Valentine’s Double Feature: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (2017) & How Do You Know (2010)

We are going along quite nice as we reach the 4th Valentine’s Double Feature. This time we’re at the G and H selection and both are very much choices out of the left field. Sometimes, these choices that show up like this are full of surprises. I’m going into this with a lot of optimism even though one of the two don’t seem to have good reviews.

Lets check it out!

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (2017)

guernsey literary

Director: Mike Newell

Cast: Lily James, Michael Huisman, Glen Powell, Matthew Goode, Tom Courtenay, Jessica Brown Findlay, Katherine Parkinson, Penelope Wilton

In the aftermath of World War II, a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war. – IMDB

I love period dramas. They really are incredibly fantastic to watch. With an odd title like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, its hard to really grasp how to take this movie (adapted from a novel). The movie does a great job and setting up how the society started right at the beginning with the World War II and the serious tone in that. I think what works here is that its more a drama with a bigger story than the romance as Lily James’ character Juliet finds out more about their story and the pains that WWII has brought for them as well as Guernsey.

However, looming in the background is a wonderful love story. One that starts with someone who reaches out to someone else with the same passion and finding where you belong . In many ways, Juliet had a past that isn’t delved into too much but enough for the viewers to figure out what she wants is a place that feels secure and belongs: a family and while its about her finding it in like-minded people in the Society, she also learns that from her interaction with Michael Huisman’s Dawsey. They have so much natural chemistry together and there weren’t even any romantic gestures and that is why I love period dramas which have a lot of things written between the lines and its so classy and elegant to watch.

On an ending note, as Michael Huisman pops up on more things I am watching, I am starting to find him more and more charming especially with the roles he takes.

How Do You Know (2010)

how do you know

Director (and writer): James L. Brooks

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson, Kathryn Hahn

After being cut from the U.S.A. softball team and feeling a bit past her prime, Lisa finds herself evaluating her life and in the middle of a love triangle, as a corporate guy in crisis competes with her current, baseball-playing beau. – IMDB

How Do You Know is a rather split one. On one hand, I liked it a lot for the characters but on the other hand, the story itself and the execution had its obvious issues which made it really weak. For once in this marathon, I have to say that the characters here all had their roles that worked for them, especially the main leads Reese Witherspoon and especially Paul Rudd.

I’ll jump straight into talking about the characters because it is one of the points that worked here. Can I say that Paul Rudd is a great actor? He always makes an average movie better. In this case, his character George is the one that works the best especially because of how awkward he is and somehow that works well with Reese Witherspoon’s character Lisa who doesn’t really know what and where she should be after she pretty much loses her career when she is cut from the team and its these two’s difficulties that bring them together because it brings out the essence of how they can be themselves with each other and accept each other without any pretending and how honest they are at the get-go.

Of course, the cast here has its weak links. Owen Wilson is always a hit and miss actor for me and in this one, I think I just hated the character that he played, rather than the interpretation. Anyone playing that role wouldn’t have sat well with me because in the end, the story didn’t quite hinge on him and if its to say that the character Matty is in love, its not easy to link it to the story. In that sense, it reminds me of a previous movie I watched in this marathon, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Aside from that, we also get Jack Nicholson who plays George’s father who supposedly is in denial. Jack Nicholson, well, he’s Jack Nicholson. He brings a lot to his character which only has a very little part but in some ways, its the lingering presence of the father and son relationship here that is highlighted.

Talking about that, this hinges on the last point I want to make about How Do You Know which was a turning point for me. While this one has some great moments between Paul Rudd and Reese Witherspoon and how their love built through something like acquaintances and friends through hardships and the support they have for each other which just worked along with the honesty and it works really well between them. Its the added aspect of all these hardships and other relationships from father and son relationship that adds new angles and dimensions but not too much that it feel disposable although sometimes it did feel a little disjointed. However, at the end of the day, this one is alright.

That’s it for this double feature!
Looking at two random choices for the G and H selection which both had its own charm!
Have you seen these movies? What did you think of them?

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Double Feature: Cruel Intentions (1999) & Dangerous Liaisons (2012)

Next up on my little double features are two films that are incredibly similar to each other.  From what I’ve read in some research, Dangerous Liaisons is the Chinese remake from a Hollywood movie with the same name adapted from a French novel.  I think I’ve heard of it but I’ve never seen (or read) it so I don’t know.  If you know more about it, do enlighten me 🙂 Cruel Intentions was another one of those remakes but with a different name.  Point is, these two movies may be 13 years apart and in different languages and historical period but they are quite similar plot.  I’m starting to shape these double features with a little more thought so here we go!

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Cruel Intentions (1999)

cruel intentions

Director: Roger Kumble

Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Joshua Jackson, Eric Mabius, Sean Patrick Thomas

Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) makes a bet that her step-brother, Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe), won’t be able to bed Annette (Reese Witherspoon) -a virgin, who wants to wait until love. If he loses, Kathryn gets his Jaguar, if he wins, he gets Kathryn. – IMDB

cruel intentions

Cruel Intentions is an okay drama.  The cast is good for this sort of movie because it needs some sort of attractive beings to really carry this sort of plot.  The idea of it is set in an upscale snobby setting and it explores the themes of sexuality and innocence and of course, abstinence in that whole world of love and feelings as well.  The only issue with this one is that the dialogue is kind of funny even when its trying to be all teasing and whatnot and that matches up with some below average acting going on here.  It seems like everyone is aware that its a game and everyone is adding that extra bit to make sure its like the audience knows that they are all acting and its not the character’s real feelings. Everyone has something to hide and I guess that’s true.

cruel intentions

I’m not saying I hated the movie because it was okay.  I was pretty indifferent to it. I’m not a huge fan of Reese Witherspoon especially the earlier films that she did.  This is a young cast so they aren’t exactly at the prime of their acting but the story is set around these young rich high school kids.  Still, the connection and chemistry is there and that’s where I feel that this movie did good on.  There were some passionate scenes which the dialogue kind of made me laugh a little which destroyed the mood a little.

The storyline has a huge potential.  A little side fact (if you don’t know) is that the novel was originally published in 1782 so that gives this one a thousand chances for adaptations and remakes and so, little bits and pieces might even make it a little predictable.  Cruel Intentions felt like that though.  Maybe its taking the angle of high school students that make it hard but if I remember correctly, this might be the time when Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar (maybe even Reese Witherspoon) was really popular.  At least I remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer being in that time frame. I guess what I’m saying is that with a stronger script and better acting, Cruel Intentions could’ve been a better movie.

Dangerous Liaisons (2012)

dangerous liaisons

Director: Jin-ho Hur

Cast: Cecilia Cheung, Dong-gun Jang, Ziyi Zhang, Shawn Dou, Lisa Lu

In Shanghai, an aging socialite’s infatuation with her ex-boyfriend manifests itself as a risky game, where her former lover agrees to seduce, then abandon a naive young woman. – IMDB

Dangerous Liaisons, 2012 version, Chinese/Korean collaboration set in 1930s Shanghai is really quite good.  If the book was anything like this one, I’d definitely pick it up.  I’m going to go up front here and confess that while I know a few of you are fans of Zhang Ziyi, I don’t really think much of her.  She’s not a great actress and I never really enjoyed the movies she’s been in.  I don’t even think of her as being attractive or pretty so no girl/lady crushes for me.  I have to admit that it put me off a little on this but this did expire at the same time as Cruel Intentions so I wanted to give this a watch.  For one, I like Cecilia Cheung well enough.  One of her earlier movie called Fly Me to Polaris was all levels of awesome and while she does a lot of really silly comedic movies now and does really well in those and even dated/married my absolute idol in real life, I still like her a good bit even during her crazy rebellious days.  She’s unique and she can definitely pull off that aging socialite/pretty, charming, attractive, seductive lady sort of vibe.  As for Dong-gun Jang, I’ve never seen him in any movies because I don’t watch a whole lot of Korean movies because they really are too slow for my taste but I spent a good bit of the movie debating if I thought he was attractive.  There’s definitely something there but hmm..I wonder.

You tell me, what do you think? Good-looking dude, or no?

dangerous liaisons 2012

While I was a little skeptical and having watched Cruel Intentions just before this one (the night before) without knowing it was based on the same material, I started feeling a little unsure about it.  But, this one is miles better than Cruel Intentions and there are strong performances across the board plus, Shanghai in that time frame had a lot of elegance and class even if the characters themselves, especially those two up there doing this bet that aren’t really asking the audience to respect them a whole lot either.  But that is what their characters are asked of and the way the act and the style they have match up well to their characters.  While I don’t quite like Zhang Ziyi, she was pretty good in this one also.  Maybe its the fact that she’s not doing a touch chick and in this one, she’s a lot more vulnerable as a character, playing something I haven’t seen her do before.

dangerous liaisons 2012

What else did I like about this one? The story was set good.  The atmosphere and tone was really engaging for the premise.  The pacing was also quite good. Really, I think that the sum of all its good factors elevates this movie to be pretty intriguing even if I knew all along where it was headed. I was still willing to buy into the story and the characters. The dialogue added a little bit more seductiveness in a believable way.

Dangerous Liaisons may not be a perfect movie and I couldn’t even decide if Dong-jun Jang is an attractive man but the chemistry and the convincing performance along with the setting in 1930s Shanghai makes this a really enjoyable watch.  Would I watch it again? Maybe I would.  Its a really fun movie and also makes me want to go find that source material and see what its all about.

Overall…

Without knowing much about the source material, I’d definitely recommend to see Dangerous Liaisons if you wanted to see one of these two adaptations.  It may be foreign but it adds a little extra touch to it especially with some pretty outstanding performances that make it all the better.  Something about that Shanghai setting and the beautiful clothes makes it really appealing to me. Cruel Intentions suffers from exactly what makes Dangerous Liaisons good. But then, how do you compare two movies that seem to be targeting a different audience? Maybe the teenage me would have enjoyed Cruel Intentions more.  Who knows, right?

Have you seen Cruel Intentions or Dangerous Liaisons? How about other adaptations? Are you familiar with the source material? 

Three Quick Reviews: Vanity Fair, The Upside of Anger, Gnomeo & Juliet

You know whats great about these quick reviews? Its when you have these movies that can be explained in just simple terms how you feel and you just have to write a paragraph instead of trying to analyze way too much. Anyways, it would be not feasible to write full reviews for everything unless I have everything backlogged and then, I’d just forgot I watched it.

Enough of ramblings, another three quick reviews for stuff I watched outside of recommendations 🙂

VANITY FAIR (2004)

vanity fair poster

Director: Mira Nair

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, James Purefoy, Tony Maudsley, Rhys Ifans, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Vanity Fair is adapted from the novel (which I haven’t read) about Rebecca Sharp (Reese Witherspoon), a girl who is orphaned at a young age and grows up poor and once she leaves the home for girls as governess, she tries to ascend the social ladder.  We follow her through different stages in her life as society tries to pull her back but she always finds a way to climb back up in her own way.

I’m just going short here because this movie was a bit over 2 hours long and I have never watched a movie in 4 parts and I watched this over 3 days (at least).  It just dragged on and on.  If it wasn’t for a rather charming James Purefoy for a bit of the movie and hating that he got married to a very annoying Rebecca Sharp and feeling bad for him, I’d have shut off the movie. Still, I did keep on because I kept hoping it would get better.  Till now, I don’t really know if I’m supposed to feel good or bad for Rebecca Sharp… I guess thats why, I downloaded the novel to my tablet and I’ll read it to know what the actual story really was 😉 Oh, and the girl from Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (review HERE) was in it too!

The Upside of Anger (2005)

the upside of anger poster

Director: Mike Binder

Cast: Kevin Costner, Joan Allen, Keri Russell, Evan Rachel Wood, Erika Christensen, Alicia Witt

The Upside of Anger is about Terry Ann (Joan Allen) whose husband unexpectedly disappears and she is left with her four daughters: Andy (Erika Christensen), Emily (Keri Russell), Hadley (Alicia Witt) and Popeye (Evan Rachel Wood). As much as she should be taking care of her teenage girls, they end up taking care of her instead, as she picks up her pieces and eventually engages into a relationship with an once baseball star and now radio DJ, Denny (Kevin Costner). At the same time, the daughters each have to manage their own lives.

I chose The Upside of Anger because of Kevin Costner and my lack of exposure to his roles.  Other than being slightly lengthy at parts, I felt that The Upside of Anger is definitely one that should be seen by more people.  I don’t know, maybe a lot of people know about it? Do you? Its the first time I’ve heard of it at least and it took me by surprise in a very good way.  As with the title, there are a lot of conflicts and crazy going on but somehow it gets the story flowing and we get a good view on the relationship of Terry  Ann and each of her daughters, different point of views and how she changes and eventually sees things a bit different, a lot was slowly through an outsider’s perspective who was let inside which was Kevin Costner’s character Denny.  The movie starts and ends with the narration of her youngest daughter, nickname Popeye and she recaps the essence very well with this quote:

Anger and resentment can stop you in your tracks. That’s what I know now. It needs nothing to burn but the air and the life that it swallows and smothers. It’s real, though – the fury, even when it isn’t. It can change you… turn you… mold you and shape you into something you’re not. The only upside to anger, then… is the person you become. Hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they’re not afraid to take the journey, someone that knows that the truth is, at best, a partially told story. That anger, like growth, comes in spurts and fits, and in its wake, leaves a new chance at acceptance, and the promise of calm.- The Upside of Anger

GNOMEO & JULIET (2012)

untitled
Director: Kelly Asbury

Cast: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Ozzy Osbourne, Stephen Merchant

I’m sure I don’t need a synopsis for this classic Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet but in a children’s version with garden gnomes.  Forbidden love, family feud, garden gnomes, red versus blue, etc.  You know the story already. Just remember Gnomeo & Juliet is aimed to children and it doesn’t get that bad.  At least I don’t remember it being too hitting adult territory.  With that said, if you sit through this with a fully alert adult brain, I promise you will find a lot of flaws in the story design and the premise itself. I mean, just for starters, how in the world do the owners not know where they left their garden gnomes and not question when they are shifted or don’t look the same?

gnomeo and juliet 1

BUT,  if you can overlook those things and go to being a simple mind, they do have some pretty fun moments and I loved the voices.  I recognized the main voices, especially Michael Caine.  Who doesn’t recognize his because its so awesome. I have to admit that I paused when I saw Jason Statham (WHAT?!?!). That just made this totally out of the world.  I really love the voice work. It made the characters very likeable despite its very predictable and possibly overused storyline.  The characters were very cute and there were some nice moments.  And well, some pretty nostalgic ones too.  I may not have had garden gnomes when I was younger because it wasn’t my dad’s thing but we had those plastic flamingos.  Coincidentally, the plastic flamingo was one of my favorite characters.

Gnomeo & Juliet is an average animation. It aims to please kids more than the parents.  The upside is that it has a talented cast that gives life to each of these characters to make them fun and vibrant.

OVERALL..Out of these three, I’d really say that The Upside of Anger is the best one.  It has a great cast with Joan Allen, Kevin Costner and my personal favorite, Keri Russell (who I almost wrote Felicity).

What has me curious now is: Have you heard of The Upside of Anger before? What is your favorite version of Romeo and Juliet? Have you read Vanity Fair before and is it similar to this movie?

Just a little intermission while I decide which movies from the recommendations list I want to watch! 🙂 Happy Friday!!

This Means War (2012)

*I got a movie review in!*

This Means War has been a movie I’ve been meaning to watch for a while.  I was always a little hesitant because of certain factors, mostly being that I never really liked Chris Pine in anything other than Star Trek and then its not really the type of guy I’m attracted to, so with this being a romantic action comedy, I wasn’t exactly too sure.  Either way, lets check it out!

this means war posterDirector: McG

Cast: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon, Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger

FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are top CIA agents and good partners as well as best friends.  After an operative gone bad, they are pulled off the field for a while and Tuck decides to join an online dating site.  He ends up meeting the very attractive Lauren (Reese Witherspoon).  Afterwards, Lauren meets FDR spontaneously and he also is attracted to her.  When FDR and Tuck realize that they are pursuing the same girl, they decide to use their own measures to see who can get the girl first.

this means war fdr lauren

Like I mentioned before, this is a romantic action comedy.  I’m going to say that I didn’t hate the movie and for the most part it was pretty entertaining at a good many parts of the movie.  To be absolutely honest, this was a pretty average movie, story-wise at least.  Maybe its because it was a huge mumbo jumbo of stuff.  It tried to get a bit romantic but never really going there and then there was some action but then not really but then it was also supposed to be funny and I’m not exactly sure if I found it completely humorous.  I guess the sum of it all would be that it entertained me for the evening and I’ll probably forget most of it soon enough.

this means war tuck

The most memorable character for me had to be Tuck played by the ever so handsome and charming Tom Hardy.  Like I said, I’m not into Chris Pine’s type of appearance or even the character he played.  He kind of reminded me of the annoying boy in high school math class that sat in front of me and I just wanted to slap the back of his head to shut up.  Sure, he was entertaining but when there wasn’t much connection to the characters themselves and their relationships, I was secretly rooting for Tom Hardy because I thought he was just so…awesome and attractive.  I have a thing for British accents…its just a trait I’m attracted to, what more can I say? Plus, his dialogue was just so much more sophisticated and romantic.  Its hard to really see him as Bane when I think about it…

this means war fdr tuck

Tom Hardy was the highlight of this movie aside from the silly chasing and using their CIA resources to get the girl funny moments and some very cutesy Reese Witherspoon moments aside, the story was not too great.  I never get too picky with these things for romantic comedies though.  There just seemed like something was missing and I couldn’t really feel the connection to the romance going on.  I’m not going to comment on the visuals as my right eye still goes blurry once in a while so I’m not going to be a good judge of it 😉

With everything considered, This Means War is an average, possibly forgettable romantic action comedy.  Tom Hardy was my highlight and Reese Witherspoon had quite charming moments as well.  Chris Pine was good also, although I just never seem to connect with his character as much.  Even though there’s not much surprises to expect from the story, it was entertaining enough that if it does cross your path, you could sit back and enjoy it.  Its worth the one viewing 🙂

Best Laid Plans (1999)

Next up in recommendations was in response to my review on The Goonies (HERE) from Jack Flacco. He suggested me to check out Best Laid Plans for Josh Brolin‘s performance.  Jack has a wonderful site full of articles about zombies and he features a few very fun segments: Monday Mayhem, Women Who Wow Wednesday and Freedom Friday.  Definitely check it out if you haven’t yet.  For now, let’s check out what he asked me to watch.

best laid plans posterDirector: Mike Barker

Cast: Alessandro Nivola, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Terrence Howard, James Marsh

In the small town of Tropico, within a few months, Nick (Alessandro Nivola) loses his father, the insurance money and needs money to get out of his current life.  He does end up meeting his girlfriend Lissa (Reese Witherspoon).  However, when his coworker Barry (James Marsh) lets him in a deal to drive away after a seemingly easy robbery, he gets tracked down the next day and to stay alive, he needs to be able to find money to cover his (uncompensated) cut and a bit more. When his school friend Bryce (Josh Brolin) calls him up out of nowhere, he derives the perfect plan to do it with a little help from Lissa.  Unexpectedly, a panic call in the middle of the night from Bryce proves that something went wrong with the initial plan and he has to figure out a way out.

best laid plans group

Best Laid Plans is a decent crime thriller.  At certain points, we really feel the intensity of the situation.  We have a pretty above average cast here with Reese Witherspoon being my favorite even though she didn’t have too much screen time. It has a good plot but somehow, it did take me a while to connect with all the characters as much, especially that of Josh Brolin’s  Bryce. Most of the time, I wanted to punch him in the face because he reminded me of the annoying classmates I had in high school.  Maybe he was supposed to be that way.

best laid plans alessandro and josh

Josh Brolin actually played a lesser part to the this movie’s lead, Alessandro Nivola’s Nick.  I really like this character actually and this guy really acted the hell out of the script.  He was possibly the character that I connected the most with, not that I ever got in any of his situations.  Its the calm nature that he has that made me wonder how he was going to get out of the situation he was in.

best laid plans reese witherspoon

I’ve always liked Reese Witherspoon.  I usually watch her in chick flicks (like Legally Blonde) but as Lissa and in her fake identity, she really was the one that had to sacrifice the most.  As much as I’d like to say, Nick was the loser in this, she lost a whole lot more especially seeing as the situation did go south.  Plus, Reese Witherspoon is definitely a charming actress.

best laid plans

BUT, you know what bothered me in this movie.  It was shot pretty well and the mood and tone was set well to match the situation.  Lighting was done good.  There was a great cast with an entertaining script BUT, I laughed at the ending.  The ending was the wrapping up the movie in the most unexpected way.  I have to give it this, it was original and unique but hell, if thats the morals of the story, its totally wrong to even want to know that.  If you saw this, you’d probably know what I mean, and you can email me or message me or something and tell me to see if thats what it was.

Overall, do I like this movie? I do say that its definitely a good entertaining movie with some good performances from the cast and an intense enough story however, beware of how you’ll feel at the ending.  My reaction was something like “WTF??? LOL *shakes head*” Thats just because I don’t enjoy ending particularly like that but after giving it a night to sleep on it, its not a bad movie.  It won’t ruin your day and maybe you might enjoy the ending and its just a personal preference for me.  Give it a shot, its worth that at the very least 🙂

Have you seen this? Do you like crime thrillers?

Thanks to Jack for recommending this to me! I loved the performances in this even if I wanted to punch Josh Brolin but I did enjoy Reese Witherspoon  a lot, and other than the ending, it was a pretty good movie! Remember to drop by his blog and show him some support 🙂

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?