Before you join in on “The Mob Song”

Beauty and the Beast has hit theaters, and all of us who grew up with the animated version having been waiting in anticipation for the LIVE VERSION to come out! We were given an amazing cast made up of Emma Watson (Harry Potter, The Bling Ring), Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Luke Evans (Dracula, The Hobbit), Josh Gad (Frozen, Pixels), Sir Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, X-Men), Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge, Star Wars), Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility), and SO many more fantastic actors that I would be writing for days.

Anyways, for those that know and love the story was in for a spectacular treat with this version of a tale as old as time. The backbone of the animated version is there throughout the entire film, but the slight changes that they made to the story and songs made this movie something to write about. Another reason to write about this movie is because of the controversy that has been blowing up Christians’ Facebook and other sorts of social media since the premiere of this movie.

Let me first dive into some of the memorable moments in the  movie that allowed me to enjoy, and declare that right now this is probably my favorite movie of 2017. I will also go ahead and say that this movie will probably win or at least get nominated for an Oscar. There is no way that it can’t, and if it doesn’t then The Academy has lost its marbles.

Favorite Moments in the Movie (Warning some spoilers are ahead)

  1. The Music
    If you previewed the soundtrack before you went to see the movie, like I did, then you may have not been too impressed with some of the vocals. Let me ease your minds and tell you that the music will evermore be something I love to listen to! It was so great to actually feel like I was watching a musical. That’s one reason this movie is magical. It allows you to feel like you’re in a theater watching a play. One part is the ending when you know that the actors are having their curtain call and you want to stand and give them a standing ovation
  2. Belle and the Beast
    When you watch the animated movie, you don’t really feel the love that the Beast and Belle have for each as they get to know one another. When the song “Something There” starts you start to get that giddy feeling you get when watching a romance. When I watch the animated film it doesn’t feel that way. Dan Stevens and Emma Watson did a fantastic job!
  3. Changing of lyrics
    If you think about the time period of this movie, then you appreciate the fact that the writers decided to put that in the script. For example, in singing “Gaston” Le Fou tries to spell Gaston’s name, but because he is living in the 1700s and is not of royal blood he probably didn’t receive a proper education so he can’t spell Gaston’s name. It’s the small humor parts like that add to the movie
  4. Backstory
    I’m going to write was added, but let me say this the additive backstory for some of the characters add depth to them. You understand why Gaston is a beast, how the beast lost his way, and why Belle is so strong.

Those are just a few parts of the story that made me smile and fall in love with entire movie. Now to the part that most have been up in arms about: Le Fou. For those that don’t know, Le Fou is portrayed as being gay, and Christians around the nation have been in heated debates about whether or not to take their children or to even go to the movie themselves because of this added plot line.

First off, if you actually go and watch the movie you can barely see it. Unless you have taught your children about the LBGT community, then more than likely they will not even notice. It’s us adults that will see that plot line. SO CHILL!

Secondly, Le Fou actually has character development in the story that you SHOULD teach your children about. What I’m talking about is how you should teach them about choosing friends carefully. In both movies, Le Fou in the beginning goes along with everything Gaston does and says. However, in this updated version he has a conscience and starts to question his friend’s motives and actions. So you want to talk about Le Fou? Tell your children how he was choosing the wrong friend to hang out with, but then decide to make the right decision.

Lastly, make this movie a learning tool. Teach your children that the LBGT community are people like us. We don’t have to like the choices they make, but you know what? Should we like movies that have people lying it, how about movies with infidelity, or what about movies about murder? Do you boycott those? I bet you don’t, so get over it. Love everyone and let God be the judge. Be thankful that He is the ultimate judge cause that is one tough job. Those that are a part of that community are some of the sweetest people I know. I don’t have to hate the sinner just the sin.

All in all this movie was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I felt like a little girl again, and it even had elements in there for adult me. Disney did a FANTASTIC job on bringing this story to life! (I even teared up here and there throughout the movie) Beauty and the Beast (2017) will be a moment that lasts forever!

The Longest Ride: Among the best of Nicholas Sparks’ movies

It’s a Tuesday night and my friends and I have decided to plan on a GNO (Girls Night Out). It’s not your typical night to hang out with your friends, but for us we love it! Most of the time we go eat and head to mall, but last night it was time to go see the latest Nicholas Sparks movie. I was so excited for this one! It could be that Scott Eastwood was playing the main character, it could be the fact that it was going to be somewhat relatable thanks to the characters being closer to my age, but whatever it was I could not wait to see it!

So my friends and I, after we finishing our daily Jazzercise class, head to Wal-Mart to pick up some supper (yes supper because we hadn’t had any and sneaking a small salad in your purse to the movies is easy!) and snacks (chocolate of course!). Once we had our salads, chocolate, and drinks stashed safely in our purses we go watch The Longest Ride!

The Longest Ride is quite possibly among the best of Nicholas Sparks’ movies. Having had what seems like a swarm of them to come out over the past few years, I believe that this one was really great!

The movie starts out great. To me it reminded me of the beginning of High School Musical 3, where Zac Efron flips his head back, hair wet from sweat from playing basketball and the girls go crazy! This is how they begin this movie. With Scoot Eastwood on a bull ready for his ride and he flips his head back and its as if the room is still because you just can’t stop looking at those beautiful eyes.

Fast forward to a year later. Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) is handling being a bull rider with an injury trying to get back in the game. Sophia (Britt Robertson) is a senior Art Major in college who is trying to graduate with good grades and stay focus on her career. (There is also a subplot in the movie that is also worth gushing over! But I’ll let you go see the movie and see what that’s all about.) A typical formula for a great movie (chick flick). Anyways the two meet and its super cute! Now I’m not going to go into details about the meeting and all, but what we really need to discuss is their first date!

First Date: Nicholas Sparks Style
Let me tell you it is an epic first date. Not the Bachelor kind where some famous band plays or the girl and guy goes on a black tie kind of date. It is the old fashioned kind where the guy asks the girl out and comes to pick her up. Sure in this world of feminism and equal rights it would seem that the old fashioned kind of dates are fading. Thankfully in Sparks’ world they haven’t. Luke comes in his blue jeans, plaid shirt, cowboy boots, and cowboy hat with flowers in hand to pick up Sophia. He then drives them to this beautiful lake and they share a picnic. They talk about their lives and what they enjoy to do, and then when the night winds down he builds a fire because she is cold. (How cute is that!) Anyways he’s gentleman the entire time! What I truly love about this date is that it is innocent and beautiful. The only thing that the couple does is hold hands, and talk about what they are passionate about. There was no need for a first kiss or anything pressure to do anything more than enjoy each other’s company. I think that is truly wonderful.

Another thing to discuss is…

Love and Sacrifice
Throughout the movie the theme of love and sacrifice is shown. It’s amazing how this movie shows that no matter what life throws at you that if you truly love someone you will get through it. How many times in today’s society has the road gotten rough and couples throw in the towel? Too many times if you ask me! I believe if more couples understood the fact that love is not easy and that it takes sacrifice that they will get through anything. Now I can’t speak from experience since I am someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to fall in love yet. I hope one day too, and I hope that I will understand this sacrifice that comes along with love.

As the story continues, the couple becomes friends with a man named Ira Levinson (Alan Alda). This is where, I a M*A*S*H fan, was truly excited to see him in this movie. His subplot between his character and his character’s wife is truly amazing! You are seriously going to need to see this movie in order to understand what I am talking about because I’m not going to spoil it for you!

Throughout the movie the couples Luke/Sophia and Ira/Ruth, both have struggles to undergo. If they didn’t there wouldn’t be a movie and this whole story would be boring. The bull riding scenes are intense, the art work you see is beautiful, and the scenery is amazing. I just loved the whole movie. However, there are a couple things that didn’t sit well with me. I’ll just list them and explain.

1. Premarital Sex
It seems that in today’s society you can’t have a great love story without a good premarital sex scene. I don’t understand why Hollywood can’t seem to depict a love story that doesn’t show a sex scene. It would be nice to show the world that you can fall in love and get married without having sex before. I have too many friends who’s hearts are shattered because they gave themselves away too soon and regret it. The scene in this movie also seemed forced. Why? Because after Sophia fell in a pool of mud she needed a shower and somehow “forgot” to close the door to the bathroom. I mean COME ON!

2. Love Story Formula
Now this may sound confusing, but let me explain. It seems like at Hollywood some stars want to promote loving yourself and feeling good where you are at, yet we have love stories that have the same typical skinny, blue eyed, blonde haired leading ladies. The male counterparts are tall dark and handsome and easy on the eyes. What would happen if Nicholas Sparks wrote a story about a biracial couple? Or maybe Hollywood would cast a girl or guy who is of average size. I have to applaud the recently released movie The DUFF for introducing the idea of accepting who you are, and that even the average girl can date the football player. Or whatever the opposite is for the guy’s world. I will also say that The Longest Ride did depict a Jewish couple which was neat to see, but it wasn’t as diverse as say Cinderella, Brandy’s version.

All in all there are going to be small things in a movie that you do like and you don’t like. I would love to go see this movie again! It was really a sweet movie that had a great message about sacrifice and love. If you get the chance to go see it you should! If you don’t like it at least you get to see Scott Eastwood act for a good 2 hr. and 19 min, and yes you might cry.