Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks - Movies You Thought You'd Hate But Ended Up Enjoying

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join in the fun by picking three movies that fit the week's theme and writing a bit about them!

This week's theme was harder than I expected. Honestly, it's far more common for me to think I'll really love something and end up disappointed than the opposite. Simply put, life is too short to spend the time watching movies that I don't think I'll like. That said, if enough people I know and trust tell me something's good, or if a movie becomes such a huge cultural moment that I feel like I HAVE to see it, I will, and sometimes I do end up being pleasantly surprised.

Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas, 2016) Everything I had heard about this had me fearing that it was going to be a pretentious bore, nothing but watching Kristen Stewart affectlessly plod her way through a succession of pretty clothes while pondering death, or some other such European art film bullshit. But to my surprise, it turned out to be a surprisingly great, if somewhat low-key, thriller, and sexy as all hell. Ozon manages to make text messaging seem like the most stressful thing in the world, and while there is plenty of pondering about death, it's mostly underplayed, and is integrated really well into the whole. And it's ALSO a low-key ghost story, following Stewart's titular assistant/part-time medium as she deals with her fashion-world boss, the death of her twin brother, and being stalked, possibly by a ghost. I was pleasantly shocked by how much I enjoyed this.

Happy Death Day (Christopher Landon, 2017) While I'm fascinated by horror films, they're not usually my cup of tea. Especially PG-13 slasher flicks, which tend to be lazy jump scare after lazy jump scare with ciphers in the place of characters. But time and again I heard this praised as hilarious and clever, and the trailer for the sequel looked like a lot of fun. So I eventually broke down and watched this mash-up of Groundhog Day and trashy teensploitation horror flicks like Sorority Row... and really enjoyed it! No, it's not especially scary, but it's not nearly as interested in its slasher elements as it is in its comedic elements and its lead character, played by Jessica Rothe in a fierce, funny performance that should absolutely make her a huge star (she's even better in the sequel). Even if you're not into horror, give this a shot. It's fast, fun, and REALLY funny.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before (Susan Johnson, 2018) Look, after everyone was raving about how Set It Up totally reinvigorated the romantic comedy and I found it to be unbearably bland and insulting, I did not have high hopes for this other Netflix rom-com about a high school girl whose private, unsent letters to boys she felt intense passion for (one of whom just so happens to be her sister's boyfriend) at one get unwittingly mailed out, causing her quiet, safe world to come crashing down around her. So I was completely taken aback by how open-hearted and warm and genuinely funny this movie is. Lana Condor is an immensely appealing lead, and Noah Centineo makes for a fantastic love interest/obstacle. The film just has a spark that is somehow missing from a lot of the other similar Netflix "originals".

15 comments:

  1. I wish I would've thought of Happy Death Day for this, I feel the same way. I thought the trailer was dumb as hell and I ended up having so much fun with it. I enjoyed Personal Shopper too. To All The Boys I Loved Before didn't work for me, but I would watch another movie with Lana Condor in an instant.

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    1. Lana Condor is just so lovable! I know she's in a new series on Syfy, but I haven't watched it.

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  2. I haven't seen Happy Death Day yet but I hated the other two, especially To All The Boys I've Loved Before.

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  3. Personal Shopper is on my netflix list so I will get to it :)

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    1. I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

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  4. I haven't seen any of these movies, although I've hearing lots of good things about Happy Death Day. I need to check out these movies!

    Here’s my Thursday Movie Picks!

    Ronyell @ The Surreal Movies and TV Blog

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    1. Thanks for commenting! All three of these are worth seeing, but I honestly would put Happy Death Day at the top of the list.

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  5. Happy Death Day & To All the Boys were pleasant surprises for me too. I didn't love either, but I definitely had a good time watching them. Haven't seen Personal Shopper, yet.

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    1. DO IT! It's genuinely more entertaining than it sounds like.

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  6. I've heard enough great things about Happy Death Day now that I need to see it for myself!

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  7. I haven’t seen any of these but I remember Happy Death Day from the trailers. It does look like it would be quite funny and I hope she makes it. Kristen Stewart is one I just want to punch for some reason but this film sounds interesting but the title sucks, in my opinion.

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  8. I love TATBILB.

    Have yet to see Happy Death Day, but want too.

    I struggled with Personal Shopper because it moves soo slowly, but I think the end saves the movie, it was pretty clever.

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  9. What a wonderful read. Took a few pointers from this great article.

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