Friday, February 15, 2019

Lovely Blog Party || My Top Ten Love Songs NOT from Musical Theatre

These are in no order, by the way. ;)

✾ "Love Story" - Taylor Swift ✾

If the opening bars of this song don't Take You Back, then I don't know what to say about your despoiled tweenhood.  

This song is basically the quintessential love song, to me. <3 It's not the most emotional or stirring, but it delivers ALLLL the nostalgia and the classic fairytale feel. :)

✾ "This Love" - Taylor Swift ✾

The instrumentals on this song are so cool.  The whole sound is muffled and dreamlike, and it works so well in painting a picture of the lyrics ("lantern burning flickered in my mind for only you").  It's really cool.  

(AND ALSO THIS SONG WAS MADE TO BE PUT IN A RARIAN FAN VID, BY THE WAY.  It was just made for it, I tell you.)

✾ "Oh, My Love" - The Score ✾

IT'S SO HAPPYYYYYYYY. *hugs self contentedly*  

Listen to this one, too.  It will brighten your day, just like "Daffodils" from Big Fish in the other day's post.

✾ "Hypnotize Me" - Taylor Berrett ✾

This one, too.  Very happy and . . . I don't know . . . almost boho-sounding?  Idk but I like it.

✾ "Stand By You" - Rachel Platten ✾

I love how upbeat and anthemic this song is, and how good the message is.  Stand by your peeps, peeps. 

✾ "Shut Up and Dance" - Walk the Moon ✾

Here's a fact about me: I am not a dancer.  Not classically, not casually.  I don't dance, really, very much at all.

However . . . I've loved this song since it first came out.  It makes me so happy. :D

✾ "Something I Need" * - OneRepublic ✾

*Warning: This does have one curse word in it.

I only heard this for the first time fairly recently, but I really like it.  It's gotten under my skin, as it were.

✾ "Arms" - Christina Perri ✾

This song is special to me for a non-romantic reason, but I still appreciate it as a romantic song. :)  

✾ "For the Dancing and the Dreaming" ✾

And all the HTTYD fans said, "Amen." ;D  I had never really noticed this song until the Hollenses covered it.  Now, I'm all but sure that it'll be the first dance song at my wedding. 

✾ "Lingering" - Sheppard ✾

Another very recent find to which I've quickly grown attached.  It has such a nice, mellow, innocent feel to it.  (To clarify, I don't really think that one should just "wait around" for one's better half, but I love this song just the same.)

Also, "Saturn" by Sleeping at Last probably should be on this list, because it's one of the best I've ever heard, but it's also kind of too emotional for me to listen to on a regular basis.  I mean, it crushes my feels, as it were.  So, yeah.  That's why it's not on this list. :-P

What are some of your favorite love songs?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lovely Blog Party || The Truly Romantic Tag

Happy Valentine's Day, my loves!

Here I am to answer the tag for this blog party.

Isn't it romantic to be serenaded?
NO.  Oh my goodness, no.  I do not understand this historic fad. :-P

I mean, if someone prerecords a song and you listen to it via a video or something, that can be sweet and romantic.  But sitting in front of someone while they sing a romantic song that is specifically directed at you?  No, thank you.  (Not for me, anyway.)

Isn't it romantic to have pet names for each other?
Yes!  As long as the names are nice and not gross or overly weird, and as long as moderation is used.  (PLEASE don't be a couple who never calls each other by your given names.  That's just obnoxious.) 

Isn't it romantic if he wants you to look him in the eye?
I suppose?  But, then again, several other lovely participants have pointed out some of the less savory consequences of such an idea (i.e. awkwardness, forcing something, etc.).  So perhaps it bears more careful scrutiny. :-P

Isn't it romantic to be carried across the threshold?
Well, it can be nice, but doesn't it originate from the rape of the Sabine women? *Googles it*  Hmm, looks like there was a combination of traditional causes . . . 

Anyway, um, I guess whatever floats your boat!  I don't know that I personally am crazy about it/would want it done to me, but . . . yeah.  You do you. :D

Isn't it romantic to receive flowers and chocolates?
Sure, it can be!  

Isn't it romantic to get caught in the rain?
I am a sucker for rain scenes, I'll admit.

Isn't it romantic to dance?
Yes!  It's so sweet. 

Isn't it romantic if he asks for your parent's permission to marry you?
I don't know if romantic is the first word that springs to mind, but it's cool!

(Although, actually, I will say, I don't think it's necessary.  I think it's nice to ask for the parents' blessing, but I don't believe that parents need to grant permission, per se, in most cases.)

Isn't it romantic to be rescued?
Again, I am a sucker for stories in which the guy rescues or is protective of the girl.  But that can go vice versa, too!

Isn't it romantic to stargaze?
Yeah, it's cute. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Lovely Blog Party || My Top Ten Love Songs from Musical Theatre

I love musical theatre.  (I hope we all knew that, even though I don't talk about musicals on this blog as much as I could.)  I like daydreaming about performing in my dream roles, and I love listening to the romantic centerpieces of many of my favorite soundtracks.  So, since Cordy is hosting this wonderful blog party, I decided now would be a perfect time to give musicals some blog space.

These are my ten favorite love songs from musical theatre as of now.  As with almost any of my top ten lists, they are subject to change any moment. :-P

#10. "In a Crowd of Thousands" - Anastasia

(Derek and Christy are the cutest, goodbye.)

I like the melody and the duet elements of this one.  It all flows and rolls together well, and it's a neat moment with Anya remembering who she is.

#9. "All I Ask of You" - The Phantom of the Opera

So, unpopular opinion time: I don't actually think this is, like, one of the greatest love songs out there.  I've always kinda been like, " . . . But see that's kind of a lot to ask of a person." xP  

However, that said,  it does have some gorgeous melodies and high notes and such. :)

#8. "Ten Minutes Ago" - Cinderella

I came across this fairly recently, but I really like it.  It's simple and lilting and enchanting, very fairytale-esque. 

#7. "Isn't It Kinda Fun?" - State Fair

This is a flirty, fun little song, perfect for couples that are typically "love 'em and leave 'em" types but that now find themselves thinking a little more seriously about the other person in the equation. 

#6. "When the Children Are Asleep" - Carousel

"When today is a long time ago, you'll still hear me say that the best dream I know is you."

D'aaawwwwwwww. *hugs the song*

I would love to perform in Carousel someday as Julie Jordan, but this song makes me want to play Carrie, too.  It's such an adorable, pure duet. 

#5. "I Could Have Danced All Night" - My Fair Lady

I want to play Eliza Doolittle so muuuuuuuuuuch. *cries a little*

This song is exuberant and joyful and all kinds of thrilling to sing (the last note *delicious sigh*).  My only complaint about it is that it is pretty repetitive.  

Ah, well.  I still love it. ;)

#4. "Elaborate Lives" - Aida

Aida is life.  I love this entire album so much, and this song especially makes me Feel Things from the very first bars. 

#3. "If I Loved You" - Carousel

(It's difficult to find one single version of this song that I feel accurately captures what I love about it, since the song is typically sung in duet or reprise form.  I don't love this one, but Laura Osnes is, after all, Laura Osnes, so we'll take what we can get. ;-P)

I love this song.  It's really simple (and, again, a little repetitive), but something about it tugs at my crochety old heartstrings.  (Heh, just kidding.  My heartstrings are anything but crochety.  I will feel anything about anything, all day long.)  It's got a very romantic feel, to me.  (And, of course, it's quite wistful, something I'm generally a sucker for.)

#2. "Daffodils" - Big Fish


You guys.

Listen to this one.  Seriously.  It will brighten your day, you see if it doesn't.

#1. "Come What May" - Moulin Rouge

The soundtrack version of this song is good, too, but I prefer this one because it's more dramatic and has some goosebump-raising choral contributions.  (And the ending is higher and more orchestral and just bigger.  So, naturally, I prefer it. :-P)  However, I couldn't find a suitable video of this particular version of the song, other than this Faramir + Eowyn video.  (I utterly love this fan video, but hadn't been planning to use it in this post since I was considering it for an upcoming one.  But I guess today's the day!)  So, you get doubly blessed!  An incredible song and an emotional LotR video.   Lucky you. :)

As a disclaimer, I have not watched Moulin Rouge and do not intend to.  However, this particular selection is phenomenal (and appropriate).

It's really quite something, this song.  I don't even know what to say about it; you just have to listen to it.

(Plus, again, that video.  Sheesh.  I mean, the last minute and a half . . . CHILLS, I tell you.  Real, actual chills.)

What are your favorite musical-y romance ballads? ;)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Lovely Blog Party || Unexpected Endings in Romantic Stories: A Thesis {not really}

*Spoilers for several movies/books/shows follow!*

(Dream with me, folks.)

You're watching Roman Holiday.

You are, as any rational human bean would be, enchanted by the breezy and dynamic pairing of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn as a spontaneous couple.

You're very muchly feeling the black-and-white authenticity of Italian culture that the film portrays.

You are waiting patiently to see when and how the aforementioned b. and d. Peck and Hepburn will "end up together."

You receive a slight scare when the two of them have an emotional (and unduly nuzzle-y: geez, control yourselves, kids) farewell scene, BUT, Peck is about to storm the gates of the palace and surprise Hepburn by revealing his identity as a journalist, and she will fling duty to the wind and flee the embassy with him, using a stray motorcycle as a getaway car.

You're all set.  There he waits behind the security line, and there she appears around the corner.  Any minute now.  Any minute now, she's going to do all that flinging and fleeing.

And then . . .

She doesn't.

She is Quite Clearly Affected, and he appears to be having a few emotions as well, but . . .

No flinging.  No fleeing.

Hepburn turns coolly and disappears behind the corner whence she first appeared, and Peck saunters pensively out through the grandiose marble halls.

And Hepburn doesn't appear in a sudden surprise ending, running to him in raptures.

He just leaves.  She just stays.

So you whisper, "What the what?!"

And yet, somehow, though you may be disappointed, you don't really feel (at least, I didn't) as though the movie ended badly.  'Tis a bittersweet conclusion, to be sure, but you do not feel as if you've been cheated of resolution.

Why is that?  Why do some romantic stories in which the guy and the girl do not categorically and unequivocally end up together work while others don't?

Well, to be totally honest with you . . . I don't know, my friends.  I actually have no real idea of where this exploration will go, but it seemed like a good post idea at the time.  But let's see what we can dig up by way of an answer, shall we?

I believe that, for me, the main thing that causes me to dislike this phenomenon is when a movie (or book, or TV show, or whatever) has a romance in it and then the romance disintegrates (or is not resolved) for no apparent reason.

I can't stand it when filmmakers try to invest the viewer in a couple only to leave that couple hanging with faulty resolution (or none whatsoever) when it doesn't look like anybody has learned anything from the romance.

Don't insert a romance if it goes nowhere and benefits nobody.  If I as the viewer don't learn anything from a couple, however briefly they maintain that status; and if they as the characters don't seem to learn  anything, either; then what was the point?!?!

On the other hand, if you leave a couple unresolved--or, as in Roman Holiday, fairly explicitly leave it as a "they are never going to be together" kind of thing--but you successfully explain to me why that's the case, or why that should be the case, or why it's okay that that's the case, or teach me a valuable lesson through that short-lived romance, then I can be content.

I can also countenance an open-ended, ambiguous ending if it's a situation in which it's open to debate whether the couple should even be (or even is) a couple.  (Think Eliza & Higgins. *coughs*)

Let's test this by examining a few different couples, shall we?

Ann & Joe (Roman Holiday): We've covered this already.

Nola & Print (Broken Trail):  *sigh*  I'm kind of undecided about how these two end.  I think it serves to heighten the gravitas of the movie, obviously; and it highlights the fact that neither is perfect (especially Print).  On the other hand . . . I don't know.  Since I love both of them but am not super super attached to them as a couple, I can at least live with it.  Especially given the very end, with Nola's letter. *sniffle*

Eve & Much (Robin Hood):  Oh, so all you need to completely forget Eve and your promise to her is a glimpse of Kate's pretty face, Much?!  *glares at him* A stern word is needed, young man. A STERN WORD.

(So yeah, I didn't like this.  Though maybe my opinion would change with a re-watch.)

Lizzie & . . . The Stranger?? (Apparently he's not even given a name??  *sigh*  I can't with this movie . . . ) (Dear Frankie):  I've already mentioned this couple a few times, so y'all probably remember that this is one example of this kind of ending that I Strongly Dislike.  Like, seriously, had the makers even heard the term 'closure' before?!  *SPOILERS*  He just walks off into an alley and that's it?!  YOU WANNA RUN THAT BY ME AGAIN?!?!

Really, I'm over it.  It's fine.

Annie & Jack (Penelope):  This is fine because obviously they're going to end up together eventually. <3  (I mean, the movie doesn't actually do much of  anything to indicate that that will be the case, but I have a sense about these things.)

Rebecca & Ivanhoe (Ivanhoe):  Good potential, but not, I think, exactly right for each other.  So, I'm good with it.

Rory & Jess (Gilmore Girls):  Urrrrrgggghhhhh DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED.

(They will end up together.  They will.  But the fact that the show didn't leave us with any assurance of that bOtHeRs Me.  I have so many complaints.)

Liesel & Max (The Book Thief):  I BELIEVE THEY ENDED UP TOGETHER.  I refuse to believe that they did not.  So there.

(But I'm okay with the fact that it's not a for-sure-and-certain thing, because that allows people to interpret the end in their own way.)

Eliza & Higgins (My Fair Lady):  Same goes for these two.  My personal opinion?  They probably do end up together--after Higgins has made some Significant Changes in his life. :-P

HOWEVER, I respect your right to be repulsed by the bare idea of the two of them together in a romantic way, and therefore I appreciate the open-to-interpretation nature of the ending.

That's really all I've got for now.  I don't know.  I was expecting this to be a more put-together post, but . . .

Monday, February 4, 2019

Lovely Blog Party || Corny couples I can't (or couldn't) help but like.

[To clarify, these are a few couples that at least come from slightly cheesier films.  I don't want to offend anybody by calling your favorite couple corny--definitely not--but I just know for me personally that some of these movies are ones that I might feel a tad embarrassed to admit to liking. ;-P  Not all of them (not Knight and Day, for instance), but some of them (*cough*John Carter*cough*).]  

I know that these romances are corny, but I'm easily affected!  I can't help it!

So don't judge me. ;-P

✾ John & Dejah ✾
John Carter

*cringes a little*  Honestly, this is probably the cheesiest movie on the list (start out with a bang, and all that), and I believe I remember thinking even while watching it that I definitely should not have been being affected by the romance.

But I was definitely being affected by the romance.  

And probably still would be now, were I to watch it again.  Which I kind of want to.  I really enjoyed it.

✾ June & Roy ✾
Knight and Day

This couple is kind of supposed to be over-the-top, because the whole movie is supposed to be over-the-top.  It's an action-y chick-flick that pokes a good deal of fun at some of the tropes of both classic action and classic romance.  And I am, as they say, Here For That, so I really enjoy this movie.  It's hysterical.  

And Roy and June are actually quite cute in their wacky way.  

✾ Dastan & Tamina ✾
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Look at this picture.  It is aesthetically pleasing. 

Actually, I don't think this movie was really all that cheesy--not any more than National Treasure is cheesy.  They're both well-made movies considering what they're supposed to be: family movies with some improbable scenarios and premises, liberally dashed with fun for everyone.  

At least, that's what I remember.  I only saw Prince of Persia once. :-P

So Dastan and Tamina probably shouldn't even be on this list, because I don't think they or their movie is really cheesy, if you think about it.  But I wanted to mention them and this seemed like the best place to do it. :-P   

I definitely want to re-watch this, to see if my above impression of it is accurate.

✾ Neil & Christy ✾

Oh, boy. ;-P

I keep going back and forth on these two.  From what I recall, there are some really cheesy parts with this couple in the TV series, but I get the feeling that I'd still high-key fall for them if I re-watched it.  (Which I probably will.)  Despite the corniness, they are a compelling couple.  (For me, at least.)  And I think they get more development as a couple in the series than in the book, yes?

✾ Ella & Char ✾
Ella Enchanted

This picture too is aesthetically pleasing. 

I already did a whole spiel about this movie and my very mixed thoughts on it in this post, but I will admit that it still has some nostalgia for me.  It could probably still cheer me up if I watched it when feeling blue.  It's a story that I loved very much in my tweens (pssh, who am I kidding, I still love it), so it has a feeling of safety to it for that reason.  

I mean, it's still crude and Very Different From The Book and all that, but it's also clever, for all that; and I think Hugh Dancy and Anne Hathaway did well together as Char and Ella.  I think they had pretty decent chemistry. 

✾ allllllllll the Barbie movie couples ✾

My friend and I legit Felt Feelings when we saw this movie for the first time (and that wasn't long ago).

Give me ALLLLLLL the Barbie movies!  (At least, all the older ones.) ;D  

I love Barbie movies and Barbie couples passionately and forever.  So there.

Friday, February 1, 2019

New Look for February

Hello, all!

As you see, I've changed the blog look to something much more theme-specific, and that's in honor of Cordy's Lovely Blog Party, going on the whole month of February.

What do you all think?  I like it, but since it is so thematic I'm planning to change it again after February.  We'll see, though. :)

Also, as a warning, you will have to suffer through several posts positively dripping with sentiment over the next four weeks.  Just so you know. :-P

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Movies: Months in Review {December 2018/January 2019}

Arrival  (2016) 

I'm not much for aliens, or for stories that mess with the space-time continuum, but this was actually a decent movie.  The ending got a little weird, and I'm still not sure I completely understand everything, but it was interesting.  I went into it very skeptical and it kept my attention.

Beautiful Boy  (2018)

I thought this would be great, and it was.  There was a loooooot of very strong language; and a sex scene that's pretty easily skippable; and, of course, "substance" out the whazoo; but for what it was supposed to be, it was very good.

Fun fact:  I had a cold the night I watched it, and I had been planning to take some medicine for it, but I was so disturbed by the show that I was determined that I would never put any kind of substance in my body ever again under any circumstances whatsoever.  So that was interesting. :-P

Gods and Generals  (2003)

AhEM.  I don't know how accurate to the real people the movie's representations were, but all I can tell you is that there was one individual in particular who set off my "bull" sensors bigtime. *coughs*

Iron Man 2  (2010)

I liked this more than the first one. :)  It was nice to keep catching up on Tony's backstory.  And I like Pepper, and I like the two of them together.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day  (2008)

Raunchy and questionable, but cute, and not without redeeming qualities.

(My main quibble:  I wanted to wholeheartedly like Michael, but I couldn't because even he sort of grabbed and threw Delysia around, and that's not cool.  Still, there were certainly moments that made you root for the two of them.)

Sherlock Gnomes  (2018)

This wasn't a great movie, but I like the little English garden gnome world. ;)

The Matchbreaker  (2016)

This was a cute, quirky little chick-flick with some unexpectedly funny parts.

The Outsiders  (1983)

And no, OF COURSE I didn't watch this just because the cast is a bunch of guys who are not
all exactly repellant.  Shut your mouth.  I'm offended you would even suggest--

Okay, I feel like this movie had SUCH potential and then I was cheated of the best parts and I was kind of upset!  I mean, they gave me almost exactly no development for Darry or Soda or Darry and Soda and Pony, and THAT'S WHAT I WATCHED THE MOVIE FOR, OKAY?!

*sigh*  I did hear there was an extended edition, or something, and I gather that there are some Curtis family moments in that version that aren't in the theatrical edition, but my library doesn't have it, so I'm kind of up a creek, as they say. *another sigh*

Thumbelina  (1994)

I didn't like this so very much, but I did like some of the music, and I love that kind of animation (it makes me all nostalgic), so I wouldn't say it was a total waste. ;)

What movies have you watched lately?