Double Feature: Varsity Blues (1999) & A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016)

It feels like quite a while since I did a double feature but that might be because I’ve been taking a little movie watching break and binging some more TV that I never happen to write about (but I will, I promise). A bit of a mixed bag here although you could call this a young adult/adolescent pairing? I don’t know when A Cinderella Story for this one takes place. Its usually around the high school phase as well.

Varsity Blues (1999)

varsity blues

Director: Brian Robbins

Cast: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker, Ron Lester, Scott Caan, Amy Smart, Eliel Swinton, Ali Larter

A back-up quarterback is chosen to lead a Texas football team to victory after the star quarterback is injured. – IMDB

Those who know me know that I’m a huge fan of Paul Walker, as a human being and truly do miss his presence since he had done some fantastic work in Fast and the Furious as well as other movies. I’m sure that I’ll be doing something in the Sunday Lists very soon. With that said, I haven’t seen Varsity Blues before where he plays the supporting role of Lance Harbor, the injured star quarterback mentioned in the plot summary above. The main character here is played by James Van Der Beek. Going into Varsity Blues blind did give me quite the shock because it is quite an intense film especially in the sense, of how Jon Voight’s character as the coach of the team.

Varsity Blues is quite generic in the coming of age sports film but it shines in its performances and the cast member. The movie also has some pacing issues particularly in the beginning however the second half of the film does redeem itself quite a bit as that is where I was truly invested into the movies. It touches a lot on say the future of the dreams but also brings into other realities of say race and prejudices as well as unreasonable ambitions and doing/fighting for what is right and following your heart instead of what others perceive as your future or the path you should take.

I was a little underwhelmed by the film as its fairly average but the decent performances does make it worth a watch.

A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016)

a cinderella story if the shoe fits

Director: Michelle Johnston

Cast: Sofia Carson, Jennifer Tilly, Amy Louise Wilson, Jazzara Jaslyn, Thomas Law, David Ury, Sven Ruygrok

A contemporary musical version of the classic Cinderella story in which the servant step daughter hope to compete in a musical competition for a famous pop star. – IMDB

I have no idea how these A Cinderella Story is still going on. I think I’m missing like the third one if this one is the fourth one. I do like the Hillary Duff one with Chad Michael Murray which started it all. Its one I watch every once in a while for the obvious reasons that the cast is spectacular with Jennifer Coolidge as the absurd mean stepmother role. The next one after that was Another Cinderella Story with Selena Gomez which I didn’t love but enjoyed since it had some cute moments and lovely dancing and singing moments. I didn’t bother with the third one since I figured this stuff wasn’t worth my spending money on it so to fill up some background noise and uninvested movie viewing, I put this on because I saw it on Netflix. I know no one in this one and its all quite rinse and repeat. There’s some dancing and the opening thing of singing and dancing seems like this female replica of Grease’s Grease Lightning part. However, this one is just bad. The humor is not funny. The acting is meh. The singing and dancing is okay. The story is generic.

It was something of a waste of time but then I mean, as background noise, I guess it fit the bill but I wouldn’t watch it again.

Christmas Marathon: Four Christmases (2008)

four christmasesYet another romantic comedy with a Christmas theme.  I’m a girl and in the last few years, this has been a big thing for me, especially when I get stressed at work, my focus doesn’t turn to action movies or suspense as much anymore.  Can you imagine having Four Christmases in one day? I celebrate Christmas on Dec. 24th and its been like that for the last few years.  I always work on Christmas Eve so thinking about running to four families in one day doesn’t even sound possible but then they probably did it on the actual Christmas Day.

So here we go.. with the next movie in the Christmas marathon.

FOUR CHRISTMASES

Director: Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses)

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Robert Duvall, Tim McGraw, Jon Favreau, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Mary Steenburgen

Four Christmases is about Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) who are a couple who have been together for 3 years and because of their divorced parents resulting into four christmases, they go away every Christmas for vacation while giving them an excuse of doing charity work.  This Christmas, a thick fog has covered the city and all the flights are cancelled forcing them to visit four families throughout the day to celebrate Christmas.  The first stop is at Brad’s dad (Robert Duvall) and his two brothers Denver (Jon Favreau) and Dallas (Tim McGraw) – the house of crazy testerone-filled house.  The second is at Kate’s mom (Mary Steenburgen) who they call the house of cougars where we meet her sister, Courtney (Kristin Chenoworth).  The third stop is at Brad’s mom (Sissy Spacek) who is now with Brad’s former best friend.  The last stop is at Kate’s father (Jon Voight).  They learn throughout the day that they’ve done things alongside each other but never with each other and a bit more about their relationship. Whether they are actually right for each other.

This is an okay Christmas movie.  It gives us a very exaggerated version of life, I’d believe.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen but the fact of hitting extremities.  It is entertaining at parts but this time around, I realized why I really hated this movie.  The main reason was Vince Vaughn.  Any Vince Vaughn fans out there, I’m sorry.  I just realized that he always gets casted as the self-centred man of the relationship who comes to realize that afterwards, then he changes.  This time around, I just found him whiny.  I was tempted to fast forward when he started talking, but I didn’t, of course.  However, this rom-com is supported with great actors and actresses and it does give us a nice ending, thats why I listed a more than usual list of cast up on top.  Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Mary Steenburgen are all great in what they are given to work with.  Deal is, I see this as a flat out romantic comedy and being set on Christmas day and giving us a scene on gift exchange doesn’t really mean its a Christmas-themed movie.  However, this movie did have a few laughs as the movie moved on.  It gave us a few nice sweet moments.  It talks about chemistry in a relationship and how much you know about the person you are with, and it does have hints of the importance of family.  It starts off with the mindset of “You can’t spell families without lies” but then it curves to make you feel a bit of the heartwarming family for a few moments and then ends up with the same in a way.

Honestly, I don’t know how to write up for this one.  I felt that the plot was a bit all over the place.  There were contradictions in how certain people reacted that I can’t seem to figure out as I’m writing this.   I don’t watch this in abundance because I’m not particularly a bit fan, even for Christmas, I feel that it doesn’t really have that much holiday feel.  So I’m not recommending this for Christmas or any time of year.  However, if you do enjoy Vince Vaughn and/or Reese Witherspoon, its an alright flick with a few good laughs.

So, has anyone else seen this? Are you a fan of Vince Vaughn? Maybe Reese Witherspoon?