Author: Rowena

Review: Gifted

Posted November 15, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Gifted (2017)

Starring: Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan
Director: Marc Webb
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1:41
Movie Type: Drama

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

I have lost count of how many times I’ve watched this movie since it came out but with each viewing, I love the movie just a little bit more.

Frank’s sister died and left her genius daughter for Frank to raise in a normal upbringing. So Frank moves to Florida with little Mary, in an effort to give her as normal a life as he can. Mary’s mother was just as gifted and intelligent as Mary is but her life was filled with math question after math question and she didn’t want that for Mary. That was why she turned to Frank. Everything was going great until Mary became old enough to attend to public school.

You can’t hide a brain that big and Mary, well, Mary is a memorable character. She’s bright and she’s funny and she’s so full of love and wisdom for someone so small that she literally made this movie. That’s saying something because Captain freaking America plays her Uncle.

So, Mary becomes involved in a custody battle between her Uncle and her Grandmother. The grandmother that her mother didn’t want to raise her. They’re both fighting for what they think is right, at least that’s how it seems but Frank, mostly, Frank is fighting for Mary. He’s fighting for Mary to have the life that her mother didn’t have. He’s fighting for the Mary to have what her mother wanted her to have and that whole thing broke my heart because through it all, Mary is left pretty much on her own.

Frank wasn’t the perfect guardian for Mary. No, he was selfish and he was dumb but at his core, he was a good guy. He didn’t love Mary because she was smart or because she was cute. He just loved Mary and I adored him.

This movie kept my attention from beginning to end. I came to care for all of the characters in this movie (well, most of them anyway) and Mary and Frank wormed their way into my heart. I laughed and I cried and I was completely charmed with this movie so yes, I highly recommend this to everyone.

My favorite quote:

“He’s a good person. He wanted me before I was smart.”

Movie Trailer

My Rating

5 out of 5


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Review: Table 19

Posted November 8, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Table 19

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Tony Revolori, Stephen Merchant
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1:27
Movie Type: Comedy, Drama

Ex-maid of honor Eloise (Anna Kendrick) – having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text – decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend’s wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the ‘random’ table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets (but not before sending something nice off the registry). As everyone’s secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the denizens of Table 19. Friendships – and even a little romance – can happen under the most unlikely circumstances.

I’m kind of bummed that we haven’t had very many new romantic comedies to watch over the last couple of years. There’s mostly action hero movies and kiddie movies and lots and lots of dramatic movies but romantic comedies have been pretty sparse. When this movie came onto my radar, I knew that I wanted to watch it because 1) It looked pretty funny and 2) Anna Kendrick. There isn’t much that I wouldn’t do for Anna Kendrick.

Mostly, I look like this every time AK has a new movie coming out…

I watched this a while ago but I rented it over the weekend again just because I felt like it and I liked it all over again.

Eloise is attending her oldest friends wedding by herself and that wouldn’t be a big deal if she was supposed to be the Maid of Honor in the wedding (and isn’t anymore) and she wasn’t dumped via text by the Best Man, who also happens to be the bride’s brother. Sucking it up, Eloise attends the wedding and isn’t at all surprised that they sat her at Table 19.

You see, Table 19 is…

“The table that should have known to send regrets but not before sending something nice off the registry. The table that could disappear in the middle of the wedding and nobody would notice…”

So, Eloise is at this wedding, sitting with a bunch of strangers and over the course of the day, this table of strangers become friends and their shenanigans had me cracking up all over the place. This was such a fun movie to watch on a lazy weekend because it’s filled with a great cast with great chemistry and a female lead that is just too adorable for words. There’s also a pretty big plot twist and that was fun. So really, if you’re in the mood for something fast, cute and fun…check this movie out.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

4 out of 5


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Throwback Thursday (23)

Posted November 2, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

When Mormon kids are in high school, they attend early morning bible and BOM study that we call Seminary. It’s a pretty big deal because if you wanted to go out with your friends on the weekend, you better not miss any days of Seminary or you can count your weekend plans out. At least that’s how it was when I was growing up and it was the same deal with Brenna. It’s especially hard to want to go to Seminary because class starts every morning at 5:55AM and lets out at 6:45AM. What teenager do you know that wants to get up that early every morning to read the scriptures?

Brenna graduated from high school this past year and I was cleaning out my emails when I came across an old email from her Seminary teacher. Here’s what it said.

Hi parents. I have a couple of quick questions for you that will help with our lesson tomorrow. Is there a specific meaning to your child’s name? And, was there a specific reason you chose your child’s name?

So, of course, I had to forward that email to all of my friends and my sisters while I pondered how I was going to tell Brenna’s Seminary teacher that Brenna was named after a heroine in one of my romance novels.

The heroine from this book in particular:

The Wedding (Laird’s Fiancee’s #2) by Julie Garwood

It’s a classic plot: a marriage of convenience that lays the groundwork for true love.

1119. Journeying from England to Scotland to wed a highlander, Lady Brenna had resigned herself to the arranged match. But when a band of fierce, painted warriors captured her en route, she fearlessly met their demand to marry their leader — the quick-tempered laird Connor MacAlister. She couldn’t know that her capture was merely the first act of vengeance against her betrothed, Connor’s sworn enemy.

Brenna harbored no illusions that her husband was in love with her; after a hasty forest wedding, MacAlister assured her she could return home once she had borne him a son. But she could not deny that she had once proposed to MacAlister — ten years ago, when she was just a child, and the visitor to her father’s castle charmed her with his dazzling, unexpected smile. Now, as she sets out to win the brave chieftain whom she has come to adore, a legacy of revenge ensnares Brenna in a furious clan war — and only her faith in her gallant hero can save her….

Hahaha, can you imagine what was going through Brenna’s Seminary teacher’s head as I told her that I named my daughter after a girl in one of my smutty romance novels?

The exact romance where my most memorable scene is this one:

She let him know how much she liked what he was doing by scoring his back with her nails and crying out with pleasure.

“Oh, God.”

“Nay, lass. Connor.”

Hahahaha, I had a good laugh at that. Oh, the good ol’ days.


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