Who remembers the movie from the 90’s starring Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman & Madonna? I think it’s time to bring Tracy back and I am volunteering as tribute! I’m ready to solve all the crimes!!
Ok, let’s talk about Romeo + Juliet! When I was in middle school, the Baz Luhrmann version of Shakespeare’s most classic love story came out in theaters and I was instantly in love! And we’re talking pre-Titanic Leo love, which is an entirely different kind of love. One year later, Leonardo Dicaprio would become the biggest heart throb on the planet. But for those of us who started our love of Leo off with Romeo Montague, this one’s for you!
But I don’t just want to mention my deep and abiding love for Mr. Dicaprio (which has never diminished, even after all these years) I want to also talk about my love of Shakespeare, which was largely ignited by this very movie. After seeing it (about 100 times) I started reading it over and over again. In fact, my dad got me my own volume of Shakespeare’s works for Christmas that year and wrote a beautiful note to me about how Leo started me down a path and he was happy to have me continue down it. I memorized all the great monologues and would recite them in my room to my collection of beanie babies…I was a really cool kid, I promise!!
To this day, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet is one of my favorite movies and one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays. I’m sure there were teachers that tried to get me to read Shakespeare, perhaps my parents even attempted it. Shakespeare’s plays are enduring and everlasting. They are timeless and beautiful, but for my little middle school heart, it took Leonardo Dicaprio to spark my interest. And look at me now!!
This one ended up being more of an homage than I originally intended. The first piece of my Luigi cosplay I found was the green overalls. I got excited cause I thought to myself “Look, green overalls…just like Luigi wears!” In my defense I haven’t owned a Nintendo since I was in high school which was…let’s just say it wasn’t yesterday.
Imagine my dismay when I got home and Google’d Luigi to see the kind of blue shirt I needed (again, I was going on memory here) and found out that Luigi wore blue overalls and green shirt. Wah-wah-wah. But I went with it anyways and decided it was going to be an homage the Luigi I remembered in my child’s mind rather than real Luigi. And here it is:
I’ll admit…when I was younger, I dreamed often and deeply of my one perfect, future wedding day. A day surrounded by friends and families and pretty colors. A day I’d have lost all the unwanted weight for. A day I’d driven all my bridesmaids crazy to get to. A day where my groom might reconsider the whole endeavor, but ultimately go through with it, cause no one calls off a wedding on the day of a wedding. It’s quite rude, you know! Ok, I didn’t actually dream of all that.
My dream wedding looked a lot more like this:
I’m not even joking! I had this “Doglass Fairbanks and Catrina Meowford” Lisa Frank design on a trapper keeper and I carried it around all the time and referenced it anytime the discussion of weddings came up. It was part of little Lizzie’s recipe for her perfect wedding day.
Ah yes…that one perfect day. Some say it’s the “happiest day of their lives.” Which used to make sense and now seems incredibly strange. I don’t think I have a “happiest day of my life.” Not because there haven’t been a plethora of happy days or because I am unmarried female. Only because I think that’s a statement best saved for the twilight of life. Lots of people get married at a young age. My parents were married when they were 22 and a lot can happen in 36+ years of marriage (including but not limited to, having a rather fantastic daughter. And also a son who is almost, but not quite as cool as said daughter. *wink!) Seeing as a wedding is only the starting point, isn’t it safe to say that a bride and groom might just be starting a life full of different sized happy days? Maybe I’m overthinking it.
But things like this lead me to think that there is too much hype about the wedding day and not enough hype about the marriage…Do you have that friend that just keeps posting her wedding photo over and over again, even though it’s, like…10 years later? And it isn’t even her anniversary or anything? We get it, JOAN! You’re unhappy and want to remember the good times! Find a recent picture of your happiness already or make a new memory. Cause…it’s getting sad!
Ok…cause all the “cool” kids are doing it. Here it is…the only living picture of me in a wedding dress…
From the years 2007 – 2012 I worked at Kleinfeld Bridal. You may not know the name of the store, but you might know the show that is filmed there, “Say Yes to the Dress.” After that I went on to work at Pronovias for a summer, another wedding atelier. I was in 14 weddings and I moonlighted as a wedding planner for a while. When you work with brides and plan their big days and hear their stories and peddle shiny, poufy, lacy concoctions…you dream of your own wedding. So little Lizzie wasn’t the only one who was planning ahead. It was as recent as 2012 when I could be caught in a wedding daydream. Goes to show how much a person can change in 5 years.
I guess I need to say this, cause there could be plenty of evidence to the contrary…but, I don’t hate weddings. I actually really enjoy them. Free food? Check! Free drinks? Check! All night dance party? CHECK!! All things I love! Add getting dressed up and great hair and you’ve got yourself a recipe for fun. And I have found enjoyment in every wedding I’ve ever been to/in. Whether I’ve been the wedding coordinator on purpose or by accident. Whether I’ve been the one lacing up the bride’s corset. Whether I’ve just gotten to sit back and watch one play out, like a holiday special of Boy Meets World. Or whether I’ve been standing right next to the bride in the dressing room, at the altar, in the bathroom 3 hours later. It’s all been a ride.
I’m just not entirely sure it’s a ride I want to take for myself. Does that get me a lot of strange looks from a lot of little old ladies…yep! Does that mean I never want to get married…nope! It just means that if I do it, it probably won’t be the “happiest day of my life.” It means that it will probably look nothing like I ever wanted it to look like when I was a kid, or when I was in my 20’s, or hell…5 years ago.
But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, gentle reader…I still think Lisa Frank designs a helluva wedding dress…
Recently I have been binge watching the, sadly, short-lived Carrie Diaries (only 2 seasons…sad face.) And like all the teen dramas I’ve enjoyed in my life (Dawson’s Creek, The OC, One Tree Hill, etc) watching it makes me feel like maybe I missed something.
I never had a first kiss in high school or a date to the prom. My girlfriends and I never asked the good questions about sex and while I had plenty of crushes on cute boys…what’s the point if none of the boys ever knew it?
That’s not to say that there weren’t plenty of seminal moments in my high school experience. There were. But what little remains of my spotty memory of events is mixed with stories my parents told me, pictures in a yearbook and a box full of notes from people I haven’t seen in over 15 years.
Maybe teenagers these days are more self aware because of You Tube and Facebook and the internet in general. They’re creating a generation of people who are watching themselves grow up on camera…in print. Permanently, for the world to see and share. Then again, maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the only one floating along and phoning the whole experience in. I was a D student who never raised my hand and rarely spoke up in class. A far cry from the Nerd you know today!!
Looking back at those tender, wonder years I wish a piece of who I am now had been found back then. If only because maybe I could have tapped into my confident, ass-kicking, girl bossy ways much sooner. It’s not like that girl wasn’t somewhere inside me back then, waiting to break out. I was just too scared of who I could have been, of who I eventually became.
So many of these fears are explored and overcome in high school and yeah…I managed to bungle my way through some of them. But out of all the lessons I’ve watched play out on these teeny bopper, baby mama dramas, I have to say (lamentably) it’s the things of a more romantical nature that I really missed out on the most in high school.
I was a bit of a late bloomer in that area…in fact, I’ll let you know when that actually happens. Because I still get crushes on boys that never know about it. Needless to say…I missed a lot of things that would have been much easier if I’d gotten it out of the way in high school. But that’s not my story.
And, Hey!! Maybe it’s never too late to bloom.
I am where I am, who I am and what I am. And the only thing worth wondering about is…what’s next for me?
Whatever it is…I feel it coming!
For more of this month’s Instagram challenge, head over to my Instagram @nerdinthesand or follow along here:
As a single, 30-something who was living in New York until a short time ago, I relate to the beloved TV show, Friends, on so many levels. Too many to count. There is no show that means so much to me and has influenced my life the way Friends has (with Seinfeld coming in at a close second.)
I didn’t watch Friends when it first aired in 1994. I was only 12 and my parents did not find it appropriate viewing material for a 12 year old girl. They were right, of course. But that didn’t keep me from wanting to watch it and it certainly didn’t keep me from tuning in the minute I was old enough and watching it till it ended in 2004, when I was a junior in college.
Looking back, I now know that it played a huge part in my eventual move to the big city. The entire first year I lived in New York felt like a dream, like I was in an episode of Friends. I’d see a street sign or a coffee shop and dream of Central Perk and the 6 most quotable characters in the history of TV. Tell me you don’t say this in Chandler’s voice when you read it “Could I BE wearing any more clothes?” Well, Joey doing Chandler’s voice, but I’ll bet you knew that too.
As much as Friends will always have that place in my heart and that finale will continue to make me cry even after I’ve seen it dozens of times, I do think that Monica, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe and Rachel created some unprecedented expectations of what friendship could look like, but usually doesn’t. Where most shows up to that point (again, besides Seinfeld) were about family units or couples getting together, Friends was something altogether different. A set of 6 inseparable Friends who created a family away from family. They did everything together and remained connected for 10+ years (we know they are still together in TV land somewhere.)
Think of all the Christmases and Thanksgivings they spent, not with their nuclear families, but with each other. Think of their trips to Vegas, Barbados and London. The jobs that were forgotten the minute something came up. The family that was forgotten in lieu of the family unit that was created in New York City. Shared life stage and values bonded them in a way that has just never been seen since Friends left the small screen. How I Met Your Mother touches on those element and at times feels similar, but it doesn’t manage to touch the level of nostalgia and love that people (and I) have for Friends.
At the same time, what was created between the 6 of them is as unattainable in real life as a Ross and Rachel friendlationship is. People don’t drop everything to go to Barbados with you, much less for a work conference they have no interest in. You’d be lucky to have one or two good friends show up at your destination wedding, much less the whole pack (minus a pregnant Phoebe.)
I can’t even get some of my friends on Skype most days, much less entice them away from their families, their jobs and their lives to come play with me at Disney. It’s less a complaint and more a realization that real life is just that much harder sometimes, than an episode of Friends (realization may be a little strong.)
I miss what I found in New York and the brief moment that I grasped onto what it was like to have capital F, Friends. A group of people who were pursuing things the way I was. People who were bonded together in the face of a strange, transient city like New York.
Sure, we didn’t drop everything for each other, every single day. And because New York is so expensive, we all really did have to work most of the time, making it verydifficult impossible to sit around in a coffee shop all day, talking about relationships and about our feelings. It just didn’t happen. That’s a beautiful dream that only can live in TV land.
But I think that’s what made Friends so popular and such a strong show with staying power. That kind of Friendship is what we all hope to find. The kind that can last 10+ years and weather being on a break and children and marriages and stuff. When you find that kind of capital F, Friend…hold onto them and never let them go!!
As Valentine’s Day approaches, I wanted to take a look at one of the most romantic figures in all of literature…Mr. Darcy himself. I’m hard pressed to find anyone that matches up to this paragon of moral fiber. So instead of pitting people against him. I’ll pit him against himself and share some of my favorite Darcy’s with you.
I admit, it was hard to rank them, if only because everyone who I’ve seen take on the role has brought something delightful and fully their own to the great visage of Mr. Darcy. And has only managed to cement my love of Darcy with each and every scene. From movies to television mini series to the You Tube phenomenon. Here are the Darcy’s I know and love. Let me introduce…
#1: Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy
No one more embodies the qualities that I look for in a Darcy, than Mr. Colin Firth from the BBC mini series version of Pride and Prejudice. These days when I read the book over and over again, it is Firth’s face that I picture offering Elizabeth his hand in marriage. It’s Firth that saves poor Lydia’s reputation from the evil clutches of George Wickham and it is Firth that comes to Elizabeth again and asks if her heart has changed towards him. He is THE Darcy for me. So he deserves his place at the top! I dare you to defy this!
#2: Colin Firth as Mark Darcy
Is it any wonder that when Helen Fielding wrote Bridget Jones’ Diary she was inspired by Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy as the hero of her story. BJD is a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (for those of you who didn’t know.) And in casting Fielding’s homage to the original Mr. Darcy, who better than the original Mr. Darcy. Enter Colin Firth…again! For all the reasons that he makes a truly great Darcy, not only in a period drama, but in modern times, I refer you back to point #1!
#3: Sir Lawrence Olivier as Mr. Darcy
Next up is the classic, the incomparable (I know, I am in fact comparing him) Sir Lawrence Olivier. This 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice was actually my first introduction to the Jane Austen story. (I admit I never read the book when I was supposed to in high school.) One night this treasure came on TCM (my favorite channel in college) and I was enchanted. Starring Lawrence Olivier as Mr. Darcy and Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet, it was the first time I gave Pride and Prejudice a real chance. And yes, you read that right, it wasn’t until college that I truly fell in love. And it was Sir Lawrence who did the wooing. This adaptation actually strays from the book in many places. Lady Catherine comes to like Elizabeth and even recommends her to Darcy. We never even see Georgiana Darcy. And the costumes are not representative of the correct time period. But it just goes to show that sometimes accuracy does not always entreat the deepest of loves. This film sparked my love of all things Austen, which is probably why Olivier holds so high a placement on this list. I won’t apologize for it. He belongs here. And I still have a copy of this movie on VHS to prove my love!
#4: Daniel Vincent Gordh as William Darcy
As each adaptation is released and spun in a new direction, I find brand new ways to love this age old story. Enter The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. A You Tube web series that in fact inspired me to try my hand at telling my own stories through the use of a web series. Lizzie Bennet is a grad student in mass communication and starts a vlog. Charlotte Lu, her best friend, helps her shoot and edit the videos. William Darcy is the haughty owner of Pemberley Digital, a media company that Lizzie eventually visits as part of her study. Darcy doesn’t even get screen time till Episode 59. The viewer relies on Lizzie’s retelling and reenacting of events and is the better for it, because Ashley Clements’ Lizzie Bennet is definitely one of my all time favorites. Will Darcy is significantly more hipster than his predecessors, but the result is simply delightful.
#5: Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy
While Macfadyen makes a very good Darcy, I have so many issues with this version of Pride and Prejudice. The line “Well then, your hands are cold” said by Elizabeth Bennet after Darcy confesses his love a second time, irks me to no end! And his declaration of “I love-I love-I love you”… BLECK! Even Mr. Bingley telling Jane Bennet that he’s “been an unmitigated and comprehensive ass” rubs me the wrong way. But Macfadyen makes so high an entry on my list, not based on the merit of the entire film, but on his performance as Darcy alone. There is a moment when he and Elizabeth are flirting about Lizzie’s proficiency at piano and he smiles at her…that smile alone earns him a high ranking! But the rest of his performance is sufficiently Darcy-esque. And it should be noted that I also really enjoy Kiera Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet, it’s just the other liberties that grate.
#6: Martin Henderson as Will Darcy
I have such a soft spot for this Bollywood adaptation, Bride and Prejudice. The flourishing musical numbers alone sold me on it. But the way they weaved the story into the culture of India’s Bollywood is effortless and maintains the integrity of the original work. Martin Henderson’s Will Darcy is appropriately charming at times, but can also play a snobbish prig as well. His chemistry with Aishwayra Rai’s Lalita Bakshi is straight out of an Austen novel and it just works!
#7: Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy
This Darcy is a newer entry for me. I never read the P.D. James novel, Death Comes to Pemberley (mystery novels are more my mother’s speed.) But I can never seem to pass on an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. So when Netflix suggested that I watch it, I did! And boy am I glad that my Netflix knows me so well (scarily well!) Matthew Rhys has everything one could want in a classic Darcy. This PBS Masterpiece mini series is a continuation of the story of P+P. Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam have a son and are living in marital bliss, until there’s a murder at Pemberley and the infamous George Wickham is a suspect. Darcy starts to question everything, including his devotion to his beloved Elizabeth. I have to tell you, this is a sexier Pemberley than Austen lovers are used to. There’s even some Darcy and Elizabeth make-up sexy times. Didn’t see that one coming! If you haven’t seen this movie…head to your nearest Netflix and do it!
#8: Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy
I already shared all my thoughts about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies earlier this week. (Click Here) But I’ll reiterate the merits of Sam Riley’s hardened, zombie-killing Darcy. He is prejudiced. He is prideful. He is a charming bad ass!! Look at that gif…oh the brooding!! He has what it takes to earn the Darcy title. He is only so far down on the list because all of his Darcy predecessors stole my heart first. Else, I’d say he definitely deserves higher placement. There just isn’t any room. Sorry, Sam!
#9: Elliot Cowan as Mr. Darcy
Enter Elliot Cowan’s Mr. Darcy in the mini series, Lost in Austen. Cowan is also an excellent Darcy, but again…he suffers the number 9 spot because everyone else beat him to it. But excuse me…there is an homage to Colin Firth’s Darcy that cannot go unmentioned. When Amanda Price trades places with Elizabeth Bennet and finds herself smack in the middle of a story she has grown up knowing, watching and loving, she takes it upon herself to try and keep the characters true to their story lines. And even interjects some deliciousness here and there. Including this moment where Mr. Darcy emerges from the water (after Price told him he had to jump in and do this to appease her.) YUM!
#10: David Rintoul as Mr. Darcy
Ah! Poor David Rintoul. Here he is rounding out the end of my list. David is an excellent Darcy, as Darcy’s go. What he suffers from is a very slow paced, 1980’s version of Pride and Prejudice that I find much harder to watch then every other adaptation on this list. Rintoul has all the appropriate airs and looks darn good in a top hat and ascot, if I do say so myself. But this is not a version that I pop in on sick days. In fact, rewatching it for this list was mildly painful and I didn’t make it through the whole thing…just skipped to the good parts. If you don’t know what the good parts are, then you have homework to do and better get to it!
There you have it. My comprehensive list of Darcy’s. I’ve got a crush on all of them, but how about you?
Ladies, which Darcy floats your Valentine’s boat?
Men, is there a Miss Bennet that you prefer above all others? One of these days I’ll get around to ranking the Elizabeth Bennets of the small and silver screens.
In the meantime, don’t miss Friday’s #NerdySlumberParty. We are talking all about crushes! Which means Darcy will definitely have to be mentioned! 😉
When I was growing up…there was only one girl in the whole world that I wanted to be. I didn’t have a lot of choices. Leading ladies in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were few and far between to say the least.
One girl in Star Wars (Princess Leia.) One girl in Superman (Lois Lane.) One girl in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (April O’Neil.) Two girls in Power Rangers…what a revelation (Pink and Yellow.) One girl in Terminator (Sarah Connor.) Are you sensing the trend.
There’s something that all these ladies have in common…they are memorable. They are iconic. I wanted to be all of them, but again none more so than Princess Leia.
Do you ever wonder what the writers and directors and movie makers of 80’s were thinking when they created these amazing films and amazing stories and then slapped a token chick in there. They didn’t skip on the bad assery, they just skipped on the quantity.
The battle for the ladies is not over. It’s still going on. To date Wonder Woman has never made it to the big screen. I know…she’s on her way. But dang, 2016 and the most well known female superhero of all time has only been allowed to shine on the small screen? And how many Batman reboots have we had? Come on now.
For me, Princess Leia was the only girl in the world. I always got to be her. I wanted everything that had her on it. What were my options as an avid lover of Star Wars? Aunt Beru? Mon Mothma? Both female characters. Both important in their own right. But there was only one Princess Leia.
Sure, things are changing and there are a whole lot more girls in the world of Star Wars for young girls to look up to and dress up as and base entire life choices on! And none so exciting as Rey. (That’s not to say girls can’t emulate the boys. Because go feminism and gender swapping and equality for all!!)
Change takes time. I’m not saying it’s ok. I’m just saying that’s how change works sometimes. It’s slow way too slow and I think Hollywood is still catching up. But with Star Wars The Force Awakens pulling in the record breaking money that it has been since December 18th and a fierce lady lead at the helm, the fat cats must be reading the writing on the wall!! And that is an encouraging thought!
You know what really burns my butt? Romantic Comedies!! Because here I am over here…liberated female, free from the ties that bind me and then a movie like When Harry Met Sally comes on and all that level-headed nonsense goes right out the window because…reasons! It just burns. It stings actually.
And the worst part is that Romantic Comedies and Dramedies and Sitcomedies and all manner of romance, to be honest, make me weak at the knees. One shot of a semi shirtless Mr. Darcy emerging from the pond at Pemberley and I know what I’ll be dreaming about that night. One little romantic speech from Tom Hanks and farewell normal, everyday human male specimen…don’t even bother, cause you’re no Hanks! Again I say, it burns! Because I don’t want to have that vision in my head. That romantic ideal and yet there it sits. Waiting for the moment to strike. The moment when a guy chooses to take me to a Starbucks for a first date instead of guerilla paintball a la 10 Things I Hate About You. Or at the airport while boarding my plane and no one comes to stop me from getting on…how rude! Or how about when I’m at a holiday party with no date and then…no one bursts through the door to save me.
The beautiful truth is that I can save myself, thank you very much. Always have, always will. The crappy side effect of my frail humanity is that I still want to be saved sometimes. In moments of weakness and ice cream… I want it.
And I’ve decided that Rom Coms are to blame. It doesn’t mean for a second that I’ll stop watching them, because I’m a weak human girlie specimen. And also…reasons! Regardless, here are the 39 romantic moments that just piss me off!!! Who’s with me??
(**This is not the order in which I love hate these movies.)
38. Love and Basketball
37. No Strings Attached
36. Leap Year
35. Never Been Kissed
34. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
33. Someone Like You
32. She’s All That
31. Jerry McGuire
30. The Bodyguard
28. The Wedding Planner
27. Ella Enchanted
25. Lady and the Tramp
23. The Nanny Diaries
22. Friends with Benefits
21. Jane Austen Book Club
20. Because I Said So
18. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
17. Dirty Dancing
15. Moulin Rouge
14. Sleepless in Seattle
13. 27 Dresses
12. Pretty Woman
11. The Mirror Has Two Faces
10. 13 Going on 30
9. 10 Things I Hate About You
8. While You Were Sleeping
7. The Proposal
6. Love Actually
5. The Princess Bride
4. You’ve Got Mail
3. Bridget Jones’ Diary
2. Pride and Prejudice (mini series)
1. When Harry Met Sally (My favorite of all time!)
OK, so some of them aren’t Rom Coms. There are Rom Drams and Rom Musical Coms up there, but you get my drift. Romance is stupid and yucky and I love it hate it!!! Hate with a capital H and that stands for Hate and that rhymes with Hate!
Which Rom Coms are your favorite least favorite!!
7 bonus movies that I was reminded of after hitting publish: