The Girls

Review of The Girls - Missalaneyus

The Girls by Emma Cline is easily one of the most buzzed about books of the summer. I bought it a few weeks ago and finally cracked it open on our family vacation.

The story centers around Evie, who is drawn into a cult in the late 60’s. Inspired by Charles Manson and the murders his followers committed, the depiction of life on “the ranch” is chilling. The author moves between Evie’s perspective as an adult and as a fourteen year old.

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AFI Top 100 Movie Reviews

afi top 100 movie review

Today, I’m sharing four, new movie reviews from our AFI Top 100 Movie project. You can find each of our his and hers reviews here, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, Keegan and I are working our way through the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time list. Sometimes, we agree. Others, we couldn’t be further apart. We only watch the ones that we both haven’t already seen. 

Shane
Lane: Hmm…..I’m not sure what to say about this one. I saw it once in middle school. I didn’t like it much then. I felt similarly about it this time around – though may have liked it a bit better.

Keegan: Come on Lane! Shane is a classic. Cool stranger from out of town. Saving the day and riding away. It’s the classic hero story. Who doesn’t like that plot?

It Happened One Night
Lane: I loved this movie. I’ve been a big fan of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable for at least 20 years now. Their on-screen chemistry is off the charts in this classic romantic comedy. Watch it and skip Keegan’s review.

Keegan: If you loved Philadelphia Story, then get excited because this movie will be like a sequel. Conversations galore while I snored.

A Streetcar Named Desire
Lane: So in high school, I was a theater geek and read a lot of Tennessee Williams’s plays, including this one. I saw the movie about the same time, and while the performances are epic in this one, I wished the movie script had stayed a little truer to the original.

Keegan: Marlon Brando was really good in this movie, but not a very good dude. Pretty horrible actually. It’s a really good movie with lots of levels and complicated characters. It’s not Rambo, but it doesn’t suck.

Rear Window
Lane: I love this movie. It is one of my favorites from Hitchcock. It’s incredible the way he draws intriguing storylines from glances into apartment windows. Aside from centering around a good mystery, it’s also pretty funny. Two thumbs up.

Keegan: After the snoozers (literally) we’ve been watching, I had the bar pretty freaking low for this one. I really enjoyed this movie. I’ve never seen a Grace Kelley movie, and she’s not bad to watch. I really like Jimmy Stewart also. He’s a solid actor. The story line moves well and it’s entertaining for being shot from one set. Good movie.

 

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Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians - MissalaneyusSo, I’m a little late to the Crazy Rich Asians party. This book was recommended to me about a year ago by a friend, and I snapped it up pretty quickly. Then, I sort of forgot I had it – despite the fact that it’s been buzzed about for a while.

And, I’m pleased to report I can see why. This light read has well drawn characters and offers a look into a world I:

  1. Never knew existed and
  2. Will never have access too. Ever.

While I enjoyed the book, I was a little annoyed that not all of the plot lines are resolved at the end. In fact, there are quite a few loose ends hanging all over the place. I guess I’ll just have to pick up the sequel…….(Kevin Kwan – you’re one crafty man.)

 

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More AFI Top 100 Movie Reviews

afi top 100 movie review

Today, I’m sharing four, new movie reviews from our AFI Top 100 Movie project. You can find each of our his and hers reviews here, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, Keegan and I are working our way through the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time list. Sometimes, we agree. Others, we couldn’t be further apart. We only watch the ones that we both haven’t already seen. 

King Kong
Lane: This movie was so long. I could appreciate that it was ground breaking, but hope to never watch it again. Ever.

Keegan: If you think about the special effects created for the movie and the technology for the time it was made, this movie is really amazing. The story line is so so, and the acting is so so, and the movie is so long, but the effects were impressive for being a 1933 film.

Bonnie and Clyde
Lane: Hmm….I’m not sure what to say about this one. I liked it, but I remember getting bored. Faye Dunaway’s wardrobe in it is on point, but it dragged a bit despite the thrilling premise.

Keegan: I liked this movie, but (shocker) it was long. Why are all these movies so freaking long? I thought Warren Beatty was really good in this, and I found the relationship between Bonnie and Clyde to be entertaining (apparently Clyde was a bit of a prude). Didn’t see that coming.

Midnight Cowboy
Lane: So disturbed by this movie, so disturbed.

Keegan: See above. Ok, really. You keep waiting for it to get good. It doesn’t. It just gets strange.

The Philadelphia Story
Lane: This is one my favorites. Katherine Hepburn is fantastic in it. The dialogue is smart and fast-paced. Keegan hated it. (He does not have great taste in movies – read most of his reviews to find out.)

Keegan: If you like movies where there is a lot of witty banter, BOY HAVE I GOT A MOVIE FOR YOU. Gents, this movie will present you with an excellent opportunity to catch a nap. I did.

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Fairy Tale Girl

the fairy tale girl

My mom gifted me The Fairy Tale Girl by Susan Branch about a month or two ago. I finished it towards the end of May and have to say it was absolutely delightful.

The story is auto-biographical, sharing a look into Susan’s childhood and early adult life. It kicks off with the ending of her marriage (her husband cheats on her). (This is not a spoiler – it happens immediately). And then, it sort of winds back through her life leading up to it.

If you’re looking for something light that you can read at a leisurely place, I completely recommend it. As an added bonus, it gives a glimpse into what life was like in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.

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AFI Top 100 Movie Reviews

afi top 100 movie review

It’s been a minute since we reviewed an AFI top 100 film, but we have a bunch queued up and ready to go. Today, I’m sharing four new ones. You can find each of our his and hers reviews here, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, Keegan and I are working our way through the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time list. Sometimes, we agree. Others, we couldn’t be further apart. We only watch the ones that we both haven’t already seen. 

The Best Years of Our Lives
Lane: This chronicles the lives of several men after they return home from war. It was really good (though a bit longer than I would have liked). The performances were fantastic. In particular, I thought Myrna Loy was exceptional.

Keegan: I don’t remember this movie at all. It was that good.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Lane: In this movie, Humphrey Bogart is a gold digger who scores big. He and his partners slowly fall apart as they sit on the fortune. Sounds exciting, right? Well, it was incredibly long. I didn’t think I was going to make it all the way through it, but I did. I don’t have many positive things to stay about this one.

Keegan: This movie went on and on and on. It was an interesting take on the dynamic of trust between gold miners. It definitely give you a moment of thinking “Yep, I bet that’s what it was like.” There was constant tension and over the top music to punctuate the drama. Did I mention it went on an on?

Dr. Strangelove
Lane: I’ve never liked this movie, which probably makes me completely unhip. Just call me uncultured. I don’t care. I’ll be watching the Real Housewives.

Keegan: I’d never seen this movie (obviously), and I was really excited to watch it. I thought it was great. The characters were quirky, and I found this movie to be really entertaining. That makes me the hip one.

The Sound of Music
Lane: We skipped this one, because we’ve both seen it before. However, I’ve loved The Sound of Music since I was a little girl. From ages 5 to 8, I felt the urge to dance around like Liesl every time I saw a gazebo.

Keegan: This show is required watching for anyone who grew up in the rural Kansas School districts (prior to being broke). It’s a happy film, so there’s that. I never cared for it much.

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Jennifer Greene

jennifer greene

I’ve confessed it here before, but for years, (like over 20) I have loved romance novels. In middle school, I read Phyllis Whitney and Nora Roberts all the time, which basically ruined men for me.

Then, as I got older, I read Susan Elizabeth Philips and Jennifer Cruisie, because there characters were pretty funny.

Flash forward to a month ago, I  started binge reading a “new to me” author and have been on an obsessive romance reading streak once again. A veteran in the industry, Jennifer Greene‘s books are delightful. I’ve been picking up reprints on my nook for .99 and am loving the 80’s fashion, as well as the spunky heroines.

I’d love to know “Which romance authors do you like?”

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Book Review: Why Not Me

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Mindy Kaling. I loved her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and so, as you can imagine, I was excited to pick up Why Not Me?.

why-not-me

In a nutshell, this book picks up where the other left off. Her first talked a lot about lessons learned over the course of her life. This one offers insight into how things have changed now that she has become famous. Some of my favorite parts were:

  • A look into an “average” day on-set at The Mindy Project.”
  • A Sliding Doors take on what her life could have been had she not gone to Hollywood – complete with an imagined romance that I now want to see onscreen.
  • A no B.S. look at what it takes to look camera ready.
  • The description of her relationship with B.J. Novak.

Have you read the book? What did you think of Why Not Me?

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5 New Books to Read This Weekend

books

So, this round-up of books is basically full of light reads. Other than the fourth one listed, your mind will not be expanded reading any of these, but sometimes that’s the point.

A fun, simple getaway can be just what the doctor ordered when life is busy and hard. For me, reading has never had to be so serious. Instead, it has been a way to escape or learn something new, which is why I enjoy it and continue to (try to) make time for it.

  1. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake: This light romance combines two of my favorite things – food and love (my two Achilles’s heels).
  2. Maybe Someday: A book about love and timing with a very appealing male lead, who is deaf.
  3. Confess: This was the first book I had ever read by Colleen Hoover. I enjoyed it so much I followed up with Maybe Someday.
  4. #GIRLBOSS: Out of all of these, this is the only heavy read. That being said, it was still really entertaining and insightful. Now matter where you are in your career, this book is worth picking up. It is 100 percent worthy of all the hype it has received.
  5. Wild Ride: I am a big fan of Jennifer Crusie’s stories, because her characters are always so sassy. She wrote this particular book  with Bob Mayer, and it had some supernatural (demons and such) intrigue mixed in with her trademark romance, making it a lot of fun.

Did you like this round-up? The first three were included in the September newsletter, along with a meal plan, grocery list and beauty finds. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so by completing the form on the right. (If you’re viewing this on a mobile device, it will be below.)

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