Tag Archive: Valentine’s Day


Witchy Women

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

Valentine’s day provides a much needed break from a bleak cold winter.

 

As red and pink abound, we are reminded that life is not all about chilling winds and blinding snow storms. We remember to celebrate love in all of its forms.

 

Maybe that is with flowers or chocolate or a special meal of a special time together. Maybe a special craft will come home from school or candles will be lit over a special homemade meal.

 

Like Mardi Gras (which takes place at the end of February) it is a chance to chase away cabin fever after being stuck indoors because of the cold weather. Our snow count has not been much this year but I did notice weather people counting the cloudy days we’ve had so far.

 

Ugh.

 

I watch a ni-married-a-witch-bannerumber of movies and there are times that I want to watch something different from the usual choices for these various holidays. Those favorites are good and we love them, until we have seen them too many times and want something else. We want something that goes in different directions.

 

This week I watched I married a Witch from 1942. This comedy stars a 19-year-old saucy Veronica Lake, with the peek-a-boo hairdo, and Frederick March. She is a witch who was burned and her spirit is locked in an oak tree. March is the Puritan who put her to death along with her father as witches. But before everything she curses the man’s descendants to marry women who make them unhappy.

 

i_married_a_witch-vampire-magic

Image by vampire magic

Lake is freed from the tree 250 years later from a freak lightning storm. Her first order of business is to make the descendants of her tormentor miserable. But that task is being accomplished by his spoiled brat of a fiancee. So Lake decides to make the man fall in love with her and she can do the job personally.

 

Well, of course, it doesn’t all run smoothly. Things go awry in the making the man miserable department. But it is humorous and amusing as Lake and March show their stuff in a classic light comedy from the 1940s. Safe and clean but it may be more for adults to enjoy.

love-and-friendship-poster
The other movie I watched was Love and Friendship starring Kate Beckingsale as the delightfully manipulative Lady Susan. Jane Austen fans will recognize this name from the self-titled unfinished novella. This is not good for younger children although teens could comfortably watch this one. Lady Susan is the impoverished recently widowed Regency woman doing her best to marry off her daughter to to a rich but dim-witted suitor while trying to steal away the most handsome man in all of England from his rich wife.

 

Lady Susan is cruel and indifferent to those around her. She can charm most men and easily explain away most incongruities in her story. Unafraid to use her sex appeal or seemingly goodness, this woman can and does get away with everything while being wily and resourceful. I am not sure why I like her. Whenever she speaks it is surely a lie. Even the most crazy things are suddenly clear with her explanations. But then aglove_and_friendship_kate_beckinsale_ain, the people around her are insufferably good with the exception of her best friend, Chloe Seveigny. Her piety or lack there of begins to feel more real, more human.

 

I guess that is a part of her charm. She, is after all, Lady Susan – the biggest flirt and breaker of hearts in all of England.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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Before All That

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

With Valentine’s Day close at hand, I always fret about what to write.

I have my favorite movies that I have recommended for years. Some of them are becoming dated Before Sunrisedespite how good they are to watch. I encourage you to watch great romantic comedies such as Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, Tin Cup, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Forget Paris. But lets not rehash them one more time for the sake of Valentine’s Day.

For this week, I decided to review a movie series I have never watched before that has been hailed as one of the greatest romantic series of movies. As I watched Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight I knew it was directed by Richard Linklater who has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Director category this year for his movie Boyhood.

Before SunsetWhat has brought this series so much acclaim is the way these two people interact with each other. In the first movie of the series, Before Sunrise, Jesse meets Celine on a train. He is getting off in Vienna, she is going to Paris. They begin talking and realize they do not want to stop. Jesse suggests she spends the night with him in Vienna so that they can talk some more before he takes off on a plane to go back to the U.S.

Their conversation is filled with questions about each other, their dreams, their past, their theories about life. As I watched this movie, I realized that their conversation was something that happens with people in their early twenties. It felt real, it felt like conversations I had with people at that time in my life.

It is in Before Sunset that we find out Jesse has written a book about that magical night and he is on an international book tour. It is in Paris that he meets Celine again. They catch up on each other’s lives and share what that night has meant to them over the years. Again the dialogue is honest and brutal but this time they are reflecting on the shoulda’s and coulda’s of their relationship. What if they had kept better contact or made better decisions about this or that relationship.

Before MidnightIt is in the final installment of Before Midnight that we see Jesse and Celine in a true relationship, not in the starting blocks or the wishful ‘what if’ state. They are married with two adorable girls. His son from a previous marriage is flying back to the States. Each has their regrets and happiness with the relationship. He wishes to be closer, geographically, with his son. She wishes to be able to do more as an environmental activist. They love each other and yet neither wants to lose out on these goals and dreams. There were times in this movie that I realized these people talk to each other like my husband and I speak to each other.

What makes these three movies potent is their romanticism, even in the midst of everyday routine things. It is how they speak and how they listen to each other that matters, that makes or breaks the relationship. There are times in the final movie in which parenting and those chores take away from the romance but it doesn’t mean they are less in love. It’s simply that chores get more precidence than having sex and being googly eyed with each other.

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy has tangible chemistry. We see why they are truly interested in each other. Those feelings from one day spent together never went away, even 18 years later they are still fascinated with each other but they can attend to the other parts of their lives. But let me have this one bit of snark. At some point in the third movie, Hawke is wearing his shirt with one end tucked in and one end pulled out. Bad fashion move and I am not sure Jesse would have cared enough to make that move. Then again, Celine appears to be wearing the same jumper she work 18 years ago, so what do I know.

Now for the word of warning. I do not believe younger children should watch this movie series as it is too adult in context. Secondly, this is not a high action movie. There are no car chases, no cutesy togetherness scenes, no big misunderstanding that requires a temporary separation. What we get is a lot of talking and walking. The first two movies are about the couple while the third movie incorporates other people before there is a more intimate setting. Throughout we see how this couple interact with each other and the people around them. It is sweet and disarming and unforgettably real.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

You eat that much?

Picture by Xenia

Today is Valentine’s Day and you have made the terrible realization that spring is not too far away. March 21 is just 35 days away. That means Spring and the clothing which is lighter and prettier and telling of rolls of fat is 35 days away.

“‘Noooooooooooooooo” is the collective scream being heard across the snow belt despite the joy of warmer weather. How does this happen? Where does all of this fat come from.

You know the answer.

Food.

Food loaded with fats and sugars and sodas that have nothing nutritional to give.

I love it, can’t get enough of it. When I am having a bad day, the thought of bread pudding cheers me right up. Chocolate cake, brownies with caramel swirls in it or even a simple frosted cupcake with a raspberry on top can do the same.

When it is my turn to make the Sunday Dinner, I go for chicken in cream sauces or crab cakes.  I like trying new recipes for soups, main dishes and desserts. All of which explains the extra weight I carry. 

That is why I put myself on a diet aimed at improving all-around health along the threat of diabetes. It runs in my family like the Mississippi during a flood. There are days that I feel like a ticking time bomb just waiting for my sugar numbers to explode and make my life miserable.

Today, I am sharing that diet that has helped me drop 30 pounds but be warned. This works for me and the condition I know I am going to have no matter how hard I try. My mother is a skinny woman and she has diabetes. I am 25 pounds over my highest allowed weight (by the insurance company’s charts) and despite making some great improvements, that chronic illness is headed my way.

What I have worked to do is make a diet that is tasty and not depriving me of anything. I also make sure to have plenty of liquid throughout the day.

 

Morning

First thing: 16 oz of water

Breakfast: 2 fried or scrambled eggs, slice of bread or malt-o-meal, 12-16 oz. green tea

Mid Morning: 12-16 oz coffee, 1 serving of a sweet cookie or a sweet roll)

 

 

 

Picture by Johnninbkk

Afternoon:

Lunch: Sandwich or soup, starch (bread, chips or carrot sticks), fruit, 12-16 oz water

Mid-afternoon: 12-16 oz. coffee, 2 small pieces of candy (pic-a-snack or 2 Dove squares)

After work: Protein (hard-boiled egg or peanut butter), 12-6 oz tea

Evening:

Supper: Protein, starch, veggie, salad, 12-16 oz drink

 

 

 

Picture by Karpati

The other important factor:

You have to get up and move. I walk about 20 -30 minutes a day with the dog, every day. EVERY DAY. I also try to do a 20-minute workout in the morning. I am getting a little anxious and want changes to happen quicker.

This is what works for me. Now tell me what has worked for you. Perhaps we can trade secrets that actually work.

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.