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Tag Archives: Maya Rudolph

Away We Go

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Film Title: Away We Go

Image credit: Away We Go, 2009

Sometimes travel has nothing to do with business or pleasure, and everything to do with searching. Searching for a person, or a place, or maybe just a feeling. In Away We Go (DVD/Download), two soon-to-be parents embark on a quest across North America to find perhaps the most important thing of all- Home. As it turns out, this is one of the hardest destinations to find.

Directed by Sam Mendes and starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, Away We Go is full of both earnestness and humor. I see myself and so many people I know in these characters, two well-meaning people forced to grapple with this idea of adulthood and finding one’s place in the world. Pregnancy is a catalyst, but don’t mistake this for a She’s Having a Baby type of discourse on parenthood. Instead this is a film about two unique individuals who finally have to grow up and figure out the kind of future they want. Visiting friends and relatives in Phoenix, Madison, Montreal, and Miami, they search for an anchor to tie their boat to. Beautifully shot, with a soundtrack by Alexi Murdoch, this film truly feels like a journey.

Throughout Away We Go, John Krasinski waxes poetic on the allure of the Mighty Mississippi, and wanting to give his child a “Huck Finn” kind of upbringing. It’s a romantic notion, and certainly refreshing in the age of smartphones and videogames. When we finally see the Mississippi in this film, it feels utterly majestic. While watching Away We Go, I recommend drinking a Mighty MissisSip.

Mighty MissisSip

1 ½ oz Light Rum

1 oz Whiskey

3 oz fresh lemon juice

½ oz simple syrup

Lemon Twist

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice, and shake until combined. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

I was in the very fortunate position to decide where I wanted to build a future before I got tied down with responsibility. I knew I didn’t like where I was living at the time (sorry DC), so I considered all the places I’d ever been that had felt like home. Austin won out, and not for a clear-cut reason. Nobody can explain why a certain place feels like home, it just….does. And as much as we want to tell ourselves that home is a person, I’m not sure I believe that. There’s a unique sense of purpose and hope that one feels when they look around and realize they’ve discovered the place where they belong. Like the characters in Away We Go, I’m grateful to have found mine. Cheers!

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!