Category Archives: Favourites Friday

[Flirty Friday] My Best Friend’s Wedding and Bridget Jones’s Diary

For my final Flirty Friday post of the month it’s a double bill, catching up on the week that I missed.

When I was younger I bought a best of album packed with all of Burt Bacharach’s classics. Don’t ask my why, I would have been about 13 at the time so should have been buying more modern music!

The album included many songs that have been featured in films, and about five or six songs from the album had featured in the first of today’s films: My Best Friend’s Wedding.

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

IMDb: “When a woman’s long-time friend says he’s engaged, she realizes she loves him herself… and sets out to get him, with only days before the wedding.”

My favourite scene from the film features pretty much every member of the cast. In attempt to make her best friend jealous, Julianne, our heroine, asks her gay best friend, George, played by Rupert Everett, to pretend to be her fiancee. George thinks this is a very bad idea and, to embarass Julianne, he decides to start an impromptu rendition of ‘I Say a Little Prayer’.

My next film doesn’t feature any Bacharach, not that I can remember anyway, but it does have plenty of other fantastic songs.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

IMDb: “A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary.”

Whenever I hear ‘It’s Raining Men’ I think of Bridget Jones’s Diary, and this scene. Quite possibly the worse film fight in the history of cinema, for me it is also one of the best. This is exactly how I expect two middle aged British men would fight.

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[Flirty Friday] Pretty Woman

As I wasn’t very well last week and lacked the energy to do anything except sit on the sofa, this week’s edition of Flirty Friday is what I would have posted. Next week will be a double bill to catch up on my lost week.

Pretty Woman (1990)
Dir: Garry Marshall
Starring: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts

IMDb: “A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love.”

The first Gere/Roberts offering – they would reunite nine years later for Runaway BridePretty Woman stars Richard Gere as Edward Lewis, a businessman who pays Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) to escort him to a number of social events.

The film was a box office success and, according to Box Office Mojo, has amassed a worldwide total lifetime gross of $463,406,268 (approx £294,207,522).

It also received many nominations, including a Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar nomination for Roberts. Though she missed that, she did take did home the Best Actress award at the 48th Golden Globes.

Aside from Gere and Roberts’ chemistry, there is one other reason why I enjoy Pretty Woman so much: Hector Elizondo as the kindly hotel manager Barnard ‘Barney’ Thompson. At first Barney does not take to Vivian, knowing full well that she is a prostitute hired by one of the guests. However, he soon takes her under his wing and teaches her some valuable lessons on how to fit in with Edward’s world, including which cutlery to use and when.

Elizondo would reprise this kindly teacher role again in The Princess Diaries.

[Flirty Friday] Sleepless in Seattle

Favourites Friday was the series that started it all way back in August 2010. When the Christmas season arrived in December I introduced a new mini series, Festive Friday, all about the films that are a Christmas must at Cinematic Delights HQ.

For the month of love I’ve decided to introduced another new mini series. Say hello to Flirty Friday, all about romcoms. I would have done a whole month of posts on romcoms – like Top 10 Films’ 31 Days of Horror – but the romcom genre isn’t one of my favourites, so I’ll stick to just four Flirty Friday posts instead.

For today’s Flirty Friday I am going to take a look at a film that is one of my favourites, and one of my mum’s too: Sleepless in Seattle.

Sleepless in Seattle
Dir: Nora Ephron
Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger

Nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, Sleepless in Seattle is the story of Sam Baldwin and his son, Jonah. Sam’s wife died some 18 months ago, and together with Jonah he relocated to Seattle from Chicago. One night Jonah rings a radio phone-in show after he decides that his dad needs a new wife. When Sam takes the phone and explains what he’s feeling, it is incredibly touching and sad. There’s one person in particular who is touched by his story: Annie Reed, a Baltimore-based newspaper writer.

With a strong cast lead by Hanks and Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle is a sweet, light hearted romcom that is perfect for a date night. Hanks and Ryan have a brilliant chemistry, and throughout the film you are willing them to meet. When they finally do in the last scene on top of the Empire State Building – which admittedly is very corny but, as it’s a nod to An Affair to Remember, we’ll let them off – you can’t help but smile.

For those who haven’t watched it before, give it a go. Yes, it is very schmultzy in parts but it stars one of the most likeable actors around, Hanks. If you have seen it before, it’s probably about time that you watched it again. Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy.

• Next week: Cinematic Delights takes a look at Pretty Woman, where Richard Gere stars alongside one of the queens of 1990s romcoms, Julia Roberts.

[Favourites Friday] Aliens

So far this year I have seen two fast-paced action films where there is a leading lady and not a leading man who lets their fists do the talking – my reviews for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Haywire will be up next week.

For today’s edition of Favourites Friday I thought I’d carry on this action leading lady theme with a look at Aliens, starring Sigourney Weaver as the fantastic Ellen Ripley. Weaver portrayed Ripley in 1979’s Alien before reprising her role in all of the Alien sequels: Aliens (1986), Alien 2 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997).

I’ve decided to focus on Aliens as, while Ripley does kick ass in each one of the films, it’s Aliens where I think she is particularly fiesty.

VITAL STATISTICS

Aliens
(1986)
Directed by James Cameron
Starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn and Carrie Henn

IMDb: “The planet from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?”

WHO IS RIPLEY?

  • Ranked No 9 on Empire magazine’s ‘The 100 Greatest Movie Characters‘, Ripley is the main protagonist of the Alien series.
  • A human, in Alien she is a warrant officer aboard the Nostromo, a spaceship from planet Thedus returning to Earth.
  • In Aliens she is the only survivor of Nostromo, and is rescued and revived after drifting for 57 years in stasis.
  • She had a daughter, Amanda Ripley McClaren, who died sometime between Alien and Aliens.

WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH ALIENS?

In my opinion, Ripley is the ultimate action heroine, and Aliens shows her off at her best. Weaver did a great job in Alien and an even better job in Aliens, which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, in fact.

The main protagonist of the film, Ripley joins a group of marines as they investigate why contact has been lost with LV-426, the now colonized planet from Alien. Hesitant and anxious about revisiting the dangerous creatures that she had encountered 57 years earlier, Ripley only joins the marines after being promised that the group is going to destroy the creatures, not study them.

Bearing in mind that she is with a group of marines, it is Ripley who is the real warrior of the group. She has knowledge of the creatures from her previous encounter with them, and she uses this to great effect. She knows how these creatures work and what to do to defeat them. That isn’t to say that the mission goes smoothly, far from it, in fact.

The only surviving colonist is a young girl who goes by the nickname ‘Newt’. Highly traumatized, Newt stays close to Ripley. Because of Newt, Ripley’s maternal instincts really come into their own and she becomes an incredibly tough, protective surrogate mother towards Newt. It is about Newt that she says to the Queen Alien: “Get away from her, you bitch!”

If you want to watch a movie with a truly kick ass female lead, the Alien series is a fantastic place to start.

[Festive Friday] The Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s that time of the week again – Festive Friday! In the spotlight this week is a musical masterpiece directed by Henry Selick, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

IMDb: “Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.”

The film oozes Tim Burton, which is unsurprising as he co-wrote and co-produced it. It is very much an ‘alternative’ Christmas film, and features unique, intriguing characters like Jack, Dr Finklestein and the fabulous Oogie Boogie.

While there are other films that might make you feel more Christmassy, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunning film that features first class stop-motion animation and will always be a festive favourite at Cinematic Delights HQ.