RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Paul Rudd

The Cider House Rules

Image credit: The Cider House Rules, 1999

When cider season rolls around, my mind usually drifts to Tobey Maguire learning the apple-picking ropes in this week’s film The Cider House Rules (Disc/Download). If you love cozy New England scenery, precocious orphans, and pro-reproductive rights messaging, then this one’s for you.

In a rare case of the movie being as good as the book it was based on, The Cider House Rules benefits greatly from a screenplay written by the author. I love a story with complex characters, moral dilemmas, and tightly woven plots, so naturally I’m a lifelong fan of John Irving’s work. He finds a way to make controversial subjects accessible and relatable, and this film is no exception. Yes, it covers some tough topics, but still manages to feel like a comfy sweater. Maybe it’s Michael Caine’s homespun Maine accent, or the sprawling ramshackle orphanage, or the shots of Charlize Theron in a wool coat hauling in lobster traps, or our newly crowned Sexiest Man Alive Paul Rudd in a dashing military uniform, but I feel like this movie gives us plenty of sugar to counteract the bitterness of life. And boy is there a lot to be bitter about in Homer’s world, and in ours.

Now, back to the cider. I personally love a dry, crisp variety as I watch the leaves fall outside, or when I put on a slow-jam Erykah Badu record. You could certainly pick a favorite brew to enjoy while you watch this film, but if you want to turn it into a cocktail, let me suggest this Rose’s Rules highball. 

Rose’s Rules

6 oz Dry Cider (I used Texas Keeper No. 1)

1 oz Ginger Liqueur

½ oz Lemon Juice

2 drops Rosewater

Apple Peel garnish

Combine ginger liqueur, lemon juice, and rosewater in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then add cider. Do a gentle roll to mix the ingredients, then strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with an apple peel twisted into a rose.

As you watch Homer Wells embark on his hero’s journey, take note of how he’s a man of principle, yet open to change. He has empathy and heart, which serves him well in any environment, from orphanages to orchards to operating rooms. A true prince of Maine; king of New England. Cheers!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Posted on

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Image credit: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 2008.

Aloha from Cinema Sips! As I prepare to jet off to Kauai for a much-needed vacation, I’m doing my homework in the form of a Hawaiian film binge.  First up- a comedy postcard from Oahu, Forgetting Sarah Marshall (DVD/Download).

Like every Judd Apatow-associated project, this film is about thirty minutes too long (the man should really stick to television). But I am happy to see Freaks & Geeks alum Jason Segal in the lead role as recently dumped composer Peter, and Apatow regular Paul Rudd as the not-all-there surf instructor. As Peter tries to forget about his ex-girlfriend Sarah Marshall (played by Kristen Bell), he drinks a lot of frozen cocktails, flirts with Mila Kunis, and performs hilarious ballads from his vampire puppet rock opera. Yes that’s right- vampire puppet rock opera. First, this needs to be a real thing, and second- why is this not a real thing???

Nothing says getting over a breakup like planting yourself at a bar, and if that bar is in Hawaii, you’ve got to start with a Piña Colada. Bonus- imbibe more than one of these, and even Russell Brand is funny. While watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I recommend drinking a Piña Colada.

Piña Colada

3 oz pineapple juice

1.5 oz white rum

1 oz dark rum

1 oz coconut cream

Crushed ice

Pineapple, cherry, and umbrella (for garnish)

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until you reach a smooth consistency. Pour into a glass, and garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple, maraschino cherry, and umbrella.

As this movie proves, break ups are tough, but Hawaii makes everything better. I can’t wait to see if the water is really that blue, and if the drinks are as fantastic as they look. Fingers crossed I’m right on both accounts. Cheers!

Wet Hot American Summer

Posted on

Image Credit Eureka Pictures 2001, Wet Hot American Summer

Image Credit Eureka Pictures 2001, Wet Hot American Summer

How do I get through summer in Texas? Day b’day, people. One thing that helps is watching a hilarious movie about summer camp, and no I don’t mean The Parent Trap (although I do LOVE Hayley Mills). This week on Cinema Sips, I’m featuring the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer (DVD/Download). Spoofing raunchy 80’s movies like Meatballs and Porky’s, this film is so unabashedly silly that you can’t help but laugh at the bad one-liners, the poor production value, and the plot points that make absolutely no sense. I was lucky enough to see this in a movie theater when it was briefly released in 2001, and I remember wondering why the entire world was not as obsessed with this film as I was. It was the funniest thing I’d seen in years. Well, the world has caught up, and WHAS fever has swept the country, even spawning an upcoming Netflix prequel series. Will all of the original actors make it their beeswax to be in the new series? God I hope so!!

Wet Hot American Summer launched the careers of many of the top comedic actors popular today, including Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Ken Marino, and even Christopher Meloni (who plays the scene-stealing Vietnam vet, Gene). Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce are amazing as always, and kudos to Molly Shannon for playing weepy divorcee/art teacher Gail von Kleinenstein. Because this was a David Wain film, we’re also seeing a lot of his usual cadre of actors, including Michael Ian Black and the hilarious Michael Showalter, who plays both lovelorn Coop and Borscht Belt comic Alan Shemper. There are so many quoteable lines in this film, but my favorite has to be the Paul Rudd classic, “You taste like a burger. I don’t like you anymore.”


In an ode to summer camp, I’m making an adult version of Bug Juice. Traditionally made with powder packets (let’s not even think about where Gene claims to keep his packets), I’m eschewing that sugary version for something a little more boozy. Of course if you don’t have the energy for a complex drink, vodka and green Kool-Aid will do the trick, but I think we can do better than that. This week, I’m serving up some Adult Bug Juice

1 oz Blue Curaçao

1 oz Orange Juice

1 oz Pineapple juice

2 oz Lemon lime soda

Pineapple Sherbet

Fill a glass (or mason jar) 3/4 full with chipped ice.  Add the first 3 ingredients one at a time over the ice.  Top with soda, and then the pineapple sherbet.


When I watch Wet Hot American Summer, I always feel like the actors who were in this film must have had the best time making it. I’ve read accounts that it was ridiculously cold and rainy during the filming of it, which makes me really feel for Elizabeth Banks in that skimpy bikini. No matter what Amy Poehler does with the rest of her career, I’ll always think of her as the controlling drama-nerd counselor, and ditto for Bradley Cooper, who despite various Academy Award nominations, will always be making out with Michael Ian Black in the tool shed of my mind. So mix up a big batch of Bug Juice, get out your “arts & farts & crafts” supplies and D&D dice, and blast some Loverboy because we’re headed back to 1981 like you’ve never seen it before. Cheers!

*Note:  This week’s cocktail can easily be made non-alcoholic.  Just leave out the Curaçao.  Also, my drink looks great perched on one of my new coasters from Monday Morning Crafts!


Posted on



Image credit Clueless, Paramount Pictures, 1995

Will I ever get tired of watching this movie? As if! This week on Cinema Sips, I’m excited to pair one of my favorite high school movies of the 90’s with a cocktail that is appropriately girly and tart. Truly, it was impossible to grow up in that decade without seeing Clueless, and unfortunately it was also impossible to be a teenage girl and not compare yourself to the physical perfection that was Alicia Silverstone. Did I hike up the hem on my plaid skirts and constantly wonder why my hair wasn’t as silken and shiny as hers? Of course! Did I often eat “two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M’s and like 3 pieces of licorice,” and also feel like a heifer? Absolutely.

Clueless (DVD/Download) was that rare movie that captured teen angst and pop culture so perfectly (see also Mean Girls, and Pretty in Pink), and it was tailor made for the MTV generation. Amy Heckerling’s film is an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel Emma. Popular main character Cher schemes and plays matchmaker to those around her, before finally realizing that her own life is in need of a makeover. Alicia Silverstone does an amazing job of playing the character as shallow and ditzy on the outside, but secretly smart and caring on the inside. Of course most of the supporting cast has gone on to have long and varied careers (not least of which is the adorable Paul Rudd), and the movie even spun off a pretty terrible television show that was never able to live up to the brilliance of the film’s script. Clueless is full of pop culture references from the era- (ie. The Cranberries, Marky Mark, Ren & Stimpy, etc.) but it also references classic cinema, art history, and Shakespeare. In short, Clueless was the movie I could unabashedly like along with all of my peers, while still feeling good about myself for actually understanding the highbrow references.

This week’s cocktail is a nod to the ladies of Bronson Alcott High School, who are equal parts sweet and acid-tongued. Calling out a classmate’s designer-imposter perfume? Ouch! This drink recipe was adapted from one I enjoyed recently at the Raines Law Room in New York City. I’m guessing on the proportions, but the ingredients remain basically the same. When watching Clueless, I recommend drinking a Duchess.

1 ½ oz White Rum

1 oz Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur

1 oz lemon juice

¼ cup fresh raspberries

Muddle raspberries in cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, and add the rum, lemon juice, and white chocolate liqueur. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass ¾ filled with crushed ice. Top with an additional mound of crushed ice, and one fresh raspberry.


This cocktail is upscale enough to fit in with Cher and Dionne’s Beverly Hills lifestyle, and definitely on the girly side!  Just be careful not to spill this drink on anyone’s satin pumps while you’re dancing to “Rollin’ With the Homies”. So not fixable. So this week, have fun, invite your friends over to join you in watching this film, and remember- it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty. Cheers!