“Letters to Juliet” On Demand

Sometimes all you want to do is plop down on the couch after the kids go to bed and watch a movie. Too bad you just mailed your Netflix DVD back this morning and there’s nothing interesting in the instant cue. All of your favorite shows are reruns and the only movie showing on TV tonight is some drama on the woman’s network about a girl who is seeking revenge against her mother in law and you’re pretty sure you can guess the ending. You could get in the car and drive to one of those boxes that give you … Continue reading

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

“Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” is a classic Gary Cooper film that reminds me quite a bit of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” starring James Stewart—not just in title, but in premise. Longfellow Deeds is a young man who lives in a small town named Mandrake Falls. He lives a simple life as a staple of his community. He has enough for his needs but he’s not wealthy. He writes poetry for postcards and greeting cards, and plays the tuba in the town band. All in all, he’s a good fellow with a bit of a temper, living a peaceful … Continue reading

The King and I (1999)

You all know how much I love the story of “The King and I.” The multitude of times I’ve mentioned it here on Families.com is a testament to that. When I saw that an animated version of the film had been done, I was curious, but skeptical. After watching it this last week, I’m no longer curious, and the skepticism was proven to be well-founded. Of course we have the basic elements of the story. Anna Leonowens, a young widow woman, is hired to travel from England to Siam to teach the king’s children. She takes with her Louie, her … Continue reading

Grace is Gone (2007)

Last night I stayed up late to watch “Grace is Gone.” I have to say, it’s been awhile since a film touched me so very deeply. John Cusack brilliantly portrays Stanley Phillips, a man who wanted to serve in the military so badly, he cheated on the vision test so he could get into the Army. When his doctor on base discovers that his eyesight is terrible, he kicks Stanley out, but Stanley has already met Grace, a beautiful cadet, and they are married. They have two daughters, Heidi and Dawn, and they’ve built a life together. When Grace is … Continue reading

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

This is going to be a very conditional movie review. “My Best Friend’s Wedding” had its good points, it had its bad points, and I think the good outweighed the bad, but that’s a matter of personal preference and you might find it otherwise. Let’s examine the evidence. Julia Roberts plays Julianne Potter, a woman who has just learned that her best friend, Michael (Dermot Mulroney) is engaged to be married. They’ve had a long-standing agreement that if they aren’t married to anyone else by the time they’re thirty, they’ll marry each other, and Julianne has just always taken it … Continue reading

Cadet Kelly

Hillary Duff is known for her own sitcom series Lizzie McGuire. However in addition to this commercial sitcom geared toward children, Hillary Duff also has other screen debuts. One of which can be seen on the Disney channel in Cadet Kelly. Duff stars as an only child of divorced parents. She attends an art school and has a very free and non structured spirit. She lives with her mom and adores her dad who is a nature photographer. All is great in Kelly’s (Duff’s screen name) until she discovers that her mom is getting married. It is not the man … Continue reading

13 Going on 30 (2004)

When I first saw the ads for “13 Going on 30,” I thought, “Oh, it’s just a girl version of ‘Big.’” You can read my concerns about “Big” here, but to summarize, I felt that the boy had been put into situations he couldn’t possibly have handled well and come out unscathed, including a sexual relationship. How do you go back to being a child after having experienced adult physical relationships? So as I sat down to watch “13 Going on 30,” I was understandably concerned. I’m so delighted to say, though, that I was unnecessarily worried. Jenna Rink is … Continue reading

Funny Face (1957)

Fred Astaire is arguably one of the most famous actors to come out of Hollywood, as is Audrey Hepburn. Put the two together in one film, and it’s bound to be magic. In “Funny Face,” Astaire plays Dick Avery, a photographer for a fashion magazine. His boss, Maggie, wants to find a new model, one that is beautiful but can also think. They decide to do a shoot in a bookstore and find just the one they want, but the employee of that bookstore makes it difficult for them. She thinks fashion is a silly waste of time and doesn’t … Continue reading

Monster-in-Law (2005)

Your enjoyment of “Monster-in-Law” will be in direct proportion to your ability to tolerate some language. Charlotte, known as Charlie to her friends (Jennifer Lopez) is a free-spirited, genuinely kind girl who keeps herself busy with several different odd jobs, including walking dogs. She isn’t living her dreams, but she’s content with what she has and makes the most of every day, joyfully. When she meets handsome doctor Kevin (Michael Vartan) he’s attracted to this sense of peace she exudes. It’s something he’s never known, growing up with the emotionally-charged Viola Fields (Jane Fonda) talk-show host, activist, woman on the … Continue reading

The Major and the Minor (1942)

After reviewing “Never Been Kissed” last week and seeing that it’s considered a remake of “The Major and the Minor,” I decided I’d better see this film too, and compare them. Well, they’re both about a girl who pretends to be younger than she is and falls in love with an older man who is her mentor. And that’s where the similarities stop. But I did enjoy “The Major and the Minor” on its own merits. Ginger Rogers stars as Susan Applegate, a young woman who has left small-town farm life to come to New York to try to start … Continue reading