I saw a few new films since my last update, including What If, which starred Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, because of course. I’m not really sure what the reasoning behind the title is, or what they were trying to speculate with the movie. What I think about when I think of the title is: “What if we cast Harry Potter as the lead in a romantic comedy?”
(Although, of course, I later found out that it was originally titled “The F Word,” as in “Friend Zone,” I guess?)
Two things working against him from the get-go: 1) he is Harry Freaking Potter, and 2) Daniel Radcliffe is quite short. The story revolves around the friendly coupling of two seemingly made-for-each-other individuals: Chantry (Zoe Kazan) and Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) who meet at a house party and bonded over cynical magnetic poetry. (Speaking of which, The Magnetic Feels!) They get along swimmingly and Chantry gives him her number and then the fact that she has a long-term boyfriend (Rafe Spall, swoon). With whom she lives! Wallace lets the wind take care of Chantry’s number (by which I mean he literally throws it into the wind), but of course it won’t be a story without fate or something getting involved. They meet again, shenanigans ensue, and we are forced to endure a charade of self-denial and well-concealed jealousy.
All in all, it was quite charming and most of the charm was hinged on the fact that Dan Rad is really rad and he has great rapport with his co-stars. I love him so much, and I think he has such a great grasp on comedy. And I say this with is Extras cameo in mind, not that dreadful SNL hosting. Would I recommend this movie? Sure, if you like romantic comedies and Daniel Radcliffe. I wouldn’t urge you to run to the cinemas to catch it, though. It was cute and certainly funny at times, but in spite of all the quirkiness that they seemed to have worked hard at and it’s determination at being the atypical rom-com, it falls into the Rom Com trap and becomes one. It was supremely entertaining, but it’s still nothing to write home about.
In other film-y news, I saw my friend Bia’s film, Letters to the Future, which is a short documentary that centers on a handful of twenty-somethings living in Manila. (Sidenote: I hate the word twenty-somethings.) It was quite nice, seeing a selection of people who had a lot to say about being millennials (I mean, isn’t that millenials do in the first place?) and what it’s like living in Manila today. I think I would have liked more variation with the interviewees.
While I appreciated the inclusion of blue-collar workers and young people who had young families, it still felt a little lacking in the variation of perspectives, even if there was actually a fair variation of people. In terms of industry, I suppose, if not social classes. It made me wonder if we are all in a similar state of being lost, or if ennui is reserved for the middle class and above. Something to chew on, though I’m glad I got to watch it. I think there’s one last screening this Saturday, the 30th. So far, at least! For details and updates, click here.
I’ve been watching a lot of new web series lately. I’ve dipped my toes in the genre a few times with The Guild (which I didn’t realize reached Season 6 already?) and The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, and who could ever forget LonelyGirl15? Anyway, LBD left me hungry for more. I decided to give Emma Approved, another Pemberley Digital-produced web series, a try. It’s based on—what else?—Jane Austen’s Emma, and it just recently wrapped up.
I am in the middle of another Pemberley Digital creation, produced in conjunction with PBS—Frankenstein, MD, based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. There are four episodes so far, in case you want to join in. It’s… alright. So far. I think I may dislike the protagonist a little, which puts me off of paying attention. (Oops.)
Another series I’ve been enjoying (uuuuugh this is making me look like a no-life) is called Nothing Much to Do, based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. It’s made by New Zealanders and it is quite convincing as a real vlog/story. It’s hosted on multi-channels, from multiple perspectives, with a very believable cast. I think a lot of the people who started watching them didn’t even realize it was a web series at first. :)
I think it really capitalizes on the video/channel/playlist format, and it’s soooo good once you get the hang of it. It’s about 50 short videos in, and it’s quite nice.
In the book world, I am in the middle of several books, but I started reading Bryan K. Vaughan’s Saga, because I kept seeing it everywhere. It’s a beautiful story of an unlikely couple caught in the middle of a war between their species. It reminds me a little bit of Firefly, and I’ve always appreciated Vaughan’s humor, though I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea. Anyway, Saga is still in progress, so while waiting for the next volume to come out, I busied myself with another BKV story, Y: The Last Man.
I’ve been hearing about Y: The Last Man for so many years, I don’t even know why it took me this long to delve into it. It’s about Yorick Brown, the last man on earth, inexplicably immune to the disease that wiped out the entire planet’s male population. I like the speculative aspect of it, but I ultimately was left dissatisfied by how it ended. I think I’ll be writing a full review on this series soon, so maybe check back for that?
I am still in the middle of Sophia Amoruso’s #Girlboss, which I’ve slowly but surely been losing interest in. It’s a little frustrating because her story is very unique… and not totally applicable to “girlbosses,” in my mind anyway. But I’ll keep reading it until it’s done because it’s easy enough to read anyway, and it may surprise me. I hope anyway.
GREEN CURRY, PLEASE. At some point in the last few weeks, I’d been consuming this for most of my meals… for three days. But that’s because I had leftovers. I actually have the green curry paste and am planning to make a vegetarian version soon. YAY, WISH ME LUCK.