Tag Archive: drew barrymore


Oh, Drew

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

A chance conversation about Drew Barrymore lead my daughter to state she had never seen the movie Ever After featuring Barrymore in the lead role of Cinderella. We were at Dollar General looking in the movie bin to see a picture of Barrymore looking down in a loving but subservient manner.

Ever AfterIt was surprising to me as this is one of my favorite Drew Barrymore movies. According to some sources this is Drew’s favorite movies of her own work as well.

Ever After is a version of the Cinderella story set in France. Her father has died, leaving the little girl under the care of her new step-mother, Angelica Huston, and two step-sisters. What is most interesting is the assumption that Danielle married royalty and is the ancestor of Madame Royalle who tells the story of the little cinder girl.

History buffs will recognize Madame Royalle, portrayed in the movie as the older woman played by Jeanne Moreau who tells the tale of her ancestor, as the last living child of Marie-Antoinette.

Everafter Drew IMDb com

Drew Barrymore in “Everafter,” image from IMDb.com.

The movie is a delight with Barrymore and Angelica Huston, both Hollywood royalty, emotionally battling each other. Dougray Scott is wonderful as the Prince who feels trapped by his role in the royal family. Leonardo Da Vinci shows up to be the Artist in Residence. But there are fun scenes and romantic scenes and plenty of action.

Once we started watching, suddenly my daughter said that she did remember the movie. But I do not remember her suddenly saying we could stop watching. We watched to the bitter end.

We did for another movie I found called My Date with Drew in which a young man decides to spend 30 days trying to get a date with Drew Barrymore, his childhood idol/crush.

Brian Herzlinger is struggling to survive in Hollywood after six years. An appearance on a game show nets him $1100 and an idea for a documentary. He will spend the next 30 days in an attempt to get a date with Drew. Using a video camera that must be returned to Circuit City in 30 days, Brian taps into every connection he can think of.

My date with drewHe and his friends meets with directors, screenwriters, personal assistants, actors, and a skin specialist to find a connection to Drew. He works through her company contacts and sets up a website to publicize his quest while deciding if he needs a real job in order to survive.

This movie was the festival darling of 2004 once it was discovered. People tended to love it or hate it. While I appreciated Brian’s efforts, I found myself in the ‘hate it’ crowd. I felt like I was watching a bad video and never felt that Brian had enough gusto to complete his task. I watched it to watch it. But it is not something I would recommend or even watch again.

I feel bad saying that until I realize this move was made 13 years ago. He has moved on since then and so has Drew.

Perhaps I can just rev up Ever After one more time.

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Last week, I made mention that I think Adam Sandler could be one of our best actors of his generation.

 

I said could be based on his performances in a handful of films that get away from his ‘usual roles.’ I would also add a few other that play on those themes but are better than many of his comedy movies.

 

Most of us know Sandler for a being a comedian willing to work crude, low down comedy. And I realize that a lot of people like those movie such as Billy Madison and Little Nicky.

 

People like this type of comedy, they like Sandler when he does these types of movies and these types of movies make lots of money. But there are times when I think he gets bored and does something a little different to break up the monotony.

 

One movie that jumped out at me in this regards was Punch Drunk Love in which Sandler plays a man who has his own business but is treated like an idiot by his older sisters. Then he meets Emily Watson and they fall in love. There is a side story about a phone sex company extorting money, adding more layers to this man.

 

Paul T. Anderson directs this movie that explores the hidden depths of anger and sadness in the lovable character that Sandler plays. He has to carry a different story and it works, it works well.

 

Another movie that increased my respect for Sandler was Spanglish. Here, Sandler is the chef and owner of a restaurant. His wife, Tea Leoni, has hired a new housekeeper in Paz Vega.

 

It is in this performance I see a sensitivity I do not see in other movies with Sandler, a willingness to be vulnerable, thanks to director James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment). To me it is a great performance and I love watching this movie for the great ensemble that includes Cloris Leachman.

 

I also love Reign Over Me in which Sandler plays a man who lost his wife and daughters in one of the 9/11 plane crashes. His character is devastated by his loss to the point he does not interact well with others until a former classmate finds him.

 

Don Cheadle is a withdrawn man with a successful business and loving family who needs Sandler as much as Sandler needs him. Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger) pushes Sandler in a different direction and gets a different performance.

 

A movie I mentioned last week, 50 First Dates re-connects Sandler with Drew Barrymore with whom he worked with in The Wedding Singer. These romantic comedies move Sandler to be more than his usual persona, more than the lovable goofball, more than ‘that guy.’

The thing is, when Sandler makes that effort and goes beyond what we know of him, he is really wonderful in his acting. It shows up in movies such as the dramody Funny People and the whacked-out You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

 

One family movie that stars Sandler is Bedtime Stories. We love watching as a family because it is touching and emotional and funny. Plus, we love the guinea pig as well as Russell Brand. It is one of Sandler’s better films.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Fairy Tale Night

Family Movie Night

I was looking at the movie rental rack the other night in our little store and noticed that two of the newest movies were based on fairy tales.

Beastly is based on the Beauty and the Beast fairly tale with a bit of high school bullying angst thrown in. Amanda Seyfried stars in Red Riding Hood which is based on the darker aspect of the familiar tale.

If you have ever read the original tales that the Grimm’s brothers recorded, you know that this is dark territory. The punishments are harsh with their bloodletting. Gothic and gruesome, some of these tales are simply amazing.

Poster image from IMDb.com

The stories we tell children have been incredibly cleaned up from the originals.

What these two movies do with their fairly tales is not meant for children.

Red Riding Hood takes us to a small village that has made a deal with a werewolf by feeding him farm animals. However, one month a villager is killed and revenge is exacted. But doubt remains and a werewolf hunter is called in.

Around this is the love triangle with Valerie, her true love Peter and her promised husband Max. Valerie also discovers she has a connection to the werewolf. There is more to the plot but it gets a little crazy and then you have Gary Oldman as the werewolf hunter.

Now there is violence and some sensuality in this PG-13 movie that is aim squarely at those teens who also like Twilight.  

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Beastly is also rated PG-13 and focuses on a young man at a high school who is rich and handsome. Kyle’s heart is cold and cruelty lies beneath those good looks. His latest victim is goth girl Kendra, rumored to be a witch. When his latest prank hurts her – as planned – Kendra turns the tables on Kyle. She casts a spell making his appearance as ugly as his soul.

Now Kyle has a year to find so

meone to love him or stay in his ugly state forever. And his hope rests in the quiet Lindy, a classmate he has never talked to in the past. The rating reflects crude comments and some violence.

What these two movies represent to me is popcorn watching. They were both rated terrible by critics and movie goers gave both movies a 50% enjoyment rating, according to Rotten Tomatoes movie review website.

I have a few fairy tale movies that I love.

Fiona and Shrek from "Shrek," image from IMDb.com

My family pick is the Shrek series. Mixing all sorts of characters from fairy tales across Europe, Shrek weaves a tale of freedom from repressive rulers and true love and magical transformations in the first movie. As the series moves along we are transfixed by great musical selections and simply good storytelling.

Drew Barrymore in "Everafter," image from IMDb.com.

My second pick is great for a girls’ night or a couple date night at home stars Drew Barrymore. Everafter is a retelling of Cinderella that takes my breath away every time, even though Barrymore does a terrible accent. The movie is filled with little moments of discovery about the story we never thought about.

A young Fred Savage and the late great Peter Falk in "The Princess Bride," image from IMDb.com.

Lastly, my favorite fairytale movie – and perhaps one of the best movies ever – is The Princess Bride starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright. The tale of a woman about to marry a prince after her true love was killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts never fails to fascinate me with incredible sword play, amazing dialogue and the deepest essence of true love.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.