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Tag Archives: Maria Bello

Duets

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Image Credit: Duets, 2000

Image Credit: Duets, 2000

When my husband requested a pairing with the movie Duets (DVD/Download), I laughed until I realized he was serious. I’m pretty sure everyone in the world has forgotten that this Bruce Paltrow oddball of a movie ever existed, but after screening it again, I’m officially ready to start the campaign to turn this into the newest cult classic. I think it could be the next Wet Hot American Summer or Gentlemen Broncos, if enough people get bored and curious enough to watch it. What other movie out there features Gwyneth Paltrow, HUEY LEWIS, Paul Giamatti, Andre Braugher, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Scott Speedman, Angie Dickinson, John Pinette, AND Michael Buble???

The only place in which all of these seemingly random entertainers could co-exist is in the karaoke arena. Having just tried karaoke for the first time myself a few weeks ago, I see how it can happen. You have a couple drinks (or, okay, maybe half a bottle of pink champagne), you enter a small dark room filled with total strangers, random people get up and start singing “Rapture” and “Rocket Man”, and eventually, you’re up there, belting out the high notes on Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You”. It’s fun and addictive, and if you never see these karaoke strangers again for the rest of your life, who cares? That’s kind of what happens in Duets. All of these random souls converge at a karaoke contest, and suddenly you have John Pinette belting out “Copacabana” in front of Gwyneth Paltrow, while Paul Giamatti sits nearby wearing a George Michael earring, and Huey Lewis waits his turn to go up and sing THE WORST songs in the movie. Seriously, how did they give the one professional singer of the bunch stinkers like “Lonely Teardrops”? Paltrow and Giamatti hold their own, and as much as Ms. Goop annoys me, her duet of “Cruisin’” with Huey Lewis is pretty solid (it even went to #1 on the Australian music charts!). But wow- Paul Giamatti. Who knew he had such a voice? This movie is worth watching, if only to see him channel Otis Redding.

For a movie like Duets, I had to pick a two ingredient cocktail. Think of it as a duet in a glass- two simple ingredients, making beautiful music together. I also wanted to choose a beverage that I might actually drink in a karaoke bar. Something strong enough to get me on stage, but easy enough that even a bartender at the seediest bar in Omaha could manage it. While watching Duets, I recommend drinking a Whiskey Ginger.

Whiskey Ginger

1.5 oz Jack Daniels Whiskey

3 oz Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer

Lime wedge

Pour the whiskey and ginger ale into a glass over ice. Give it a generous squeeze of lime, then top with the lime wedge.

Whiskey Ginger

Although the plot and pacing of Duets leaves a lot to be desired, I was thoroughly entertained for 2 hours while waiting to see which rando celebrities would make an appearance. Does it make me want to get back into a karaoke room? Not really. Does it give me newfound appreciation for 80’s pop star Huey Lewis? Absolutely. Cheers!

Top Five Movie Bartenders

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Bartenders have always played a crucial role in cinema.  Unsung heroes, they offer liquid comfort and a friendly ear to the distraught and weary.  What would have happened, say, if The Dude didn’t get his bowling alley White Russian in The Big Lebowski?  Or if Nick and Nora Charles were suddenly cut off from martinis in The Thin Man?  (well, they’d probably be less hungover, but dull as hell). This month, I’m highlighting my Top Five Movie Bartenders.

1.  Brian Flanagan, Cocktail

Image credit Touchstone Pictures, 1998, Cocktail

Image credit Touchstone Pictures, 1998, Cocktail

Oh what Tom Cruise can do with a cocktail shaker.  Flair bartending at its finest!

 

2.  Knobby, Burglar

Image Credit Warner Bros, 1987, Burglar

Image Credit Warner Bros, 1987, Burglar

Any bartender who can actually understand Bobcat Goldthwait is worth his weight in gold.

 

3.  Lloyd, The Shining

Image credit Warner Bros, 1980, The Shining

Image credit Warner Bros, 1980, The Shining

Always accommodating, whether it’s mixing a cocktail or engaging in idle chit-chat with psychopathic murderers.

 

4.  Brad, Magnolia

Image credit: New Line Cinema, 1999, Magnolia

Image credit: New Line Cinema, 1999, Magnolia

Braces- HOT.

 

5.  Lil, Coyote Ugly

Image credit: Touchstone Pictures, 1999, Coyote Ugly

Image credit: Touchstone Pictures, 2000, Coyote Ugly

Like a sexy Mrs. Garrett, Maria Bello dispenses life lessons and cocktail wisdom to the young and unskilled.  If only her bar weren’t SO tacky.