For our first of 25 carols, I am choosing It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. I picked this mostly as it is true: Christmas decorations, wrapping, presents, trees; everything can be seen everywhere!
This song was written in 1951 by Meredith Wilson and has been covered numerous times, my choice being the fantastic Bing Crosby.
So in 2009 I was 17 years old. That August my youth group went to an amusement park as our last group trip before school started.
We went on all kinds of rides and had fun.
As we were walking along the lot, my friend Anny spotted a booth playing music. We danced around, just being silly…
When this man and woman in suits ask us if we would like to enter a contest.
Now you all know me and contests/free stuff.
I was like sure! What’s it for?
A chance to be in a Jonas Brothers’ music video!
No, no no no no no no no no no no. I hated the Jonas Brothers. Well not them specifically. I just didn’t care for their music or the fact that they were everywhere and on EVERYTHING. There was no getting away from them.
I was like no thank you.
My friend however, really, really liked the group and wanted to enter. But she didn’t want to do it alone. So I said fine, ok.
After all, what are the chances you’ll win? Like never.
So all we have to do is get our picture taken in front of a background and leave our name + phone number. Easy, peasy.
What’s kind of interesting was that we were actually the only ones asked out of the entire group. I guess they just liked our dancing or something.
Four months pass. It’s December and I am concentrating on schoolwork, Winter formal, Christmas, etc. When I come home I get a phone call:
And to my surprise it was the people running the contest. They had chosen ME out of their hundreds of applicants. I was stunned.
They gave me the information on where I needed to go, when, etc. But I answered, no.
I know what you all are thinking. WHAT? WHY WOULD YOU TURN THAT DOWN???!!! (That’s what all my friends said.) Well, I just felt that as I didn’t care for the guys and it didn’t really matter to me, I’d rather it go to someone else.
Besides, you know what’s cooler than being in a Jonas Brothers’ music video? Having turned it down.
Every young girl knows that a dance is split up into three parts. 1) Prep: Getting ready with hair + makeup. 2) The Dance itself. And 3) The After Party. Now I’m not talking about an “after party, after party”, but when its over you hang with your girlfriends and hash over the whole events.
It was just as true 203 years ago as it is today. Yep in Pride and Prejudice after the ball, the girls do what every young girl after a dance does, DISCUSS IT!
So everyone finds the ball a complete success.
Finally something GOOD!
Jane danced with Mr. Bingley twice! Not once but TWICE!!!
If you remember from my earlier post, First Impressions, I discussed how dancing showed you were open to getting married. The women you danced with, showed your interest in them. By dancing with Jane, Mr. Bingley declared to the world that he was most def interested in pursuing Jane. Kind of the equivalent of:
Mary was called one of the most accomplished ladies from the neighborhood.
So finally, she is able to get a good word and be appreciated for talents. This is steering her away from having a breakdown and trying to destroy her village. Not everyone is that lucky to be complimented on their talents.
What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
So I am just stating here and now that I will not reveal the end of this movie. It is a great piece of work, with an amazing twist that you must see or read (the book) for yourself. Since it is still out in theaters I do not want to ruin anything for the potential viewer. That being said:
So the book this film is based on came out in 2012 and I was really intrigued by it. I added it to my to-read list and planned on getting around to it. But you readers know how that is.
So yeah, I hadn’t gotten around to it. However, that all changed this summer. I told you in a previous post that I journeyed out to Wyoming for an internship. There wasn’t a lot to do in the town, and the other interns and I mostly hung out on the weekends. We talked about what there was to do, which was mostly reading or netflixing. (I don’t have netflix so I Amazon Instant Watch or putlocker things). Anyways, one of the interns, Gwen, hadn’t brought anything with her and was asking about where to purchase books. I had brought my kindle and was fine (until it broke). I told her the library was out as I had found out to get a card I would have to pay $20.
Then I remembered! There was a bookstore in town called “The Newstand“. But shortly after we arrived it went out of business.
Yep. I think the only place left in town you could to get books were the Walgreens or the Walmart. They had two thrift stores in town, one was only clothes, the other furniture. It was very different from anyplace I’d lived before.
Anyways, so one week Gwen starts talking about this book she just bought (I don’t know where. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever asked her.) She told us it was Gone Girl. Immediately I was intrigued as I had really wanted to borrow it. I asked for the book and finished it in one day. It was that good.
The book is a mystery/suspense/horror. The way it is told is really interesting as it goes back and forth between the present and the past. In the present Nick Dunne’s is trying to figure out and cope with his wife Amy’s disappearance. The past is revealed to us through Amy’s journal, as she details the everything prior to her disappearance. It was an interesting book as it has the same unsettling qualities as Catcher in the Rye or Alias Grace. In Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, admits to the reader that he is a liar, leaving one unsure of what in the book is real, and what is a child’s fantasy. Margaret Atwood, author of Alias Grace, does a similar thing in her novel. There are no quotations marks put around the dialogue, leaving the reader very uncertain as to what was said and what was only in the character’s minds. Just like Holden, Grace Marks leaves us wondering if she is really telling the truth?
Gone Girl isn’t exactly written that way, but it does have some similarities. With Nick, he is described as being somewhat of an a***hole (his word not mine) and having a face that makes himself always look as if he is lying. He is too good looking and charming that you don’t want to trust him (the characters joke that his chin causes you to not trust him.) As you read his accounts you start wondering if there is more than he is telling the reader. You feel as if he is hiding something from you, even though it is told in first person. It makes you wonder what is he hiding? What are his secrets?
And then you have Amy. Everything we hear is from what she wrote in a journal. But is it the truth? After all a journal is where you release your emotions. Sometimes you exaggerate or write things down that you would never do, just because it helps destress you. As I mentioned before it is a release. Besides that you don’t write everything down in a journal. After all, that is a lot of work. Most of the time you write down the things that made you upset or happy; never giving the whole picture but a moment. Just a moment. It’s selective in memory. So that begs the question: how much of it can we take as fact? How much is fiction?
So one day I was at the movie theater watching Expendables III. The film finished and I contemplated sneaking in to see another film, but unfortunately the theater I was at was very small (four screens) and the ticket seller and I had had an actual conversation, so he would remember me. Along with that, my “California-ness” showed very strongly as everyone told that I looked very “different” from Wyoming girls.
Yeah I don’t understand it either
So instead I called a cab for a ride home and waited around until it came. As I was waiting, I started watching the screen that showed trailers for upcoming films. I saw one for The Equalizer, but it didn’t really strike me as a “must-see”. After that the trailer for Gone Girl came up.
I didn’t even know that they were turning the book into a film!!! Fantastic!!! Then I saw the cast list. As you know from an earlier post, I love Ben Affleck. I knew he would be a perfect Nick. Rosamund Pike was great as Jane in Pride and Prejudice (2005) and I was interested to see how she would do this role. I thought Neil Patrick Harris was a great choice as Amy’s ex, as everything I have ever seen him in he has conquered. The only thing I was unsure about was Tyler Perry. But to be honest, any time I see him not playing Madea, it’s a little strange. Anyways, I became excited for the film and couldn’t wait to see it.
And as I mentioned before it was pretty incredible.
Take note Hollywood
What was great about the film was that they followed the book pretty consistently. There are a few changes, but not enough to make you want to string up the director by his thumbs. On a whole the changes didn’t really hurt the film at all. I thought it was amazing how they handled the flashbacks, narrations, and journal entries. I would definitely read the book along with the movie as it has more detail and little things that can’t transfer over to film. I do give one warning though. If you want to be surprised DO NOT READ THE BOOK. The book has this amazing twist, about halfway through, and a killer end. It was a great shock when you read it, but not so much the second time encountering it on the screen. I mean you already know it, so while the rest of the audience is oohing and ahhing over it, you’re just chilling there thinking, knew it.
So if you truly, truly want to be surprised. I would wait to read the book until after seeing the film.
So I’m just going to do a partial review, as I really, really don’t want to spoil too much for anybody.
It is the day of the Dunne’s five-year anniversary. And Nick is not very happy.
You see life hasn’t been a bed of roses for the Dunnes. Nick is from a little town; North Carthage, Missouri. He went to college and moved to New York, and began writing for a magazine. He met Amy at a party and the two later married…but bliss did not last long. He lost his job due to downsizing as the economy tanked. His father is crazy and in a home where he constantly escapes from. And his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, hearing the news of his mother, he and Amy move back to his hometown much to her displeasure.
Now the relationship was already strained, but after moving to Missouri it becomes much worse. Amy is a New Yorker born and bred and doesn’t do well with places that are not New York.
That particular morning, Nick heads over to the bar that he bought with his twin sister Margot, and the two contemplate what would be a good anniversary present. 5 years is wood, “and there’s nothing good from that.” When Nick heads home, he receives the biggest shock of his life.
His house is a mess and his wife is missing.
He can’t find her and doesn’t know where she might be. He calls the police and later, her parents. They team up and begin commercials, signs, news reports, trying to find Amy. Ben Affleck did an amazing job at this role.
But some people don’t think that he’s quite so innocent. Some suspect he might have killed her. Things become espechially sticky when they discover the broken in area was staged, and a lot of blood was spilled and then cleaned up afterwards. Did he have something to do with his wife’s disappearance? Did he kill her? Is he innocent? If he is innocent, than what happened to her? Where can she be?
We are first introduced to Amy through her journal. Amy is the daughter of authors. Her parents wrote the best-selling series called Amazing Amy. Their main character is perfect and excels at every hobby. Especially things that Amy has failed at. Amy resents the books, but they have made her famous and a major spot in the limelight.
Amy is beautiful, charming, witty, etc. The “perfect” woman.
She writes personality quizzes for magazines for a living. I know some of you out there might think that’s a bit strange, but let’s face it…she has a major trust fund. She meets Nick at a “writer” party one night, and after that the two are hooked. They get married and have a few great years, but things start going downhill once Nick loses his job. He becomes someone that she doesn’t know.
She hates Missouri. Nick thrives, but it makes her feel like she is choking. Then things in the marriage start to get even worse…Or does it? Is Nick really as cruel as Amy paints him? Or are the writings in the journal just the exaggerations of an unhappy, displaced person?
Did Amy leave by her own choice? Or was she taken by force? But most importantly, where is Amy?
The supporting characters are just as great as Affleck and Pike. Carrie Coon is perfect as Margot as she is really able to capture twin sister needling brother, and being supremely protective of him. Kim Dickens is an amazing Detective Rhonda Boney, the homicide officer assigned to the case. She seems all midwestern, laid-back, easygoing, charm; but she has a real brain in her head and is highly observant. Neil Patrick Harris steals scenes, as he plays Desi Collings, Amy’s ex and possible kidnapper. And then we have Tyler Perry, rounding out the cast as Tanner Bolt. I never would have picked him for the part as he is radically different, but he does a great job as being one of those shark lawyers after the big-name cases.
And is has an awesome twist that I will not reveal as you all should definitely watch/read for yourself.
Where is Amy? What Happened to Her? Visit Your Local Theater to Find Out.