our new movie night

Our New Movie Night

Felicia and I watched Logan Lucky on Saturday night. She was on her couch 200 mikes away from where I was on mine. Took us a bit to sync up the sound but aside from that it was great fun to watch a movie together. Our new movie night wasn’t so bad, especially if you find a movie as charming as Logan Lucky.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Rebecca Blunt, a pseudonym for Jules Asner, Soderbergh’s wife, Logan Lucky is a charming, slyly funny and well-crafted heist movie starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig. You read that right. I proposed we watch the movie without even know what it was about, simply based on those three names.

Felicia is crazy for Adam Driver and I tend to lose the power of speech when Daniel Craig turns on the charm and Channing Tatum is America’s sweetheart. They could have spent two hours arguing over a Denny’s picture menu and I would have watched it.

Luckily the movie was very good. We got confused a couple times but that was because we were distracted at the beginning trying to sync up the sound on our two TVs. There was a lot of, “I’m confused.” and “Wait, is that his sister or his…oh, it’s his sister. I get it. Sorry.”

I wonder when we will return to movie theatres. I think we will, the experience is so closely tied to ancient rituals of collective entertainment. We’ve spent millennia packed into uncomfortable seats, irritated beyond bearing by our noisy neighbors, and I seriously doubt we will give it up anytime soon. Maybe a trip to the movie theatre will be more of an occasion, the way it is going to a musical or a play or whatever other live performance you don’t mind shelling out 45 bucks a head to see.

Our new version of movie night was fun but I miss the movie theatre because when we all laugh together or gasp as one or there are sniffles and furtive searches for those woefully inadequate napkins to mop up unexpected tears, there is nothing like experiencing those emotional highs and lows among my fellow humans.



Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

There are two types of people in this world. People who are fine with and sometimes even welcome movies where a great romance ends in the death of one or both partners. And then there are people who really hate that.

I am in the second group. And that is okay. Neither group is right or wrong. We are just different. Sometimes we have trouble agreeing on what movie to watch. I say if you are in that situation, watch The Great Race or Auntie Mame. Or just go bowling.

In this time of political upheaval, worldwide pandemics and possible toilet paper shortages, here is a list of Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead.

You’re welcome.

Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Love & Basketball

The story of Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) and Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan), two next-door neighbors pursuing their basketball careers before eventually falling for each other. Directorial debut of screenwriter Gina Prince-Bythewood. This is the movie you have been waiting for and wanting to watch. It’s funny and smart and everytime I watch it my heart…oh, my heart.


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

It Happened One Night

This movie has it all. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert directed by Frank Capra. It won all the major Oscars (even Best Picture) in 1934. It isn’t long or boring and the female character flouts her father’s authority and she doesn’t end up dead or a nun! It’s also a charming road picture between equals, a mouthy man who thinks he knows it all and a woman who refuses to live the way her father and the world at large expect her to. A favorite of movie snobs and grandmas alike. As Roger Ebert put it, “‘It Happened One Night’ is one of the easiest movies to love and one of the hardest to think of as a work of art.” Read his wonderful review here.


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Say Anything

This was the movie that won my heart when I was in high school. Lloyd Dobler from “Say Anything” wears a long tan trench coat while holding up the boombox playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. It’s in iconic scene and even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve seen that part or some version of it. This is a movie about love and truth and lies. Roger Ebert loved this movie as well, he rated it 5 stars.


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

His Girl Friday

I love this movie because I love Rosalind Russell. And Cary Grant is just so very Cary Grant in this one. “A scintillating battle of the sexes. Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to leave journalism for marriage to cloddish Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, Hildy’s editor and ex-husband, who pretends happiness about her impending marriage as a ploy to win her back. The ace up Walter’s sleeve is a late-breaking news story concerning the impending execution of anarchist Earl Williams (John Qualen), a blatant example of political chicanery that Hildy can’t pass up. The story gets hotter when Williams escapes and is hidden from the cops by Hildy and Walter–right in the prison pressroom.”


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

10 Things I Hate About You

I am so old I saw this movie in a theatre. It’s a loose retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. The performances are top-notch, Heath Ledger’s smile makes me both swoon and tear up and Julia Stiles remains a criminally underused talent. The paintball scene is boring, use it to go pee or get a snack.


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Crazy Rich Asians

The beginning is a bit slow but once they get going, it is on! Awkwafina’s performance makes me happy to be alive. Her father is a crack-up as well. A synopsis from the Warner Bros. webpage, in case you missed this juggernaut the first time around. “Crazy Rich Asians” follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim. And it soon becomes clear that while money can’t buy love, it can definitely complicate things.​”


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Plus One

The male lead, Jack Quaid, is Meg Ryan’s son so that is why he looks familiar. He has her charisma and I think her eyes. The female lead, Maya Erskine, is from PEN15 and I would defend her with my life. She is so funny and bright and talented, I can’t wait to see what she does next. What’s the movie about? Ben and Alice, longtime friends, agree to be each other’s plus one for the endless number of weddings they have been invited to. Wackiness and romance ensues.


/Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

The Princess Bride

There is nothing I can say about this movie that hasn’t been said before or better. It is a fairy tale. It is a comedy. Anybody want a peanut? Here is Roger Ebert’s review from 1987, when the film was released. “It is filled with good-hearted fun, with performances by actors who seem to be smacking their lips and by a certain true innocence that survives all of Reiner’s satire. And, also, it does have kissing in it.” -Roger Ebert


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Leap Year

Anna (Amy Adams) travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day. Apparently there’s an Irish tradition, Bachelor’s Day, that a man who is proposed to on Leap Day must accept the proposal. Thank God there is not one of those for women, well, except the sport stadium proposal. You have to say yes to that or be treated like a Red Sox fan anywhere but Boston. But she ends up far from Dublin, where her super successful surgeon boyfriend is. And there is Declan (Matthew Goode). Now, I would have just moved into the bar where Declan worked and watched him for the rest of my natural life but I am creepy. Wackiness ensues. Declan is a jerk but he’s handsome and Irish so what in the hell does anyone expect?

Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Friends With Benefits

Adorable comedy starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. They are beautiful, talented and charming. You can not go wrong with this little gem.


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This is a better movie than the synopsis makes it sound. I generally avoid Jim Carrey movies because he exhausts me but in this I am charmed by his character. Kate Winslet is as always a delight. “Jim Carrey stars as Joel Barish, a man who is informed that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had her memories of their relationship erased from her brain via an experimental procedure. Not to be outdone, Joel decides to have the same procedure done to himself. As bumbling underlings Stan (Mark Ruffalo) and Patrick (Elijah Wood) perform the operation on Joel — over the course of an evening, in his apartment — Joel struggles in his own mind to save the memories of Clementine from being deleted. Kirsten Dunst, David Cross, and Jane Adams also star.” ~ Matthew Tobey


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Out of Sight

Okay, this movie has it all. Steven Soderbergh directing, Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney starring and the line that is famous in my family, “What do you need a hatchet for?” Here’s a useful synopsis from Bhob Stewart, “Steven Soderbergh directed this crime caper adapted from the novel by Elmore Leonard. When ex-con Jack Foley (George Clooney) robs a bank, his car goes dead, and Foley lands in a Florida prison. His escape from prison doesn’t go as planned, since it’s witnessed by deputy federal marshal Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez). Foley’s pal Buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames) intervenes, with the result that Sisco winds up in the trunk of the getaway car with Foley, and the two realize they’re attracted to each other, despite being on opposite sides of the law. However, that doesn’t stop Sisco from her mission to capture Foley.”


Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

sex, lies, and videotape

Another Soderbergh film, “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” was made in 1989, hence the videotape. It is a quiet film and can be slow but I think it’s one of Soderbergh’s finest. There’s a lot of talking about sex and depictions of sex so be advised. James Spader is absolutely beautiful. Andie MacDowell in one of her best performances.

A note on the film from Roger Ebert’s review: The story of “sex, lies, and videotape” is by now part of movie folklore: how writer-director Steven Soderbergh, at 29, wrote the screenplay in eight days during a trip to Los Angeles, how the film was made for $1.8 million, how it won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as well as the best actor prize for Spader. I am not sure it is as good as the Cannes jury apparently found it; it has more intelligence than heart, and is more clever than enlightening. But it is never boring, and there are moments when it reminds us of how sexy the movies used to be, back in the days when speech was an erogenous zone.

movie series social distancing

5 Movie Series to Watch While Social Distancing

Here are 5 movie series (and a couple of lists of movie series) to watch while practicing social distancing. Once this is over, I think we are all going to realize that we don’t hate each other as much as we thought we did. We might very well become lonely for each other. Who knows, stranger things have happened. After 8 years of drought here in Southern California, I don’t know anyone who complains when it rains. Before the drought, the entire region lost their minds when it rained and now everyone smiles and points at the sky and happily chirps, “It’s raining!”

Well, I’ve stress shopped and stocked my house. I did not overbuy toilet paper but I do have 3 dozen eggs. We all have our weaknesses. Six is out of school for three weeks and I am trying to get Older Son to come home but thus far to no avail. I do want Older Son home but what I really want is his dog, Barbara. Barbara will let me cuddle and coo and fuss and fidget over him whereas my kids won’t.

In lieu of Barbara the Dog, I have turned to TV, movies and books. And it occurred to me that there are people who have been living full, productive lives and might not have a list of books, TV and movies they want to watch. So I thought I’d make some lists and share them. Let’s start with movies in a series.

Harry Potter- Did the last book need to be split into two movies, especially considering so much of it was magical camping? Decide for yourself. Also, you’ll never get the theme song out of your head. Don’t forget the prequels. I liked the first Fantastic Beasts movie but the second one was downright confusing. And if you’re feeling it, reread all the books!

Hunger Games- Okay, so dystopian fiction might not be the best thing for your mental health right now, so think carefully before indulging. These are solid movies with solid performances and I couldn’t leave them out. Not up to watching the story? Maybe think about reading or rereading the books? There’s a new one coming out in May so might be time to brush up.


Star Wars- Good lord, where to begin? I have no idea. I watched the three prequels and I still can’t figure out why but that is entirely up to you. There are so many movies and TV shows and LEGO video games (which I highly recommend) that I will link to a webpage where people who know more about this than me make suggestions on how to consume all of this.

Pirates of the Caribbean-There are more of these movies than I realized. I think I stopped at the third one? Who knows. These movies are some slickly produced mind candy and that is what we are after here. The first movie is still a delight to watch.


Marvel Universe- Where to begin? I have no idea. So I asked the internet and there were as many opinions as there are movies so here is the one that seemed the least hysterical about the idea of watching them in the wrong order. Does this universe include the Xmen? Is that how you write Xmen? Does is matter? DeadPool is horribly, horribly violent. Is that in this series? I’m obviously lost.

Best Movie Series- If none of those caught your fancy for movie series to watch while social distancing, IMDb has a list as does Ranker  and here is just a list of every Disney movie ever made. 

Good luck and let me know what you decided on.



Sense8 was a sensation when it was released. It was so loved that when Netflix cancelled it after two seasons (the thing was crushingly expensive to make) the public outcry was such that they let the Wachowskis make a finale that wrapped up the storyline. I have my favorite storylines but I will not influence your watching by telling you mine. I’ve already watched it so you can feel free to let me know what your favorite characters and arcs are. Be assured, I won’t debate you on them because I am not that kind of person. I tend not to be judgmental, not because I am a good person, but mostly because I am enormously self-absorbed. 

In case you didn’t know (and there is nothing wrong with not knowing) the Wachowskis are the siblings we have to thank for the Matrix. That movie is 20 years old this year and since it has been the season of Keanu, do yourself a favor and go back and watch it. I was listening to Nicole Byer’s excellent podcast, Why Won’t You Date Me, and she was talking to Ashley Nicole Black. They were talking about The Matrix and how remarkably good looking the leads are. And boy-howdy are they! Just so you know and if you have HBO you should really watch A Black Lady Sketch Show. Maybe  you don’t laugh enough. This show will remedy that. Actually, I don’t know if you laugh enough, maybe  you are getting 3,333 percent of the FDA’s recommenced daily allowance of laughter but there is always room for more.

But that is not what I came here to tell you.

Sense8 is worth watching. The show takes time to develop every character and where they are within their own lives. Then it goes into how being connected to 7 other people impacts, imperils, upends and enriches those lives. 

I can’t recommend it enough.

Back to the Beginning of RuPual's Drag Race

Back to the Beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race

Okay. Deep breath. There have been 11 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. On August 19th of this year it was announced that there will be a 12th season. Many marriages don’t last as long as this show. And do you know why? Because most people do not work as hard on their marriages as RuPaul works on this show. So, in honor of RuPaul’s work and Older Son’s and my dear friend Cynthia’s love of this show, I am going back to the beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I will either rewatch or watch for the first time all 11 seasons. 

I am not committing to All Stars. There are 5 seasons of that show. That’s 16 seasons. I am only one person and I do need to do other things. If I end a gibbering idiot at the end of this, so be it. Join me as I go back to the beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

You gotta work.

From an excellent article by  

Since “Drag Race” first aired in 2009, the conversation around identity and gender has shifted tremendously. For all the show has done to challenge its audience’s notions of masculinity and femininity, it has shied away, until the most recent season, from any serious discussion about the ways the drag community intersects the trans one. There have been trans queens on the show, but the topic is a touchy one in the drag community. For most drag artists, the point is the performance; it is not their sole identity. But for those queens who identify as trans or nonbinary, their stage persona is not necessarily a performance. The centerpiece of the show is the contestants’ transforming themselves into queens, and then, after each competition, taking off their wigs and removing synthetic breasts to reappear as men. For years, “Drag Race” prioritized entertainment over any nuances of the culture. Much of the queens’ vernacular, body language and movements come from the drag world’s — especially white queens’ — interpretation of black femininity. I’ve always been uncomfortable with that phenomenon, despite how much I enjoy the show. In his essay “ ‘Draguating’ to Normal,” the academic Josh Morrison argues that by using the bodies of women, people of color and other marginalized groups, “through an often loving, well-intentioned impersonation of them,” drag “unintentionally does them discursive violence.”

Veronica Mars Lives On

Veronica Mars Lives On!

Thank you, universe! I am so happy that Veronica Mars lives on to annoy the seedier denizens of Neptune. If you are a Marshmallow, you have already watched all of the new episodes of Veronica Mars on Hulu. If you are not a Marshmallow, then have I got a treat for you. Read more

Wine Country

Wine Country

Wine Country on Netflix is a movie about how women grow up together and in the process sort of grow into each other. No one is perfect. We’re all irritating and irritated. We overreact to things that don’t matter and underreact to things that are majorly important. But when we figure out what we’ve done, and if we are lucky, our friends will be there to help us figure out how to reset out trajectories and get ourselves set on new, hopefully better paths. Read more

Sherlock (BBC)

Sherlock (BBC)

The BBC released their version of Sherlock in 2010. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. I have watched this series more times than I will ever admit because the number is embarrassing. My favorite character is Mycroft Holmes as played by Mark Gatiss. I couldn’t tell you why because, as we have discussed, I am not a good critic. Read more

Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

A Discovery of Witches

I could have sworn I wrote up a post urging everyone to watch A Discovery of Witches on either AMC or Sundance Now but I can’t find it. So here is a short poke in the ribs to watch this show. It is very well done. Although I do have to say that I wish the blue coat was shorter. I just think it is too long but that is me being fussy. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the first episode.

American Koko

American Koko

Aside from Shrill, I have been late to every great TV show of the past 5 years. So I completely missed American Koko. I was researching Viola Davis (okay, I was making a list of her movies I wanted to rewatch) and came across this show. I think it’s a web series? I don’t know what is actually happening with much of anything so figuring out modern media is beyond me. Read more