Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is a famous and beloved columnist for a national magazine. Her monthly articles feature delicious recipes for fancy meals. They also describe her idyllic home life as a loving wife and mother who lives on a farm.
Her publisher Alexander Yardley(Sydney Greenstreet) receives a request to provide a family style Christmas for a naval war hero. So, he decides Elizabeth should be the host and invites himself along.
His demands through Elizabeth into a panic. Unbeknownst to Mr. Yardley and her public, she is a fraud. In reality Elizabeth Lane is a single woman who writes her articles from her New York apartment and has zero talent in the kitchen. Her close friend Uncle Felix (S.Z Sakall) actually provides the recipes which she features in her articles.
In danger of losing her job, Elizabeth agrees to an engagement with her friend John Sloane (Reginald Gardiner) who just happens to have a farm in Connecticut. They decide to continue her ruse and even manage to find a baby to pose as their child. Uncle Felix accompanies them to cook the meals Elizabeth Lane is famous for.
However, all these plans are thrown into turmoil with the arrival of Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan). It is love at first sight between Elizabeth and Jeff, but he thinks she is married. Further complications ensue as Mr. Yardley starts making plans for the Elizabeth Lane “family” in order to increase his circulation. Meanwhile, Uncle Felix contrives to keep Elizabeth from marrying John.
When a friend approaches attorney Clay Dalzell requesting his help in finding a missing young woman, Dal reluctantly agrees. Before this amateur detective can even begin, long time friend and wannbe girlfriend Donna Mantin also requests his help retrieving some incriminating letters from a local gangster. That same evening a masked actress disappears from the theater after being recognized and Dal’s friend is shot in Dal’s apartment.
Dal must try to piece together the various puzzle pieces of these seemingly unconnected events while also fending off Donna’s amorous advances. But Dal is more accommodating towards Donna’s sleuthing efforts and allows her to help him investigate. No sooner do they discover a clue, but it turns up more questions. Will Dal and Donna crack this case or will it crack them? Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Star of Midnight (1935)”
After two years living and working in New York City, Gladys Glover has almost given up on her dream of making a name for herself. A chance encounter and conversation with documentary film maker Pete Sheppard however lights a spark in her. When she happens to see a billboard for rent, that spark bursts into flame.
Gladys wastes no time spending her savings just to see her name featured in a larger than life size on that billboard. Before you know it, one billboard turns into six and then into television and radio spots. But Pete, who is now her neighbor, doesn’t understand her driving desire for a famous name, particularly when her name doesn’t stand for anything in particular. He believes that a life and name can be meaningful without it being famous. He also sees Gladys’ newfound popularity as a stumbling block to his pursuit of a relationship with her. It doesn’t help that she is also being romanced by a wealthy playboy. But Gladys is having the time of her life, happy to be famous for no particular reason other than having her name plastered all over the city and unconcerned that others are profiting from her name or that they are laughing at her expense. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -It Should Happen To You (1954)”
Ji Hae-Soo is a compassionate and nurturing psychiatrist who genuinely cares for her patients. But this side of her nature is not nearly as obvious in her personal life. When she meets popular author and DJ Jang Jae-Yeol she takes an immediate dislike to the handsome tease.
When Jae-Yeol temporarily moves in with Hae-Soo and her other housemates, sparks fly between these two opposites. Jae-Yeol is more willing to accept his attraction to the combative Hae-Soo, but she fights it. As they come to know each other better Hae-Soo begins to realize that there is more to Jae-Yeol than meets the eye. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -It’s Okay, That’s Love (2014)”
When Mia finally runs out of patience with her cheating husband, she packs her bags and escapes to Paris to stay with her best friend Daisy. As an actress she knows the value of escaping into a good role. So she dyes her hair, changes her appearance and takes up waitressing in Daisy’s restaurant all while bemoaning her bad luck in love.
Paul is an expat American author living in Paris. His initial publication success mingled with his shyness drove him across the sea to hide out in the City of Love. His subsequent novels are only popular in South Korea, so it doesn’t interfere with his introverted lifestyle.
Thanks to an interfering friend, Paul meets Mia in a blind date arrangement neither is aware of. After much confusion, they enter into a strangely defined friendship which helps both of them cope with their lonely and sad personal lives. But although they are drawn to each other, Mia and Paul’s path to a more meaningful relationship is strewn with obstacles, not the least of which is themselves.
Statistics professor Lauren Sinclair uses her affinity for numbers as a way to deal with anxiety and her deficient social skills. For years she has also put her personal life on hold as she works towards her professional goals. Lauren decides that settling down and getting married might help her gain tenure at her university so with her sister’s help she reactivates her online dating accounts. But none of the men meet her stringent percentage weighed list of standards.
Meanwhile after spotting a bald spot she heads to the casino to de-stress with her favorite blackjack dealer. Only she exposes her hairless shame to the tattooed, sexy new dealer who is subbing for her former sounding board. In spite of her embarrassment Lauren feels a bond with Mack and they form a friendship. He agrees to give her feedback on her dating candidates and she gives him a safe place to process his grief over his deceased wife. But will Lauren ever find a Mr. Right who matches her detailed list?
A reader can fall in love with many things about a book; a writing style, the genre, story line or setting. But ya’ll, I totally fell in love with Lauren Sinclair in Settling Up! Continue reading “Book Review -Settling Up”
Idle Jean Howard wants to do her part for the war effort. Since there is a shortage of men, her father’s oil company has no salesmen. Jean volunteers for the job and despite her father’s resistance heads out onto the road to try to save some company accounts.
Although she gives it her best efforts in her cross-country sales tour, Jean has no success. She finally lands at the Black Hills Oil Co. where Earl “Slim” Clark agrees to listen to her pitch. But only if she wines and dines him first. Of course, Slim’s motives are suspect as it is clear he finds Jean extremely attractive. Jean agrees and heads out to look for a place to stay for the night
Unfortunately, Jean finds herself looking for accommodations in an overcrowded army base town. There is absolutely nothing available until a last minute cancellation secures Jean a reservation. The only problem is, the room available is in a motor court which only caters to married couples. So Jean, manages to coerce a lieutenant from the local base to register with her as her husband with the plan being that he can leave once she has checked into the room.
Although I admit my exposure to foreign films is miniscule, it is pretty much a guarantee that any film set in France, in particular Paris, is going to pique my interest.
Italian Paolo is content with his life. He lives with his German girlfriend Greta in Paris, has a steady job as a tour bus driver and a dependable if not so good advisor in English friend Derek. After finally proposing to Greta, he finds himself continually crossing paths with the lovely Cecile. Although he is in love with Greta, Paolo cannot helped but be intrigued by the girl riding the bicycle. One day, while in pursuit of her, he accidentally hits her with his bus, which throws his life completely off course.
At the hospital, he informs the nurse that Cecile is his wife so that he can get information on her condition, (a la While You Were Sleeping). When the nurse escorts him into Cecile’s room, her young children immediately greet him with hugs and cries of “Papa!” You see, Cecile has always told her children that their father is off fighting dragons, but when he returns they will know him because he speaks English. Upon her release from the hospital, Paolo takes Cecile and the children to their home and finds himself in the predicament of caring for her and the children secretly while also trying to maintain his relationship with Greta, who begins to suspect that Paolo is hiding something important from her. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Girl on a Bicycle (2013)”
When the opening credits began with a French version of the song I Have Confidence from the Sound of Music, it set the tone and immediately convinced me that I would love this film.
A French-Belgian film originally titled, Les Emotifs Anonymes, Romantics Anonymous introduces us to Angelique, a woman crippled by shyness. We see her faint in her group meeting, for which the film is named, but she works up enough courage to attend her interview with the owner of The Chocolate Mill.
When we first meet Jean-Rene, he is introduced to us and to Angelique as a mean man, but it turns out he is also socially challenged and unable to deal with many simple human interactions. Although the interview between these extreme introverts is awkward, Angelique manages to impress him with her knowledge of chocolate and he offers her the job. The only problem is that she thinks that she will be making chocolate and he just hired her as a sales representative to help boost the shop’s faltering sales enough to keep it out of bankruptcy.
On her sales rounds, Angelique discovers that although their buyers think the chocolate is good, it is not exceptional and neither does it live up to current trends in the market. But she has a secret. Angelique is a gifted chocolatier who has had extreme success in the past with her chocolate recipes. The trouble is that she sold her chocolates anonymously. But with the shop in jeopardy, Angelique is convinced that she can help.
In the midst of the chocolate shop story line is a concurrent one about the relationship that develops between Jean-Rene and Angelique. As you can imagine, with their personality challenges it is a very awkward and bumpy path they travel. They are immediately stricken by one another, but their own insecurities keep cropping up as obstacles. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Romantics Anonymous (2010)”
Being the only classic film lover in my household, I am on a quest to prove that the classics are equal to and even better than our modern movie offerings. So I am always delighted when I introduce one that the whole family ends up enjoying (thereby proving me right!)
Never Say Goodbye is just such a film. This romantic comedy reminded me a bit of The Parent Trap. It tells the story of exes Phil and Ellen Gayley and their young daughter Flip’s (short for Phillipa, named after her father of course) efforts to see them reunited. Phil is a famous artist constantly in the company of beautiful women, but still in love with his wife. Ellen is still in love with him too, but understandably has some trust issues. Encouraged by her wealthy uptight mother, she keeps Phil at arms length.