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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!

Bell, Book and Candle

Bell Book and Candle

Image credit: Bell, Book and Candle, 1958

For all you Vertigo fans out there, consider this my Cinema Sips Christmas gift to you. Maybe you’ve longed for more of Kim Novak’s eyebrows. Or an aging, tan Jimmy Stewart. Or that weird hypnotic lighting. Bell, Book and Candle (DVD) covers all the bases. Plus, there are the added bonuses of a beatnik Jack Lemmon playing the bongo drums, and a very expressive Siamese cat. Happy Holidays to all!

Although the film starts on Dec. 24th and stars Mr. Christmas himself, Jimmy Stewart, It’s a Wonderful Life this is not. Kim Novak plays a witch who falls for a book publisher (Stewart), and she must decide whether to give in to love and become mortal, or keep her powers and lose him. The pair’s onscreen chemistry is every bit as sizzling as it was in Vertigo, and even though this is meant to be a romantic comedy, there’s something dark and powerful between these two actors. They’re sexy without even trying to be, and I am totally under their spell.

The movie takes a strange turn when Jimmy Stewart’s publishing house courts an expert on Mexican witchcraft. While it seems like an unnecessary plot element, I still love Ernie Kovacs in this role. (Let’s face it, I love Ernie Kovacs in any role). While watching Bell, Book and Candle, I recommend drinking a Mexican Séance.

Mexican Séance

1 ½ oz Patron XO Coffee Liqueur

1 ½ oz Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee- Mexican flavor

1 ½ oz Egg Nog

¾ oz Crème de Cacao

2-3 dashes chocolate bitters

Orange twist

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a twist of orange.

Mexican Spell

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the production design and costuming. Bell, Book and Candle is a perfect time capsule of 1960’s Greenwich Village style, from capri pants to mid-century modern furniture. Jimmy Stewart’s office, covered in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and featuring a gorgeous vintage couch, is the stuff of book lovers’ dreams. Witchcraft never looked so appealing. Cheers!