The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

So let me state that this is a review of the film, not the book. I harbor no ill will to the book as I have not read it yet. But do not like this movie. I have watched it multiple times and I like pieces of it, but not it as a whole.

So if you do like the movie, you should probably pass on this review-as you probably won’t like it.

So the film is about five woman and one man starting a book club, a Jane Austen Book Club.

Four of the women are very close, the other two members being strangers they ask to join…and they treat them pretty badly actually.

So we will go person by person for the storyline, Book by Book.

Febraury: Emma lead by Jocelyn

Jocelyn (Maria Bello) is a control freak who also enjoys matching people up. It’s no surprise that she is a dog trainer and breeder-as she treats people the same way. She lives alone, feeling fully content to be with her animals rather than people.

Jocelyn’s best friend, Slyvia, was one of the people she matched up, who unfortunately her husband cheated on her and left her for another woman. This coupled with the death of one of Jocelyn’s dogs gives mutual friend Bernadette the idea to start a Jane Austen Book Club.

However, the heartbreak of Sylvie doesn’t faze Jocelyn. She immediately decides to set her friend up with a random guy she meets at a convention, and not even a random guy from her dog breeder’s convention, but a guy from the Science Fiction and Fantasy convention.

Huh?

Really?

Jocelyn is a horrible friend!!!! First of all, your friend hasn’t even gotten divorced and secodly you are setting her up with a stranger? Someone you know zero about? You suck, Jocelyn. At least take time to find someone with the same interests as your friend or someone you actually know!!!

And then it is so freaking obvious that the guy, Grigg, is head over heels for Jocelyn. OMGosh it made me so angry that Jocelyn kept pressuring him to go with Slyvia, promising to do things with him if he did that, manipulating him, leading him on, etc.

He gives her books to read and she says she will-but completely refuses to do it, making fun of it to her friends. Like what a jerk, even though when she asked him to join book club he did.

And not once is she there for her friend to hear her problems, or be there. There is one scene when she goes over and massages Sylvia’s feet-but Jocelyn talks more than listens. All Jocelyn seems to care about is making her do something else. I really don’t like her.

Ugh.

Like I know they were trying to make her like Emma, but there is a big difference between a young girl who is bored because all she has for friendship are older people and a 40 year old professional woman who is playing with her friends as if they were dolls. She treats everyone horrible, and as one of the more focused characters of the film it really weakens it.

Like look at Confessions of a Shopaholic: Rebecca was selfish at times, believed she knew best and instructed others when she was the one that needed it, wasn’t always there for her friends-but even with all these character flaws she had a good heart. She apologized, she tried to help her friends, she tried to do better, she was likable. Jocelyn was nothing like that.

Ugh!

Jocelyn is also so rude to Prudie. I mean excuse me! You are the one who asked her to be a part-she doesn’t know you people and you treat her like crap. Ugh. I hate Jocelyn.

March: Mansfield Park lead by Sylvia

Sylvia (Amy Brenneman) is in her 40s and a librarian. She and Jocelyn have been friends forever, and she was introduced to her husband by Jocelyn. Beyond that, her character isn’t that strongly developed.

Who are you?

She mostly is a pawn for Jocelyn to try and move around in her dollhouse with Grigg. I really wish there would have been more development over who she is and I hate how she is cheated on by her husband for six months and gets over it just like that. Coming from someone who is divorced and knowing others who have been, even if you have the worst husband in the world it’s not that easy. I think she really got the short straw in all this.

And in the end, she and her husband are reunited like that. We hardly get anything from Sylvia and her storyline is over before it even really begun.

I guess she was supposed to be like Fanny-holding on to love, but she really never showed any similarities. It doesn’t help that they don’t even spend a lot of time discussing the book as Sylvia breaks down crying.

***Side note***-I do think it was cute how her husband tries to win her back and reads Persuasion,even coming to the book club meeting and is all into Jane Austen. That was actually adorable.

April: Northanger Abbey lead by Grigg

Grigg (Hugh Dancy) is the best part of this movie. I could just watch the parts with him again and again. Grigg is in his 30s, ten years younger than Jocelyn and Sylvie. He is a tech genius who sold his business for a ton of money and now works in tech support. He loves science fiction, books, reading, biking, and just is an all out adorable person.

Jocelyn is crazy, if I had a Grigg interested in me I’d hold onto him. He is just so fun-and from the beginning he makes his interest to Jocelyn known, but she keeps passing him on to her friend.

They are rude and make fun of him, even though they invited HIM to join. Like jeez-

He agrees to join the book club to spend time with Jocelyn, but whole heartedly embraces it. He buys the seven novels of Jane Austen, he gets into the book discussions (he brings notecards full of his speaking points), AND when it is his turn to do Northanger Abbey, he also reads The Mysteries of Udolpho and decorates his house to be like the haunted Abbey.

Like Grigg

OMGosh I LOVE it! Grigg is a keeper. And I think he deserves better than Jocelyn. They should have ended it with him falling in love with someone else.

I think Grigg actually fits his book as he has the imagination of Catherine and the openness + good humor of Mr. Tilney.

We also get a lot of development to his character as the film focuses on him and his love of SciFi, family, etc. He is just so dang lovable, I mean he compares Jane Austen to Star Wars (my two favorite things), how can you not love him?

May –Pride & Prejudice lead by Bernadette

Like Sylvia, Bernadette (Kathy Baker) is hardly developed at all besides she has been married multiple times.

That’s it?

She is also immortal as some of the names she drops are impossible. At one point she mentions Fred Astaire being in a movie and liking her so much he gave her jewelry, but his last film was in 1968, she would have been 11.

Bernadette is worried about Sylvia and Jocelyn and when she goes to see a showing of Mansfield Park (1999) and spots Prudie having a breakdown-the idea for a Jane Austen book club forms in her mind and she invites Prudie to join them. However, Bernadette sucks as a friend too. She’s horrible.

She invites Prudie to join her club but takes no other interest in her other than to round out their numbers. She spends no time with her other than the meetings, makes fun of her with her *real* friends, and when Prudie needs help and horribly spiraling out of control-reaching out to Bernadette about how she is having issues with her marriage, grieving for her mother, and contemplating sleeping with a student, Bernadette tells her:

Prudie Drummond: I’m in love with one of my students. I mean, nothing’s happened, much. It could if I let it… I fantasize about him constantly.

Bernadette: Sweetie, your mother died. This is grief.

Prudie Drummond: He looks at me like he’s the spoon, and I’m this dish of ice cream.

Bernadette: It’s a good thing we’re reading Sense and Sensibility next.

WOOOWW???? Really?

Why don’t you say, hey Prudie let’s go out for coffee and talk, or Prudie you need to go see a therapist as you need help. You are thinking of getting with this student because you don’t want to face what your issues with your marriage and husband. You are very vulnrable right now. Not, “good thing we are reading Sense and Sensibility”. What are you doing keeping quiet while you know that if Prudie does that she will ruin her career, marriage, lose everything. etc.

She’s just awful.

I can’t find any connection to her book as there is so little shown of her. Who is she?

June: Sense and Sensibility lead by Allegra

This is another storyline I hated as it is so underdeveloped and really not necessary. So Allegra (Maggie Grace) is in her 20s, likes to do dangerous stuff, creates jewelry, and is a lesbian. That’s basically all she is-there is no other development. She moves in with her mother to care for her, but gets really bored over it and after a skydiving accident, starts dating and instantly moves in with one of the other skydivers there.

She then shares some horrible stories, one of her being mean to an autistic kid (like it is beyond horrible), and all of the stories are stolen by her barely known girlfriend for her writing submissions (and it is also implied that her girlfriend is cheating on her). She then moves home and gets in another accident rock climbing, which brings her parents back together. She then dates her doctor, but at the end of the movie is alone. That’s it, no character development, still running head first into lots of thing and getting injured.

I guess they wanted to make her like Marianne-but Marianne had more substance. She felt strongly for what was happening around her, she was reckless but in a young girl sort of way, and at the end she learned from her experience. Allegra doesn’t seem to care-whatever girlfriend stole from me, whatever dad with another lady, whatever I’m in another accident. Kind of like whoever wrote her character didn’t seem to care about her.

Or plot!

July: Persuasion lead by Prudie Drummond

Besides Grigg, Prudie (Emily Blunt) is the only rounded character in this film. We first meet her as she is excited to be going to Paris with her husband, as she is a high school French teacher and has always dreamed of it.

Majorly

Unfortunately, her husband is no longer going to take her to Paris but is instead going on a trip with a sports star for his job. Prudie is heartbroken as Dean doesn’t see what the big deal is and then turns to watch sports-ignoring her. Immediately we know their relationship is in serious trouble, although I couldn’t get why they were even together. She’s so intellectual, Jan Austen, wine, gourmet cheese, etc. He’s all sports, video games, beer, funyans, etc.

Huhhhhhhh

Her husband, Dean, suggests calling her mom to stay with her so she isn’t alone, and we see that is the issue with Prudie-she is alone. She is emotionally and physically alone as she and her husband and her are existing in different atmospheres, and she has no friends. She has absolutely no one.

Life seems grey…

Every scene with her we get another layer. She throws a breakdown at the showing of Mansfield Park (1999) and Bernadette invites her to be a part of the club, telling her is just for her and Prudie thinks she finally has some friends, but then they treat her horribly-making fun of her. Prudie might not be the friendliest person, she has a lot of emotional walls, but you should really give her grace as she is joining a group of people she doesn’t know.

When her mom comes, oh boy do we get more layers! Her mom was a hippie, always forgetting her, carting her around place to place, getting high-it was amazing she didn’t burn where ever they were living (as she almost does to Prudie’s house) and that Prudie even graduated anything. Her mom treats her horribly-making fun of her and her choices, calling her name as she isn’t a free-spirt like her. She ends up yelling at her mom and telling her to leave.

The dysfunction makes it so clear why she wanted to be with someone like Dean who is so normal. He is the quintessential all american boy-I bet he played football, celebrated every hoilday, had his parents come to all his games, etc. She wanted to be with him for stability, normalcy, and love.

No wonder she is all about her education and intellectualism, the way her mom treats her she probably only got validation at school and from her teachers. No wonder she became one.

It all makes sense!

Her student Trey (played by the guy who was Woody in It’s a Boy Girl Thing and Damian in Gossip Girl) starts trying to seduce her and as her husband hasn’t been treating her like she is anything special so she responds to it. It’s so painful to watch as this is the worst thing you could do right now, you need to go to therapy.

Then her mom dies and Prudie has so much guilt, unresolved anger, etc swirling around in her head. She and her husband go to the funeral and when Prudie sees a mean girl from her high school flirting with her husband she becomes more angry, hurt, and in pain.

She starts unloading on her husband, and even berates and belittles him at the library gala.

The book club ladies, “her friends”, but they don’t really care. Bernadette says poor Prudie but does she do anything, or reach out to her, or see how she is doing? Check up on her? NO and when she did try to get help from Bernadette, you saw the response.

Poor Prudie. Everything comes to a head when its her turn to share on Persuasion, and she heads out to sleep with Trey, but at the last minute changes her mind and instead decides to go home and be with her husband. This part I loved as Prudie convinces him to read Persuasion with her and he does.

The Jane Austen Book Club

And then Dean reads the rest of Jane Austen and even fanboys at the end. So romantic!

Hers storyline has some similarities to the book. Prudie is alone, like Anne is-relationship with her only remaining parent is not good at all. In the book, the Elliots have to the let the house-her father and sister leave for Bath, while Anne has to stay behind at her sisters-just like Prudie has to stay behind when her husband changes their vacation plans.

In the end both Anne and Prudie are reunited with their lost loves-Anne’s being a physical loss (he left to go in the military) and Prudie’s an emotional loss.

This Jane Austen Book Club doesn’t really make sense to me as none of these characters are really friends with each other: just three of the members (but they sure don’t act like friends should). It kind of reminded me of Daring Chloe, but that book was better as the book club members were actually friends with each other! All knew each other, cared about each other, and wanted to be there for each other!

So in conclusion:

Jocelyn- AWFUL

Sylvia- Underdevloped

Grigg- I LOVED

Bernadette- Underdeveloped and AWFUL

Allegra- Underdeveloped

Prudie- I Loved her character, poor girl

So yeah, I did NOT like this film.

Other thoughts:

Slyvia’s husband is played by Jimmy Smits, and he and the actress who played his wife Amy Brenneman were both on NYPD Blue together and their characters dated. I guess we could imagine that they both left the NYPD and moved to Sacramento where she became a librarian and he a cheating butthead.

When Prudie rails on about all the things she hates about Mansfield Park (1999) and I agree. I think that is my least favorite adaption.

That movie

What kind ofd name is Grigg? I wonder why the author picked that. Is it a family name? Did she know someone with that name? Did she make it up?

Hmmm…

There is very little Jane Austen discussed in the movie, with Northanger Abbey getting the least of all. Why is that? For a movie in which “Jane Austen” is half the title, why isn’t there more of it in there?

I hated the line ”There was something appealing in thinking of a character with a secret life that her author knew nothing about.” She wrote the character-she knows it better than you. This is something you can only get away with a dead author. If she had written that about a living author they would be so angry.

So yeah, I did not like this film. If you do I’m glad you do-but it was not for me.

For the thousandth time

For more on The Jane Austen Book Club, go to Reading One Page Turns Into the Whole Book: Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

For more Austen screen adaptions, go to Drive Me Crazy: Austentatious (2015)

For more Emma, go to Rational Creatures: Emma Woodhouse, Miss Bates, & Harriet Smith

For more Mansfield Park, go to Modesto Jane Con: Opera Modesto Presents Mansfield Park

For more Northanger Abbey, go to North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley)

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to The Colonel

For more Sense and Sensibility, go to Rational Creatures: Elinor & Marianne Dashwood

For more Persuasion, go to Holiday Mix Tape

I Have a Dubious Reputation: The Notorious Landlady (1962)

I have a dubious reputation.

So my mom and I were looking on Amazon for something to watch and stumbled upon this. Neither of us had ever heard of it, and we both think Jack Lemmon is hilarious.

So the film starts off in London with a man being killed, we only see his feet as he is dragged away in a car. Neighbors hear the ruckus, but don’t actually see who is causing it.

Hmm, …

Fast forward some months and  William ‘Bill’ Gridley, (Jack Lemmon), American diplomat, has returned from the Middle East. He is happy to be out of the desert and happy to be closer to America. His first duty is to find a place to live. 

Hmm…

Meanwhile, Mrs. Carlyle Hardwicke, (Kim Novak), has been in the paper and everyone looks down on her. She needs money, but can’t work because she is married. You know how it was back in the day, this quote is from Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1949)

Store Manager: Miss Krausheimer, we understood you were a single woman. As an aid to to the unemployment crisis, it is our policy not to employ married women.

So Mrs. Hardwicke needs money and with her husband MIA she is trying to rent out half her house. No one will take it as they don’t want to rent to a murderess, which all believe her to be.

But of course, newly arrived Bill Gridley has no knowledge of this. He sees the house as perfect location, great rent and wants it.

Mrs. Hardwicke doesn’t want to rent to him as she is already talked about, imagine how it would increase if she has a male boarder! She tries to dissuade him, pretending to be the housekeeper, but Bill sees right through that and insists.

Mrs. Carlyle Hardwicke: To put it plainly, Mr. Gridley, I have a dubious reputation.

William ‘Bill’ Gridley: You DO? I’ll pay you 45 pounds a month.

He gives her the money and the deposit and when he hears she and her husband are not together, asks the beautiful Mrs. Hardwicke out to dinner.

He then goes to work for his boss Franklyn Ambruster (Fred Astaire) who is all about propriety and staying out off the radar. If Bill messes up, Ambruster’s career is on the line.

Franklyn Ambruster: I want you to know that I have no intention of watching you go down the drain and using my career as a raft.

That night he takes the beautiful Mrs. Hardwicke out to dinner and they have a lovely night, except everyone watches and stares at her. All talk, gossip, etc.

Bill sees none of it, just Carly, and falls head over heels in love for her. But before anything could happen, he gets interrupted by a phone call from his boss to come in early the next day. Moment ruined.

That night a man watching Mrs. Hardwicke’s house makes a call. The next day Inspector Oliphant comes to the embassy to speak to Ambruster and Bill. He lets them know all about the case and how they would put him on trial except that there is no body so technically no crime. 

Bill is sure of her innoncence, but the inspector and his boss both want him to spy on her.

Franklyn Ambruster: If you foul up, Gridley, I’ll have you back in the Sahara so fast you’ll think London was a mirage.

William ‘Bill’ Gridley: In other words, if she knows I know, I go.

Franklyn Ambruster: That’s exactly right. And I hope you haven’t taken to talking in rhyme.

Bill sneaks into the house when Mrs. Hardwicke has left to try and get into the closet that she said he was never to use. There’s nothing in there but her husband’s clothes. He starts going through her room and finds a gun!

Ahhh!

But she is a single woman living alone. He puts it in a different place (as soon as I saw that I knew important!!!) and starts to search more But she comes back early!!!

Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of clips of this film, but it is hilarious. Jack Lemmon is great at comedy-physical, verbal, and the faces he makes.

So he doesn’t find anything incrimminating, which is great. But the words that the inspector said to him is really starting to get to him. Carly plans a surprise for him, but all he can imagine is her killing him.

He doesn’t pay attention at the BBQ grill and puts in too much lighter fluid, the fire department is called and his face is landed in every paper.

That’s not good.

Ambuster is furious as this goes against everything he told him he wanted. He doesn’t care that Bill is helping the police, he is sending him back to the Sahara or Iran or as far away from him as he can.

Franklyn Ambruster: Then tell me one good thing about this morning, except that it’s your last one in London.

Bill gets ready to pack up and heads to his office, Armbuster is going to go on with his usual things but is interrupted by Mrs. Hardwicke coming to the office. He is won over by her beauty and charm and has officially joined team Hardwicke.

Franklyn Ambruster: …she couldn’t possibly have done it.

William ‘Bill’ Gridley: [Pointing at himself excitedly and nodding his head] That’s your discovery?

Franklyn Ambruster: With you, it was an opinion. With me, it’s a conviction.

Carly wants Bill out of the house but Bill doesn’t want to leave. She starts acting weird and two men come to “pick up a package”. She tells them to come back the next day and then plays the organ at night.

Even weirder, she’s surprised that Bill heard her playing. Uh….???!!! You weren’t that quiet about it…

She also acts strange about her organ when talking about it.

Hmm…

All embassy business has been thriwn out the window. Bill and Ambuster are on the case. That night they see the man come to the house again to speak to Carly, and she leaves with a package. Armbuster follows her while Bill goes after the man. This is a hilarious chase scene through foggy London.

Bill ends up at a church, where he discovers that Carly sold her beloved organ to get money. That’s why she was being so creepy and weird about it. It was her last time to play her beloved instrument.

Carly gives Ambruster the slip, he ending up in a grave that is being dug. Carly goes to a pawn shop, pawning a silver candelabra.

That night Bill calls Armbuster to find out what he knows and Carly picks up a line and overhears the conversation, ah landlines. She’s furious and refuses to speak to Bill again, wanting him OUT!

That night she is getting ready for bed, when a man is in her room!!!

It’s her husband!!!!!! He wants the money he stole. He killed the man sent to assassinate him and took off to hide out. He struggles with her and she goes for her gun, but it’s not THERE!!!  Darn you Bill. 

Meanwhile, Bill is downstairs calling the inspector and telling him that he will no longer be a spy, he’s done as he is in love with Carly. The inspector has just woken up from the call and is unsure what they are taking about.

Wha??

Bill hears the noises from upstairs in Carly’s room and throws the phone down to help. The inspector hearing Bill being worried, sends the police over.

When Bill gets there he finds Carly standing over her dead husband and the next scene she is on trial.

Now here is the part of the film I don’t get. They put her on trial for killing her husband and there is no acknowledgement of what they did earlier-all those months blaming her for the murder when he was alive! And knowing that she killed him in self-defense they try to make it out to be murder?

Man a good lawyer would rip them to shreds!!!! You know it!!!

So Carly acts kind of weird and doesn’t seem to defend her self.

Now when Bill tries to defend her, the prosecutor really turns his words inside out and sideways.

Huh?

All seems lost until the next door neighbor’s nurse, Agatha Brown, steps in and testifies that Carly was just defending herself. The trial is declared a mistrial and all is good.

Except that Carly doesn’t seem very happy. Bill tries to talk to her but she wants nothing to do with him.

She goes home, Agatha giving her a ride and it appears the nurse is blackmailing Carly. When Bill comes home, the nurse is leaving with a paper, talking about her new room.

Huh?

BIll questions Carly, but she just tells him to leave, going upstairs distraught. She goes into the bathroom with Bill trailing behind and talking to her. He hears the water stop and then nothing.

He calls out his name over and over, but nothing.

That’s not good.

Fearing she might hurt herself, sure, he knocks the door down, but it turns out she is just taking a bath.

Seriously

He questions her and she reveals what happened was that her husband attacked her and wanted the candelabra she had pawned. They fought and she killed him in self-defense. She looks out the window and realizes that Agatha couldn’t have seen anything because she spotted her walking up to the house that night, hoping to get her attention.

So if she didn’t see her than who did…Lady Fallott must have! That means she must know about the candelabra! Agatha isn’t likely to share it so they rush down to the pawn shop to see if the candelabra is still there.

Instead of the candelabra, they find the dead pawn shop owner. They know Lady Fallot must be next and go looking for her.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1958)

Meanwhile, a bobby notices them running off and goes in the pawn shop.

That’s not good.

Carly and Bill go next door and question if they know where Lady Fallott is. While they are doing that, Ambruster stops at the flat to pick up Bill. The two run into a car to the station, heading to Penzance while the police show up.

In Penzance the two search for Lady Fallot, while Agatha is intent on murdering her. As they are scrambling and chasing, the police and Ambruster follow behind. This is a HILARIOUS chase scene all to the theme of The Pirates of Penzance  

I wish I had a clip to share with you all. In the end all is right and Bill and Carly end up together.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Fred Astaire, go to I Won’t Let You Get Away: Holiday Inn (1942)

I Won’t Let You Get Away: Holiday Inn (1942)

Most Romantic Moment #10

Holiday Inn (1942)

My mom grew up seeing this movie at Christmastime and one year she found it on DVD and bout it for the family. Now my Christmas is not complete unless I watch it. I love the music, the actors, and the story.

Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life.

It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place).

Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love.

Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.

Most Romantic Moment: I Won’t Let You Get Away

**Spoiler Alert**

So Jim tried to outsmart Ted and be sure that Linda wouldn’t fall for his charms, but it backfires and Linda is angry with him, taking off with Ted to make a movie in Hollywood about the Inn.

Jim knows that Ted is quite the charmer and it won’t be long until he dances his way into her heart. It’s all over.

Until Mamie, Jim’s housekeeper, convinces tells him he shouldn’t give up. That’s the kick in the pants that Jim needs and he flies out to Hollywood to get his girl. Despite her having been hurt and currently engaged to Ted.

Even though chances are slim, Jim goes after his girl-determined for her to know and see how much he cares. And that he’s not letting her get away. And in the end her gets his girl, as that was all she wanted.

To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to Who Says I Have to Stop: Fireproof (2008)

For the previous post, go to I Made You A Bummed Out Box: Gone Glitter Part I, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2012)

For more Holiday Inn, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Bing Crosby, go to Trek the Halls with Bones and Scotty

For more Fred Astaire, go to Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to The Power of Love: Romance is in the Air, Part VI

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

I’ve said in a previous post, how I didn’t believe in Santa growing up. My parents felt that lying to me would be bad, and instead told me the story of the “real” Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas. They told us that the Santa people believe in today was more of a feeling, than an actual person.

Even though I wasn’t a believer, I still liked Santa Claus, including the most famous Christmas carol featuring him, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town. 

This is older than you probably think, having been written in 1934 by John Fredrick Coots and Haven Gillespie. It was originally performed by Harry Reser but since than has been covered numerous times by countless artists.

Of course my all-time favorite version is from the claymation Christmas special, Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

SantaClausisComingtotown

Not only is this special great in how it tries to answer every question kids have ever had about Santa, and does one amazing job, but Fred Astaire and company do a great job of singing the song.

No matter what, when I hear this song I just want to join along!

christmas-flowers-banner

For more on Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

For more Fred Astaire, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Christmas carols, go to Winter Wonderland

I’m So FANcy!

So I’m sure you all think I will be talking about this:

NOPE!

Instead it’ll be on this:

fangirlfansfandom fan

 

Yep, here we are with another fan-filled posts all on the things I hardcore fangirl over. Read, watch, and enjoy!

hearts banner

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey-Hepburn-ball-gown-Sabrina

Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress in the whole wide world. I think she is just so amazing in everything she has been in and absolutely beautiful. Plus she has the best fashion sense! Everything I see her in I want, every hairstyle I need; but I would never look as breathtakingly beautiful as her. Not only was Audrey an amazing actress, but she was a true patriot (working against the Nazis on her bike delivering messages in WWII) and a philanthropic woman, creating and giving to many charities. There is no better woman to look up to.

Now my favorite movies of hers is Sabrina.

Sabrina1954

Words cannot express how much I love this movie, although I did try in my Valentine’s countdown. To read my review, go to Now That I’ve Met You, I Can’t Imagine Life Without You: Sabrina (1954) Another great favorite of mine is her first film Roman Holiday (1953).

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In which she plays a princess playing hooky, in order to have a real holiday. I reviewed that for 2014’s Valentine’s countdown and you can read the review at: Your Secret is Safe With Me: Roman Holiday (1953)I also love Funny Face (1957)

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Now how can you think that? You’re Audrey Hepburn and utter perfection.

in which she plays Jo Stockton, philosopher and book store employee. On a photo shoot she gets noticed by a famous photographer (played by Fred Astaire) who quickly gets this beatnik caught up in the world of fashion and takes her to Paris as his model. She tries to stay true to her beliefs, do well in the shoots and on the runway; all the while falling for the man behind the camera. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

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I’m sure you all have heard of it, if not seen it. It is about Holly Golightly, New Yorker and sometimes model, trying to find a millionare to take care of her all her life. She meets Paul Varjak, a one hit writer, who has traded his typewriter to be a kept man to an older, rich, society woman. The two become friends, and Paul becomes fascinated with the mysterious Holly, eventually falling in love with her. Now Paris When it Sizzles (1964)

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is not for everyone. Any one I show this film to has one of these two reaction: 1) they love it and think it is a hilarious comedy, or 2) think it is the stupidest thing they have ever seen in their life. I’m in the #1 category, of course. Anyways, this film is a parody of filmmaking: criticizing the way writers, directors, and producers act; cliches like the bad boy/girl with the heart of gold; the use of fade-out for time passing or characters getting closer than the MPAA would like them too; etc. In this film we have the pairing of William Holden and Audrey Hepburn once again. William Holden plays an alcoholic, procrastinating, Hollywood scriptwriter, living in Paris. As he has waited until the last minute to write the script for his film, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower, he has hired typist Gaby, played by Audrey Hepburn, to help him finish the piece by his deadline, three days from now. As Holden writes, he and Hepburn act out the characters in the story creating one comedic masterpiece. As an extra treat, there is a hilarious bit part done by Tony Curtis. Moving on to something that is both funny, serious, and musical…we have My Fair Lady (1964)

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A retelling of Pygmlion with music. In this Audrey plays the flower girl, Eliza Dolittle, that Professor Henry Higgins bets he can turn into a true lady by altering the way she talks. A truly great musical and film. Now the story of me and How to Steal A Million (1966)

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Is tale of trying to find each other. When I was young I watched this movie about stealing art that took place in France, but couldn’t remember the title, just one scene. I remember asking my mother about it and quoting the scene, but she couldn’t figure out what film I was talking about. The only film she could think of that had a burglar, that isn’t really burglarizing, the man being the thief, a woman partner, and taking place in France was To Catch a Thief. I eagerly watched the film, and loved it, but it wasn’t how I remembered the film. I figured I just had faulty memory and was done with it. Over ten years later, I decided to watch this movie as I love Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. As I started watching it, I had this sense of deja vu, but I was certain I’d never seen it before. It wasn’t until they played the one scene that I realized this was the movie I had been thinking of. This is an absolutely hysterical heist film. Audrey plays Nicole Bonnet, daughter of a forger and leading citizen of Paris. She has been trying to get him to stop to no avail. One night, she catches a bungling burglar, Peter O’Toole, who is more than what he seems. He likes her and tries to date her; but she wants nothing to do with him. Meanwhile, her father has allowed the museum to take the famed Cellini‘s Aphrodite, a forgery done by Nicole’s grandfather. After he has signed off the museum paperwork, he discovers that the museum will be testing the statue in order to insure it. Both Nicole and her father know that such tests will show that it is a fake and bring ruin to both Bonnets. In order to stop it, Nicole hires O’Toole to steal it for her, using one crazy scheme.

Now these are just a few of her great works, and I urge you to watch her films and see for yourself how truly amazing she is.

For more on Audrey Hepburn, go to I Can See Your Beauty

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Everyday Sunday

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I was in my early teens when I became obsessed with the band. My parents had heard of this free concert that had Ever Stays Red and Everyday Sunday. Ever Stays Red performed first, and I thought they were okay. When Everyday Sunday performed…oh I was hooked. I bought their CD immediately. Of course I thought the guys in the group were hot, but even more I enjoyed their songs. The Wake Up! Wake Up! album was my favorite and I bought it as soon as it came out. I listened to the song Let’s Go Back on my CD player a gazillion times. I was obsessed with them.

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And of course there is my story of getting all their autographs. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but for those of you who missed it, this is what happened:

So I went to this huge outdoor concert, (three days and a bunch of bands), to see them. I was first in line to get their autographs, and was fully prepared as having borrowed my mom’s sharpie with the promise to return it to her. So I was waiting in line and I had recieved Trey ❤ (squee!) and another band member’s autographs, but I still needed the other two. I was standing around waiting, when one of the guards/manager/whatever people told me I had to go because I was blocking the way. I was so heartbroken to have to leave, but started making my way out:

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As I was walking out I ran into another member and got his autograph.

Oh yeah!

Oh yeah!

So I was still sad that I didn’t have the last signature, but then as I was walking out I ran into the last guy!  And got his autograph. But then I realized I had left my mom’s sharpie! And I had specifically been told to make sure I brought it back. So I ran all the way down to the autograph table, told them what happened and was given the sharpie back. It wasn’t until I got back to our tent that I realized I had my  mom’s sharpie had been in my pocket all along! Now I had an awesome souvenir!!!

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Unfortunately, I lost that pen sometime when we moved. 😦

The band has changed a lot since then, so I don’t follow them as much as I used to. They still remain a big part of me, as I constantly listen to that Wake Up! Wake Up! album.

Here are some of my favorite songs: Apathy for Apologies, Bring It On, Find Me Tonight, From Me to You, I’ll Get Over It (Mis Elaineous), I Won’t Give Up, Let’s Go Back, Now You’re Gone, Star of the Show, Take Me Out, Tell Me You’ll Be There, Untitled Anonymous, Wake Up! Wake Up!, and What We’re Here For.

For more Everyday Sunday, go to Now You’re Gone

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Indiana Jones

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I am a huge fan of Indiana Jones. I used to dream about meeting him (or Harrison Ford). And how could you not love the incredible hunky hero? For those of you who have been living under a rock and are unaware of this awesome man; Indiana Jones is an archeologist and Professor of History, living in the 1930s; who balances his time with his classwork and going on grand adventures. The first film is Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Indiana is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant from the bible, before Hitler does. He sets out trekking the globe, bringing along old flame Marian and friend Sully. The sequel to this movie wasn’t as good, and for years I would watch only the beginning and end as one scene scared the crap out of me. Eventually I overcame this, but it was’t until last year that I actually sat down and watched the film from beginning to end. In this, Temple of Doom, the adventure starts out in China, with a deal gone wrong causing Indy to flee the country with his sidekick Short Round plus a singer and the MOST ANNOYING PERSON IN THE WORLD, WillieThe group ends up crash-landing in India and set out to save a tribe’s lost children and sacred stones, both of which were stolen from them. The series picks up again with the third film, The Last Crusade, in which Indy and his father (played by Sean Connery) set out to save the Holy Grail from being stolen by Nazis. They made a fourth film which was a real disappointment so I won’t even speak about it. The first and third films are absolutely amazing, with the second definitely having its cool moments.

Now after the three films came out, we had Indiana Jones mania and lots of other things were made to increase money. I have to say I jumped on a lot of those trains. There was The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. This TV series had Indiana Jones meeting famous people throughout history (educational) and going on adventures. In the second season he is an adult and it follows his adventures with Pancho Villa, the IRA, and involvement in WWI, later returning to school and joining a jazz group. This show was a lot of fun, and you learned a lot as well. Piggybacking off of this series was two book series involving the adventures of young Indiana Jones. One was a regular story format about his adventures as a boy, while the other covered his time as an teenager and were Choose Your Own Adventure themed. I have to admit that I read both of them. Big time fan.

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And that’s not all. I read the book series Indiana Jones: Prequels of which detail his life from college to right before the first film. Now quite a few books in the series were bad fanfiction, but there were actually quite a number that were written well. Most of the good ones were written by Rob MacGregor who actually assisted with the screenplays, so he had the truest to form character of Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils, Genesis Deluge, Unicorn’s Legacy, Philosopher’s Stone, Dinosaur Eggs, and Secret of the Sphinx were good. The rest were okay or downright awful. I even went as far as starting the series that took place during WWII and covered events mentioned in the last Indiana Jones film, but those weren’t as good.

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And that doesn’t end my fangirlness. I also started a Indiana Jones fanclub. All us girls in it chose state names before our last names, in honor of Indy. We had Alaska Adams, Ohio Hirano, Virgina Mabel, Georgia Hattie, Illinois Villers, and Nevada Sinclair (Me). We even created our own pictograph language to pass notes.fandomvsReallife Yep, I was obsessed and still am. In fact, my most recent purse was chosen because it resembled Indian Jones satchel.

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And of course I am a huge fan of the ride, which you can read more about at And Away We Go.

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For more on Indiana Jones, go to Heaven on Earth

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My Chemical Romance

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Now I got into this fandom after the group had broken up. It all started with just one song, Welcome to the Black Parade and that was it. I was hooked and had joined the fandom.

First of all we have the amazing Gerard Way who looks good no matter what he does.

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The songs are amazing and the music videos are AWESOME!!! Like Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na). 

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Now I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’ll be saving that for my individual posts on the songs. Here are some of my favorites: Welcome to the Black Parade, I Don’t Love You, House of Wolves, Cancer, Mama, Teenagers, Na-Na-Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na), Bulletproof Heart, The Only Hope for Me is You, Save Yourself I’ll Hold Them Back, Summertimeand The Kids from Yesterday.

For more on My Chemical Romance go to Na-Na-Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

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Nancy Drew

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Now I never wanted to be a fan of Nancy Drew. My older sister Jessica loved her, and that was her thing. But, Nancy would not be deterred from my life. Oh no.

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It started one day when I was in sixth grade. My middle school library was amazing and I spent many happy days there. They had a great collection of all types of books. I loved the series Sweet Valley High (more on that later) and would check out tons of the series’ books. One day I grabbed Strange Memories as I was in a hurry, and when I got home realized it wasn’t a Sweet Valley High, but a Nancy Drew: Case Files.

After that, I was hooked. I started reading the series and became a huge fan. I still try to collect the whole series, every time I spot one in a thrift store, snapping it up to add to my collection. These books came out in the late ’80s and continued until the early 2000s. These books involved pretty, redhead, 18 year old Nancy Drew who was one amazing crime-solving sleuth. She was often assisted by George Fayne, her tall athletic, dark-haired friend; and Bess Marvin, George’s cousin, blonde, curvy, and also utterly gorgeous and boy-crazy. She is always trying to lose 5-10 pounds, but looks good all the same. Ned Nickerson is Nancy’s boyfriend, who attends college and is always having an internship in a various things (making me wonder what his major is) which always involve Nancy coming around to solve a mystery. The two fight over Nancy not always paying attention to Ned and his needs, and even break up momentarily. Of course this couple can’t be far apart for long, and resume dating.

Now I absolutely loved this series, but not everyone did. As Nancy Drew is revamped every ten years or so, people who liked the series before don’t care for this version, and those who become a fan later, can’t get into it either. The other thing I loved about this series was that they did Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys crossovers. I love Nancy and Ned together, but I have to admit…a big part of me always wanted her and Frank Hardy to get together.

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I’m conflicted.

Hmm

Hmm

Some of the books were absolutely wonderful, while others were just okay. But hey, that always happens in a series. My favorites are: Secrets Can Kill (#1), in which Nancy goes undercover in a preppy high school to figure out who a blackmailer is; Deadly Intent (#2), in which a concert to see Barton Novak turns out to an abduction case; White Water Terror (#6)Nancy wins a river rafting trip for four and takes along Bess, George, and Ned. But what should be fun in the sun, turns into a series of sabotage and murder. In Stay Tuned for Danger (#17), Nancy goes on TV to figure out who is threatening a famous soap opera star. When Bess falls for the star, Nancy finds herself racing against time to save both of them. Sisters in Crime (#19) sends Nancy to San Diego State in order to investigate an accidental drowning and a sorority. She discovers that college life isn’t glitz, fun, and studying; as murder walks the campus. Recipe for Murder (#21) finds Nancy back in school, cooking school that is. She and the full gang are getting lessons in French cooking, pastry, and Chinese food. While there Nancy discovers some unsavoriness; sabotage, blackmail, slander, murder, and espionage. In Something to Hide (#41), Ned is doing a testing project on acne creme for his marketing class. When Nancy steps by to say hi, Bess becomes ill. And she’s not the only one! Suddenly an epidemic is spreading through the town, all of which tie back to the Acne creme. Now Nancy is one the case to discover who could be poisoning teens, and why? A Model Crime (#51) in this book, Bess is chosen to be a finalist for Face of the Year, a modeling contest (think America’s Next Top Model), but as Nancy travels to Chicago she sees that there is more to this “Face” than meets the eye as someone is trying to sabotage it. Don’t Look Twice (#55), is one of my absolute favorites. In this Nancy goes to visit Ned at an away game, finding a cheerleader who looks a lot like her, wanting to put Nancy out of the picture. This cheerleader, Denise, invites the group out to pizza, where Nancy gets kidnapped! She is let go as the kidnappers got the “wrong girl”, leaving Nancy to figure out who will be abducted and when. Tall, Dark, and Deadly (#66) when a young girl is kidnapped, Nancy and Bess go undercover to figure out where she is. The two find themselves trying to find the girl’s last date and hopefully abductor. Designs in Crime (#89), Nancy once again sees that the fashion world has a dark side when she investigates the thefts of a designer’s famous designs. This case of corporate espionage turns deadly, when an assistant is found murdered. Betrayed by Love (#118)Nancy and Ned are invited to an old friend, Angela’s, wedding. There they find what should be a happy occasion is anything but: with the mother of the bride wasting away to a disease unknown, the groom’s ex-girlfriend insisting that they are still together, a serious case of sabotage, threats against the bride; and one dead body. And of course, Strange Memories (#122)in which Nancy and George are vacationing in San Francisco, only to find a girl with amnesia.

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Then there are the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Super Mysteries which always involved two cases that ended up connecting at some point in the book. I loved these as I loved the pairing of the two sleuths and as before-mentioned, Nancy and Frank. Sorry Ned. Of these books I loved: Double Crossing (#1), Nancy goes on a cruise to visit George, the activities director. When she gets there she discovers that Frank and Joe are undercover trying to discover who is robbing the guests. The three detectives also come upon a double dealer, selling American secrets. Will the three find the thief and save America’s security? A Crime for Christmas (#2)Nancy and Bess are visiting New York City, doing a little Christmas shopping; when they run into Frank and Joe. The Hardy Boys are once again on a case, trying to catch a Cat Burglar team. The four also meet a guest staying there, who turns out to be a crown prince and find themselves caught in the middle of a coup. Dangerous Games (#4), Ned calls in Nancy, George, Bess, Frank, and Joe to help protect a sister and brother from Scandinavia competing in the Games tournament. All go undercover and try to find out who could be sabotaging the two. When one of their supervisors starts investigating an old unsolved murder involving the athletes gathered, he is almost killed, leaving the detectives to solve that case as well. Hits and Misses (#16), Bess is competing in a talent TV show with Nancy tagging along. The two discover an amnesic girl and try to find out who she is, a situation that won’t be easy as many are trying to kill her.  Frank and Joe are visiting an old friend and trying to figure out who would steal the masters of the singer Angelique. The two cross paths and discover that their cases as more closely related than they would have thought.

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From 2004-2012, they came out with a new series of Nancy Drew that I was also a fan of. I liked the series, but nowhere as much as I loved the ’80s one. In this Nancy became an environmentalist, scatter-brained, forgetting everything, detective. She also worked with and against the Chief of police more. George was updated to not only being athletic but super tech-savy. Bess was no longer curvy on a diet, but perfectly formed interested in makeup, clothes, and super handy at fixing things. I didn’t care for this series as much as most of the mysteries were really lowkey. For instance in one Ned wants to fly, but then keeps avoiding it; as it turns out he is afraid of heights. In another one George keeps avoiding a certain spa, when it turns out the reason is that she applied for a job there and was turned down. In one they are reenacting the Civil War, and a website like Ancestry.com is ripping people off telling them they are all descendants of Union generals who did amazing things during the war. Boring.

Then they had the graphic novels and I LOVED these! I highly recommend the whole series if you have yet to read them. These involved the same updates from before, but switched from lowkey crimes to high, scary, and at time supernatural ones. I HIGHLY RECCOMMEND THEM!

I’ve read a few of the original books, but can’t get really into them as they are so easily solved. Oh well.

Then there are the films. I reallu liked Nancy Drew: Detective and Nancy Drew…Girl Reporter which came out in the 1930s. In these Nancy is fast talking, crime solving girl who is eager to prove her mettle and will not let chauvinistic comments bring her down. In this Ned and Nancy aren’t dating, and he tends to be her unwilling assistant. These films are funny and adorable and can be viewed on Youtube if you wish.

There also was a film in 2002, Nancy Drew, starring Maggie Lawson. In this Nancy is going to college to be a journalist, but I didn’t like the film at all. I thought they made Nancy sorta brainless and mean to Ned, completely ignoring him.

And then there were the Nancy Drew video games. I never bought these but borrowed them from the library, played them, and sent them back. Secrets Can Kill didn’t work as it had a scratch, but the beginning was great as it really puts you in the mystery. Stay Tuned for Danger I knew as I had read the book. The Final Scene was great, as I had never read the book. In this Bess is kidnapped, and you have to solve the mystery before the theater is demolished with Bess inside! And the last game I played was Danger by Design, in which Nancy goes undercover to infiltrate a Parisian designer, Minette. It was thrilling and hard.

And now finally:

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Now I absolutely loved this show!

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I came upon this series when I bought a VHS at a library sale. Afterwards, I discovered the series online (youtube) and watched the whole thing. I love the mysteries of Nancy and the Hardy Boys; with the crossover episodes being the best. Unfortunately, both actresses who played Nancy Drew left the show, leaving it just The Hardy Boys. I highly recommend this show as well as I think it was absolutely fantastic and wish there were way more episodes of them. Not to mention I love Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy.

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This also has one of the best intros. It starts off with the book covers of both series appearing in time to creepy music. It then switches to clips from the show in combo with book covers. It’s fantastic.

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fangirl casual fan diehard fan consume me love it

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For the previous post, go to Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

Stay tuned for part 11

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For more of my favorite music, go to Sisterly Roles

For more book-filled posts, go to Adventure Time