Wednesday, May 23

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

2012. PG-13. 124 minutes. Starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson. Directed by John Madden. 

British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways. (imdb)

elizabeth: I think I can speak for Nicole (by putting my hand in her back and barely moving my lips) when I say we were both very excited about seeing The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The cast is a who’s who of some of the best British actors around. Okay, okay, Colin Firth was not available. I think he was on the set of Bridget Jones Goes Through Menopause.

This movie is a travelogue about India – a country I am not all that familiar with. Perhaps it is the poverty and the caste system that doesn’t pull me into discovering more about it. But this movie is a love story about the people who live in crowded conditions and as a westerner I was moved to see this and pleasantly surprised to see happy people. It almost felt that the story we came to experience was somewhere in the background. As much as I was drawn into India’s story, I was missing the Brits and their tales.

But when Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and the rest of this brilliant cast did show up and tell their stories, I was taken in and happily so. But I wanted more of their stories. My secret favorite (I guess it is not a secret anymore) is Ronald Pickup who was Howard the horny man on a mission.

Nicole: …ahem, can I speak now? Hope I didn’t give you splinters, cassidy. Though that is kinda what you deserve keeping me cooped up in that suitcase you drag from gig to gig. But I digress…

I enjoyed this movie, but not so much that I’d sit down to watch it again. Nor do I think it will be remembered come Oscar time (even if Dev Patel gave a wonderful performance as the near-do-well Sonny). That’s probably because the character development of this rather large cast was sloppy and ill-formed. Frankly, I think I knew more about the four or so elderly women sitting in the row in front of us than the actual cast of this movie. 

elizabeth:  I think the most important thing I am taking away from this movie is that age that does not mean that finding love and having a healthy love (sex) life is no longer a reality. (Thank God!!!)

And Dev Patel who portrayed Sonny Kapoor, the current owner of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel deserves an Oscar nomination. He made me believe that anything is possible. And how freaking great is that?

Nicole: It’s interesting that they were able to assemble such a star-studded English cast such as this with an underdeveloped script. I know it sounds like I hated this film – but I didn’t. Given what they were given, Dench and company nonetheless shined.  But a better plot with richer character focus would have served them well. 

So, I guess that means Cassidy and I are kinda/sorta disagreeing for the first time. But this was not the kicking and dragging fight I was hoping for. Oh well, better luck next time. 

The Film Fatales give The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


Wednesday, May 9

Movies We Insist You See: Romances

Admit it, you’re just as sappy as we are. (Maybe even more so, considering we’re two pretty tough broads.) For those moments when you want to have a good cry or feel all mushy inside, consider our must-see romantic movie picks. Have a box of tissues handy and some surefire way to retrieve your dignity. 

THE FILM FATALES' Top Romantic Movies

Nicole’s Picks

An Affair to Remember: Sure, a lot of it is cornball 1950s romance, but I defy you not to weep madly when Cary Grant discovers exactly why Deborah Kerr didn’t make it to the top of the Empire State Building that fateful night. And if you don’t, well—you’re obviously heartless.

Out of Africa: Streep and Redford. COME ON! With those two, you just know it’s gonna be great. And how it was, is, and always will be. I will never get over the scene with the lions. Ever. It’s just not gonna happen. I’m typing this and starting to well up. Must.move.on.

Gone with the Wind: It may be a cliché, but there’s nothing quite like Rhett’s unwavering love for that bitch of a belle Scarlet—even if they don’t end up happily ever after.  

 Wuthering Heights (1992): I admit to being a bit of a snob when it comes to adapting the classics into film—especially when it comes to the Bröntes. To date, this is the best version. Everything from art direction to cinematography—this version trumps all others by far. Not to mention a gripping portrayal by Ralph Fiennes (and his piercing blue eyes and jet black hair—smelling salts please!)  Fiennes and Juliet Binoche perfectly embody Heathcliff and Catherine. The coffin scene will have you struck dumb with sadness and awe. 

Sleepless in Seattle: What can I say? Everything’s right in the world when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are paired up. And the fact that my #1 pick plays heavily into this plotline is no coincidence. Never mind that Hanks and Ryan aren’t on screen together for nearly the entire movie—yet the romance still manages to hit fever pitch. How’d they do that?

 elizabeth’s Picks

The Way We Were: Redford and Streisand were the perfect couple in this doomed love story: so different and yet you want their love triumph over outside forces. Put down Fifty Shades of Grey and rent this movie and behold what real hot passion is all about. Come on, look at Redford’s face. Yeah, I don’t want him either.

When Harry Met Sally: I love films that have Manhattan as their backdrop and these two knuckleheads (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) did the avoidance dance until they realized that love was staring right at them. Plus, I think humor can be quite sexy and then there is that scene about the fake orgasm that makes me cheer. 
Yeah, like you haven’t been there before?
Annie Hall: Maybe it is me, but I love to see people who should not be together, be together. Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) and Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) are perfectly matched as a neurotic couple that can’t get their love on the same psychologist’s sofa.  And again, I think there is something sexy about intelligence and insecurity—something Allen does better than any other human being. I know my friends cover their ears when I say I think Woody is sexy and that I would sleep with him. Again. La-di-da, la-di-da, la la.

The Philadelphia Story: The 1940s had a lot of great romantic movies and I always thought how lucky Katharine Hepburn (Tray Lord) was to have Cary Grant (C.K. Dexter Haven—the name of our fist family dog) as her husband although he was a bit of a drinker and she kicks him out of the house. And then Hepburn’s character decides to remarry. Oh really? Is Cary Grant in the house?

The Last of the Mohicans: Okay, this was not filmed anywhere close to Manhattan, but I will sum this up in three words: Daniel Day Lewis. Daniel Day Lewis in long hair and in love. That is all I need. And there is some storyline going on between him being on and off the screen. Who cares?

Wednesday, May 2

Introducing THE FILM FATALES Rating System

We admit it, we're no ordinary duo. 

As two sassy broads, we knew the old-fashioned 4-star rating system for reviewing movies wasn't gonna cut it. We wanted something that screamed US! And, what better way to do that than with a spicy red stiletto? Hmm?

So, with much fanfare and drama (as we're wont to deliver at any given moment), we introduce:


Four Stilettos
For those movies that really knock our fishnets off. The cream of the crop. The bee's knees of cinematic excellence earns not one, not two or three -- but four sassy, red stilettos.

Three and a Half Stilettos
For those films that are near perfect, but just don't quite deserve a perfect score, there's the three-and-a-half stiletto rating.

Three Stilettos
For those movies that are really and truly great, but not quite good enough to get you that 4.0 GPA you were hoping for. Still admirable, but not head of the class.

Two and a Half Stilettos
For those cinematic misadventures that are really just phoning it in and are hardly worth the celluloid they're printed on. Those half-in-the-can matinee specials. You know the ones.

Two Stilettos
For those films that really don't deserve to be called films. To be honest, these movies would have been better off debuting on DVD.

One and a Half Stilettos
For those movies you're too embarrassed to admit you paid good money to see. The kind of movie that robs you of time, patience, and sanity.

One Stiletto
For those movies that are so God-awful you're left wondering "what in Sam Hill was Hollywood thinking"? Watching Aunt Irma's trip to the Grand Canyon slideshow is time better spent than wasting precious hours on crap like this.

So, that's the scoop! Look for our new rating system to appear at the end of each post. Buckle up, ladies and gents, it's bound to be a bumpy ride ;)