Once Upon a Time…

Hello again my lovelies! As I said two posts back, I recently discovered a new show to obsess over/totally fall in love with and it’s nothing short of sheer fairy tale perfection: Once Upon a Time! I first saw the show when it premiered and watched the first six episodes before I fell behind and quit — which isn’t unusual for me as I hate having to watch a show at a specific time every week, I’d rather just buy the seasons and binge watch whenever I want — but I loved what I saw and always wanted to catch back up, so for Christmas I grabbed the first three seasons on DVD and immersed myself in the wonders of Storybrooke Maine and the Enchanted Forest.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

I was immediately re-hooked and delighted by the familiar fairy tale characters and the awesome twists and turns that altered the stories just enough that I was left guessing. At first I watched it alone (my mom and brother were less than thrilled at my movie choice), then six episode in, my mother sat down and started watching — which meant when we finished season one we had to re-watch it so she could catch up and see it from the beginning — then before we started season two, my brother decided he was interested so we had to wait for him to catch up. So all in all I think I watched season one three times before we all sat down together, all equally obsessed at this point, and devoured the second and third seasons, placing our bets on who was who and what was going to happen next. (I totally called who was Bae and who was Pinocchio by the way, amongst other things.)

It was one of the most fun two weeks I’ve had in a while, just sitting with my family and all of us just totally enjoying the show and having such a great time together. (One of the funniest moments for me was when I came home and found my twenty-something brother sitting on the couch watching the show and he just looked up at me with a completely serious worried expression and was like: “I don’t know how Snow and Charming are going to work this one out…”). With great humor and poignancy, Once Upon a Time cast a magical spell and as each episode passed, I fell further and further in love. The complexity and growth of the characters and the story is superb and the acting in spot on. And while the graphics may not be perfect, they have a whimsical charm that just sucks you in until you don’t care that things look a little different.

A few of my favorite elements include the Rumplestiltskin /Belle relationship as well as the whole Bae/Emma/Hook deal (oddly enough I love Emma with both men, separately of course lol, which is way out of character for me as I am a pick-and-stick-until-death type of person but I just love both of those relationships and how each character grows from experiencing love.), Regina and Robin Hood, and the many, many complicated parent/child relationships: Rumple & Bae, Regina/Henry/Emma, Cora & Regina, and of course Snow White and Prince Charming with their daughter Emma, the savior of Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest.  Later on I’ll do a Favorite Moments List, but all in all the show is AMAZING and I can’t wait to see season four when it comes to DVD in August (so no spoilers please)!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To The Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To The Artist.

If you’ve not seen the show I cannot recommend it enough, and it you have seen it what do you think? Do you have a favorite character/couple/plotline…let me know!!!

Monday Movie: Dear Frankie

Hello my lovelies, it’s time again for another installment of Monday Movies and this week I’ve chosen the incredibly moving film Dear Frankie, starring Gerard Butler, Jack McElhone, and Emily Mortimer. Somehow, and I still don’t know quite how, considering the types of movies I generally watch, I was unaware of this film’s existence until a little over a year ago when the bestie and I saw a preview for it on another DVD. Apparently Dear Frankie was released in 2004, but no one I know ever got the memo; I guess it’s a little known treasure that really needs to be seen by the general populace. Needless to say, the bestie and I embarked on a search to find this movie and watch it for ourselves (the trailer was just amazing) and finally last week I discovered it on YouTube.  After she forked over the rental fee, the bestie and I sat back and waited (and hoped) to be amazed…and we were!

Image From Google

Image From Google

Dear Frankie is one of those films where everything is just superbly done, the cinematography, the story, the acting, the EVERYTHING, and it leaves you breathless and perhaps a bit teary at the end. (That last letter…OH  MY GOODNESS…the tears!) Personally I whimpered throughout the entire thing, but like I’ve said before, I’m a notorious crier when it comes to films, I can’t help it – I mean, every time Frankie said “Da” I about lost it. And thankfully, it wasn’t just a one-note film: there was a great deal of complexity and comedy, a dash of romance, suspense, warmth, and just so much more. It truly runs the emotional gambit. Emily Mortimer’s portrayal of a mom trying her hardest to protect her son was emotionally spot-on, I constantly felt her fear, angst, worry, and the all-encompassing love she had for her son.  And being a serious fan of Gerard Butler, I have to say this may be my favorite movie of his now, just the way his character interacted with Frankie touched my heart. Though, I think Jack McElhone’s depiction of Frankie stole the movie from these other great actors; really, he was amazing!

Image From Google

Image From Google

The premise of the movie is this: Frankie, his mother, and his grandmother are almost constantly on the move, they settle into a place for a time and then leave whenever they (the mom and grandmother) feel it’s necessary, (the movie explains why but I’m trying to avoid spoilers, though in all honesty I’m probably going to give something away later…just because I want to give my two cents on the subject). Frankie’s father is noticeably absent, but almost all of the narration is Frankie talking to his father through letters which he faithfully writes and has sent to the ship at sea where his father supposedly works. Frankie, we learn, is deaf, so his narration is the only way the movie-watcher gets to hear his voice and inner thoughts, and incidentally, it’s also the only way his mother gets to hear his voice, as she is the one who receives these letters and she is the one who writes back, pretending to be Frankie’s father. Why the deception, you may ask, well you’ll find out later.

Anyway, Frankie has a giant map in his room with which he tracks his father’s ship as each new letter explains where the ship is now and what it’s like in this new place and through the letters he bonds with a father he can’t even remember. And after a bet (involving his treasured stamp collection that contains all the stamps his father has sent him from across the world) is made at school involving a bully, Frankie learns that his father’s ship is heading back to Scotland and he hopes to finally see his mysterious father. Frankie’s mother then leaps into frantic action, she can’t let Frankie down, and so she goes about “finding” him a father, sort of like hiring a daddy-for-a-day. Gerard Butler ends up being that man. So Frankie finally gets to meet the father he loves so much and over the course of two days, Gerard realizes just how special Frankie and his mother are.

Image From Google

Image From Google

Now, I don’t want to give away the ending, so I’ll stop my synopsis there (though I will say the ending is more hope-inspiring than the cathartic release I was expecting). I went into this movie hopeful but unsure and left cheering. Frankie completely captured my heart, as did the rest of the characters, and I just couldn’t believe how well done this movie was. It was simply superb! And although elements of the story were a little fantastical, it didn’t feel that way, everything came across as really realistic, especially the scenes we see of Frankie’s real father.

*Spoiler Alert* These scenes chilled me to the bone and I was incredibly glad they were few and very brief. Having personally experienced mental abuse, I could completely relate to the grandmother’s near constant panic and the mother’s reluctance to let her guard down with such a man as her ex. The scene where the father is so apologetic and charming and then completely lashes out the moment he is denied something he wants, wow…trust me, it’s very realistic and it left me clutching my chair with quite a bit of force.

So if you’re one for semi-heartwarming tales of family, love, and the unpredictability of life, I’d say definitely give this movie a try! I also advise bringing some tissues, just in case you’re anything life me (seriously, I whimpered/sniffled the entire length of the movie)! If you have seen Dear Frankie, what did you think? Did you tear up a bit, or were you stoic on the outside but a complete emotional wreck on the inside? Let me know what you think!

Image From Google

Image From Google

(Next on the must find and watch list is: Adam, starring Hugh Dancy. Sooner or later, I’ll find this film and I have high hopes for it!)

Monday Movie: The Young Victoria

Hello my lovelies, it’s time once again for Monday Movies and this week I’ve chosen the incredibly moving and cinematically beautiful gem: The Young Victoria, starring the beautiful Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, and Paul Bettany. The film showcases the early struggles of Britain’s longest reigning monarch, from her youth as a overprotected and stifled young woman, to the dangers of her first turbulent years and Queen, as well as the touching romance with her husband Prince Albert. With its dazzling mix of danger, power struggles, court intrigue, political unrest, romance, and above all: life — the realism of beauty, frustrations, and pain of life — The Young Victoria is nothing short of sheer perfection!

Image From Google

Image From Google

Emily Blunt’s portrayal of a young and newly empowered young woman is stunning, she adds layer after convincing layer of realism to a woman who inspired an entire era. She artfully displays the impetuousness of youth, the joy of freedom, the fear of being forced back into smothering silence, and the strength it takes to put aside one’s doubts for the betterment of not only oneself but multitudes of others. There were moments where I cheered for her, I sighed and understood how she felt, and moments where I wanted to shake some sense into her. But I think that’s what makes Emily Blunt’s Victoria so realistic; she shows the audience the good and the foolish, and you can’t help but think that the real Victoria was all the wiser for the mistakes she made in her youth.

Image From Google

Image From Google

But not to be upstaged or forgotten, Rupert Friend is absolutely perfect as Price Albert! Imagine having to court a woman who holds all the power in the relationship and who could squish your heart beneath her boot if she wants. Kudos to Albert for being as patient and sweet with her as he was, maybe there’s hope for the existence of real gentleman out there after all! I think his shyness and desire to help improve the lives of others just makes him that much more endearing, even though he occasionally steps on Victoria’s toes in the process.  Rupert Friend’s portrayal of a man struggling to find his role in a relationship and a country where he has no real influence or power is heartfelt and just downright moving. And I love that after a while, he starts to stand up for himself!

Image From Google

Image From Google

Not only is the story itself compelling and the acting superb, but the cinematography is simply breathtaking! There are many moments in the film where I find myself lost in the magnificence of it all, thinking, that’s just so beautiful! From gorgeous landscapes, to palaces and gown after luscious gown, there is plenty to adore in this dazzling film. After only one viewing, this movie became one of my most treasured and loved DVDs and every time I watch it I’m left inspired and awestruck by the life of this amazing woman and the man who always stood beside her and played the game with her, not for her (Movie Line Reference!).

Image From Google

Image From Google

So what do you think my lovelies? Have you seen the film, and if so, what did you think? Is there any scene you loved in particular? (I loved when Albert learned to dance, and the scene with their two desks!)

Day Number…

Hello my lovelies! Sorry I’ve been away for so long, things have been a bit up in the air this past week or so and I just haven’t had the will to sit down and make myself post anything (although really it’s all I’ve thought about doing, lol).  I’m moving at the end of February and there’s just a lot going on, but I won’t bore you with the details, I just didn’t want y’all to think I had abandoned you! My posts should be normalizing time-wise in the next week but if it takes me a while to get anything new out please just stick with me, I’m doing my best 😀

But all that aside, let’s get into today’s topic shall we…

Image From Facebook

Image From Facebook

LOVE…sigh. I for one have always believed that true love is out there just waiting to be found — or you know, waiting to find me because let’s be honest here, my tracking and locating skills are like nil. I have problems following Mapquest instructions… yes really. And forget giving me directions involving street names (just tell me what it’s by for crying out loud) because all you’re going to do is confuse and annoy me. So in all actuality unless I just stumble across my True Love haphazardly (I am a kluz so it could happen I guess) I imagine it’s up to him to find me. Sorry Future-Man-Of-My-Dreams, I know it’s a lot of pressure but I have faith in you. And really, one of us needs to have these skills or heaven help us when the Robot apocalypse occurs and we can’t find our way out of a major city…but that’s neither here nor there.

Now I’m not one to sit and bemoan not having found my True Love yet (outside of my head at least, I can whine all I want too in my thoughts and you’ll never know…muwahahaha) but I rediscovered a song the other day that I hadn’t heard in years and not only did it make me literally laugh out loud, but it also made me think about my perspective on love (the song mentions prenups)… And over the course of this pondering, I realized that while I’m still a nutter about love and romance and all that good stuff, I have become a bit more cynical when it comes to the idea of love and/or True Love over the years. But that’s a product of life and growing up I think. It’s hard to keep a completely rosy outlook on love and marriage (which I equate with love — you know, you fall in love and get married) when you’ve watched your parents get divorced after years of unhappiness and you see the bitterness and the anger and all the things that could go wrong when you tie yourself to somebody.

I have always been the girl waiting for love, so full of faith that love was out there, and I still am. I just see things a bit differently now. I surprised the heck out of my mom and my best friend a few weeks ago when we were discussing women’s rights in Ireland and I mentioned that they have only recently within the last twenty or thirty years legalized divorce and how I could not imagine living in a place (in this day and age) where I could not get a divorce if I needed one. And that I would never live somewhere where I could not divorce someone, no matter how badly I wanted to live there. And since I am seriously one of the biggest romantics ever, this kind of threw them. For a moment they just stared at me with their mouths agape before finally my mom said (with a look of crestfallen, heartbroken-ness that I knew meant she blamed herself for my apparent loss of faith in love, which has been a major portion of my personality since I can remember) that she didn’t know divorce was so important to me.

(And I know what y’all are thinking, if she’s so romantically minded and believes in True Love, what the heck is she doing blogging about the importance of being able to undo a marriage?! But just stay with me, I have a point, I promise!)

It’s not divorce itself that’s so important to me, it’s the right to have one that I couldn’t do without. We’re human and sometimes we make mistakes, marriages are formed for all the wrong reasons, some people are not always who they appear to be, yadayadayada and so there must be an out. Imagine being trapped with someone, who for whatever reason, wasn’t right for you and who made your life miserable. *Shudder* I’ve always had a fear of being trapped, of being unable to escape something, but when I was younger I never thought of that fear applying to love. Now that I’m older I understand that love is a tricky B*tch and we all have to keep on our toes…that’s all I’m saying.

And having grown up completely enthralled by Disney Princess movies (I still adore them), I thought finding my True Love would be easy enough. I figured I’d fall madly in love when I was sixteen (you know…like the Princesses), get married, and Disney would eventually make a beautifully animated movie out of my epic romance. Yet sadly, it’s not so simple. I’ve passed my sixteenth year and still haven’t met my Prince Charming and honestly sometimes that just irks the bejesus out of me. Twenty-three isn’t old, and I’m far from being considered a spinster or anything, but when you’ve had a schedule in mind since you were five and you’re 6-7 years off that schedule it feels like a freaking eternity! There’s a line in the song I mentioned, where Fiona (yes, this is from Shrek the Musical…don’t judge) sings: “Ever after better get here, I want love in seconds flat,” and boy do I understand what she means. Sometimes it feels as if I’ve been waiting forever (The WAITING!!!!! …you’ll get it when you listen to the song) lol.

But divorce and the unscheduled waiting aside, in many ways, I’m still a fool about love. I can’t wait to experience it for myself and part of me still imagines it will be all Disney-like and coated in glitter or something. And maybe it will be, if I want it and dream about it and ask for it long enough (it’s called manifestation people!). But whether or not it’s dripping in glitter, I still know Love is out there. I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser over the years but really, I’m still just a big kid reading my fairy tales and dreaming about my Knight in Shining Armor.

And yes… I know it’s today.