Is it true you’re only happy when you’re failing?

Known better by the name “Monday the Movie”, this film follows an American immigration lawyer, Chloe (Denise Gough), and an American DJ, Mickey (Sebastian Stan) living in Greece. They meet at a party one night and instantly fall for each other, so hard that they wake up naked on the beach the next morning. It is an intense, whirlwind romance in the heart of Athens that takes you along on the couple’s drunken adventures as they figure out what they truly want in life.

Many critics of the movie have claimed that the plot was shallow, or even nonexistent, but I would have to disagree. The plot is very complicated, it’s just the lack of detail we get that throws people off. But, that’s what makes the movie special. We see how the story and its events affect the characters directly, instead of watching every single plot point playing out to the end, which I think makes the movie all that more interesting.

Another thing I liked about the movie was how it truly felt like we were just watching these people live for a specific amount of time. Actually, it almost felt like we were watching their memories, and that’s why things seemed so jumbled and the plot seemed “shallow”. Truly, it is a film that takes you on a journey that feels raw and whole. All of the unanswered questions and fleeting moments that seemed more important than they were presented just add to the entire feeling of the movie.

Something I noticed was a very gradual, and almost missable character development between Chloe and Mickey. In the beginning of the movie, Mickey is a child. He’s immature and irresponsible and has no goals or direction in his life, while Chloe seems more adult and mature. But, by the end of the movie, we see them switch places entirely, from their mentality and behavior all the way to their clothes and stature. It is a tiny but very important piece to the movie that really shows a lot about the characters and their relationship with each other.

Overall, everything about this movie—the cinematography, the acting, the writing, the story, the costumes, the color schemes, the setting—was beautiful. It was a heavy and intense narrative wrapped up in a fun romance on an island paradise.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


The Princess Diaries

To begin, most people have probably seen this movie, but I just needed to share my thoughts on this childhood classic! For anyone who lives under a rock, the movie follows an awkward teenage girl, Mia, who is told by her grandmother that she is royalty. Mia is overwhelmed in choosing to live a normal life or become a princess for a small country, Genovia. 

The Princess Diaries has the best characters. I love Mia Thermopolis so much I think she is hilarious. I could never forget to mention the best part of the movie when Anne Hathaway falls on the bleachers and continues with the scene!! Anne Hathaway was still beautiful with bushy eyebrows, glasses, and poofy hair, they could not fool me. 

Although, I have to discuss Lily. Lily has some funny moments, but I could never ignore how awful she was as a friend to Mia. Lily would get so mad at Mia, when she never even knew Mia’s side of the story. Besides, who gets mad at someone for STRAIGHTENING THEIR HAIR!! Dare I get started on the scene when Lily criticizes Mia for still being upset about her father dying two months ago… who says that?! The only thing I like about Lily is when her and Mia would go scootering across town. That is just so iconic. 

I really liked Michael and I am still upset that he was not included in the sequel 😦 Him and Mia were perfect for each other, but his sideburns needed to go. The best character of the movie, with no doubt, is Mia’s cat Fat Louie. He is so precious and is totally fit to rule. Fat Louie was born to be a king and I hope he enjoys his time in Genovia with Princess Mia. Overall, this is such a comfort movie, I can watch it any time. The Princess Diaries is such a hilarious and iconic movie, everyone needs to watch it. 



Folklore/Evermore Songs as Little Women Characters

Exile-Jo and Laurie

This song is a duet and the parts work out perfectly for Laurie and Jo. Justin sings as Laurie, and Taylor sings as Jo.

“I can see you standing, honey, with his arms around your body

After Laurie and Amy come home from Paris, Frederich shows up at the March house. Laurie immediately becomes defensive and standoffish, demanding to know who he is.

And it took you five whole minutes to pack us up and leave me with it.

After Jo rejected his proposal, she ran off to New York to be a writer. Laurie most likely viewed her leaving as her running away from him, which honestly most likely was a factor in her decision to leave. Losing yet another person was enough to drive her away completely.

Holding all this love out here in the hall

This line is pretty literal in terms of Laurie and Jo’s relationship. He is literally standing in the hall when he first meets Frederich. As he said during the proposal scene “You will [fall in love], it’s your way, you will and I’ll watch.” And he does watch; he watches from the hallway.

You were my town, now I’m in exile seeing you out

Laurie was in love with Jo. Sure, it was a juvenile, naive love, but he still felt like he loved her enough to marry her. Now, he watches from afar as she does the one thing she swore she’d never do.

I can see you staring honey, like he’s just your understudy. Like you’d get your knuckles bloody for me.

Now it’s Jo’s turn. She knows seeing her with Fred hurts Laurie, but he already hurt her. She knows Laurie sees Fred as not good enough for her, because he’s defensive and protective and some part of him still loves her. He always will.

Second, third, and hundredth chances, balancing on breaking branches. Those eyes add insult to injury.

Jo was about to give Laurie a second chance when she came back. She was going to marry him and out everything aside. Of course, this was probably directly in response to Beth’s death, which rattled her due to losing yet another person. She probably realized that the only way to make sure no one else left was to take Laurie back, but she most likely didn’t really understand that was why she did what she did. Unfortunately, Laurie comes back married, and then she’s walking on eggshells because of her strong feelings about him. The way he talks to her and acts loving toward her just makes it worse.

I’m not your problem anymore, so who am I offending now?

Jo realizes she has caused Laurie a lot of pain. She’s used to her temper causing issues in her life, but he always stayed with her. Now that she’s lost him, she wonders who she will hurt next.

We always walked a very thin line

Laurie and Jo were best friends, but as they got older, they walked a very thin line between brotherly/sisterly love and romantic love. Everyone thought they should have gotten married. Laurie crossed the line. Jo didn’t.

”You didn’t even hear me out (you didn’t even hear me out)

For Laurie, this line means that he tried to “make you hear now and give me an answer” when he proposed. He thought they’d be good together because they were so close. For Jo, this line is different. She tried to make him hear her out in why they wouldn’t work. She wanted to be independent and she knew her stubborn, headstrong tendencies would ruin any marriage, and that would ruin their friendship.

You never gave a warning sign (I gave so many signs)

Laurie thought Jo loved him back, and was naive to the fact that she didn’t want to marry. Her reaction to Meg’s marriage should have been enough proof, but he was blind and believed she felt differently.

All this time, I never learned to read your mind (never learned to read my mind) I couldn’t turn things around.

I think that the complications of Jo and Laurie’s relationship would definitely be solved if they weren’t such opposites. If they had understood each other as they grew older and “read” each other’s minds, all the confusion never would have happened. When Jo came back from New York, she tried to turn things around, but in the end it was too late. Of course, all of this was for the better, and the two of them matured and stayed friends. Romance was not for them.

I think I’ve seen this film before, and I didn’t like the ending.


Folklore/Evermore Songs as Little Women Characters

The One-Jo March

Welcome to my (Bella’s) new installment on the blog! I’ll be going through Taylor Swift’s new albums (Folklore and Evermore) and connecting the songs to characters from Little Women.

I easily and quickly connected this song to Jo March, and more specifically to Jo’s relationship with Laurie.

“I’m doing good I’m on some new sh*t”

I see this song as Jo’s narrative in regards to Laurie, and the way she views their relationship now that she’s grown up. She’s gone away to New York, onto some new things, meeting people and living life. She thinks about her childhood best friend often, though.

”I hit the ground running each night, I hit the Sunday matinee

This line is pretty straightforward, as well as specific (in regards to the (2019) movie—not so much in the book). While in New York, Jo goes to many plays, one of them being the play she meets Frederich at. This is also a parallel to the play(s) she attended with Laurie when she was younger.

And if you never bleed you’re never gonna grow, and it’s alright now”

Jo hurt herself in rejecting Laurie, though it’s not because she was in love with him in the same way. She lost him as her friend because she ran away from her problems. But, she became a grown person with a semi-successful career and found love—different love—but still love. It’s alright now.

And if my wishes came true, it would have been you”

Jo tells her mother that she regrets not accepting Laurie’s proposal, and that if he asked her again she would say yes. She even writes him a note, but destroys it before he can find it. She is desperate, and wishes to be loved, and wishes for the people she had in her childhood to come back.

“In my defense I have none, for never leaving well enough alone”

Jo simply could have accepted the proposal and been happy with Laurie (or at least that’s what she thinks). The relationship was comfortable, if unfulfilling, and friendly. She could have pushed down her pride and not been so headstrong, and she could have kept him. Not because she loved him romantically, but because she was afraid of losing yet another person from her childhood.

“I had this dream you’re doing cool sh*t/having adventures on your own”

After Jo leaves, Laurie goes off to Europe. He does have adventures on his own, then…not on his own. Jo doesn’t know this though, not until they are reunited a while later.

“You know the greatest loves of all time are over now”

Everyone expected the pair to marry—according to Laurie at least. Everyone thought they loved each other, and they did, just not in the same ways. Jo loved Laurie as a friend, a comrade. Laurie loved Jo in a juvenile, puppy-love kind of way, like he’d had a crush on her for so long that he viewed that familiarity as love. As they grew, they both recognized their love for each other was not the kind of love you marry for.

“And it’s another day waking up alone”

When Jo talks to Marmee, she admits that she’s “so lonely” and only desires to be loved.

“In my defense I have none, for digging up the grave another time”

Jo stirs these feelings up herself after she comes home. She is confused and sad and grieving, and misses the one thing she believes she can get back. She’s lost everyone else; Meg, Amy, and Beth are all gone. Laurie, she believes, is still reversible, and then she’ll get to keep some part of her childhood bliss. Of course, as the lyrics explain, that is already dead, and she’s just digging up old feelings that have no right coming back into the light.

But it would have been fun if you would have been the one.


Framing Britney Spears

Framing Britney Spears is a full-length documentary from The New York Times Presents series, which focuses on today’s biggest stories. Using interviews with close friends, lawyers, and bystanders and clips from Britney’s personal and public life, the documentary depicts the rise and downfall of Britney Spears and the emergence of the #FreeBritney movement. If you’re not familiar with the movement, fans are seeking to free Britney from a conservatorship run by her father; it was implemented shortly after her public breakdown in 2007. The type of conservatorship that Britney has allows her father to control almost all aspects of her life, including her finances and medical decisions. Britney is currently involved in a court battle to remove her father as conservator and refuses to work until he is no longer in charge of her career. 

What I realized while watching this documentary: this conversation around Britney Spears’ conservatorship is really a conversation about women in the public eye. I watched in horror at some of the blatantly sexist and inappropriate questions Britney has been asked in interviews over the years. She was constantly sexualized and criticized by the media, starting when she was only 17. Then, she was blamed for the end of her relationship with Justin Timberlake. Then, she was accused of being a bad mother. Then, she was relentlessly followed by paparazzi and the media while dealing with a painful divorce and custody battle. Then, she finally snapped and was shamed by the industry that caused her breakdown in the first place. The director Samantha Stark does a fantastic job of building to that moment, making viewers feel increasingly anxious as the paparazzi attention and nasty headlines increase. 

It occurred to me that I grew up with post-breakdown-Womanizer-Vegas Britney. I had no idea that this was a shell of the person Britney used to be. I remember being aware of the breakdown from a young age, even though it happened when I was only four years old. She was always painted as a crazy person; there were no discussions about mental health that accompanied the photos of a bald, umbrella-wielding Britney Spears. However, I didn’t hear about the conservatorship until last year. Why is that? 

This is just one question that Framing Britney asks of its audience. There are so many more themes, thoughts, and questions that can’t fit in one review. Stark successfully sparked a discussion about mental health, fame, sexism, and so much more. I know she was successful because I’ve already seen people having these conversations after watching the documentary. People involved in Britney’s public shaming (Justin Timberlake, journalists, magazines, etc.) are even issuing apologies. I hope Britney can see how her story is impacting everyone and feel the support from her many fans.

I really believe Stark did Britney justice, but, of course, Britney herself can only comment through cryptic Instagram captions at the moment (note: Can we talk about those by the way? I want to analyze them all…). This documentary is genuinely eye-opening, and I truly hope that Britney will enjoy her freedom again soon.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Parasite – Director Bong Joon-Ho, 2019

Pressing play to watch this Oscar sweeping movie, I had no idea what to anticipate. Parasite is funny, thrilling, intriguing, but eye opening. The story presents a symbiotic relationship between two families living completely different lifestyles: A rich family who only has to worry about when their meals will be cooked for them opposed to a poor family that gets caught up in a string of lies to get jobs. Deeper into the story, more fascinating plots unfold. Every minute of the movie is captivating, I did not want to miss any parts. The ending is crazy, and something I would not have imagined. Furthermore, the movie leaves a metaphor open to the audience of who the real parasite is. Overall, Parasite is a very creative concept which reveals the complicated relationship between social class and greed. I would recommend this movie to thrill seekers.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Knives Out

“Until you can’t tell the difference between a stage prop…and a real knife.”

No movie has ever captivated me the way Knives Out did the first, second, third, and fourth times I watched it did. This movie is everything the common movie watcher could want: suspenseful, yet funny; witty at the right moments, shocking at the next; a classic murder mystery with a shocking twist. It is without a doubt one of the best movies I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying a lot—I love every movie I watch).

I am not a picky person when it comes to movies, but I do have a short attention span. Everything about this movie kept my eyes glued to the screen the entire time. I remember the first time I watched it I shouted, “I know who actually did it!”, yet when the reveal came, I was shocked. I had read so many Nancy Drew books as a child, how could I be wrong?

Yet, the full beauty of this movie does not lie solely in its chilling twist, it’s charming and funny character intro, or its star-studded cast (Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ana De Armas, Daniel Craig…shall I go on?) it lies in the underlying message that is prevalent throughout the movie.

The entire movies is centered around the extremely wealthy Thrombey family. They are, as one might say, quite the cast if characters. Yet, they all have one thing in common: they are all ignorant rich white people. Even Meg, who comes across as progressive and young—at her core, she is like the rest of her family. The family talks about where Marta, Harlan’s nurse, in a passive, uncaring way. Someone says she’s from Paraguay, one from Uruguay, another says Ecuador, and someone says Brazil. It is even mentioned in the movie by Richard that she “did it the right way”, a common expression used by ignorant people when referring to immigration.

Marta is a good person, and a good nurse. She cares for Harlan, even after his death, and in the end always does the right thing. That’s why she prevails—another prominent theme in the movie.

I highly recommend this movie to everyone, regardless of what kind of movies you like. This movie has something for everyone.

Rating: 5 out of 5.