Netflix Review: Alex Strangelove

Before I begin my review, I have never seen Love, Simon, but I imagine that there are some similarities. Alex Strangelove definitely has a different premise and I imagine a different vibe as well. But I won’t be able to compare the two movies, although there have been iterations similar before like GBF.

Alex Strangelove is about a young teenage boy and his girlfriend making plans to lose their virginities to each other. He’s been putting it off for quite a bit despite his girlfriend being his dream girl. Things take an interesting turn when Alex meets an older guy named Elliot who recently graduated from high school.

The two hit it off at a party and Elliot starts hanging out with Alex. It’s a tale about sexual identity, and it definitely feels very modern with identity being talked about way more freely. I remember the days when I’d watch Degrassi, and it was so taboo to have a gay character talk about his or her sexuality. The fact that Alex can so freely talk about his identity to his best friend is refreshing.

The story is somewhat predictable and definitely has the formula for a coming of age plot. It has the love interest, the two quirky best friends, the classic high school parties and the under water revelation to tie it all up. It’s cliche for sure, but in a lot of ways, it’s a lot more unedited. Some moments are incredibly awkward and hard to watch, but it mirrors how life is at that age.

The actors did a pretty good job, specifically Madeline Weinstein who had to play the confused girlfriend trying to understand her boyfriend’s mixed signals. The actors who played Alex and Elliot, Daniel Doheny and Antonio Marziale have great chemistry throughout, which easily makes them the couple to root for.

I really loved the ending of this movie, mostly because it’s sort of unfinished even at the prom, which is typically the wrap up scene in teen movies. Instead, the movie ends with a great friendship moment.

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Netflix Review: Set It Up

Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell in 'Set It Up'

“Set It Up” is a modern romantic comedy starring Glenn Powell and Zoey Deutch who both work for demanding bosses and decide to set them up to alleviate their hectic schedules. When I say modern, I really see it being one of the best romantic comedies in a long long time. And it really surprised me.

When I see Zoey Deutch, I think of Maya who played Zack’s girlfriend in the Suite Life on Deck. She was a badass relatable character then, and she really shines as the quirky but awesome Harper. From seeing her delight over free food and pizza to seeing her kill a game of beer pong with Pete Davidson, she became a great female character to root for. Glenn Powell plays Charlie the 28 year old assistant who thinks he wants to live a life similar to his boss Rick. He has the classic romantic comedy arc, where he messes up, but somehow through grand gestures, fixes everything.

Despite having the predictable format of a class rom com, this film largely benefits from a likeable cast. But it also has characters that have great dialogue that sort of poke fun at the stereotypical romantic comedy lines. One of my favorite scenes took place in a ring shop, where Harper leaves dramatically only for the alarms to go off and the store clerk making an awkwardly funny scene even more funny. Additionally, the “will they or won’t they” gag isn’t completely played out. You know it’s coming, but the journey to get there isn’t frustrating through unnecessary miscommunication. It’s through their own insecurities, which both characters eventually face.

The supporting characters are great as well. Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu play hilarious bosses as they change their mind and make rash decisions as a typical no nonsense boss should. Pete Davidson makes an endearing performance as Charlie’s roommate and the actress who plays Harper’s was really awesome too as she delivered a sentiment about loving someone despite their differences. The ending is super cute and it might be predictable, but it works in its simplicity.

All in all, this movie is truly a New York City romance. It’s actually funny too. The jokes made me laugh every now and then, and I think we’ve been missing the string of classic romantic comedies. Go watch “Set It Up” on Netflix because it’s a gem of a movie, and it’s a feel good one at that.

Netflix Review: Dude

Spoilers Ahead:

Dude stars Lucy Hale as she and her three best friends prepare for high school graduation. The film opens with best friends Chloe (Kathryn Prescott from Finding Carter) and Lily (Hale) who are hanging out with Chloe’s brother, Thomas, played by Austin Butler. Butler’s character is killed off pretty early on in a unseen accident and from there, the movie takes shape as it flashes forward one year to the four girls being seniors and getting into college.

The death of Chloe’s brother looms over the movie as Lily can’t seem to get over the past. I’m going to admit that I had low expectations going into the movie, but what I like about it is the fact that everything seems very real from the way teens are portrayed to the emotions they experience.

There’s a lot of ugly things about this movie including a very realistic portrayal of rape, an imperfect love interest, and the irrational fighting the girls go through. It’s ugly because it’s all very real and isn’t glorified in any sort of way. The girls struggle to find their place after high school especially Lily who has grown attached to her high school routine.

I’m currently in college about to graduate and I’ve definitely had my “Lily” moments when I grow frustrated holding onto something that is simply meant to be a memory in the past. A lot of my friends graduated last semester, and I felt so similar to Lily in a lot of ways, especially her still coping with the loss of Thomas. Going from one phase in your life to another is scary, but holding onto the past is not the answer, and I think this film really hones in on that.

The other two girls, Rebecca and Amelia, are also fleshed out a bit, but the main focus really sticks to Chloe and Lily. Chloe also has a sweet love interest, and it works because it makes Lily freak out when Chloe endures all these changes at once. Lily’s love interest is also sort of fitting as his indecisiveness and back and forth with Lily makes sense since she is equally confused about the state of her future. Overall, the supporting characters worked for the most part, including Lily’s mom who snaps her back to reality.

Overall, I really like the simplicity of the plot. Some may say it may not even have one, but the characters feel real and authentic, and I found myself relating to a lot of the different aspects of the core four girls. I would recommend this movie for sure. Is it the best movie? No, it’s not, but it is a nice feel good movie and if you’re graduating, then you should watch it for sure.

Ranking All Season 4 Episodes of Black Mirror

I’ve been meaning to review Black Mirror because I binged all six episodes of Season 4 weeks ago, but I really did enjoy this batch of the series. With all episodes featuring female leads, this season brought up tons of relevant topics, such as abusing male authority, helicopter parenting and dating in today’s society. Here’s my ranking of all episodes of this season.

6. Metalhead: Metalhead doesn’t have any major issues for me. It’s a pretty straightforward episode, but for me it doesn’t feel like a Black Mirror episode. The kind of edge on your seat feel is there, as a mechanical dog leaves a group of people on the run. I really like the main character Bella making smart decisions all around, but it sort of dragged for me from her time up in the tree to the mechanical dog trying to figure out where she is in the house. This is probably the episode I have the least to say, but it was by no means a horrible 48 minutes of Black Mirror. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

5. Arkangel: Arkangel is a pretty standard episode of Black Mirror that reminded me a lot of The Entire History of You. It revolves around a device that allows a worried mother to keep tabs and monitor what her child can and can’t see.

The only problem is that the first iteration of this technology being used was much better in Season 1. Arkangel is a pretty good episode though. I think it brings up a lot of ideas about parenting, which is why I liked it better than Metalhead. It definitely made me think about helicopter parenting and how far is too far when it comes to keeping tabs on your child’s life. I thought it built up pretty well, and the ending is pretty unsettling and probably a parent’s worst nightmare in hindsight. My biggest issue is the actress that played the older Sarah. She’s 21 in real life, but she could not pull off a 15 year old. It was so distracting for me. I couldn’t quite get over it.

4. Crocodile: Crocodile is an episode that had me screaming “No, no no,” because I knew where it was leading. This episode has two separate stories that intertwine, and the episode takes a while to get to that point, but once it does, you just can’t believe where the main character goes in order to protect herself. I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t give away too much about the plot, but it does have this cool kind of technology that works in both good ways and bad ways. I’d love to know if people were surprised with the most disturbing part of the episode, which I obviously don’t have to say if people have seen the episode.

3. Black Museum: Black Museum brings three stories together similar to White Christmas, as a young woman stumbles upon a museum that has all these different artifacts from previous episodes. It’s actually really cool to see how many references are made in the museum.  I was in love with the actress that played Nish. She was so fabulous throughout the episode and gave off such charisma at the end.

The twist moment was really really good. I loved the timing of it all. The first story was so interesting to see how someone deals with pain and pleasure. The second lost a little steam for me, and the third sort of brings all the different stories together. OK, so this would be higher, but honestly, I thought the ending was a little too much for me with everything wrapping up a little too neatly in a bow.

2. USS Callister: This episode is one of my favorites from the entire franchise. I love Cristin Milioti as an actress and think she is very underrated. She really shined as the tech savvy leader throughout the episode. The episode follows Robert Daly Jesse Plemons a gifted programmer and co-founder of a popular online game who is bitter over the lack of recognition of his position from his coworkers, so he takes out his frustrations by simulating a Star Trek inspired adventure within the game, using his co-workers’ DNA to create digital clones of them.

The episode itself is fun and fills up it’s running time of an hour and 16 minutes, but the underlying tones about men in the workplace makes the episode even stronger. The misogynistic Daly is played well by Plemons because at first, we do feel genuinely bad for him, but he abused his authority, and this is probably one of the more relevant themes of the season thanks to his performance. I like that technology is seen a bit differently here too than most Black Mirror episodes. In most episodes, we see the overexposure of technology playing against the characters by being too connected, but in this case, the technology has a way of isolating people from the real world.

1. Hang the DJ: Hang the DJ is my favorite episode of the series. That might change due to recency bias, but I just adored this episode with its clever spin on dating apps. The episode follows Amy and Frank, two of many people in a system, that is instructed by a digital companion, Coach, into romantic relationships with others. The device tells them exactly how much time is given to each pairing as they check their expiration dates to see how long they have together. And of course, Frank and Amy are the couple we’re rooting for.

The actors had such good chemistry together. You can’t help but want them to find their way back to each other. And the episode is all sorts of relatable for single people trying to navigate the world of dating. Amy says a very bittersweet line as she wonders if people just get tired of searching for their soulmate for such a long time that they sort of settle for someone and just remain content. This episode melted my heart and can definitely make a person think, especially if you’ve ever had a relationship where you keep coming back to each other. The episode had a twist, and it was brilliant and totally satisfying. The episode is simple, but it works so well here.

August Favorites

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So for this favorites post, I don’t have a ton of beauty products to share. I have a lot of random products and accessories to share instead. I also share some TV and literature stuff here too, so hopefully you enjoy the mixed bag of favorites I will be sharing.FullSizeRender (9)

So I’ve been using this Lancome Blush Subtil, which is an oil free blush and I love how understated and rosy this color is. On darker skin, it pops just enough. A lot of the times, I’ll see blushes in vibrant colors and it just doesn’t work on my skin tone. The shimmer on this is also amazing. The second product is the Lancome Youth Activating Eye Cream, and it’s awesome if you have dark circles. You just need a little dime size amount to dab around your eyes.FullSizeRender (8)

This $7.99 watch is rubber and it is from Joyce Leslie. I have a rose gold watch, which I love, but it’s not versatile to wear every day. This one is nice because it’s rubber and easy to wear everyday. I also love this nude color with the gold on this watch. Also, I’ve been obsessed with gold rings as well. I’ve been loving the ring trend, where people wear tons of rings on one hand. These ones were $5.00 from Rue21 and if you don’t want them to turn your finger green, use some clear nail polish on them.FullSizeRender (7)

This was a cute notebook for a buck at Michael’s. It’s small enough to take everywhere so I’ve been jotting homework and blog ideas in here. If you’re a writer like myself, take one of these around everywhere you go.FullSizeRender (11)

This was a book I read during the month of August. Here’s my full review here:https://mytrendingstories.com/article/book-review-since-youve-been-gone/ Overall, I really loved the message of this book. It’s about living your life to the fullest around the people that make you happy. The main character goes through some serious growth and the love interest is a fantastic character as well.FullSizeRender (13)

These sunglasses were $2.00 from Wet Seal, and I just kind of threw them in my basket because they were cheap. But if you’re nervous to try these kinds of retro sunglasses, these are great. I wear them everywhere.

stranger things

This was my show of the summer. It was so amazing. Also, here’s my full review:https://mytrendingstories.com/article/review-lets-talk-about-stranger-things-season-1/ I love these kids. I want Millie, Finn, Caleb and Gaten to be my best friends. They’re fantastic, and the plot is pretty original with little homages to movies like E.T and Super 8.

Anyway, I know my list if random, but I hoped you enjoyed it! 🙂