Tag Archive: Paul Giamatti


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

It doesn’t happen very often but the husband and I got away for a quick break to harbor Country in Michigan.

So what did we do?

We walked on the beach as the waves pounded in one day. We stood at the edge waiting for the water to touch our feet after walking down the shore and looking at the various pieces of driftwood settled into the sand. There were dog and deer tracks in the sand.

Lemon creek wineryWe ate scrumptious meals at breweries/restaurants, including a piece of chocolate stout cake that was better than anything I have ever eaten before. And the slice was ‘uge. There was brisket with mac and cheese as well as a jive turkey sandwich with a lemon mayo and argula.

I might need a diet from all of the food I ate over vacation.

What was interesting to me was all of the hops fields and vineyards we saw. There were rows and rows of grapevines for what seemed liked miles and miles. My husband explained that the land east of Lake Michigan benefited from the cool air that comes off off Lake Michigan, making for perfect growing conditions for grapes.

We stopped at one winery for a wine tasting and enjoyed a variety of white wine, making sure to buy a bottle for our hosts that will be perfect for sipping with a cheese and fruit plate.

It made me think of the movie Sideways with Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church. The 2005 Oscar winner for Best Screenplay is one of those adult movies that explores the core of our souls. In this case, it is two men on a trip in the Napa Valley the week before Church gets married.

SidewaysWe see these two men who are at crossroads vacation and meet incredible women. We see the ties beginning to develop as the lies grow bigger. There is a real connection going on and, sadly, we have a sense that the winner will not be the one we hope it will be.

I love this movie for reasons that are hard to explain. It is a true character study of people who fib a little or a lot. It is the look of failure and the chance for redemption or at least hope. They all have faults and failings. The person you root for is the most likable character and perhaps most balanced.

All of it swirling around like a fine wine in a glass, shimmering as it catches the light. And like a good wine, it has subtle flavors that come out as you taste and explore the wine.

This very adult movie is not for the squeamish and the easily offended. It has an R rating for a reason. There are situations I do not want to watch with my child nearby or maybe a parent. It’s one of those movies I prefer to watch with a spouse or maybe a girlfriend.

And when I do, it will be with my favorite pino grigio and a cheese plate. I was never much of a red wine fan.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Behind the Scenes

Family Movie Night

 One of the neat things about being a nosy parker (that would be me) is that you are always learning or seeing new and different things.  Sometimes that means people don’t want to talk to me and other times it means we get some interesting requests.

A few weeks ago, friends of ours asked if our daughter would be interested in acting in their film. It is a 10-minute short that has her playing a girl who dies in an accident. The rest of the story is to be a surprise and I will leave it at that.

What I will say is that it has been fascinating to watch the filming. We always see the finished product but to get that film takes time. You can go through a scene several times for a number of reasons.

The actors did fine but the shot itself needs to be refined. Or the actors flubbed a line or changed how they did something or had an attack of the giggles after much repetition.

Sometimes a scene will go off perfectly, requiring only a second shot to get a timing glitch out of the way.

Paul Giamatti and Frankie Muniz in "Big Fat Liar," Image from IMDb.com

Plus, you have to remain super quiet during the actual take because the microphone is so strong it will pick up sounds in other areas. We couldn’t talk or move around. I made my youngest son stop playing for a moment when he was on set one day so the sound wouldn’t ruin the shot.

All of this made me wonder about movies that are about the movies. For the kids, there is Big Fat Liar starring Frankie Muniz as a kid who’s last ditch paper is stolen by big time movie producer Paul Giammatti. So the kid and his best friend, Amanda Bynes, go to Hollywood hoping to get credit where credit is deserved.

Sharon Stone and Albert Brooks in "Thr Muse," Image from IMDb.com.

For something a little more adult and crazy, there is The Muse starring Albert Brooks and Sharon Stone. He is a screen writer hitting a serious block and she is a consultant of sorts who helps Hollywood-types break blocked periods. But she comes at a cost and prefers gifts in little blue boxes.

 When I did some quick looking around, I found that not everyone loved this movie as much as I have. I love the movie for being breezy and fun. That everyone caters to Stone in the manner she demands is hilarious.

Erick Von Stronheim, Gloria Swanson and William Holden in "Sunset Boulevard," Image from IMDb.com

Now if you want to go to classic movies about Hollywood , the ultimate behinds the scenes movie to me is Sunset Boulevard. What does one do when the zenith of your fame has gone away? What does one do when your multitude of fans disappear? If you are Gloria Swanson, you go crazy. Your mindset remains in the past. And you hire men to be your ‘companion.’

What movies about Hollywood do you 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.