Today’s post isn’t a book, or a poem, but rather an article I saw this morning from Harper’s Bazaar 14 Famous Love Letters from Celebrities and Historical Figures. Love letters are my weakness, naturally, but oh my this is quite a collection. Some of them you may be familiar with (F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda’s exchanges are frequently featured in these types of articles.) A few years ago on a weekend trip to Montgomery Alabama (random weekend spot, I know but it was a good meeting point between Tennessee and Florida,) I was dead set on visiting the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald home (which is now a museum) downtown. Some of their writings were even on display there. Despite my fascination with this celebrity literary couple, in this article it was Orson Welles words to Rita Hayworth that most deeply struck me. If you enjoy this one, be sure to check out the rest of these in the linked article above.
Hello, readers! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends as much as I did. I spent mine in the panhandle at Mexico Beach with the fam and some friends, and it was a great couple of days. The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious, and the company was top-notch. (Thankfully, I can say that about the last several weekends in my life this year.) Friday night I can’t remember what we were doing in the living room, the guys were playing Spades and I was probably just sitting on the couch rambling and drinking wine after we re-watched the finale of The Office. Then I saw that I had missed Adam Levine on Jimmy Kimmel and I knew I’d have to look it up later. Saturday night I saw they’d posted videos on their YouTube page, so my mom and I watched them. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re having a slow day, or need a pick-me-up. I laughed uncontrollably and then yesterday morning I woke up and laughed thinking about it again. We made my dad watch them, and then my bro and the rest of the guys as well because the segment is just dry and hilarious. So, if you missed it or if you saw it already and think it’s as funny as I did and want to watch again – here you go!
Clip One – Adam talks about moving and a little about growing up with Jonah Hill:
Clip Two – Adam talks about him and James Valentine’s drug experience, and opening for Sheryl Crow:
Clip Three – Adam discusses hunting with Blake Shelton:
Last night at the gym, “L-O-V-E” came on my Maroon 5 Pandora station. (Great mix right? I know!) It was a track from the epic 1998 version of Disney’s The Parent Trap. If this film doesn’t hold dear childhood memories for you, I suggest you go watch it as soon as possible. Lindssy Lohan was impressive, playing twins Hallie and Annie. Long lost sisters, one from California and one from England who meet at summer camp and realize that the one photograph they each have of the missing parent in their lives, are a perfect match “right down the middle.” Each sister has always longed to know the parent that they don’t live with, so the girls decide to switch places and pretend to be the other one. In the meantime, they also scheme to get their parents back together, so they can be one big happy family. It would be impossible for me to tell you how many times I’ve seen this film. It was somewhat of a ritual for my friend Beth and I to watch it together. Over and over. We knew the awesome handshake, we could recite the words by heart, and the fabulous soundtrack weaved its way through the rest of our awesome tween tunes (we had good taste – so this was sandwiched between The Talking Heads, The Beatles, Crowded House – etc.) Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson, (as well as Lisa Ann Walter, Simon Kunz and because she made me dislike her so much – Elaine Hendrix) were all fantastic in their respected roles. Even though this film debuted fifteen years ago (holy cow! I know!) there’s this timeless aspect to it, and every time it comes on TV I can’t help but watch it, it’s too compelling for me to change the channel. This is one of those movies that immediately takes me down memory lane, but also it just makes my heart swell with happiness – there are touching parts, and the humor is good no matter how old you are. It’s safe to say this is one of my favorite movies.
Everyone around me, literally everyone from my parents, to my boss, even my grandma was watching NBC’s hit show The Voice. All of these people told me several times, I don’t know why you don’t watch it – you will love it. For whatever reason (ok, there are a couple! 1) Tuesday nights at 8PM is reserved for Pretty Little Liars because as I’ve mentioned before, I am essentially a teenager on the inside and this is the time for long-distance girly fan friend chats. 2) While I love Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, I was not very enticed by hearing Christina’s commentary multiple times a week. (She has some great songs, don’t get me wrong) I never really got into the show. I mean I saw a few random episodes last season, but nothing too concrete. This week? Problem solved! New season started, PLL is on hiatus until June and The Voice has welcomed two new judges Usher and Shakira. The season debuted on Monday night, but I was out at that running group and grocery shopping. Last night, I caught this week’s second episode. Let me tell you: instant addiction. There was some great talent on display on that show. I was definitely impressed. And my gosh! The judges chemistry is incredible. Like seriously? Reality TV show gold mine. Most people have their favorite morning shows. I have had a long time love for Matt Lauer, so mine is automatically Today. Kathie Lee and Hoda are always showing clips from The Voice (this week is no different,) and while I was always intrigued now I’ll actually be clued in. Also, they’ve had Carson Daley guest hosting all week. Since I’m in my twenties you know I’m from that, watch TRL on MTV every day after school generation and I like when he’s on TV like this.
If you haven’t watched The Voice yet either, it’s a singing competition show. Right now they’re still in the “blind audition” stage, where talented singers from across the country preform on stage. The coaches are lined up in chairs, but their backs are to the performer. This forces the choice to be based off of talent and not looks. As each person sings, if a coach wants that person for their team they press a button and their chair swivels to face the singer. If multiple coaches want the same person for their team, then it’s up to the singer to decide! (I cannot imagine that pressure, hello!)
Once the teams have been formed than the coaches get to spend time with the singers, helping them develop their talent and giving them advice. Next the teams enter, “battle rounds.” Coaches have to pit their own team members against each other. They sing the same song on at the same time, and one person will be eliminated. When a singer is kicked off one coach’s team, they are up for grabs and another coach can “steal” them.
Next come knock out round where again team members compete against one another, but this time with only a few minutes notice. They really have to be prepared to impress their coaches. Whoever isn’t chosen in these rounds is unfortunately sent home.
The final round are live performances. The television audience votes for their favorite singers to keep, and the two singers with the least votes get sent home, until one person is named “The Voice.” (The Voice ABOUT.)
Last night I really loved “Midas Whale” (hey great name guys! Folky, nerdy, awesomeness.) and Sarah Simmons (she sang “One of Us” by Joan Osborne. Was I not just saying we neeeed to bring this kind of rock back in the picture?!)
If you’re behind the times like me, but are interested in this show: MONDAY & TUESDAY NIGHTS 8PM ON NBC! Also, re-watch highlights on their YouTube page. Or you can check out full episodes to catch up! As always, my parents were right and this is definitely worth giving a chance!
It is once again Throwback Thursday, and this movie did come out in 2010, and unfortunately take me THREE YEARS to see but last night I finally watched Country Strong. (I found it at the library last Saturday on my way to my parents when I stopped to pick up The Kids Are All Right.) Sure it’s dramatic, sure it’s a little intense, sure depending on how you take it might seem a bit grim but oh my! I loved this one. Maybe it’s my habit of getting hooked on things really easily, but this one reeled me in from the beginning. I love getting to hear Gwyneth Paltrow sing (ever since I downloaded “Crusin'” back in the day.) I admire Leighton Meester and seriously enjoy getting to see her act in a role other than Blair Waldorf (although, I’m also a fan of Minka Kelly and if my heart could handle thrillers would have loved to see The Roommate.) Tim McGraw always seems to sneak into this great films, and I forget and then at the end I’m like “oh yeah! That’s Tim McGraw!” And Garret Hedlund?! Oh my goodness. (Friday Night Lights, Four Brothers (which I’ve actually seen MULTIPLE times believe it or not!), Georgia Rule, Eragon…) I feel like he carries this film!
Granted Rotten Tomatoes gave this film a 22% and it has six out of ten stars on IMDB, but I genuinely enjoyed watching this. A few years ago my friend Emily put some songs from the soundtrack on a mix for me, and I could NOT stop listening and sharing them, (and okay maybe I’ll admit I put the lyrics in some Facebook statuses because I’m still fourteen like that.) Before I watched this, I knew I enjoyed the music, and I had actually wanted to see it back when it was in theatres, but once I got to know the story that went with it, I was sold immediately. It’s funny that as I was describing it to my friend Kylan he said, so it has more of an Almost Famous feel to it, than a movie musical? And that is EXACTLY what I was thinking about as the movie was wrapping up last night, (for more than one reason!) I’ve been off my country kick lately, but watching this settled me right back in it I think.
Country Strong tells the story of a famous country star, Kelly Canter, a struggling alcoholic. Her husband James (who is also her manager basically) took her out of rehab early, thinking she should continue on with her career and get back out on stage and tour. Beau, a thriving young, hard-working, down-to-earth musician is along on this tour – trying to take care of her. Then you have Chiles Stanton (stereotyped as a “beauty queen,”) she’s like an up and coming next big thing and Kelly is one of her idols. Throughout the film you see these people’s relationships intertwined between love, frustration, admiration, longing, despair, sadness. Kelly is grieving so much in life, her internal battles, the loss of her baby, the crumbling of her marriage. There are points when you can see James silent sadness as he sees Kelly slip further away from him. Beau is on the edge of fame, he could have it but does he want it? His heart is huge. (I felt like he was swoon-worthy from the opening scene.) Chiles – she’s on the edge of fame too, but in a different way – she really could have it all, the lights the glamour, the crowds, not just as an opener but the real big deal. This isn’t like my favorite movie ever now, (I think most recently, Silver Linings Playbook is hanging out in like top three territory and I don’t think anything else will make it in there for a long time,) but I did really enjoy it and I would recommend it! It’s not a girly chick flick, it’s not a romantic comedy – it’s dark, and it’s gritty, and it’s rough but I thought it was great. The music was wonderful, the costumes were incredible, and despite what others might say I think the acting was great.
*As always, I’m trying not to spoil this so if you haven’t seen it then don’t read on from this point.* SPOILER-ESQUE AHEAD!
For those of you who have seen this film were you anticipating the last thirty minutes? Before Kelly took the stage in Dallas, I thought she might end it all then (when she returned to her dressing room after dispensing life advice to Chiles.) I was not surprised or shocked by the ending. I felt like Kelly’s high was too high to not come crashing down…I watched the alternate ending in the DVD extras, and I’m pleased with the way they chose to wrap it up. I think it fit the film more. I wondered if Chiles would walk over to Beau at the cemetery, but I preferred the long glance from across the grass to the awkward conversation in the alternate ending. I liked the truck being the only vehicle in focus on the road, getting smaller (as it fit with the quote from Kelly’s letter to Beau.) Even if it means that the somewhat “happy ending” wins out, I liked that Chiles walked into the bar wear Beau was playing and joined him on stage. I like to think that means they both chose love over fame. From the moment they brought up the “Coming Home” song earlier in the film, I wondered if they would use it for a big more symbolic meaning. I thought it was weird that Chiles wasn’t upset when Kelly belted it out on stage, (even though the producers weren’t planning on giving her that song,) but then again she herself was a fan of Kelly’s. It seems I disagree with the majority of the comments on the IMDB message board. Most of them didn’t seem to see it coming, and several of them voiced that they thought Kelly’s demise was a a contradiction of the title. (Side note: I did enjoy that several people pointed out Chiles Stanton’s initials matched with Country Strong and she lived up to that…) I think Kelly’s final performance was for her fans and for herself. Once upon a time the stage was her favorite place to be, I think in those moments she felt strong and in control. I think she chose to go out with a bang, to not have her last show be her running off the stage in tears. I don’t think all of that means the movie shouldn’t have been titled Country Strong. Also, I think the Travis scenes were incredible! The chemistry of all the people in that classroom felt so raw and real. It’s been mentioned before, but I think the spark that Paltrow conveyed in Kelly through those scenes is part of the fire everyone could see in her when she was in her prime. The moments between Kelly and James then too, a glimpse into a former life, it was all exquisite and heartbreaking.
And just for an extra, this is one of the songs my friend included on a mix and I loved it. “Kissin’ in Cars” by Jesse Lee: