The Way, Way Back

Last weekend Mumbles and I watched the movie The Way, Way Back.  I faintly recalled an interview on Kevin & Bean with Steve Carrell saying how he really enjoyed his part in the movie playing a total jerk. Other than that and the 85% Rotten Tomatoes rating in the info credits (so handy!), we had absolutely no idea what the movie would be about.  And it’s description wasn’t very enticing either:

Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

the way way back photo by claire folger via imdb

So anyway, we start watching and all of a sudden, Mumbles and I realize that this movie is fantastic and we’re totally enthralled – laughing and getting completely caught up in the story.  We both were a bit sad when it ended because we enjoyed it so much.

It was funny for us to enjoy the ensemble of actors in roles you wouldn’t expect but it was cast really well.  It’s hard to not like Steve Carrell but boy is he good at playing an oblivious a-hole.  Mumbles realized about a quarter of the way into it that the mom is “the same lady from [now-cancelled, no shocker] Hostages [man, we gotta stop watching shows like that…always getting cancelled with no resolution! ugh!].  I only recognized Sam Rockwell as the bad guy in one of the Charlie’s Angels movies…ha!  But we both were like “oh, hey, that guy…” to Nat Faxon who we knew from the cancelled Ben & Kate sitcom. A little more digging revealed that Faxon was one of the directors and writers with (the principal from Community!) Jim Rash.  Other faces you’ll know include Anna Sophia Robb (The Carrie Diaries), Amanda Peet, Rob Corddry (“you know why!” — quick, name that movie!), Maya Rudolph, and Allison Janney who is awesomely hilarious in this one.

I can’t recall the last time I’ve been so satisfied after watching a movie.  Really, really good, you guys.  Watch it.  Thank me later.

[photo via]

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What I’m Reading: Vampire Academy

Since I’m spending a large chunk of my work day in a drab basement room (with no cell reception) pumping, I decided I needed an easy book to read to help pass the time down there. Where better to look than the top of the bestseller list for tweens? Enter: Vampire Academy. Set to be a movie here soon, it’s the first of a six-book series.  I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’ll actually read all six, but the first one is entertaining enough and it’s one of those books I don’t mind putting down and picking up – it keeps my attention and interest for the short spurts I need it to.  Luckily, the movie appears to take a light-hearted approach because I really wasn’t going to be able to stand it if they took it all very seriously (a la the Twilight drama disasters).

VA poster

Have you read it? Any recommendations for what I should read next?

P.S. Do you recognize the lead actress, Zoey Deutch, from the cancelled Sarah Michelle-Gellar show Ringer? I forgot about that show…

Maleficent

Did you see the trailer for Disney’s new movie Maleficent during the Grammy’s? Angelina Jolie looks wicked good as the evil sorceress, don’t you think? And Lana Del Rey’s “Once Upon a Dream” cover is simply eerie. You can download the song for free this week.

P.S. Mumbles and I watched Oz the Great and Powerful this weekend and it was so vibrant, magical and fun. Have you seen it? 

Homemade Super 8 Films

My sweet friend Amanda sent me a lovely little email note the other day just to ask how I was doing and sent a link to this videographer’s site saying she wishes she could gift this to me. Just her sentiment in thinking of me was gift enough, but I did thoroughly enjoy watching the video.  How special would it be to document a special day, experience or trip by recording it yourself and then handing over the footage to a professional to give back to you in a darling video like this?  Such a treasure.

The One That Got Away

I know I can’t be the only one who was devastated when The Civil Wars announced they were taking a break/breaking up/confused.  Exciting news, folks: they’ve released a new single.  And…I love it!  So, so good.

Apparently the breakup thing didn’t go so well because they’re releasing a new album on August 6.  Or maybe it did and it has produced enough inspiration for more moody music. Either way, I say “hooray!”

Say It With Bacon

Do you love bacon as much as I do? How about presenting it in extraordinary fashion as a gift? Ranging from $22-28, a package of bacon in a velvet lined jewelry display case plus cufflinks, a money clip, or mutli-use tool. Father’s Day? Done. You’re welcome.

 

P.S. Different brand, but have you tried Jalapeño Bacon yet? I’m obsessed!

The Bachelorette Recap, episode 2 – Desiree

Bachelorette-ep2

Desiree walks into mansion and says, “I love you all in your normal clothes!”…scanning the room and all I see are black muscle tees and jeans. Come on, guys, get creative, huh?  

One-on-One Date: Brooks — “I’m waiting for a sign”

Desiree puts Brooks to the test…hopping in a wedding dress on the first date is one way to scare a guy off. Apparently an aspiring bridal gown designer,she wants to show him this side of her. Either that or she’s fearful this show won’t end in a white dress so hey, might as well get to try some on while you can, right?  After trying on some ridiculous tuxes, Brooks dons a dapper tux and he and Desiree take off in her Bentley to pick out some wedding cake at a dessert truck slash get the public in a frenzy probably believing she just up and married some guy.  Their last stop is a short hike to the Hollywood sign for a romantic conversation where Desiree shares the significance that the Hollywood sign holds in inspiring so many people to pursue their dreams (cue the “welcome to hollywood, what’s your dream?!” commercial).  Brooks says he’s had love that he can’t fully explain except to say that he “couldn’t breathe” and doesn’t want to bring her to tears.  Well, that’s a bit alarming.  In any case, they have their first kiss, which I must say is in a pretty stellar location and doesn’t seem terribly awkward.  Later that night, Desiree drives Brooks to a shady neighborhood and takes a wrong turn down a closed road where she insists he act as an accomplice in moving road barricades.  Sure, why not, right?  There he finds that a bridge has been closed down, a chandelier hung and a table for two set up for a romantic dinner.  Over dinner Desiree shares a bit about her family and when she asks about how he dealt with his parents’ divorce, he chokes up a bit but is at least able to spin the totally downer story about how he was super pissed at his dad for years and had a full-blown yelling match…he learned not to take time with family for granted and how he wants to be with his wife and kids.  Apparently it’s enough to save him and he gets a rose.  They kiss casually when yet another surprise awaits them — a live concert on the bridge by Andy Grammer (seriously, who of you could have named that guy?).  At first I think hey, Brooks isn’t such a bad dancer…but then I’m proved wrong as he continues to dance.  It’s always awkward watching just two people dancing with no one else around.  And, what do I always say? When in doubt, make out.  Works. Every. Time.  

I’ve decided Brooks reminds me of a tame Russell Brand.

Group Date: Dan, Juan Pablo, “myself” (I don’t know who you are, card reader), Zack K., Will, Brian, Drew, James, Mikey, Zak W., Nick, Michael, Brandon, and Ben — “Who’s here for the right reasons?”

Mansion, sports cars and Desiree in a tight dress in heels.  What else could this be but a rap video, right?  And it is.  Soulja Boy.  Funniest thing ever: Juan Pablo in a hat and gold chain. Sadly, this is all we’ll see of Juan Pablo all episode. Go ahead, press replay.  The guys have to freestyle rap and I hate every minute of it. Excruciating.  And I can’t even drink because I’m pregnant. I pity myself.  Go ahead, enjoy your wine. The guys who did the best at making a fool of themselves get chosen to star in the video — as past Bachelors and Bachelorette contestants.  Super funny, actually.  I’m laughing more than I’m cringing, which is always a good sign.  Poor Brandon is having a hard time, which probably isn’t easy without pants.  

  • After the wrap of their awful rap, Zak W. gets some alone time with Desiree and he brings her a gift that he found at an antique store — a vintage journal with a lovely inscription.  He felt he needed to show her his serious side since he showed up shirtless.  Good call, dude. 
  • Brandon kinda lost me at the “love is like a butterfly and I don’t want to squash it” speech.  
  • Mikey T. is pissed that Ben swoops in and steals Desiree.  James and the other men speculate whether Ben is, in fact, there for the right reasons.  Ben asks Desiree if she has any questions about his son, Brody, and she says she’s not scared off.  (What about the baby mama?)  Instead, Ben asks if he can kiss Desiree. Ugh, I hate it when they ask. 
  • Creepster Brandon is squashing his own butterfly as he spies on Desiree and Ben sharing their first kiss. 
  • Mikey decides to pull Ben aside to confront him about the politician vibe he gets.  Mikey says he wants to feel like they’re friends and not fake. Ben says he doesn’t want to stab anyone in the back. And then they bond by complimenting each other’s shoes. End of discussion.
  • Brandon is psyching himself out and gets a little emotional telling Desiree his life story about raising his siblings and how he can’t wait to have a family of his own. Coming on a little strong there, bud.  Desiree says she sees kindness but she looks a little bewildered.  Brandon declares he has fallen “in like” with Desiree.  

Ben gets the rose from Desiree for “using his time wisely.”  (read: kissing)  

One-on-One Date: Bryden — “Road trip!”

Desiree is excited to take Bryden up the California coast since he’s from Montana and has never been to California. They stop at a beach. They try to fly a kite, but it doesn’t work. Splash around in the water, but it’s cold.  Next they stop at an Orange Grove/in Orange Grove/somewhere to pick oranges, and lastly they stop at one of my favorite places — The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.  Mumbles and I stayed there for my birthday a few years ago and it was delightful. I’d definitely recommend it to a friend. They have a romantic dinner date under a bunch of lanterns hung from a big, majestic oak tree. Super dreamy.  Over dinner Bryden shares that he was in a very bad car accident in college — he brought photos of the wreck and some of his injuries.  He joined the military soon thereafter and says it was a dream of his to serve and that the accident has shaped who he is.  Bryden says he has used the military as an excuse not to get close to anyone but now he’s ready to share his life. He is very barbaric looking but Desiree seems to like what she sees enough to give him a rose. 

In the hot tub after an excruciatingly long time staring into his eyes and agreeing with whatever it is he was muttering, Desiree finally just demands that Bryden kiss her already.  She knows this military man is good at taking orders. He obliges and at least they can laugh about it.  Geez. 

Cocktail Party:

Michael, the federal prosecutor, is telling Desiree a very heartfelt life story about being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when Ben saunters over to steal Desiree away.  Ben with the rose.  And the cockiness. He makes some reference to Desiree about their kiss being a secret. Maybe he thinks he got the first kiss?  Oh, that’s cute.  Michael and the other guys are pissed and confront Ben about being a slimeball but he’s got nothing to say.  So, the gents ask to take the conversation outside.  Mikey seems like a guy’s guy. A good friend. Ben, on the other hand…well, who tries to lie to a federal prosecutor? I mean, really. 

Brian, super sweaty guy, has a generic conversation with Des. Not even sure why I’m mentioning it. It was super vanilla. 

Roses:

  • Brooks
  • Ben
  • Bryden
  • James
  • Kasey
  • Dan
  • Juan Pablo
  • Brad
  • Chris
  • Brian
  • Zak W.
  • Drew
  • Mikey
  • Zack K. 
  • Michael
  • Brandon

Going home: Will, Robert, Nick M. 

Next Week: rappelling down a building, horses, dancing, westerns, rooftops, jumping in pools, making out, lying and deceit, men in tank tops, an ambulance, and another woman. 

And, for your uncomfortable viewing pleasure: