1. Today, I took myself to see A Star is Born, the film starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga that came out over the weekend. Here are four reasons why I enjoyed this movie SO MUCH:
- The talent of everyone involved. The acting was on point, everyone from Ally's Dad's buddies who only have a couple of scenes to our main couple Ally (Lady Gaga) and Jack Main (Bradley Cooper) and every supporting character in between. Of course, we already know Gaga's musical talent is undeniable, but Cooper is a legit rock star now.
- The laser sharp storytelling. No moment, no word, no scene, no frame is wasted. There are no unnecessary tangents, and nothing is left out.
- This is a movie about a rock star who meets and falls in love with a talented singer and songwriter singing in a dive bar a few times a week. He believes in her and gives her a chance to be on stage and grow her talent, and -- as the title says -- a star is born. However...the story is not about music or life on the road or fame. It's about Jack and Ally. It's about Jack's demons and addictions...in the context of his relationship with Ally. It's about her growing confidence and popularity...in the context of her relationship with Jack. It's a story about two people who meet, fall in love, and live a life together.
- The music. This is closely related to talent, of course, but it's worth saying the soundtrack to this movie is on fire. I know I just said it's not a story about the music or rock star-pop star life, but the fact that Jack and Ally are musical stars is certainly a big part of the story. It's the context, the setting, and sometimes almost like another character.
2. The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan a novel about Bex --an American college student who gets accepted in a study-abroad program at Oxforrd -- and Nick -- prince and heir to the throne of Great Britain (yes...inspired by the real-life romance of Britain's college sweethearts William and Kate)
- This book was so engaging and hard to put down. I'd pick it up any chance I could, and would stay up way too late reading one more chapter.
- There are so.many.bad.choices being made in this book. So many bad choices.
- I loved that it was as much about Bex's relationships with her twin sister, her parents, and her friends as it was about the main romance. Relationships are hard and messy, and this story did a great job of showing relationships of all kinds in a realistic, nuanced way.
- London! Oxford! Pubs and tea and slang and all that good stuff.