Marry Me – Movie Review

I know it has just been Valentine’s Day and romance was in the air but that wasn’t the reason I decided to try the new Jennifer Lopez film. Being someone who likes comedy, dramas and big budget movies, I still have a soft spot for a cheeky Rom-Com now and again. My friend and I have gone to see almost every single J-Lo movie in the past and have never come out complaining. So, we were going to watch this film, no matter what!

Normally I like really deep and clever scripts, so this may seem a departure from the bookish films I often talk about. However, I also like cheesy stuff. For point of record, this movie stemmed from a comic book which was popular ten years ago. Going back to the cheesy bit, this picture feels like it is going to be oozing cheese sauce, but it has some brilliant nuances. I would go as far as to say it yielded a strong message.

Overview

Jennifer played a pop star (Kat) who was going to publicly marry another singer at a huge event, screened across the world. A twist caused her to find she had different options, mainly the appearance of a charming teacher (Charlie), played by the brilliant Owen Wilson. The chemistry between these two was lovely and very funny. Owen seems to have bounced back onto the screen recently, with a starring role in the Loki series on Disney too.

The story is about trying to go against expectation. A situation leads to a marriage which is unwanted but also creates great publicity. Kat was a believable character who was fed up with being used. She was starting to see beyond branding, selfies and non-stop documenting of her daily routine.

Thoughts

One thing that stood out was the soundtrack, which I later found myself downloading. The songs were catchy and modern with J-Lo showing off her voice and talent. The script was unpredictable (although one key idea was easy to see through to its conclusion) with funny elements and plenty of self-reflection by the characters. Supported by John Bradley (Game of Thrones) as her manager, Kat really explored what is actually important and what’s facade.

Apparently it was the most watched movie on Valentine’s Day but I went the day after. This movie was just the right amount of sweet, with a twist or two to make it worthwhile. If you want something to make you feel good, then try this. For a review of the last film I saw, click my write up of Belfast.

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Stamford – A Crown Location

This weekend I decided to spend an afternoon in a beautiful town in Lincolnshire. I have been there many times before but usually for work reasons or nights out. Having recently noticed that the TV show ‘The Crown’ is based there for the next series, I was intrigued to check out some locations they are currently using.

Stamford

There is something very quaint about Stamford because it has a lot of history and a large stately home nearby. The streets are slightly inclined and many of the buildings are very old. With many churches and some beautiful parks, as well as a river (the Welland), this little town is lively, intriguing and attractive. The places to eat are varied too, with lovely tea rooms and even a restaurant offering a tapas selection.

The Crown

In the Autumn the new series of The Crown chose one of the local butcher’s shops to be dressed for a critical scene. It was easy to find this particular location and I am now wondering what is was used for. Clearly it was kept as a butchers but which characters were involved in this scene?

A location recently used for The Crown.

Burghley House was used in many previous projects such as the Kiera Knightley movie, ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ On Sunday I decided to have a walk around the site to refresh my memory. I also thought I might set eyes on a film crew but apparently they don’t work weekends.

This beautiful building was once visited by Queen Elisabeth the first although she was turned around and had to leave due to a smallpox outbreak there at the time. In the new season on The Crown it plays Windsor Castle in the nineties during the challenging years that surrounded Princess Diana’s divorce.

It is such a beautiful building surrounded by what looks like a moat. It is easy to see why it is used to double for royal palaces.

The Welland River

So if you are ever passing this area, definitely check out Stamford, with its historic streets, interesting shops and wonderful stately home. Also, the parking on Sundays is free and there is a main train line running through it from Peterborough and London.

Thanks for checking out my blog. I enjoyed writing about my afternoon in Stamford and look forward to seeing Imelda Staunton playing the Queen in the upcoming season on Netflix. For another couple of Netflix TV show reviews, click here. Please follow my blog for similar future posts.

Belfast – Movie Review

When I first caught a glimpse of the trailer for this new Belfast movie I was instantly intrigued. Starring Jamie Dornan and Judi Dench, this mainly black and white film is an homage to the city in which Kenneth Branagh grew up. Set in the tragic time of 1969, when hostilities in Northern Ireland were heightened, the movie examined a period of tension, tight families and endurance.

The first person who struck me in this was the mother of the family, played by Caitriona Balfe (an actress who was new to me). She was excellent in a role where she had to hold a family together while her husband was regularly away in England working as a joiner. Her moments of argument and sweet scenes with Jamie were contrasting and skilfully acted. Jamie was brilliant as the father who needed to earn for his household but also ensure they were safe in a neighbourhood rocked by the violent Belfast riots. The two of them were full rounded characters.

Although I expected this film to be very serious and upsetting it was also very heart-warming. Judi Dench had some very funny lines that reminded me of my own nan. Watching her grandson worry about impressing a girl in his class was amusing. In those days, a child would do a maths test and the top scorer would sit closest to the teacher in seat one. The lowest scorer would be at the back. The girl he admired was in seat two and he longed to be next to her.

The director -Kenneth Branagh- moved to England from Belfast as a boy and so there was some reflection on his own youth in this fascinating picture. The soundtrack was filled with nostalgia and I could not stop thinking about the TV test card used. When I was young, TV stations closed down at night and that particular test card would be shown for hours on end. Some of the phrases used also brought back memories, such as the term ‘scotch mist.’ My mum used to always say that when talking about something expensive. ‘What do you think I’m going to pay with, scotch mist?’ was coined a lot.

This test card filled the TV screens behind Jamie Dornan and reminded me of the eighties when this popped up if ever a TV show went off air and after the station had finished for the day.

I totally recommend going to the cinema to see ‘Belfast Movie’ and taking in the drama. Set in a difficult situation, after riots had seen communities putting up barricades, this beautiful movie is intelligent, educational and sweet. I laughed lots and cried at the end. Be prepared for a whirlwind of emotions. If you would prefer a scarier movie, check out my Scream review.

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