Movie Review by Kristin: THE LAST SUMMER

Happy Hump Day, movie lovers!

I was able to check out Netflix’s newest rom-com, THE LAST SUMMER this week and, I have to say, I enjoyed it!

SYNOPSIS: Teens from a Chicago high school grapple with their dreams, relationships and identities in a transformative summer before they leave for college. 

Let’s start off with the cast. This cast was a mix of well-known actors (KJ Apa as Griffin, Maia Mitchell as Phoebe and Tyler Posey as Ricky) and relatively unknowns. Some of the characters were a bit over the top, and I’m not sure if that was due to a lack of experience or if that’s just how the characters were made to be. Either way, the majority of the cast fit really well together in their own little storylines. They’re never all together in one scene, which contributes to making this movie a bit more relatable for some people. In high school, you’re not always in this huge group of people that always gets along. Sometimes you’re alone or with one friend or with that person you have heart eyes for.

Each set of storylines were interesting to watch play out. Whether you’re recently graduating from high school or you graduated long ago, we all remember that crossroads moment when you realize everything is about to change. The characters in THE LAST SUMMER are all facing that familiar crossroad, so it brings back a sense of nostalgia for the viewer. Relationship troubles, applying to colleges, not getting into the college you had your eyes set on, figuring out where you’re headed and what mistakes you’ve made along the way . . . all of that plays out in this movie.

There’s not much action and it may not be my favorite movie ever, but it’s definitely worth a watch. The cast is great, the setting makes you want to pack your bags and head to Chicago, and it’s just a feel good movie that brings you back to that special time when you truly discover that life is at your fingertips.

Check it out for yourself, now on Netflix, and let me know what you thought!

Movie Review by Kristin: IRREPLACEABLE YOU

IMG_1668Holy crap.

I admit that I can be a bit emotional at times during shows like This Is Us and movies like Love, Simon. None, however, have made me ugly cry quite like this one.

SYNOPSIS: Recently engaged couple Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Michiel Huisman) find their dreams for the future shattered when she receives a terminal-cancer diagnosis. Abbie copes with the news by attending a support group, and by trying to plan the details of Sam’s life after she’s gone — which includes finding him a new partner.

IRREPLACEABLE YOU is a bit predictable in the sense that the main characters, Abbie and Sam, discover her diagnosis so early in the film, but the way it’s handled is heartbreaking and lovely all at the same time. I also feel like it was a bit sugar-coated because we never saw Abbie get extremely sick the way that we know cancer can play out — but I’m kind of thankful for that. We know what’s happening, we don’t necessarily have to witness every detail. In that respect, I also think it’s very telling that you’re able to be so emotionally invested in this couple despite not seeing the very worst of this horrible disease. It says a lot about the actors in each scene.

The performances by Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michiel Huisman were very sweet and raw. You really felt the love they had for each other, which made the outcome even more beautiful and heartbreaking. With that being said, even though the ending is predictable, watching it play out in such a way had me hooked. It was also fun to see Christopher Walken play a friend to Abbie throughout the film and, ultimately, being the person who made her look at her life differently.

My only complaint is that we didn’t get enough scenes with Kate McKinnon in them! Aside from that, this was a great little movie. One of the moments that really got me was when Abbie tells Sam that she thought planning his future would hurt less than her accepting that she won’t be around to see it. UGHHHHHHH. If you like the odd concoction of sad, romantic and funny movies, I definitely recommend this one.

Side note: I absolutely loved Sam’s dimples in the movie, and I was absolutely SHOOK to discover that he played Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones! Yes, the one that hooked up with Khaleesi and got dumped! Funny what a pair of glasses and a shave could do!

Movie Review by Kristin: TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE

IMG_1526Happy Monday, everyone!

This weekend I had a moment to sit down and watch the highly anticipated TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE on Netflix, and I am SO glad I did.

SYNOPSIS: Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all of her past loves, the letters are meant for her eyes only. Until one day when all the love letters are sent out to her previous loves. Her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.

What an adorable teen romantic comedy! I have to hand it to Netflix because they have not let me down with their Originals lately. I will admit that I had not read the book by Jenny Han prior to watching the film, so I had nothing to compare it to, but wow!

The cast was fantastic, the story was so cute and relatable, and it really tugged at your feelings while watching it. You felt for Lara Jean when her letters got out — the anxiety of someone knowing your personal feelings when you weren’t expecting them to and feeling like you don’t know how to stop what’s happening. I saw so much of myself in Lara Jean even though I’m in my 30’s, so I think it’s really a film that anyone can enjoy.

So many of us have had that experience where we’re not quite sure how to express our feelings towards someone we’re afraid of being rejected by. You’ve had that box hidden in the back of your closet with unsent letters containing your most private feelings at some point in your life. I know I have, and if those had ever been sent out, you’d probably find me in a cave somewhere hibernating until it blew over. No lie! That’s probably what made Condor’s portrayal of Lara Jean so likable is that even though she was mortified, she took control of the situation and didn’t back down.

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I know that with book-to-film adaptations, readers already have a preconceived idea of what the characters would look like and are often disappointed with the outcome. However, in this case, the majority of the readers (& viewers) seem to think Lana Condor was the perfect Lara Jean and Noah Centineo was the perfect Peter Kavinsky. So kudos to the casting crew in addition to the phenomenal performances from the cast!

This is definitely a modern day John Hughes film if I ever saw one. I honestly can’t come up with any complaints. In order to provide a little insight from a younger perspective, my niece, who is 14, also saw it with her friends and absolutely loved it.

If you’re into rom-coms, I highly recommend checking this out on Netflix when you can. If (and when) you do, let me know what you thought! I’ll just be in my little corner reading the book now.

Movie Review by Kristin: HOME AGAIN | #HomeAgain_Movie #HomeAgainMovie

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Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m back with another movie review! This time I was able to put the phone down and watch HOME AGAIN with the niece and I actually really enjoyed it. Admittedly, I thought I was going to love this one, but I can’t say it’s in my top 5. I did enjoy it though, and I definitely don’t think it deserved the low rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

SYNOPSIS: Life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her. 

Our first thought about the film is that Reese Witherspoon definitely has some sort of anti-aging elixir that we all need to get our hands on. The woman does not age!

Her performance in this movie was so good! She really embodied the role of a freshly separated mom who is feeling her way through being the new head-of-household. She’s not perfect, she’s sensitive and she’s unwilling to give up on herself and her daughters. That’s something that so many women can relate to and it’s part of the charm of this movie.

The relationships she develops with Harry (Pico Alexander), George (Jon Rudnitsky) and Teddy (Nat Wolff) contribute to the charm as well. Each one fills a void that she is missing since her separation from Austin (Michael Sheen) and, although I probably wouldn’t let three strangers live in my home, it provides the near-perfect situation in Alice’s case.

HOME AGAIN has a great blend of comedy, romance and drama that leaves you wanting more. At only an hour and 37 minutes, I feel like there could’ve been at least another half hour of comedy thrown in there. It was a great watch for sure, but it didn’t completely wow me the way the trailer did.

You can grab a copy of HOME AGAIN on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray now! Check it out and let me know your thoughts!