Category: Romance

“The Invitation”

6.2

Initially, it gave strong “Crimson Peak” vibes. Leaving the theater, I was left feeling I should have watched “Ready or Not.”

Few solid jump scares and creepy scenes, but overall an incredibly predictable and underwhelming story, brought to the screen by a cast who had moments of great, but we’re overall alright. Maybe with a few tweaks to the story, it would have worked better?

“This is the Night”

7.2

This is one of the strangest films of the year. By a long shot. Who pitched this?

With the subtlety of a punch to the face, this moving tells the tale of a city coming together to worship their adopted messiah, Rocky Balboa. In a better mob movie than “The Many Saints of Newark,” we follow a wannabe restaurant (or catering business) owner rising against his childhood nemesis while his sons conquer their own adversaries, all connecting with the eye of the tiger fighting spirit of the Italian Stallion.

Yo Adrian. This movie is absolutely ridiculous, but it’s got heart. It’s got a lot of fight left in it. It’ll leave you in disbelief of your own inspiration as the credits roll. Looking for something off the wall? There’s nothing more random than round-the-clock screenings of Rocky 3 bringing a community together. Gotta love the power of cinema.

Spoiler alert: My man gets the girl.

“I Carry You With Me”

8.1

First, this is a love story. Then, it’s a family drama. Then, it’s a life and death struggle for survival action thriller. Then, it’s a documentary chronicling the political fallout and collateral damage of immigration policy. I could have gone for any one of these and been satisfied, but they checked every boxed and blew every one of them out of the water.

Cinematography-wise, the face closeups, I think, were intended to convey intimacy between the two lovers but ended up just being distracting for me as half of them were out of focus. I was also driven insane by the unnecessary shaky cam used throughout for no apparent reason. These were my only two gripes about the film.

The beauty of food and the way it can transcend countries and language barriers, bringing people together. The power of love, regardless of distance or any other barrier that may be dropped in the couple’s way. This film is all about facing insurmountable odds, sacrifice, and love. It was well worth the subtitles.

“Finding You”

8.2

With these types of movies, I typically judge them by the feeling I’m left with leaving the theater. Does it give me the butterflies? This one checked all of the boxes and left this forever bachelor inspired.

Uptight person who needs to learn how to relax from their polar opposite counterpart? Check.

Gorgeous leads who have spectacular chemistry? Check.

Beautiful locale? Check.

Overbearing manager/parent who makes it a forbidden love? Check.

Just enough twist on the story we’ve heard a million times before so we don’t mind rendition 1,000,001? Check.

Just wait until you find out the “you” that she finds… it’s going to blow your mind.

This film reminded me heavily of “Letters to Juliet” and “Leap Year,” which still stand as two of my favorites. Come to think of it, it’s also checking boxes that make it similar to “Somewhere in Time” as well. It’s also possible that this pounced on me in a time of sappiness to have a more significant impact. Totally possible. Either way, the cast was perfect, the story was exquisite, and the end product was *chef’s kiss*.

Side note: This rendition of “Whiskey in the Jar” was much different than the one I typically listen to.