10 V-Day Rom-Com’s to Keep You Company!

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I’m one of those people who watched way too many romantic comedies when I was single. Anything Aniston/Wetherspoon/Bullock/Hudson put out in the early/mid naughties will keep me thoroughly entertained for ninety minutes… And don’t even get me started on Jennifer Lopez’s AMAZING filmography! (I just had to check if The Wedding Planner received any Oscars. Sadly it didn’t! :-P)

But now that I’m in a happy relationship, I miss the days of watching a cheesy rom-com, dreaming about that blockbuster love. Luckily for me, this year I am planning to experience the best of both worlds! My husband is working the majority of this weekend, so during V-Day I plan some “Netflix & Chill for one” type of action (me, my bed and Bradley Cooper) and then when my hubby gets home we have a romantic night out planned!

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Although there are about A MILLION films I’d like to watch, I’ve narrowed down my choices to 10 great titles (I started with 5 but the list kept growing!), I’ve also decided to keep it within this side of the millennium, because otherwise it would just be impossible:

Monster In Law

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One of my personal favourites from J-Lo’s filmography. Jenny from the Block and her evil mother-in-law-to-be (the ageless Jane Fonda) battle it out for the love and affection of the forever-handsome Michael Vartan! Although it’s more chick-flick than a straight up rom-com, it’s funny and charming and Wanda Sykes carries the comedy with her one liners!

Valentine’s Day

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This one’s a little on the nose isn’t it? But I had to include it in my list, because I think it’s such a lovely little film. Valentine’s Day is so different and so special for everyone and it’s nice to see such a variety of different storylines and experiences in one film. From the young teenagers trying to figure it all out, to the adults who’re still making mistakes. The all-star cast of the film is really strong too. Julia Roberts was reportedly paid $3 million dollars and she was only in the film for 6 minutes!

How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days

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The title says it all for this one. This is an absolute classic! Kate Hudson’s shining moment! OK, so it packs in a lot of the rom-com cliches: girl tries to trick boy, boy tries to trick girl, they eventually fall for one another but everything goes wrong, guy chases down girl, they live happily ever after. Not original, but the torture she puts Matthew McConaughey through is priceless, especially the emasculating moment when she nicknames his down there Princess Sophia.

Silver Linings Playbook

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I really love this film, and one of the reasons why is because it is a bit of an anti-rom-com. It’s actually heartbreaking, and the humour can be quite dark and make you feel very uncomfortable, but that’s what makes it special. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence play two completely broken people, who turn to one another for solace in different ways and end up falling for one another. It’s a relationship that seems very rocky, and you don’t know if it would work, but you are rooting for them nonetheless.

The Proposal

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As I mentioned, I’m sticking to films released after the year 2000, otherwise I would have included While You Were Sleeping, which is the best Sandra Bullock rom-com. But The Proposal was a true return to form for Sandra, after a string of less-than-stellar flicks in the naughties (The Lake House not included!). It’s a really funny film and she has great chemistry with Ryan Reynolds! Watching the two run into each other naked is hilarious and slightly arousing. Plus the film has Betty White!

Friends With Benefits/No Strings Attached

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I’ve lumped these two films together because they suffered the misfortune of being released around the same time, and they are very similar in subject matter. Of the two, I prefer Friends With Benefits, starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. The twosome are incredibly funny together and there is a lot of Justin Timberlake nudity to keep us 90’s kids happy! I only watched No Strings Attached about a year ago, but I was quite surprised at how much I liked it, and I think it’s a bit more on the romantic side than FWB. Add in the fact it stars the lovely Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, I wish I’d seen it sooner!

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50 First Dates

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As far as Adam Sandler comedies go, this is one of the surprisingly sweet gems! His humour is usually more dirty jokes and funny voices, but 50 First Dates also has a lot of heart. Drew Barrymore plays a woman who suffered a brain injury which affects her short term memory, so she is always unknowingly reliving the same day. Adam Sandler falls for her, and everyday finds a new way to make her fall for him. The days when it doesn’t work are the funniest and the soundtrack is really beautiful. Highly recommend!

What’s Your Number?

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Oh Anna Faris, you crack me up. I love her comedies because her comedic timing is always on point and her facial expressions are the best! In this comedy, her character decides she has slept with too many men and doesn’t want to let her number get any higher, so she starts backtracking to see if she’s ever been with someone who deserves a second chance. Enter mostly-naked neighbour Chris Evans, and trouble ensues! Funny as hell, and her attempt at a British accent is very laughable!

Letters to Juliet

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I only watched this film for the first time a few years ago, but I thought it was really beautiful. Amanda Seyfried helps an elderly woman find a long lost love in Italy, while discovering what love means to her along the way. When I watched this film, I was going through a similar romantic situation as the lead, in the sense of having to evaluate whether the person I was with was right for me, so I am thankful that I watched this when I did! Definitely one that leans more to the romantic side of things, and leaves you feeling all warm inside!

And there you have it, my list of some great valentine’s films to keep you loved up! Whether you’re single or attached, tied down or unwillingly single, I just hope you find a way to appreciate the day and spend it with the ones you love. ♥

#ManCrushMonday: Henry Cavill

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To mark the return of Man Crush Monday, I’ve picked a SUPER man to save the day!

As I’ve mentioned before, Superman is my absolute favourite superhero! I love all his incarnations, although I am especially fond of Tom Welling’s Smallville Clark Kent. And just like the rest of the world, I am eagerly anticipating the latest installment of the Man of Steel franchise, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. 

Current Superman and British heartthrob Henry Cavill is quite easily the sexiest, manliest Kal El we’ve had so far (sorry Dean Cain!). He’s just so ruggedly handsome and… furry. He’s definitely a welcome break from the clean cut, smooth and muscular goody-two -shoes we normally get from the DC hero, and Henry is to thank for that, seeing as he fought for his right to go all-natural!

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Mr. Cavill has starred in some great films and television series, long before becoming the Man of Steel on the big screen. With films such as Immortals and The Man From U.N.C.L.E, he’s more than proved his leading man status in Hollywood.

As he prepares for his role in the first Justice League film, Henry took to Instagram to share his strenuous (and shirtless) workout, almost breaking the internet in the process:

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Glad to see he is taking his fitness so seriously!

Fun Facts About Henry Cavill

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  • We may know him as Superman, but according to Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, she always envisioned him as the only actor who could pull off Edward Cullen (No one tell R-Patz!). But by the time production had started he was too old to play 17.
  • For a brief period in 2013, he dated nerd bait Kaley Cuoco (Penny from the Big Bang Theory). The two were papped together non-stop for two weeks before it all ended!
  • Unsurprisingly, Henry is a big fan of rugby and used to be a skilled player. Sadly, he had to give up the sport due to injuries.
  • 2013’s Man of Steel wasn’t his first attempt at wearing the red cape. He came very close to playing the part in the 2006 film Superman Returns, but the part eventually went to Brendan Routh.
  • Henry is really good with his tongue… He speaks fluent English, French, Spanish and Italian (get your minds out of the gutters people!).

And to bring to a close another sexy #ManCrushMonday, here’s a wet Henry to cool you down:

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5 Campy Horror Movies to Enjoy this Halloween!

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All Hallow’s Eve is nearly upon us, and even though I’m drawn to guts, ghouls and gore, this year I’m in the mood for something a little bit less traumatising for October 31st.

If you’re planning on ending a night of trick or treating with a scary movie this Halloween, I’ve come up with the definitive list of campy (yet scary) horror!

1 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the film… Not the TV series)

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Yes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is, was, and will always be an amazing TV show. Emotional, scary and entertaining, it ticks all the right boxes and it’s no wonder it’s become such a cult classic. However, the same cannot be said about the original film that inspired it all.

Kristy Swanson’s ‘Valley girl’ take on Buffy Summers is so incredibly bad that it loops back around and ends up being awesome! From vampires that just won’t die, to Luke Perry’s typecast bad boy Pike, it’s pure cheese on toast, and no Halloween movie night is complete without it!

2 Scream

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It’s safe to say that Scream was the definitive scary movie of the nineties! It’s self-referencing, self-aware script combined with whodunit mystery and that Drew Barrymore cameo will forever cement it into the horror hall of fame.

What’s so great about it is how much of a genre bender it was, seamlessly mixing horror and comedy elements without seeming forced or unnatural (Scream Queens take note!).

And if you’re going to watch the first Scream, you might as well watch 2,3 and 4. Because, why not?

3 Scary Movie (1 and 3)

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Where Scream was almost a parody of the horror genre, the original Scary Movie was a parody of a parody, combining all the best elements of classic horror movies like The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense . It’s silly, dirty and at times cringe-worthy, but it doesn’t take itself seriously at all and that’s what makes it so charming.

As is the case with most franchises, the first movie is the best, although Scary Movie 3 is arguable just as funny! To this day I still quote ‘Cindy, the TV’s leaking!’.

4 I Know What You Did Last Summer

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If you’re after a straight-up teen slasher movie, then IKWYDLS is definitely the direction to go in. This classic nineties horror flick hasn’t aged very well, but I think that works in its favour! There will never be anything more 1997 than a film starring both Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar! (not to mention teen heartthrobs Ryan Phillipe and Freddie Prinze Jr.).

Although the sequel wasn’t quite as good, and the third direct-to-dvd installment was abysmal, they at least provided us with campy variations of the amazingly titled I Know What You Did Last Summer (I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and I Will Always Know What You Did Last Summer). I guess the writers were feeling lazy that day…

5 The Cabin in the Woods

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The Cabin in the Woods is the kind of film that I imagine would be amazing if you are completely stoned while watching! It’s just so crazy and out there that half the time I’m trying to decide if I think it’s genius and the other half I have a question mark stamped across my face. But if you give in and accept the crazy it is a fantastic film.

Cabin was a modern day attempt at re-inventing the horror genre, and although I don’t think it was as successful in achieving this as Scream, now that it’s a few years old people have been able to let it sink in and appreciate it for what it is.

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Honorable Mentions:

The Craft – a film about moody, rebellious teenage witches (not Sabrina).

Halloween – Because Jamie Lee Curtis was the original teen virgin who survived a homicidal maniac on Halloween night!

Chucky – To this day I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I see that scary psycho ginger doll.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: A White Man’s World

In this day and age, there is absolutely no excuse for all-white, all-male superheroes.

In the year 2015, one is unable to contemplate a trip to the cinema without encountering some sort of superhero movie. In 2008 we had glittering, emo vampires, but now, it’s all about action heroes and big-budget destruction sequences. As much as I am a fan of the genre, my interest is definitely starting to dwindle. Not only because of the sheer volume of productions and the in-your-face-everywhere-you-go marketing approach, but also in part due to the lack of diversity and outright exclusion of minorities. avengers dvdIn this day and age, there is absolutely no excuse for their all-white, all-male cast. And over at Marvel, the only female superhero, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, is constantly being mistreated and underused. She is noticeably missing from the DVD cover for the latest Avenger’s movie ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. She is the only Avenger who doesn’t have her own solo movie (Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye doesn’t have his own movie either, but he does feature more prominently in Age of Ultron). Marvel’s idea of developing Black Widow? Making her the Hulk’s girlfriend. This is the only way we get even a glimpse of her backstory. At this point, she has been in four MCU films and all she has been reduced to is a hot, acrobatic redhead who shows a lot of cleavage.

SNL recently poked fun at Marvel’s attempts of writing storylines for Black Widow with a spoof trailer promising to be ‘A Girl Superhero Movie’. In the trailer, Scarlett Johansson reprises her role, but the film is in fact a rom-com. However funny it is to watch, the sad reality is that it’s exaggerated stereotypes are not too distant from where the character is headed in Age of Ultron, where she is practically a love interest who’s only concern is her ability to conceive a child. Even the film’s stars have a hard time defending Black Widow, with Jeremy Renner & Chris Evans causing a bit of controversy when they referred to the character as a ‘slut’ because of her flirtations with the male characters.

sqPersonally, I have always preferred DC comics to Marvel. Superman is my favourite superhero, and I’ve watched just about every adaptation up to this point, both on TV and on the big screen. I feel like DC has always had a much better representation of female characters. In 2012’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, I thought that Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman was fascinating and I would have gladly watched her in a spin off feature. Right now, DC are in the middle of a reboot of sorts, with ‘Batman v Superman’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ set for a 2016 release, and I’m pleased to see that they seem to be a bit more inclusive than Marvel.

The internet went crazy over Harley Quinn when the ‘Suicide Squad’ trailer premiered. Not to mention the fact that the anti-heroes are a fresh take on a tired genre, as well as being a more diverse group of actors (Will Smith as Deadshot is perfection). And ‘Batman V Superman’ is set to introduce Wonder Woman to cinemagoers for the first time, before her own solo effort in 2017. I am crossing my fingers that this will be the first successful female superhero film (I’m looking at you, Catwoman and Elektra). wonder woman supergirl DC are also doing a better job of showing off their female superheroes on TV too. Supergirl is set to premiere later this year, and although the initial teaser looked alarmingly similar to the SNL spoof trailer, I’ve seen the first episode and it looks quite promising. There is also a wide variety of strong female characters on shows such as Arrow and The Flash. They may have their flaws, but I think generally speaking they are doing a good job of making the characters appealing to both males and females, a balance which I imagine can be difficult to achieve.

There is an interest for these female superheroes (or even supervillains). It’s just a case of doing them justice (no pun intended). I honestly don’t know why the world of female superheroes is not being explored fully. Films like The Hunger Games, The Divergent series and even the latest Terminator have all featured strong, empowered women and all have gone on to be very successful. Joss Whedon, director of the Avengers, has always written and directed female leads very well. He created Buffy The Vampire Slayer! You’d think that if anybody could achieve a successful female superhero it would be him.

black widowAnd even if it weren’t a sure-fire hit, Marvel has been taking some massive risks recently. The Guardians of the Galaxy was a relatively unknown comic book that went on to become one of the most successful MCU movies (and up to now, my personal favourite). They’ve recently released Ant Man and  the rebooted Fantastic Four, once again two films that were very risky for them (both of which haven’t been very successful for the company, commercially or with the critics).

People are still complaining about the thinly written Black Widow, and fans are desperate for a solo movie. Even though it has been discussed and teased ever since her introduction in 2010, nothing has materialized yet. If that day should come, I think it will be a real turning point for the ladies. And then, we can maybe start thinking about introducing more new, diverse characters. Like a black superhero. or a gay superhero. Or a gay black woman superhero. After all, the only Avenger of colour is green.