I haven’t done a movie review in so long. I’ve become so lazy with my viewing habits lately, simply because by the time I get home I can’t be bothered to concentrate on much so I usually just stick on a show I’ve seen so many times before. But I was scrolling through my phone the other day and found a screenshot of the movie Modern Life Is Rubbish – so I decided there and then to watch it.

Modern Life Is Rubbish is your typical story of a boy trying to make it as a rockstar whilst also trying to keep his relationship afloat. Liam (Josh Whitehouse) and Natalie (Freya Mavor) meet at university and bond over their passion for music – old records, classic rock bands such as Blur etc. They’re young and innocent and fall in love, which makes it all that harder as Liam struggles to get signed and Natalie struggles to make ends meet on one income in their flat.

Watching this movie made me feel young again and reminded me of those all-consuming relationships when you have when you’re younger; it’s you both against the world no matter how hard things get and you really believe love can conquer all. It was a nice reminder of that feeling; of course now I have grown up and I know this is no longer the case but personally I will always have a little bit of that innocence still deep down inside me and that belief!

Though the movie was corny in parts and – let’s face it – the storyline has been done a million times before – it was still a good watch. The ace soundtrack (consisting of bands such as Stereophonics, The 1975 and The Libertines) gives the movie a cooler vibe and stops it being too corny. I’d describe it as a UK version of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

The casting is great for an indie and below the radar production. Josh Whitehouse, of course, is already known for his role in Poldark and plays the role of brooding and emotional wannabe rockstar well. His character was likeable, but at times I struggled to sympathise with him, for example in the scene where he’s drunk and angry at his situation and causes a massive scene at an important event for Natalie. I found it hard to understand the reasoning behind this – but looking back to when I was younger, I can maybe understand that we’ve all been in situations where our frustration – and being under the influence – has us do stupid things.

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His inability to even accept modern music was quite unbelievable, however – just because you upgrade to an iPod or an iPhone doesn’t mean you have to give up records or replace them!

Freya Mavor played her part exceptionally well and was very believable in her role as a wide-eyed uni student who quickly grows up and almost leaves her boyfriend in the dust. She was extremely relatable and likeable.

However, overall, I did struggle to understand why the couple even found the need to break up in the first place – the movie didn’t broadcast many of their arguments or fights and it seemed that in the end they only broke up because of their money worries! It seemed clear throughout that their feelings for each other never wavered..but of course, this all made a good storyline (and one of the cutest romantic gestures in a movie in a long time!).

I did not understand the oddball character of the band’s manager at all. At times he seemed corny and at others just really oddball but not in a good way.

Overall, though the movie wasn’t necessarily deep or thought-provoking – I really enjoyed Modern Life Is Rubbish. It’s the type of movie I’d watch a few times, especially due to its awesome soundtrack.

Have you seen Modern Life Is Rubbish? Let me know your thoughts!

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I’m kind of cultured, y’know! I love indie movies and edgy horrors but I’ve never really given much thought to foreign movies. However, since discovering a few on Netflix, I soon realized that over the years there’s a few French movies I absolutely adore.

Not only are movies in another language kinda educational (you’re hearing a whole other language), but they can also be absolutely beautiful in terms of setting and culture.

Here are some of my favourite French movies.

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THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADELE BLANC-SAC
My sister and I discovered this movie years and years ago on a whim and didn’t expect much of it but ended up absolutely loving it. This oddball French Fantasy film follows, well, the extraordinary adventures of Adele Blanc-Sac! Fun fact, it’s directed by Luc Besson (who is responsible for The Fifth Element!) and the main character is played by a beyond beautiful French actress, model and television presenter who is also called Louise (Bourgoin!). The movie is really offbeat and beautiful and for some reason, was the basis of so many inside jokes between my sister and I for years to come.

BLOCKBUSTER
I discovered Blockbuster on Netflix, seeing it dubbed as an indie romcom. It’s effortlessly funny and romantic and is really heart warming too. It basically tells the story of inspiring movie maker Jérémy who tries to win his superhero loving girlfriend back by using an elaborate scheme. In between filming it all and visiting his sick dad, Jérémy will no doubt tug at your heart strings – in a good way.

I AM NOT AN EASY MAN
I caught this on Netflix recently and it was so much better than I thought it would be. It’s actually the second French Netflix original movie, right after Blockbuster. It tells the story of Damien a shameless chauvinist who is basically kind of a douchebag and who sleeps around. One day, he walks straight into a pole and knocks himself out (having been too busy checking out women) then, when he wakes up, all the roles between men and women are reversed. Woman are powerful and strong CEOs, driving posh cars and using men for sex, whereas men are secretaries and housekeepers…even in marriage men are the ones to wear a wedding dress. Though the film is hilarious, it opened my eyes to so many things that, as a woman, I kind of put up with and don’t even think twice about. My favourite part is when a woman refuses to sleep with Damien because his chest is too hairy…so he goes and gets waxed and leaves a landing strip. It’s gold, really.

AMELIE
This one is obvious. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming movie with some real beautiful locations. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would (probably because it was so bigged up), but I did really enjoy it and would watch it again. It’s a sweet movie and will make you fall in love with the city of Paris – if you haven’t already.

PAULETTE
Paulette is an offbeat movie about an old lady who begins to deal weed to overcome overdue bills – yes, it sounds strange, but it’s oddly brilliant. It’s beyond witty and, though contains a few less than PC jokes, the characters are really likeable too. The entire film is not what you’d expect but what makes it even better is that it’s said to be based on a true story..!

These are five French films I thoroughly enjoyed – which is surprising even to me because half the time I really cannot be bothered with subtitles! But these films are worth enduring subtitles for – trust me.

What are your favourite foreign movies? Let me know!

 

 

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When I first watched the trailer for Happy Anniversary on Netflix, I knew it was my type of movie. Indie, fun and sweet enough to qualify as a romcom. But as it’s hard to find a decent indie movie, I wasn’t expecting too much. Five minutes into the movie, however, I was proven wrong and I soon realized that I related to this entire movie.

Happy Anniversary begins, more or less, with couple Molly and Sam who wake up on the morning of their third anniversary and are forced to take a hard look at their relationship when Molly admits she is not happy.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Movies | Review of Happy Anniversary | Happy Anniversary | Movie Review

Molly feels under-appreciated in her relationship, whereas Sam argues that she never really lets herself fall in love entirely. Sam likes to keep their issues to themselves, but Molly sees it as Sam caring more about what other people think than who he should really be caring about (her).

The couple look back at the last three years – the highs such as their top rated nights of sex to the lowest of the low with petty arguments and name calling – as they try to work out whether it’s worth staying together or calling it quits.

What I love most about this movie is that it teaches us that to be a slightly disfunctional and f*cked up relationship is okay – in fact, it’s normal. We’re so used to seeing picture perfect relationships in movies where someone makes a small mistake but it’s okay because the couple talk it through, have hot makeup/angry sex and then it’s all okay again. People almost have perfect fights in movies, fights that don’t really matter.

This might work for some people but it’s not legit. In relationships, sometimes a person can drive you so mad that you feel like you’re on the brink of dumping them. In Happy Anniversary, Sam even utters the words ‘The only time I’ll be happy again is when you’re dead’. It’s shocking and harsh, but in a way, it’s almost a normal thing for a fighting couple to say.

I found that this movie was so damn refreshing. I’ve spent so long in toxic relationships in the past, listening to friends and family telling me that they’re not right for me and that I deserve better, failing to see that in actual fact, when not fighting, those people actually made me happy.

Sometimes I feel like people – and myself included – fall in love with the idea and notion of perfect relationships so that when a relationship ends up imperfect, we automatically assume it’s not right and that we deserve better. Few people are willing to put up with the sh*t and the bad stuff that comes along in relationships – so few people are willing to fight.

In the movie, Molly talks about how hard being in a relationship is. I’ve grown up on the idea that when you’re with the right person then relationships are simply easy. But they’re not. Just because a relationship gets hard, doesn’t mean it’s not right. It doesn’t mean this person is less perfect for you than the person before who may have made things easy.

The couple find themselves weighing up the options of whether or not they should stay and make a go of it. My god was this an accurate look at most of my relationships! I won’t spoil the ending for you, but one conversation they have near the end is to say that if they stay together it won’t be easy and they probably will continue to argue. But when you love someone that much it’s worth it, right?

I also loved the actors in this movie. Both Noël Wells (Molly) and Ben Schwartz (Sam) are warm and loveable but have really sweet chemistry on screen. I also particularly loved the character of Sam’s best friend – Ed – who is hilarious. He’s all your friends rolled into one, when you have an argument with your other half – he’s by your side till death, proclaiming his hate and that you can do better but as soon as he sees you’re genuinly happy he begrudgingly gives in because ultimately it’s your happiness that he’s most concerned about.

But ultimately, I just loved that this light hearted movie was a really fun take on a realistic relationship and that it’s taught me that as long as you know your worth and know a relationship is worth it, dysfunctional relationships or relationships filled with doubts and worry aren’t always a bad thing.

Have you ever seen this movie? Would you watch it? Let me know!

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Today on the blog I have something a little different and that’s a review of a sweet little short film called Uncle Marty.

It’s actually produced, written and directed by my talented friend, Thomas Young, who I once met drunk on a night out years and years ago but who has done so many talented things related to film over the years.

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In fact, Thomas and the team behind Uncle Marty have even entered the short film into film festivals Drunken Film Festival, The Shortest Nights and Bedford Film Festival.

Uncle Marty sees a brother and sister travel across England to say their final goodbyes to their Uncle Marty, but, of course, not everything goes to plan. With the two characters being pressed for time and rushing across the country to reach the funeral in time, we see the siblings react to the possibility of missing the funeral but also the realisation of losing someone so close to them and someone they look up to.

Though the film is short, it packs a lot into the ten minutes or so of viewing time, and Katie Queue and William Lester genuinly draw the audience in and offer a lot of emotion. Their excellent performances bounce well of off each other – Tim, played by William, offers a humorous character you can’t help but love, whereas Penny is worried and tense at first but entirely relatable as the more serious of the two siblings.

I have to mention the locations too. The opening shots take place at Leagrave train station (somewhere close to home for me!) but later scenes take place in the breathtaking New Forest. What a beautiful place!

The whole piece has some real beautiful camera shots, courtesy of Daniel Read as the cinematographer, making it more than just a movie and much like a work of art too.

Uncle Marty is a really short but sweet film that will make you laugh but will also get you thinking about the memories left behind by someone once they’re gone.

Here’s hoping the film does well at the festivals – it certainly deserves it.

Check it out and let me know what you think with a comment below.

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I’m at the stage in the break up now where I’m flitting between making plans with everyone left, right and centre – not wanting to spend a single evening at home alone – and making pit stops to Tesco on the way home from work to grab Ben & Jerry’s, Amaretto and general junk food for some seriously corny romance movies. What can I say? Rom-coms help store my faith in love again..!

I love a good rom-com, but I also enjoy any indie gems too – as well as the really romantic-corny-snot-into-your-tissue type of movie. Basically, I like a good mix, but the best part is that the majority of these movies still leave me feeling somewhat hopeful after the credits roll.

Here are some of my favourite romance movies that are just perfect for that stage of a break up.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Dating | My favourite post break up romance movies | Movies | Romcom | Romance

LIKE CRAZY
Like Crazy is one of those movies that you’ve probably missed, despite starring big names such as Anton Yelchin (RIP), Felicity Jones and Jennifer Lawrence. It tells the story of Anna and Jacob who shyly fall in love when Anna is studying in LA. Despite falling deeply in love with each other, it’s not long before Anna has to return back home to the UK and thus a long distance relationship begins. If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship, you’ll agree that this movie has gotten the gut wrenching pain of being so far apart from someone you love down to a tee. It’s beautifully tragic and will help you realize that love definitely isn’t easy and love isn’t always enough.

TONIGHT YOU’RE MINE
Oh my gosh. This may be one of the corniest movies ever but it’s so bad that it’s good. It’s pretty damn hard to find online these days (and it’s also known as You Instead), but it’s worth the search if you’re looking for that all consuming-totally-unbelievable-love. It follows two rockstars – Adam and Morello – who are both performing at T In The Park festival (where the film is set, featuring lots of cameo roles), who hate each other but get handcuffed together (yes, really). The story follows them in real time as they spend the evening trying to find a way out, taking to the stage and eventually finding few and fleeting moments together throughout.

THE NOTEBOOK
I don’t really need to explain this one but guaranteed you’ll be sobbing your little heart out by the end of the movie, crying out ‘WHY CAN’T I FIND A LOVE LIKE THAT’.

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
I still don’t entirely get this movie, but it’s one of those ones that sort of make you happy to be alone again, because it helps you realize that you should never really settle. It’s a real oddball type of movie but, if anything, it taught me that extraordinary love is the best and if you haven’t got that then maybe it’s just better to be alone.

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
Revert back to your teenage self and relish in this classic. Cultural? Tick: the movie is based on a Shakespeare play. All star cast? Tick. The film features Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Kick ass female lead? You got it. Julia Stiles’ character Kat was who all us alternative girls looked up to when we were teenagers – she didn’t take sh*t from no one. The film also includes that all important musical number/romantic display of affection, beyond cute ‘first kiss’ (that made me want to try paintballing) and an amazing soundtrack. Need I say more?

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER
Another gem featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt – opposite  Zooey Deschanel in the noteworthy manic pixie dream girl role, this popular indie rom-com is almost a giant ‘f*ck you’ towards traditional romance – but somehow still leaves you with that fuzzy feeling inside. This is great to watch when you’re finally seeing your previous relationship through new eyes – at last you realize it wasn’t always amazing and, more often than not, your ex was kinda a douche. But hey, life goes on, and this movie proves it. It’ll also make you want to visit IKEA (alone) if you haven’t in a while..

NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST
Believe in that first love feeling again. This cute movie follows a couple who go on an epic night time adventure all over New York whilst falling for each other in the process (and misreading each other’s actions). It’s really sweet and will leave you pining for a fun night out – plus the soundtrack is one of the best movie soundtracks ever.

THE BREAK UP
I don’t think this movie did too well commercially, but it’s super funny and is ideal for that stage when you’re feeling really petty about your ex. It stars Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn who try to survive the living conditions of still sharing an apartment post break up.

THIS MEANS WAR
This movie is a total girls movie and perfect to watch with friends. It’s a romantic comedy spy film starring  Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy. Is it moving? No. Does it have some life lessons behind it? Not really. But it’s still really bloody good, even if you just watch it to perv on Chris Pine and Tom Hardy and fantasize about them fighting over you.

This stage of the break up calls for yummy junk food and lots of movies like the ones above, am I right? Have I missed any out?

Well past this stage and looking to start dating again? Why not try websites such as Surrey dating, West Midlands dating, Aberdeen dating, Hampshire dating or Lincolnshire dating.

What are your go-to rom-coms to watch when newly single? Let me know.

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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