Welcome to my quick reviews ~ a mix of short takes on movies and books I’ve recently watched or read. Note that I don’t have a problem blabbing spoilers, so if that bothers you, skip this post. I finally figured out how to create a normal list that the block editor doesn’t screw up. Yay me!
1. The Jazz Singer starring Neil Diamond. I thought this was literally about jazz, which I’m uninterested in, so I kept passing it by. But no. It’s a 1980 remake of the 1925 play by Samson Raphaelson. Despite not being a jazz fan, I may watch one of the earlier, grittier adaptations. I enjoy movies with Jewish themes in general. TJS’s original title was Day of Atonement, which is a much better choice imo. TJS is not really about music ~ it’s about a son’s relationship with his father and his struggle to accept or reject the traditions he was born into.
I definitely enjoyed the Diamond version and I don’t understand why his acting was panned. He played the part well. I get why Lawrence Olivier’s performance was mocked, as he was way over the top as the old cantor. It reminded me of how ridiculous he was as Van Helsing in Dracula. The ending of TJS surprised me and I might have preferred a different one, but perhaps this one was more realistic. The soundtrack from TJS outperformed the film and is fabulous. I never realized “Coming to America” was from this film, and it fits perfectly!
I want to watch more meaningful movies like this one, and hopefully Prime will now reconfigure its algorithm and recommend them to me. I am so tired of garbage romcoms (good romcoms are fine, but most of the ones I haven’t seen already are terrible).
2. Have We Met? by Joclyn Torain, 2021. This is another fun romance novel centered on the Black experience ~ though there is not much difference between fantasy Black romance and fantasy white, except for hair. I am definitely getting that vibe from having read several of these now. The search for love sucks whoever you are, except when you’re young your hormones compel you to chase it regardless.
in HWM, Cori has to choose between a great guy who is in her life currently and a weird prediction from a sketchy phone app that she has yet to run into “the one.” We’re not sure who put the app on her phone or how it knows so much about her, and the explanation was fun albeit absurd. I also enjoyed the dynamics of the various friendships portrayed throughout the novel. I gave this book 4 stars for capturing and holding my interest despite the fact that I’m a dino and have trouble understanding how a woman could ever be attracted to a (known) bi guy or a person who is gender neutral. No need to explain or call me names. My own fantasy of what a hero should be colors my reading.
For example, if a guy told me he normally was attracted to childless women but would make an exception in my case, I dumped him. I figured that after the initial attraction cooled, he’d resent the attention I gave to my daughters. If a man told me he usually preferred blondes or women who enjoyed camping or who were Christian or had master’s degrees… out he went. I never wanted to be a consolation prize. Oh you’re not my ideal, but I’m desperate and will settle. No thx. The same applied to men who had dated men. I wanted to be my man’s dream girl, which never happened and is likely unrealistic. But that’s what I needed, to believe I was his ideal and no one else could ever be.
Besides this, the “problem” keeping Cori and Cory apart was too contrived and flimsy for my taste. This happens often in romance novels and romcoms too, though more often in the books. I’m like oh come on! Would you really not commit to the wonderful person you’ve been having a great time with because the Magic 8 Ball seems to say he isn’t your true love? Do you also make decisions based on fortune cookie inserts? Even so, I recommend the book as a fun read.
HWM has the honor of being the 50th book I’ve read this year!
Only 2 reviews this time because I’ve jabbered on so long.
Image from Pexels.
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