Tag Archive: george clooney


One Fine Day

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

For whatever reasons, whenever it rains for days in a row, I am reminded of One Fine Day starring Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney.

One Fine Day - missing busSet in New York City on a rainy spring day, the storyline is about two single parents who manage to miss the school field trip on a big day for each of their careers. Melanie blames Jack because she was trying to grab his daughter to take her to school. That made her late. Jack, on the other hand, did not know he was taking care of his daughter for a week until the morning of the field trip. Through the course of the day, they try to figure out what to do to make their meetings, run their work errands, and take care of the kids.

Along the way, each parent develops an appreciation for the other while holding on to their own prejudices and fears. For moments at a time, they let go of those fears to begin the steps of falling in love again. It is filled with wonderful moments of truth telling, happy moments, and fear.

One Fine Day Movie PosterI have no idea why rain makes me think of this movie because for one, I have never been to New York City. But when I watch it, I wonder if you can really get around Manhattan in a taxi. Or if Serendipity is really that good. The film makes me want to take a trip there to see Washington Park and the museums and Carnegie Deli.

While the setting and the music are wonderful side characters, what I really love about this movie are the two leads – Melanie and Jack (Pfeiffer and Clooney, respectively). They portray a certain constant weariness that is always present in parenting. Even when you think you have gotten enough sleep, you have not gotten enough sleep. But they also show that parental love has no limits.

Secondly, these are two people who are a little broken by their relationships that didn’t work out. Each character has trust issues and they wonder if they can trust another person once again. That both are attracted to another person and see the possibility of hope in that person is a huge emotional step. What is even better is that they can admit it openly. How many of us ever want to admit to the soft parts inside our souls.

One fine day - kiss
But, lastly I love some of their arguments that talk about the truth of life. If we like what we like and want things to go that way, are we control freaks or people who know what we like? As parents, especially single parents, keeping everything going means juggling and relying on yourself. Sometimes we have to admit that we are out of options. And sometimes, we have to admit we want the magic of love in our lives.

The movie is now twenty years old and there are some things that are incredibly out dated, such as their cell phones and Jack’s baggy pants. And then there are some things that never grow old, such as Melanie’s suit, how kids behave, or men and women trying to figure out the life/work balance.

This may not be a movie to watch with younger kids because Jack tends to say G-D, a lot. This is more of a movie to watch with girlfriends who can agree or disagree with whatever is happening on the screen.

Bring on the rain just so I can hear the Natalie Merchant take on that classic old song once more.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Garden Talk

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

What do you do when perfect weather hits?

I prefer to be outside.

I know my house needs to be cleaned after a world-wind of work and activities that have kept me busy. But really, I want to be outside when the weather is warm and the wind is calm.

It doesn’t matter if I am walking the dog or working in the garden, being outside when it is beautiful restores my soul, especially after a winter like we had this year. I know most people feel that way although a few might prefer their beautiful bug-free, air conditioned inside world.

Sadly, movies about gardens and plants are not that plentiful. Not everybody gets jazzed by dealing with plants or being in the orderly world of gardening. That is what we do after all, force order into the wild rift raft of nature.

Secret GardenOne of my long time favorites is The Secret Garden (1993), a rich tapestry of a movie following the life of a little girl left orphaned by an earthquake in colonized India during the early part of the 1900s. She lives at her uncle’s manse, a colossal pile, but it also has gardens she is free to explore. One day the girl finds a key and then another day find the door where it fits.

Not only that, she meets a local boy who can tame wild animals. And then she finds her cousin, who might be a wild animal but is certainly ill. He is a reported invalid who must be catered to at every turn. But soon the girl and her cousin, once they discover each other, are close friends who run off to the secret garden with the other boy.

We watch the garden turn from cold March winds and expectations through the spring and to summer’s explosion of roses and other greenery. The three children also grow through magic they create and the connections they share. It is a wonderful movie that can be seen by all ages, although people who prefer physical explosions may not like this movie.

If explosions and action is what you need then perhaps Batman and Robin (1997) is the movie for you. I realize the plant connection is not very clear at first. This movie, directed by Joel Silver, is not a favorite in the Batman canon. Starring George Clooney as the Bat, it also feature Arnold Schwartzeneger as Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman as Poisen Ivy. Is there over acting in this movie? Well, yes, by the tons.

Batman, Robin , Poisen IvyGeorge is great but low-key. It’s the villains we want to see and they do a bang-up job. Uma Thurman is fantastically over the top as the scientist who has gone to the bad side after being rejected one time too many, she even comes up with a secret formula for a deadly kiss. But she has developed feeling for Robin that may be more obsessive for the ways she can hurt Batman. She’s also developed plants that do more than grow around a window frame.

What a silly, crazy movie. But with it’s PG-13 rating it might be one to reconsider if you do not like the cartoonish ‘stylized’ action and the verbal sparring that gets suggestive.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Stormy Weather

Family Movie Night

 

by Karyn Bowman

 

This week’s column is courtesy of my neighbors – Mary, Barb and Joyce.

 

You think I am joking? Think again.

 

This is how it started. The other night I get home from Sam’s tee-ball practice so I can go to my writers’ group. My son informs me that Mary dropped off some Italian nut cookies for me.

 

Well, they are fabulous. Mary is going to have to give me the recipe. As I am heading out with cookies and a cool mug of mint tea in my hands, I see Mary on Joyce’s and Barb’s front porch. So I go over and tell her how great the cookies taste. Soft almond cookies with pine nuts on top. Need I say more?

 

Then I tell the girls I have to leave because I need to get back for Sara’s game and then I have to write this column. I tell them I have no idea what I am going to write about. That is when someone says “talk about the tree limb that came down the other night during the storm.”

 

Image from IMDb.com

“That is a good idea,” I respond. Last week when the big storm hit with thunder and lightning, the big maple in my neighbor’s parkway lost a branch. A huge section of the tree came down. If you wanted to study birds that live at the canopy level of a tree, all you have to do is sit on my porch or put one of those web cameras on it.

 

Storm Movies! That’s the ticket, I say. I will write about storm movies.

 

So I start thinking about Twister starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton from 1996. My husband loves this movie, while I am not a fan. Perhaps it is because I grew up in twister country and I know what it is like to have to head to the basement on a regular weekly basis.

 

So seeing a movie in which the wind destroys a lot of stuff and nearly kills our leads is not of any interest. In fact, my instinct is to go hide when that movie is on our TV.

 

That is when Joyce made mention of that movie with the big wave. We tried guessing and I went for the one starring Pierce Brosnan. Only Dante’s Peak (1997) was about a volcano. Then Joyce said “No, it starred that George fellow.”

 

Image from IMDb.com

It took us another minute to realize she was talking about George Clooney in The Perfect Storm (2000). What movie, what a wave. Then Joyce reminded us how sad the movie is at parts when she said “I felt so sorry for those guys.”

 

Finally, Mary popped in with The Wizard of Oz (1939). The scene in which the tornado takes away the town and Dorothy is simply incredible when you think about the level of special effects in those days.

 

So you see, without Mary’s, Barb’s and Joyce’s help I could not have written this week’s column. Thanks for your help, ladies.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Mr. Irresistable?


Family Movie Night

 

by Karyn Bowman

 

The other day I saw the sign about the “Mr. Irresistible” pageant that is coming up this Friday.

 

I almost asked my husband if he was taking part but then realized I did not want to share him with others.

 

Still, it looks to be a good time and it helps the high school volleyball team. What more do you need for an evening?

 

It did make me think of some stars that are, quite frankly, irresistible.

 

Image from IMDb.com

While the Girl Scouts were at the North Lake Villa this past weekend, one lady and I got into a discussion of movies. She had recently seen The Lucky One starring Zac Efron.  This former Disney performer has slowly built up a nice career filled with comedies and dramas.

 

His latest movie is about a soldier stationed overseas who finds a picture of a girl and it saves his life. Once he comes back home, he finds the girl and they fall in love. But there is more to it and it is based on a Nicholas Sparks book. However, as the lady said, Zac Efron is easy on the eyes.

 

Another actor who is easy on the eyes and good at what he does is Ryan Gosling. This past year the Canadian actor was in a slew of movies including Drive and Crazy Stupid Love. He might be best known for his role in The Notebook, another Nicholas Sparks movie that tells the ultimate love story.

 

His first big movie I remember was Murder by Numbers with Sandra Bullock, a murder mystery in which the detective gets too involved with the suspect. He played one of the suspects with such intensity that I really did not like him for a while. However, I am looking forward to seeing his latest round of movies, especially The Ides of March as I am a political junkie.

 

While Gosling carried the movie, his co-star was George Clooney. Clooney has been irresistible for a long time and a part of me wonders if his time has passed. But there will always be his vast collection of movies. It is hard for me to pick a favorite. I love the Ocean series he did with Brad Pitt and director Steven Soderbergh. These heist movies make it cool to be bad, smooth to be involved with all of the people who have their own specialty.

 

 

Image from IMDb.com

I also love his fluffy movies such as One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer and Batman and Robin or Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. You cannot take these movies seriously as you do with Good Night and Good Luck or Up in The Air. A great black comedy is Intolerable Cruelty with Catherine Zeta-Jones in which Clooney is attracted to Zeta-Jones, a serial divorcee.  

 

If my mother was writing this column about irresistible actors, she might include Cary Grant or Errol Flynn. But that is a column for another day.

Who would you pick to be the ‘Mr. Irresistible’ of your life?

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.