The Incredible Jessica James Review & Talking Diversity in Rom Coms

Image result for the incredible jessica james

I’ve been binging romantic comedies all summer, and while I’ve been enjoying them more now than ever, I find myself seeing the same female leads. I remember watching The Spectacular Now and completely identifying with Shailene Woodley’s character. That was back in 2015 when I watched that movie. She played the shy Amy who slowly came out of her shell through the eyes of her love interest, which reminds me a lot of Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved. And while I adore these female leads, I find myself not relating to them anymore, mostly because I’ve grown out of that phase of not truly knowing myself yet. Now bring in this little gem of a movie starring a black female who knows she’s dope but for whatever reason doesn’t have her life figured out quite yet. Jessica Williams shines as she plays a total bad ass whose insecurities are shown through actions and body language rather than talking about it. Not only is this the perfect display of showing rather than telling, but it really does emulate what twenty somethings are going through.

Everyone is all about talking about what they’re passionate about, but at the same time, everyone is struggling to pursue that same passion. James works at a nonprofit and wants to pursue play writing, but the movie itself is more or less about her trying to get over a breakup. She meets Boon played by Chris O Dowd who is totally opposite from her but also getting over a breakup so they begin a weird relationship, including a pact to follow each other’s ex. It’s a story we’re all familiar with, but it’s a more modern take. Chris O Dowd brings the same charm he had in Bridesmaids and it really works because he feels much more like a real human being instead of a Prince Charming. He makes mistakes and doesn’t make some sort of grand gesture for them. Instead, the two leads talk through their shit like normal adults would, and it’s refreshing to watch. In addition to the romantic elements, there’s a great side storyline that shows James interacting with one of her students. It’s simple but a great display of why Jessica James pushes some of her students so much to pursue their dreams.

Overall, I really loved how realistic this movie felt, and I love seeing more interracial couples come to screen lately. Growing up, a lot of my friends assumed I liked people with skin like mine, and it really upset me when I was younger but I couldn’t quite pinpoint why so I kept my mouth shut. I remember my friends in 5th grade asking me if I liked the only other colored person in my class and I couldn’t express back then why it was so wrong of them to say that. However, when I saw the backlash with To All the Boys I’ve Loved with some people saying they should of casted an Asian male lead to play Lana Condor’s love interest, I resonated so much with the actress’s response.

“You are being racist unknowingly and continuing to put us in a box that we don’t need to be in. It’s really unfair. People should be able to love who they want to love. It’s offensive to me — you’re continuing to promote tribalism. So I can’t be with who I want to be with? These are probably the same people who have an issue with the LGBT community. It’s the same thing — you telling me who I can love is unfair,” Condor said.

Anyway, I went off on a bit of a tangent, but my point is that I love that we’re seeing more diversity because growing up all the love stories seemed to happen to people that didn’t look anything like me, so I hope young women and men are inspired in a way that I wasn’t able to be when I was growing up.

Advertisements

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Review

Starring Lana Condor , Noah Centineo and Janel Parrish, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a teen romance about a girl named Lara Jean who writes five letters to all the boys she’s ever liked. Mysteriously, they get sent out to them, and drama ensues when one of the boys, Peter, strikes a deal with Lara Jean to fake a relationship so that he can get back together with his girlfriend. On the flip side, Lara Jean wants to fake a relationship so that her neighbor doesn’t suspect her feelings for him.

I really liked this movie. When I watched the trailer, I thought it would be cute and man, it was so stinking cute. I have to hand it to the actors because for me, the way they craft the characters and dialogue is what makes this movie so likable. If it weren’t for Candor and Centineo’s chemistry, I’m not sure if I would have bought them as much as the central couple, but there is a ton of chemistry between the leads. I’ve always been a fan of Noah Centineo because I religiously watched The Fosters every week, but I’ve never seen Lana Condor before, and I think she really carries the movie whether it’s her innocence coming across at a party full of mean girls or talking to her dad about missing her mother. It’s all very awesome stuff from this actress.

I also adore Janel Parrish and thought she was fantastic as the outgoing older sister to Lara Jean. But the little sister to Lara Jean and the father are also quirky and total scene stealers too.

The plot is pretty predictable. That’s probably the weakest aspect of this movie, but the movie makes up for its lack of originality with the conversations the characters have. I also like that in the main conflict, it’s not so much about the guy messing up and then making a grand gesture. It was always about Lara Jean and her internal struggle. It feels fresh and authentic, and I’m pretty content with the way it ends as well.

There’s a lot of sentiment in this flick, and it’s definitely a pretty solid movie for its message of taking risks in life. I remember being in high school and reading novels where I would imagine myself as the main character, so I completely related to Lara Jean. But just like me, she learns that she can keep reading or watching fairytales, or she can go out and create her own.

Bachelor in Paradise Season 5 Thoughts

Welcome to my paradise recap for only the first four episodes. I feel bad, but two episodes a week is a lot and so much has happened! Let’s begin with my thoughts on the main couples.

Jordan and Jenna: I am loving Jordan this season. If you look back on my old recaps, I cut him a lot of slack because he clearly pokes fun at himself and plays up his character. I think his one liners and charm toward Annaliese and Jenna proves he’s not really an idiot model as people make him out to be. One thing I’ll say about the David blowup is that I too am someone that likes to poke fun at myself with my friends and family and then all of the sudden, someone takes it too far to come off as demeaning, and that is why David just sucks this season. He just provokes Jordan for literally no reason. Did Jordan handle it maturely? Nope. He snapped and it looked pretty bad, but I understand why he felt like people were making fun of him. P

His relationship with Jenna makes so much sense, and his little sorry speech was actually just proof that he adores her completely. He’s not a vulnerable guy, and he said some pretty wonderful things to Jenna. I know he’s the underdog but I’m pulling for him!

Joe, Leo and Kendall: I love Joe. Him and Jordan laughing hysterically about Kendall’s date was a highlight from the last episode. They’re both just goofy guys that got stuck in a bad situation this week. Joe is so endearing, and he owns his awkwardness.

I don’t think Kendall deserves any sort of hate because 1) She doesn’t know Leo is a slime ball just yet, although I would not take well to some of his comments. 2) She was completely transparent with Joe. I also happen to see her and Leo’s connection while they talked. My issue with Leo is that he kind of knew Chelsea was interested, so it was almost like a sure thing after his date with Kendall, which is gross. But ya know, next week looks really good for Joe.

I’m curious if people think Kendall and Joe will last because I was super confident last week when they were making avocado toast, but after this week, I feel like Kendall and Joe are on two separate pages.

Astrid and Kevin: I was glad when Ashley and Jared got together, but man did Kevin get the short end of the stick. But Astrid is so beautiful and she seems super chill and laidback. She’s drama free, but I want to see the two on a date. Like why did Colton and Tia have two dates already and then there’s others that haven’t at all?

Colton and Tia: Not sure why the producers want us to see an overload of these two, but I am a little over the drama. I have a feeling it’s not going to work out. I feel for Tia. I’ve been Tia before saying how she wants him to open his eyes and I gotta hand it to Bibiana. That girl made a gorgeous speech. I wish she could’ve slapped some sense in some guys from my past. But regardless, I think they won’t last because there’s still too many reservations from Colton.

John and Jubilee: Some people are over Jubilee. I love her. As someone of color, I have so much love for these two because they admitted how insecure they felt on their seasons since they weren’t stereotypical contestants. Will they last? Not sure.

Chris and Krystal: It’s like Kevin said. They’re the two crazies in the corner and like Jenna and Jordan, they sort of deserve each other. The only difference is that Chris literally sucks more than David. He’s awful and thinks he’s so cool. The way he talked to Tia was so disrespectful. Krystal on the other hand is fabulous for paradise. I had a feeling she’d be chilling with a margarita and get along with the girls. So to me, she’s better than him.

Eric and Angela: Good-looking couple. Love Eric. He’s got one of the best personalities of the group of guys.

Kenny and Annaliese: Definitely got friendship vibes, but I’m excited for something good to happen for Annaliese.

The fact that Jordan and Joe are two of my favorites guys that I’m rooting for says a lot about this group of guys. The girls on the other hand are fabulous. They’re all gorgeous, handling themselves well and pretty patient with the guys.

Sorry if this recap is all over the place 😆 I had four episodes to work off of.

Why the Bachelorette Finale was different from the past three seasons

It was not a shocking finale as we saw Becca and Garrett get happily engaged. Becca gave her first impression rose to Garrett, and she followed directly in the footsteps of Kaitlyn, Jojo and Rachel.

There’s one huge difference though. The show was edited quite favorably for Becca and Garrett, which I’m so happy the producers finally did. I’ve always felt so bad and honestly confused why the Bachelorette’s final pick is edited poorly. We saw it with Shawn, Jordan and Bryan three seasons in a row.

And when you compare it to Bachelor seasons, it’s so different. I mean news came out about Vanessa being a little catty toward the women in her season, and she had a stellar edit. Same goes for Ben and Lauren, although there wasn’t that much drama. Arie’s season was an outlier, but it’s been a trend I’ve noticed. The lead’s storyline on The Bachelor seems to be edited to show a fairytale ending, but somehow we’re left questioning Rachel, Kaitlyn and Jojo’s decisions.

With Becca and Garrett, I am so happy for them. They’re so freaking cute together, and I’m so pulling for them to last. I was so happy we got to see Garrett get emotional about finding Becca and calling her his person. It was so wonderful and beautiful to watch him crying to Becca’s sister too.

Blake was a champ. The breakup was messy, but he handled the after the final rose really well almost kind of similar to Becca a little. I’m curious who people think should be the next Bachelor? I think Jason would be fun, but I’m cool if it were Blake too.

As far as paradise, I saw episode one, and man I’m really excited! Last season was kind of weird with the scandal, so I’m stoked to see all the fresh faces from Arie and Becca’s seasons. I’ll give a full recap of all three episodes next week.

For now, I wanna know! Why did it take this long for a bachelorette couple to be edited so favorably?

The Bachelorette Review: Love in Thailand

Image result for the bachelorette thailand

SPOILER: We are down to two. It’s Blake and Garrett. It’s not really a surprise, but I definitely have thoughts on the final three even though the episode was nothing shocking.

Garrett: I don’t have a ton to say about this date. Becca and Garrett just seem to work well together. I said I can’t imagine Becca saying goodbye to Garrett, and he basically reiterated the same sentiment. If he’s the final one, I would not be surprised at all. In fact, if Blake somehow is the chosen one in the end, I will be shocked.

Blake: Blake oozes the same anxious nature Nick did during Andi’s season. Maybe, he isn’t getting the same reassurances that Garrett is getting, but you can tell he is a very sensitive person. I keep thinking about Rachel, Jojo and Kaitlyn coming in and saying their first impression rose went to their final pick. Maybe in some sort of twist ending, Becca ruins that narrative by going with Blake. It can go either way, but if he gets his heart broken, there might be some Bachelor potential there.

Jason: I adore Jason. He’s always been my favorite, but I just don’t see the narrative for him to cued up to be the next Bachelor. We’ll have to wait until the Men Tell All, but nowadays, the producers have the time to go back to older contestants like Ben and Peter. If they went with Jason, I feel like it’d be way more interesting because he’s got such charisma compared to how bland the past few Bachelors have been.

That’s it for now! I mean the only other thought I have is how funny that blooper was between Blake and Garrett. It was nice to see that they were at least on friendly terms. I’m excited for the Men Tell All, but I also think it’s going to be kind of petty drama. We’ll see!

Netflix Review: The Kissing Booth

I’ve been reviewing a handful of Netflix movies, and they’ve been pretty good. Dude starring Lucy Hale was unexpectedly heartwarming and relatable for anyone who has ever held onto the past. Alex Strangelove and Set It Up also surpassed my expectations. Out of all these movies, The Kissing Booth got the most social media hype. While it definitely has its charm here and there, I was slightly disappointed.

The movie is about two best friends Shelly and Lee who run a kissing booth as a fundraiser, and drama ensues when Shelly kisses Lee’s older brother, Noah. From there, it’s rather predictable, but let’s jump into my thoughts of the movie.

Let’s start with what I did like. The three leads were all pretty good and had great chemistry. It’s weird to talk about friend chemistry, but I felt that with Joey King and Joel Courtney who both really captured their goofy friendship that never veers off brother/sister territory. That was one of my favorite pairs to watch onscreen. Jacob Elordi made a mark in every scene he was in too, and it’s clear why King’s character pines after him. The plot is pretty good too, and the kissing booth functions as a set up for the rest of the movie. It’s a classic rom com plot line and I’m actually pretty content with the ending too, although I’m sure some won’t be happy with it.

My main problem is that the movie is just so cheesy. It felt like something I’ve seen on Nickelodeon even thought the content is more mature. I wonder if maybe I’m just getting old, but then I look back at how much more authentic the dialogue is in Dude and Alex Strangelove, and I can’t help but compare since all these characters are in high school. I mean some of Noah’s lines are so corny, and some of the moments are just silly including a paint/ locker room scene.

That being said, I do think this movie will set up the three leads for bigger roles in the future, and deservedly so. I really like the cast, and the movie gets a major boost from their charisma.

However, it lacks a descent script and to me, the message sort of gets lost in all the melodrama. I know a ton of people adore this movie, but that’s just my opinion about it. Sound off in the comments and let me know if you agree or disagree with my take!

The Bachelorette Review: The Tia Tea

Related image

It happens every season. I skip a recap or two because I get bored with the season. However, the hometown date was actually pretty good considering it’s usually really boring. Here are my thoughts on each one, along with what I thought about Tia coming back to talk to Becca about Colton.

Garrett: Garrett and Becca had such a great hometown. It felt the most effortless and relaxed of the bunch of hometown dates. I think we got some more insight from the family, and it almost made me feel a little bit better about Garrett’s story about his ex wife since it aligns a lot with his family’s. My thing is, I just can’t see Becca saying goodbye to Garrett. When she called Jason and Blake first, I knew it couldn’t possibly be Garrett.

Blake: Blake reminds me so much of Nick from Andi’s season, and I can totally see him having a very emotional exit if Becca doesn’t choose him. Out of all the guys, he seems the most into her and the most likely to be completely shattered if Becca doesn’t pick him. Also as a side note, Blake had a very dramatic high school life. Between the affair with his mom and the shooting, he had it rough as a teenager.

Jason: When the season started, I had a crush on Jason that none of my friends understood because he was barely featured. Now, everyone gets why he’s my season crush. He’s very real and goofy, and then he says things to Becca that makes me swoon. I feel like he’s make a great Bachelor and maybe even a different type than we’re used to. Arie, Nick, Chris and Ben were descent, but they’ve all been pretty serious. Jason would be funny and charismatic, which is something we haven’t seen in a while. His family seems awesome, and I loved how much love there was between his brother and husband. Side Note* Have we ever seen a gay couple on the show?

Colton: I listened to the Almost Famous Podcast today, and I really feel bad for being down on Colton all season. He was pretty transparent about his relationship with Tia and Becca on the podcast, and I think the show made him look shadier than he actually is. His dad was actually the best with questions in my opinion during the hometown. He knows it was hard for Colton to open up, so it was nice for him to give it back by asking about Arie.

Other Thoughts:

  • I can see where Tia was coming from. She wanted to be calm and cool about the situation with Colton, but she finally had to have her peace. I have a hard time defending her though because I really didn’t like her throwing Bekah M. under the bus last season, along with speaking poorly about Kendall. So when she did this to Becca, it made me feel so badly for Becca. That being said, Tia is getting a lot of hate on social media, and people need to chill out. Colton is going to paradise. Becca is engaged. No need for hate.
  • So that’s my recap. I’m worried for Blake. Apologetic toward Colton. Still Obsessed with Jason, and happy for Garrett….because he’s probably engaged to Becca.