Tag Archives: movies

French Fridays – My Friends, My Love

This French Friday is a review of the French rom-com: My Friends, My Love.

My Friends, My Love Poster

After being fired from his job at a bookstore, Mathias finds an opportunity to move to London to run his own bookstore. The perks? His ex-wife and daughter live in London, as does his best friend Antoine. Hoping to win her back, Mathias relocates, only find his ex-wife leaving for Paris that same day. Now Vincent and his daughter move in Antoine and his son in a modern-day odd couple relationship. Trying to manage the day-to-day rules along with new love interests proves to be challenging for the friends.

Although this story is fairly formulaic, I still found it fun in a way that only a rom-com can be. The plot was overly simplistic and at times unrealistic. The main character’s best defining characteristics is his fear of heights. I actually found Antoine’s character more layered, but neither actor really sold their character. There were a few dull scenes, plus a death that made absolutely no sense whatsoever, in timing or with its addition to the story. The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name. So maybe the book has an explanation for that scene.

What I really appreciated about the movie was that it centered on the friendship of two single fathers, trying to do the best for their children while still trying to navigate (or completely ignore) their love lives. It was a refreshing take on gender roles. The movie is set in London, in a little district known as “Frog Alley”, being heavily populated by the French. I loved the landscape, the cute little streets and amazing architecture. I think I watched the movie more for the setting than for the story.

Overall, I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars. Its not good, but its not bad either.

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French Cinema

I think I’ve hit a wall on French memoirs and fiction. I think I’ve pretty much read everything I want to/need to read. Although I am discovering picture books set in Paris with my son (he loves Madeline and Babar right now), I haven’t been indulging in as many French travel books as before. They all seem repetitive and it really seems like Scandinavia is really plugging their culture as the hip new thing everyone should be obsessed with. There are a number of books about hygge and other elements of Danish living that are flooding the  blogs and bookshelves right now.

All this is a long-winded way of saying that I’ve been delving more and more into French movies. Contemporary, fun, and interesting French films. Since there is no Goodreads for movies, I figure this blog is the best way to really document what I’m watching.

I’m not quite sure what is it about French films. Its not even that they are set in France. Its really the stories that they tell. Maybe its the limited budgets, but the stories are so much more streamlined and less hyperbolic than American movies. There is so much less fluff, less nonsense, less arbitrary supporting characters.

I’m playing a bit of catch-up with this post, but hopefully I’ll have a weekly movie review coming up on this site. Well, maybe weekly. Or as often as I watch a French film.

Le Chef Poster

(2012)  A young chef, Jacky, keeps getting fired because he gets creative in the kitchen. An older chef, Alexandre, puts up a battle, knowing that he’ll soon be bumped from his coveted position to make room for another young chef who specializes in molecular gastronomy. In a world of food, friendships and rivalries, Jacky & Alexandre work together to save Alexandre’s job.

 

Haute Cuisine Poster (2012) This is a wonderful biographical movie about chef Danièle Delpeuch and how she was appointed as the private chef for François Mitterrand. She dealt with an enormous amount of sexism in the kitchen, but nevertheless, produced some amazing meals for the president. Its a wonderfully touching and inspiring movie.

All That Glitters Poster

(2010) Lila and Ely are best friends who live just on the outskirts of Paris. They go to the clubs on the weekends and are your typical party-girls with hears of gold.  When Lila begins a relationship with a wealthy Parisian, she and Ely soon begin living a lie about their own financial status, putting a strain on their friendship as well as on their relationships with their families. I really adored this movie. Anyone who is not born into glamour or wealth can appreciate the motivation of these two girls to keep up with high-society.

Blind Date Poster (2015) Fed up with living under her father’s thumb, a young pianist finds an apartment to call her own. On her first night, she runs away thinking its haunted. Further inspection leads her to find out that its actually her neighbor. A shy, reclusive artist who hates sharing the thin walls with anybody.  Things get interesting when she moves in and won’t stand for his demand for absolute quiet. Its a very cute and funny love story. I can picture an early 80s American version with Meg Ryan.

The Intouchables Poster

(2011)  This one is my absolute favorite that I have seen so far. I can safely say I like it better than Amelie (ducks undercover). This is the story of a man who becomes quadriplegic after a paragliding accident and his rough-around-the-edges caretaker. The two form an unlikely friendship. Philippe is a young aristocrat surrounding by pity, Driss is recently released from jail and looking for any way to support his mother and their large family. This movie is actually based on a true story. It really reminded me of Jojo Moyes Me Before You. Its sentimental, but not a tear-jerker. The characters are authentic and relatable without feeling forced. I highly recommend this movie if you ever have the chance.

Cabled sweater

Yesterday was a very good day. I finished another sweater last night. I’m so happy to be done with this sweater. I bought the yarn back in early February and have had to take apart the sleeves 3 times because they just came out wrong, or used up too much yarn not leaving enough to finish the project. But its over and I’m happy. =) Its my own pattern, I don’t have a name for it though.

I knit this with 3 skeins of Cascade 220 Heathers in Colorway 9426 (Regency). I knit it in the round top down using a generic raglan cardigan pattern. The front panel is five 2st cables, and the back is two 6st cables, and each sleeve has a 6st cable running all the way down. It fits really snug, even though it looks pretty bulk on the manequin. The sleeves ride up a bit, but I don’t care to buy a whole new ball of yarn, or redo the sleeves for the a 5th time to fix it.

The Front

The Front

The Back

sweater-back.jpg

I found Supernatural season 2 dvd on sale for $22.99 at Target (I couldn’t find it under $35.oo anywhere online). That’s a full $23 off the normal price!

I watched ‘Death at a Funeral’ with my best friend and sister last night. It was one of the more interesting films I’ve watched. Its a british comedy about all this chaos that goes on during a funeral. It stars the ever popular and comedic Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly) as a soft spoken man who accidently takes acid thinking its valium, and a dwarf male that tries to blackmail the son of the deceased by claiming he had an affair with the dad, and a large number of imbeciles trying to conceal all of this from the rest of the guests at the funeral. Its british humor…so that take to mean whatever it means. Its smart and funny, but not slapping your knee, laughing so hard you cry funny.

I also rented 3:10 to Yuma, which I intend on watching sometime this weekend. I’ve heard good things about it, and I like westerns.

The Hoax

the-hoax.jpgI watched the movie the The Hoax the other night. I finally got around to renting the dvd. I had forgotten it was based on a true story until the end when they started giving little summaries of what happened to each of the main characters.

Here’s a quick review since this movie came out a while ago. Its the story of how Clifford Irving and his accomplish, Dick Suskind managed to con the world into thinking they had exclusive rights to write the autobiography of Howard Hughes. The movie was very clever, given the true story. How one man is able to charm, and lie his way for over 4 months, and even manage to set off the initial snowball that would escalate to the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Richard Gere was great in this role, I liked seeing him in as a more humble and vulnerable character, he usually plays the cocky, overly arrogant character. There was great chemistry between all the supporting characters too.

Its a look into the pyschosis and desperation of one man trying to publish a book. I guess his book was rejected 1 time too many, and something just snapped in him. He created this whole little fantasy world with this book, even trying to become Howard Hughes himself.

Given the eccentricities of Howard Hughes and how he had basically become a recluse from society, it was fun to see how Clifford using those characteristics to promote his lie all the more. The special features on the dvd had small segments of interviews between Mike Wallace and Clifford on 60’s minutes. I would love to see the full interview. I think there were two actually, one while the book was being written, and one after the truth came out and Clifford had served his time in jail. I would love to see both, and see how Clifford was able to fool everyone with nothing but lies and a strong imagination.

He eventually went on to write the book The Hoax, which details the whole event, and was the basis for the movie. I’m interested in reading the book now. I’ll have to see if my library has it.

I’d give the movie an A. It was well paced, good acting, good costumes and the plot well…nothing is stranger is nonfiction, nothing is more bizarre and makes you think more than nonfiction.

Reading wise… I’ve developed a new strategy where each night I’m going to read the first chapter from a different book of mine until I find one that I want to continue reading past the first chapter. Its a long process, but I’ll manage. I’m just stalling until April, when I’ll be done with graduate school, and can just focus on reading without feeling guilty about not doing homework instead.