Romance On The Menu is Terribly Terrific

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the title Romance On The Menu? Iconic.

Last year I was bedridden with bronchitis, rhino virus and God knows what else, so I decided to use my time wisely by watching a bunch of films on Netflix and review them.

Now I’m bedridden with a dislocated coccyx so am unable to attend most of the physical activities and hobbies that occupy my time. With more time than usual on my hands, I’ve returned to my roots of reviewing Netflix films.

What’s on the menu today? Romance On The Menu!

I know right. I’m so funny I can’t even help it.

The attraction is alive and well. And I’m definitely referring to me and ol’ mate Cook here.

If the film title doesn’t give it away, Romance On The Menu is a romantic comedy recently released exclusively on Netflix. It stars Cindy Busby and Tim Ross as Caroline Wilson and Simon Cook respectively.

Let me just start by saying that if you’ve seen Falling Inn Love starring Christina Milian, then you’ve basically already seen this movie.

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Basically, this film follows the same plot as Falling Inn Love. Caroline, a chef at an upscale restaurant in New York, inherits a cafe from her late aunt in Australia. She decides to go over and fix up the place so she can sell it and return back to her life in New York.

Enter Simon Cook the handsome Australian cook (ba dum tsh). Like every romance movie ever, Simon and Caroline initially clash heads, but to the surprise of absolutely no one, they end up falling in love. There was also the classic ‘shirtless male lead scene for no apparent reason’ cliché in which Simon’s rig wasn’t overly impressive, but yolo because he’s cute anyway.

If you’ve read this far, then you basically know what happened in the rest of the movie. Caroline ends up not wanting to sell the cafe, her and Simon fall in love with each other, and then she ends up keeping the cafe but still wanting to retain her life in New York. And then ol’ mate Simon flies to New York and tells her how much he loves her and they kiss and fireworks spark off in the distance.

The end.

Now that that’s done. Let me tell you what I love about movies like Romance on the Menu. I’m well aware that if you choose to watch a cheesy romcom that looks like it belongs on the Hallmark channel that you shouldn’t expect a cinematic masterpiece. In saying that, I’ve never particularly enjoyed cinematic masterpieces, and the cheesier the romcom, the better!

You can tell just by looking at the movie promotional material what’s going to happen. You know that Caroline and Simon are going to end up falling in love before the movie has even started. The entire plot gives itself away after the first minutes of the movie. But that’s the thing with cheesy romance movies like this.

It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. And this journey was actually pretty entertaining. Like can we talk about how iconic the childish food fight scene was?

Let me tell you, I’m all for the casting of funny attractive Aussie actors in lead male roles in romance movies, and Tim Ross was amazing in his role. He and Cindy had fairly decent chemistry which is super important for a romcom because for me personally, I can see through faked chemistry very easily and it ruins my experience with the movie.

The hometown feel of the location is also very important for a film like this, and the supporting characters did give it quite a homely feel. The ‘meddling middle aged woman’ cliché in Marla did her role well (to the point that I found her genuinely irritating), and bless her for locking them in the pantry to provide us with the most iconic scene of the entire film.

Again, you can see the destination from a mile away, but when you watch movies like Romance on the Menu, let the journey take you down its path and enjoy it while you can.

P.S. Tim Ross, if you’re reading this… heeeeeyyyy.

– by The Black Widow

Nine Reactions to the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Pilot Episode

Why was I blessed with the love of trashy reality TV?

November 12, 2020 was very special to me for three reasons:
1. It was my best friend Sian’s birthday (happy birthday girl!);
2. I received my PS5 which, as of writing the day after, is still on installing all of my games and updates, and;
3. The pilot episode of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City debuted!

A bunch of Utah queens… Jen and Heather are also pictured.

I have been looking forward to this particular installment of the Real Housewives franchise for several reasons. For starters, my granddad lives in Salt Lake City and I’ve been there a few times to see him, so I’m quite familiar with the city itself. Furthermore, all my immediate family are Mormon (I’m not, but that’s irrelevant) so I have a good understanding of the Mormon church and culture and wanted to see if the housewives who identify as Mormon fit that understanding (spoiler alert: they didn’t).

So while my PS5 was installing game updates, I booted up my Chromecast and began watching the first episode of RHOSLC. I was pleasantly surprised, troubled, but most importantly amused by the episode.

Here are some of my first reactions to this episode:

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

1. Jen Shah is an actual moron
I’m well aware that the Real Housewives franchise are full of larger than life characters, and I really like some of them (Erika Jayne, NeNe Leakes etc.) Jen Shah is a larger than life character, however she is an obnoxious, self-centered larger than life “character” who planned a “birthday party” for her “friend” but made it all about herself, and not in the funny way either. At no point did I find myself liking her, and I’m already looking forward to the day where she’s dropped from the show. In saying that, I don’t think she will be, as her type of personality is what makes these shows so iconic, so unfortunately she’s probably here for the long run.

2. Meredith’s son Brooks made an iconic decision
We’re introduced to Meredith, her husband, and her son Brooks. Brooks apparently decided to take a semester off uni/college/whatever they call it in the US to spend more time with his family. Translation: he took a semester off uni to be featured on RHOSLC because he found out his mother was cast as a housewife. Iconic.

3. Whitney is a skinny hilarious Queen
Look. I’m not gonna lie about it. Watching the preview videos and especially the taglines for this show, I was not impressed with Whitney at all. She’s proud of having an affair with a married man 18 years older than her, and her voice makes me want to bang frying pans together to drown out the noise. Watching this episode, however, changed my mind completely. She’s gorgeous, she’s true to herself, and is so adorably ditsy that I see myself in her. Come on Bravo… let’s give this Queen the more air time that she deserves!

4. This drama smells like a hospital
The major drama in this episode, which will apparently be continued in episode two, was that Mary told Jen that she smelled like a hospital. That was it. That was the drama. To make it even more strange, Mary has a long back story about why she’s traumatised about the smell of hospital, and Jen believes that Mary shouldn’t have said it because Jen was taking care of her aunt who had both legs amputated at the hospital. The Rinna/Kim restaurant fight in Amsterdam is embarrassed by this hospital smell shit.

5. Heather is a loser an acquired taste
The name Heather is synonymous with beautiful, popular girls due to Heather Chandler’s revolutionary impact. Heather from RHOSLC apparently missed that memo, as not only is she unbearably deluded, but her emotional attachment to getting acknowledgement from Lisa is actually pathetic. If someone claimed they didn’t know me even if they did, I’d shrug my shoulders and move on. Heather is apparently going to start drama about it. Grow up, Heather.

6. Lisa is a bad bitch
You know when you look at someone and you can just tell they’re a bad mf bitch? Enter Lisa Barlow. Not only does she appear to be so unapologetically herself, but I’m also lowkey a fan of the way she disregarded Heather’s petty ass (refer to above). When starting a Real Housewives show, you quickly pick your favourites, and Lisa Barlow is clearly going to be my favourite.

7. Why is it a chalet and not just a house?
The first housewife we’re introduced to is (unfortunately) Jen. You’ll quickly see that the lower third states that you’re in “Jen’s Chalet”. No. Not her house, or her home, or even her mansion. It’s specifically a chalet. I don’t know if this is just because I can’t stand Jen, but how f’ing pretentious.

8. Mary = style icon
Our first glimpse of Mary is when she’s meeting up with Skinny Queen Whitney for drinks. Mary is seen wearing a very eccentric outfit, which others have slammed as bad fashion. I, on the other hand, love it. I always appreciate out there bold fashion choices, and while I personally wouldn’t wear Mary’s outfit, she rocked it like a boss. But on the other hand…

9. Who forces their granddaughter to marry their husband?
Mary’s grandmother died, and in her will, it was instructed that ‘one of her girls’ has to marry her husband to inherit her legacy. As it is, Mary ended up marrying her step grandfather, and it’s made out as if it was completely against her will but she did it anyway. Wtf.

I’ll be frank: I don’t watch Real Housewives shows for some quality television because I’m well aware they are trash. But sometimes good trash is what you really need, and I cannot get enough of this good trash.

Very excited to see episode two now. It’d just be better without Jen and Heather soz not soz.

– by The Black Widow

Artist of the Month: Harry Styles

Just like strawberries on a summer evening.

There will always be debates of which former One Direction member has had the best solo career, and a solid argument can be made for each one, but what everyone cannot deny is just how great Harry Styles has been since leaving the iconic boy band.

The artist of the month for November 2020 is Harry Styles.

What a deadset healthy mop of hair. (Photo taken from Ianthebush’s Flickr photostream)

While his talent has never been denied, I don’t know if people were actually prepared for the absolute bangers Harry Styles has produced ever since branching off on his own. While most pop singers resort to the same old tactics to keep their music on the top 10 lists, Harry doesn’t have to hide behind a catchy tune and repetitive lyrics; his music tells stories – whether they’re subtle like Two Ghosts or blatantly obvious like Kiwi – and his vocals are almost unmatched when it comes to male popstars.

The first song, as referenced by the opening line of this article that I would like to touch upon, is Watermelon Sugar… and not just because a series of events has made this song remind me of RHOBH legend Eden Sassoon and her iconic black bob wig.

This track has an easy summer holiday kinda vibe to it, which goes with the lyrics of the song. While many people have their own interpretations about what this song is actually about, I don’t think I could care less, because this song doesn’t need some blatant or obscure meaning to justify just how awesome it is. It’s a track that I can see appealing to any music taste and suiting any situation, from going for an early morning run, to sitting by the pool with a strawberry daiquiri.

The first song of Harry’s that I really felt deep in my core was Woman from his debut album. While essentially the entire album was #fire, Woman struck me as powerful simply because of how Harry sings the chorus, which contains only one word: woman. You can feel the passion and gusto he feels for this unidentified woman just by how he says the word. This song has an almost R&B piano style feel to it, or as my friend Michelle once so eloquently put it, “an 80’s porno vibe”.

It would be remiss of me not to talk about my feelings towards Kiwi considering my New Zealand heritage. But even besides that little fact linking me to this song, I have a soft spot for this track because it reminds me of Candice Swanepoel walking down the Victoria’s Secret runway while Harry Styles performed it at their now-defunct annual fashion show in 2017. One of the more overtly sexual songs of Harry Styles’ career, the chorus itself should give you a fair idea of how blatant the song is: “I’m having your baby, it’s none of your business”. This track is full of high energy with a quick pace and loud instrument accompaniment, so you would understand why the VS Angels could master their strut while Mr. Styles himself song behind them.

Recommended Tracks
– “Only Angel” from Harry Styles
– “Adore You” from Fine Line
– “Sign of the Times” from Harry Styles

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to put on an iconic Eden Sassoon black bob wig, sit in my lounge, and listen to Watermelon Sugar with a glass of wine.

– by The Black Widow

Ten Things The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Taught Me

You guessed it. Another article about the icons of RHOBH.

In its simplest form, RHOBH is a spin off of the popular Real Housewives franchise, showcasing the dramatic lives of glamorous women with more money than they know what to do with.

But underneath the ‘trashy reality’ exterior it has, this iconic show has some important life lessons for all kinds of people. From not being afraid to speak your mind, to ensuring you dress to the nines for a pyjama breakfast together, the ladies of Beverly Hills are full of knowledge and wisdom, and I am going to pass these nuggets of gold down to you. You’re welcome.

They probably don’t look impressed because someone didn’t listen to number nine. (Photo taken from Greg Palmer’s Flickr photostream)

1. Pat the puss
Self explanatory really. Thank you Erika Jayne.

2. Never put your handbag on the floor
This is a superstition I have never heard of before watching this show. The belief is that putting your bag on the floor indicates losing money as it goes right out the door. Now, you will never see me put my Coach on the floor, whether it’s near impossible to hang it up somewhere or not.

3. No matter how insignificant the problem may seem to you, bring it up
One thing that I’m trying to become better at as a human is validating my emotions and feelings; I’m allowed to feel however I naturally feel about a situation. And one of the things that the Housewives of Beverly Hills do well – whether if it’s scripted or otherwise induced – is bringing up their issues to the person who caused it. Whether it’s Joyce telling racist Brandi to stop calling her Jacqueline, or Queen Eileen telling LVP she didn’t appreciate her ‘affair’ being brought up at the dinner table, they’ve taught us that the most foolish words are the ones that are unsaid.

4. You can never spend too much on a bag
Designer fashion isn’t for everyone. However, designer fashion is definitely for me. And whether you’re a Kyle who would spend thousands on a bag just to flaunt it at brunch, or you’re an Eileen who has a more conservatively priced bag that would potentially draw the ire of Kathryn Edwards, it’s an unspoken rule among the ladies that there is no such thing as spending too much money on a bag.

5. There’s no such thing as ‘too dressed up’ for an occasion
Poor Denise was dragged way out of her comfort zone when she joined RHOBH, because you can only ever be underdressed when attending a function in Beverly Hills (even though she is Denise fucking Richards). Wearing designer fashion and heels to something as simple as a brunch or a protest march is a must, and let’s not forget it. And don’t let some hatin’ ass bitch judge you for wearing glam to a wellness retreat either.

6. Don’t accuse someone of having pretend amnesia
Yeah, Teddi.

7. Always bring a gift to someone’s house for any event
When a friend has invited you over to their home for an event, whether it’s a housewarming or a simple lunch, bring something as a gift. The ladies of RHOBH always take a gift to someone’s house, no matter how small the occasion may be. And for the extra lolz, if you don’t know what to take, take a box of Cadbury’s Favourites.

8. Avoid the ‘M’ word
An entire season was based around Lisa Rinna dropping the ‘M’ word. Do yourself a favour and don’t say it.

9. Don’t bring up dirty laundry at the dinner table
While it’s a recurring theme that all of the best arguments on RHOBH happen at the damn dinner table, one of the best lessons I’ve taken from the latest season was from sweet little Sutton, who kindly advised Teddi Mellentrampcamp to not bring up Denise’s business at the dinner table. And how right you are, Sutton Stracke.

10. Don’t invite a psychic to dinner
For the love of all that is holy, don’t do it. Don’t do it to yourself. The Dinner Party from Hell is called the Dinner Party from Hell for a reason.

Also, in relation to number 10… Allison Dubois, if you’re reading this – you’ve got mf issues hun.

– by The Black Widow