Tag Archive: Meg Ryan


Tom and Meg

Tonight I watched one of my favorite movies. It was made in 1998.

When did 1998 become twenty years ago?

It seemed like yesterday in the golden age of romantic comedies. But her I am, twenty years older, just like Meg and Tom.

Yes, I am on a first name basis with these two as are many women my generation. We watched them in Joe Vs. the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail.

I realize that Tom is really busy and Meg is taking time to work behind the scenes. But it is time for them to make a movie again.

Seriously.

They are a part of the Boomer generation and maybe it is time to see these two back in a romantic comedy. A romantic comedy in which the two people are the approximate same age going through similar circumstances with their business and family and life.

And I have the perfect vehicle for them.

It’s called Juliet and Romeo by Jeanne Ray.

Julie and RomeoThis book is about an couple whose families are life long enemies although no one is quite sure why. The both own flower shops and have large families. Julie is divorced while Romeo ‘s wife died a few years ago.

Their attraction begins while attending a seminar for small business owners who are struggling and need new ideas.

After seeing each other across a hallway, the two develop a bond. They fall crazy in love. But now they have to fight against old hatreds and new-fangled shenanigans from their children.

It feels like it could fit these two people who are now older but have feelings that are definitely something from when they were younger.

Now Meg and Tom would be the obvious choices for Julie and Romeo. But there are two daughters for Julie and several sons and a younger daughter for Romeo. And this could be fun casting. Personally, I would love to see Selena Gomez as Romeo’s younger daughter. She could hit that younger boho vibe with an iron will. You will need a few tough guys to play the oldest son and daughter on each side along with some star-crossed loved in that younger set.

I used to think Sandra Bullock would be great as the older daughter. But now I am thinking of someone else, perhaps Eva Mendez or Amanda Peet. Maybe Adam Driver could be Romeo’s older son who is a force to be reckoned with. He needs to lighten up sometimes. And for the old grandmother, you could go for the Italian stereotype or allow Betty White to do something besides the naughty old lady.

All I am saying is that Meg and/or Tom need to read this book and figure out how to make a fun movie out of it.

Is that so hard to do?

Comfort Movie

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

As we zoom into the holiday season, I find I want to watch those movies that are comforting and familiar.

Youve-Got-Mail-movie-posterThis past week I watched You’ve Got Mail for the umpteenth time. One child shook his head and asked if I hadn’t watched this movie too many times. Another child wondered why I was watching the movie without her.

I found myself reading quotes from the movie on IMDb.com and knew where each one came from. Okay, maybe not right down to the minute but I recognized where each one fit in the movie.

I know the movie well despite hating the ending which I will talk about later.

I find that this movie has a wonderful mix of the sentimental and the modern. In this movie the characters meet in an online discussion group, something very modern in the late 90s as AOL and the internet takes off. They meet at Starbucks, which was beginning to be everywhere.

youve got mail coffee shopAnd yet it is filled with memories from the music by Harry Nilsson and Roy Orbison. Each song seems perfectly fitted for the emotional moment of each scene. The most modern song comes from The Cranberries at the beginning of the movie which set the tone of the busy-iness of New York City, of the people walking to work at a quick and excited pace.

There are all of these charming moments throughout the movie with lovely incidental music that has a slight jazzy tone that romances us and reminds us of an earlier citified age.

All of these elements allow me to forgive the ending in which I think Kathleen should have slapped Joe in the face for his deception. She should have told him off before admitting she hoped it would be him all along. Maybe that would have been trite, maybe not the right payoff. But I always felt that she accepted Joe too easily.

You've Got Mail book storeWe all have that kind of movie that makes us happy, where all of the pieces come together perfectly and tell a story the right way. I have wonderful friends who love horror movies, my mother could watch Humphrey Bogart movies all day. My sons are happy with movies that have explosions and chase scenes.

These are the movies we all turn to when life needs to stay on the other side of the door, when we just need a break from the world for a little while. In the next month and a half, life will get crazy for some of us with holiday events and concerts and family gatherings. For some of us the holiday season is a simple reminder of all the things and people we are missing.

Comfort movies help us get through, maybe they allow us to cry or feel exhilarated. We know how everything will move through the story, we know the dialogue, and the various underlying themes that we may or may not think about.

Maybe for you that movie is Godzilla in whatever iteration but for me it is You’ve Got Mail. And the only other thing I need besides a box of kleenex is a bowl of popcorn with cinnamon sprinkled about.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Valentine’s Aftermath

Valentine’s Day At Home

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

By this time next week, there will be Valentine cards strewn about. I know that my house will have little cards all over after a great rush to get them written out by one child.

Some might take advantage of the weekend to carve out quality time with their sweetie, a stay-at-home couples night if you will.

Image from IMDb.com

My first choice of movies in the romantic genre is Return To Me starring Minnie Driver and David Duchoveny. I love the Chicago locations, the musical selections, and the performances by the cast. It is one of the few movies that I find to be near perfection.

I asked my husband for his opinion, what did he think was a good movie for couples.  Perhaps this shows our age but his immediate response was When Harry Met Sally, the holy grail of romantic comedy perfection. It is one of the wordiest movies but for English majors it is extraordinary how it shows love moving through the hearts of two people destined for each other.

Image from IMDb.com

I would say the same about Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. Note that all three of these star Meg Ryan who knows how to put together cute and quirky in one package.

For those wanting an action packed romance, there is always Mr. and Mrs. Smith starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a married couple who are both spies and must take each other out. There are many sequences that seem far-fetched but I found the movie to be very enjoyable.

For those who are movie buffs, I have an oldie but goodie to suggest. The Enchanted Cottage stars Robert Young and  Dorothy McGuire. He is a war hero left scarred from his military career while she is a homely girl.

They meet at the honeymoon cottage where she works and fall in love. But something strange happens to them. They see something that others do not and somehow this only strengthens their love for each other. Finding this movie might be difficult as I have not seen it released on DVD as of yet.

Image from IMDb.com.

Finally, I know that there are some people out there who are suffering broken hearts. Perhaps the person left or you left them. I think the lead character in Bridemaids as portrayed by Kristen Wiig can certainly relate. While this is not a movie for kids or to watch with someone who would make you wince inside, it is a funny movie.

The story is about a woman who was dumped by her boyfriend and lost her bakery business but must make the best of things when her best friend announces her engagement. Further more, Wiig is asked to be the maid of honor. Complicate that with another woman who wants to take charge of everything and get all of the credit.

 How does one fight against another woman who is taking away your best friend and besting you at every turn when you are broke and she is super rich?

To me the best scene is when Melissa McCarthy lets Wiig know she is always there for her with a physical fight. Some may call this the ‘female’ Hangover movie but I call it something much better than that.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Until next year, see you in the rental aisle.

Going to the Chapel

Family Movie Night

 

Last week was graduation.

 

I don’t know about you but I was incredibly weepy. Not only was one of my guys graduating but so were most of his friends. all of these guys have hung out at my house and now they are moving on to high school.

 

I remember the first day of kindergarten when my guy RAN to his kindergarten class. Left me behind and made his move. Now, he is planning to do the same for high school.

 

I really need to get used to this. After all it is June, the month of home leaving, especially if there is going to be a wedding  in your family. One day they are seeing a great new person and then – WHAM! – they are getting married. They leave home and start a new life.

 

Well, what can you do but celebrate it. And watch a movie or two.

 

James McAvoy and Emily Blunt give voice to "Gnomeo and Juliet," Image from IMDb.com

My new favorite romance movie is Gnomeo and Juliet. It is this incredibly cute movie by DreamWorks about two crazy kids who fall in love despite their families’ long feud. She is a red gnome and he is a blue gnome. Both have been told to hate the other although who knows for what reason in the first place.

 

This is a movie that is highly watchable by the younger kids and the parents or grandparents will love the soundtrack that is Elton John/Bernie Taupin music of our youth. I enjoyed the sequence in which Gnomeo discusses his love life with the Shakespeare statue in the park. Sure, it is obvious and maybe self-serving but what a fun little bit.

 

Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas starring in "The In-Laws," Image from IMDb.com

Another fave is The In-laws starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks.  In this wedding movie the focus is more on the relationship of the father-in-laws more than the bride and groom. The  PG-13 flick – best suited for early teens and up – has many interesting moments as we, like the Alert Brooks character, discovers that Michael Douglas is either crazy or really a CIA agent. Douglas is fearless whereas Brooks is a phobia-filled foot doctor.

 

Maybe this movie is not as good as the original with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin but I love it for the popcorn fun of it and Ryan Reynolds plays the groom. However, we also get to see some interesting shots of Chicago. I personally loved the para-gliding scene as they take off from the top of the Hancock building.

 

Billy Crystal, Brino Kirby, Carrie Fischer and Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally...," Image from IMDb.com.

Now there are many movies that feature a wedding in some shape or form. But my favorite one is one of the best romantic comedies of all time. There is a pivotal scene that takes place at a wedding in When Harry Met Sally… but more than anything this movie is about love. Love that lasts a lifetime and how it can be right there and you simply do not see it.

 

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan have incredible chemistry together as they spar about men, women, love, friendship and sex over the years. This is not a movie I am watching with my younger kids although the older teens could be around for it. Or maybe not because this is a movie I enjoy watching either by myself or with my husband.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

There are some movies I watch purely for the experience of the location. 

Because of certain movies, I have a desire to visit New York City. Granted, I am a farm girl and avid Chicago fan. I was one of the few people who wanted to see the Olympics come here. 

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, You've Got Mail. Picture from IMDb.com

 

 But every time I see You’ve Got Mail I am entranced by a part of the city I have never really seen. Oh, sure I enjoy the story in which big box bookstore owner Tom Hanks puts independent bookstore owner Meg Ryan out of business without knowing she is the computer friend with whom he has fallen in love. 

 I hate the ending but enjoy the movie during every other moment.  

Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan, Kate and Leopold. Picture from IMDb.com

 

Another Meg Ryan flick I like that gives me a taste of NYC is Kate and Leopold. Here Ryan is a marketing guru who falls for Hugh Jackman, a time traveling English aristocrat. We get to see an old NYC mansion, Brooklyn Bridge up close and personal, various parts of Manhattan and Central Park. 

 As much as I like the story, Ryan’s character can be a bit prickly. But there are reasons and she explains them well. Plus, Hugh Jackman is sooo dishy. 

My last pick that makes me want to travel to the Big Apple is One Fine Day starring Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. Granted these two are 

Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney, One Fine Day. Picture from IMDb.com

 

perhaps the most beautiful people in the world – still. But this movie takes place about ten years ago as two single parents try to deal with a day that has been derailed. That these lonely and scared singles think about trying again gives hope to the rest of us and brought a tangible element to some of the silliness. 

Plus these two families go all over the city, showing us how great the largest city in the United States really is. 

Other places I have put on my list is Montreal in the Quebec province of Canada. Why? Because it looked so cool in The Score with Robert DeNiro, Marlon Brando and Edward Norton. This heist movie focuses on a scepter in a custom-house. Norton is the young criminal who thinks he is smarter than the old guys and will learn a lesson or two along the way. 

The incredibly glorious Diane Lane in Under The Tuscan Sun. Picture from IMDb.com

 Lastly, I have always wanted to go to Italy. Thanks to movies such as Under The Tuscan Sun starring Diane Lane and Sandra Oh, and Enchanted April with Miranda Richardson, there is a part of me that wants to wander the countryside of Italy. Will I find a villa, true love or a romantic kiss like the one that occurs in A Room With A View? Maybe, maybe not but I would not mind packing my bags to take a flight over and find out. 

What movies inspire you to pack your bags?

 

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle. 

 Let the world, or at least St. Anne, know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note to P.O. Box 306, St. Anne, IL 60964 or become my friend on Facebook.