Love & Friendship

Love & Friendship (2016)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

This is one of the newest versions of Jane Austenโ€™s books which I had not seen before. Love & Friendship is based on the novella Lady Susan and being a fan of previous novels turned to movies, I couldnโ€™t wait to watch this ๐Ÿ™‚ . The costumes (especially Lady Susanโ€™s dresses) were amazing, the scenery and houses were great and the background music was suitable. The beginning the story was quite appealing and captivating enough to keep you intrigued. I loved the โ€œintroductionsโ€ to the characters by giving each person a title and witty description ๐Ÿ˜€ . That made it unique and at times quite funny to read ๐Ÿ˜› . ย Kate Beckinsale plays Lady Susan Vernon wonderfully as I believed the character throughout. She was definitely the most entertaining and memorable of them all ๐Ÿ™‚ . The comedy was mostly mild throughout but Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett) was absolutely hilarious ๐Ÿ˜€ . He was my favourite in this film and I especially loved his scene with the โ€œpeasโ€ ๐Ÿ˜› . Also the dialogue is very faithful to the period and book and at times this wasnโ€™t always a good thing.ย  It got a little confusing to follow what actually was happening, who was tricking who and had Lady Susan succeeded? The ending was also very much of a let-down. ย It felt rushed and shoved together to make a happy ending without actually achieving in movie time. I was unsure how I felt with who married who and that Lady Susan kind of got away with it. Also Frederica Vernon wasnโ€™t the most interesting character to care about. I guess this is great for fans of Jane Austen only but I think reading the book would be better ๐Ÿ˜› . However, it is acted great and the odd humour is worth it for Jane Austen fans ๐Ÿ™‚ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 3 Stars out of 5!

Panda Love and Friendship
A lady never reveals her tactics.

Just Like Heaven

Just Like Heaven (2005)

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

This is a very sweet romantic movie that is perfect for those lazy days watching with friends ๐Ÿ™‚ . This is a pleasant story to follow that is surprisingly very captivating from beginning to the end. There are a few emotional moments in this story that may not be as strong as others in this genre but it is enough. There are plenty of surprises and twists for this easy to follow storyline that help keep it entertaining ๐Ÿ™‚ . For example, I loved it when we learnt more about what may have happened to Elizabeth and how she is connected to David. The romance between Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) and David (Mark Ruffalo) is sweet, charming and believable ๐Ÿ™‚ . I loved their first meeting and how their animosity at the beginning was very comical. I especially loved the scene where Elizabeth is annoying David singing โ€œTomorrowโ€ ๐Ÿ™‚ . The addition of the psychic Darryl (Jon Heder) is fine and worked well with the story and Abby (Dina Spybey-Waters) was quite funny ๐Ÿ™‚ . I enjoyed the beginning scene which gives us a hint of what Elizabethโ€™s life was like and does introduce the tone of the movie well. ย I also loved the small addition of the magic /other worldly stuff such as the niece being more aware than normal (when you watch it you will know ๐Ÿ˜› ) . The ending is great and kind of has a fairytale feel to the overall movie. This story is a tad predicable near the end but I liked it originality at the beginning and reason for these characters to meet ๐Ÿ™‚ . Overall, this is a sweet, entertaining and fantastic movie that is great for anyone who loves romantic comedies with a touch of something different ๐Ÿ˜€ . ย I would recommend this movie and would happily watch again ๐Ÿ™‚ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 4 Stars out of 5!

Panda Just like Heaven
Feel the connection.

Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Genre: Drama, Romance

A modern retelling (set in the 90โ€™s when it was filmed) of the classic Shakespeare play of Romeo and Juliet that is done pretty great ๐Ÿ™‚ . It brings the classic tale as modern as possible and still keeps you entertained throughout. I found this film very captivating and enthralling from the explosive beginning to the tragic end even if you never knew this story before (though how could you not know ๐Ÿ˜› ). Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes are perfect as Romeo and Juliet plus their relationship is very sweet, endearing and believable. Their first meeting scene with the fish tank was memorable and their meeting outside her bedroom (after the party scene) was very good ๐Ÿ™‚ . The action scenes and fights between the two households were impressive plus I liked it when the โ€œdark skiesโ€ appeared when things got bad. The character of Mercutio (Harold Perrineau) ย was great and I liked the look of Tybalt (John Leguizamo) ๐Ÿ™‚ . The deaths of certain characters were played well and the end scene was tragic but performed great (the imagery will stick with you after the film ends ๐Ÿ˜› ). I did appreciate that the words remained mostly faithful to the original but did not seems out of place. It flowed well with the acting and scenes while making you still believe it was normal way of speaking for a 90โ€™s Verona ๐Ÿ™‚ . The soundtrack is also amazing in this and I did like the use of reporters and news television broadcasts at the beginning and the end ๐Ÿ™‚ . Also the use of flashbacks may be a tad cheesy but I think it works and I liked how they used guns for the daggers / swords. Overall, this is an adaption that is done fantastically well and is a great watch for any Shakespeare fan or those who love romantic tragedies ๐Ÿ™‚ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 4.5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Romeo + Juliet
My only love sprung from my only hate.

After The Ball

After the Ball (2015)

Genre: Comedy, Romance

This is another take on that Cinderella story so predictability was always going to be high with this movie. However, as predictable as it was this was a fairly entertaining film ๐Ÿ™‚ . Its pace was light but easy to follow and has odd humour moments ๐Ÿ™‚ . The beginning starts well and the new modern take of her stepmother and sisters being part of a family business works. They are obviously mean to her but it works in way that is acceptable for a modern world (that no-one else noticing the work harassment and so on ๐Ÿ˜› ). The romance is also typical but sweet between Kate (Portia Doubleday) and Daniel (Marc-Andre Groudin) who you do want together (but the pull isn’t that strong as I don’t think I would have minded if they didn’t get together ๐Ÿ˜› ). I think what saved this movie for me was about part way through switching from being another Cinderella retelling to a Twelfth Night. The main girl, Portia Doubleday, plays greatย  “Nate”ย and the humour excels in this part of the narrative ๐Ÿ™‚ . I really wanted her to succeed and I think from this point on was when I felt a connection with the characters. However, on the downside the climax was not that big so the resolution became lukewarm because of it. Though it did end happily and the moment when Daniel realises who Nate is was a great and sweet scene. Plus the costumes are good and I was quite entertained and captivated even with its flaws ๐Ÿ˜€ . Overall, this is a light hearted, romantic comedy that is worth the watch for those love the romantic comedy genre ๐Ÿ™‚ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 3.5 Stars out of 5!

Panda After the Ball
What would you do if you were in my shoes?

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

Genre: Drama, Musical, Romance

What can I say, I love this movie and this film is what made me further my love for the original musical ๐Ÿ™‚ . I was a child when I first saw this and I am still entertained watching it now as an adult. The adaptation from theatre to screen works wonderfully and the narrative is entertaining throughout ๐Ÿ™‚ . It sets up well, has plenty of surprises and twists plus the constant darkness (anyone could be next feeling) works giving a new element to the movie. I enjoyed how the film began and ended plus I especially loved the beginning scene where we go โ€œbackโ€ in time ๐Ÿ˜€ . The cast is great in this Gerald Butler, Emmy Rossum, Miranda Richardson and many more. Each created a believable character that I laughed at or with, cried, felt for and they added to the mystery of the movie ๐Ÿ™‚ . The main thing to note is the songs in this and choreography! They are spectacular ๐Ÿ˜€ !! The voices were incredible and even those who were not as strong worked for the characters they were playing. My favourites (I loved them all but trying to only pick a few ๐Ÿ˜› ) was The Phantom of the Opera (obviously ๐Ÿ˜› ), Music of the Night, Masquerade and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. The songs plus dรฉcor and movement were spell bounding and awesome ๐Ÿ˜€ . I loved the movement in Masquerade the most. The set and costumes were really amazingly from the main star to the extra. You canโ€™t help but sit there and admire it ๐Ÿ™‚ ! Plus the love story is great but not too overpowering as the element of danger / darkness still slots in well. Overall, a fabulous adaptation that will have you captivated if you love musicals, romance or something that little bit darker ๐Ÿ˜› . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Phantom of Opera
Listen to the Music of the Night

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Genre: Drama, Romance

I have loved this movie as a child and it still has not disappointed when watching it again now ๐Ÿ™‚ . It is a great adaptation from Jane Austenโ€™s book that is mostly faithful but still makes you feel like you are watching a new story ๐Ÿ™‚ . There is a stellar cast in this movie such as Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and many more ๐Ÿ˜€ . Each character was as realistic as possible and made us feel for (and believe) these characters because of their extremely excellent performance in this movie. I quite liked all the main characters equally and donโ€™t think I can pick a favourite ๐Ÿ˜› . The pace of the film runs well and gives us plenty of details without boring us with too much ๐Ÿ˜› . There is a good level of humour still added in this movie with some odd scenes and clever dialogue. This movie does more focus on the romance element but that is expected as this is a Jane Austen tale. The heartbreaking scene with Marianne is stunning (the one in the rain later in the film) and memorable ๐Ÿ™‚ . Each of the sisters (Elinor and Marianne) has a sad moment which makes you feel for them and could make one quite tearful. The relationships are quite believable between the characters and makes the tale very interesting. The film ends well plus the costumes and set of this movie are stunning ๐Ÿ˜€ ! This is a fantastic period drama movie that can keep a fan entertained from beginning to end. Plus the movie has a nice 90โ€™s nostalgia that works in the filmโ€™s favour ๐Ÿ™‚ . I would definitely recommend this if you love period drama romances ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Sense & Sensibility
What do you know of my heart?

American Beauty

American Beauty (1999)

Genre: Drama, Romance

This is one of those films that go down in history for being completely unique and stunning in their script writing. This movie was recommended to me for a long time and when I did watch this, it was definitely worth the watch ๐Ÿ˜€ . The acting is superb in this movie throughout especially from Kevin Spacey who plays the main role Lester Burnham. He plays a suburban father who is having a mid-life crisis and became obsessed with his daughterโ€™s friend Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari). He does become it bit creepy as his infatuation grows but this also makes him rather captivating throughout ๐Ÿ™‚ . The film was quite dark especially how it began as it hinted to how the film would continue and was a very interesting start ๐Ÿ™‚ . I liked how the film was narrated by Lester as this brought us closer to the film and wanting to see how things would end. I liked how the film did not just focus on just Lester but others too and I liked the character of Ricky (Wes Bentley) especially as you learn what his family is like ๐Ÿ™‚ . I loved how each characterโ€™s problems built together and all lead to the last scene which was my favourite section. The ending was shocking, different and has stuck with me since I watch it ๐Ÿ˜› . The film is very arty and this works in its favour because the scenes are quite memorable (such as the roses on the ceiling scene ๐Ÿ˜› ). Itโ€™s a very psychological film that will have you thinking and questioning the idea of the โ€œAmerican Dreamโ€. This may not be to everyoneโ€™s taste and to be quite honest, the ending was the best part of the entire movie for me. But it deserves a watch once and it is unique ๐Ÿ˜€ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

I give this film 4.5 Stars out 5!

Panda American Beauty
…Look Closer

New Year’s Eve

New Yearโ€™s Eve (2011)

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Another film based off the style of Love Actually that spawned many movies in its wake ๐Ÿ˜› ! This one (about New Yearโ€™s Eve ๐Ÿ˜› ) is not too bad! The story is nice and entertaining enough for you to follow ๐Ÿ™‚ . It is an easy watch that has a decent line up (Katherine Heigl, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro and many more ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I liked some of the ways the characters intertwined together especially that joke in the โ€œrunning to their loverโ€ moment which I loved (when you see it you will know ๐Ÿ˜› ). My favourite couple to follow was Paul (Zac Efron) and Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer). They were funny, the most likable characters and their goal was an interesting one to follow. However, as much as I know the style of this movie and I know what to expect , I felt like there were too many characters. So many that I barely got to understand them or care if they got their goals or not. It felt more like a spot the celebrity and tourist advertising for New York City ๐Ÿ˜› . There are elements in some of the stories that were good and could have been great if they were focussed on more. Instead of shoving as many stories as possible into one movie ๐Ÿ˜› . Donโ€™t get me wrong this is a pleasant enough film that I have been able to watch and enjoy. But it is nothing exciting and it more suits as being a chick flick where you donโ€™t mind talking throughout while it plays. Also parts were too cheesy and were almost boring. This film isnโ€™t worth the watch unless you donโ€™t mind watching unchallenging plot lines and a bit of romantic fun. Though this movie is worth it just for that dance scene in the end credits (I wonโ€™t spoil ๐Ÿ˜› ). Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 3 Stars out of 5!

Panda New Years eve
Let the countdown begin.

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo (2011)

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family Film, Romance

Monte Carlo is one of those teen romance movies that you might watch with your friends when you are in the mood for a light hearted chick flick. The story is very simple to follow, there are not any big surprises waiting in the narrative and it ends as expected ๐Ÿ˜› . Though, it does have a very warming and happy feeling throughout that keeps you entertained. It ends pleasantly and fitting enough for the film ๐Ÿ™‚ . The main actresses (Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy and Leighton Meester) act okay enough for the roles of the narrative but I canโ€™t say the film shows the best acting I have ever seen. ย Though, donโ€™t get me wrong, I donโ€™t think they are to blame as I think it has something to do with the average and typical narrative plus the film in general. The scenery is great and the whole fairytale aspect is good ๐Ÿ™‚ . At times it did make me smile and I was most intrigued during the โ€œalmost found outโ€ section near the โ€œclimaxโ€ of the movie. I also loved the growing romances though some could have been focused on more but at the ending one couple finished wonderfully ๐Ÿ™‚ . I also wished they had made the distinction between Grace and Cordelia Winthrop Scott clearer, so the humour of Grace trying to imitate could have been funnier. Overall, an alright movie that I surprisingly liked but canโ€™t deny this isnโ€™t the greatest in romantic comedy genre movies. Good for a girly night in or for younger teens ๐Ÿ™‚ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 2.5 Stars out of 5!

panda-monte-carlo
She’s having the time of someone elseโ€™s life.