Tag: Matthew Goode

Leap Year (Movie 2010)

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Bored on a Friday night, I scanned Netflix for something lighthearted to watch.  I came across Leap Year, which I’ve seen twice before.  It’s been a leap year since I’ve watched it, and once again it didn’t disappoint.

For me, there are only a handful of endearing romantic comedies that have stuck with me throughout the years.  To name some of my favorites – there is The Holiday, Serendipity, and Someone Like You.  They are romantic “fluff” as I call them.  Light, airy, not much substance, but filled with a few good laughs laced with happy mushy endings.  There are other romantic comedies I can think of that I like, but some of them have a tad of sadness attached to the story (example, Return to Me).  I like the romantic comedies that leave me with a smile, and Leap Year I have added to my list.

Amy Adams plays Anna, a posh Bostonian who has been dating a cardiovascular surgeon for four years by the name of Jeremy.  They are rich, upper class, and wishing to move into together at an exclusive apartment complex in New York City.  Amy, however, has been waiting for Jeremy to propose but he never gets around to it.  When he tells her he has a surprise for her when they are to meet for dinner, she assumes he’s going to pop the question.  Instead, he pops a gift of diamond-studded earrings.

Depressed and despondent that he is still dragging his feet, her father tells her the story again about how her grandparents came together.  The Irish tradition of a woman asking a man to marry is an option. Of course, it just happens to be a leap year.  She dismisses the ridiculous idea, but the more she thinks about it, the more romantic it sounds.

After Jeremy travels to Ireland for a medical conference, Anna decides to do just that – get to Ireland by February 29 and ask him to marry her.  However, everything goes wrong and her flight to Dublin is diverted because of bad weather.  She ends up in Wales, takes a ferry over a stormy sea to Ireland, and eventually ends up in some small village on the coast far away from her destination.  It’s here she meets Declan (Matthew Goode) a pub owner who agrees to drive her to Dublin for money.

Of course, the humor of the movie is that everything goes wrong from the very instance she steps onshore.  The trip that should have taken a day ends up taking days, which puts the two of them together for more than they care to be.  Naturally, feelings develop, and by the end, Anna must make a decision about what is really important in life.

So yes, it’s fluff.  Cute fluff.  I’ve always like Amy Adams for the most part.  Recently, we’ve seen Matthew Goode in other memorial roles such as Downton Abbey, so he’s easy on the eyes. It’s definitely not an award-winning movie, but as a romantic comedy, it goes well with popcorn.

Oh, and if you wish to ask a man to marry you, gals, you missed it in 2016, which was the most recent leap year.  You’ll have to wait another four years, until 2020, to get that extra day in February.  Apparently, it is an old Irish custom where St. Brigid made a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men every four years.  So there you go!

Dancing on the Edge (BBC Series 2013)

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Set in London during the early 1930’s, comes a rather jazzy series entitled Dancing on the Edge, but it has nothing to do with dancing. Rather it’s an interesting look into the early 1930’s London scene of a jazz band, consisting of black musicians and singers. It’s an enjoyable six-part journey of a rising band on the London scene, who are embraced by the English aristocracy, including royalty. The series was nominated for three awards at the Golden Globes, and actually won a few awards at other venues.  It is now streaming on Netflix.

The story begins when Stanley Mitchell (played by Matthew Goode), a music journalist for a London magazine, stumbles across a band playing in a small dingy nightclub. He is enthralled with their musical ability and pulls enough strings to get them a gig at the Imperial Hotel.  Of course, jazz is new to London, and at first the elderly patrons find it rather scathing, especially from all black musicians.  Nevertheless, they catch the ear of aristocrats and eventually royalty (Prince of Wales and his younger brother, George), who help push the band into fame and recognition through live broadcasts on the BBC and a record deal.

However, things do not stay peachy forever, as their lead female singer is brutally murdered.  Though you secretly suspect the real culprits in her demise, the police end up pointing the finger at the band leader, Louis Lester (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), as the one who committed the crime. The sad state of affairs brings the band to ruin.  John Goodman plays the rather rich and sleazy Walter Masterson, who you pretty much figure is up to no good.

The six episodes are, of course, filled with singing and jazz, but also quite a few side stories, including a few romances and nudity in bedroom scenes.  Underlying are themes of racial prejudice, interracial love affairs, the rise of the Nazi fascism, and the secrets of the Freemasons.

If you like jazz and the 1930’s London, you’ll be tapping your feet to an enjoyable series.  Here is selection from the soundtrack to get into the foot-tapping, jazzy mood.

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