Sense and Sensibility (1995)

So last week I posted my review of this film with my niece, but didn’t go into all the other parts that make up the film-costumes, set, actors/actresses, etc., like I usually do for a film review. So I decided to instead do a second post on it.

Why not?

If you are interested in the background to the film, check out my review of Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and DiariesI’m just going to start this post off by saying, I love this adaption. The writing was just amazing, the actors were fantastic, I just love it so much! So…this post is going to be about how much I care for it. And what are we waiting for…let’s get started!

Set

So I love the set of this. The houses and hills are gorgeous. I understand the desire to walk about, as how could you not with this:

One thing I enjoy about this production is there is a lot of light. I know a lot of people like it when they are more “historical”, filming indoors with candlelight, but I personally prefer to be able to see what I am supposed to be looking at. Looking at you Emma 1996 AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version. 

I had no real complaints as the homes are gorgeous, although I think the cottage is a little too lavish, I mean I wish I lived in that cottage. I always pictured in the book something much smaller.

But otherwise absolutely beautiful and watching it made me want to travel to England.

Let’s go!

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Costumes

I really like the costumes in this. I think the production paid close attention to making the Dashwoods look lovely but also show that they had fallen on hard times-making those that are wealthy have nicer things, such as Charlotte Palmer. Lucy’s clothes are even plainer in comparison

I like how the awful  John Dashwood wears a ridiculous cravat.

The only negative thing I have to say is that at times Kate Winslet’s curls look a little too harsh on her. It’s not bad, but I think that they should have relaxed her hair in a few scenes.

But otherwise I love the dresses, the bonnets, the coats, Colonel Brandon’s uniform-how everyone looks!

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On to the acting!

Mr. Palmer played by Hugh Laurie

Let’s start off with a small but amazing character-Hugh Laurie’s Mr. Palmer. This is a magnificent gem in a wonderful story. He only has a few scenes, but every second is memorable as his delivery and juxtaposition of his brief sarcasm paired with his non stop chatty wife is just perfect!

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Sir John Middleton (Robert Hardy) & Mrs. Jennings (Elizabeth Spriggs)

Sir John and Mrs. Jennings are awesome characters! And I love how Spriggs and Hardy just nailed it in how the balance-kind, compassionate and comforting with meddling, manipulation, and outright nosey-ness.

These two love the Dashwoods and just want to help them-although spending quite a bit of the time inserting themselves into their business, against the girls’ wishes. But I just adore them. I espechially love how Mrs. Jennings goes full mama bear at Willoughby when he breaks Marianne’s heart.

These two were just perfect!

For more Robert Hardy & Elizabeth Spriggs, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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Lucy Steele (Imogen Stubbs)

Imogen Stubs as Lucy Steele was beyond perfect in this. She is so manipulative and just horribly awful. The directing and her timing. I mean one of the best parts is this:

Look at her eyes-body language, full on power movie. She is so perfectly awful, there are literally no words to describe her wonderful performance.

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Mr. Willoughby played by Greg Wise

Greg Wise is perfect in this roll. He plays a charming gentleman, the type of guy who was born with money, always had money, never thinks about anything other than what pleases him-you know the type. This type of guy has always rubbed me the wrong way as they never think about others but just take what they want. But I can see how girls can fall for him.

I think what Wise does is that he plays the role extremely well-charming, sweet,-but there are slight signs to him not being fully earnest-how he doesn’t care about Marianne’s reputation, stealing flowers from the field to bring her some instead of buying them, making fun of Colonel Brandon who has never treated him wrong, etc. Small things, but then after he breaks Marianne’s heart it makes you realize that this guy doesn’t care for others as much as he does himself. It is very subtle-but very real. Who hasn’t t one point in their life fallen for such a guy or girl and looking back sees the small cracks in the charming veneer through the whole relationship.

Clearly Wontagby

For more on Greg Wise, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: The Buccaneers, Episodes 3-5

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Fanny Dashwood played by Harriet Walters

Fanny Dashwood is one of the most vilest characters in Jane Austen and Winner of my “Who’s the Worst” contest and Harriet Walter did a stupendous job.

She treats the Dashwoods like trash, she talks smack about them constantly, she manipulates her husband into ignoring his sisters, is cruel and not just mean but diabolical in her manner. She so horrible it is almost an art form to the subtle ways she just systematically goes after people.

Harriet Walter was phenomenal in this role, I will never be able to view anyone as Fanny Dashwood but her. The lines and acting were just perfect!

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Colonel Brandon played by Alan Rickman

So first of, like my niece kept pointing out, Alan Rickman was too old for this part. He was 49 at the time, but I don’t care-I love Alan Rickman’s portrayal. He was just the perfect blend of kind, compassionate, romantic, heroic, etc. One of the best things about Colonel Brandon is that he falls for Marianne hard, but he doesn’t annoy her or crazily pursue her. He continues to be himself-brings her flowers and a book when she is ill, plans an outing (that accidentally gets canceled), visits when he is in London-the same things he would have done whether he liked her or not.

I think Alan Rickman captured that perfectly. He was never overt but displayed his care and love in the looks he gave and his body language. He can be so expressive in such little movements and moments. As said before my absolute favorite is when at the end when Marianne admits that she loves him-you can just see his relief, his love, everything in his face.

He is just perfect. And I love the way he talks about Willoughby and treats him. This man treated him horribly and not to mention what he did to his adopted daughter! But Colonel Brandon isn’t rude, cruel, or treats Willoughby like poop on his shoe like I would have done-instead Colonel Brandon is way more classy.

For more Alan Rickman, go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Edward Ferrars by Hugh Grant

So there is a lot of argument about Hugh Grant’s portrayal in Sense and Sensibility. Many feel like he is just doing the same thing he did in Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral. I don’t disagree-but I actually think it works for the character.

Edward isn’t my favorite of the Austen heroes. When I think of him I think of a man who has been dominated by others-his mother, Fanny, Lucy, etc. He’s never had a strong spirit but is bent and molded by others, never willing to stand up for himself. His mother is trying to force him into one life when he wants to be a clergyman, Lucy convinces him he loves her and that he wants to marry her when he really doesn’t know what he feels, and Fanny does all kinds of maneuvering in his life. I liked Grant’s portrayal better than Dan Stevens as I felt Stevens was too strong-willed. I mean the only time we ever see Edward really stand up for himself is when his mother threatens to disinherit him if he marries Lucy and he does it anyway.

I also like how Hugh Grant played this character and the way he says these snarky things with such dry wit.

For more Hugh Grant, go to Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

Marianne Dashwood played by Kate Winslet

Marianne Dashwood and Fanny Price are who I believe the hardest Jane Austen characters to portray correctly in media (and other adaptions). With Marianne she is young, passionate, she believes what she thinks is 100% correct and others are wrong or old-fashioned like most teenagers do. Basically, Marianne is just a teenager (Regency style but still acts like a teenager). But often when writing the character for film (or other adaption) a lot of writers and actresses have trouble with her. Often they make her empty-headed, only cares about her looks, and altogether dumb/foolish.

Kate Winslet, however, does a fantastic job. She acts like any normal 16-year old would (she was 20 at the time, like most teen character actresses are). At times Winslet’s Marianne can be rude and a bit of a jerk to Colonel Brandon, at times she just flat-out ignores him, but what teenager/young adult doesn’t act like that? Winslet is one of the few to really “get” this character. Her Marianne is sweet, passionate, romantic, emotional, and quick to judgement/react.

Not only is she able to accurately show the character of Marianne in her youthful heedlessness-but also accurately shows the despair of a broken heart and her tempered spirit in the end. I love the scene when she is listening to Colonel Brandon and she asks that he won’t be gone long-it’s only a few words, but her tone and expression evoke so much emotion. It is a fantastic portrayal.

For more on Kate Winslet, go to 25 Films of Christmas

Elinor Dashwood played by Emma Thompson

So let’s get it out of the way, yes she is too old to be Elinor. Elinor is 19 in the book and in 1995 Thompson was 36 years old. Yet, I don’t care.

Thompson wrote this amazing script and was able to portray Jane Austen in a fantastic way. She was able to blend comedy with drama-and I believe Jane Austen would have been proud.

By writing the script I think it helped her get into the head of Elinor and portray her perfectly. It can be difficult to portray a character that is logical and sensible and not have her come off annoying, cold, remote, etc. Thompson was able to show her the sensible logical person, but also give her heart–things that were done by a look, glance, etc.

For more on Emma Thompson, go to This Is Fate We’re Talking About, and If Fate Works At All, It Works Because People Think That THIS TIME, It Isn’t Going to Happen!: Dead Again (1991)

Ending conclusion:

I love this film. I just love it so much. The writing is amazing, the actors and actresses. I could watch it over and over again.

For more Sense and Sensibility, go to I Watched Sense and Sensibility (1995) With My 12 Year Old Niece

For more Sense and Sensibility (1995), go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more Jane Austen film adaptions, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)

You Are a Horrible Cook, But I Will Eat What You Prepare Anyway: Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

Most Romantic Moment #4

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Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

So Bridget Jones’s Diary is a film I didn’t really like, click here to read why, but had a few romantic moments that I enjoyed, and here is one of them

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Bridget Jones works at a publishing company and has the hots for her boss, Daniel Cleaver, (Hugh Grant). She is unhappy with her weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, and singleness.

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Her mother tries to throw her together with recently divorced barrister, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), but Bridget thinks he is a snob and gets offended at something he says.

Those guys

That guy

After a really embarrassing night she goes off with Daniel Cleaver. The two begin dating and he tells her that he had his heart broken when Mark, his best friend, took off with his fiancé.

What jerks

What a jerk

Also to complicate Bridget’s life, her mother has split up from her father dating someone new.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Bridget is excited to show off her boyfriend, but Daniel is called away; and it turns out he’s been cheating on her the whole time.

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Back to the ice-cream

Bridget leaves her job and takes another where she is mostly boobs and butt instead of a serious reporter.

Those guys

Those guys

As she is trying to change her life, Mark says he loves her out of the blue.

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Will Bridget be able to navigate her life through the twists others toss her way?

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Most Romantic Moment: I Will Help You Cook and Eat What You Make

So Bridget has this bright idea to cook her birthday dinner, but unfortunately has no clue how to cook.

I don't know what to do

Mark stops by, out of the blue, and when he sees her uncertainty and lack of skill goes right into the kitchen to assist her.

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With a voice like Bing Crosby's who could blame them?

A guy who cooks?

But the most romantic part of this, is not only does he get in the kitchen and assist in the cooking; showing he is not a snob, stiff, and destroying the image Bridget cooked up in her mind: but he actually eats the slop that Bridget eats.

What?!

What?!

That’s real love right there, because that food looked and probably tasted disgusting. But Mark didn’t let that get in the way. He loved her so much he overcame such obstacles.

Aw!

Aw!

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For the previous post, go to I Will Face My Fears for You: Back to the Future (1985)

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For more on Bridget Jones’ Diary, go to Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

For more Colin Firth, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Is Mr. Darcy Out There?

For more based on Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

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So this film is supposed to be a modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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Strangely enough it stars two people who had been in films based on Jane Austen’s work. Hugh Grant plays Daniel Cleaver, our George Wickham, when he was in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility as Edward Ferras.

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And then we have Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, having played Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995).

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Now I understand why Colin Firth decided to be in the film, I read online that he thought it would distance him from the 1995 miniseries, along with killing the wet shirt.

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But oh Colin Firth, you were so wrong.

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That will never die

Darcy

So let’s look at the film:

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So prior to this viewing, I had seen the part where the mom has left the dad for another guy, the “vicars and tarts party”, and the very end in the snow.

From what I had seen I wasn’t really interested as I didn’t think it looked that good at all.

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However, lots of people love it. Everyone says the films are funny and it was just given a third installment.

 My friend is one of those who loves this film and she convinced me to watch it with her.

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I did and I really didn’t like it.

I don't like it 11

I just don’t get the love for this film!

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It doesn’t really follow Pride & Prejudice, the characters aren’t that likable, the situations silly and don’t really make sense.

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Mark & Bridget Falling in Love

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Mark (Mr. Darcy) and Bridget (Elizabeth) barely have any screen time together, so they don’t really have the opportunity to grow in a relationship. This is a problem with modern adaptations as in the original tale (and in history), when people visited they didn’t stay a few days, they stayed weeks or months. Darcy spent a long time with Bingley, encountering Elizabeth when she came to assist in her sister’s recuperating. And then again when Elizabeth stayed with Charlotte. But here they meet up at a family party her parents are throwing, a dinner party, accidentally while she is on vacation with Daniel (Wickham), and they fall for each other?

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It doesn’t really work. They should have had them spend more time together. I mean he decides to forgo a new career in New York, throws himself at her feet, etc. We should see why he would.

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Bridget is an Empowering Character. Or is She?

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Bridget is constantly being sexually harassed but does nothing about it.

What?!

What?!

I know! Look at the little tagline there, it says

“For anyone who’s ever been set up, stood up, or felt up”

And it acts like it is going to be real empowering or something. And is it? No!

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Bridget never stands up for herself or does anything about; choosing to just suffer through it. We have her creepy uncle who every time he sees her grabs her butt. Does she tell him off or her parents so they stop inviting him? No. Instead she just lets him continue.

I don't think so

And then when Daniel gropes her in the elevator and says inappropriate comments, does she do anything? No She just lets him do whatever.

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And then there is the way that her new job treats her, as breasts and a butt.

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What kind of message is that saying, especially since it is “based” on a character who is renowned for the beauty of her wit?

I don't like it 11

I mean I’m not asking her to go all out like this:

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I’m just asking for her to stand up for herself.

No thank youhowaboutno

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Where Oh Where is the Witticism?

Where is the wit? Elizabeth was a great character who always put her two cents in.

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In this Bridget is made to be more of one who never thinks but just spouts off the first thing that pops in her head.

If only people followed this advice.

If only people followed this advice.

She is nothing like who she is based on at all.

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Why Does Bridget Continue to Believe Daniel?

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Why does Bridget go on believing Daniel after she finds out that he is a big fat liar?

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Daniel tells Bridget this story about how Mark Darcy slept with his fiancé, being the nail in the coffin of hate. But then we find out that Daniel is a a liar and was not only cheating on Bridget, but she is the other woman.

What jerks

What jerks

Yes, he was in a relationship the whole time and leading Bridget on with no intention of ever having it be more. Then when Bridget quits, we discover that Daniel had been keeping Bridget from moving ahead as he wanted to keep her to dabble in.

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Why does she think anything he said is the truth? When I found out my ex cheated in me I was really angry:

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But it also made me question everything he did and said. Why wasn’t it the same for her? I mean in the book Elizabeth doesn’t find out that Wickham is a liar until Darcy reveals what he did. And as soon as she sees him again, she lets him know that his drivel isn’t welcome here.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

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Why Did They Have Her Parents Separate?

Over You

I really don’t understand why the film has the mother and father split up. It doesn’t really enhance the plot or create growth for the characters. I mean the only thing it “adds” is that with the mom out of the way the truth about Daniel’s lie isn’t given until the end. I also didn’t like that she comes home on Christmas and everything is okay, the parents are back together. There isn’t even an emotional payoff in that.

Those guys

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Why Would Darcy Read Bridget’s Diary?

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So Bridget leaves Mark downstairs while she changes out of her embarrassing underwear. She tells him to make himself comfortable and read some magazines and he reads her diary.

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Really? I do not see Mark ever doing something like that when he has other options. He’s just not that type of guy at all.

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And her running after him in the snow with no pants or coat. Yeah right, she would freeze before she met up with him.

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Bridget’s Friends are Atrocious

Bridget’s friends are awful.

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All they do is give horrible advice or make the situation worse.

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Where is level-headed and realistic Charlotte?

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Where is the kind, caring, always seeing the good Jane?

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We have Tom who makes the situation worse, bringing the fight into the restaurant and the wait staff out; Shazzer who just complains and places all kinds of doubts in Bridget’s mind; and the other friend who just cries all the time.

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No thank you.

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So I haven’t read the book, (maybe I will like that better), but as for this film, except for a few good moments, I just don’t see why people like it. I don’t like it.

Ew Yuck Gross

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

For more Pride & Prejudice adaptations, go to Austenland

For more Jane Austen films, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more Jane Austen adaptations, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Colin Firth, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more Hugh Grant, go to The Eye of the Storm

Language of Love: Love Actually (2003)

Romantic Moment #1

Love Actually

Love Actually (2003)

So Love Actually is the first of those holiday inspired films that include a huge cast of stars who all have their own plotline, but are in actuality all connected to each other. You know films like Valentine’s Day & New Year’s Eve. Well this one takes place at Christmas, and even though this post is celebrating V-day, it is a perfect one to put on the list.

Now this film is even more complex in relationships than He’s Just Not That Into YouThere is Billy Mack, aging rock star trying to get back in the limelight. Peter just married Juliet, but his best friend Mark  is secretly in love with Juliet but has said nothing to honor his friend. Jamie, (who is friends with Peter, Julie, & Mark), had his last girlfriend cheat on him with his brother. He goes to France where he gets a Portuguese housekeeper that he develops feelings for. Harry is the direcctor of a design studio and married to Karen. He gets a new assistant, Mia, and thinks about stepping out on his wife. (Mia is friends with Mark.) Karen’s brother, David, has just begun his time as Prime Minister and develops feelings for Natalie, a girl who works for him. Daniel, friend of Karen, has just lost his wife and is raising his stepson. His stepson develops feelings for a girl and Daniel tries to help him win her heart. Sarah, (friend of Jamie, Peter, Julie, & Mark and employee of Harry) has feelings for Karl but her mentally ill brother, Michael, seems to throw a wrench in her plans. Colin, who hit on Mia, is tired of striking out with English women and journeys to America. John and Judy are body doubles for actors who meet at work.

Still confused?

Still confused?

Anyways so the story line that got on this countdown is Jamie & Aurélia’s. Jamie is a writer and uttery heartbroken when he discovers that his girlfriend was cheating on him with his own brother. He decides to go away to a little cottage in France to work and get away from it all. While there his landlady hires a Portuguese housekeeper, Aurélia, for him. Despite the fact that Aurélia can not speak any English and Jamie knows no Portuguese, the two form a bond and a spark comes to light.

When Jamie goes back to the UK, he starts taking a Portuguese language class so that he might return and share his feelings with Aurélia. On Christmas Eve, he leaves to find her and let her know how he feels.

With the help of Aurélia’s dad, Jamie is able to locate her and proposes to her (in Portuguese). We find out that Aurélia has been learning English in hopes that Jamie would come back.

So romantic

So romantic

Aww! Sooooo cute!