Friday, February 19, 2010

Make 'Em Laugh

I was watching the film The Secret the other day, and one of the seconds talked about a woman who diagnosed with cancer. This woman decided to forgo the usual treatment and spend her time releasing stress by watching the funniest films she could find.

Now, I'm not suffering from cancer, or any other devastating disease that I'm aware of, but I do place myself under a lot of stress in my daily life, so I decided that maybe I needed to revel in a bit of humor from my own video shelves in the past few weeks. And I've found some doozies! Even after multiple viewings of each of these movies, they make me laugh right out loud every time I see them.

I know I always feel better after watching one of them. Maybe they can do the same for YOU!


The premise of this one alone is enough to make me start to chuckle. Sylvestor Stallone as a country singer? Add the perfect timing of real-life country singer Dolly Parton and you have a pair you will fall in love with, if you don't laugh yourself to death while Stallone is singing --is that what we call it? And the moment he dons the Rhinestone cowboy outfit and hits the back of a horse straight from The Electric Horseman? Priceless! You gotta watch it! This one's funnier than the auditions for America Idol.

Galaxy Quest

If you enjoyed last year's new Star Trek film, and if you were ever any kind of a fan of the TV show, you'll appreciate the subtle parallels that Tim Allen and crew bring to this movie. Maybe not every fan at World Con is wearing a costume, but when some real aliens show up, Commander Peter Quincy Taggert gets taken on a ride that teaches him more about himself than he ever could have learned alone if he really had traveled the entire universe. I really loved seeing "Snape" play a character perhaps a little too close to Mr. Spock than Nimoy himself would have liked. Laugh out loud at this one without feeling the least bit guilty.

American Dreamz

Wait! If you're really an American Idol and Simon Cowell fan, then you have GOT to see this one! Hugh Grant is dead-right on spot in his Cowell-like personae as the host of American Dreamz--with a Z! Mandy Moore's performance didn't thrill me all that much, but hey, the rest of the movie TOTALLY made up for it!

In & Out

By far the most irreverent, but also the most absolute side-splitting movie in the bunch, Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck can actually make you believe they are gay, even while knowing in your heart they are not. Joan Cusack's performance is perfect, and Debbie Reynolds and Wilford Brimley deliver stellar performances as the parent of the now-outed English teacher played by Kline. Just try not to pee your pants when Howard tries out his manly man tapes by trying to keep himself from dancing a little Y.M.C.A.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chick Flicks and Valentine's Day

February 14th, the day that used to be the most dreaded day of my life. Back in the days before I was married, I hated Valentine's Day. Why? I didn't have a boyfriend, lover, or special someone--a fact that was brought even more clear into my life and to the eyes of the world every Valentine's Day as flowers, candy, and special presents were delivered to the other girls in my classes starting somewhere when I was in grade school and following through for years of my teaching career.

Of course, all that changed for me when I met and married my husband, but I still found myself feeling the hurt of those girls who didn't get something special during the Valentine delivery parade at school on Friday. Oh, the student council tried to right the wrong by delivering candy-grams to almost everyone in the school (somehow a half dozen kids in my class got missed), but word soon spread who those secret admirer messages came from and those who got them still felt let down.

I understood their pain. Too many years of my own life found me hoping, wishing, praying that things would change. I was 40 before that happened. Even now, I think of al those years of looking for love and find myself ready for a good cry.

That's where a great chick flick comes in handy. If you want a great reason to cry without looking like you need to, find a film and settle in for the evening, tissues at the ready. My husband has been working out of town--although he will be here for the special day--but that hasn't kept me from hitting the video shelves and finding some great chick flicks to remind me just how special love is and how much I miss him.

Here's a quick run-down of the movies I've watched in the last couple weeks. Lucky for me, he was here for a couple to snuggle and remember just how much he loves me.

Who needs to go to a packed theater to enjoy a star-packed romantic comedy? Julie Roberts, Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and John Cusack headline this hysterically funny film that hits perhaps a little too close to the world of movie-making and celebrity where my husband and I sometimes live. Funny or not, this one will still make the true romantic have a little cry.

Another laugh-out loud comedy, Greek or not, I still identified with screenwriter and star Nia Vardalos in this film as Toula made her search for the perfect man by becoming the perfect woman. Every time I watch the movie, I thank God my family is NOTHING like hers, well. . . almost!

I first saw this movie in the theater with my husband, and we both loved the rich beauty of Italy, mixed with the romance of relationships that don't always work out the way you expect them to.

Okay, so you might ask how does a story about a man who ends up in a "It's a Wonderful Life" scenerio classify itself as a chick flick? Because Tia Leoni makes you want to live her life and love this man so much that when she almost loses him it will break your heart. I had to call my husband late, late at night after watching this one, just to tell him just how much I loved and missed him.

I watched this movie this afternoon in the kitchen with a houseful of boys, and cried like a baby when it looked like all was lost. And no, the tears weren't because I was figuring out the paperwork for taxes at the same time! I knew the problems worked out too easy in this ghost-like relationship between Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, and even though I was seeing the movie for a second time, my heart was broken when I thought, just for a moment, that nothing would work out right in the end. That's probably what hooked two of those boys to sit down and watch the movie with me to the very end. It's a good thing none of us walked away unsatisfied.

So, if you forgot to get your special someone a Valentine, or if your special someone hasn't yet walked into your life, I hope you have a great, romantic time anyway this Valentine's Day, and consider watching a chick flick sometime during the day. It will make you feel good about love, no matter what your current circumstances.