Artist of the Month: Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello: an actual goddess.

January is my birth month, so I reserved this month for my current most favourite singer, which is super funny considering I couldn’t care less for Fifth Harmony.

Starting out as part of the aforementioned girl group (as the clear leader but that’s another story) in 2013, Camila branched out by herself at the end of 2016 and really soared.

Who else could look this good mid-sing with their eyes closed? Goddess! (Photo taken from rocor’s Flickr photostream)

Her first solo album came in the self-titled Camila, which featured my most favourite song of hers, Never Be the Same. I believe this track is what incorporates Camila’s iconic sound; her breathy vocals, juxtaposed with the strong notes she pulls out only moments later, encapsulates the sound that Camila portrays. The almost-whisper of “you’re to blame” is what really sticks out for me about this song, and is almost the sole reason why this song will probably forever remain as my favourite Cabello track.

Another song from the album Camila that contains a mixture of Camila’s breathy-and-then-strong vocals but in a high-energy pop-reggaeton tune is She Loves Control. If you think I like this song because I relate to loving control due to being a control freak, then you’d probably be right. But the reggaeton vibe to this song connects with her Latin roots, and to be honest, what is there not to like about the deep, booming sounds of reggaeton?

It would be remiss of me not to mention the song that, upon hearing it for the first time, brought me to tears. First Man is a pop-rock piano ballad penned by Cabello herself detailing her relationship with her father, saying that while she has found love in her life, her dad will always be the first man that really loved her. The music accompaniment is lovely, but it’s the lyrics that make this song stand out. Touching words such as “So I had to stop the car and turn around to tell you you were the first man that really loved me” is what really got me, considering my strong relationship with my own father.

Recommended Tracks
Senorita” ft. Shawn Mendes (Romance)
Havana” ft Young Thug (Camila)
Easy” (Romance)

I cannot harp on enough about how amazing and talented and sensational Camila Cabello is. She has a plethora of music under her belt, and there’s something for everyone. Give the above music a listen, and I guarantee you won’t regret it.

– by The Black Widow

Take Me On a Holidate!

That was for you, Luke Bracey.

I was sitting on the lounge watching yet another terribly terrific Christmas romcom and my friend walks out and says “What is it with you and these Christmas movies? They’re all the same!” To that, I say: let’s talk about Holidate.

Holidate stars Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey as Sloane and Jackson respectively. Sloane is irreparably single and still pining after her ex that left her for someone else, and Jackson is a fuckboi with commitment issues and a beautiful smile.

The two meet in a chance encounter (shocker!) and then after initially detesting each other (even bigger shocker!) they agree to be each other’s ‘holidate’ – the person they can bring as a date on holidays so their family and friends can stop bugging them about being single, because apparently there’s nothing worse than being single during a holiday (this is a stigma that I wish would disappear, but more on that later).

Luke Bracey is scratching his head in awe of my beauty. Emma Roberts is also pictured.

You know I love a good Christmas romcom so this post is going to be overwhelmingly positive.

The first thing I noticed about this film which became my most favourite thing about it (besides Luke Bracey’s fine ass) is how realistic it was. I understand that majority of Christmas movies are intended to be family friendly, so swearing or the slightest inclination of physical intimacy are forbidden, but let’s be honest: people swear, and they have sex. And this movie had that. Fuck, it was refreshing.

Again, I’m aware that movies like this always have a predictable ending, but that’s the appeal of Christmas romcoms; even though I’m not going to ‘spoil’ the ending for you, your first assumption is probably correct. But the journey on these movies are so fun, and this was a fun ass mf journey!

You had the stock standard meddling middle aged woman (Sloane’s mother); the ex and his physical upgrade; the potential love interest (Farooq); and of course, the extremely attractive male lead that appears in a random scene shirtless for no reason and makes guys and gals want to watch this movie.

Plus, how iconic is the finger scene?! (Probably not the fingering you’re thinking of)

I’m going to be honest: I’ve never been a big fan of Emma Roberts, and I can’t explain why. She’s not untalented, or unattractive, or difficult to watch, but I just haven’t really connected to her before. But she did a good job in this movie as the lonely girl who falls for the guy character. Sloane was made to be kind of quirky, but not too quirky so she doesn’t appear to be one of those ‘I’m not like other girls’ harpies.

If you haven’t gotten the hint already, I’m a big Luke Bracey fan. His looks aside, I’ll always have a soft spot for Aussie actors, and on top of that, he was also great in his role. But most importantly, he was believable in his role. I believed that he was a fuckboi douchebag in the beginning, and then I believed that he was this closet romantic by the end of the movie that wanted nothing more than a fairytale ending.

Also anything with Kristin Chenoweth in it is guaranteed to be a deadset ripper. Can’t say enough positive things about her. 10/10 superstar. Ugh. What a queen.

Generally speaking with Christmas romcoms, I’m a one and done kinda guy. Even though I love them so much, they don’t have the greatest replayability. But I would happily watch this movie again, and again, and again, until Luke Bracey figures out that he’s in love with me.

Just kidding. Sort of.

But seriously, cannot recommend this movie enough. If you have Netflix and have nothing productive to do, please do yourself a favour and watch it. And think of me when you see Luke Bracey with his pretty smile.

– by The Black Widow

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

Let’s Talk About It Ends With Us

Warning: this is NOT a book review.

A couple of my girlfriends had read It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover and recommended it to me. Now, I’m one of those people that will say “yeah I’ll get onto it” and have no intention of doing so, and this was one of those situations; however, when I found myself strolling through my local Dymocks, this book was there and I thought, ‘why not’?

Let me tell you: I should have been prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that was about to happen because Colleen Hoover tends to go from 0 to 200 in a matter of seconds (Hopeless anyone?), but nothing could have prepared me for this absolute whirlwind of emotions.

In short, Colleen Hoover had fucking done it again.

Don’t be fooled by this innocent book cover… no seriously, don’t.

This article won’t be formatted as a standard book review as done before on Widow’s Lure; it will just be an emotional discussion about the happenings of the book, because let me tell you I finished this book months ago and I am still not emotionally recovered from the rollercoaster ride that Lily, Ryle and Atlas take us on.

I don’t know if I’m the only one like this, but when I am listening to a song and see someone, or in this case, reading a book, that song will stick in my head as officially attached to that book, and now You by Lloyd will always remind me of It Ends With Us, and my heart stops every time I hear it because of this damn book.

SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Discussions of domestic violence ahead. If you don’t feel comfortable reading about this, please do not continue.

Okay, like, wow. Hoover is a wordsmith, and she can tell a great story regardless of the circumstances. But boy howdy was I not prepared for this.

First of all, I thought the title was going to have a romantic tie in to the story. For example, perpetual unhappiness ends with us because we are so damn in love and happy together, or loneliness ends with us, or bitterness ends with us, or any other negative emotion ends with us because we found each other and we fell in love and that bad feeling has ended. At no point during the story did I ever think it was domestic violence ends with us, my newborn child.

I knew that the recounting of her mother’s experience with domestic violence would tie into the story somehow, but I hadn’t pieced two and two together, even after the first time that Ryle had lashed out at Lily. Much like my feelings towards Hopeless where you expect to go on a standard romance story ride, but then out of nowhere, the plot just takes a whole fucking turn and all of a sudden you’re thrust into this world of violence, I sat by and idly watched as this seemingly beautiful love story between Lily and Ryle takes a dark turn, and all of a sudden that predictable ending you thought you were headed to takes a detour and you’re headed into this dark unknown where you cannot see three feet ahead of you.

What makes it even worse – personally for me – was I wanted Lily to give Ryle another chance because I wanted nothing more than for Ryle to better himself and become the man that Lily truly deserved. This goes against everything I am as a human, because my thing with domestic violence is one strike and you’re out; you don’t get a second chance with shit like that. But then there was Ryle who had one outburst, and I was crying because a) Lily didn’t deserve it and b) Come on Ryle! Get your shit together!

Everyone yelling at Ryle to stop fucking up.

I remember discussing with my friends how I felt conflicted while reading this book because of this. There are some things in relationships that I think are unforgivable, and domestic violence is one of them. So how could I as someone who feels so strongly about this feel for someone like Ryle? That just goes to show how well Colleen writes her characters and creates sympathy for someone like Ryle Kincaid.

I loved Atlas, and thought that the love story that he and Lily shared was a thing of beauty. That pure connection that they had was easy for me as a reader to feel, and a part of me wanted Lily to gtfo there and run into the willing and capable arms of Atlas.

But Ryle… sweet, disturbed Ryle… we were all groomed to love him, and I truly did.

In a nutshell, when Ryle broke Lily’s heart, he broke mine, and it’s something that I am still working through months later.

Alas, I was left satisfied in the epilogue of the book where Lily, after finally leaving Ryle because it definitely ended with her and her newborn daughter, was happily co-parenting with Ryle and then entered an ambiguous relationship with Atlas.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, I know it might see like the hardest thing in the world to do, but it is not weak to speak up and seek help. Australia’s nationwide domestic violence assistance organisation 1800 RESPECT are available for 24 hours over the phone (1800 737 732) or Live help at their website. If you are in immediate danger, please call 000 or your nation’s emergency hotline.

Anyway, with all of this in mind, I’m going to take a break before reading another Colleen Hoover book because I know she is going to f me up again.

– by The Black Widow