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Watch This: Little Women

*Warning: If you have not read Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic, Little Women, (or seen any film adaptations of the novel) beware. There are spoilers below.* 

On Christmas night, I went to the movies with a girlfriend to see the long awaited Little Women. I still remember the day my friend Rachel and I were eating empanadas at a cafe and she casually mentioned that Greta Gerwig was working on a new adaptation of Little Women. I about lost my mind with excitement. While the 1994 version with its own star studded cast (Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon, Kirsten Dunst, and more) will always hold a very special place in my heart – Gerwig definitely worked some magic with this film. 

I’ll tell you off the bat, it was waterworks for me almost the entire viewing. (I peeked, and noticed similar reactions in the audience around me.) The tears weren’t even in a sad way, but more like “this is so beautiful, I’m overwhelmed.” Plus – when you come to love literary characters, there’s something special about them being brought to life on screen. It was like reuniting with the March family. 

Timothy Chalamet is so darn charming that it makes it next to impossible to be annoyed with him. Even when he’s lazily gallivanting around Paris wasting his family’s money, wallowing in some self pity. And I’m convinced that I’ll have the urge to visit any setting of the films he stars in. (For instance: Call Me By Your Name gave me the sudden desire to go traipse around the vineyards of Italy. Here, I was even more drawn to the sprawling landscape of France than usual, or even the streams and fields of Massachusetts.) 

I’m guessing a lot of girls identified with Jo March when they were reading Little Women growing up. She has an undeniable passion for words, writing, reading, taking in everything around her. She has a flair for the dramatics. She isn’t mainstream in the least. Watching Saoirse Ronan nail this character’s essence so perfectly on screen, I felt l came face to face with other similarities we had in common. (For better or worse.) She’s stubborn, and argumentative, and her intensity is scorching. Her ache to to see so much of the world, the impatience to fulfill her dreams now, the urge to swim against the current in all things conventional in society – those traits glowed like a spotlight was cast upon them. A light bulb went off for me, and I thought oh…perhaps this why I have always been obsessed with Jo March. 

I think for once though, finally, I was able to understand the youngest March sibling a little more. Florence Pugh plays Amy, and oh she plays her spectacularly well. I always thought Amy was rather petulant. (Okay, if my sibling threw my manuscript in a burning fireplace – I’d have lost my mind.) And I was the older sibling myself, so I am sure there are younger sibling things I don’t understand. (Understatement.) But the spin on Amy’s character in Gerwig’s Little Women is rather refreshing. Sure she still does some insufferable things in her childhood. But I understood that her own stubborn will to fulfill her dreams was such a driving force in her behavior as well. 

And I’ll admit – I was probably always going to be a little bit salty about the fact that Laurie ends up with Amy, and not Jo. I know the dialogue to the proposal scene in the 1994 version, by heart. (I have loved you from the moment I clapped eyes on you – what could be more logical than to marry you?) Oh my heart. Ouch. But – I am also the champion of unrequited love, the person who always had the ridiculous wherewithal to pine after the same person for ages, going on a simple lingering hope. Longing be damned. So, in Gerwig’s version, I felt like I could finally see that while Laurie may have always had eyes for Jo – Amy was waiting in the wings. She knew her moment would come. (And when it did, of course she announced she wouldn’t t be a sorry second choice.) He could court her, and show the truth of his desires on his own.

Jo and Beth’s special relationship, though they were so different from each other was another favorite part of the film. The day the whole gang spent on the beach were some of the most beautiful scenes. Meg has her own scenes of sparkle. (From being the “pet” to building her own family with John.) This film could have easily been another hour longer, time to tell more family stories, and I’d still be all about it.

The dancing scenes at the ball effectively won me over immediately. (Of course, I went home and played the soundtrack on loop.) The landscapes are gorgeous. The music is amazing. 

Gerwig put her own twist on the film – it’s not laid out in chronological order. (Which I for one, absolutely loved – because it kept me on my toes. It made a story so familiar, feel a little unpredictable.) I have nothing negative to say about this film. I loved it to pieces, and I could easily see myself going to watch it in theaters a few more times. 

My heart swells, just thinking about how in the opening scenes of this film, I instantly knew it’d already catapult to a favorite. What more can you want in a story? The interwoven threads in the tapestry of life: friendship, family, grief, heartache, following your passions, loving hard, living loud, finding your own path – it’s all central to the heartbeat of the story.

To the long time fans of Little Women – you must see it! To those unfamiliar with this timeless tale – go see it! (And if you’ve never read this story that will stick with me forever – by all means: go read it!) 

meg says watch this

Watch This: Eighth Grade

mv5bmzvlyzgxyjatyzhhzi00mdc1ltlkzdmtmtrhzwi0mtg5ytrjxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntazmty4mda-_v1_sy1000_cr006401000_al_After seeing the trailer in theatres a few times, I was excited to finally watch Eighth Grade last week. (Let’s not even get into the chaotic logistics of Movie Pass, right now.) I’ll admit the trailers made me uncomfortable at times, but I think it was because of how relatable the material was. I don’t think middle school was an easy experience for anyone, (even the people who made it look like it was.)

Bo Burnham’s writing and directing debut was a standout. Not only did he capture the awkwardness of adolescence, but he did it from a girl’s perspective, and he did it well.

Kayla (played by Elsie Fisher) was painfully brilliant in this role. A girl with few friends, keeping herself company making YouTube videos in her bedroom, after school – full of motivational messages to her subscribers that she hasn’t quite figured out how to practice herself yet.

The tenderness in Kayla’s relationship with her Dad (Josh Hamilton) was heart wrenching. I’ve been a thirteen year old girl, I get where all that angst and attitude is coming from – but to watch her dad try and help her, and communicate with her? Well, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I could see talks I had with my own parents, while I watched theirs on screen. If I’m honest, the bonfire scene made me think of conversations in more recent years because if we’re lucky those relationships with our parents can continue.

I don’t think you had to have social media in middle school to relate to this film. (Though, I’m insanely grateful we only had AOL instant messenger, MySpace, and LiveJournal back then, and we used them all after school.) The tween and early teen years are hard to navigate regardless of what decade you’re living them in. Trying to figure out yourself in a sea of a million other things, and craving acceptance or approval, or just to feel like you’ve found your people can be a lot.

We get to see the excitement unravel on screen when Kayla makes friends with an older crowd, (and the absolute joy when she gets invited to “hang out.”) We get to see her flopping attempts at Googling some subject matter for instructional tips. We see the panic inducing anxiety of figuring out what to do at a pool birthday party with the “cool kids” (an entirely too specific one came to my mind with that scene.) We’re reminded just how young the pressure of sexual encounters really start (and when you’re watching it unfold in front of you, it’s so disturbing because it’s the same girl in other scenes decorating craft projects with glitter glue.)

It was refreshing to see something so real in film, right now. From acne, and smeared mascara to the overuse of the word “like” – everything about this film was spot on. Eighth Grade did what some of the best movies do – found a way for you to go through a roller coaster of emotions, and be smiling when you get off the ride. (For all the angst fueled scenes in the film, there was a perfect mix of ones that made you laugh.) So, If you haven’t seen it yet check out Eighth Grade, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. (You can see the trailer here.)

(Image credit: IMDB.)


meg says read this, Read This

Meg Says Read This: Dear Mr. You


One of my favorite reads of 2017 also happened to be one of the last books I read this past year. Let me start off by saying, I’ve always been captivated by Mary-Louise Parker’s acting skills. I think it’s  phenomenal how she can play such a variety of characters, and make the audience believe those traits are a part of her core. I remember when Dear Mr. You, was first being marketed back in 2015. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read it because I was fascinated by the premise. Now that I have? I can’t shut up about it. I’d been in a bit of a reading rut, fiction hadn’t captured my attention as quickly as usual, and I didn’t want to read something technical, so I grabbed this book from my stack of “to-read” on the shelf. Instantly I was blown away by MLP’s ability to weave such beautiful words together. She truly is a master of the art of story telling. This book is written in a letter format that basically reads like essays, or short stories. There’s a variety of topics covered – dating, insecurity, adoption, friendship, learning yourself. Sometimes, she writes in such a raw and vulnerable way that hit me so hard, I had to take a break with tear streaked cheeks. Not in a heartbreaking way, but in a beautiful way that was totally recognizing the special qualities or difficulty of certain moments in life. This was definitely a thought-provoking read, at times comical, and all around it felt very genuine and sincere. If you’re looking for something that’s refreshing, and a little different than I highly suggest you check out Dear Mr. You. 

If you’ve ever felt like you’ve lived a dozen different lives in your time on earth, and sometimes it’s mind boggling how they all could roll into one another and be the map of one single life – than I think you’ll appreciate this book. If you’ve ever snapped at a stranger who meant you know harm because you were literally at your wits end and they were the unfortunate soul to cross your path? You’ll appreciate this book. If you’ve leaped head first into romantic adventure knowing whatever fate you crash into has to be better than to sit on the sidelines wondering? You’ll appreciate this book. If you feel like you know what you want to do in life, and you’re taking all the wrong roads to get there? You’ll appreciate this book. If you’ve connected with random passerbys and your interactions resonate with you years later, you’ll appreciate this book. If you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing with your life, and some days you’re hanging on by a thread? You’ll appreciate this book.

Mary-Louise Parker writes in such a way where sharing her experiences so openly, even if they’re not all specific events you could name – sometimes, they’re the observation of significant interactions – makes you examine the interactions in your own life. Who is your emergency contact? What do you want so badly out of this life that you will scrape by to achieve those goals? What makes you find the magic, on the days when life looses its sparkle?

Dear Mr.You is poetic, soul-searching, gut-wrenching, insightful, and truly just a work of art that aspire to harness just a sliver of the talent it took to create. If my gushing hasn’t convinced you already, just go ahead and give this one a try.

meg says, Uncategorized

So, This Is the New Year

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it’s a good day to have a good day. (Hillsboro Village, December 2017.)

Well, hello and happy new year to anyone reading this four days into 2018. I’m not one for “New Year Resolutions,” but I am one for goals, and I feel like a serious slacker for my lack of posts as 2017 came to a close. Oh believe me, I was still consuming plenty of music, books, and (maybe a little less) film, but what the heck is wrong with me, in why it’s taken so long for me to share it with you? So, here’s to a new year and me sharing the things I stumble upon when I find them instead of dragging my feet. On top of that, how about I throw in a mix of some other things I discover now and then? I’ve really tried to avoid chains in the past few months – whether it be food or retail (though, let’s face it – I can’t give up Target or Trader Joe’s.) More than just sharing food photos, I’d love to share when I’ve had great encounters at small businesses. I love that moment when I walk away from an interaction with a smile on my face. It’s even better when you also get to eat something yummy, or find the perfect little gift to send someone to let you know you were thinking of them, or you know the pets and fetch you get to give a shop dog around the corner when you don’t have your own pet at home. It’s just as much about the moments that effect us emotionally, as the tangible things we take in. SO – here’s to just sharing more in 2018. I’m in this wonderful city, I’m constantly taking in great experiences, even on the rough days you know someone nice chats with me over buying coffee, or an Uber driver gives me a great music store recommendation, and it’s just a shame I don’t write about them more. So maybe 2018 will be something more like “read this, listen to this, watch this, try this.” Let’s all just simply try more in 2018. If i’m honest, it’s not even always trying “harder” it’s just the pure effort of putting yourself out there and making those attempts now and then. We get caught up in our comfort zones, those safe warm cozy spaces where we don’t have to go out on a limb because we only reach for things in an arms length. Well, take it from me – it’s those moments when we stretch a little further that become the game changers. Sometimes it happens in such small increments you don’t even realize it’s happening, until you look behind you and realize how far you’ve come. So, join me in this endeavor if you’d like – no wild, outrageous expectations for 2018 – just more trying, just more hopping out of that easy space, and let’s just share with one another more. If the past tumultuous year has taught us anything, I think it’s really been that although we collectively as a culture forget it far too often – we do really share so much common ground.  When we share our experiences, passions, hopes, hurts, etc. with one another is when all these things come to light. I don’t know, I’ve always been on the optimistic side – painfully so; I’ll hang onto that sliver of hope til my fingernail is snagging on that last piece of thread – BUT I do this without shame. You should drink in that optimism sometime. It tastes good. And I have a good feeling about our coming days. Something is stirring in everyone, and once that’s been woken up – there’s no going back to sleep. So, welcome to the other side. I’m looking forward to this journey we’re all on, together.

listen to this, meg says listen to this, Uncategorized

Listen to This: 12-23-95

It’s that time again, Christmas Eve Eve! And what better song to listen to than Jimmy Eat World’s 12-23-95? None, of course. I definitely listen to this classic song whether it’s the holiday season or not, but there’s something extra special about listening to it on the day of its title. Anyway, if you don’t know this one – add it to your next holiday music playlist because it’s definitely unique! There are some songs you  know you’re going to hold onto for years to come, and this is one of them for me. (Also, a thousand years ago the Maybe This Christmas album was my jam – from Thanksgiving to New Years that album was on heavy rotation – Paul Frank’s Julius the Monkey album art, and all.) Whether or not you’re familiar with this gem of a tune already, go ahead and give it a listen below. While you’re at it, go ahead and add this one to your holiday music playlist.