Feel The Beat

feel the beat

I don’t know why Netflix didn’t do more to promote Feel The Beat because it was a super cute, feel good film that put a big smile on my face. I have loved Sofia Carson since her rise to fame in Descendants so I knew regardless that she would rock this role. She is a triple threat after all!

The story follows April (Sofia Carson) an aspiring Broadway star hoping to catch her big break. After an incident threatens to ruin her career forever, she returns to her hometown with her tail between her legs.

Hoping to lay low for a while and think strategically about her next move, April is one day recruited to train a group of young dancers for a big competition. The catch? She could end up getting her name back out there because well known musical producer Welly Wong (Rex Lee) is a judge on the panel.

April knows that this may be her last shot at making her dreams come true. Although she accepts, teaching these kids is no easy task. This new gig will require patience and a lot of time. Throw in an ex boyfriend who she never really got over and she’s got a lot on her plate.

Movies that focus heavily on children are not usually my thing, but instead I found myself rooting for them throughout. Each had a unique story that made you fall for them. One in particular, the daughter of the football coach (Shaylee Mansfield), is deaf. She communicates in sign language and it was touching to see the rest of the dance troupe all knew how to do so as well to help her out. There was also a little boy (Justin Allan) who I believe stole the entire movie. He joins the team about halfway through and really brings it all together. I could not stop melting every time he came on screen.

The adult cast were great too with Enrico Colantoni of Veronica Mars fame as April’s dad and of course Rex Lee as Welly Wong. Donna Lynne Champlin was hilarious as Miss Barb and hello Wolfgang Novogratz! Where have you been all my life?

If you are looking for a movie that you don’t have to take seriously, but one that will also touch on important life values, then I do recommend this. Just be prepared for some cringey and cliched moments.

Rating: ♥♥♥

The King of Staten Island

the king of staten island

This is not usually the type of movie I gravitate towards watching. Even my husband was shocked when I said I was interested in it. But for once I decided to listen to the critics which is honestly something I never do. It’s a good thing that I did though! It was so much better than I expected it to be and I thought it was the perfect Friday night flick too.

Scott (Pete Davidson) has been a mess ever since his dad, a firefighter, passed away years ago. He lives at home with his mom Margie (Marisa Tomei) and sister Claire (Maud Apatow). When Claire goes off to college, things start to change.

While he’s been used to getting stoned every day, hooking up with his childhood friend Kelsey (Bel Powley) and dreaming of opening his own tattoo parlor, everyone around him seems to be moving on. Claire is gone, Kelsey wants to take things to the next level in their relationship and even his mother has started seeing Ray (Bill Burr), who just so happens a firefighter too.

Stuck in his ways, Scott struggles to break out of his funk, but he must do so if he ever wants to make something of himself.

I have to give a round of applause to Pete Davidson. Dude really knocked this role out of the park! I never watched SNL so I couldn’t speak for his acting chops beforehand. To me, he was just Ariana Grande’s ex-boyfriend. However I was really impressed with what I saw and I wouldn’t be surprised if this got him some award show buzz.

The rest of the cast were perfectly chosen as well. And though I haven’t been known to like Judd Apatow’s work in the past, this was truly the exception.

My main reason for liking The King of Staten Island so much was because it was loosely based on true events. Stories like that make everything so much more believable and it’s something that I appreciate. Despite losing focus a few times throughout and missing some of the jokes, it was an overall positive viewing experience.

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

The Lovebirds

the lovebirds

Comedies are super necessary these days, especially with everything that is going on in the world. Having that escape and being able to laugh is important. I was hesitant going into The Lovebirds though. It initially did not seem like something that appealed to me. But after a friend came to me expressing their positive views, I decided to give it a try. And you know what? I’m glad I did.

Leilani (Issa Rae) and Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) have been together for four years, but are slowly beginning to drift apart. They both want different things and seem to clash more than ever before. As they are on their way to a social function one evening, they wonder if maybe they should go their separate ways.

Before they can even process what is happening, the couple are swept up in a murder mystery caper that changes their lives – and relationship – forever. Will these events pull them even further apart than they already are or is this actually a blessing in disguise?

This movie was funny! It had me laughing out loud on multiple occasions. I thought that Issa Rae and Kumail Najiani worked really well off each other and had great chemistry. It was almost like they were a real life couple and that just added to my enjoyment while watching.

The other cast members were great additions too; most notably seeing familiar face Anna Camp of Pitch Perfect fame in another comedic role. Ultimately it was refreshing to have a black woman and a Pakistani man as the leads. I cannot stress enough how uncommon this is and that needs to change.

Unfortunately, while I mostly liked the film, the plot did lose me a couple of times. Every so often I would become confused because there was a lot going on and I didn’t think that the scenarios Leilani and Jibran found themselves in were all that likely. I understand that was the point of the story, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Rating: ♥♥♥

The High Note

the high note

Movies about music are so much fun and The High Note is no exception. I remember seeing trailers for this at the beginning of the year feeling instantly intrigued. And since most big blockbusters are still postponed, I thought a feel good movie like this one was exactly what I needed, especially after my previous bad choice. For my devoted readers, you know what I’m referring to.

Maggie Sherwoode (Dakota Johnson) is the personal assistant to mega-superstar Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross). Grace has been on the scene for years and was always somebody that Maggie looked up to. Working for Grace should be a dream come true, but the gig is not glamorous by any means. The only upside is that Maggie is constantly exposed to the world she so badly wants to break into.

See, Maggie wants to become a music producer. She has an affinity for sound and when the opportunity arises to help launch rising artist David Cliff (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), it seems like Maggie will finally have her shot. It’s no easy feat though, as her PA duties tend to get hectic and Grace’s manager Jack Robertson (Ice Cube) keeps getting in the way.

This film was like a warm hug. It put the biggest smile on my face and I really enjoyed every moment. The story was quite inspiring as well as uplifting – it moved me to tears on more than one occasion. Only a good movie has that power over me.

Witnessing Dakota Johnson in something new was a treat. The girl gets a lot of shit for having starred in Fifty Shades of Grey, but if you think about it, she did something right as that franchise did catapult her to stardom. She is literally in every single scene here, stealing them all with her soothing presence. I also appreciated Tracee Ellis Ross’s performance. For some reason she always rubbed me the wrong way, but I have to admit that she really embodied the role and knocked it out of the park.

Of course, the music was another reason why this movie was what it was. As far as I know the songs were all originals and each actor sang on their own. I’m still humming along to that final number!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

The Wrong Missy

the wrong missy

The Wrong Missy…the wrong movie! Guys. This was SO BAD. I don’t even know what possessed me to watch it in the first place. I guess quarantine did. These types of films are not usually my thing and I’m not a fan of any of the actors either. I should have just trusted my initial instinct after seeing the trailer that it was not for me, but I didn’t. I wanted so badly to think it was going to be okay and now, almost two weeks later, I am still scarred.

Tim (David Spade) has been at the same job for forever. He desperately wants to move up and go for a promotion, but no matter what he does, he is overlooked. Throw in a recent break up with his fiancee (Sarah Chalke), and he’s got on his plate. When he runs into the beautiful Melissa (Molly Sims) at the airport before a business trip, sparks fly. The two swap numbers and vow to stay in touch. The company retreat is fast approaching and Tim has the great idea to invite Melissa along for the weekend. He’s hoping that with her on his arm, his boss (Geoff Pierson) might finally notice him.

So when an entirely different woman shows up on the flight to Hawaii, Tim is dumbfounded. Turns out he had two numbers with the name Missy in his phone and the one he accidentally invited is none other than the girl he went on a disastrous date with months ago.

Now Tim is stuck with her. This Missy (Lauren Lapkus) is rude, she’s crude and she’s literally batshit crazy. But as he starts spending more time with her, he realises that there’s something about her that he just can’t seem to shake.

The type of humor depicted throughout is not my cup of tea. Most of the time it was like they were trying way too hard to be funny, but the jokes ended up flat. I maybe laughed a couple of times at the most, if at all.

In addition, there were so many problematic scenes that I came close to grabbing the remote and switching the thing off halfway through. This was probably where I struggled most because I’ve seen it so many times before. These types of movies remind me so much of Superbad and Knocked Up where women are used as pawns for a man’s desire and because of that, treated so unfairly.

Something else that really did not sit well with me was a scene where Missy engaged in some sexual activities with Tim that seemed to be against his will. No means no and she still carried on regardless of what he wanted. I just…I can’t.

The only reason this movie is getting any stars at all is because of the gorgeous Hawaiian views and the fact that it didn’t have your typical Hollywood ending. Despite Missy getting a lot of flak in the beginning for being out there, there are some redeeming and endearing qualities about her and she really did mean well.

Unfortunately I wish I could go back in time and unsee this. I want that hour and a half back.

Rating: ♥