Movie Review: Me Before You

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As promised in my Me Before You Book Review, I am back today to give my review of Me Before You: the film.

For some reason, a local theater was playing the film starting on Thursday, June 2, instead of the 3rd, so naturally I reserved tickets for the first showing that day. I needed to see it ASAP, and I did.

As you can probably guess, the movie (in my opinion) wasn’t as good as the book (it never is). BUT, I will say that the film adaptation was very accurate and true to the main themes of the book, probably one of the best adaptations I’ve seen in a long time. I think they did a fantastic job taking such deep and emotional content and turning into a 2 hour film, because I know it must have been incredibly difficult to choose what to keep and what to cut. I had been prepping myself for the possibility of disappointment, but I walked out of that theater last night feeling satisfied with the job they did.

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin were Lou and Will. The casting was excellent. Emilia had all the quirkiness down to a T and Sam delivered Will Traynor’s sarcasm perfectly. One of my favorite scenes was at the beginning of the film, during a montage of Lou coming into work at the Traynors every day. She would burst in, happy and cheerful, only to get a perfect side-eye from Will. The little judgemental side-eyes alone convinced me that they had cast the right actor. Maybe it sounds silly and trivial, but I knew I was going to love the film from that point on.

Also worth mentioning, the soundtrack to this movie is so good. I’m actually considering buying it. They played The 1975 during the wedding scene, which I loved, and the use of Ed Sheeran’sPhotograph” will probably change the way I listen to it for the rest of forever. And that’s really saying something for a huge Ed Sheeran fan. I also really liked the use of “Happy With Me” by HOLYCHILD and “Surprise Yourself” by Jack Garratt.

I also learned that even though I know everything that’s going to happen, I will still cry. I cried four separate times during the movie, and I don’t regret one second of it. Like I said in the book review, I tend to seek things out that are going to make me cry. I don’t know why I torture myself like this, but I do.

If you’ve read the book, I think you’ll love the movie. But if you’ve only seen the movie, I think you could still get something new out of reading the book. In summary: everyone needs to see it. I already want to go back and see it again. But, I’m not sure if it’s because of how much I love the story or Sam Claflin’s face (I think it’s probably both).

Book Review: Me Before You

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In only a week, I have just finished reading Me Before You  by Jojo Moyes. In that week, the book completely destroyed me emotionally. I’ve been walking around the apartment aimlessly because I don’t know what to do with myself after finishing it, so I figured writing this would be more productive.

I’m not going to give away any plot points to this story, as I know some people may just be reading this post for a book recommendation (and the film is being released soon), but I will say that while this is a beautiful story it is also a sad one. I don’t know why I always choose the sappy, sad romances when seeking out a new novel, but here I am, yet again.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Nicholas Sparks novels or The Fault In Our Stars. You will smile, laugh, and mostly likely, cry, while reading this story, but in my opinion, we all need a good cry every now and again. It actually is quite similar to The Fault In Our Stars- Will Traynor’s paralysis and his attitude about it are reminiscent of Augustus Waters’ cancer diagnosis in TFIOS. While each of these are different and horrible in their own right, it led to a similar feel between the two novels– the sadness that came along with every happy moment. But, Me Before You is still it’s own novel and has just as many differences from TFIOS as it does similarities. I think I liked it better. The characters are love able, the drama is intense, and the romance is all there, even though it is quite unconventional.

Originally, I picked out this book because I saw the trailers for the film. I typically like to have read the book if I’m going to see a movie, and since it comes out on June 3rd, I was determined to have it finished by then. It was very easy to do, as I couldn’t put it down!

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I will say that I’m worried the movie isn’t going to hold up, but when does it ever?

The novel looks at the storyline mainly from the point of view of Louisa Clark, the female protagonist of the novel, but there are also chapters in the point of view of Will’s parents, Lou’s sister, and the caregiver, Nathan. It gave the story a little more depth that I’m not sure a film can have. However, I will go see the movie when it comes out and report back with my official review!

In summary, if you like romance novels and you like crying, you’ll like this book. 10/10, 5 Stars, Jordyn’s seal of approval.

Here’s a trailer for the film below. If I haven’t convinced you that this is worth a read, maybe this will:

 

 

 

 

Kilgrave from Jessica Jones is a Woman’s Worst Nightmare

I just finished binge watching the first season of Netflix’s original series Jessica Jones in less than a week. I’m not typically interested in superhero movies, so seeing Marvel associated with the title of the show didn’t really appeal to me too much at first. But, I had heard only great things about the show so I decided to give it a go.

Jessica Jones had so many things I love in a show. High drama, anticipation, a bit of mystery, a badass female lead and some strong female friendships. But, if we’re being honest, the thing I found most interesting about Jessica Jones was the villain.

***Warning: if you are planning on watching Jessica Jones or are currently watching the show, I would refrain from reading the rest of this post until you finish. I’m not about to write everything that happens, but I don’t want to give anything away.

The thing about Kilgrave was that he wasn’t your stereotypical super villain. There was no secret lab, no crazy weapons, no plans of taking over the world. His power was mind control. He could make people do anything he wanted, and when he first met Jessica, he used his mind control to make her be his “girlfriend.” He could make her do anything he wanted.

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At the start of the season, we don’t know much about Kilgrave and Jess’s relationship, or how she was able to get away from him. But right from the get-go we can see that Jess is struggling from some sort of PTSD with flashbacks and visions of Kilgrave licking her face, stalking her and just harassing her in general. She believed him to be dead, but the abusive nature of their relationship was so vivid to her, years after the fact, that she continued to lose sleep over it.

And through various scenes in which Jess and Kilgrave are facing off, we come to see that Kilgrave doesn’t see any of his actions in pursuit of Jess to be “wrong.” He claims he was just a man in love.

When Jess, who is now the only person immune to Kilgrave’s power, accuses him of raping her in their past relationship, he is completely confused.

Kilgrave: “We used to do a lot more than just touch hands.”
Jessica: “Yeah. It’s called rape.”
Kilgrave: “What? Which part of staying in five-star hotels, eating at all the best places, doing whatever the hell you wanted, is rape?”
Jessica: “The part where I didn’t want to do any of it! Not only did you physically rape me, but you violated every cell in my body and every thought in my goddamn head.”
Kilgrave: “That is not what I was trying to do.”
Jessica: “It doesn’t matter what you were trying to do. You raped me again and again and again—”
Kilgrave:How am I supposed to know? I never know if someone is doing what they want, or what I tell them to.”
Jessica: “Poor you.”
Kilgrave: “You have no idea, do you? I have to painstakingly choose every word I say. I once told a man to go screw himself—can you even imagine.”

While this is completely disturbing, the reason I found it so disturbing is because it really isn’t that far off from real life. Kilgrave did rape Jess. He made Jess do something she didn’t want to do, even if it appeared that she was doing it of her own free will. The circumstances may be a little different, with Kilgrave’s force over Jess being a mental one rather than a physical one due to special powers, the concept of him thinking he’d done nothing wrong because they “stayed at five star hotels and ate at all the best places” is all too realistic.

Even more concerning? When Kilgrave realizes he can no longer control Jess, he starts doing everything in his power to try to control her again, to force her to love him, because he thinks he deserves it. He feels entitled to her. He thinks she is his.

During the final showdown between the two, Jess lets Kilgrave believe he has finally regained his control over her. “You’re mine now… you’ll be with me now,” he says to her. “After a while, however long it takes, I know you will feel what I feel.”

Super entitled. Super creepy.

The last words Kilgrave says to Jess? “Tell me you love me.”

While believing she is under his control, he literally orders her to profess her love for him, because he thinks that they belong together, that she should love him, that she belongs to him.

I know that this is obviously an extreme case– the two people involved have superpowers for god’s sake. However, I felt eerie comparisons to the UCSB shooter, who literally killed innocent people because women, who he felt entitled to wouldn’t sleep with him or give him attention.

Like I said earlier, Kilgrave isn’t your typical villain. He isn’t scary because he wears a silly outfit, or has a physical deformity. He’s not loud, he’s not physically intimidating, and he’s doesn’t have any fancy gadgets.

In fact, Kilgrave dressed well, spoke well, was rather attractive and remained calm and collected in most instances.

But, he’s the scariest villain I’ve ever come across in a TV show or movie.

He terrified me because he felt so entitled to this woman that he literally tried to use mind control to force her to be with him. He terrified me because he was completely obsessed with her. He terrified me because he thought the problem was the rest of the world getting in his way, instead of realizing that the problem was actually himself. He terrified me because he seemed so real.

Certain qualities he possessed reminded me of real people I’ve seen, real pieces of conversations I’ve heard, and, unfortunately, real news stories I have read.

Like it or not, I think that we still live in a world where many men feel entitled to women.

And I couldn’t help but think that if his power was placed in the hands of some random guy out there in the world, there’s a good chance those powers would be used in the same way as on this TV show.

As great a show Jessica Jones was (it comes with my highest recommendation), I kept finding myself thinking about Kilgrave’s attitudes toward women, and Jess in particular, and how he literally killed people to try to get to her. I think he’s so scary to me, and probably to other women, because even without mind control, he possesses so many qualities that we are afraid of.

Just throw in the mind control, and you’ve got yourself one of the scariest villains on the TV.

After almost 5 years, I’m still watching Pretty Little Liars

 

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(Adam Taylor/ABCFamily)

When ABC Family (now called Freeform) first aired Pretty Little Liars it was June 2010. I was just finishing up my freshman year of high school. Now, almost five years later I’m a first semester college senior… and I’m still watching PLL.

Over the years, Pretty Little Liars has gained a reputation as a hyper-dramatic, empty, “stupid” show for the teenage girl demographic. And after watching it for a while, I let this perception get the best of me and became embarrassed to admit that I was “still watching” a show that was being ridiculed by my peers and adults alike (luckily it was a phase that didn’t last too long, but I was embarrassed nonetheless).

I could write an entire blog post alone on the way teenage girl’s interests are constantly devalued (and how that’s affected me personally), but that is not why I’m here today.

The reason I’m writing this post is because I just watched the premiere of the new (and I believe final?) installment of Pretty Little Liars. Even though the mysterious “A” of four years was unmasked at the end of last season, Pretty Little Liars is back with a new storyline flashed “5 years forward” into the future. The PLL girls have gone away to college and now have careers, but they end up back in Rosewood for a whole new disaster to take place.

I know a lot of people were annoyed when they found out this would be happening. People labeled it as just a new way for the station to continue making money off the wildly popular show. I’ve also heard it called “stupid.” The entire premise of the original show was founded upon this anonymous “A” villain terrorizing the girls, so why would people still want to watch after “A” was unmasked?

Let me tell you why.

Yes, the mystery behind “A” and all of the constant drama that occurred on this show has always kept me hooked. And even though sometimes the show made me want to pull out my hair from frustration, the thing that kept me interested throughout the series was the characters.

After watching this show for so long, you get attached to the characters as you live their struggles with them. And even more importantly, you start to love their relationships and friendships with each other. I am a huge supporter and lover of strong female friendships, and the female friendship between the four leading ladies of the show is so strong and admirable–so much so that at the end of last season I almost cried during the scene where they were saying goodbye to each other before heading off to college.

That’s why I was really interested this season. I wanted to see where they all ended up and where their lives were going after being away for 5 years. I wanted to know if they were all still close friends, if they were still dating their high school boyfriends, what their families were up to, just everything. “A” or no “A,” these characters are dynamic and interesting and just plain lovable. You can’t help but root for them.

And while I won’t give away any spoilers, I will say that my favorite moments from the episode were the simple moments: when Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily were reunited at the Brew, or when they were out having drinks together laughing and enjoying each other’s company after being apart for so long. They were moments that made them seem like real people and real friends, rather than characters who have a bunch of ridiculous things happen to them (which is also the case).

I will say I was a bit worried about how this season was going to go with this slightly different format, but I can confidently say that after watching this first episode, I will be seeing Pretty Little Liars along to the bitter end.

I definitely do love Pretty Little Liars for the drama. I liked to be shocked. I like to be on the edge of my seat. I like to try to solve the mystery alongside the characters in the show. But, even more than the drama, Pretty Little Liars shows just how strong and smart and powerful young women can be, especially when they band together. And that’s something I can enjoy whether I’m 15 or 20.

 

 

On the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Body Positivity and Chicken Quesadillas

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If you pay attention to the fashion industry, or the entertainment industry, or just social media in general, there’s a good chance you’ve seen that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is tonight. Although guys pretend to “love” the Victoria’s Secret Show because of all the half-dressed models, we all know it’s really us ladies who are going to be the majority of people tuning in. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I wear bras, and I want to look at all the beautiful bras on that runway. Nothing wrong with that at all.

But with that comes a lot of potential negative thinking. I always see so many posts on social media from girls saying they wish they looked like one of the VS Angels, or that they wish they could be one. It’s totally fine to want to wear expensive underwear. Who doesn’t, really? But putting expectations like that on your body can be really harmful to your self image. I’ve heard the term “winning the genetic lottery” used to describe models before. And when it comes to body type, they really did just win the genetic lottery.

These people were born naturally thin and then take that natural thinness and work their asses off through exercise and diet to tone their bodies further. The truth of the matter is that even if I adopted the same diet and exercise routine as Kendall Jenner, I would never end up with the same body type as her, we were just born with different genes. She won the genetic lottery.

And just because she won doesn’t mean that I lost. That’s something everyone needs to keep in mind. I’m not going to start preaching the “all body types are beautiful” speech, because I know everyone has heard it before and I could literally go on forever. However, I truly believe beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and I think it applies here, I’m just not going to go on a rant about something people have heard a million times.

My point I’m trying to get at, and the reason I started to write this post in the first place is that everyone has moments of doubt about themselves. I was on Snapchat tonight, watching the VS Fashion Show Snapchat Story on my phone while I ate my dinner. I was watching all the models rush around backstage in their robes with hair and makeup all done and I was literally in my sweatpants eating a chicken quesadilla. And for a brief second, I felt bad about myself for eating a chicken quesadilla, because these models probably weren’t eating quesadillas.

Now, I consider myself to be relatively confident person, and I pretty quickly snapped out of my funk, but it wasn’t a great feeling. And it makes me sad to think about other people feeling this way, but not being able to snap out of it. Something to keep in mind is that there is no one to blame here. I can’t stress this enough: Don’t be harsh on the models. I have seen so many people insinuate that they think certain models are anorexic, etc, and that is so harmful to the models themselves, as well as to anyone who actually does suffer from anorexia, a serious disease. I think those comments likely come from a place of feeling inferior due to physical appearance, but people don’t realize the huge negative impact they could be having on the models and society. You are a person, and the models are people. Everyone has feelings and everyone’s feelings matter.

And while I’m preaching about being fair to the models, everyone needs to be fair to themselves too. Everyone has their own talents, and I’m sure you can all do something better than a supermodel. (You might even have a better runway walk, who knows? Give it a try sometime (it’s fun)). We all have good things going for us. That’s how I got out of my quesadilla-funk. I’m typically pretty confident and I know that I have a lot of great qualities as a person: I’m smart, driven, and loyal. I’m also going to a great college, doing well in my classes, have a supportive network of family and friends, and most days I feel pretty good about myself. And do you know what I did when I thought about all this? I finished that quesadilla.

Because honestly, I know it is probably really fun to be an Angel. But I know I’m never going to be one, and that’s ok. That’s not my dream, never has been. It’s just a thought that comes into my head only around this time of year. There’s always that sliver of self doubt brought on by this fashion show, and it’s something I’ve never articulated.

So to anyone who may read this, just remember that you are beautiful, you are smart, you are so talented and you are doing just fine. Behind all the makeup and hair and expensive bras, all of these models are just regular people.

Although the VS Fashion Show doesn’t air on TV until December 8th, from now until that point there will be pictures and videos all over the internet. And then after the show airs? More picture and videos in HD from different angles. That’s a lot of weeks of supermodels dominating your feed. It’s fine to look and it’s fine to admire, but just keep in mind that the models are them and you are you, and you’re both just living your lives doing the best you can.

And always finish the quesadilla.