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Juliet, Naked

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juliet naked

Image credit: Juliet, Naked, 2018

I did a horrible thing. When making my Top Five Films of 2018 list a few months ago, I neglected to include the sweetly perfect rom-com Juliet, Naked (Disc/Download). My only excuse is that I simply didn’t get a chance to see it in 2018.   However I seem to be making up for lost time because I’m on viewing #3 so far, and like a fine wine, it just keeps getting better with age.

Speaking of things getting better with age, I can’t watch this movie and not imagine that Tucker Crowe is Troy Dyer all grown up and regretting his younger Reality Bites shenanigans. A slacker alt-rocker who treats women like crap but is soooo beautiful in all the vintage gig photos? I mean, come on.  Did Ethan Hawke choose this part on purpose, as a meta nod to his iconic role? His casting seems to reinforce an important principle of the movie—that, “Art is not for the artist, any more than water is to a plumber.”  Honestly, as a Reality Bites fan, I want to see what became of Troy Dyer.  Is he still stealing Snickers Bars?  Did he ever get a chance to buy everyone a Coke? Maybe, like Chris O’Dowd’s obsessed character Duncan, I’m reading too much into all of this. Maybe Ethan Hawke just wanted a fun part where he got to sing a Kinks song. Maybe he really liked the Nick Hornby novel this movie was based on. But whatever the truth may be, I still consider Juliet, Naked to be a delightful wink to the members of the TroyDyer4Ever club (if this is not yet a fan club, I’m thinking of starting it).

Ethan Hawke’s endurance as an heartthrob aside, the film’s soul truly lies with beautiful, shy Annie, played by the lovely Rose Byrne.  Annie finds herself stuck in a rut, realizing that she let life carry her along without making any big decisions. But then she meets Tucker, comes out of her shell, and realizes that her story is just beginning. Let’s toast this wonderful performance with a Blossoming Rosé cocktail.

Blossoming Rosé

5 oz Rosé cider

1.5 oz Reposado tequila

1.5 oz Grapefruit Juice

.5 oz Lime Juice

.5 oz Mint-infused simple syrup

Grapefruit Wedge for garnish

Combine tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then pour into a glass filled with fresh ice. Top with cider, and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

Blossoming Rose

Ultimately, Juliet, Naked is about taking chances. Taking a chance that you’re going to make the wrong decisions, that you’re going to mess up a little bit, but that nothing good will ever happen if you don’t seize the opportunities life throws at you. If Tucker is my cautionary tale, then Annie is my inspiration. And Duncan, well—he’s just Stevie F*ckin’ Wonder. Cheers!

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

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Pee Wee

Image Credit: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, 1985

If you haven’t watched the new Netflix movie Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday yet- what are you waiting for?? While I thought it was tons of fun, and definitely satisfied my craving for silly jokes and Rube Goldberg machines, I’ll always hold a special fondness for the original cult classic Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (DVD/Download).

An epic road movie about the search for a missing bicycle, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure is Pee-Wee Herman at his finest. Directed by Tim Burton, the film takes the wacky children’s TV show and essentially releases it out into the wild. From this, we got Texas jokes galore – THE STARS AT NIGHT, ARE BIG AND BRIGHT!!!- as well as everybody’s favorite truck-drivin’ ghost Large Marge. Quite frankly, I don’t blame Pee-Wee for embarking on his cross-country quest to recover the stolen bike. Have you seen the bike?? Bad Ass. Getting another one would be as easy as taking a stroll through the basement of the Alamo.

Because Pee-Wee represents the silly child in all of us, I have to assume he’d be drinking perhaps the silliest-named cocktail I’ve ever encountered- The Swizzle. Like his intricate and ingenious contraptions, this drink has endless variations, but I’m using tequila as the base spirit in a nod to his famous biker bar scene. While watching Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, I recommend drinking a Tequila Swizzle. (*Side Note:  If you’re watching Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, stick with an adult root beer such as Not Your Father’s Root Beer® ).

Tequila Swizzle

1 tablespoons sugar

1/2 oz lime juice

2 oz Gold Tequila

Orange Bitters

Club Soda

Muddle sugar and lime juice in the bottom of a glass. Add tequila, and fill the glass with shaved ice. Top with club soda, and 5 dashes orange bitters. Garnish with a straw and any other fun stir rods you might have.  And maybe a light-up ice cube :-).

tequila swizzle

To be honest I’m getting a little overwhelmed by all the reboots of movies/TV shows from my childhood. However, I can’t deny my excitement over a new Pee-Wee Herman film. The man knows how to make me giggle. But to all the Hollywood executives out there- pretty please, let the Ernest movies rest in peace. Cheers!