Articles, Movie Reviews, Reviews

Movie Review: Isn’t It Romantic

review

isn't it romantic

Rebel Wilson proves she can hold her own as she lands a starring role in this feel good, hilariously funny romcom.

You definitely need to watch Isn’t It Romantic! It’s a fun, laugh-out-loud romantic musical comedy about loving oneself, appreciating others, and finding your true love living right under your nose.
 
I didn’t like Rebel Wilson’s characters in her other films. She was either too crass, too quirky, or too mean. I remember thinking, what a waste of pretty face and comic talent. But Isn’t It Romantic fits her to a T. The plot is just the right one for her.

Synopsis

Rebel Wilson is Natalie, a plus-size architect in New York. A low-esteemed cynic, courtesy of her equally cynic mother, she is unnoticed, unappreciated, and basically a doormat in their office. When she knocks herself out in the subway after foiling a mugging attempt, she finds herself in an alternate universe and the leading lady in her suddenly perfect, flowery romantic comedy life–complete with background music and overhead narrations! After a series of self-denials and mishaps, she learns to love herself first before needing anyone else, as well as realizing what she really wanted in a man. When she wakes up, she transforms herself to a strong woman, confident of herself and her architectural skills, and going after the man she really loves.

Get Ready to Laugh...and Wisen Up

I had a great time watching this movie. While it made a parody out of Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman scenes, it wasn’t being offensive–to me, at least. It showed a heroine reliving the 1990 top-grosser movie with a touch of straightforward reality, effectively mixing the ideal with the real. Along the way, it teaches a few lessons. That while the world and some people in it may turn up cruel and harsh, we can always find some things and some persons that are still beautiful and kind. That for all the world’s ugliness, there is always something to be thankful for. And the most important lesson of all: if we want to be loved the way we expect to, we should learn to love ourselves first. Not just to accept ourselves: strengths, flaws, and all, but to change what can be changed for the better; to assert our rights and refuse to be doormats of bullies. All these not to please anyone or everyone, but first and foremost, our self. 

Joining Rebel in this not-your-usual romcom movie is hunk Liam Hemsworth, the sultry Priyanka Chopra and Mr. Nice Guy Adam DeVine. Brandon Scott Jones and Betty Gilpin played Natalie’s friends, with Brandon providing the pivotal “Eureka!” moment for Natalie. These characters provided invaluable support which further made the film more worthy of my time compared to Sierra Burgess is a Loser. 

Sweet, funny but empowering. Oh, and if you love beta heroes more than alpha ones, this movie is definitely for you!

“Isn’t It Romantic” is now streaming internationally on Netflix.

Rating:
4/5

If you’re a movie buff like me and don’t have Netflix, you may want to check out Amazon Prime Video. It has a treasure trove of movies to buy or rent.

Better yet, here’s a direct link to the movie through Apple Movies.

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Articles, Book Reviews, Reviews, Short Stories

Review: Premium Harmony

review

premium harmony

A short story by Stephen King published in The New Yorker.

Stephen King is not the King for nothing. Although his style in this story is a bit different from his other works, it just proves he’s a versatile writer who can spin words and emotions in many different ways.

This tale also requires a concentrated effort in reading between the lines. Underneath the simple language, funny parts and seemingly disordered mess, there’s depth and meaning. I have come upon quite a number of discontented reviews on this, and, quite frankly, I almost became one myself. But I believe Mr. Stephen to be a very talented writer who will not write anything just for the sake of it. As with every story I read, I always look for what the author was trying to tell me, the reader. It’s also a challenge to try to unravel the writer’s mind. After three readings, I came to understand King’s wisdom.

The central theme is about marriage. Specifically, the marriage of two incompatible people, Ray and Mary. Or, by analogy, people who have drifted apart from each other, who have changed over the years, who have grown apart. It depicts the image of many marriages today: marriages where boredom and indifference had set in, and love, that glorious feeling they had at the beginning, has faded in a background of monotony, resentment and discord.

“When they argue, they’re like greyhounds chasing the mechanical rabbit. You go past the same scenery time after time, but you don’t see it. You see the rabbit.”

I wouldn’t change anything in this story. The story was perfect for me. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. To some, reading this may be like a road leading to nowhere. But if you walk carefully and slowly, you’ll find yourself treading toward a sure destination.

The story begins with the state of their marriage: ten years, childless, nearly bankrupt, arguing a lot. His wife was barren, overweight, constantly bickered him on his smoking and over almost anything, a bit extravagant for his own taste. He’d bought her a dog, a Jack Russell named Bizz, whose loyalties turned to her, and the three of them were on their way to Walmart to buy grass seed for their lawn, which she insisted is needed to be able to sell their house. They stopped at Quik Pik to buy a purple ball for her niece, again, at her insistence and with his compliance. There, two things happened one after the other, giving Ray the freedom he didn’t know he wanted.

The ending was expected of Ray, whose character background was well-portrayed – his unhappiness and discontent over his marriage – and who, after his initial shock and sadness, was already thinking of a life diferent from what he had for the last ten years.

“It comes to him that now he can smoke all he wants, and anywhere in the house. He can smoke right there at her dining-room table.”

He was finally free of a suffocating, dull marriage, and he was looking forward to a bright future. (I was thinking of the dog, though. The author didn’t mention if Ray took him out of the car before he drove to the hospital with the windows closed and the air-conditioning on.)

“Ray smokes all the way to the hospital with the windows shut and the air-conditioning on.”

When you think about it, even the title depicted the theme of the story. Ray said it perfectly:

“‘That off-brand. Premium Harmony, they’re called.’ They taste like homemade shit, but all right.”

Ray was settling for less in life: cheap cigarettes as well as a boring life with a fat, bickering, disagreeable wife, and an ungrateful dog who loves his wife more than him – just to survive or to exist. He was trapped and didn’t have the guts to get out of it. The solution was taken out of his hands, and in a span of one hour! Lucky fella.

 

Rating:
5/5

Stephen King is an acclaimed award-winning American best-selling author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction as well as non-fiction books. Many of his books have been adapted into films and television series.  

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Book Reviews, Reviews

Book Review: Ghost of a Feeling

trinidad-ghost-of-a-feeling5 out of 5 stars

I really loved this book and highly recommend this to everyone!

Reading Cris’ story felt very much like steadily climbing a steep, rocky hill, reaching the top, then merrily sliding down, coming to a grassy, peaceful pasture.

The book was beautifully woven with a seamless plot and perfectly, realistically intertwined characters. Chapter by chapter, the pieces of the puzzle were made to rightfully fall snugly to their proper place to form a beautiful tapestry of relatable human emotions and the triumph of human courage.

I love Nathan. He is the perfect guy, the long-suffering lovestruck martyr whom fate (with a stroke of ingenuity and a strange sense of humor) took pity on, giving him a second chance at love because he deserved it.

Cris struck so many chords and echoed the exact same sentiments achingly familiar to many of us. Maybe in varying degrees and in different situations, but the emotions and the never ending questions are the same.

Far be it from me for thinking wishfully, but I sincerely, truly pray that this book can be a personified version of Emilio/Nathan to all the Cris-like people out there. That by reading this, anyone contemplating to jump over the ledge in a moment of utter despair will be stopped and given a new ray of hope – hope that life is still worth living and that if we just KEEP ON, happiness may just be waiting around the corner.

Thank you, Celestine Trinidad, for giving me this opportunity to read Ghost of a Feeling’s ARC in exchange for an honest review.

You can buy this book HERE.