Happy Galentine’s Day: Favorite Parks & Rec Episodes

Besides Treat Yo’ Self (the best day of the year), the best holiday to come out of Parks and Recreation is Galentine’s Day. Created by Leslie Knope, Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating with your best gal pals.

prIn honor of Galentine’s Day, I think it is about time that I’ve shared my favorite episodes of Parks and Recreation. If you don’t already know, I am a Pawnee Goddess by heart. Parks & Rec’s humor and messages has always resonated to me. It’s my go-to TV show for comfort and laughs. I live in fear of this show being taken off Netflix and Amazon Prime, hence why I need to get the DVDs in my life ASAP.

Choosing the following episodes out of 125 options definitely wasn’t an easy task, but I’ve had so much fun reflecting on the show. Each favorite episode is listed by season and episode  number.

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Top Five Wednesday: Anticipated Movies

While I’ve focused on all the amazing new books coming out in 2019 lately, for today Top Five Wednesday’s freebie post, I’ll be discussing my most anticipated movies of 2019.

While I probably do spend more time reading than watching movies, 2018 was a pretty great movie year for me. To give you a taste of my viewing likes, some of my favorite new releases from last year included To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Mary Poppins Returns, Dumplin’, A Star is Born, Set it Up, and Crazy Rich Asians. And speaking of those book-to-movie adaptations, there are plenty more coming in 2019!

Ashes in the Snow (January 11) Inspired by Ruta Septetys’ Between Shades of Gray, aka one of my all-time favorite books, I wish Ashes in the Snow had a larger release so more people could learn about this often untold story from the WWII era (but I am very thankful for the digital download date being the same as its limited release date). I’ve heard that Ashes in the Snow is even better than the book- a feeling this fangirl rarely experiences.  

Captain Marvel (March 8)– Marvel did so many amazing things in 2018, and I’m so happy to see a new movie with a female superhero at its center. While comparing Marvel to DC isn’t so difficult, I really hope Captain Marvel lives up (and maybe goes beyond) the empowering messages in my favorite superhero film, Wonder Woman.

 

Little Women (December 21)Little Women has received the film treatment before- I absolutely love the 1994 adaptation and I’ve heard not-so great things about the 2018 adaptation—but this version has a completely star-studded cast (see Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalament) and will focus more on the March sisters’ lives as young-adults.

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COMEDY & MORE: Favorite 2018 TV & Movies

While the most amount of books that I’ve ever read in one year, 2018 has been a year where I’ve also felt that I turned to TV and movies more than usual. To be considered a 2018 favorite, the TV show or movie had to come out or have new episodes this year. However, because catching up with ALL the shows & movies are just as difficult as keeping up with all the new shiny book releases, I do have some honorable mentions that didn’t come this year.

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Crazy Rich Asians: Book Vs. Movie

2018 has been filled with some pretty amazing book to movie adaptations, and Crazy Rich Asians is no exception. Me being the fangirl that I am, I had to read the book before I saw the movie. I obviously loved both book and film, but today I’m going to be discussing which bookish or movie elements I liked better, and whether book or movie is the ultimate Crazy Rich Asians winner in my fangirl heart.

 

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Movie Review

So one advance screening and three at-home rewatches later, I feel confident to launch into my review of my most anticipated 2018 film, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Just like the beloved book by Jenny Han, I absolutely loved To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and it will always be a movie I can return to again and again. This Netflix film also gives us the opportunity to channel our true Covey-Song selves with being able to put on our comfiest pajamas with plenty of chocolate chip cookies and face masks at hand.

IMG_E5419When it comes to book-to-movie adaptions, us bookworms most like to discuss the differences between book and movie. There were minor changes made, but nothing that was significant enough to affect the plot, in my opion. For the most part, the changes usually involved the setting of certain events. I admit that I was a bit sad that Lara Jean lives in Oregon, not Virginia, in the movie, but I’m sure this had something to do with the movie being filmed in Canada and having to find a similar US setting. I don’t want to go into too many spoilers, so I’ll talk about the most obvious change that you can find in the trailers. Kitty was made to be older in the movie -she’s starting the sixth grade. Director Susan Johnson revealed that they wanted a bit more mature, older Kitty in the movie so she could act as a comic pinpoint. Which is fine by me, because I laughed out loud at almost everything she said.

While the actresses who play the Covey-Song girls aren’t all Korean, I was still so happy that the film was not whitewashed, many thanks to Jenny Han, because it just made the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before feels even stronger. I’ve seen some debate over if Janel Parrish was too old to play college freshman Margot, but I did like her as Margot- even though I always pictured Margot to be a bit more nerd-chic for some reason. And like I said above, I LOVED Anna Cathcart as Kitty. Her comic delivery was just so good! I know there’s a lot of loves being thrown around here, but Noah Centineo as Peter K was just so perfect and much love to John Corbett as Dr. Covey. I think I also liked movie Chris a tad more than book Chris?? Her questions about Dr.Cover’s career choice was one of my favorite moments. Most importantly, I think it’s safe to say that Lana Condor is the Lara Jean we all hoped for. From her wardrobe to her bad driving skills to her introvert self to her messy room her love for her family, Lana is the Lara Jean I always imagined. And let’s not forgot about that Jenny Han cameo! I love how she lingers in the background for a bit so readers really have the chance to recognize her.

Speaking of messy rooms and camera shots, I obviously give this move an A+, but its camera angles and cinematography gets A+s themselves. This movie was just so beautifully shot, and I loved the sequences, like when Lara Jean is opening the hatbox and the different shots as she shows the letters, pictures the boys, and sweeps the hatbox aside when Margot comes in.

I’m so happy that we can watch this movie again and again on Netflix, and I’ll likely buy it if it ever comes out on DVD. Netflix powers, please give us P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean adaptations. Especially after that ending.

Have you watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Attending the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Advance Screening

On Tuesday night, I attended my first advance screening for my most anticipated movie EVER of the year: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I was beyond excited for the opportunity to attend an advance screening for one of my favorite books of all-time. This experience was also pretty special since To All the Boys I’ve Loved is a Netflix original, so now I can say that I’ve watched the film both on the big screen and small screen.

I went to the screening with my completely non-bookish, but movie-loving sister. Who else could have brought to a rom-com about sisterhood?? We got to the move theater in uptown New York City a little over an hour before the event’s official start time at 7 PM. I’ve heard that this is common with advance screenings, especially through gofobo, but we could not believe how long the line was when we got there! It had to be at least 50 people deep, so I’m thankful that we decided to go right to the theater instead of getting dinner beforehand.

My sister and I didn’t get into the theater until 7 PM. I really don’t know how many people were able to get in after us because by the time we made it in, the theater seemed pretty filled up. gofobo said that the theater was overbooked beforehand and seats were not guaranteed, so unfortunately I don’t know what happened to all the people behind us in line. Luckily, the actual movie tickets we got once inside already had assigned seats (we had perfect spots in the middle!) and we received free popcorn and drinks. Everyone also received their own Netflix-inspired swag bag, which included the movie tie-in edition of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (so glad I didn’t buy it!), a notebook, a pencil, and bookmark.

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While my full review will be coming on Monday (this fangirl needs to watch the movie 2 or 40 more times), I will say now that To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before completely met my expectations and more. While a few minor details were changed, I was so happy with how much the film felt like the book! It had all the warm feels, the Covey-Song sisters bond, and PLENTY of laugh-out-loud moments from Kitty.

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After the film ended, there was a Q&A featuring Jenny Han, Lana Condor (who plays Lara Jean), and Susan Johnson, the director of the film. The Q&A was on the shorter side, but it was so cool getting to hear from these awesome ladies. A few things that they revealed were: Jenny wrote love letters and kept them in a hatbox too, Lana couldn’t believe how long her hair was in the movie until watching the film, and Susan hopes for more romantic comedies. By the end, the audience was cheering for 2 more sequels -hopefully the Netflix executive in the room heard!

The Q&A was then followed by a signing with Jenny. I got the movie tie-in edition and my own copy of P.S. I Still Love You signed- now all of my Jenny Han books are signed!! I’m also so proud that said non-bookish sister also attended her very first book signing and got her copy signed! Even though she made me spoil the endings of the books for her on the way home.

Overall, I am so grateful for my experience at the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before advance screening. This movie is easily my favorite of the year, so make sure to watch it on Netflix now!

Have you watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before yet? What did you think?? Share in the comments!!

Movies I’ve Watched Recently: Inspired by From Twinkle, With Love

After recently reading and enjoying Sandhya Menon’s latest novel, From Twinkle, With Love, it made me think about some of the movies that I’ve been watching lately. Since I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read during the school year, I use the summer to take a little bit of a break from TV & movie-watching to catch up on ALL the books. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy having a Netflix marathon on a cloudy day or catching up on a TV show before bed. BECAUSE I DO!

From Twinkle, With Love follows aspiring filmmaker Twinkle Mehra who has plenty of stories and universes for people to see on screen. When fellow film geek Sahil Roy asks Twinkle to direct a movie for an upcoming arts festival, Twinkle jumps on the opportunity to not only put her moviemaking skills to the test, but to get closer to her longtime crush, Neil, who also happens to be Sahil’s twin brother. From Twinkle, With Love is largely told through Twinkle’s letters to her favorite female filmmakers and coincidentally, my latest movie watches have all been female-centered!

Little WomenLittle Women is one of my most memorable childhood books, so when I saw the 1994 adaptation pop up on Netflix, I knew that it was fate telling me it was time for a rewatch! I just love this story so much—can I be Jo March when I grow up??—and I really like the cast in this adaptation. While Little Women takes place during the Civil War era, I love movies made in the ‘90s and it was fun seeing a young Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst on screen.

Marie Antoinette – Soon after watching Little Women, Marie Antoinette popped up on my recommended for you list on Netflix. I had never heard of this movie based on you guessed up, the Queen of France herself, who’s played by Kirsten Dunst. I admit that not a lot happens in this one, but I enjoyed seeing Kirsten play Antoinette and seeing how Antoinette’s life changed, living in French royalty and adjusting to their traditions and expectations. There’s a slight quirkiness that I really appreciated—for example, no one speaks in “old” language and there’s a lot of modern music throughout! It was also very cinematic with all of the amazing shots of Versailles and historical costumes.

Ocean’s Eight- Ocean’s Eight was one of my most anticipated movies of 2018 and being a big fan of Ocean’s Eleven, I’m happy to say that I loved Ocean’s Eight so much! If you love the heist side of things in Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, you will love this movie. The female cast was absolutely phenomenal (Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Rhianna, Mindy Kaling to name a few…) and like Ocean’s 11, I found myself asking HOW the entire time!! I also enjoyed the references to Ocean’s 11, and I still believe that Danny Ocean is not dead. Can this be an excuse to get a sequel with our female cast, please?? 

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From Twinkle, With Love Mini Review:

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I read Sandhya Meon’s debut novel, When Dimple Met Rishi, last summer, and I knew that From Twinkle, With Love would be the perfect way to kick off summer.

However, I admit that especially in the beginning, I had trouble adjusting to the book’s format. I love Twinkle’s admiration of female filmmakers, but I think her narration without the letters would’ve allowed us to get the same sense of her voice. We also get Sahil’s POV from his text messages with his best friends. Even though I liked also getting some of Sahil’s voice, I also found myself confused trying to tell who was who in his text messages to Aaron and Skid.

Format aside, I really enjoyed this story and like When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon gave us such unique and creative protagonists with Twinkle and Sahil. It was fun seeing their movie and romance come to life, and by the end, what reader doesn’t have a crush on Sahil?? I also loved getting to know Twinkle’s family alongside her Indian upbringing—if I started a Youtube channel, would Dadi also create three accounts just to subscribe to me??

I liked how social Twinkle becomes by the end of the book. However, the drama beforehand does feel quite high school. Although her best friend, Maddie, is often in the wrong and Twinkle recognizes her own faults eventually, I didn’t understand how Twinkle thought some of her actions and words were okay?? Listen to your moral compass, Sahil, please!

Overall, I enjoyed From Twinkle, With Love for its unique and fun story (which did keep me up late into the night to continue), and I’m definitely anticipating Sandhya’s When Ashish Met Sweetie.

Have you read From Twinkle, With Love? What movies have you watched lately? Share in the comments!