movie review: ingrid goes west

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of going to a private screening of the movie, Ingrid Goes West. A dark comedy with an extreme take on social media–Instagram in particular–I found this movie to be very entertaining. While the cast is largely unknown, with the exception of O’Shea Jackson, Jr. (son of rapper Ice Cube and star of Straight Out of Compton) they deliver solid performances with perfect timing.

Ingrid, played by Aubrey Plaza, has just lost her mother and is desperately trying to connect with someone, (anyone) and at the same time, get over her recent loss. When the grief and pressure prove too much for her, she snaps and her antics land her in hot water. But after a stint out of the lime light and having seemingly pulled herself together, Ingrid takes her inheritance and moves across the country to California to start anew.

With O’Shea Jackson, Jr., as her landlord and Elizabeth Olsen (sister to Mary Kate and Ashley) her new bff, the ongoing adventures begin. And in the era of social media where people document their every move online, Ingrid’s actions are captured in real-time. But as most people have come to realize, most of the time what you see on social media, isn’t what’s really happening, or is it…

On top of being funny and thought-provoking, there are a host of messages in this flick; and while overt, they aren’t preachy. This movie just might give you pause the next time you decide to broadcast where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing.

Ingrid Goes West will be released broadly on Friday, August 11.

shopping for a ceo’s wife, by julia kent

“…you make me see a world that isn’t there for anyone else.”–Andrew McCormick, Anterdec CEO

This is one of those quotes that makes you swoon. The words were uttered by the hero of Shopping for a CEO’s Wife, to his fiancée, and employee, Amanda. The 12th book in the “Shopping for a Billionaire” series, Andrew is the epitome of the perfect life partner.

Young, rich, powerful, viral, handsome and with a good sense of humor to boot–what’s not to like? Essentially, nothing. Somehow, his perfection wasn’t annoying–so perhaps there was a flaw or two here and there.

Amanda, who has less depth than her soon-to-be-spouse, is young, attractive, and surrounded by a colorful cast of characters (and what a cast it is). There are so many secondary players from the previous books–which I myself have not read–that it was hard to keep everyone straight. However, they are an entertaining bunch, much like the heroine, and help bring depth to what is otherwise a book missing a plot.

The majority of the story focuses on the antics surrounding the wedding planning and the attention, unwanted by Andrew and Amanda, that Andrew’s father James, is orchestrating. Because wedding publicity leads to Anterdec publicity, which is good publicity. Not too far off from today’s reality tv premise.

I found the last 50 pages of the book to be the most engaging. It’s then that we see true conflict when Amanda stands up for her mother and herself, and expresses a feeling of loneliness even though she’s surrounded by people and love. You find yourself drawn in and wanting to know how it all ends. Throughout, however, there is little to grab on to in terms of storyline and Amanda’s ongoing preoccupation with Andrew’s wealth starts to come across as disingenuous. How many times can one be startled about having a $20k monthly allotment when your fiancée is a multi-millionaire and CEO?

If you’re looking for a light-hearted read where the bedroom scenes aren’t very risqué, then this the book for you. The characters are likable, the subject matter isn’t intense, and some of the more comical scenes, while over the top, are fun. I do think it would be of great benefit to read the first 11 books in the series. While that sounds like a commitment, and it is, with this one just over 200 pages in the digital version, I don’t think catching up will take too long.

“All of my fantasies are coming true every day I spend with you. Every damn one.”–Andrew McCormick, Anterdec CEO

Suffice to say, Andrew had some good one-liners.

hollywood dirt, by alessandra torre

This was a fun and relatively fast read. There was a lot of humor infused with real emotion and just the right amount of sexual tension. Alessandra Torre is quickly becoming one of my most adored authors and I could easily go on a binge devouring one book after another from her. In this case, Hollywood Dirt is being made into a movie. And while not a big budget summer release, casting has begun and you’re sure to recognize a face or two on the big screen when it’s brought to life.

Cole Masten, the hero (a term used loosely) is the epitome of an egotistical a*s. He’s Hollywood elite, with over-the-top good looks and talent for days, all slathered in charm. He’s also the male half of ‘Codia,’ being married to Nadia Smith, a Hollywood starlet in her own right. But the demise of the Cole/Nadia acronym is upon them.

After returning home one day, Cole discovers Nadia engaged in extra curricular activities with another man in their bathroom. Needless to say, Cole doesn’t take it well. After arranging a meeting between the other man’s head and shoulder with a ceramic elephant, the divorce of “Codia” ensues; along with a lot of bad behavior on Cole’s part.

Enter Summer. A down home, tell it like it is, care free southern girl. She manages to wrangle a job on Cole’s next movie as an assistant to the location scout. But what starts out as a short-term assistant gig, turns into the part of a lifetime for Summer and as it were, Cole.

The interactions between Cole and Summer are rife with will they/won’t they as well as insults and pranks galore. It makes for a well-written enjoyable story that takes a light-hearted approach to dealing with serious matters of the heart. The reader has the dual benefit of knowing what’s going on inside both Cole and Summer’s head to get a clear view of where they stand, even though they aren’t expressing it to one another. Peppered with one liners and secondary characters almost as entertaining as the primary, this is one book I hope the movie-makers do right by.

the vma’s–what???

Reader Note: This is not my usual post. But as I sit here, poised to go to bed before 8pm because I stayed up late Sunday night watching the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA’s), I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t say something. So I shall… 

ingredients:
Nonsense and ridiculousness.

servings:
Anyone who wants to waste several hours of their life that they will never get back.

rating:
0 (I won’t waste a bookmark icon.)

preparation:
I LOVE award shows. When the ‘real’ award’s season rolls around I get giddy. The SAG Awards. The Golden Globes (my personal fave). The Grammys. All of course culminating in the Oscars. So while the prestige for the VMAs isn’t nearly as high, historically, they’ve been fun to watch. Until, Sunday…

I invested 2 hours (which wasn’t even the whole show). In retrospect, I have no idea why. Let us begin.

I love Alicia Keys but I’m at a loss as to what her bird’s nest of a hairdo and no make-up look were really trying to convey. It’s an award’s show, make an effort.

Kanye’s 4 minute monologue was so convoluted, I’m not entirely sure if he was ‘medicated’ or not; but clearly, he was just as confused as everyone else about what he was saying–because he made no sense. At all.

Key and Peele are supposed to be funny, so I hear. And I have no idea who the Nicole chick was backstage. What I do want to know is why they were all yelling? You have a mic. I’m watching on tv. I have my own volume button. There’s no need to yell at me. Plus, I have no idea what any of you are talking about so yelling isn’t going to make it any clearer.

Why Rhianna appeared four times, I don’t know. But I’m convinced that the 2nd performance was just her and her extended entourage dancing on stage. At least the majority of her songs I could understand; Future on the other hand, not so much. If you begged me to recite one word of what he sang last night, I wouldn’t be able to help you out.

The one. And only. Saving grace. For the entire painful experience. You guessed it. One word. Beyoncé. She is everything for a reason.

Which brings me to my final observation–Britney. Her performance was hyped as her return to the VMAs. That’s fine. But she performed after Bey. No one should ever perform after Beyoncé. Let’s be clear, if Bey is performing at a show, just let her close it out. It’s not fair to anyone to have to follow her, it’s just not. Beyoncé had fire, smoke, wind (she may have even had snow and rain), a costume change, and about 500 back up dancers. Britney had 2 side-kicks, banana yellow thigh high boots, and a rapper no one knew. Sorry Britney, I apologize on behalf of MTV.

difficulty level:
Impossible. Just Google Beyoncé’s performance and get some rest. I did the time so no one else has to suffer. You’re welcome.

dirty rowdy thing, by christina lauren

dirty rowdy thingIt’s no secret, I loved Sweet Filthy Boy–really, who didn’t? But, I’m no 20-something and while the book was a lot of fun, I have to say I was a bit reluctant to keep going. Ever think that some things are good enough to stand on their own? Well, friends and the grapevine talked me into pushing forward with the series and once again, I’m glad I did!

Dirty Rowdy Thing focuses on Harlow and Finn–aka, the gorgeous Hollywood rich chick and the super-sexy Canadian fisherman. Harlow, was in the forefront a bit more than Finn in the first book, but admittedly, she was not my favorite character. Also, I didn’t think I could love anyone more than I loved Ansel, right now, it’s a tie; and Harlow has pretty much redeemed herself.

Harlow, is dealing with the serious illness of someone very close to her. Finn, is working through the troubles of his family business. While the chemistry between the two of them is off the charts, I think you actually feel it through the pages of the book, the former husband and wife decide to be friends. Even though their hook-ups are smoldering, with all of the emotional angst they’re both dealing with, a new long-distance relationship is not what either of them need. But how long will that resolve hold…

Dirty Rowdy Thing was impossible not to adore. While some of the subject matter was heavy, Christina Lauren infused plenty of humor while not making light of the serious content. We came to understand Harlow better and appreciate that her heart is always in the right place. And Finn’s maturity, loyalty, and general super sexiness played to the reader’s love for book boyfriends. Who knew fisherman could be so hot!?!?

rating:

the edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark rating

 

 

There are 2 more books after this one in the series: Dark Wild Night and the recently released Wicked Sexy Liar.