details to point out before, during, and after the races that make watching it a lot of fun for people who don’t know that much about the sport.

Secretariat is a great underdog movie, like a lot of Disney movies tend to be. Overcoming obstacles, staying true to your convictions, strength in the face of adversity. As cliched as it might be, these are still things that inspire me, and things I need reminders about sometimes. I was a little perplexed at first by the casting of John Malkovich as the trainer, but he turned out to be great and more lovable than just about any other character he’s ever played. I would have appreciated it if Diane Lane’s character (the horse’s owner) had been a little less one-dimensional. She was portrayed like the greatest saint who ever lived, who could do no wrong. I would have sympathized with her character’s difficulties more if she had come off like more of an actual human. And this is what you would expect from a Disney movie, and one of the reasons I had avoided it. But I was actually really moved by the race segments of the movie, when Secretariat came from last place and won by distances so great that no other race horse has ever come close to touching his records. He is, to this day, THE GREATEST RACE HORSE THAT EVER LIVED. During the race scenes, I was yelling from the couch and freaking out my dog, and when he won, I cried. Even though I knew the story, and I knew he was going to win. I admit it; I still cried. And you know what? I would totally watch it again.

Cedar Rapids…meh. I love Ed Helms, and I thought he was great in it, but it wasn’t quite as funny as I had hoped. Yes, it was quirky, but the characters were all a little silly. The plot was not that interesting when it came down to it. I liked the outcome/ending, and I was smiling when it was over, but it felt like a long time of waiting for that to happen in the last ten minutes. Also, Anne Heche? She’s still alive? Really? She should go back into hiding.

Oh, True Grit. I’m really not into Westerns, but I try to watch the Best Picture Oscar nominees every year. I love Jeff Bridges. But Matt Damon as a Texas Ranger…weird. The little girl was annoying as hell. I could not get into the plot at all. Again, the last fifteen minutes of the movie were good, but leading up to that it felt extremely slow. Maybe it would have helped if I had seen the original. Maybe not. It had pretty cinematography, and the costumes and sets were pretty amazing. And maybe it’s a testament to my adult ADD that I have trouble sitting through a movie anymore, but this one was just not for me. I was still holding out hope for liking it until they shot a horse. Can’t handle it!

 

Random Pet Peeve: Historical References

This fucking movie, man. I am going to finish watching it. Mainly because it has a lot of naked Jake Gyllenhaal in it, and for that I can put aside my distaste for the script and plot. But I will not finish it until I get something out of my system right this second.

This movie claims to be set in 1996. In actuality, it is set in an alternate dimension’s version of 1996 that did not occur in the one from whence I emerged. As a result, the open mind I use to enter into any cinematic viewing experience was compromised within the first five minutes of the movie. Way to alienate your audience, there, people. Allow me to explain.

Evidently (although I can’t say for certain since I haven’t watched the whole thing yet), the fact that this story occurs in 1996 is important in some way. We know this because it’s the first thing we see in the movie. “1996” at the bottom of the screen, setting the scene, taking you back. But it obviously wasn’t important enough for the creators to make sure their 1996 references were actually accurate. This makes me wonder if the people who made this movie are too young to remember what 1996 was like. And if that is the case, and people that much younger than me are making bad romantic comedies while portraying their own made up version of history and earning a shit ton of money, that makes me want to seriously reexamine my life. Or kill myself. Whichever would take less time.

Some examples.

The opening scene (just after we’ve been informed it’s 1996) features the song, “Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors. This song was a top hit in 1992, and I should know, because I was a HUGE fan. By 1996, no one was still listening to this. Except me.

Jake works in an electronics store. First he is shown trying to sell a boom box to a couple of girls by demonstrating how light it would be on their shoulders. Boom boxes were popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s. No one was carrying boom boxes around on their fucking shoulders after like 1985.

This same electronics store, which is trying to pimp old technology onto teenagers, simultaneously carries products that were not even available on the market in 1996. Like, flat-screen televisions. Which were invented a long time ago but were not available to the public for purchase until 1997, and that was just the first model, offered by one company. It wasn’t until 8-10 years afterward that they became popular, widely available, affordable, and commonly purchased. Yet, in the movie, Jake is trying to sell at least three different brands of flat-screen televisions. While “Two Princes” is playing in the background. Are. You. Kidding. Me.

Also being sold in this store: small cell phones. Being perused by a grandmother. First of all, hardly anyone had cell phones in 1996. People who did have them were pretty “up” on technology, fairly well-off, and they used them respectfully. They didn’t walk around the fucking grocery store blabbing about their weekend indiscretions. They used them when driving long distances, in case of emergency, and sometimes on job sites to look cool. I got my first cell phone in 1996, when I left for college. It was kept in the glove compartment of my car in case I needed to call AAA while traveling back and forth to school. It was about 8 inches long by 4 inches wide. This folded in half. It didn’t really work unless you pulled out the antenna, and it had zero battery life. You pretty much had to keep it plugged in in the car to use it, which would have been pointless in the event of an emergency where my car had no power. It wasn’t until around 2001 that I had a slightly upgraded model (maybe one-third smaller than the first one and a non-flip model) and was using my cell phone like people do now, actually putting friends’ numbers in it, getting calls on it from other people, and talking while driving around.

Today, I can see a grandmother with a cell phone — after all, the Jitterbug is a really good marketing idea. I have been told on more than one occasion that it’s the perfect cell phone for me, actually. When it comes to cellular technology, I am quite like an old person trying to figure out which end to speak into on the new talking contraption. But back then? No. My parents didn’t even have them. My grandmother had yet to own even a cordless land-line house phone at that time.

Anyway, after all this, I’m left with nothing redeeming but Jake Gyllenhaal nakedness. And while that counts for a lot, I’m pretty sure if I had actually paid to see this movie, I would have walked out after I enjoyed hearing “Two Princes” in Dolby Digital surround sound. That newfangled technological breakthrough. Which was only available on LaserDisc until 1997, just in case you were wondering.

Mastering the Art of the Surprise

Unlike a lot of people I know, I really love surprises. But I hardly ever get them. I’m usually too good at figuring stuff out ahead of time, and I think a lot of people don’t do surprises because they aren’t sure how you’ll feel about it. My mom, for example, hates surprises and will have a conniption over a surprise party thrown in her honor. Mainly because she wants her house to be perfect if anyone sets foot in it, and if she doesn’t have time to clean and  prepare, she feels terrible.

The best surprises are acts of kindness, I think. Gifts are okay, but it’s the little things with a lot of thought and heart behind them that make the biggest impact to me. An ex-boyfriend used to pick flowers for me randomly and surprise me with little vases of daffodils or poppies around the house. A former co-worker once left a check on my desk when I was having car troubles with “Random Act of Kindness” in the subject line. That was pretty amazing. Another former co-worker always saved me the magazines I liked from the lobby when changing out the issues. A former neighbor used to leave little bags of the extra basil from her garden on my front porch for me to make pesto. Things like that mean more to me than anything you could buy in a store.

This past weekend, my friend gave me the best surprise ever. He drove seven hours and showed up on my doorstep to spend 3 days with me, hanging out, taking care of me, being my partner in crime for vegging out and being lazy and relaxing, which was something I really needed after six weeks of unemployment and feeling run down because I have mono.

I admit, it was not a complete surprise. I had a tiny inkling because he’d asked me a couple questions last week about my plans for the weekend — questions meant to make sure I didn’t have plans and was going to be at home. He also straight up told me he had a surprise planned for me. My rich imagination immediately lept to the fantastic idea that he was planning a  visit. But my practical side dismissed it as improbable because it’s such a long drive, and his work schedule is so crazy, and things that awesome just don’t really happen to me.

On Friday I was having a great day of productive unemployment. I cleaned the whole house, did all the laundry, groomed Birdy, washed her bedding, took a long hot bath, lit all my candles, and settled in to watch a couple episodes of the new BBC Sherlock Holmes on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. I was feeling good about getting a lot done around the house and trying not to feel guilty about settling in to veg on TV.

TV almost always makes me feel guilty. I think it’s because in all the years when I chose not to have it, before you could watch everything online anyway, I read a lot and studied a lot and really came to realize how much time I had wasted over previous years watching TV when I could have been doing other things that were better for my brain and my intellect. But one thing I do like about being able to watch things now is that I feel a little better able to keep up with pop culture. Actually, my friend made the comment that socialization nowadays is mainly based on liking or disliking the same media content, and people don’t have “real” conversations too much anymore. That doesn’t stop me from trying to initiate them, though. But now I can kinda do both a little better, and I don’t seem like such an out of touch weirdo.

So while I was vegging out with Sherlock and Watson, snuggled under a blanket on the couch with Birdy keeping my feet warm, I kept getting text messages from my friend about how he was working on my surprise, and how I should check my email around 2 am to find out what it was. That information made me think I was completely off-base about a possible visit. He kept making me guess things, which of course were all wrong, because I was thinking in terms of information in an email. I kept nodding off, and he kept texting me, asking me if I was still awake, and telling me to stay up so I could check my email for the surprise.

At 2 am he texted me and said, “Okay, you can check your email now!” The email was a text from his phone that said, “Wait 4 it.” I texted him back, like, “What the hell?” I was slightly annoyed that I had been staying up and that was all I got. His next text said, “Look outside.”

I can’t see outside without going outside because of the type of glass in my front door, so I opened the door and stepped out onto my stoop just in time to see him pulling into my driveway! I said, “Oh my God, are you seriously here right now??” He said, “SURPRISE! I had a few days off, so I thought I’d come up here.”

In the back seat was Ellie, his baby. Ellie is a beautiful Australian shepherd-collie mix. She’s quite a bit bigger than Birdy, and most people think Birdy is pretty big. I met her last time I went down there to visit, and she loved me and snuggled with me pretty instantly.

Ellie and Birdy did not hit it off right away. It was very surprising, because Birdy is very submissive to other dogs, even on her own territory. She is the type of dog who just doesn’t like for there to be any problems. She’ll do anything to keep the peace. Her attitude is, “Oh, you like my bone? You can have it. Just don’t try to fight me for it.” “Oh, you want to check out my house? Sure, go ahead. You like my bed? Go ahead and lie on it. I have others. You want to eat some of my food? Okay, no problem, I will get more soon.”

 

Ellie went after Birdy a few times for getting too close to her food bowl, or even our plates of food, and she wasn’t very happy about my friend giving Birdy too much attention. She never tried to hurt Bird, but she nipped at her and barked at her, just warning her really. But Birdy is so sensitive to anything like that, she would barely come into the same room afterwards and spent a lot of time hanging out as far away as possible, in her crate and in the laundry room, where she never goes. My friend punished Ellie by making her lay down with her head on the floor until he gave the okay, which she was not happy about, but she did it. Again, like a little kid, she was missing having his direction and having the boundaries she was used to. I think it was a good thing that he brought her on a road trip with just him to get her used to that again.

After a breaking in period, they did a lot better. We left them out in the back yard together for long periods of time, and I think they bonded over tag-team barking at the neighbors. We made a point of making Ellie stay on her bed and then coaxing Birdy into the room to get on her bed, which was successful. Eventually they made friends, which was really great news. They have to obey the same process for going out — they have to sit before the door is opened, and then they have to wait for the safe word before they can actually go out the door after it has been opened. I think knowing the same commands and having to obey them together was helpful. I also gave them treats at the same time, and they both know they have to do a trick to get a treat, so that was reinforcement as well. By last night, Ellie was spooning with me in bed, and this morning, she was playfully encouraging Birdy to play with her in the house before they both went outside together to play for a while. A huge improvement over trying to attack her. Interestingly, Ellie did not attempt to attack me for getting too close to my friend like she did with Birdy, and when I commented on this fact, Nick said, “She does not fuck with humans. She’s not stupid.” Actually, she did growl at me a couple times in the beginning when I was allowing Birdy to be closer to us than her, but she responded well to my calm-assertive posture when I stood over her and backed her up. I’m telling you — Caesar Milan is a freaking genius. The shit works.

My friend and I are both big fans of “The Office,” and he had never seen “Parks and Recreation,” which is a show I love that is similar to “The Office” in its humor and they way it is produced. So I introduced him to that and we ended up vegging a lot and watching the entire first two seasons of it. I had actually only seen a few episodes of it, and now that I’ve seen them all, it’s like one of my new favorites. So many great characters and great acting. It’s about a small town in Indiana, and the staff of the Parks and Rec department of their local government. My favorite character is Ron Swanson, the director of the Parks Department. He is up there with Jack Donaghy on my list of TV show heroes.

Lately I’ve been on a Karate Kid kick, which happens every few years or so. I saw the first two in the theater as a kid, and they’ve just always stuck with me, even before they evolved into the cult classics they are now. My friend is also a huge Karate Kid fan and has been wanting to see the new version that just came out for a little while, so we rented that. Not surprisingly: VERY disappointing!

It was not all bad — Jaden Smith’s acting could have been slightly worse, and the tournament part at the end was pretty awesome. But I have to say I think the negatives outweighed the positives. First of all, it’s not a movie I feel should have been remade in the first place, because HOW THE HELL do you think you can improve upon one of the greatest movies of all time? It’s like remaking Schindler’s List. No. Just….no.

Instead of moving to California, they move to China. Instead of learning Karate, he learns Kung Fu. Instead of a Zen master like Mr. Miyagi, who has an inner strength and calm about him despite personal circumstances, Jackie Chan plays a sad and broken man who has a lot to learn himself, and who does end up improving his attitude, but only slightly. Instead of a gentlemanly, good, emotionally intelligent person like Daniel La Russo, Dre is a punk of a kid who can’t even show own his mother an ounce of respect. Instead of the characters being high school age, they’re like 12, which makes the whole inclusion of a romantic subplot really unbelievable, PARTICULARLY when the 12-year-old main character actually looks like he’s about five. I’d recommend watching the last half hour of the movie only. Everything leading up to the tournament is pointless and ridiculous. And extremely repetitive. They reiterate the fact that Dre can’t speak Chinese about a billion times. I was like, “We’ve established that! He’s a punk ass American kid! Move on!” Terrible writing.

I guess I’m just too biased to be open minded about it. I am a huge movie buff, and I have a short list of favorites, which The Karate Kid I and II are definitely on. There are some things that need to be left alone. Seriously. As a marketing person, I can understand the desire/need to market old favorites to a new audience, but in my opinion, that could have been done much more successfully than with this poor excuse for a movie. It was not even worth the dollar I gave Red Box to rent it.

Worst part of all? After the mean Chinese opponent screwed up his leg in the final round of the tournament, Jaden was obviously trying to remember which leg to limp on. AND! In the original, Daniel-san took his beatings from the mean kids with poise and determination, not to be defeated. Jaden was just a whiny little bitch who laid around crying. Ralph Macchio will not be topped. Part of the Karate Kid is about a boy becoming a man. That did not happen in this version. I saw a boy do something semi-cool and remain a boy. A boy with a trophy who maybe learned a little bit of a lesson. Not the emotional strength and wisdom that only Mr. Miyagi could impart.

Otherwise, it was the best long weekend ever. And meanwhile, thank God for unlimited cell phone minutes and unlimited texting.

Movies: Holy Rollers & The Cove

A testament to the types of random-ass movies I watch.

Based on a true story about a Hasidic Jew Ecstasy smuggling ring. Yes, random. Watched it because I like Jesse Eisenberg and I think he’s cute, in  a nerdy sort of way. An okay film.

If you don’t watch any other movie this year, it should be this one. Best documentary I have EVER seen, and I watch a lot of documentaries. About dolphin slaughter in Japan. Doesn”t sound very interesting, but believe me, this movie is ENTHRALLING. I am not the world’s biggest emotional fruitcake about animal rights, but this movie made me cry my eyes out. I definitely will watch this again.

Birthdays, Phish, Traveling

I’ve been taking advantage of my recent forced unemployment by traveling a lot — something I love to do but never seem to have time for. It’s lovely not to have an excuse to stay home now. Traveling is one of the things I love most about life, even if it’s not very far away. Lately I’ve been reminded that I haven’t been doing nearly enough of it in a while.

So last week I had a birthday…the 3rd anniversary of my 29th birthday to be exact. Ha! My friend Jeff took me out for a kick-ass Japanese dinner and gave me a beautiful silver initial necklace that I love (it looks like a wax seal), and we watched the new Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe — one of my favorite stories and kind of Jeff since he had already seen it.

I went back to my hometown for a few days to visit with my family and friends. I got to see my goddaughter for the first time since she came home from the hospital, and she is already looking more like her dad and acting more like her mom. My mom makes me a birthday cake every year, and usually I choose coconut, because she makes the world’s best coconut cakes. This is also my dad’s birthday cake of choice. But this year things were a little rushed so I opted for something easier for my poor mama — a heath bar chocolate sheet cake. It was fabulous. My cousins, grandmother, and aunt came over for pizza and cake, and it was so nice to hang out with them since we only see each other two or three times a year.

This is the first year in history I’ve felt completely ambivalent about my birthday and didn’t even really care about celebrating it at all. I feel so old. I know that’s silly to say. In the grand scheme of things I’m not old, and age is just a number anyway. I suppose I feel a bit down because now that I am “in my thirties” my life is not at all where I imagined it would or should be by now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But at times I do feel like quite a failure. I have been reminding myself for years that everyone has their own time line, but I still have trouble believing that to the fullest extent rather than feeling like it’s a cop out, or an excuse I’m making for why my life sucks.

But when it comes to maturity, I don’t feel old AT ALL. I have friends who are 10 years younger than me that I completely relate to, and I’m not sure that’s such a good thing, but it is what it is. I feel like there are two distinct sides to me — one that is very mature and wise beyond her years, who is fairly responsible and shit, and another side that is still a kid and just wants to have fun, party, break all the rules and be rebellious and live it up while I am still unencumbered by attachments and responsibilities. Maybe that’s why my mom says people don’t really become adults until they have children. Maybe that’s part of why I don’t want children. LOL. But seriously? When I’m not at least aware of current pop music, I feel like a geezer, and my younger friends keep me in the loop. Pop music is like my crack — I’m so ashamed that I like it but I can’t quit. (Luckily, I listen to lots of “good” music also.) And when I hang out with them, I still have to say, “Wait, who is this?” every five seconds. Anyway, enough about being old.

I’m really excited about this coming weekend because I get to do some more traveling to Charleston with my friend Swampman for Phish! We are only going to one of the two shows because he (fortunately) still has a job to go to on Friday, but Saturday will be amazing with communing with fellow Phans and camping and hiking in Congaree National Park. Swamp and I don’t go anywhere we can’t incorporate a camping/hiking excursion. Also promise a post on that after the fact. With pictures.

Tasty Tuesday: Chewy Gobstoppers?!?

Leave it to your best friends to crack you up at all hours of the day…and night. I got an ecstatic call last night informing me that my friend had just bought every box of Chewy Gobstoppers at this one service station, because they are his favorite artificial fruity candy and terribly elusive…which is part of the fun of Wonka candies anyway. They are all sort of elusive. As a kid, the regular Gobstoppers were my favorite, back when I didn’t care if I broke a tooth because I didn’t have to worry about not being able to afford going to the dentist. Some of my best Saturdays were spent sprawled in my friend Alice’s floor, watching movies (or Duke basketball) and chomping hard candy. But I swear to you, I had never even heard of Chewy Gobstoppers until last night. I didn’t even know they made such a thing. And now I am on a quest! If you see them, grab some for me…and watch me turn violet, Violet!

Update: I still can’t find these here, but I was in Alabama recently visiting friends and got several boxes. They are everything I expected and more. 🙂 I’m thinking about buying a carton online.

Random Survey…Because I’m Too Tired to Think Too Hard

How did you get one of your scars?
I have a scar on the pad of my right middle finger. When I was 3 or 4, I was hanging out with my dad in his workshop and picked up an exacto knife. Guess how I figured out the purpose of that tool?

How did you celebrate your last birthday?
Mellow Mushroom with friends and family.

How are you feeling at this moment?
Exhausted after working a 60 hour week.

How did your night go last night?
Great! Saw Toy Story 3 in 3D in the theater with my friend Jeff.

How did you do in high school?
Awesome at everything. Except Calculus.

How did you get the shirt you’re wearing?
I found it at Goodwill. It says “I Climbed the Great Wall.”

How old will you be at your next birthday?
32. Er, 29.

What did you do last weekend?
Um…I’m not sure I can even remember. I made a whole bunch of recycled map stationery and jewelry and posted them on Etsy. I watched some TV. I accidentally locked Birdy in the car with my keys in 100 degree heat. I slept. I went to the grocery store. I garden-sat for friends. I actually finished unpacking my house, which I have lived in now for about 2 months.

What is the most important part of your life?
I’m not sure how to answer that. I guess I would say friends/family and art/music/literature.

What would you rather be doing?
Right now I’d rather be on a kick-ass road trip or having really good sex than sitting here exhausted from working.

What did you last cry over?
I cried last week because I felt like everything was going from bad to worse and I couldn’t catch a break. And I was really upset with myself for accidentally locking Birdy in the car when it was so hot. And I was struggling with a couple of friends who were making me feel negatively.

What always makes you feel better when you’re upset?
Getting love from Birdy. Driving around and blasting music in the car. Throwing things. Cursing. Sleeping. Kind, loving, supportive words from friends. Crafting. Sitting on my patchwork quilt in the sun. Music. Feeling a sense of accomplishment.

What’s the most important thing you look for in a significant other?

Sparks/Chemistry, similar personality/interests, and humor.

What did you have for breakfast?
Homemade hash browns, my specialty.

Have you ever liked someone who had a girlfriend/boyfriend?
Haven’t we all?

Have you ever had your heartbroken?
Haven’t we all?

Have you ever been out of the country?
Yes.

Have you ever done something outrageously dumb?
All the time.

Have you ever had sex on the beach?
Not that I can recall.

Have you ever dated someone younger than you?
Yes.

Have you ever read an entire book in one day?
Yes. I think the last one was Harry Potter 7.

Who was the last person you saw?
My boss.

Who was the last person you texted?
Nick.

Who was the last person you hung out with?
Jeff.

Who was the last person to call you?
Margie.

Who did you last hug?
Dawn.

Who is the last person who texted you?
Nick.

Who was the last person you said “i love you” to?
My cousin Chip

Where did you last go?

Downtown

Where did you last hang out?
At my house

Do you like someone right now?
Okay, I think this is a middle school survey. But yes.

Do you think anyone likes you?
Yes.

Do you ever wish you were someone else?

No.

Why did your parents give you the name you have?
My dad had a college professor whose daughter was named Maegan and they liked it. And also because it’s Scottish and we have Scottish ancestry.

If you could have one super power what would it be?
Tough one. Selective mind-reading.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, would you?
No, I think everything works out the way it’s supposed to.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could bring one thing, what would you bring?
I hate this question. First of all, never gonna happen. Secondly, WHO could pick just one thing? But really, I guess a satellite phone.

Would you ever get back together with any of your exes if they asked you?
Probably not. Unless the laws of the universe somehow got reversed to allow for the possibility that people actually change.

Would you ever shave your head to save someone you love?
Absolutely. It grows back.

Are you happy with your life right now?
Yeah, I’d say I’m happier with it overall than I have been in a long time.

Movies: Hot Tub Time Machine

Funniest movie I’ve seen in the last six months.

Movies: Young Victoria

I haven’t seen too many movies lately that I have loved. I think as you get older, and you’ve seen so many, it becomes harder to be impressed. Especially when you are the movie freak I am. But Young Victoria was awesome, and I’ve already watched it multiple times.

I was just commenting to someone recently how I am not really into romance movies anymore now that I’m out of my twenties and living in the real world. Romantic movies used to be my favorite. I was so happy that my college boyfriend liked them too and was a romantic at heart. Even though he didn’t really translate that into real life actions so much. Although I am not that hard to impress. I found it particularly touching that he always remembered my favorite song by any given artist. And he was the only guy to ever gift me craft supplies for a birthday present, which is probably the most awesome thing I could have asked for.

Nowadays, bitter love stories are more my speed. Like “An Education.” Where the story seems too good to be true, and lo and behold, it is because someone turns out to be a lying douche, or just really fucked up. That is reality.

But Young Victoria I loved because it’s a period piece with awesome costumes and royal figures whose lives are not as perfect as one might think. And I loved the romance part of it because Victoria was so fiercely independent and was not going to get married just because it was expected of her. She was holding out for someone she really enjoyed being with. And she found that. Likewise, Prince Albert, whom she married, was not going to marry just any old princess. He was coached with all the right answers, but when it came down to it, he opted for just being himself, propriety be damned. And it worked. Victoria liked him more for that. Loved him for it, in fact.

Even when they were in the midst of conflict, he still took a fucking bullet for her. (And lived, but I mean, what an amazing thing to do regardless.) The reflexes involved in that second; the instinct that took over when he shielded her in the carriage from a would-be assassin — that is love.

I liked that they encouraged each other to be the people they each wanted to be, and loved each other more for the drive to become it. Not your typical romance movie. Highly recommended to replace at least one bitter love story in your Netflix queue.

Good Lyrics: Dry the Rain

Just watched High Fidelity for the billionth time since Hulu decided to add it. I always forget how much I like this song, and how much I love the scene in the movie where Rob Gordon is like, “I will now sell 3 copies of The Three EPs by the Beta Band.” Heads nodding everywhere. 🙂

Dry the Rain (click to listen)
by the Beta Band

This is the definition of my life
Lying in bed in the sunlight
Choking on the vitamin tablet
The doctor gave in the hope of saving me
In the hope of saving me

Walked in the corner of the room
A junk yard fool with eyes of gloom
I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

Dusty brown boots in the corner
By the ironing board
Spray on dust is the greatest thing
Sure is the greatest thing
Since the last since the last

Walked in the corner of the room
A junk yard fool with eyes of gloom
I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

If there’s something inside that you wanna say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

If there’s something inside that you wanna say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

I Need Love, yeah
I Need Love

If there’s something inside that you wanna say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

If there’s something inside that you wanna say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

I Need Love
I Need Love

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