Notting Hill, Notting Wrong Wid It!

Running today I concluded our lives had become pretty darn boring preCovid. At least mine anyway. I ran my 3 and a half miles, I went to work, I eat my ritualistic meals. Pretty solitary, but enjoyable and the only true novelties were restaurant outings, vicarious pleasures I got from movies and the trips I had planned to see Liam in NYC.

Then an opportunity arose a long with the suggestion that I watch Notting Hill. Richard Curtis, the screenwriter, has certainly had an up and down career. Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Pirate Radio, all top notch screenwriting.

Yet, he should have lost his license after last year’s Yesterday which was abominably bad. Here directed by Roger Mitchell (My Cousin Rachel, one of my faves of his) in Notting Hill, however, Curtis still has some mojo and while not a perfect film by any stretch….when I say the characters are written broadly (especially his flat mate played by Rhys Ifans), I mean USS Comfort ship size broad.

But who doesn’t love Hugh Grant as a dashing, bumbling humble sentimental in love with emotionally confused, but gorgeous Julia Roberts? You can’t lose! And look who had a cameo, skinny Alec Baldwin!

So yeh, it’s time to roll the dice and live a little wouldn’t you say? When I like corny romance more than Woody Allen classic, you know I’ve lost my marbles, but in a good way. Happy Covid19 Shakeup!

“Yesterday”, I Had A Headache

Yesterday is an awkward film that actually displays more about what’s wrong with society all the while thinking that it’s cute. Hence, my headache, but like a heart ache since I know many male bashers will find this charming, and I say nearly choking, romantic.

First, in an age where we’re allegedly embracing globalism, why the heck can’t the actor, Himesh Patel, obviously of Indian descent, be given a character name of that ilk. In my mind, the whiter than white name Jack Malik is an absolute slap in the face.

Second, I didn’t believe Lily James’ performance as a pouting, ‘why don’t you make a move on me’, galloping Airedale terrier for one millisecond. If her character’s mixed messages weren’t the poster child for the growing number of emotionally abused men, I’ll eat my Queen Elizabeth hat.

And I truly thought Kate McKinnon was ‘going places’ given her extreme comedic talent on SNL, but she keeps taking crap role after crap role in films. Here she plays an even worse misandrist than Lily James. To my utter chagrin, folks were giggling at her put downs of Himesh’s appearance.
If Himesh’s character had been a female, #Metoo heads would have broken the internet.

So here’s the real message Yesterday gave us:
1. People these days are too distracted to even recognize a profound song (this should have been the through line (instead of the gag reflex cutesie Ed Sheeran and Jame Cordon schlock) and hence a great social commentary on society).
2. Women get to do and act however they want; cruel, ‘confused’ and men will fold and become their “wife guys”, (a new term, see the NYT article about it).
3. Coco Cola and Cigarettes killed John Lennon (see the film and you’ll get my drift here).
4. Parents are bumbling idiots.
5. A screenwriter evidently doesn’t have to answer questions about why people forgot their memory about just a few cultural icons, but others remain intact.

“Hey Miley, what’s good?” You (and Nicki Minaj) ask?

Well, Himish Patel was the best actor of the lot and has a excellent singing voice as well. Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis should get back to the drawing board to redeem themselves. And the CineBistro (aka end of the Roman Empire, people gorging themselves while reclining) Theater probably got my last $27 (ticket and popcorn) because people act like they do in their bedrooms; chatting, texting, and getting up to use the facilities way too often. But super fitting considering the silly movie on screen.

Go ahead and see Yesterday, but lower your bar to something not even a contortionist limbo dancer could fit under.