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

Happy Death Day is WAY Better Than You’d Think

Feel like being pleasantly surprised?

In the second addition of “Bronchitis Bedridden Netflix Movie Reviews”, I mindlessly turned on Happy Death Day after skimming over the synopsis, thinking that this would help me pass the time in my neverending quest to get rid of this damn illness.

So Happy Death Day is a comedy/thriller/horror starring Jessica Rothe as Theresa, or Tree… because if your name was Theresa, you would want people to give you a nickname like Tree. Anyways, Theresa (because I refuse to acknowledge her as Tree) is your standard blonde sorority bitch who celebrates her birthday by getting murdered by a masked killer. But then she wakes up on the same day and has to re-live the day where she gets murdered until she figures out who’s doing it.

Sounds kinda lame, right? Well you, like me, would be wrong!

Gruesome and all… but why do I suddenly feel like cake now?

Consider this your SPOILER WARNING. And I highly recommend that you watch this movie so you can be wowed like I was.

Theresa starts off as a bitch and you kind of don’t mind that she dies; she’s dismissive of her friends and people she deems ‘lower’ than her, and you just don’t want her to have a happy life. I thought about how this movie was going to get anyone to feel sympathetic for this bitch if she was the heroine, but they managed.

So she re-lives the day and starts to realise how much of a c-bomb she is, and on her journey to figure out what’s happening and who’s killing her, she also begins to self-reflect and figures out that she should start being nicer to people. There we go. Getting sympathy for the girl. And when she realises that she has an “unlimited amount of lives” upon dying and resetting the day, she actually turns out to be pretty funny and relatable.

The thing that I loved most about her days resetting was how they could easily differ from one another; there was no set formula to how her day could or should go. On the first night she’s lured into a tunnel and is killed; one day she barricades herself in her room, thinking she’ll escape death, but then is killed; one night she is drowned to death (and then wakes up vomiting… nice touch.) None of her runs followed a set routine mostly (even though she would wear the same outfit for the party), and I thought that was a nice touch for this Groundhog Day inspired film.

After my disappointment with Secret Obsession‘s lack of twist, I was hoping for something good. And boy did this movie provide. At the beginning, you’re going through everyone in Theresa’s life, trying to think who could possibly have a strong enough motive to kill the dumb bitch (spoiler: everyone does). And after she deduces that everyone has an “alibi” of sorts, you’re led to believe that the person that is trying to kill her is a serial killer John Tombs that targets young, beautiful women and escapes his restraints at the hospital. But then in the end, you find out that you were very wrong.

Even though I gave a spoiler warning, I don’t want to tell you what the twist is because you will never see it coming, and boy is it satisfying when you see it for yourself.

On top of this pretty damn good storyline that successfully blends thriller with comedy, you get a stellar acting performance from Jessica Rothe, who plays the selfish, manipulative turned comedy heart of gold character so perfectly that you would think the role was tailor made to her. While the characters seemed to be very stereotypical – Theresa included – it was nice to see some of them break out of the mould.

Theresa Gelbman: a bad bitch.

The storyline, while albeit a bit borrowed and overdone, was done in a new and refreshing way, and the fact that it was done in a film that’s a blend of genres was what made it super endearing to me.

Tl;dr: this movie is way better than you would think, and you should definitely hang around for the twist ending.

Anywho, I was delighted to see that there was a sequel made called Happy Death Day 2u, so I cannot wait to watch this one and see how the legend of Theresa is continued.

– by The Black Widow

Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

I’ve paid to see this movie twice already so I should have a pretty clear idea of my reaction to it.

Before I begin this review, I’d just like to point out that last night and last Saturday night, I did the exact same thing: ate two lots of spring rolls and chocolate cake at Sushi Bay, and then watched Kingsman: The Secret Service, in that very order. The only difference is last night I was by myself. It wasn’t even out of choice either. Can you say bizarro?

Enough about my stellar social life… Kingsman: The Secret Service is a new British film starring Colin Firth, Samuel Jackson, Michael Caine and Taron Frotherton… oh I mean Egerton. The film puts Egerton in the role of Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (because we all know someone with the nickname Eggsy), a young charming-yet-aggressive Brit who is thrust into a world of secret missions and high-tech weaponry when he utters the words “Oxfords, not Brogues”. Under the tutelage of Harry Hart (played by Firth), can this juvenile delinquent turn into a proper British gentleman and, in turn, save the world?

Much kill. Many badass.

Much kill. Many badass.

I thought this movie was brilliant. It was funny, wild, explosive, violent and quite confronting in the right dosage. Egerton, who I would go out and say was relatively unknown before his first major film role, played his role spectacularly and I truly thought he was from that part of England, so I was surprised to find out that he’s actually Welsh and is a master of several accents. Colin Firth is Colin Firth, which in laman’s terms, means he was spectacular as per usual. I think all of the main characters were portrayed very well and I didn’t question any of the acting at any point of the film.

If I had to say something bad about the film, I’d have to say that the genre of the film had me confused at several points. It would be an action movie and then comedy elements would be introduced, making it an action-comedy. Not too farfetched. But then it would have very violent elements and the action-comedy turned into a slasher-action-comedy. And then the “happy” ending made it a slasher-action-comedy-porno. After I finished watching it the first time, I wasn’t sure whether this movie was done 100% seriously or it was made to take the piss on other spy-action movies.

Besides that, I thought the storyline was quite unique: the evil mastermind wasn’t that hateable and was actually quite adorable. His scheme to take over the world was one that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before and his method was unusual. The plot of the movie was quite easy to follow, although several things I didn’t understand the first time were made clear to me the second time, and the payoff was well worth it.

Wid-o-meter
Storyline: 8/10
Casting and acting: 8.4/10
Experience: 7.8/10
Overall: 8.2/10

I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of either a comedy, action, slasher or even porno flick, if that’s your kinda thing. It’s great in all the right places and is definitely not one of those movies you walk out of thinking “OMG I can’t believe I wasted money on that ticket.”

Oh and Taron Egerton, if you by any chance are reading this, please e-mail us at widowslure@gmail.com. We love you.

– by The Black Widow

Review: The Other Woman

With all this free time on my hands on the long Easter weekend, I was glad to see that the movies were still open. Even better? The Other Woman was showing; a movie that I had actually wanted to see, which is saying a lot considering I’m not a big movie person. I’d rather just wait til it’s on Foxtel or DVD or something.

Headed by a star cast including Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, I was expecting big things from this movie. And I wasn’t disappointed.

These three bombshells (and Nicki Minaj) made quite the trio (and Nicki Minaj). (CREDIT: Team Minaj Twitter page)

These three bombshells (and Nicki Minaj) made quite the trio (and Nicki Minaj). (CREDIT: Team Minaj Twitter page)

The Other Woman details the unfaithful life of Mark King, who is stringing along a number of women, including wife Kate, lawyer Carly, and young busty bombshell Amber. The unusual circumstances brings the three women together and, instead of getting mad, they decide to get even. Claws are out, Mark. Oh and somewhere along the way, Kate’s hot brother played by Taylor Kinney is thrown in.

I thought this movie did what it set out to – make people hysterically laugh. Not only was I in fits of laughter but the entire movie theatre (which was pretty packed, IMSAHO) were in fits of laughter. To borrow a wrestling term, the comedy “spots” in the movie were fantastic and on point. The film had that edgy sense of humour to it, where it was almost borderline too far but it never went that step further that it became inappropriate. While the main catty parts of the film came at the second half of the movie, the film’s humour was placed squarely on the shoulders of one character – Kate, played by Leslie Mann.

Leslie Mann played her character to perfection. The chatty, too-comfortable wife whose beauty is barely highlighted was made very evident in the first couple of minutes Mann’s face was on screen. Mann’s acting was on par, and I would go as far to say that if she wasn’t in this movie, it wouldn’t have been good. The character of Kate was practically made for Mann and she owned it. Cameron Diaz’s performance in the movie was acceptable; it was good but not crash hot that I have any particular comment on it. Kate Upton, God bless her little soul, wasn’t too good in the movie. She’s got a great rack and a pretty face but, like, I felt nothing from her. The star of the trio was, without a doubt, Leslie Mann. I didn’t get the point of having Nicki Minaj in the movie besides “OMG it’s Nicki Minaj”, and she wasn’t too believable as an actress either.

The storyline was very chick flick-esque with a somewhat predictable ending. Without giving too much away, I knew where Kate, Carly and Amber were all going to end up by halfway through the movie. The methods of revenge the ladies used, however, kept me laughing, and the acting on behalf of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who played the cheating, rotten bastard) made it all the more glorious to watch. As an audience member, I felt satisfied every time he… well, I won’t spoil too much. One thing I was quite skeptical on was the fact that all three women just became friends without even having a single catfight. In reality, women in this situation would have been very bitter towards each other and it would’ve taken a lot more than one D&M to get in the same book, let alone same page.

Oh, and did I mention Taylor Kinney was in this movie?

Solst-o-meter
Storyline:
7/10
Casting and acting: 8/10
Experience: 8.5/10
Overall: 7.5/10

I would definitely recommend this one to both ladies and gentlemen. It’s a light-hearted, fun movie that all will enjoy. The ladies have Taylor Kinney and the guys have Kate Upton. It’s pretty much a win-win. You will be rolling around laughing when this one is done.

– by The Black Widow