The last two movies I have reviewed were great. No Strings Attached is not. It’s got two really good actors in it, Natalie Portman, and Ashton Kutcher, but that’s not enough to make it interesting. It’s in the comedy/romance genre and the plot goes something like this: Two old friends decide to become “sex buddies” and avoid the usual relationship dramas. But love is stronger than their their wills, and they find themselves falling in love, thereby breaking the rules they set up as they embarked on their “sex buddy” relationship. Right, flimsy plot. In fact, it’s boring. And the character played by Portman, a doctor who is scared as hell of relationships is not only simplistic, it’s dumb. The film was released in 2011 and was directed by Ivan Reitman.
Tag Archives: romance
I posted an interview of Kathleen Valentine on this blog a little while ago (You can read the interview here). The last few weeks have been crazy but I have now found the time to read her novel, Each Angel Burns. I usually don’t read books in the romance genre, with the exception of Twilight, which I still found hard to finish, so this was a bit of a novelty for me. I really enjoyed Each Angel Burns and read it very quickly. Valentine’s writing is beautiful. Her descriptions are evocative and make you feel you are there. In fact, after reading the book, I bet you will want to see the place for yourself. The story takes place in Massachusetts, where the self-titled “wild bunch”, who played football together back in high school, gather every Thursday night for dinner and beer. More than thirty years have passed and the group has changed, but they are still together. The novel takes us through their journey, a journey of friendship, of loss, and of love. There is also a mystery to be solved. It’s easy to get into the characters’ heads and to like them. They’re real. The plot is good, with an interesting twist at the end. The only negative for me was one or two weird jumps in time; these flashbacks themselves are not the problem but it is how they are placed in the story that feels weird. It does not affect the story however, and Each Angel Burns is a beautiful read.
One millisecond, that’s all it takes, and Mia loses everything dear to her heart. Her life is over. Or is it, really? After a terrible car accident, Mia finds herself outside her body, witnessing her family’s and friends’ distress, the effort of the medical team to save her life, her boyfriend’s struggle to get the right to visit her in the ICU, and her own body fighting death… Soon Mia realises that her fate lies in her own hands. She faces a dilemma bigger than everything she’s ever experienced, should she decide to stay – and face her losses – or move on to another dimension…
The issues of out-of-body experience, afterlife, and death that Mia faces interest me. In my latest novel Body Swap, the hero faces something similar. I was therefore looking forward to finding out how Gayle Forman dealt with those issues in If I Stay. The story is gripping. Mia’s dilemma, her struggle, her hopes and fears become ours. It is impossible to read this novel without asking oneself the question of what we would do, would we find ourselves in Mia’s situation. Forman’s writing is full of vivid images, at times light and airy, at times strong and heavy, such as the minutes following Mia’s accident. But they are always spot-on. I found the questions going through Mia’s mind sometimes a little too obvious or brushed over too quickly, but overall, Forman did a very good job. I did get slightly annoyed at first though when the narrative went from the present to the past, and again, and again. I felt that the flashbacks slowed the action and were a little repetitive. But once you got to know the characters, it was fine. Some parts of the book seem to lack emotion at first, for example the cold way Mia watches the world from outside her body, but in fact it’s a way for Forman to show the distance between the new Mia and her former life – that is until she finds herself dragged back into it – big time.