Tag Archive: minnie driver


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

When doing the annual St. Patrick’s Day column, I try to stay away from those movies I write about every year.

I heart IrishNot going to talk about Into the West yet again. If you haven’t seen it, then you should. It’s a great movie featuring a legendary horse out of Irish folklore.

The same goes for Ondine and The Secret of Roan Inish. Both movies feature selkies, the latter is from the past, the former is set in modern times. While there are not chase scenes both are worth while. Check them out.

I have not talked about any Daniel Day-Lewis movies in the past. Just know that he is one of the best actors ever but his movies tend to live on the serious side of life. They are worth the time spent watching.

Before we talk movies, I will tell you that my friend once again had her wonderful potato party. I was lazy and did not bring a topping for the potatoes. Instead I focused on my green dessert. I made dark chocolate brownies with minty green frosting. Yes, the brownies had mint-flavored frosting.

They were tasty and since I under cooked them, slightly, they were soft and moist. When I took them home, there was great remorsing. I have no regrets.

Tara RoadSo this year for movies, I am suggesting chick flicks, the kind that make women cry and laugh and want to throw things at the TV. Thank God Irish novelist Maeve Binchy had two novels made into movies before she passed away in 2012.

 

 

First up is Tara Road starring Olivia Williams and Andie McDowell as two women who switch houses for two months after their lives have fallen apart irrevocably. Ria and Marilyn swap houses between Dublin and the United States. Both hope to seek a respite from their own lives while healing from the pain of loss.

Is this a first rate production? Not really but I do enjoy it for the strong performances by Williams and McDowell. They slowly meld into the other’s life while discovering strengths of their own. Its the perfect movie to watch with girlfriends.

Circle of FriendsThe other Irish movie for a chick flick festival is Circle of Friends starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell. This movie is about two friends (Benny and Nan) who go to University, meet up with a childhood friend, and discover love. Driver plays the sweet Benny who is never allowed to forget that she is heavier than most girls.

O’Donnell is the pre-med student from a wealthy family who falls in love with Benny. Some how they find each other and work towards developing a relationship. But life and other manipulations work towards disaster. Benny finds herself challenged and heart broken and ready to move forward.

This is the kind of movie to watch to remember life when everything seemed ‘simplier.’ All you need now is some popcorn and dark chocolate brownies with mint frosting.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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Hear all about it

Family Movie Night

 

Last weekend our own Gladys, the newspaper lady, was the grand marshall of the Pumpkin Fest parade.

 

What an honor.

 

1959-1963-buick-invicta-1960I saw Gladys riding around in the back of a boat of a Buick. I remember when my grandmother had a large Chrysler like this. It was fantastic. Granted, I was too young to understand that the car took a lot of gas to run. But, boy, are those large cars wonderful to see.

 

Gladys was happy to have the ride and we are pretty lucky to have her in the town, helping various organizations and keeping the paper going into its 100+ years of existence. Her positive attitude has meant a great detail to me, personally. Over the years we have, of course, talked about favorite movies.

 

Most of the movies that Gladys and I talk about are various family movies that are funny and make us laugh. But the one movie that has remained a favorite over the years is Return to Me starring Minnie Driver.

 

It is a romantic comedy set in Chicago that is completely implausible. David Duchovney is a young architect whose wife dies in a freak car accident. Driver is a young woman with a serious heart condition. We meet her as she is awaiting a surgery to save her life.

 

Return to Me Poster 2 IMDb com

Image from IMDb.com

Six months later, Duchovney and Driver meet when he comes for a blind date at her grandfather’s restaurant. The date is a disaster, the woman is a gold digging nightmare. But the odd couple manage to connect emotionally.

 

Soon they are seeing each other on a regular basis. But Driver manages to hide her chest scars do that Duchovney will not treat her as a fragile doll. That is until she sees her thank you letter to the family of the donor of her heart.

 

It is one of those romantic comedies that make you laugh and cry and realize that you know all of the people in this movie from Jim Belushi’s regular guy to Carol O’Connor’s over protective grandfather. Robert Loggia is the fairy god-uncle we could ever want. It is Bonnie Hunt who holds it all together as writer, director, and loyal best/friend.

 

This is one of my favorite movies because it feels like and old fashioned love story. The people, despite being in a preposterous situation, act consistently with good natures. These are people you want to be around. For an hour and a half, I know I will have a good time.

 

You have to hang on to good movies like that.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 

Sultry Valentine’s Day

Family Movie Night 

By Karyn Bowman

 

Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

Every year, when it gets close to Valentine’s Day I always suggest renting Return to Me. The movie stars David Duchovny and Minnie Driver as two Chicagoans who meet by chance but have a deeper connection than either is aware.

 

It would complicated to explain but let’s just say it involves a heart transplant and a terrible car accident. The movie was written and directed by Bonnie Hunt who used to be a nurse.

 

I like the performances by the cast and the sincerity of the script. I know the places where the movie was filmed and love that people get messy. Life is never neat and clean which sometimes needs to be reflected in the movies.

 

It is a very sweet love story. And that is fine most of the time. However, sometimes, we need something a little sultry. We want to live on the edge just a little bit.

 

Maybe not as crazy as Something Wild starring Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels in which the yuppie’s life is taken over by the wild woman. It is all fun and games until her ex-husband, who is a bit crazy, returns.

 

No, I am thinking sultry as in Lauren Bacall. Is she a good girl or a bad girl or is it simply hard to tell. She drinks hard, lives hard, and has her own sense of right and wrong. Throughout it all she is beautiful in a mysterious sort of way.

 

Some of you might be asking who is Lauren Bacall. Some might remember her as the mother in the Barbara Streisand movie, The Mirror Has Two Faces. But those of us with longer memories have seen her paired up with her first husband, Humphrey Bogart. She and Bogey were a part of the Rat Pack in the beginning. They lived the glamorous life in a Hollywood that is far different from today.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Recently, some tv show featured a clip in which a beautiful woman flirted with a man by asking him if he knew how to whistle. Her dark sultry voice lets him know she is there for the taking but he has to put in a little effort. He only had to whistle.

 

“You know how to do that, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

 

That line from To Have or Have Not stops most men in their tracks, especially when delivered by Bacall in her film debut looking like the beautiful model that she was at the time.

 

Her sultry presence was paired again with Bogart in The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo. Bogart and Bacall were a very popular movie couple with the movie-going public. While the story might focus of the darker side of life, these noir films also featured deep rich characters.

 

None of these are kids friendly in regards to context. Most kids simply do not have the patience to sit through these old movies. But for film buffs, it is a chance to relive movie-making in a period that seems to be so much more glamorous than the current time.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Hearts Afire

Family Movie Night

Are you ready for Monday?

It is Valentine’s Day and it means being willing to give a little on the part of the giver. That the receiver must be willing to be gracious is the other half of the deal.

Picture by Julie Rocks

I once worked for a woman whose husband sent the best roses to her and treated her like a queen on that day. Perhaps that gas station rose is a good option if you don’t have much in the ‘moula’ department. But I would follow it up with a nice home-cooked meal and her favorite movie while snuggling on the couch.

So do I have any suggestions for what you should get?

I do!

My favorite, favorite movie for Valentine’s Day is the lovely and preposterous Return To Me starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver. He is a widower who lost his wife in a tragic car accident in the past year. She is a heart transplant survivor who recently celebrated a year with her new heart.

They fall crazy in love but she is afraid to tell him about her health condition because she does not want to be treated like a china doll. And then she does but not without a major complication. If you watch this movie, take in all of the great performance by Carroll O’Conner, Bonnie Hunt, Jim Belushi, Robert Loggia and David Alan Grier. You will laugh and cry and feel great once this movie directed by Chicagoan Bonnie Hunt is over.

If you want something a little newer, you can always check out Valentine’s Day directed by Gary Marshall and starring a whole slew of gorgeous actors. The action seems to circle around the activities of a flower shop owned by Ashton Kutcher that is very busy. 

Slowly stories spiral out, we figure out the connections and wonder at the revelations. Some will seem obvious while others will gob smack you. It is an enjoyable movie that has some lovely moments with actors that have worked with Marshall in one film or another. Plus, I loved the anti-love party held by the Jessica Biel character.

Maybe this year, it is you and the kids. You want something sweet and something the kids will like. I was recently reminded about Second Hand Lions starring Robert Duvall and Michael Caine.

Picture by Earl 53

Joel Haley Osment is their young grand-nephew who is dropped off with them one day by his mother. When she is coming back in unknown but the uncles decide to teach the boy a few lessons about living. And then they tell him stories about a never-ending love.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.