learn something new every day:


I love love love the new Beauty and the Beast movie. One of the best parts, of course, is the Beast’s library, so I wrote “Belle Would Be Enchanted by These 10 Lovely Libraries in Hotels” for USA Today 10Best.

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“the music of strangers” movie review

Posted on June 27, 2016

The Music of Strangers

Boy, if there was ever a movie that came out just when it was needed most in the world, this is it.

At a time when too many people are focusing on the differences between us, The Music of Strangers shows the power of music to act as a universal language and bring us together. more »

“the witness” movie review

Posted on June 26, 2016

The Witness

Anyone who lived in New York in the ’60s was haunted by the story of Kitty Genovese.

In March 1964, the 28 year old was coming home from her job at a local bar in Kew Gardens, Queens at 3 a.m. when a man came out of nowhere and stabbed her. As she screamed for help, he ran away and she made it into the hallway of her building. He came back, found her and stabbed her again.

Despite her screams and the fact that 38 neighbors witnessed the attack, no one came to her rescue and she died.

That fact was turned into a front page New York Times story about apathy and anonymity, revealing the uncaring people who lived in the city.

“It was one of the most shameful events in New York City history,” said one reporter.

As a little girl growing up in Queens, it was terrifying to me.

Now, fifty years later, The Witness follows Kitty’s brother, Bill, as he tries to make sense of what happened that night. more »

“gurukulam” movie review

Posted on June 25, 2016

Gurukulam Swami

Thank goodness I watched this with Michael because it is more his kind of movie than mine, and now I can also give you a perspective from someone to whom Gurukulam is actually geared.

Gurukulam is a documentary set in the Arsha Vidya ashram in Southern India. The filmmakers take us into the everyday world of Swami Dayananda Saraswati (who died last year at the age of 85) as he leads meditations, discusses philosophy with his students and educates children about the importance of thinking good thoughts. more »

“my big fat greek wedding 2” giveaway!

Posted on June 24, 2016

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

They’re baaaack!

My Big Fat Greek Wedding taught us the meaning of “opa” and introduced us to creative new ways to use Windex.

I loved that movie, and it’s no wonder it’s the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. more »

“the lobster” movie review

Posted on June 15, 2016

The Lobster

I just learned that today is National Lobster Day, so it’s the perfect day for me to review The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz. more »

“me before you” movie review

Posted on June 2, 2016

Me Before You

You know how much I loved Me Before You, Jojo Moyes’ beautiful, thought-provoking, important novel, and how much I’ve been looking forward to the movie.

I took my friend, Elin, to the screening with me and, because she hadn’t read the book yet — what?! — I was curious to see if we would share the same reaction.

The book is a giant tearjerker of a story — but never in a sappy or predictable way — so I thought it was brilliant marketing that they passed out these special little boxes of Kleenex as we headed into the theater.

Me Before You Kleenex

Unfortunately, I never needed them. more »

“maggie’s plan” movie review

Posted on May 30, 2016

Maggie's Plan

Every time I see Greta Gerwig in a movie, I just want to be her friend. She seems so down-to-earth and authentic and, like the best actors, she never seems to be acting.

In Rebecca Miller’s new film, Maggie’s Plan, Gerwig plays the title character — a Manhattan millennial who’s made a career out of helping students navigate the intersection of art and commerce, and who hears her own biological clock ticking.

Although her good friend, Tony (Bill Hader), assures her it will all work out, she tells him, “I don’t like leaving my destiny to destiny.”

And she devises a plan. more »

“money monster” movie review

Posted on May 29, 2016

Money Monster - George Clooney

If you want to see why people in this country are so angry, go see Money Monster.

In the movie, a frustrated young man named Kyle (Jack O’Connell) finds his way on to the set of a hot financial show and threatens to kill host Lee Gates (George Clooney) on live TV for recommending a stock that mysteriously tanked, causing him to lose the $60,000 he was counting on to take care of his girlfriend and baby.

“That’s just pocket change to you, right?” he spits at Gates, while strapping on an explosive-packed vest.

Gates is arrogant and self-absorbed, and his director, Patty (Julia Roberts) has her hands full trying to keep him focused. As the action unfolds, it’s also up to her to try to keep everyone alive. more »

“love and friendship” movie review

Posted on May 26, 2016

Love and Friendship Chloe and Kate

Sometimes it shocks me that, even though I was an English major in college, I somehow missed reading so many classics.

For example, I had no idea Jane Austen wrote a novella called Lady Susan but you can bet I’ll be heading to the library to check it out after seeing Love and Friendship, the delightful new movie based on it. I ran a giveaway for the film last week and was so intrigued by the story, I spent yesterday afternoon at the lovely Angelika Film Center, transported back to the 18th century. more »

“the meddler” movie review

Posted on May 24, 2016

The Meddler

First of all, let me say that, as the mom of two grown children, I totally resent the title, The Meddler.

Yes, I have been known to leave my kids rambling voicemails. And to text them repeatedly when they don’t call me back. And maybe I’ve gotten a little too involved in their friends’ lives. And, okay, I might have been informed by one of them that we need to set some kind of boundaries.

But that’s not because I’m a meddler.

It’s because I’m a mother. more »

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