Saturday, March 26, 2011

One for the Irish: THE BOXER

I realize that St. Patrick's Day is over and all Irish celebration along with it. However, this month cannot pass into nothingness without my official ode to this (perhaps my favorite) movie.

Very few films take on the modern IRA issues in Northern Ireland and even fewer of them are desperately romantic. I have always been fascinated with the Irish Catholic/Protestant clash or more specifically those who still want home rule for Northern Ireland and those who want the British to remain their government. If you're at all interested or curious about the modern outcomes of this ancient feud, this is your flick.

It's the story of Danny Flynn, a man who has spent the last 14 years in prison for his involvement in an IRA attack when he was just a boy. He's done his time and has determined to rebuild his life without any further association with the IRA who he saw through in prison and blames for taking his youth. But it's not that easy. The IRA is on the Eve of peace talks with the British Government and some of the rebels don't feel that peace should ever exist between the two cultures. They resent Danny Flynn coming home, to their Catholic neighborhood and not pledging his loyalty again. Especially when he is clearly still in love with his child hood sweetheart and doesn't care that she is married to a prisoner of the cause. She's also the head of the IRA's daughter.

The characters in this movie are so astonishingly real and moving. They stay with you forever.

WARNING: The accent is difficult to understand the first time. I mean, I'm an avid anglo watcher and even I struggled at first. Also, there is a LOT of swearing in this movie. I mean, a lot!

But, having said that -- it is the most romantic, passionate, interesting, haunting movie I've seen in years. And it may be my favorite movie ever. Which I've never said before about anything.

Daniel Day Lewis, Emily Watson. The Boxer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Come On People -- Romance Novels -- Admit it already!

I'm having a problem. The only book I've been able to stomach in the last three months has been a romance novel by Julia Quinn. And I read it in one night.

I wish I could say this hasn't happened before.

It has.

The truth is, about a year and a half ago when I was in London, my mother pulled out "The Duke and I", the first in the Quinn Bridgerton series, because she couldn't concentrate on the plane over. After scoffing and rolling my eyes and looking down from my lofty classic lit heights, I read the damn thing my first night there.

But that's not all.

Soon, EVERY time we passed anything that MIGHT have books in it, I ran in and died six hundred deaths every time I had to ask some seventeen year old Oasis tee shirt wearing clerk if they had any Julia Quinn. At Waterstones, he actually said, "I'm sorry. That would be in the FEMALE section." As if I were asking for tampons. Pretty similar though, when you think about it and equally embarrassing. I read 7 books on my vacation and came home and finished every single book she has ever written.

Why?! What is this power they hold? I don't like other romance authors, can't bear the idiocy and yet, say Julia Quinn and I'm a slave for you!

Help me readers, what is this mystic force romance writers hold over us? Why are the books impossible to put down? How is it that they MUST be read the very first night of purchase or we will simply diiiiiieeeee?

I have lovely books at home, romantic, thought provoking, ambient books. And there they remain, at home. At least for these last three months.

Julia! You've ruined me!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Top 5 Things I know about Love So Far

HAPPY NEW YEAR my blogging friends! I don't often think of love, at least, I don't often think of myself qualified to speak on the subject. After all, what do I know? My longest relationship lasted three years (two of which we were in different countries) and ended with one phone call. And I pride myself on being single. I do it well. I'm not one of those girls who has been planning her wedding since she was three or sitting around drowning my sorrows if I don't have a man of the moment. I only care sometimes and it usually lasts for an hour.


I'm thinking about it tonight. The reasons for this are not important. We all think about it sometimes, don't we? And I've realized that after 35 years in the game, I have realized some absolute truths. Take it with a grain of salt and chalk it up to Gigi's life experience:

#1.) If a guy wants to, he will. IF A GUY WANTS TO, HE WILL!!! There are no exceptions to this rule. Ever. Even if he's shy, EVENTUALLY, he will. You might have to wait longer than you want to but, if he wants to, he will. This includes calling, asking out, getting your number, kissing you, keeping dates, etc... If a guy wants to he will. No exceptions.

#2.) Most of female heartbreak comes from ignoring rule number one. We make exceptions that don't exist because we want someone so much. It doesn't work like that. If he didn't ask, if he doesn't call, if he doesn't kiss you, if he doesn't propose, cry, scream, throw stuff at the tv, go on an epic road trip with your best girlfriends, your sisters and recognize him for what he is -- not the guy for you. He doesn't see who you are, therefore, he does not deserve the tears that are being shed for him. He's not shedding them for you.

#3.) Live your life like a princess so that you will not be tempted to believe you are worthless. I don't mean a princess like, a self-indulgent diva who believes in being Kim Kardashian. I mean a lady who behaves like a lady, presents herself as a lady, lives her life as a lady and therefore has no reason to doubt that she doesn't absolutely deserve and expect to be treated like a lady. The only reason jackasses are allowed to behave like jackasses is because we women allow it to happen. Think of all those guys with the naked ladies in the windows. 9 times out of ten you see a WOMAN get out of the car. That man gets away with that jackass behavior and Heaven knows what else because the woman he is with is soooooo excited to be given ANY attention from ANYONE that she has been sold the mess of pottage. She has forfeited her kingdom and her birthright. You are a princess. You are of noble potential. Live up to it. Believe yourself to be a lady and behave like one. When this is done, jackasses don't even apply for the job.

#4.) Be the person you want to end up with. I've heard this before of course. I've lived my life this way and let me tell you that being Mormon or LDS really, seriously, limits your dating pool. What happens when even in your limited dating pool, the guys are a serious deterioration of who you are? Nothing. Still be the person you want to end up with because you will. Even if there is no guy -- you will end up with you. That's an absolute guaruntee. Get the education, discover the places, be as kind and generous and talented as you would imagine your dream man to be. Why? Because then you will have the world and even better, you will have you -- your best you. No one can create your happiness, contentment or peace but you. IF a man who values the same things/qualities you do does present himself and follows rule number one, you will be glad you were prepared and ready to meet him. If not, you will be the architect of your own life and start living RIGHT NOW instead of waiting for someone else to start it for you.

#5.) Have faith. If you're doing what you're supposed to, being who you're supposed to be, hope, love, happiness and awe inspiring things will find you. Your destiny, whatever that is for YOU, will find you exactly the way it's supposed to and the battle scarring of horrendous regret will not be your lot. YOU will be living YOUR life and in the words of "Under the Tuscan Sun", "impossibly good things can happen" and they will happen to you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all your loves and loves lost and loves yet to come!