Mandy Moore Monday: This Is Us

Have you guys heard about This Is Us? It’s like, really good.

But you already know that. Or someone has told you it’s really good. And today, I’m going to not only tell you about how good the show is, but how spectacular Mandy Moore is as the family matriarch. Why? Because it’s Mandy Moore Monday, of course!

A while back I kicked off the Mandy Moore Monday series, and by series, I mean this is only the second installment (did you miss my revisit to her severely underrated album Coverage?!). So why not shine a light on Mandy’s most recent star turn as Rebecca Pearson in this past TV season’s hit drama? Plus in full disclosure, we’re in the middle of Emmy nominations voting, so I figure we could at least give Mandy a little push for a nomination.

I think that it was easy for critics to brush Mandy off as not as serious actress back when she was younger, due to the whole pop star/Candy-ness of it all. I thought she was fantastic in A Walk To Remember, but that’s just a “movie for teenagers”. She got some street cred as a bitchy Christian school girl in Saved!, and perhaps the most successful film (and the one that’s gotten her the most residuals) is Tangled, and that just featured her voice. But with her first major TV drama (besides a fantastic/heartbreaking arc on Grey’s Anatomy), Mandy’s finally getting to show off her legit acting chops, and I could not be more proud. In This Is Us, she’s been able to prove she’s a dynamic actor, one who can let us watch Rebecca start off as a young woman not interested in kids, to a devoted mother, to a wife who wants to see what life would be like if she chased her dreams, to a widow just trying to stay connected with her kids.

Here are just a few reasons why Mandy Moore  should not only be praised on this MMM (Mandy Moore Monday), but hopefully come Emmy time, too.

When She Looked Good In Every Decade

Aging a young person isn’t easy, and if done wrong, it can look unbelievable. Perhaps most importantly, bad makeup takes the viewer out of the fictional world and into reality & endless criticism (def not talking about you, Deathly Hallows). Moreover, This Is Us requires a lot of emotional scenes, so if she’s put in makeup that doesn’t allow her to show every face acting emotion, it’s a maj fail. But Mandy’s makeup artist Zoe Hays made sure the goal wasn’t for Rebecca to just look old, but for her to simply look 30 years older. Helen Mirren, 71, served as Zoe’s inspiration for Rebecca’s sixty-something look, since she’s a “sexy, mature woman and there’s never any doubt that she exudes that.” And together with Zoe, Mandy has done an excellent job in acting as Rebecca in her 30s, 40s, 50s & 60s, something that only a classic beauty and talented actress can pull off.

When She Finally Got To Sing

As someone who greatly enjoys Mandy’s voice and music career, obviously I was waiting for the writers to incorporate her singing into the show. And they did it in a smart way, by having Rebecca be an aspiring singer when she’s younger, but have put those dreams aside once the triplets come along. Of course, Mandy hits it out of the park when she takes the mic, and it means even more in the story when we find out that her voice is literally what brings her and Jack together in the first place.

When She Had Romantic Scenes With Milo

Ross and Rachel. Jim and Pam. Luke and Lorelai. Jack and Rebecca. These two will go down in TV history as one of the most beloved yet complex couples ever. And that has a lot to do with Mandy and Milo’s chemistry. When they were first announced as the co-stars in this show, I thought it was a no-brainer – so much so that I thought that they surely must’ve worked together before. Nope. In my head, it was Jess Mariano married to Jamie Sullivan and somehow that works. You can tell just by watching them in every scene that there’s an ease to their back-and-forth, and it particularly shows in their romantic scenes. There’s a real love there, not just Jack and Rebecca, but a mutual love and respect between Milo and Mandy that makes it so enjoyable to watch.

I stand in awe of this friend of mine. He is the ultimate partner in crime and he absolutely knocked it out of the park on every level in last night's finale. I am the luckiest. Can't believe we have 18 behind us and atleast 36 ahead, Mi. Wow. And for those somehow frustrated with the finale not revealing how Jack passed, I would encourage patience. Otherwise you might be watching the wrong show. Last night was fundamental to the bigger picture. The story deviated and ultimately landed on (I think) a more compelling question… what was the state of this relationship in the end? And as Milo so eloquently stated, let's focus on how the man lived! Stay tuned cause it's all leading somewhere and we're just getting started.

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When She Had Not-So-Romantic Scenes With Milo

And that chemistry works just as well when we see Jack and Rebecca hit their rough patch in the later years. I’m no actress, but I imagine the best comes out when you wholeheartedly trust your acting partner. Mandy and Milo not only have this connection as friends IRL, but they each have a personal relationship with their fictional personas. So in combining those two factors, you’re left with two humans who aren’t afraid to go all out and lay it all on the table in these heated scenes, adding that extra level of realness that can sometimes feel like we’re intruding on this couple’s intense arguments.

When She And Milo Made-Up

Back to the romantic thing because, honestly? OTP: I’m gonna be a 12 for you baby. #IShipJabecca

When She Had To Cry In Prosthetics

The situation Rebecca knowingly but herself in is a tricky one, and I feel like there’s no “right” way to go about telling your adopted son about his drugged out father. In this confrontation scene, Mandy has an excellent scene partner in Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, but it’s Mandy’s silent remorse realization she may have fucked up big time is what is the most impressive.

When Her Acting Partner Was A Fake Pregnant Stomach

Having a one-sided conversation with three babies is normal for pregnant women, but having a one-sided conversation with a large, prosthetic belly is a whole other thing. Mandy killed this monologue as a loving, regretful, hopeful, uncertain mom-to-be, who promised to do right by her kids. It’s not easy to convey all those different feelings in one monologue, but she delivers it in a subtle and moving way that as a viewer you can relate to, no matter if you’re a parent or not.

When She Was A Queen This Entire Episode

If she’s nominated, this better be the episode they submit. But in the meantime, just watch this again. The walk to the corner store though!

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A Walk To Remember to Remember

I’ll always remember it was late afternoon… when I went to Greece Ridge Cinemas as a 15 year old and saw A Walk to Remember and unexpectedly cried because ~*tRu LoVe*~.

On January 25th, 2002, “Candy” and “I Wanna Be With You” hitmaker Mandy Moore hit the big screen for her first starring role in a movie, alongside Once and Again star Shane West. Based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the story centered on bad boy Landon Carter, who unexpectedly falls in love with good Christian girl Jamie Sullivan (even though she tells him not to). It’s a love story for the ages with one big twist and for most people, it was just another teen movie. For older millennials, it was one of the movies that defined our generation.

For me, A Walk to Remember holds a special place in my heart for different reasons, with different memories connected to each one. In addition to the VHS tape I played over and over again (and currently have in my room JIC I need a Landon/Jamie fix), I was equally obsessed with the soundtrack. For my 16th birthday, my friend gave me the soundtrack (along with a set of fake play keys because I could drive and lololol) and as soon as I popped that baby in my boombox, it was spinning constantly.

While music did play a big part in the film (ONLY HOPE THO), I always felt like the soundtrack didn’t receive the attention it properly deserved. So what better way to celebrate A Walk to Remember than by stepping back in time This Is Us style and revisiting the tracks that formed our formative years.

Dare You to Move by Switchfoot

Some songs are just meant to be featured in movies with characters driving a long distance and thinking about their lives. In this case, it’s Switchfoot’s Dare You to Move falls under that category. It’s the perfect blend of stirring instrumentals and contemplative lyrics that make it a great fit for the movie and an even better fit as the first song on the soundtrack.

Cry by Mandy Moore

Only Hope aside, Cry was the most well known song off this album. Partly because it was sung by Queen Mandy, but also because it was also a single from her self-titled album that came out the year prior. Of course the irony is that we were all left crying in the theater after watching this movie, but I find it much more entertaining to take in the magic that is this music video to promote the film.

Someday We’ll Know by Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman

I was obsessed with the New Radicals original version of this song when it came out in 1999, and when I thought I couldn’t even love it even more, Mandy and Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot did just that. By having the two of them cover the song specifically for the movie, it took on a whole new meaning and reflected the love story between Jamie and Landon, pivoting from the New Radicals’ version of lost love and regret.

Dancin’ in the Moonlight by Toploader

15 year old me had no idea this song was a cover of a King Harvest track from 1972, but I guess A Walk to Remember was there to educate the people. Either way, it was a nice lighthearted song that conveyed the easiness to Jamie and Landon’s relationship, despite the fact the odds were against them. Also I’d like to think it was a preview into Mandy’s most ICONIC album, Coverage (which I wrote about for a past Mandy Moore Monday post).

Learning to Breathe by Switchfoot

Fun fact: Switchfoot was initially signed to a Christian label, and throughout their tenure as a band, they’ve had a weird relationship with being labelled a “Christian band”. However, this song, and the album of the same name, proved to be very sucessful for them in 2001, when it was nominated for a Best Rock Gospel Album Grammy.

Only Hope by Mandy Moore

I.CON.IC. ICONIC.

It’s Gonna Be Love by Mandy Moore

I really like this song, but it always threw me off when it started playing during a tender moment between Landon and Jamie when he’s putting the temp tattoo on her and softly blowing her skin. Cue Mandy Moore singing on the radio while Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan reacts in awe/shock/love when she feels the feels.

You by Switchfoot

Switchfoot probably got the most exposure during the Walk to Remember era, but they’ve always been one of those bands that is just always… around. It’s because their music is fine – it’s not bad, it’s not great, it’s not mainstream pop being played on the radio 24/7. Example: this song.

If You Believe by Rachael Lampa

Now that I’m thinking about it – were the producers of this film purposefully choosing Christian music artists for the soundtrack because Jamie and her Reverend father were too? Or does Rachel Lampa just have a really good PR team?

No One by Cold

This is the song I always skip.

So What Does It All Mean? by West, Gould, & Fitzgerald

This track is more in line with Landon’s squad of horrible people, but also, could have been on the Empire Records soundtrack too?

Mother, We Just Can’t Get Enough by New Radicals

New Radicals didn’t get to sing their own song, so instead, they featured on their own track. Good enough.

Only Hope by Switchfoot

You’re a certain type of person that says they prefer this version over Mandy Moore’s version of Only Hope. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s a choice.

Golden Globes 2017 – Best Dressed

Annddd we’re back! Not only with new content for 2017, but content that includes our annual kick off to awards season with the Golden Globes! Last night saw some good times (Meryl Streep! Donald Glover!) and bad times (y’all see Hidden Fences?), but as always, we kept an eye on the fashion. Here are some of our faves from the 2017 Golden Globes.

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Emma Stone in Valentino Haute Couture

Every year, we debate over contributing our true top picks and making sure that we don't have any repeats because there are plenty of gorgeous gowns to go around. And just about every year, we end up with one gown that neither of us can, in good conscience, leave off of our list. This time it's Emma Stone, a city of stars unto herself. I love the soft champagne color, the crenelated skirt (so 20s and 30s! so perfect for this role, in particular), and the understated hair, makeup and jewelry. Emma almost always makes our best list, and I'm thrilled she'll be on every red carpet this year because I think she's positively refreshing, both in her exquisite fashion picks and in her laid-back but kind personality.

Every year, we debate whether to contribute our true top picks or make sure that we don’t have any repeats, because there are plenty of gorgeous gowns to go around. And just about every year, we end up with one gown that neither of us can, in good conscience, leave off of our list. This time it’s Emma Stone, a city of stars unto herself. I love the soft champagne color, the crenelated skirt (so 20s and 30s! so perfect for this role, in particular), and the understated hair, makeup and jewelry. Emma almost always makes our best list, and I’m thrilled she’ll be on every red carpet this year because I think she’s positively refreshing, both in her exquisite fashion picks and in her laid-back but kind personality.

 

Natalie Portman in Prada

While my picks after Emma Stone follow in no particular order, I had to make sure Natalie Portman was on my best dressed list somewhere, if only because I was a bit confused by the dislike for this gown. Maternity fashion is tricky: go to bulky and you'll just look oddly shaped instead of pregnant; some go all the way the other direction but I always find skin-tight or crop-tops on pregnant woman to look uncomfortable. I like that Natalie chose a middle approach: tailored, crisp and cheerful, with a 60s boatneck vibe as a tribute to the one and only Jackie O. The feathery beading and midi sleeves made this feel like something I'd imagine a pregnant Audrey Hepburn wearing - or Jackie, of course.

While my picks after Emma Stone follow in no particular order, I had to make sure Natalie Portman was on my best dressed list somewhere, if only because I was a bit confused by the distaste for this gown. Maternity fashion is tricky: go too bulky and you’ll just look oddly shaped instead of pregnant; some go all the way the other direction but I always find skin-tight or crop-tops on pregnant woman to look uncomfortable. I like that Natalie chose a middle approach: tailored, crisp and cheerful, with a 60s-style boatneck as a tribute to the one and only Jackie O. The feathery beading and midi sleeves made this feel like something I’d imagine a pregnant Audrey Hepburn wearing – or Jackie, of course.

 

Donald Glover in Gucci

What I love: the brown velvet is such a beautifully smooth color that you could almost dive into it like melted chocolate. Also, Donald manages - at the same time - to look both like an old-school debonair gentleman, and a walking huggable teddy bear. This suit is a reminder that you don't have to go all the way to patterns or beading to explore a statement beyond the classic black tux. Plus that burgandy bow tie?! This is one of the biggest nights in Donald's career, and I just love that he is dressed for it.

What I love: the brown velvet is such a beautifully smooth color that you could almost dive into it like melted chocolate. Also, Donald manages – at the same time – to look both like an old-school debonair gentleman, and a walking huggable teddy bear. This suit is a reminder that you don’t have to go all the way to patterns or beading to explore a statement beyond the classic black tux. Plus that burgundy bow tie?! This is one of the biggest nights in Donald’s career, and I just love that he is dressed for it.

Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad Couture

We all love a simple black dress, but I also love when celebs take the red carpet invitation to seriously go for it. Stunning embroidery, piles of fabric, and an almost Victorian feel that's modernized by that fantastic neckline. Pair it with Lily's signature bold eyebrows and a red lip, and the look keep from going to

We all like a simple black dress, but I also love when celebs take the red carpet invitation to seriously go for it. Stunning embroidery, piles of fabric, and an almost Victorian feel that’s modernized by that fantastic neckline. Pair it with Lily’s signature bold eyebrows and a red lip, and the look keep from going to “80s bridesmaid” and lands in “coolest modern debutante on the block.”

Viola Davis in Michael Kors Collection

Viola Davis is flawless in everything, from Fences (SEE IT), to introductory speeches (I repeat my request that she make radio speeches weekly for the next 4 years to keep us steady), to this one-shoulder canary yellow gown. You can seldom go wrong pairing a vibrant color with a streamlined style and beautiful - but minimal - accessories. Also it would be a crime to cover up those arms.

Viola Davis is flawless in everything, from Fences (SEE IT), to introductory speeches (I repeat my request that she make radio speeches weekly for the next 4 years to keep us steady), to this one-shoulder canary yellow gown. You can seldom go wrong pairing a vibrant color with a streamlined style and beautiful – but minimal – accessories. Also it would be a crime to cover up those arms.

Millie Bobby Brown in Jenny Packham

This makes my list because it's fun, it's glitzy, it fits perfectly, and it's wonderfully age-appropriate. I'm dying a bit over the sheer layer at the hemline and all that beading, not to mention the sweet sandal-style heels. I'm typically not into tea length dresses on adults on the red carpet (though there are exceptions), but it's the perfect way for a child to look dressed up without looking like they're, well, playing dress-up as an adult.

This makes my list because it’s fun, it’s glitzy, it fits perfectly, and it’s wonderfully age-appropriate. I’m dying a bit over the sheer layer at the hemline and all that beading, not to mention the sweet sandal-style heels. I’m typically not into tea length dresses on adults on the red carpet (though there are exceptions), but it’s the perfect way for a child to look dressed up without looking like they’re, well, playing dress-up as an adult.

Traci’s Picks

Emma Stone in Valentino Haute Couture

For the first major awards show of the season, it’s only fitting the La La Land star picked a gown that features silver stars, since, ya know City of Stars and whatnot. Love the light pink color too – the stars are enough ‘bling’, and any other bright color would’ve been too much.

Mandy Moore in Naeem Kahn

God I am so glad Mandy Moore is back looking glam on red carpets where she belongs. Despite the fact she didn’t go home with a trophy, she’s still dressed like a winner in this gorgeous dress. Plunging necklines were a trend this year, and Mandy killed it. I also love the faux cape and sheer material that gives it another sexy edge for a full length gown.

Gina Rodriguez in Naeem Kahn

If I were Gina Rodriguez, I would spend the entire night shimmying left and right to get those beads movin like a 1920s flapper. She looks amazing from head to toe, and is working it like the true star she is.

Felicity Huffman in Georges Chakra

You can't really tell in this photo, but those are pants. And Felicity gave a simple explanation as to why she skipped a gown this year, and it's why she deserves a spot on the best dressed list (it's also v pretty).

If you can’t really tell in this photo, those are pants. And Felicity gave a simple explanation as to why she skipped a gown this year, and it’s why she deserves a spot on the best dressed list (it’s also v pretty). “I got a pantsuit in honor of Hillary. Love you, Hillary. I’m with her.” {x}

Issa Rae in Christian Siriano

Insecure is still on my To Watch list, but I really like Issa Rae based on interviews alone. And as a first-time nominee, she fits right in with this sleek Christian Siriano gown. Also, please note her flawless skin. It’s unreal.

Milo Ventimiglia in Ralph Lauren

That is Milo Ventimiglia and this is us saying goodbye to the #GoldenGlobes. ✨👋

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MILO. VENTIMIGLIA. IS. A. SMOKESHOW.

Sterling K. Brown in Kenneth Cole and Ryan Michelle Bathe in David Meister

photo-jan-08-11-34-37-pmDo yourself a favor and follow Sterling K. Brown on social media if you don’t already. Today’s Insta story featured him getting ready with his wife (also on This Is Us!) and they are #couplegoals AF. I mean look at these two hotties – his blue suit and her amazing pink sequined gown?! This is a screenshot of a boomerang and it doesn’t even do them justice. Neither does the screenshot below of Sterling’s time lapse of him putting his clothes on…
photo-jan-08-11-33-32-pm

Mandy Moore Monday: Coverage

Is the person who created #ThrowbackThursday profiting from all the social media posts? Do we even know who started it? Well remember this post because I’m about to start a new hashtag in honor of America’s underrated sweetheart – Mandy Moore.

Welcome to Mandy Moore Monday, in which I heap praise upon a woman who has graced us with her talents for years. And now, she’s gracing us with her talents every Tuesday with the breakout hit This Is Us – a series that has reached the type of success that has been years in the making.

For a little backstory, Mandy hasn’t had the best of luck with pilots over the past few years. One original project with ABC fell through, another CBS legal drama (alongside Ben McKenzie/Ryan Atwood, making your 2000s shipper hearts go into full bloom) failed to get picked up, and she even signed on for an adaptation of British TV series called Pulling, but she and the producers came to a mutual decision for her to leave the show. And do you remember Red Band Society? She wasn’t even a regular and it still got cancelled. Needless to say, she needed This Is Us. Not only because she needed a win, but because WE needed a win. We NEED Mandy Moore back in our lives. Get ready folks – IT’S TIME FOR THE MANDYISSANCE.

After you catch up with This Is Us and want MOORE Mandy, how about throwin’ it back to a past project of hers you might have missed – her 2003 album Coverage. This was post-Candy and even post-In My Pocket, and the first record that was a 180 from her pop songs and strictly an album of cover songs from the 1970s and 1980s. I admit I was one of those teens who hadn’t even heard any of these tunes until she covered them and legitimately expanding music knowledge to a whole new generation.

So for the first installment of Mandy Moore Monday, I present to you a collection of my five favorite tracks from the Coverage album. And you can listen to the entire album on Spotify!

The Whole of the Moon

As previously mentioned, there are some songs on the album I’d only heard for the first time through Mandy’s angelic voice, and The Whole of the Moon immediately became one of my favorites. The original 1985 version is by a British/Irish group called The Waterboys (whose lead singer’s name is Mike Scott?) and is considered one of their best-known songs. But you know who’s never heard the OG song before? A majority of teens v into pop music who didn’t know what they were getting into when Mandy released a follow up to In My Pocket. But that’s part of the brilliance of this album. For those who didn’t know the original songs, a track like The Whole of the Moon is just a new Mandy Moore song which she sings beautifully and with grace. And for those looking for a history lesson, they can go back and listen to the The Waterboys’ version and get educated on early rock. Either way, it’s a win-win.

Can We Still Be Friends

I’m going to be honest with you – a majority of these songs I still haven’t heard the original version of because I have no interest. Mandy Moore is good enough for me. It’s also because I’m not keen on the 70s/80s rock sound, so hearing these classics through a singer whose music I enjoy is truly a gift. This song was originally done by Todd Rundgren, whose name sounds vaguely familiar but is also one of those white male rocker names that could’ve been featured in SNL’s Blue Oyster Cult band. As for the song itself, it’s got a chill vibe to it, but towards the end she goes into a bit of a belt. But not Idina Menzel belt, the kind of belt that I love so much about Mandy’s voice – it’s not forced but strong enough to get the point across and still sound powerful.

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Sir Elton John made this tune a classic back in 1972, and Mandy does the music icon justice with her own version of Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters. I think this song is the perfect example of where her voice sits naturally, in which she’s not trying too hard, but giving it just the right amount of emotion to feel just right.  A Goldilocks of a song, if you will.

Drop the Pilot

I admittedly haven’t listened to the Coverage album in its entirety in a few years, but when I listened to this song for the first time in a while, it just got me so pumped and inspired me to play Mandy Moore tracks for the rest of the day. Drop the Pilot, originally done by Joan Armatrading, is just a fun, upbeat track, and I couldn’t even tell you what it’s about, but that’s secondary to the music itself. ALSO.

FACT: I had never seen this music video before.

FACT: This video was shot in our hometown of Rochester, New York! WHILE WE WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL, YET I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF THIS HAPPENING. Apparently, the video was made as a demo for Kodak’s “Vision2 500T series motion picture film” and they used it to promote the product.

FACT: Kodak’s headquarters are located in Rochester. It’s one of our *things*. You can even visit the house of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak.

BONUS: AOL Live Session that is a time machine back to EXACTLY 13 YEARS AGO ON OCTOBER 3RD, 2003!

Have a Little Faith in Me

Ok, besides Candy and In My Pocket, this cover of John Hiatt’s Have a Little Faith in Me is probably one of Mandy’s greatest hits. Mandy’s always had a bit of an ethereal quality in her voice, which is perfect for a song whose lyrics inspire encouragement and trust from a loved one. Well, you got me Mandy. You got me.

#SmartGirlsAsk at the Emmy Awards

There’s a scene in Gilmore Girls when Lorelai makes fun of Rory (and Chris’) obsession with their new Sidekicks. REMEMBER SIDEKICKS??? Anyways, her line has always stuck out to me as quoteworthy and comical, mainly because of the nonsense questions she’s asking and at the even faster rate than normal she’s asking them in.

Now I’ve never been on a red carpet and been bombarded with a million questions by pushy reporters and photographers, but I imagine this is what it would be like, but like 50 Lorelais all at once.

About a year or so ago, there was a movement called #AskHerMore, which encouraged reporters to inquire about more than just “who are you wearing” to women on the red carpet. About a year ago, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party started their own version using the hashtag #SmartGirlsAsk. They asked followers and celebs alike to send in their questions to stars at the Emmys, and since it went swimmingly before, they did it again this past Sunday. Here are some of the best questions and the best answers from the best people in the biz.

Obvs we have to start with our boo. Remember when Amy Poehler used to provide us with infinite wisdom via her Ask Amy video blogs? I miss those. This will do.

I admit I had to look up with this hilarious gal is, and research tells me she’s on Transparent, a show I have yet to watch. But I am living for her honesty.

If you’re wondering who the two girls are on either side of Ellie, they’re Cydnee and Gretchen all glammed up. They sure do look different out of their bunker gear.

Same, Aziz. Same. *also featuring special cameos by two girls I went to college with*

Happiness is being able to live in a world with KBell.

I also like to listen to Tony Goldwyn’s smooth, silky, sexy voice if I’m feeling stressed.

GIMME, GIMME MO(O)RE, GIMME MO(O)RE, GIMME (MANDY) MO(O)RE!

Pls refer to our Emmys post for why I am obsessed with Yara Shahidi.

Truly unbreakable.

This video was taken B.E. = Before Emmy. EMMY WINNER TATIANA MASLANY.

This kid.

Sometimes I forget how much I liked Downton Abbey.

Movies I Actually Paid To See In the Theater: Part 2 – No Shame

Welcome to the conclusion of this mini-series, in which I reveal the movies I paid to see in the theaters. This second list is comprised of films that most would be embarrassed to say they even saw, none the less exchanged money in order to see it, but I am owning up to the fact that I enjoyed every single one.

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

I may have been a Junior in high school when this movie came out. I may have watched the series on DisChan and seen every episode. I may have dressed up as Miranda to my friend Sarah’s Lizzie for a Halloween party at my church. So sue me. This movie was the perfect way to end the series, and was satisfying on all ends. A trip to Italy, mistaken identity, and the epic kiss between Lizzie and Gordo that made my 17 year old self swoon. This IS what dreams are made of.

A Walk to Remember

I think this was the first Nicholas Sparks movie that started a wave of his depressing yet uplifting love stories, and it certainly still ranks as one of  my favorites. I mainly went to see it for Mandy Moore, not expecting much out of it, and not knowing what was going to happen. Little did I know that I was totally sucked in, and became obsessed with it. I played the soundtrack on repeat, and probably ruined my VHS tape because I watched it so many times. And I will no doubt watch it when it’s on TV.

Spice World

This is the absolute definition of the best worst movie ever. It was utterly ridiculous, but amazing at the same time. I remember sitting in the back row of the theater with my friends and there being probably like 2 to 4 other people there. We had a great time, and were probably obnoxious, but hey, it’s hard to not sing along to the Spice Girls when you’re 12 years old.

Hannah Montana The Movie

Not to be confused with the Hannah Montana concert movie in 3D (which I also saw. ugh what is my life), this movie is the character of Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart going back home to Tennessee and living a life away from Hollywood. My friend Brian and I saw this because we were/are big fans of the show and Miles herself. And while it was a good movie, we had a lot of questions. Which made us think that maybe we weren’t the right target demographic to be seeing the film and asking about continuity (i.e. SPOILER ALERT: Miley decides to tell her entire small town in TN that she’s living a double life at the end of the movie, but back on TV for the regular episodes, they make no mention of her big reveal at all. Like, you’re telling me every single citizen kept their mouth shut about one of the biggest pop stars in the world? Come on folks).

High School Musical 3

Disney Channel has clearly made an impact on my movie going habits. I was of course a fan of the first two movies, but those were only shown on TV. HSM3 was the first (and last) to be shown on the big screen, so naturally I had to go. Again, I went with Brian, and our bossfriend Rosita to a 10am screening the day it came out. We were joined by moms and their kids, but it was well worth it. Zanessa (RIP) was in full effect, and the songs were as catchy as ever. A great way to end the franchise and a great way to confirm my taste in movie is usually questionable.

Katy Perry: A Part of Me

I admit it, I have absolutely have no problem in saying I like Katy Perry. Teenage Dream is one of the best pop albums ever made. More than half of the tracks on that cd are among my 25 most played songs. In saying that, I knew I had to watch her movie. So I did. I went by myself on a Friday afternoon, and sat among mothers and their tween daughters. What was so great about the movie was that it wasn’t just a concert, it was behind the scenes and essentially a documentary about her life. But the most honest and heart-wrenching part is when she finally realize her marriage to Russell Brand can’t be saved. She’s due to go on stage in Brazil, I believe, in front of thousands of people. Here is a woman at probably the lowest point in her life, but she decides to go on with the show anyways. Cut to her singing The One That Got Away and me in the theater crying into my popcorn.