RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Sandra Bullock

While You Were Sleeping

While you were sleeping

Image credit: While You Were Sleeping, 1995.

Before I dive into a month’s worth of classic Christmas films, I’m easing into the holiday spirit with the movie that probably inspired countless contemporary romance novels and Hallmark productions. (Let’s pause to write the producers a thank-you note).  While You Were Sleeping (DVD/Download) is the Christmas movie for lonely hearts, the siren call for every schlubby transit worker who dreams of the guy in the suit, only to realize the guy in the Carhartt jacket is way sexier. Trust me- you want the guy who can build you a chair, not the one who can buy it for you.

Starring Sandra Bullock as a single, cat-owning, Oreo-eating heroine, While You Were Sleeping is a film not just about romance, but about family connection. After she saves her crush from being hit by a train, his family mistakenly believes she’s their future daughter-in-law, and she goes along with it because it kinda sucks to be alone at the holidays. But then she meets her faux-fiance’s brother played by Bill Pullman (honestly I was always more of a Paxton girl myself, but Pullman makes it work), and realizes he’s maybe kinda sorta her soul mate.  Hijinks ensue, Christmas trees are bought, presents are unwrapped, and Chicago looks really f*cking cold. Pass the eggnog!

One fun thing I discovered on a recent re-watch of this film is that the grandma-with-a-heart-problem (because of course) is played by none other than Glynis Johns, aka. Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins. Grandma Elsie mixes up a mean batch of eggnog, meant to be sipped slowly. So while watching While You Were Sleeping, let’s join in the fun by drinking Elsie’s Eggnog:

Elsie’s Eggnog

4 oz Store-bought eggnog

1 oz Rumchata

1 oz Southern Comfort

1 oz Bourbon

Whipped Cream and cinnamon for garnish

Stir together eggnog and other ingredients in a shaker with ice. Stir until chilled, then strain into a chilled glass. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

eggnog

This movie is especially endearing because it’s not just a film about a girl trying to get a guy at Christmas. It’s about a girl trying to connect with a family, one that comes with drunk relatives, ugly furniture, and the kind of mom who will put up a stocking for someone she barely knows. And that’s what makes the holidays so great, when you stop to think about it. Well, that and boozy eggnog. Cheers!

Speed

Posted on
Speed

Image credit: Speed, 1994

Pop quiz hot shot: You have the option to watch Speed or literally anything else- WHAT DO YOU DO?? Obviously, watch Speed (DVD/Download). When faced with this very predicament recently, I chose Keanu and his never ending bus-ride-of-implausibility. No regrets.

This movie really shouldn’t work as well as it does. The premise of an LA city bus rigged with a bomb that will explode if the bus drops below 50mph sounds dumb as hell and yet… I can’t look away. Maybe it’s the magnetic appeal of nice-guy cop Keanu Reeves, who over-pronounces vowels and calls people Mister and Ma’am. Maybe it’s the feisty young Sandra Bullock, thrust into the role of bus driver after her predecessor gets shot by a passenger. Maybe it’s Dennis Hopper making us all wonder what villainous thing he’s going to do next, and why there’s a mannequin sitting behind him. Or perhaps it’s the flashbacks I get of watching OJ Simpson in a white bronco, tearing down the LA freeway trailed by police cars, kind of (no, EXACTLY) like the bus in Speed. I may be crazy, but here are some facts for you: theatrical release date of Speed– June 10th 1994. Date of the White Bronco chase- June 17th 1994. Coincidence? I think not.

From minute to minute, Keanu Reeves’ character is in some crazy predicaments. He’s on top of an elevator hanging by a thread! Now he’s in a bus hurtling through LA traffic and jumping missing sections of the freeway!  Wait, now he’s UNDER THE BUS, clinging for dear life!  What does he use for fuel? Just coffee.  I, on the other hand, need a little something extra to enjoy this movie to its fullest potential. While watching Speed, I recommend drinking a Wildcat.

Wildcat

3/4 oz Liber & Co fiery ginger syrup

1 oz Añejo tequila

8 oz cold brew coffee

Combine all ingredients in a glass over ice. Mix well, and serve.

Wildcat

When I told people I was watching Speed, the unanimous response I got was “Oh my God I love that movie!!” And, I should point out, I got this response among wildly different demographics. I think we all need a little Speed in our lives right now. While many might find themselves at the whim of a madman (ahem, POTUS), it’s great to see a rag tag group of bus riders pull together, and show this domestic terrorist what real Americans are made of. Cheers!

The Thing Called Love

Posted on
Image Credit: The Thing Called Love, 1993

Image Credit: The Thing Called Love, 1993

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am hopeless when it comes to trashy television dramas. The O.C., Gossip Girl, Scandal– I’ve watched them all. One of my current guilty pleasures is the show Nashville, which my husband refuses to sit through because in his words, “All the men look the same, and I can’t tell anyone apart.” I have to admit, he’s kinda right; however, I’ll watch Connie Britton in just about anything, so I keep tuning in week after week. Now that the last season is over and my TV has gone dormant for the summer, I’ll have to get my romance and country music fix elsewhere- which brings me to this week’s film The Thing Called Love (DVD/Download). If you haven’t seen it, this Peter Bogdanovich 90’s classic is essentially what Nashville the TV show wishes it could be. No gimmicks, no flashy Christina Aguillera-casting, just good music and hot guys. Hello Music City!

The Thing Called Love follows young singer-songwriter Miranda Presley (no relation) on her journey from New York to Nashville. Between waiting tables at the Bluebird Café, spontaneously marrying bad boy musician James (played by River Phoenix, in his last completed film role) and rooming with a young Sandra Bullock at a disco-themed motel, she learns what it takes to write a great song. The songs for the film were written by stellar real-life country musicians, and actually performed by the actors themselves (a rarity in Hollywood). River Phoenix is so charismatic in his role, and it’s truly heartbreaking to realize this was the last one. Like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause- you watch wondering all the while what might have been.

My sources tell me that one of the essential drinks in Nashville is the Bushwacker. Originally invented in Pensacola, FL, bars of Nashville have somewhat adopted it as their own. This is a great one to sip as the weather heats up, and perfect for the film because you know Linda Lou Linden was downing these every night. Actually, her beauty pageant dress kind of reminds me of this white frothy concoction. While watching The Thing Called Love, I recommend drinking a Bushwacker.

Bushwacker

2 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur

1 oz dark rum

1 oz crème de cacao

4 oz cream of coconut

4 oz half-and-half

2 scoops Vanilla ice cream

Whipped Cream

Maraschino cherry

Pour liquid ingredients into a blender with a cup of crushed ice, and blend until mixed. Pour into a glass, then top with whipped cream and a cherry.

Bushwacker

There are a lot of variations of this drink, so feel free to add in Amaretto, Vodka, and/or Baileys Irish Cream, depending on how boozy you like your beverages (this could turn into the Tennessee version of last week’s Long Island Iced Tea if you really wanted it to). I’ve never actually been to Nashville, but this movie (and this drink!) make me want to go. Don’t worry though, I’d never be drunk enough to shout from rooftops or audition at the Bluebird. The ears of Nashville are safe. Cheers!