Tag Archives: Sex and the City

It’s an American Thing

My favorite city in America is San Francisco with its Golden Gate Bridge. I can image myself living in one of the city’s terraces on a steep hill. A New York loft in Soho comes in a close second, just a short subway ride from Central Park.

And then there is Las Vegas, where you can see the whole world in one place, San Diego where you can see all the animals in the whole world in one place and Los Angeles where you can see all the stars in the whole world in one place.

One of my favorite trips in America was a Californian road trip along Route 66 and Big Sur- seeing the natural beauty of Joshua Tree National Park and the Grand Canyon plus the man made mansion Hearst Castle along the way. California just has so much to offer. There are ghost towns in the desert, seals on the coast and redwoods in Yosemite.

My bestie is from the tiny town of Stuart, Nebraska- a four-hour drive through cornfields from Omaha. I was lucky enough to be included in their annual 4th July celebrations and it was really something special to be welcomed as one of the family.

Of course, my love affair with American culture started early on with Snow White and a trip to Disneyland. I always wondered what it would be like to go to a real American high school like in Buffy, or a real American college like in Beverly Hills 90210 or go to a football game with real American cheerleaders like in Hellcats.

Anne Rice and Twilight peaked my interest in visiting the Deep South and Washington State. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals have made me want to visit Georgia and New Orleans. Gilmore Girls makes me want to go to New England and let’s not forget Sex and the City for New York inspiration, cosmopolitan style.

Which brings me to shopping of course. You can get anything you want at ridiculously low prices compared to Australia, which probably explains why most of us shop online these days.

There is the tasty simplicity of the classic American diner, the best Mexican food and margarita’s outside of Mexico and buffalo ribs smoked the right way. If you have room for desert, there is jello pie, smores and Twizzlers.

The country is so varied, that I can see why you may never want to leave. If you want mountains, you can go to Colorado, if you want water parks, you go to Florida, if you want a history lesson, you go to Washington DC.

I would love to visit a plantation in Louisiana, party for a night in Miami and drift up the coast of Oregon. It would be great to stay in a Boston brownstone, a Chicago skyscraper or a Hampton’s mansion.

The people are friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic about their country. Yes, America has a bit of something for everyone, and I guess that’s what makes the country so great in the first place.

Related posts: It’s a Canadian Thing, San Francisco, 2007- Part 1: Falling in love again, Las Vegas, 2007, USA Road tip, 2007Disneyland, 2007, Los Angeles, 2007New York, 2005, Part 2: Sex and the City Style, TV replays and movie marathons, USA, 1990

What came in best- the book or the movie?

After seeing Gone Girl on the long weekend, I got to thinking about movies based on books.

The general rule is that the book is always better than the movie. I think this is because your own imagination is better than anything they can produce in Hollywood. It is also a testament to the quality of writing that provides the back story and inner thoughts of the characters as the action unfolds.

In the case of Gone Girl, I think the movie was better in some ways. By not providing her back story, the lead character Amy seems even more terrifying. However, the media beat up about the ending being different was wrong – the last line was different, but the result was the same.

Also, as much as I love him, I don’t think Ben Affleck being cast as Nick was the right choice. He was just not slick enough and not how I imagined the character to be at all. Perhaps Matt Damon would have been a better choice? (ha ha!).

I had a similar problem with Twilight. In the book, the character was a strong female, but in the first movie Kristen Stewart was just whiny! The trilogy did improve as the confidence of the actors and special effects did, but the inner dialogue between the wolves was not the best- although it is a hard concept to communicate through film.

One Day stayed true to the book, but somehow still missed the mark in making the transition from good film to great film. Perhaps due to the casting?

He’s just not that into you was very well done- I liked the intersecting stories and the casting was brilliant. I think the movie was actually far better than the book as it fictionalised the non-fiction which made it more personal.

Both the Devil Wears Prada and Confessions of a Shopaholic were excellent as books and as movies. The light hearted content make them very adaptable. Kudos to fellow Aussie chick Isla Fisher for playing the kooky character Becky in the latter perfectly- one might say even better than in the book.

Bridget Jones’s Diary was a great movie which earned a bit of a cult following. The sequel, not so much. Both movies stayed true to the book, so I’m not really sure what happened there?!

The same thing happened with the Sex and the City movie. First film good, second one a flop. Perhaps sequels are never as good as the originals. I’m pretty sure that was a lesson we already learnt in the 80’s right?!

The first Lord of the Rings movie was nowhere near as good as the books and I stopped watching after the first one. As previously mentioned, my dad used to read the books to me as a child, so perhaps my memory will always be greater than the movies.

I thought Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet was a very clever adaption to bring Shakespeare’s play into the 20th Century. The racy music and well-timed action would have been easy to understand even for those without the knowledge of the playwright and ye olde English.

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire didn’t have enough of Louis’s back story at the beginning, but made up for it in the greatly gothic rest of the film. The sequel, The Queen of the Damned, was a terrible adaptation of the book. Anne Rice was not involved in the screenplay (as she was in Interview with the Vampire), which is an essential ingredient in a successful book to movie shift.

So here you have it- my golden rules for a successful adaptation from book to movie:

  1. Stay true to the book content
  2. Appropriate character casting
  3. Get the author of the book involved in the movie screenplay
  4. Don’t bother with the sequel

Cut!

Related posts: Random Public Holiday RamblingsTV Replays and Movie Marathons, Books, books and more books

TV Replays and Movie Marathons

When I was younger, Berry did not get commercial television. I used to rush home from school every day to watch Sesame Street, Postman Pat and Mr Squiggle. My punishment for being naughty was not being grounded, but being grounded from television.

When I went to visit my cousins in Canada as a teenager I was amazed at the number and channels and the variety of shows that they had. They introduced me to Beverly Hills 90210 and I was already a fan by the time it aired in Australia. I grew up with the show through high school and used to write plot summaries and buy the magazine. I also watched the spin off, Melrose Place.

Anyone who was invited to my thirtieth birthday party knows that my all-time favourite show is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After having watched the original movie dozens of times, I was very happy when the TV series started and then came Angel as the spin off, Kindred: the Embraced and now The Vampire Diaries and the spin off The Originals.

I liked the strong women element in Buffy, so I also enjoyed Charmed, Sex and the City and the spin off Lipstick Jungle.

I dreamed of American college life in great cities and got right into Felicityset in New York, Party of Five set in San Francisco and Hellcats about competitive college cheer leading.

When reality television came out I thought it would never last. Thank god for re-released box sets and the revamping of the old nineties hits into the new 90210 and the new Melrose Place to fill the void.

But I eventually got hooked on Temptation Island, The Bachelor and The Amazing Race just like everyone else.

My mum loves the movies and got me hooked on movie marathons as a teenager.

My top movie marathons by genre from classic to new are:

  • American just for entertainment fluffy films- Clueless or My Best Friend’s Wedding, followed by Bring It On or The Sweetest Thing, finish with a visit to the cinema to watch The Other Woman
  • Supernatural- Dracula or The Craft, followed by Underworld and then Red Riding Hood- one of the more recent movies cleverly based on the darker side of fairy tales
  • Tragic love stories- Romeo and Juliet or Chasing Amy, followed by Closer, finish with a visit to the cinema to watch of a French film for a dose of reality and relationships
  • Comedy cult movies- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Van Wilder: Party Liaison, followed by Hitch and then The Hangover
  • Action films- Point Break, Charlie’s Angels and Layer Cake
  • Scary, but not really scary films- Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Final Destination- scary films these days are too real for me
  • Reese Witherspoon- Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama
  • Kate Hudson- How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, Le Divorce and Bride Wars
  • Jennifer Anniston- Along Came Polly, The Break Up (Vince Vaughn is also hilarious) and Just Go With It.

Happy watching!

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