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The Vyne Movie Review: Ate, Prayed, Loved It!

Last Saturday I decided to get some r&r with my sister-friend Gigi. What better way to do that than over dinner and a movie? Since “Eat, Pray, Love” was the talk of the weekend it was only fitting that we partake of some fab cuisine before checking out the movie, which is exactly what we did. If you’ve never eaten at Seasons 52 before, take my word for it, the food is fantastic. The menu includes yummy seasonal food and the added bonus of a different chef’s special each of the 52 weeks in a year. (hence the name, Seasons 52). After savoring grilled rainbow trout, cedar plank salmon, goat cheese stuffed ravioli, shrimp stuffed mushrooms, Parmesan rosemary flatbread and mini decadent desserts, we headed to the theater.

While I haven’t read the book, I was eager to see if the film would adequately translate what readers of the book have raved about.  In my opinion, the film overall was nicely done. Julia Roberts was her usual bubbly, funny, emotional self. I particularly enjoyed the “pray” and the “love” portions of her journey as they overtly but not obnoxiously provided the viewer with some useful self-help nuggets, a la “sending light and love and letting it go.” Likewise, while Viola Davis was only on screen for a short time, she lit it up as she normally does. The film was definitely a “chick flick” and perfect to see when you’re feeling some kind of way about your love life…or just life in general. If nothing else, it can help you to jump-start your own “life reset” button. Only draw back was the length of the film…a bit too long in sections where it didn’t need to be. So all in all, I give “Eat, Pray, Love” 3.5 out of 4 berries on The Vyne.

Did you see the film? If so, let us know what you thought of it.


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The Vyne Movie Review: SATC2

After a relaxing afternoon in NYC, partaking of tea and light Japanese fare at Franchia followed by creamy all-natural yogurt from Red Mango, we decided to check out Sex and the City 2. While this was Keesha’s second time seeing the film, it was Kailei’s first. So in the spirit of Siskel and Ebert, we thought we’d share our separate reviews of the films.

Keesha’s Review

Generally, sequels fall way short of the original. So I went into this film with little to no expectations that it would be good. That said, I’m happy to report that it more than exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed the fact that SATC2 seemed to do a “double click” on the dimensions and complexities of the characters. By that I mean, we got to go deeper into the emotions of the characters and their relationships in a way that we haven’t seen before. Hear me out on this one. We’ve always seen Carrie chasing after a relationship but rarely saw how she is when she’s in one that’s actually sustaining. We’ve always seen Miranda as the hard-nosed attorney but rarely saw the other sides of her or the dissonance she experiences as a full time working mother. We’ve always seen Big as this aloof, unavailable, commitment phob, but rarely explored the possibility that he’s not that way inside of a relationship. And Charlotte’s always been the buttoned up traditionalist but rarely have we had the chance to see that fall away. I liked that this movie played with the expected to reveal a bit of the unexpected in each of the characters. And speaking of unexpected, was Liza doing her thing or was Liza doing her thing?!? My only criticism is that it was a bit long but all in all, I enjoyed the film as much as I did the first, if not more. Out of 4 berries, I give SATC2 3.5 berries on The Vyne.

Kailei’s Review

I honestly was slightly apprehensive to watch this movie. To me, the first one was so good – one of my favorite chick flicks ever – and my fear was that the sequel would be a cheesy knock-off. I mean, an all expense paid girls trip to Abu Dhabi and a run-in with Aiden? It seemed too outlandish. But to my surprise, and despite some of the criticism I had heard from others, I thought it was pretty good! However, to me it was not as good as the first. It didn’t have the emotional highs that made me laugh until I cried or the lows that made me go into the ugly cry. However, it was an entertaining movie that made me love the girls all over again, and even showed me pieces of myself in each of them. Carrie and Big were going through challenges that real married couples face. Miranda had an unexpected epiphany that changed her life. Charlotte let her seemingly unbreakable facade down. And Samantha, well, she was Samantha! All in all, I enjoyed it. My favorite moment: Liza Minnelli and her unexpected musical number (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it). My least favorite: the girls’ cheesy karaoke performance of “I am Woman.” I give SATC2 3 out of 4 berries on The Vyne.

So tell us: what did you think about Sex and the City 2?

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The Vyne Movie Review: Just Wright

It seems like ever since the late nineties, we’ve all been craving for that next great romantic love story to knock us off our feet the way Love Jones and Love & Basketball did. About a week ago I went to see “Just Wright” with Vyne contributor Gigi of the Yummy Librarian. While neither of us said it, we were both secretly hoping to be swept away by loving, sappy one-liners weaved throughout a hopelessly romantic plot. So we grabbed our popcorn and vitamin waters and settled in.

I’ll spare you the suspense and say that I “liked” the film. I didn’t “love” it. I didn’t “hate” it. I “liked” it. I thought Common, with his chiseled basketball player bod, did a good job playing the unexpected good guy/leading man. Likewise, the always stunning Paula Patton succeeded in plucking my last nerve as the shallow, self-absorbed cousin to Queen Latifah’s leading lady character, Leslie Wright.

While I think Queen Latifah is an extraordinarily talented musician/songstress and a well above average actress, something about the chemistry between her and Common’s character just didn’t work for me. And I wanted it to…I really wanted it to. The romantic scenes had potential but the lack of chemistry between her and Common left me and Gigi unsatisfied and at times, dare I say, wishing they would have chosen someone else for the leading lady role.

Now, will I still be buying this movie when it comes out on DVD to add to my collection, yes of course. But as for a rating, “Just Wright” gets 2 out of 4 berries from The Vyne.

Did you check out this movie? If so, let us know what you think.


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The Vyne Movie Review: TP’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?”

By Keesha Boyd

It never fails. Every time someone tells me how great a movie is going to be I go into it with a whole lot of expectations. Sometimes those expectations are met or exceeded and other times…well…not so much. In this case, I have to say while I didn’t hate it…I wasn’t really loving it either. I’ll give credit to the cast, particularly Janet Jackson and Jill Scott for really stepping up the dramatic acting this time around. I’ll also give credit to whoever was responsible for the cinematography as it was noticeably colorful and well shot. Where I struggled with this film was with the “over the top” antics of Tasha Smith’s character, the “out of the blue” craziness of Janet’s character (a la gay man jumping out of a cake), the death of “you know who” (I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet) and finally, the ending with Janet’s character. It was just too much…or as me and my line sisters like to say “it was extra!” I don’t knock Tyler Perry’s hustle and there are several of his movies that I rather enjoyed. Strangely enough it seems like I enjoy every third movie of his…at this rate, I’m on track to reeeeaaallly like the next one! What do you think Vyne readers? Am I going too hard on TP? Tell us what you thought of the film.


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The Princess & The Frog: A Commentary on SBFs

Last weekend, me and a good girlfriend decided to indulge the “little girl” in ourselves by going to see “The Princess and the Frog”. We settled in with our popcorn and store bought vitamin waters, ready to share a few giggles over a typical Disney storyline. Much to our surprise we were treated to way more than just a few giggles. I can’t count how many times throughout the film we looked over at each other, stunned to see that somehow Disney had found a way to tap into the essence of black women through a cartoon frog. Everything from Tiana working hard to save her money so that she could become an entrepreneur to handling the curve ball life through her way (a la turning into a frog), it was refreshingly funny and ironic that this accurate portrayal of black women came in the form of a frog.  Take for instance the fact that when she became a frog and was whisked away to the bayou with her frog prince, she not only saved him from getting eaten but she got up extra early the next morning, built a boat out of sticks and bark, woke him up and commenced to rowing the boat down the bayou herself. All of this happened while her soon to be frog prince sat idly by on his hind legs watching her do all the work. What really had us roaring laughing was watching this froggy interpretation of ourselves make a full blown tasty gumbo out of whatever was accessible in the bayou and then teaching her frog prince how to mince. There were so many themes, undertones and parallelisms that we left the theater literally shocked. I believe our exact words were, “wow….Disney actually got it right!” This was the fairytale little brown girls and single brown women alike have been waiting to see. Don’t believe me? Go check out the film and let us know…did you see yourself on screen?


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The VW Best Movie Rentals

ban_005Have you ever found yourself working hard during the week and making it to the weekend only to find that you have an equally demanding weekend schedule? We have! So every now and then we like to partake in a little “mindless” activity to unwind from the week. One way to do this is by curling up on the couch and watching a great movie. We have so many favs so here are just a few dramas and romantic comedies that we really enjoy. Let us know what yours are too!

Semi-Recent Movies: Sex and the City (the Movie), Little Miss Sunshine, Real Women Have Curves, Crash, Nights in Rodanthe, The Family That Preys. 

Oldies but Goodies: Love & Basketball, Hitch, Love Jones, Jerry McGuire, Fools Rush In, Two Can Play That Game, The Ditch Diggers Daughters, A Chorus Line, Maid in Manhattan, Along Came Polly, Under the Tuscan Sun.

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Go See: Away We Go

Went to see this last weekend and loved it! This cleverly funny movie about a couple in their 30s expecting their first child stars the multi-talented Maya Rudolph (formerly of SNL , HBO’s The Black List v2). Though quirky in a Juno sort of way, this film is not only “laugh out loud” funny but also tugs at the heart strings. It’s an anytime movie that we may not take our mothers to, but it’s great for a night out with your girlfriends or significant other.

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