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Saturday, January 29, 2011

American Idol - Nashville, Tennessee auditions

Oh Nashville. You better be good. (Side note: one of the bloggers visited Nashville a few months ago and loved it. She's expecting a lot from this episode).

And they start off with a guy who thinks screaming is singing. Awesome. Though in all fairness, Steven Tyler is a judge, so we can see where he might've thought that was a good idea. We're ignoring the next contestant, Christine McCaffrey, because no. She has a chipmunk voice and made us agree with Randy, which we don't enjoy. America Idol, we thought you were better this season.

Chelsee Oaks and Rob Bolin - exes who still duet. This should be interesting, especially since they're both getting through to Hollywood. We think Rob has the better voice, but she's adorable. Also, they sound really good together and had excellent song choices. JLo and Steven tried to get them back together, which was cute. We're definitely going to remember these two. There's an awkward bit after the judging with Chelsee's current boyfriend that was ... telling.

Next, we get the obligatory "Steven and Randy are dirty old men" segment. Ignoring that. Allen Lewis is hilarious and has the best laugh, but cannot sing. At least not by himself. Again, we agree with Randy; he probably would sound a lot better with a band. This whole agreeing with Randy thing better not become a pattern. The next girl is Stormi Henley. She was Miss Teen USA. Of course she was. She's gorgeous and very personable, but doesn't have a great voice. They put her through, though. We'll see.

Then, we have a gaggle of bad singers who we, fortunately, don't have to hear. Adrienne Beasley is a black woman who was adopted at the age of two by a white family, and they are all adorable. She doesn't have the best voice in the competition, but she gave us chills, which doesn't happen too often. Steven Tyler had some coherent comments, which Leeard greatly appreciated. Her dad is "tickled" that she made it through to Hollywood.

Someone screams some Chaka Khan at us for way too long and again, Randy is trying too hard to be the new Simon. When Steven Tyler is the voice of reason, you need to re-evaluate your decisions. A montage of bad singers follows, and one of them has to be told by Ryan that "it's just an audition". Can they make posters of that and hand it to everyone who walks out crying? Thank goodness we have Jackie Wilson next. Her voice is not at all what we were expecting, and it's great. She's going to Hollywood, obviously. And then she makes out with someone who looks like he could be her dad. Creepy. We're going to pretend that didn't happen, along with the next contestant. Younique is a cute girl, but slightly delusional.

They follow her up with three great guys. Leeard would buy Paul McDonald's cd right now. His version of "Maggie May" was wonderful. The next guy, Jimmie Allen, is very enthusiastic and enjoyable. The final one, Danny Pate, is great and got the judges into his song - an excellent move. All of them go through. The next Idol Sob Story is about Matt Dillard and his family, who have hosted over 700 special needs foster children. We like him as a person, but his voice wasn't as good as the previous three. He gets through, because apparently we don't have a vote.

They are hyping the final girl up so much. Lauren Alaina (ANOTHER 15 year old) started singing because of her cousin, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago. Three sob stories in one episode? Come on, Idol. This is the Season of Stories, apparently. Anyway, she's totally worth the hype and the sob story, because she's fantastic. Great, great voice and very exciting. She brings her family in and then sings "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" with Steven Tyler, which is her parents' song. It's pretty awesome as well.

Well, way to go, American Idol. You took an episode that was easily a B and made it an A with one girl.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

American Idol - Milwaukee, Wisconsin auditions

Some of the positive changes the show has made have started fading. This episode, they showed more rejects, and they even had a montage of people crying. Has the show lost its new classy streak? We sure hope not. We feel bad for the people crying. They have to go home and face everyone they know after crying on national TV, and not in a sexy Tim-Tebow-crying-after-that-one-UF-game kind of way either, but in a pathetic, “I misjudged my ability, went for my dreams, and got crushed” kind of way. Still, the contestant intros and stories feel less like the American Idol people are feeding them canned lines, and it’s starting to feel a lot more real, rather than cheesy and packaged. But did this episode really have to be two hours long?

Despite Steven Tyler’s disgusting habit of hitting on underage girls, he is quickly becoming one blogger's favorite judge. He is saving all of the best people! He favors the contestants with character. Remember last week when he saved the Broadway girl? We loved last night when he saved the sweet little 15-year-old girl, Emma Henry, who Randy thought was going to get eaten up in the competition. She probably WILL get eaten up. Reality TV is a cold competition, but we say let it happen. She will learn something, and you should at least give her a chance. If she doesn’t do well, she can always try again with a little more knowledge next time. And who knows? Maybe she will find some inner strength and do well this time. The point is, Steven Tyler appreciates that you have to be different and unique to stand out in the competition. The other judges are more into commercial pop. Steven is a crazy, horny old loon, but he fights for the contestants that snap him out of his laid-back, nutso rocker zone. Randy is trying to be the new Simon, but he’s overplaying it. He even hit a contestant in the face (albeit accidently). Leeard thinks his newfound mean streak is coming off as fake.

On the contestants: That first kid, Scott McCreery, has a voice that is pure country butter. Leeard, as the resident country music lover, thinks he's amazing. It elicited the remark "Hellfire, save matches, f--- a duck, and see what hatches” from Steven Tyler, which was nice, and just the sort of critique we have come to expect from this 62-year-old who squeals notes like he's onstage every half-hour or so.

The radio guy, Joe Repka (“I’m gonna shoot this straight to the moon!”), is seriously a combination of nearly every guy who has ever asked Ern out. Sadly, Ern is a major Oblivious Creep-magnet. But she laughed at this guy. The guys who ask Ern out take rejection just as well as this guy did too. They just keep on trying, never getting the hint. We also kind of liked Naima.

We disagreed with one of the yeses, Thia Megia, who sang “Chasing Pavements,” and was loud and on-key, so she got through. But she tried to sound soulful, and it sounded a little forced/unnatural. Also, did anyone else dislike how she was pronouncing some words? Bizarre. We liked the white house intern’s voice, but Leeard didn’t want to. When the Harvard-graduate intern (Molly Swenson) was talking, Leeard though, “Wow, she seems like an a-hole,” and then she didn’t have anyone with her at the audition. Also, she was in love with Barack Obama, who neither blogger voted for. (And it’s not about race or money or where he was born, it was just that he didn’t have the experience to back up his words, and the other guy did.) But we thought it was fun to have such a smart, accomplished contestant go through. And speaking of smarties, we both want to marry the accountant. (Note: Leeard obviously wins this competition since she's actually an accountant and Ern's first reaction when she saw him was "ew, an accountant"). He’s another favorite with an awesome voice. In fact, these two were probably the best contestant's last night.

We had a couple of dud contestants who were obviously not serious, including the Packers fan who sang “opera” Justin Beiber and the Civil War re-enactor. We loved Steven Tyler’s reaction to the Civil War guy. He pretended to approve of him. The guy, who was acting crazy to be funny, actually looked scared for a second when Tyler was talking about what he liked in the performance of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” He hadn’t expected approval. Ern laughed at that one woman who butchered "Loving You" and then reamed the judges for not putting her through because she was an overweight woman.

That Scott Dangerfield guy (who was J-Lo’s favorite) has the personality of a star, along with a decent voice. His charisma is more remarkable than his voice. Allie, the rabid Steven Tyler fan, should not have gotten through. But we are glad we didn’t have to watch her get her heart broken by her idol. And we like that J-Lo is looking for variety.

Of course, the water cooler moment of the night was the last contestant, Chris Medina, who sang The Script and had a fiancĂ© who got in an accident months before their wedding and suffered brain damage because of it. Remember? He stayed with her and takes care of her, along with her mother. He said that if he made it to Hollywood, it would give his fiancĂ© a reason to be happy. Leeard cried and Ern sucked it up, but it was a near-miss. So sweet and so sad. We hope this guy does well, because he had one of the best Idol Sob Stories of the show’s history.

News - The Dark Tower and The Office

Even if none of you care about The Dark Tower, and even if no one has read the excellent books by Stephen King, we will be covering the TV/movie adaptation extensively, so everyone can just deal with it. It rocks.

It rocks a little less now though. Ron Howard and Co. have offered Javier Bardem the lead role of Roland. First off, is the accent going to fit? Will none of the other characters have an accent? Also, this guy can be a little stiff. Roland has to be warm one moment and cold another. We can't picture Bardem tugging at our heart strings in scenes with Jake.

Whatever. We are still pulling for fan-favorite Viggo Mortensen. Or, as Ern's cousin suggested, Christian Bale.

As for The Office, Will Ferrell will be one of the bosses they bring in to phase Steve Carell out. He will have some episodes with Steve, and then one without him, and then he will leave. He should help the transition go smoothly, but one blogger has never thought he was funny. We will both still be watching though.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Southland - Code 4 recap/review

Whoa. Holy Moly. Sadness. Amazingness. Wow.

Yesterday, Southland shocked us by killing a very main character in a pretty brutal fashion. It started with Sammy sitting in a hall (later revealed to be a hospital, but we had guessed that), looking depressed and then hearing a woman’s scream. You would think it would be Tammi having baby trouble, but it wasn’t. We were completely unprepared for the actual death. There weren’t any spoilers, the episode didn’t hint at it, the season didn’t hint at it, they didn’t do a whole cheesy episode focused on just that one character (like, say, LOST would have). Meredith Grey didn’t do a voiceover. It happened quickly and we actually didn’t believe it for a few minutes. It was just like when someone really dies (only it’s on TV, so we are a little less sad).

Even without the shocking twist, this episode was fantastic. Sammy moved in with Nate and his family to get away from the cheating Tammi and the restraining order. He lost his temper a lot in the episode. Lydia worked on a murder case, but when she found the killer, the guy claimed that he was working (and killing) for the dead guy’s 14-year-old nephew. Apparently, “Gizmo” is already a crime lord, and he still lives with his mom. In a great scene, Lydia knocked on the door and confronted Gizmo, telling him that the police were onto him, even though they couldn’t prove it yet. LOVE Lydia. Love the absence of her annoying partner.

Cooper thinks Ben is being careless because he thinks he has a handle on this cop thing now. Ben made tons of HILARIOUS mistakes in the episode, causing Cooper to haze him in front of other cops and make jokes. Ben told Cooper that it was getting old, and Cooper came back with something like, “You’re more dangerous now than when you first got out of the academy. Now you are more likely to get someone killed. In 90 days, you won’t have someone to watch your back and the guy who draws the short straw is going to be relying on you to stay alive.” Youch. The picture, by the way, is one of the consequences of a Ben mistake.

Nate and Sammy spent most of the episode trying to get a young, female witness to identify some suspects who murdered a dad on his way to buy his 5-year-old son a birthday cake. They did it for street cred, natch. Nate showed her the victim’s children and wife standing in the yard, told her a little about himself, and finally cracked her. Sammy and Nate were riding home in their car and chatting when someone in a big bunch of gangters threw something at their car. They got out of the car to handle that, and Nate Moretta got bashed in the head, and it looked like he was killed instantly. It took a long time for Sammy to drag Nate into a cop car, because he had to fend off the rest of the gangsters with his gun. Other cops showed up, and Sammy and Nate rode away. The episode cut back to the hospital scene, and Nate’s wife was screaming and crying. She walked out in the hallway and hugged Sammy, and they both just kind of crumbled to the ground. It was really, really sad.

It seemed like it was just going to be a normal episode. So, so wrong. It was totally entertaining, and every storyline and case was right-on and interesting. And then they topped it off with that ending, and they executed it so perfectly and surprised us so much. Southland is going to get the best grade so far of the new year. Sad though. Nate was one of the best characters on the show. He was a really good and funny guy. He will be missed.

Episode Grade: A+

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gossip Girl - The Kids are Not Alright recap/review

It's about time Gossip Girl came back. It's not as good as it was in seasons 1 and 2, but we like our Mondays better with it than without it, thanks.

Blair was looking for an internship to become a Powerful Woman, which, as we remember, is the reason she left Chuck (proving that ego IS stronger than love???). She looked on a list of powerful women and ran into Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo. Blair started stalking Indra’s whereabouts and found that Eleanor Waldorf was going to dress her for an event that very night. So when Blair’s mom offered her an internship with Waldorf designs, Blair accepted, all the while scheming to get close to Indra. Dan warned Blair that it would blow up in her face, and it did. Eleanor cottoned on, and she was hurt that her daughter sought out powerful female role models and Eleanor wasn’t really on the list. She fired Blair and Blair never got to meet Indra. After this, Dan talked to Blair and made Blair decide that her mother was actually a good Powerful Woman figure. She went to her mother and made nice. The two decided that Blair should be a fashion editor/critic, not a designer.

Serena and Chuck teamed up to blackmail Lily. Chuck wanted his empire back and Serena wanted Ben freed from prison. Serena dressed up like her mother and got into Lily’s safe deposit box at the bank. Chuck commented that Serena dressing up like her mother and him acting like her son turned him on. Chuck, you’re so weird. In the safe deposit box was a copy of the affidavit Lily had forged. Any decent handwriting analyst would be able to figure out it wasn’t Serena’s real signature condemning Ben. Lily was hiding the judge involved in the old case in her hotel, and Eric found out about that and joined Serena, tipping her off about how evil their mom was being. Serena tried to hand the affidavit to a reporter at the party everyone attended, but Dan replaced it with a different envelope and saved Lily. We kept talking to the screen, saying, “Doesn’t Serena realize that if this gets out, her mother will go to jail?” It turns out she didn’t; her mother had to inform her.

It turns out that Lily wasn’t all bad. She ended up getting Ben out of prison and she was trying to keep Chuck’s company intact. Chuck and Serena ruined that with their bickering, and a good buyer backed out when he heard about it. Chuck’s company was bought by one of his father’s old frenemies. Bart Bass had shoved this guy, Russell Thorpe, out of too many deals, and so Russell had a grudge against Bart and his empire. Russell told Chuck that he wants to dismantle Bass Industries and sell it in bits, destroying it.

Russell has a daughter, Raina, who is attractive and very into Chuck. One of the final scenes in the episode showed her offering to take him home, presumably for sex. He accepted and left with her. Raina is known for being direct and truthful, but that doesn’t stop her from being extremely coy with Chuck every time she sees him. Every girl knows you have to be coy to be sexy! Psh, it would have been more interesting if her directness transferred to her romantic life as well. We’ve seen the “Sexy Minx” role on this show before. Chuck is not the only one who has exchanged fluids with a Thorpe; Lily slept with Russell, too. The Captain, who is living with Nate and driving him crazy, is going to be working with Thorpe to get back into high circles.

Dan spent most of the episode trying to get a date with Serena, but she kept ditching him to work on her blackmailing project. This cost him an interview for an important internship. Serena confessed that she thinks she keeps testing him to see if one day he will just ditch HER, and they agreed that they shouldn’t date until they trust each other and the timing is right….which was weird. If she can’t trust Dan, how can she trust this new guy, Ben? She took Ben out for coffee after his release from prison. They are totally hooking up now. Dan and Blair went to another movie together.

Complaint: they are still in college. What’s with all of the business plotlines? Save those for the summer. We want young, catty drama. And does anyone really care what The Captain is doing? Nate’s dad needs to get interesting or ship out. His new job with the new enemy might make him useful, but during this episode, he was a dud.

Plenty of schemes, but not enough fun. Things wrapped up too neatly. But at least we have the Dan/Blair pairing to look forward to. We know they aren’t the endgame, and we would flip out if they were. It needs to be Chuck/Blair, Serena/Nate, and Dan/Jenny (incest would work for them). But, for now, we are just happy that Blair might start up with someone who isn’t Chuck or Nate. Chuck keeps getting all of these great post-Blair girlfriends. He doesn’t deserve them, so it’s time that Blair gets hers.

Episode grade: B-

Pretty Little Liars - Careful What You Wish For recap/review

This episode featured a school dance marathon, but instead of having to dance all night, people just got sponsors for number of dances they did with someone else. It made Leeard miss Gilmore Girls.

Aria’s mom brought Aria’s childhood babysitter, Simone, back to town to speak to her students, because the Simone is now a writer in New York City. Aria’s mom tried to hook Simone up with Mr. Fitz. Aria was disturbed, because Simone was nice, pretty, smart, and Mr. Fitz’s age. But, like predators everywhere, Mr. Fitz was only interested in wide-eyed, innocent lambs, so Aria kept her “man,” after some jealousy drama. Aria’s mom chaperoned and danced with Aria’s dad, but they did not get back together.

Maya’s parents had her cell phone programmed so that she could only make and receive calls from her parents. Hanna found a technology nerd for Emily to pay for programming Emily’s phone to be able to reach Maya’s. The tech nerd was decent-looking and offered to help Spencer break into Ian's desk at school (he's a coach), so we think that we can expect him to stick around. He could be useful ... When Emily spoke to Maya, she was upset that Maya didn’t sound like herself. She was already sounding hollow and brainwashed. At the dance marathon, Emily grabbed Hanna’s flask and got wasted.

Spencer spent most of the episode looking for her laptop, which was stolen, probably by Ian. Ian returned the laptop, but the video of him with Alison was gone, so the girls couldn’t give it to the police to free Toby. But there WAS a new picture of Alison the night of her murder, heading off into the night. A shadow followed her.

Hanna tried to get a job to get money for her family, but she had no luck. But at the dance, A texted Hanna, offering her hundreds of dollars for each dance with sad old Lucas. Hanna did it, and her jock boyfriend, Sean, broke up with her after she spent most of the night with her arms around Lucas. Emily reamed Hanna for toying with Lucas and told her that she was worse that Alison. Then Emily went up to Ian and said something like, “We all know what you did.” Spencer tried to convince him that Emily was talking about how he and Spencer had romantic encounters, but we don’t think he bought it.

After the night’s happenings, Lucas thought he had a chance with Hanna and asked to take her home. Hanna shot him down, saying that she promised her girlfriends she would ride home with them. Emily apologized to Hanna for what she said at the dance marathon, but Hanna agreed that she was horrible. At least she had hundreds of dollars for her family’s financial woes….

The episode ended with A (not shown, obviously) walking up to Aria’s mom after the dance to get black leather gloves and a black leather coat out of the coat-check. Aria’s mom spoke to A in a way that made it clear that she knows A and likes him/her enough to be friendly.

This episode felt a little frantic, but there was definitely a lot of drama and happenings. It was completely enjoyable. We even liked watching Aria almost blow her cover trying to take down Simone in a rage. We wish Aria had something else to do besides date Mr. Fitz. They need to get caught already.

Episode grade: A

Monday, January 24, 2011

Now that We've Seen Two Episodes...Here is the Off the Map review

Oh great. A show for those of us who want another Grey’s Anatomy, only with fewer characters and more wilderness. We were nervous immediately when the beginning of the show informed us that it takes place “Somewhere in South America.” Pull out your maps. This continent is huge. This tells us nothing. You never hear “somewhere in Asia” or “somewhere in North America.” We guess the show’s writers consider this continent to be unvaried/not special. Even if they don’t, that’s a stupid way to start the episode. Just have a character make a crack about being in South America, and you would tell us all you want us to know without making us question it. Duh. Also, did they just use a “jungle noises” sleeping sound maching to make the background sounds?

Then, the first episode was super self-conscious. It kept dogging white people coming to third-world countries to help. The title was “Saved by the Great White Hope.” We guess that the show had to make fun of itself in a politically correct way to stave off the critics doing it. We don’t think this should be a thing. No one should make fun of Americans (or anyone, really) going to help others. If you scoff at that just based on the principle of white people helping ethnic people, you’re racist. It’s people helping people. What, only Spanish people are supposed to help their own? Rich, young Americans SHOULD help poor people, so why is it PC to scoff at them when they do? Unless they are doing a bad job or adding to the problem, we don’t see why this episode gave so much lip service to the mocking of it. The first episode had a whole character devoted to judging the gringos (Zee). Funnily enough, we would have guessed that she was white until she started speaking with a Spanish accent. We hope now that the show is done covering its arse, it can get down to business.

The cases in both episodes were good though. A few of them had us genuinely concerned for the fictional patients involved. It was weird how so many of the young doctors didn’t know Spanish. There are plenty of Americans who know Spanish. They could have gotten some recruits that knew it out of hundreds of applicants. Heck, both Leeard and Ern speak more Spanish than these people, and they're the ones actually going to South America. You can’t throw a rock in either of our towns without hitting people who speak more Spanish than this. Unrealistic.

We could have guessed it was a Shonda Rhimes production as soon as a guy had his shirt off. Or how about when the frat guy (formerly Matt on Friday Night Lights) made a dramatic speech about his need for redemption to a guy who didn’t speak English. Call us softies, but we kind of liked the theme were the people needed redemption and new starts. It grounds the characters into some kind of story arc right away, even if it is heavy-handed and cheesy.

In the end, we decided that most of the problems with this show are going to fade away as soon as the introductions are in order and the show goes on. People with medical knowledge might scoff at the coconut transfusion or the flimsy attempt at CPR by one character (that’s supposed to be able to break RIBS, woman!). But we don’t care. We are already asking, “Will Lily get with Dr. Ben or will the redhead from Twilight get to keep him?” The second episode was already better than the first one. We are going to stick with this. It could turn out to be enjoyable. And who doesn’t love that Caroline Dhavernas is on TV again? Wonderfalls was way too long ago.

Grades for the episodes combined: B-

Fringe - The Firefly recap/review

Despite this being a pretty decent episode, the recap is going to be short, because the gist of what happened is simple. The Observer set up an elaborate experiment to see if Walter would sacrifice Peter to right the balance and/or save other lives. Turns out, Walter would, which is highly interesting and will set up lots of good fun for later in the show.

We also got to see Christopher Lloyd who played an ex-rock musician who played in one of Walter’s favorite old bands. He had a son who died in 1985, but the son mysteriously turned up at his nursing home to ask him to help Walter, so the gang showed up to check out the mysterious occurrence. The Observer had snatched the son from 1985 and moved him forward in time to talk to his future dad. Get the reference? A time travelling kid from 1985 starring alongside Christopher Lloyd? If you don’t get it, you aren’t nerdy or cool enough to be watching Fringe, so you should just stop now.

The Observer met Walter and told him that after he stole alternate Peter, alternate Peter (now the only Peter) had caught a firefly. This meant another little girl didn’t, so she stayed out late trying to catch a firefly. So her dad went out to look for her and hit a pedestrian. While Christopher Lloyd was telling him about his son getting hit by a car while he was crossing the road (that’s why the band broke up), it dawned on Walter that he had killed his hero’s son. Walter felt guilty.

The Observer saved a woman’s life, stopped a robbery, shot Peter with a weird electronic gun that just threw him into the ground and gave him a headache, almost killed Peter, and led Olivia through a chase scene. All of this culminated in The Observer a) saving Walter’s life and b) testing Walter. Walter was afraid The Observer was setting all this up to kill Peter and right the balance. Rather than stop Peter from chasing The Observer into a dangerous situation, Walter obeyed Peter and stayed with an asthmatic woman who needed medical attention to save her life.

Meanwhile, Olivia was still dealing with her life getting intercepted when she receives a package containing Peter’s favorite book. The package came out of a conversation Peter had with the other Olivia. Olivia was sad and didn’t want to read the book, but Peter told her that he meant it for the real Olivia, so that she could get to know him better. There was a sweet moment before danger hit. No kissy stuff though. This was a fast-moving, easy-to-watch episode of Fringe, but there was nothing really gross or mind blowing. Still, Friday night is looking a whole lot sweeter for us lately. As far as the ratings go, so far, so good. And as this blog pointed out (http://catstvmusings.blogspot.com/2011/01/good-news-for-fringe.html), Friday nights were good to The X-Files, so why wouldn't they work for this show? Yay!

Episode Grade: B

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No Strings Attached movie review

Let’s face it: Chick flicks are never going to be Oscar material. What they CAN achieve is hilarity, cuteness, and not being completely idiotic and forgettable. We think No Strings Attached was just fine. It was raunchy, but funny in the first half. (It’s rated R.) We are still laughing over “the period mix.” The second half turned into more of a dramatic, romantic movie, but by then, you were too hooked on the characters to care that there weren't as many laughs.

The biggest strength of this movie is the female lead. The closest thing to a romantic comedy Natalie Portman has done is Garden State, and that doesn’t really qualify. We know why she waited so long: Natalie was offended by the flimsy female characters who can’t live without a man that populate chick flicks. So she waited for this role. This role might have gone TOO far in trying to switch around the gender stereotypes. One scene that comes to mind is when a guy says to the main male character, “I’m the guy she marries. You’re the guy she [has sex with a few times].” That’s a statement often made to compare loose and chaste women, not men. But we liked that Natalie’s character, Emma, wasn’t into fashion, didn’t work in the media, wasn’t lamenting her weight, and wasn’t yearning to get married as soon as possible. It was a refreshing departure from most movie women, but possibly an unrealistic one. Look around: There are more women who want a boyfriend than who just want sex for their own physical pleasure. That’s how we are wired, for the most part. While we admired the attempt to upset stereotypes, we raised a few eyebrows at the likelyhood of all this.

But Emma was also smart (she was a doctor), compassionate, bold, and very funny, rather than just a flat shrew dating a funny guy. (Aren’t you sick of uptight, type A women in these comedies dating a laid-back slacker?) Ashton Kutcher wasn’t annoying in this either, for all of you who hate him out there. Don’t let his presence turn you off of seeing this movie. He and Natalie had great chemistry, and they both did a good job. One of our mothers was afraid that the movie would have a bad message, because this mom believes that sex is a big deal and only for people who at least love each other. But the end message is that it’s not possible to be “sex friends” and that it’s better to let yourself fall in love. The story is completely predictable, but most love movies are. You’ll enjoy getting to the end. As far as regular romantic comedies go, this one is an A. As far as movies in general go, it’s about a B-. We had fun watching it. You can hate on it for being a standard rom-com/not a critical darling, but there's no denying the entire audience in our theatre had a lot of fun too.