Chemical Hearts

chemical hearts

Fact: I will watch anything that the cast of Riverdale does. Chemical Hearts was no exception. Lili Reinhart may have been the main reason for wanting to check this one out, but that was before I knew anything about the story. Mental health struggles depicted in cinema is still a taboo subject. Very rarely is it tackled properly and I have to commend this movie for going where they did. It certainly left a lasting impression on me.

Henry Page (Austin Abrams) has always played it safe. He has a great family life – his parents have been together since high school and his sister is an attendant at the local hospital. He has good grades and hopes to become editor of the school newspaper during his senior year.

Enter Grace Town (Lili Reinhart). A transfer student, she is paired up with Henry as co-editor. But Grace isn’t like all the other girls. She wears baggy clothes, never puts on make up and walks with a cane. Nobody really knows anything about her and she likes to keep it that way.

But Henry can’t help it when he falls in love at first sight. Wanting to learn everything about her, the two begin to spend more time together, and over time, Grace’s walls begin to come down. She wants to share her secrets with Henry but she isn’t sure that he will still feel the same after he knows the truth.

Watching this movie was like going on a rollercoaster ride. It took some time to get going, but when it did, I was very much swept up in Henry and Grace’s story separately as well as together. Though the two are polar opposites, their chemistry shined through the screen and gave me all sorts of emotions.

I mentioned earlier that the movie deals heavily with the topic of mental health and I was very impressed as to how it was handled. Lili in particular proved that her acting skills are far superior than anything Riverdale could ever give to her. She was so relatable and heartbreaking all at the same time. Similarly, Austin worked well off of her and it was interesting to see how each actor made their mark throughout the scenes.

What I loved the most was how, days after finishing, this one is still on my mind. Despite the heavy nature, there is a moral to the story that will stick with you. Any movie that can do that is a good one in my book!

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

The Sleepover

the sleepover

Action adventure comedies can be a ton of fun – if they are done right. It’s always disappointing when they fall flat and it pains me to say it, but that is exactly what happened with The Sleepover. I really did want to like it. It looked awesome and the cast was totally stacked. It just didn’t work for me. Why am I so hard to please?

Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and Kevin (Maxwell Simkins) are two siblings who couldn’t be more different. Clancy is an aspiring cellist while Kevin has a wild and untamed imagination that has often gotten him into trouble. The one thing that they do have in common is their seemingly normal, though uptight and weird (at least to them) parents.

So when they find out that their mom Margot (Malin Akerman) is a former thief who has been in the witness protection program since retiring, their lives are turned upside down. Margot is approached to pull one last job with her ex-fiance Leo (Joe Manganiello) and as she accepts, not only are her children involved, but so is her husband Ron (Ken Marino) who also had no clue about his wife’s past.

What follows is a night Clancy, Kevin and their respective friends Mim (Cree Cicchino) and Lewis (Lucas Jaye) will never forget.

I didn’t hate everything about this. I thought it was actually pretty funny. The kids, and Kevin in particular, had me in stitches on multiple occasions. This is quite unusual since I don’t often like child actors, but to me, they stole the show. I also loved how this was directed by a woman though it didn’t greatly impact my enjoyment at the end of the day.

Overall, the plot itself was predictable and I could tell more or less what was going to happen in each scene. There were also times where I felt bored, even with Mr. Manganiello on my screen. If he can’t change my mind about this, then nobody can.

Rating: ♥♥.5

Work It

work it

How can you not like dance movies? They are tons of fun, always uplifting and make you seriously question your lack of talent. Upon my first hearing of Work It, I was having a sense of deja vu. I mean, hadn’t I just seen something similar in Feel The Beat? I couldn’t have been more wrong. While the movies share certain plot points, one is definitely superior to the other and that is this one.

Quinn Ackerman’s (Sabrina Carpenter) goal in life is to get into Duke University. That is the school where her dad went and if she can follow in his footsteps, she’s sure everything else will fall into place. How could she not get in? She’s head of student council, has an exceptional GPA, plays the cello and volunteers in a nursing home. On paper, Quinn is a shoo in.

Unfortunately for her, Duke has seen it all before. During her college admissions interview with Mrs. Veronica Ramirez (Michelle Butuea), Quinn is told that in order to get in, she will need to find another activity that will allow her to stand out from the crowd. They’re looking for individuality, not for everybody to have the same sort of qualifications.

So Quinn decides to sign up for her school’s prestigious dance team, The Thunderbirds. But when leader Julliard Pembrooke (Keiynan Lonsdale) won’t recruit her, Quinn has a better idea – she’ll start her own group! Together with the help of her best friend Jas (Liza Koshy), they put together a band of misfits who all share the love of dance. Recruiting well known talent Jake Taylor (Jordan Fisher) as choreographer, they only have a couple months to prepare for the Work It competition where Mrs. Ramirez will be watching.

A very sweet and fun story of learning to push yourself out of your comfort zone, Work It is a movie that will leave you smiling. The story, while predictable at times, is still endearing enough to keep you interested and the chemistry between Sabrina Carpenter and Jordan Fisher alone is enough to leave you positively melting.

In addition, the dance sequences were super impressive. There were routines in there that I had never seen before. The music was absolutely on point too.

If you are in the mood for something that will make you feel invincible, then this is the one for you!

Rating: ♥♥♥.5






The Secret: Dare To Dream

the secret

If you are a fan of the very popular book The Secret, then this is the movie for you. The concept of putting what you want out into the universe to attract positive thinking was a world phenomenon that people still believe in and practice today. When I heard they were making a movie about it, I knew this was something I had to check out. It is just the type of story that we need right now to give us a little hope.

Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes) attracts bad luck. Ever since her husband died five years ago, things haven’t been going her way. Juggling work at her boyfriend Tucker’s (Jerry O’Connell) restaurant, a house that is practically falling apart and three kids means that something as simple as a root canal takes a backseat. When a chance run in with Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas) occurs, Miranda’s life is changed almost in an instant.

A professor at Vanderbilt University, Bray is in town with a purpose. But what is his secret? Why does he keep extending his stay and how come he’s always turning up on Miranda’s doorstep offering to help her out?

A cute love story, this movie really does enable you to think about changing your thought process. While Miranda is struggling to see the good in her misfortunes, Bray is more spontaneous and easy going. The way he comes into her life and is seemingly welcomed with open arms by Miranda’s children really is heartwarming to see. And as Miranda starts to change her attitude, her luck changes which just goes to show that this method does actually work!

Though the acting was questionable at times and the storyline lacking in more depth, the meaning behind it at the end of the day makes this one worth a watch. Just don’t expect too much.

Rating: ♥♥.5

The Kissing Booth 2

the kissing booth 2

Teen movies are all the rage nowadays and I have to say that I can’t seem to get enough of them. No matter how cringe they may seem, I am so there. I had watched The Kissing Booth sometime back when it first came out on a whim. I didn’t know anything about it and only put it on because I was bored, but I remember being surprised at how much I liked it! So, when the second film came out last month, I was looking forward to it, but it had kind of fallen off of my radar? I need to stop disregarding this franchise because it really is great!

This movie starts off more or less after the events of the first one. Elle (Joey King) has just seen Noah (Jacob Elordi) off to the airport as he is about to begin his first year at Harvard University. While deciding to pursue the long distance thing, they both agree that giving each other some space to start off with is a good idea. This is beneficial for Elle who has to start thinking about what colleges she would like to apply to.

But when Noah asks her if she’d consider looking at Harvard, Elle feels like she is being pulled into two different directions. Ever since they were kids, it was always the plan for Elle and her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney) to go to Berkeley together. There is also the tiny detail that Elle’s dad doesn’t have too much in his savings to send her to such a prestigious school which she needs to consider.

When Elle finds out about a Dance Dance Revolution contest, she jumps at the chance to sign up. That’s her and Lee’s game and the prize money would be more than enough to pay her tuition. However, Lee has other things to worry about. His girlfriend Rachel (Meganne Young) is worried that Elle is imposing on their ‘couple time’ as she is alays trying to integrate herself into their plans. Lee, deciding it’s best to bow out of the contest, arranges for new kid Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez) to take his place. Marco and Elle start spending all of their spare time together and she can’t help it when sparks begin to fly. Maybe she wouldn’t be so confused about her feelings if Noah wasn’t spending so much of his time with classmate Chloe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and posting about it all over social media.

I like these films because they are, for the most part, realistic. Elle goes through various scenarios that an actual high school senior would which makes her relatable. In addition to that is the love story between Elle and Noah that just makes you want to swoon (we’ll just ignore the fact that Jacob Elordi seemed totally off during filming…)

The only thing that bothered me was how silly Elle and Noah were acting the whole time. I understand that the point of the storyline was to create conflict, but their actions were often foolish and could have very well been sorted by a simple conversation. There was a lot of back and forth between them and while you want them to work out, you can’t help but fall for Marco and Chloe’s charms at the same time. At least their bickering and arguments weren’t anything at all like Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky. At the end of the day, The Kissing Booth trilogy is the more superior for sure!

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

A Nice Girl Like You

a nice girl like you

Anything Lucy Hale touches turns to gold. Fact. She hasn’t starred in something I haven’t liked and I’m happy to report that the same applied here. A Nice Girl Like You only grabbed my attention about a week before it was set to come out and I knew then and there that I would add it to my list. Maybe my expectations were a bit too high going into it, but I’m still glad I watched this.

Lucy (Lucy Hale) is a nice girl. A violinist who always takes pride in sticking to the rules and playing it safe, her world is suddenly turned upside down when her long time boyfriend Jeff (Stephen Friedrich) breaks up with her. The reason? She’s uptight in every sense of the word and he can’t take it anymore.

So, Lucy decides to create a list of wild to dos that she hopes will get her to step outside of her comfort zone. With the help of her friends and fellow violinists Nessa (Jackie Cruz), Pricilla (Mindy Cohn) and Paul (Adhir Kalyan), Lucy is guided through all sorts of eye opening situations. Meanwhile, she keeps running into the dashing Grant (Leonidas Gulaptis) almost every where she turns. But there is one questions she cannot shake: does he really want to help her break free of her inhibitions or is there something else up his sleeve?

Funny and cute are the two words that come to mind when describing this film.  I liked how it didn’t shy far from real life situations especially if someone is dealing with a similar situation as Lucy was. There were definitely some laugh out loud moments as well as some cringe worthy ones. Overall though, you end up rooting for Lucy and hope that she gets her groove back and this makes those otherwise uncomfortable moments worth it.

The chemistry between Grant and Lucy was fun to watch, but I have to say that my favorite dynamic was actually the friendship between Lucy and her three besties. I could tell while watching that they really were supportive of her endeavors, no matter how strange they became. I mean, Paul even took her to a brothel! No normal friend would do that.

Unfortunately, the pacing was quite slow and I found myself checking the time (and my phone) throughout. It just did not hold my attention all the way through! Not only that, but I felt like the thing that ties it all together was missing and I was left wanting more.

Rating: ♥♥♥