When It Rains, It Pours

rain

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I love this city in every light, season and weather condition.

Except.

Except when it’s pouring rain, and you have to get on the subway. On Wednesday after work, I headed to meet Le Boyfriend to see an early IMAX screening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Normally I would walk from my job to Lincoln Center, but after considering the monsoon, I decided to hop on the 1 train uptown just one stop. I left a half an hour early to make sure I’d have plenty of time to grab popcorn and get a good seat.

The problem is, when it’s raining, every other New Yorker has to do the same thing. Nobody is walking, and it’s impossible to catch a cab—so everyone slams into the subway salty, sopping wet, and smelling like wet dog. But despite the underground crowd, my spirits were high: I had a date, and my journey would only take five minutes. At least, that’s what I thought. Behold, a peek into public transportation life on rainy days:

6:35 PM: A train goes flying by, doesn’t stop.

6:40 PM: Another train flies by, doesn’t stop.

6:45 PM: People start pushing up behind me. I convince myself a mob is forming with plans to push me onto the tracks. Sweat forms under my raincoat, steam fogs up my glasses.

6:50 PM: Thankfully, a train pulls in and opens its doors. I let out a sigh of relief and make myself semi-comfortable next to a pole. Then, as the doors are closing, a gaggle of French girls come giggling onto the train. The car is now beyond packed; I’m praying the pointy thing poking my behind is a man’s umbrella.

6:51 PM: Train hits the brakes. And sits. And sits some more. I look at the time on my phone anxiously because the screening starts at 7 and my Spidey senses are tingling. The tourist teens continue to titter and chatter in française. In a previous life, I adored everything remotely Parisian, but suddenly I hate French people.

6:58 PM: I fly out of the train station and pop open my umbrella. A gust of wind blows the umbrella out of its handle and into the crosswalk. Left holding only the handle, I run into oncoming traffic to retrieve it. A car comes to a squealing halt and honks at me; I give him the finger, scoop up my umbrella, and sprint to the theater. (Did I mention this was the gorgeous “Le Chat Noir” umbrella I purchased under the Eiffel Tower?! See Exhibit A, below. Admit it, you would’ve run into traffic, too.)

Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

7:08 PM: I burst into the doors, breathless and blind, glasses covered in rain. I assume the tall, dark, and handsome figure in front of me is Le Boyfriend, so I thrust my umbrella at him while I wipe my lenses (Good thing it was in fact him and not a serial killer). Our auditorium is all the way on the top floor, and I fear I’ve already missed some major Emma Stone moments. Luckily, whoever runs screenings knows that in the rain, every New Yorker will be late; we made it just in time.

The moral of the story? If I lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, or basically anywhere else in America (except for bumper-to-bumper LA) getting somewhere on time in the rain would be much simpler. Reader, you might ask, Wouldn’t it be much easier to quit your whining and leave New York already? But what can I say? I love the pizza and the sparkly lights too much. And so, my adventures will continue, rain or shine.

PS: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was really entertaining—definitely better than the first one. I’d recommend seeing it in IMAX—it made me feel like I was a superhero, jumping from building to building and taking over Manhattan. Wait, what am I talking about? I already am a superhero, taking over New York City one day at a time. Right?! 

Film Buff in the Making

Image

In my post-college life (which has been just as long as my college life, now that I think about it…when did that happen?!) I’ve become a bit of a movie junkie. It was a natural progression; I’m a writer and a reader, so I love a good story. And growing up, a regular family activity was browsing through Blockbuster with my dad for an hour to find a good movie to watch on a Saturday night.

So now that I’m a grown-up, I’ve decided to make it a point to eat up all the films I’ve always meant to watch. And it’s been like my own private education in culture, comedy, and history. For instance (like every girl) I loved Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but I got to fall in love with her all over again when I discovered Roman Holiday a few years ago. I discovered the brilliance of Woody Allen when I binge-watched his films during Hurricane Sandy, fell in love with the solo date when I took myself to the Paris Theater a la Carrie Bradshaw, and devoured indie cult favorites like An Education, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Once.

The next item on my movie bucket list was to catch an outdoor movie in the city. So I trekked across town to the west side for River Flicks, the weekly outdoor movie screening that goes down every Wednesday during the summer. I caught Rian Johnson’s sci-fi time traveler Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, which began just as the sun was setting over the Hudson. It was lovely lying on the grass in the summer air with my girlfriends, engrossed in a fast-paced, mind-bending film. In the future, however, we’ll probably bring foldable chairs…nobody tells you the lying on the ground for two hours part can get a little uncomfortable.

Now that I’ve checked off one more item, I want to see what the Film Forum has to offer, hit up a screening in Central Park (West Side Story during summer in the city? I’m so there) and catch some French cinema at the Alliance Française. What’s on your movie bucket list?

Floor 36 Review: Something Borrowed Was Something Good!

From the Something Borrowed movie site

So remember I was a bit skeptical about how the movie version of Something Borrowed, one of my favorite chick lit books, was going to do based on the trailer?

Well I was pleasantly surprised when I went to go see the movie on opening night on Friday w/ my best friend, who was also the one who introduced me to the book and Emily Giffin. I rarely think that movies do a good job of adapting a book, but this was one exception that I thought was really close. We both thought they did a great job of casting Ginnifer Goodwin as the sweet, self-deprecating brunette Rachel, Kate Hudson as the self-centered, ditzy Darcy and Colin Eggelsfield, an actor I was unfamiliar with, as Dex—I couldn’t stop drooling over him the whole movie, which was perfect, because that’s how I felt about him while reading the book.

I also thought the New York scenes were great. They incorporated Shake Shack, Bryant Park, the Village and the Hamptons, all classic New York places, in a way that didn’t feel overdone, like it does in so many New York-based romantic comedies. Overall, I laughed, I teared up, and talked out loud to the screen—all signs of a good movie that I will buy on DVD.

Unfortunately, it seems like me and my friend are the only ones who had a positive reaction—I’ve read tons of negative reviews, and in the theater on Friday there was only a handful of people, which is never a good sign for opening night. So I guess I won’t hold my breath that the sequel will also hit the big screen…but I sure wish it would!

Something Borrowed: The Trailer

A few years ago, I fell in love with Emily Giffin, who I have come to consider the Queen of Chick Lit. Her books are mostly about 20-somethings in New York finding themselves, which sounds typical, but her writing is witty, smart, and relatable, which is what I think sets her apart. My love affair with her and her books began with Something Borrowed, her first novel, about a New York attorney who falls in love with her best friend’s fiance (I know, I know, it sounds like “been there, read that” but trust me, once you start you’ll be hooked!) So when I first heard that they were making Something Borrowed into a movie with Kate Hudson (who I have a major girl crush on) and Ginnifer Goodwin (who seemed in my mind like the perfect fit to play Rachel, the main character) I was ecstatic. And then I saw yesterday that the trailer is HERE!

 

 

Unfortunately, however, I can already tell from the trailer that, as with 99% of books-turned-movies, this film won’t hold a candle to the book. The trailer leaves much to be desired—in fact, if I hadn’t read the book, I would probably think this was just another lame-o romantic comedy. And I was surprised that I hadn’t realized it before, but Kate Hudson in this role is surprisingly similar to her character in Bride Wars. Hmmm…makes me wonder how this didn’t cross anybody’s mind while casting.

Regardless, I’ll keep the faith that there will be many great aspects of the movie that were left out of the trailer. And if it is a flop, I’ll still love the book and …if I’m being completely honest, I must confess that I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy, no matter how cheesy. (How cheesy can I deal with, you ask? I laughed and cried during Leap Year. Yea, I said it.)

So no matter what May 6th, I’ll be ready to buy some popcorn and a ticket!

Floor 36 Review: Black Swan

photo courtesy of Access Hollywood

After a few failed attempts to see the movie, (including standing in line at the tiny theater at Lincoln Plaza in the cold only to get to the front and notice the “Cash Only” sign followed by the clerk immediately posting an “All Shows Sold Out” sign) I finally saw Black Swan this past weekend. And all I can say is, it was definitely worth the wait — I loved this movie for its intensity, twisted plot, and dark beauty.

Unfortunately for you if you are on the fence about seeing it, aside from labeling it as an indie-thriller filled with breathtaking ballet, I can’t tell you too much more about it. It’s one of those movies that’s best seen without knowing a lot about it or watching the trailer too many times. (Sidenote: I prefer not watching trailers and promos in general, because I feel like the movie-watching experience is so much more fun when you have no idea what to expect or any of the funny/scary/shocking moments.) With Black Swan, this definitely held true.

While I won’t give away much, what I can tell you is that the film stars Natalie Portman as a New York ballerina who has spent her life perfecting her skills as a ballerina at a dance company at Lincoln Center. Perfecting is the key word — her road to perfection is an intense journey that keeps you on the edge of your seat and plays out during the film with antagonists like Lily, a fun-loving bad girl ballerina played by Mila Kunis (who I have had a major girl crush on since Forgetting Sarah Marshall, by the way); Thomas Leroy, the school’s sexuality-obsessed director played by Vincent Cassel, and her controlling, overprotective mother, played by Barbara Hershey.

The dancing itself is, in one word, beautiful. I wasn’t sure if it was just because I don’t have a professional eye and it just looked pretty, but I read online and saw that many professional dancers were shocked at what a fantastic job both Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis did, especially considering the fact that neither of them have been dancing since they could walk like most true ballerinas (and the amount of weight both had to lose for this film? Crazy!) I walk by Lincoln Center often, yearning to see my first ballet there and wondering about the lives of the perfect ballerinas who dance inside. But this movie had me feeling like perhaps that perfection isn’t so enviable.

I left the theater in a daze with my mouth hanging open and my mind reeling, trying to figure out every little bit of the plotline. And a few days later, I still am. It’s the type of movie that you want to dissect with your friends over dinner afterward and Google around as soon as you get home to try to find an interview with the director immediately.

Definitely two thumbs up from the 36th Floor!

Sex and the City 2: Missing the City

Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

*Spoiler Alert* If you haven’t seen Sex and the City 2 and don’t want the details revealed, do not read on!

Of course a blog being about the city has to talk about Sex and the City 2. But before I begin to give my thoughts on Sex and the City 2 and you wonder “who cares this much about a movie?” I should explain that I have an intricate history with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. Just like thousands of other girls, SATC played an important role in my life. I watched reruns of the show while in high school (when it began, I was too young to be allowed to watch it, and even when I was older, we didn’t have HBO) and knew the basic storyline, but it wasn’t until I moved to New York that the real connection happened. When I first moved here after I graduated from college and was working at a newspaper as an intern, I was living in a Columbia U dorm for the summer with no television. I decided then was as good a time as any to try to catch every single SATC episode in order, so as slowly as I could afford them, I bought every season and watched every episode throughout the summer and literally fell in love.

I’ve also seen the first movie so many times I can almost recite every line and strongly felt like it was a great way to keep the series going. So all of this, paired with the promising previews for the second movie–funny lines, beautiful clothing, the reappearance of Aiden, not to mention Jay’z Empire State of Mind playing in the background (this song came out right when I moved into my first New York apartment–you can imagine why it has a special place in my heart) all made me unbelievably excited to see the movie.

Little did I know that it would disappoint me. Big time. There were so many elements that went wrong. First of all, with the amount of drama (affairs, babies being born, an almost-marriage with a huge bird feather and then a court marriage) in the first movie, I’d come to expect just as much from the second movie. Unfortunately, the only drama in this movie was a 2-second kiss between married-Carrie and Aiden (although I’ll admit, I did gasp when it happened), but otherwise, it was shock-free. Second, the characters just seemed like weird versions of themselves. Samantha’s sexual, menopausal self was over-the-top; Miranda wasn’t even like her usual cynical self and was too happy and go-lucky (not to mention Steve only made a 2 second appearance in the film), Charlotte was too anxious and worried, and while Carrie is always over the top fashion-wise, she traipsed through her NYC apartment in gowns and stilettos. I mean, come on! Lastly, well…it was just cheesy. Like, roll your eyes and groan cheesy. The girls sing “I Am Woman” in karaoke while in Abu Dhabi; Samantha makes some terrible jokes (“King of Arabia? King of my labia!” – groooannn!) and the ending with Big giving Carrie a big rock to wear on her ring finger as a way to punish her for cheating? Yea, RIGHT!

But I think the biggest disappointment of the movie was that the fifth main character was missing. The charming, funny, sophisticated fifth character: New York City. New York is the backbone of the series, of the girls’ experiences, of their hopes, fears and relationships, and in the film, they were only in New York for about 2.5 seconds. The rest of it either took place at a Connecticut wedding or in Abu Dhabi. And I think the lack of New York’s presence really showed (yes, in the first movie they traveled to Mexico, but that was for a relatively small part of the movie; in the sequel, you only saw New York a few times when Carrie and Big were in their apartment).

Despite the disappointments, there were definitely some highlights–I was glad to see a reappearance of Aiden, and the fashion was, of course, amazing/out of this world–I was drooling over everything from Samantha’s rhinestoned, chrome manicures to Carrie walking poolside in Abu Dhabi in a gorgeous harem pantsuit. I also really appreciated the points addressed by Carrie and Big as they fell into a rut in their marriage after only two years and when Miranda and Charlotte admitted their struggles with motherhood–both topics that aren’t addressed too often in films but should be, and who else better to do it than the Sex and the City girls?

Overall, at this point, I think the storyline needs to end–I really hope they don’t do a third movie, because the story is really just getting dragged out.

But don’t get me wrong–if there is a third movie, you know who will be there opening weekend, once again, to check it out : )