A year’s worth of movies…

1 Jan

I love watching movies, but usually don’t. But, this Christmas break I’ve watched a whole year’s worth of movies. Well, not really, but it has been more movies than I’ve watched the rest of the year put together. I watched Eat Pray Love, Letters to Juliet, She’s the Man, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, It’s Complicated and the first five episodes of The Pillars of the Earth mini-series.

Eat Pray Love was not nearly as good as the book. The movies almost never are. I’m glad it didn’t leave me with the feeling that I wish I’d never watched it though.  Julia Roberts is a great actress, but I would have preferred seeing an unknown actress play Elizabeth Gilbert. Italy was beautiful, but too rushed in the movie. Gilbert’s humor in the book didn’t shine through in the film. India was too rushed as well. It certainly didn’t do her spiritual journey justice. Her time in Bali was the best portrayed.

I thought Letters to Juliet was good, predictable, but good. More could have been done to develop the relationship  between Sophie and Charlie before they fell in love. I loved the setting in beautiful Italy. The idea of a writer going to Italy and writing letters to respond to women who write letters to Juliet asking for relationship advice is appealing to my sensibilities. It was a good movie to watch with the family.

She’s the Man is based loosely on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, not one of my favourite plays. We taped the movie and watched it on the PVR. My sister-in-law retreated to another room to read after a half hour or so. Admittedly it is a bit juvenile, but I thought it was clever and well done, certainly another movie worth enjoying with the family.

I shouldn’t even have included Pride and Prejudice because I mostly ignored the movie. I couldn’t get into it. As a female English teacher I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I’ve never read the novel. In fact, I’ve not read Austen at all. However, the female characters in the movie didn’t seem to fit the romantic notion I have of the characters in the novels. Maybe it was just bad acting. Maybe it’s me. Cassie, if you happen to be reading this… I’m sorry.

Anne of Green Gables is one of my personal favourties. One that I watched almost yearly at Christmas time for several years in a row. Andrea, my sister-in-law, Glenn and Savanna all watched it for the first time. At the beginning of the movie Andrea asked, “Does it have a sad ending? Because, if it does, I don’t want to watch it.” I assured her the ending wasn’t sad. Even though I love the movie, I fell asleep and ended up going to be before it was over. The rest stayed up and watched to the end, and when I came downstairs in the morning they were all complaining about the way the movie ended. They were upset that Anne lost her best friend and things were left unresolved with Gilbert, the boy she loves. The didn’t know there is a sequel.

It’s Complicated was the best movie I’ve seen in a long while. It was laugh out loud funny, a true romantic comedy. Meryl Streep was fantastic and Alec Baldwin got the job done, but could have been easily replaced. Steve Martin was perfect and funny, as always. My favourite part was the bathroom scene at the party. You’ll have to watch for yourself to find out about it.

One of the best books I’ve read in the last five years was The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. When I went to Blockbuster in search of a movie for New Year’s Eve I was having a difficult time finding something I wanted to watch that would also please Glenn and his mom, Sadie. But, when I found the mini-series of the epic novel on DVD I couldn’t rent anything else. Both Glenn and I read and loved the novel. Poor Sadie was a bit lost, but did get some of the story. We watched episodes 1-3 last night, and 4-5 tonight. There are three more episodes to watch. Of course the novel was much better, but we’re enjoying the television/movie version.

I still have a week left before I have to go back to work. Suggestions for must watch movies before I go back?

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One Response to “A year’s worth of movies…”

  1. Carolee January 3, 2011 at 11:20 PM #

    We only LOVE the old BBC P & P. The new one was OK, but not GREAT like the seven hour movie! LOL BTW….I bought the Pillars of the Earth set! Can’t wait to watch it!

    Carolee ( and Cassie)

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