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She’s All That

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She's All That

Image credit: She’s All That, 1999.

Although 1999 was the golden year of teen rom-coms, She’s All That (Disc/Download) was considered THE prom movie. It seemingly had it all—the Cinderella story, reality TV references, teenage coffee addicts, even DJ Usher! This was a movie that popular kids and artsy brains alike could enjoy because there was something for everyone.  Well, everyone except me, that is.  I never quite got on the Freddie Prinz Jr. bandwagon.  I was saving myself for Heath Ledger ;-).

I’m unclear on the actual ages of the actors in this film (and I can’t care enough to do the math), but l’m pretty sure they all had mortgages at the time. As the wife of a high school teacher, I can confidently say, teenagers do not look like the “teenagers” in this movie. Even Rachel Leigh Cook, who might have been under 18 at the time, has a world-wise Audrey Hepburn aura. Maybe that’s why big-man-on-campus Freddie Prinz Jr. falls so hard for the tragic nerd. It’s obvious that underneath all those hair extensions and glasses, this is a girl who will soon be studying abroad in Italy and having an affair with her art history professor. He’s gotta make this happen while she’s still naïve enough to think he’s cool. Even still, by the time prom rolls around and she’s got a sleek hairdo and stylish black prom dress, I sit there thinking, “meh, you could do better, sweetie.”

One of the most misunderstood characters in the history of cinema is Taylor Vaughn, aka. The Popular Villain. She’s obviously overcompensating for some serious insecurities, and we need to cut her some slack. The only goal she seems to have is that of Prom Queen, so really—shouldn’t we just let her have it already? She works hard, giving out lattes to the other students in exchange for their vote (I think the only thing prom nominees handed out at my high school were snide comments behind your back). While watching She’s All That, I recommend drinking a Vote for Taylor! Latte.

Vote for Taylor! Latte

2 oz Rumchata

1 oz Vanilla Vodka

1.5 oz Cold Brew Coffee

1.5 oz Vanilla Soy Milk

Coffee Ice Cubes

Freeze coffee concentrate into ice cubes. Once they are frozen, put in a glass and set aside. Pour Rumchata, Vanilla vodka, cold brew, and soy milk into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain over prepared glass.

Vote for Taylor Latte

This movie still has a lot of fans, and I think it’s because we like to dream big. We want to believe in unpredictable love and those great movie moments lit by twinkle lights and sequins. And that’s what prom is right? For one night, you get to pretend that you’re the sort of person who goes to balls and kisses the handsome Prinz at the stroke of midnight. Even if you wake up the next day with the same old glasses and paint splatter on your overalls, at least you had the fairy tale. Cheers!

Cinderella

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cinderella

Image credit: Cinderella, 2015

As a general rule, I usually avoid all live-action fairy tale adaptations because they tend to be CGI-laden cheese-fests (ahem, Alice in Wonderland). But since it’s Cocktails-and-Corsets month, and since there was quite a bit of drama last year over the corset in Cinderella (DVD/Download), I decided to give this Kenneth Branagh adaptation a shot. And wow- I’m really glad I did!

First of all, just the fact that Cate Blanchett co-stars in this means a 99% chance that it’s good. Her portrayal of the Evil Stepmother Lady Tremaine is masterful, and as always, she wears a costume like nobody’s business. Her long 1940’s Dior-inspired gowns are true works of art, and it makes me wish she and designer Sandy Powell would release a documentary where Blanchett just tries on Powell creations, one after another. Of course there’s the ubiquitous scene of Cinderella (played by Lily James) trying to squeeze her former Downton Abbey co-star into a bone crushing corset (literally, there’s a bone cracking sound effect), whereas Cinderella herself waltzes along with the teeniest waist in the land, nary a broken rib in sight. See, she is princess material!

As always, it wouldn’t be Disney without an ear worm of a song that works its way into your brain and stays for days.  As an ode to this film’s haunting lullaby “Lavender’s Blue”, while watching Cinderella I recommend drinking a Lavender Gin Fizz.

Lavender Gin Fizz

2 oz gin

1.5 oz Royal Rose Lavender Lemon simple syrup

¾ oz lemon juice

Club Soda

Lemon twist

Combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with club soda, stir gently, and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Lavender Fizz

I think I’ve always loved the Cinderella fairy tale, mainly because of my spirit animal Gus Gus. He and I share an unparalleled love of cheese. That scene in the animated Disney version where he’s trying to balance all the cheese cubes? Me after a trip to the fridge at night. Happily, his modern CGI doppelganger is still a fan of cheddar. Overall, I was extremely pleased with this adaptation. The film kept in all the things I loved about the classic animated Disney tale, and added in stunning costumes and a little more backstory. Combined with a cocktail, it’s perfection. Cheers!