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Friday Film Review: Everyone Says I Love You

Friday Film Review: Everyone Says I Love You

Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
Genre: Musical comedy
Grade: B

Is there a genre of movie that Woody Allen hasn’t tried? Since I’m not his biggest fan, I can’t say for sure but he certainly has turned his hand to most of them by this time. “Everyone Says I Love You” is another one of those fortuitous Netflix recommendations that’s worked out for me.

Recently I decided to rent it again to see if it would work for a Friday Film Review and discovered that it’s no longer in print and can’t be rented. Major bummer. But once again it was Half.com to the rescue though I did wait a few months to see if the prices would come down a bit. When someone posted it for a more reasonable price, I pounced.

The story revolves around a wealthy New York family. Bob (Alan Alda) and Steffi (Goldie Hawn) have two daughters and a son between them while Steffi and her first husband Joe, have two daughters: Skylar (Drew Barrymore), DJ (Natasha Lyonne) who acts as the narrator, Lane (Gabby Hoffman), Laura (Natalie Portman) and Scott (Lukas Haas). Skylar is engaged to Holden (Edward Norton) and Joe has terrible luck with women.

DJ attempts to help her dad by telling him all about a beautiful woman, Von (Julia Roberts), who’s caught his eye while they are in Venice. Meanwhile back in New York hilarity and mayhem erupt as Skylar breaks off her engagement to Holden once she meets an ex-con, Charles Ferry (Tim Roth) whose cause has been championed by her socially conscious, rich mother Steffi.

There are a few other subplots such as DJ’s man of the week and Scott’s sudden turn towards conservative Republicanism but the main questions are: will Joe finally find the relationship of his dreams and who will Skylar end up with?

After watching the movie and beginning to look back on it, the plot seems to be mainly cobbled together as a framework to hang the songs on. Allen has picked some great ones – My Baby Just Cares for Me, Makin’ Whoopie, Everyone Says I Love You, I’m Through with Love, Enjoy Yourself, Cuddle Up a Little Closer and many more. The dance numbers are fun from the salesmen in Harry Winston’s to the medical staff and patients at the hospital Skylar and Holden have to go to after she accidentally swallows the engagement ring Holden put in her dessert.

The Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment is to die for as are the locations in Venice and Paris. It must be nice to have that kind of money. Sigh…Everyone looks lovely, dresses divinely and, amazingly, sings rather well. Well, maybe except for Woody Allen in one number you can barely hear him in and apparently Drew Barrymore who’s so tone deaf she had to be dubbed. There’s also a neat dance between Goldie Hawn and Woody Allen with Goldie on a wire harness that floats her around the stage.

Since it’s basically an all star cast and the secondary characters are only on screen very briefly, I can’t say much about them except that they seem to do a good job in their small parts. One thing I have to say is that I hope Woody Allen is now over casting himself as the love interest of beautiful women.

For anyone interested in the movie, I’d say try (if you can) to try it first before unloading any money on it. The DVD (from 1998) is just the basic nuts and bolts with no extras beyond subtitles. It’s funny, frothy and enjoyable – just what a musical should be.

~Jayne

FTC discloser – I bought this with my own money.

REVIEW: A Friend at Midnight by Caroline B Cooney

REVIEW: A Friend at Midnight by Caroline B Cooney

Dear. Ms Cooney,

038573326701lzzzzzzzYour book got put in my Fictionwise Wish List a while back when I was suddenly overcome by the desire to check out Young Adult titles listed there. I was looking for something that wasn’t about cliques, or BFFs, or clothes or boyfriend problems.

Lily has settled into life in Connecticut after her parent’s divorce but it’s been harder on her eight-year-old brother Michael. After their mother remarries, her brother chooses to go live with his father in Washington, D.C., until the day he calls home from the Baltimore-Washington Airport where his father has abandoned him. Lily is home babysitting her baby stepbrother when she answers the phone. She has no idea the extent to which her faith in God will be tested. There is no choice for Lily. She will rescue Michael, but will she be able to rescue herself from the bitterness and anger she feels?

Yep, this description fit the bill. When Fictionwise offered their awesome filled micropay rebate, I loaded up on books including “A Friend at Midnight.”

When I decided to buy it, I completely missed the part of the blurb that makes the book sound much more like a teenage inspirational angst drama. Which is a good thing since that isn’t a good description of what’s here. Yes, there are scenes in church and Lily does have a fair amount of bitterness over what her no good, lousy, sh*t of a father did to her younger brother. But while in a way the whole aftermath is a test of faith for her, we the readers don’t get preached at or lectured to about it.

The relationship between Lily and her two younger brothers (full and step) is wonderful. Michael is the one devastated by his father’s rejection while Nathaniel shows the carefree innocence that only a two year old can manage to hang onto these days. Michael is forced to begin to grow up a lot sooner than he should have while Nathaniel views their one day adventure as a magical trip that he tries to get the grownups to believe he and Lily took.

Meanwhile, Lily is awed by the faith her brother shows that she’ll somehow get him out of the precarious mess his feckless father put him in and all the more determined to succeed because of it. After she pulls it off, she gives into Michael’s pleas to remain quiet since he doesn’t want the family and everyone to whom he bragged that he was going to live with his father to know what was said to him as his father basically pushed Michael out of his car. Eight year olds should never hear what was said to him.

And so Lily has to keep the truth bottled up – except for telling her best friend Amanda – and hope that Michael will return to being the daredevil eight year old he was before all this happened instead of remaining the quiet, mannered child who holds his hurt inside and somehow still longs for the father who doesn’t want him anymore.

Since the action is centered on the younger children of the family, their mother, stepfather and older college age sister are a little more like ciphers in comparison but that’s only because Lily, Michael and Nathaniel are so alive and vivid. Kells, their “dusty blue recliner kind of guy” stepfather is actually the one who notices much more than Lily would like. While older sister Reb – “please call me Rebecca now” – turns out to be the one who finally brings all the hurt and events of the past year out in the open.

What I really like about the book is that no one is perfect and, except for Dennis the asshole father, none are totally bad. I can understand why Michael still wants to spend time with the man who dropped him off at a major airport with no money or plane ticket. Nathaniel is a two year old who is subject to meltdowns when he’s tired. Reb, who knows nothing of what her father did, can’t understand why Lily loathes him. And Lily did such a good job covering her tracks and keeping mum that her mother doesn’t know to be furious with her ex, Dennis Rosetti, Scorpion Man.

The subtle humor kept me laughing throughout the story. Yes, the initial set up is exaggerated but once into the dynamics of the family, every thing felt more realistic. I sort of agree with their mother about Reb being ready to get married at nineteen but if she can’t wait until graduation, then Freddie – oh, what an awful last name – Crumb seems like a wonderful son-in-law.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started “A Friend at Midnight,” but what I got was wonderful. A-

~Jayne

This book can be purchased in paperback from Amazon or ebook format from the Sony Store.