Thursday Movie Picks 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: School

With September nearing, school is on many of our minds. For me it’s not necessarily about starting school or having somebody to send to school but mostly the idea of starting fresh. I feel like the energy from summer just gives fall a nice push. Anyway for today’s theme I went with movies that revolve around school. As always I added my own little theme within a theme.

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Santa Clarita Diet (Season 1)

It has been ages since I was thrilled about a TV show and dedicated a full post to it and now I have two I want to talk about – The OA and Santa Clarita Diet. Both are Netflix shows, I saw both ages ago, both have just 10 episodes in their first season and both are weird and quirky in their own special way. One has more unknown names and the other has bigger stars but both have teenage characters who are likeable and precious on their own right. But before I get to the very long and complicated journey of trying to understand The OA, here is my spoiler free take on Santa Clarita Diet.

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# 102 – Whip It

I already shared my affection towards Ellen Page in my special edition post – stating that I loved Whip It. So I decided to do a post about the movie – finally I might add, because I’ve seen it twice!

There is humor, there is love, there is a lessons to learn, there is friendship, there is blood, there is music, there are some amazing scenes, there are wonderful stories told – Whip It is a magical movie in so many ways especially for a movie lover like me. Why? Cause I think it has this artistic vibe that isn’t really common in Hollywood, and i personally think that it is thanks to Drew Barrymore (who produced and directed the movie). I find her refreshing in Hollywood, a new-old soul in the middle of the flashlights. The new-old is a term I just now thought of while thinking about Whip It, a movie that is in my mind new-old!

If you start watching it, you might feel that it is slightly off in some places and it is, because it brings into light old beliefs about being a mom, remember those American adds about perfect housewives? Well, Whip It has that commercial vibe to it and a little 80’s all rolled into the fresh new world that is the 21st century. I get it, I like it and I would love to see Whip It 2! But no,all they do is Step Up again and again and again.. Enough is enough! But I guess it is meant to be like that, only one Whip It and that is all I get!

The story itself is about Bliss (Ellen Page) who’s mom is determent to make her the miss America so to speak, driving her to be a girly-girl in the most motherly way – but Bliss of course is not that girl. She wants to do something else, she wants to be in a roller derby team, sport that has re-emerged in the heart of Texas, Austin in a form of women having interesting stage names and getting their teeth kicked in. There are many teams and they held a competition every year – Bliss joins the most unfortunate team in that sense that they are last every single year. She of course has to keep this a secret from her parents and with a little help from her friend (the wonderful Pash played by Alia Shawkat) she manages to keep the extra practice and competitions a secret. She even meets a young musician called Oliver (played by Landon Pigg who is far from a pig!)  and there is some smart writing in some of their scenes, plus interesting directing (props to Drew!).  And when you have watched as many movies as I have or just some movies you know that secrets are never secrets until the end.. but I’m not gonna spill the beans about the whole movie.

I just want to say that this movie is just the kind of movie I would be happy to make someday – if I had Ellen and Drew on my speed-dial right now, I’d be already making one but for now I just have the privilage to see Whip It again and again – this reminds me, I should buy the original DVD…

# 74 – Going the Distance

It has been couple of days since I saw Going the Distance, I have had the time to take it all in, think about it and now, writing this review, I have to say it was probably one of the best romantic comedies this year (I’ll see if I say it after I watch Love and Other Drugs – the main competition). The reason is actually simple, it was logical! Logic is the main reason so many romantic comedies fail to impress me – I have to question every other thing and I hate doing that. Going the Distance was built on a quite common situation and it was enjoyable, but most of all, it made sense!

The fact that Justin Long and Drew Barrymore have dated or are still dating or are just “close” to each other is actually a wonderful part of the movie. The chemistry between them two is somewhat uncomfortable even because it feels like I’m watching them enjoying a good time for real (and they don’t seem to act). Justin Long was as good as he was in He’s Not That Into You (where Barrymore also took part in) – I like him and that was probably the reason I couldn’t say nothing bad about him. Also nothing bad about Drew, I think she is a bad *ss and a real cool girl and not like those other leading lady type – more common girl next door – of course the characters helped those too a lot, it was like written for them.

Now comes the writing – the logic aside, the dialog at some places was just too much. I don’t what has happened to the language in a sence that everything has to be so.. so.. obscene. I get it, people like to say d*ck a lot, sure, but why to make it so BIG and just blurt it out over 10 times in 2 minutes. I’m talking about a specific scene where Drew yelled at a big guy which I found actually funny but thinking back about it – I wouldn’t like to see that scene many times. The movie on the other hand I would like to watch again – I liked the beginning of it, I rather enjoyed the middle part and the end was probably as logical as life itself – such a rare thing in Hollywood romantic comedies.

So if you haven’t seen it, go and enjoy it – I bet there aren’t many romantic comedies coming that would be better than this.