Valentine’s Double Feature: The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) & Prince Charming (1984)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, whether you celebrate or not (which we don’t other than on the blog as an excuse to watch romance films). If you don’t celebrate, then tomorrow is a great day for some discounted chocolate. 😉

We passed the halfway point of the alphabet which was really all I expected myself to get to by February 14th. This time, we’re at the next two letters, O & P. The first is The Other Boleyn Girl which I have put aside too many times so I decided to just go for it and get it off the list. For the P selection, I floated around a few titles but decided to go with something a little more romantic and comedic with Hong Kong’s 1984 romance comedy Prince Charming.

Let’s check it out!

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Director: Justin Chadwick

Cast: Eric Bana, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Jim Sturgess, Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Morrissey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Oliver Coleman, Ana Torrent

Two sisters contend for the affection of King Henry VIII. – IMDB

I’m a bit torn on how I feel about The Other Boleyn Girl. On one hand, the first part of the movie was pretty entertaining with the obvious chemistry between the characters and the setup of the stage for the parents, their stand and favoritism between children as well as their ambitions and greed for power and fortune despite the consequence of putting their own children into difficult and complicated places. With that said, the start was pretty fun with King Henry (Eric Bana) take a hunting stay at the Boleyns home and having one daughter being set up to seduce the king which somehow defines who Natalie Portman’s Anne’s personality is which as it grows ends up causing herself some pretty irreversible consequences. While I get Natalie Portman’s character, the beginning half with King Henry and Mary (Scarlett Johansson) definitely was the more interesting part even if their focus was really not on them because it involved a lot of music overlaying passionate sex scenes.

To be fair, when the second act started and King Henry got lured into Anne’s traps of playing hard to get. It started getting a bit ridiculous. I’m not a history major and I don’t particularly know a lot about the history of England and the kings but as a historical drama (I know for Chinese history, there are kings defined for their bad judgement because of the women they choose), I can’t say how accurate it is but King Henry is very much getting played and not quite as kingly until he decides to justify his difficult decisions by raping Anne, which seems to defeat the purpose of making these tough choices and throwing it all out the window, hence his descent down the slippery slope, I suppose. It was very soap opera because it was so entangled in romance and the King’s floating attention span of always having women satisfying him and producing an heir when he did already have one that he disregarded, and then the mixed romances and improper decisions and playing games.

The Other Boleyn Girl was good in the sense that I think Eric Bana does a great job and I particularly liked Scarlett Johansson and well, anytime with Kristin Scott Thomas is a good time because she also is a very powerful actress even in the supporting role as the mother of Anne and Mary who ends up losing the most out of Anne’s desperate need for attention (or whatever you call it). Its not a bad film but it is still a bit drawn out unnecessarily.

Prince Charming (1984)

prince charming

Director (& writer): Wong Jing

Cast: Kenny Bee, Cherie Chung, Pak-cheung Chan, Rosamund Kwan, Maggie Cheung

Chen Li is the son of an enormously wealthy Hong Kong businessman and is vacationing in Hawaii, experiencing typical girl problems. – IMDB

There are a lot of films called Prince Charming. To my knowledge, 1999 also had a Hong Kong film called Prince Charming (which I have seen before with Andy Lau and Nick Cheung). However, we are dialling back to 1984 when Maggie Cheung still did comedies and Kenny Bee and Pak Cheung Chan was a huge deal whether for singing or acting or hosting. Directed and written by Wong Jing, this movie is bound for some laughters. As with most of Wong Jing’s film, he also has a cameo appearance as a passerby listening in on a conversation about some sex meter calculation.

Prince Charming is a pretty charming film. I have my issues sometimes with the humor of Pak Cheung Chan because sometimes it leans on the heavily dumb humor but somehow, perhaps its because its Wong Jing and I like his humor and Kenny Bee has this dorky humor to him that makes it all come together. Its a lot of fluff to be fair because the story itself is fairly simple and in the mist of the mistaken identity, its hard to really focus on the background plot of finding out whether embezzlement is happening at the office because it focuses a lot on the romance and Kenny Bee finding his love with Cherie Chung’s character. However, there is this sweet chemistry between them that works most of the time, especially in the awkward moments. Add in some family bits and a few silly moments and this really does have quite a nice vibe to it.

A lot of staple actors and actresses of the 80s (and 90s) are in this film and it shows their youth especially when the films starts off in Hawaii for a little bit and then heads back to Hong Kong. Its a romantic comedy so it definitely gives off this fun and entertaining sort of film packed with the 80s humor of Hong Kong that defined its films and boy, I really did like that comedic style a lot.

Valentine’s Double Feature alphabet for O & P are done!
Have you seen these films? What did you think of them?

Advertisements

Valentine’s Double Feature: Midnight Sun (2018) & Nappily Ever After (2018)

Next up in the Valentine’s Double Feature is the M & N selection! We’re at the first choice which I’ve actually been interested in seeing for a while and the second which was a last minute change in plans, because I just like to keep things spontaneous. Our M selection is a nice shift into some teen romance which I tend to avoid because it gets very formulaic genre but I’m interested in seeing how Patrick Schwarzenegger fares as a young actor and Bella Thorne has truly grown a lot in her acting in the last few films I’ve watched so interested in seeing how she does in a role different from her usual ones. As for Nappily Ever After, it just seemed like a cool film to mix it up a little. Its supposed to be a romantic comedy but I honestly think its more about a more personal journey.

Let’s check it out!

Midnight Sun (2018)

Midnight Sun

Director: Scott Speer

Cast: Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Rob Riggle, Quinn Shephard, Suleka Mathew, Nicholas Coombe

A 17-year-old girl suffers from a condition that prevents her from being out in the sunlight. – IMDB

I’m going to admit right away that Midnight Sun is very similar to a lot of teen romance films out there where one of the two have some sort of disease or whatnot. But due to my lack of knowledge of other movies (and I hear this compared most to Everything Everything which I haven’t seen), the only one that I can say this gave me similar feels to A Walk to Remember. For lots of Nicholas Sparks movie haters, this might not sound like much however if you are like me and do have tolerance for it, I actually thought that Midnight Sun had that genuine feeling to it that A Walk to Remember gave me which is a praise in itself because I honestly love that film. Its a film with a love story where this young couple find courage and encouragement to reach for their own potential and their dreams despite things that happened that make them scared to go for it completely.

With that said, my biggest praise goes to Bella Thorne who has broken out of her typical bitchy high school girl role and taken on this much more docile role as a girl, Katie with a condition that prevents her from going out in the sunlight because it can cause her body to deteriorate. However, she strives to be seen as a normal girl especially in front of a boy that she’s only dreamt of meeting until the day that she does and he is attracted to her. Its a fairly typical course of events and you can call it contrived in its own ways and its not like the plot is going to win any awards for uniqueness, but movies likes these lie in the genuine chemistry and course of events that build up these two characters and Bella Thorne does a fantastic job in her role (even if her singing bits could be better). This is the first film that I’ve seen of Patrick Schwarzenegger and he has great chemistry with Bella Thorne and he is a pretty decent young actor as well. With time and more roles, we will see how his career goes and the potential he has.

Movies like Midnight Sun really appeals to a certain type of audience and for myself, it worked because it wasn’t all about the love story and it had something a little more, especially in the positive bits of a love story even in one doomed to end early as expected here. This one also remembered that Katie’s life didn’t only have love but also highlights her relationship with her friendship and her father, making the movie and Katie a much more real character with so much more to lose.

Nappily Ever After (2018)

Nappily Ever After

Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour

Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Ricky Whittle, Lyriq Bent, Lynn Whitfield, Ernie Hudson, Daria Johns, Camille Guaty, Brittany S. Hall

Violet Jones tired of waiting for her longtime boyfriend to propose, breaks up with him. But old feelings, and heaps of jealousy, no doubt, arise when he promptly begins dating another woman. – IMDB

You know, I have to say that the IMDB synopsis here is really not accurate to what Nappily Ever After is about. Its how it starts but I don’t know if jealousy is what causes things to go in motion, more than our main character figured things out at the end of the film about what matters to her and the things worth holding on and such. Is there a romantic angle to this? For sure! There’s a lot of that going on here especially because she realizes that she doesn’t want to wait for this man who she realizes won’t marry her and breaks up with him. However, she ends up getting drunk and doing something crazy like cutting away her staple of perfection and pride which is her hair which completely changes her course because she loses her physical beauty but owns up to her beauty regardless of her hair length. Its a pretty great story in that sense and inspirational and motivating and has all the positive vibes.

Is it really the standout for its romance? Not really. Its not to say that the scenes with Sanaa Lathan and Lyriq Bent weren’t full of chemistry because they were. They had some great moments which gave a nice contrast between this romance versus the previous one with the guy who wouldn’t marry her played by Ricky Whittle. I’ve always Ricky Whittle as he’s a pretty handsome man in general and has done some great roles, somehow this one isn’t one that I particularly thought was much since he was fairly shown little. Sanaa Lathan played her main lead role beautifully especially in interpreting the story plus I love how the film was split in chapters in the hair length/style that she had  in each stage which is pretty unique. Its supposedly based on a novel which I didn’t know before writing up this review so maybe that is how it was done in the book. Tell me if thats the case if you have read it. I’m interested in knowing.

Another aspect here was Daria Johns as Zoe who plays a daughter of Will (Lyriq Bent) who does such a charming job. Plus it brought in another angle to the story that gave it this very natural feeling and heartwarming moments especially as she found a way to see through Zoe how a childhood should be and what matters.

Thats it for this Valentine’s double feature!
Just saying that this double feature thing will continue through the rest of the alphabet but less frequent during the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon which starts soon!

Have you seen either of these films? Thoughts?

Valentine’s Double Feature: Krrish (2006) & Little Dragon Maiden (1983)

Nothing does better than a foreign film double feature, right? Haha. Its the reality over here however, with a Bollywood superhero/romance film Krrish and a Shaw Brothers film, Little Dragon Maiden, I’m hoping that these two Netflix alphabet selections will grab some of your attention. I had no choice because the choices were really limited for these two letters plus let’s be honest that a Bollywood viewing has been overdue.

Let’s check it out!

Krrish (2006)

Krrish

Director: Rakesh Roshan
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Rekha, Sharat Saxena, Manini M. Mishra, Naseeruddin Shah

Krishna is forced by circumstances to use his superpowers and become a masked superhero, Krrish, before getting drawn towards his lost legacy. – IMDB

Being the very clueless person that I am, I totally didn’t realize that Koi Mil Gaaya is actually the movie before Krrish which this movie refers to quite a bit but still stays self-contained so not watching the previous one didn’t affect my understanding of this at all. With that said, this one is a Bollywood superhero movie which starts off pretty heavy on the romance and Bollywood bits with the second act being more Krishna (Hrithik Roshan) discovering his way to be helpful but keep his identity hidden as a superhero/vigilante. The third act is being a lot more action-packed with more fight scenes.

Starring the very handsome Hrithik Roshan (who I first saw in Dhoom 2) and the beautiful pre-Hollywood Priyanka Chopra, its really quite fun to see them together although the romance bits are pretty much really cheesy (as you would expect in a Bollywood film). At the same time, the story is pretty innocent especially because Roshan’s character Krishna has lived most of his life away from people and big cities so when he goes to Singapore to follow the love of his life, he’s a bit like fish out of pond sort of deal which always brings in some laughter but then he is always incredibly smart because he has special abilities. While the romance parts took up most of the first act and a part of the second act, it still felt not as effective as the center of the film being about Krishna finding the way to become Krrish, a masked superhero who ends up saving the day when a fire breaks out at the circus and then leading him to discover his own background especially his father’s past against the evil man of a big corporation who dreams about building a machine to see the future and become God. This part all links to the first film mentioned above because that story is told there.

All in all, as great as Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik Roshan is in Krrish, the romance didn’t grab me a whole lot and the songs weren’t really my taste either. However, while the romance here didn’t quite work, the superhero aspect did. Sure, there was some unrealistic CG effects going on here but then this movie is in the 2000s so its easy to overlook it. I’d be interested to eventually catch up with the first film and the movie after this one, oddly titled Krrish 3 (which made me think that there was a Krrish 2 until I did further research).

Little Dragon Maiden (1983)

little dragon maiden

Director: Shan Hua
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Jing-Jing Yung, Kuan Tai Chen, Leanne Lau, Ni Tien

Little Dragon Maiden mixes the old with the new to create pure golden magic as kung-fu fighting veterans Chen Kuan-Tai and Lo Lieh join relative newcomer Leslie Cheung in a far-out swordplay love story that rocks. – IMDB

Guilty as charged that I haven’t really seen any Shaw Brothers films. If I have, it was when I was really young that I don’t even remember it. However, big fan of Leslie Cheung here and Little Dragon Maiden is a story that almost everyone who knows the Chinese culture has heard of and know at least the basic love story involved. Even though, I haven’t seen a whole lot of movie interpretations of it before, this might be the first one that I finished, its a familiar story.

Somehow pairing this with Krrish works because most of the story is about Yang Guo played by Leslie Cheung who starts off as an orphan and ends up being taken in by who he learns is his father’s killer who doesn’t want to teach him martial arts and when asked, gets sent to join a martial arts sect who bullies him because of his father and he ends up seeking refuge in the Ancient Tomb sect which is where the Little Dragon Maiden is. Because of a promise she made, she ends up taking him in despite the sect’s rules. The obvious happens where they do fall in love. I can get that this story would be touching but due to the length and how its executed, its more outstanding in its martial arts and personality development in Yang Guo rather than the love story which involved some misunderstandings and some bad stuff that happens to the Little Dragon Maiden.

With that said, the fight scenes here and the martial arts bits and such are really fun to watch. Similar to how I liked the creatures in Labyrinth, Little Dragon Maiden has the magical Condor who is a key element in the actual book that its based on which ends up making a late appearance but the design as silly as it looks because it just didn’t age well, there is this fantastic charm to it. You can see it in the poster above.

That’s it for this Valentine’s double feature for the K & L selection!
Have you seen these two foreign films? If so, thoughts?

Valentine’s Double Feature: Ibiza (2018) & Just Friends (2005)

Working out a lovely pacing this Valentine’s marathon as we land on the 5th double feature on this Netflix alphabet journey with I & J selection! Ibiza has been on my list a little bit but I have come to realize that late night comedies aren’t always my thing so I have put it off until now. Well, Just Friends is more of a random choice but it was on my list because of Ryan Reynolds so here we are!

Lets check it out!

Ibiza (2018)

ibiza

Director: Alex Richanbach

Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Phoebe Richardson, Vanessa Bayer, Richard Madden, Felix Gomez, Jordi Molla, Michaela Watkins

A young American woman and her two best friends seek out a hot DJ in Spain. – IMDB

Late night comedies are usually not my first choice in films. Plus, I haven’t seen the series Love yet so I also don’t have that connection for Gillian Jacobs. The start of Ibiza definitely doesn’t quite define how it gets. There are some fun messages here about going with your heart and throwing things to chance and finding your path. These three best friends are a little ridiculous sometimes and have their annoying moments but these are the usual path of late night comedies when it gets odd and it depends on how the viewer feels. Some bits were just not for me. But, there is this carefree feeling as we see the Gillian Jacobs character really let go. Especially in all her awkwardness along with Richard Madden’s character but they also have mad chemistry and passion which is so heart melting to watch.

Despite weird moments, running after the thing you want and having someone chase after you is the whole end game of Ibiza. Its somewhat a self-discovery for our main character that she finds on her Ibiza trip when she finds her value. Ibiza has a more multi-layer story where on the surface its finding this one time encounter that just took her breath away but the choices she makes after that changes the course of her character arc. It seems like my thinking is far-fetched but there’s something more here and it explains the abstract ending which just works for me.

Plus, Ibiza also gets points for having some great music especially seeing as its set with Richard Madden playing a DJ called Leo and EDM is my jam and I really liked the music aspect of it throughout, even outside of the club scenes.

Just Friends (2005)

Just friends

Director: Roger Kumble

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein, Chris Marquette, Fred Ewanuick, Amy Matysio, Julie Hagerty

While visiting his hometown during Christmas, a man comes face-to-face with his old high school crush whom he was best friends with — a woman whose rejection of him turned him into a ferocious womanizer. – IMDB

No idea Just Friends is a Christmas movie, well, set during Christmas at least. Just Friends comes about halfway for me. On one hand, there are some funny moments and its to be expected. At the same time, it falls somewhere in the romantic comedy area where its predictable, really weird and at times also incredibly awkward. There are bits that run overly long and then there’s the romance thing which I guess worked but I’ve also seen it done better. To be honest, its not anything special but it has a few laughs as well.

These sort of movies are also the hardest to talk about because technically, nothing really is that bad but nothing is too good either. What hinges on Just Friends enjoyment is how much you enjoy the humor here. Anna Faris has always been an actress that I’ve rarely enjoyed watching because her humor is very odd and awkward and in this one, she plays a singer that is incredibly weird. At the same time, there’s this awkwardness between the main leads throughout most of the film, driving a lack of chemistry and potential desire so when the end game happens, it feels like a fairly rushed sort of ending but its a Hollywood romantic comedy which usually means a happy ending.

That’s it for this double feature!
I and J is now done and we’ll be moving onto the next pairing very soon!
Have you seen these films? What did you think of them?

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?

What’s Up 2019: Week 5 Valentine’s Marathon Begins!

Week 5 is heavy on movies. Valentine’s Marathon was announced and right away, the movie section is full and packed yet again, perhaps to make up for the lack thereof of last week. At the same time, everything else is progressing forward as well, except for playing which still has some space to do more of.

READING

the girl from everywhere

  • The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Currently reading: One Flew Through the Dragon Heart (Favan & Flew #1)

Finished off The Girl From Everywhere right at the end of the week. Its pretty good. Its not a romance but more of an adventure and the fantasy element of time travel through sailing with maps drawn at whichever time and whichever world. Its an interesting concept and premise. The characters itself are also quite fun with mentorship, family and love all put into the equation here. The story takes a little bit to build up but in the final third of the movie, it takes quite a nice turn of events. With that said, i literally started very little of One Flew Through the Dragon Heart which is for an upcoming blog tour.

PLAYING

futuregrind

Currently playing: FutureGrind

I’ve taken a break from everything else and mostly took time to watch movies and TV series so gaming took a backseat as I still have a lot of editing in limbo after the work deadline ended. The only game I started was recent release of FutureGrind which is interesting to say the least. It has some comparisons to something like Trials but then it has its sci-fi factors as well. I’m only 10% in so I’m sure there is still lots to discover in the game.

WATCHING

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

  • All I See Is You (Review)
  • The Big Wedding (Review)
  • Candy Jar (Review)
  • Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Review)
  • Endless Love (2014) (Review)
  • Hellboy
  • Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
  • Forever My Girl (Review)

Valentine’s Marathon is finally upon us for the first 14 days of February. Working on double feature means romance films are completely top priority. I started it later than I expected so the backlog is non-existent. However, in between that, I managed to get through Hellboy and Hellboy 2 for Movies and Tea as that is our next episode to review in the next recording. Out of these, Hellboy 2 is one of the better films however if it was for the romance film choices, I’d go with Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Its fun and charming and full of some great roles played by very competent cast.

BINGING

fated to love you

  • Fated to Love You (Taiwan, 2008)

Currently watching: The Singer 2019, My Little One (Season 2)

After some fast and fun binging, I finished up Fated to Love You, otherwise called You’re My Destiny on Netflix. Remember this is the Taiwan version which is the first version released before a bunch of other ones were done. Its super charming to watch and reminded me of the traits of Taiwanese series which makes the second/supporting male lead the perfect man who never gets chosen by the female lead who also likes the flawed first male who has room to grow and develop. There is so much to love about Fated to Love You. I’m hoping to get this TV binge up during this Valentine’s marathon but I’ve been on a writer’s block writing up TV binges so hopefully I get out of it soon. I am still having incredible joy from The Singer 2019 and My Little One.

Overall, as with any marathon month, its a huge focus on movies.
I might make February focused on Romance films to finish up the alphabet because I won’t finish it in the 14 days for sure.
That’s it for this What’s Up!
What are you reading/watching/playing/binging?

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han

You can find the reviews of the previous two books:

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
P.S. I Still Love You

Always and Forever, Lara Jean
(To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #3)
by: Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding. But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to? – Goodreads

There’s something so grounded about To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before book series. Whether its about popularity or finding your place, dealing with family pains or facing your feelings or trusting your heart. On top of the teenage woes that are very much relatable or reminiscent, the array of characters are wonderfully well-written, especially our two main characters, Lara Jean and Peter. These love birds have gone through high school at this point and they are at the point where the next big stage in life is here and its a decision to choose to be together and how to do it so that both sides can face their own fears but still hold on to what matters to them and taking the leap of faith. College (or as I call it university in Canada) is a huge step which does have all these realistic ideas that insecurity comes into play and uncertainty also comes along as well making decisions that are true to what you like and accepting the disappointment of rejection and the joys of new doors opening. All this is so well-portrayed in Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

Jenny Han sculpts these two fantastic characters but also all the supporting ones are equally as engaging to read because the stories are not about just teen romance but also embodies a lot of other factors that create these characters including family and other factors. While this story does follow quite the expected storyline of love and loss, big decisions and disappointments that I mentioned before, it somehow feels even more grounded than its previous two stories and that is because through the last two books we’ve bonded with Lara Jean and suddenly these events she goes through feels very real as well. Its the beauty of reading really well-executed books that make them both incredibly fun to read but also have its fair share of heartbreak and heartwrenching decisions and the uncertainty of whether some decisions are worth it while other characters also end up getting this bigger part of their goals and motives that change the dynamic of the situation.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean is a really  great read. Its probably not as engaging as the first book but this one is much more grounded in a very real teenage situation and growing up and being able to making these tough choices. This trilogy has been solid through and through, bring alive some wonderfully colorful characters with still a decent amount of room for development and depth.

The books are now done