Saturday Night Serenade–

Tonight’s serenade is a classic, and it doesn’t get much more classic than the Beatles. This clip of Yesterday is from a live 1965 television performance. It’s funny because the audience is so frantic about seeing the Fab Four, they don’t really appreciate the beauty of the song. I think true classics are like that–it’s only later that we recognize their value.

I’m beyond stoked about the new movie coming out at the end of the week. Yesterday, from the director of Slumdog Millionaire and the writer of Love Actually, is a fantasy musical romantic comedy about a struggling young singer who wakes up one day to discover that he’s the only one in the world who remembers the genius of the Beatles. When he begins to play their songs, everyone assumes they’re his original work, and his career soars.

The premise intrigued me months ago, the first time I saw a few short clips. It looks like a charming story about likeable characters, all punctuated by the music of the Beatles. In one hilarious clip, Ed Sheeran, as himself, advises our hero Jack to change one particular lyric to “Hey, dude.”

I can’t wait to see this movie, and as we have been hoarding a Fandango gift card since Christmas, awaiting a worthy film, I predict a date night in our very near future.

I hope this first official weekend of summer finds you well. Be sure to hug the ones you love. Maybe I’ll see you at the movies!

Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–A Song and a Movie

To say Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen is a great song is to be simply redundant. Taken as a whole, their body of work is sublime, with stand-out nuggets like Fat-Bottomed Girls, Under Pressure, and cult-classic Bohemian Rhapsody.

But I really like this one. I can’t get it out of my head. It’s currently featured in several television commercials. And with the success and acclaim of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, all these songs are getting new life. Take that, Millennials, who believe if something didn’t happen in their lifetime, it didn’t happen at all.

As promised, though, this week’s serenade comes with a movie recommendation. While there are countless versions of Don’t Stop Me Now, this is one of my favorites. It comes from a fantastic little horror-comedy from 2004 called Shaun of the Dead. It’s a smart, funny, and yes, okay, gory at times, take on Dawn of the Dead. Just the title cracks me up.

The story follows hapless Shaun and his slacker-pothead wingman Ed (played the the hilarious Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) into what appears to be the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Only we’re not using the zed-word.

Complicating matters is the fact that Shaun’s girlfriend Liz has just broken up with him, and he’s perpetually at odds with his stepfather (the brilliant, if low-key in this role, Bill Nighy).

Once he realizes that the end of the world is here (and it takes him an hysterical amount of time to figure it out–watch him pop out to the shop for a Diet Coke), Shaun cooks up a scheme to save Liz from the undead, and thus win her back. Of course, nothing is ever that easy.

At one point, Shaun’s intrepid band of survivors finds itself holed up in his favorite pub. The fight scene set to this Queen classic is a marvel of choreography and comedic editing.

I’ve checked–you can stream Shaun of the Dead for about $4 from nearly any streaming service. So what are you doing tonight? Saturday Night Live is in reruns until Fall.

By the way, happy Memorial Day! I hope you enjoy your long weekend. Be sure to hug those you love and tell them that you love them.

If you’re remembering someone who paid the ultimate price in service to their country, please accept my deep respect and gratitude. Freedom isn’t free. It never was.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Christmas Favorites

Everybody has a favorite Christmas song.  Maybe you even have more than one.  I think my favorite is All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey.  And the one with Jimmy Fallon and TheRoots playing classroom instruments is my absolute favorite version.  Be sure to watch for the pop-up kids–they crack me up!

The song features prominently in my favorite Christmas movie, Love Actually.  Here at Chez R, we always make sure we watch it some time during the Christmas season.  It’s one of our traditions.

Another tradition is heading to downtown West Palm Beach to see the Sandi Tree, a HUGE Christmas tree built entirely out of sand, down on the waterfront.  Every half-hour or so they do a whole program with music and lights.  It’s lots of fun.

What are your own traditions?  How about the ones in your area?

I hope you’re having a wonderful evening surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

And just because I love you, I’m leaving you with Billy Mack (actor Bill Nighy in Love Actually) with his holiday hit, Christmas Is All Around.  If you haven’t seen the movie, seriously!  Do.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again

I’m so excited!  Ten years ago, Mamma Mia, the Broadway musical based on the songs of 70s group ABBA, was made into a movie.  It’s not Shakespeare, okay.  But if you ever wanted to see a movie that just makes you feel happy, this is the one.

A decade later, the entire cast is back for a sequel, and with a few additions, most notably Cher, as Donna’s (Meryl Streep) mother.  Mr. R is imminently glad that my best girl Mo and I have plans to go see it this week.  I suppose it’s a chick flick, but don’t say it like it’s a bad thing.   I added a sneak peek from the new movie below.

The world has become a very scary place.  Up is down, right is wrong, and you never know from one day to the next what the hell is going on.  So let me go sit in a cool, dark theatre for a couple of hours with a bucket of popcorn and a vat of Sprite while I may or may not sing along to songs that make me happy.  Feel free to join me on the next recliner–not going to one of those moldie-oldie theatres, no thank you.  I know there are those who are avoiding this movie, angered by something or other Meryl Streep said a while back.  To that, I say, Good!  More room for me and Mo.  😉

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend doing things that make you happy.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Something New

Date night in has a certain appeal to it, don’t you think?
I mean, it’s more economical, for one thing.  And you don’t have to get all dressed up, deal with traffic, fight for parking spaces, or put up with annoying crowds.

It can be nice to curl up on the couch and relax.  With cable television and subscription services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, you can always find something that appeals.

Mr. R and I have probably watched Breaking Bad, in its entirety, about four times.  We’re slowly working our way through Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale.  Sort of savoring it, really, although it’s intense enough, you really wouldn’t want to binge-watch it.  We finished the first season of Lost in Space on Netflix, and that was lots of fun.  I’ll be up for Season 2 when it comes out.

Last night, we decided to try something new on Netflix, a strange suspenseful series called Safe, created by mystery and thriller author Harlan Coben.  It stars Michael C. Hall (the creepy yet lovable serial killer star of Dexter) as a widower whose teenage daughter goes missing in a British suburban neighborhood where everyone has a shit-ton of secrets.  We’ve seen three episodes so far, and I’m game to see where the story goes.

BUT, it’s the mesmerizing opening theme song, Glitter & Gold by Barns Courtney, that really drew me in.  Gosh, don’t you love when you discover something cool?  I’m also including his song, Fire.  See if you aren’t as impressed as I am.

So for this July weekend, try to stay cool.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Tell Me About It, Stud!

I’m finding it hard to believe that the movie Grease came out FORTY YEARS AGO today.  How is that even possible?

I was in junior high (remember when that was a thing?) and I went to see the movie with my cousin, who was a year older than I.  Before that, my understanding of  movie musicals was based on my parents’ collection of LPs (remember when that was a thing?)–South Pacific, The Sound of Music, The King and I.

All of those are great shows, but I was blown away by the idea that an entire musical could be based on rock and roll.  And I loved it.  I marched right out and spent my allowance on the album, and to this day, I can sing every song by heart.

Now, there’s Rock of Ages, based on 80s music (and simply rocks) and American Idiot, a punk opera from Green Day’s album of the same name (which is outstanding), among others.

Here in the context of the ‘enlightened’ 21st century, I don’t want to delve into the socio-political issues of whether a Good Girl should have to change to keep her Bad Boy boyfriend.  Or vice-versa.  Because that’s crap.

What I know is that Grease is a fun, nostalgic trip to the 50s full of songs that are just enjoyable, both to listen to and sing along with.  A couple of years ago, Fox aired a live production of the show.  At the end of this article, I’ve posted Greased Lightning from that performance.  Just because I can, LOL.  (By the way, NBC is planning a live production of Hair in 2019.  Just saying…)

If you’re curious, here’s a Time article that talks about where the stars of Grease are today.

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Thinking Out Loud

Ready or not, it’s the holiday season.  Seems like as soon as the Trick or Treaters trotted home with their sugar-inducing haul, retailers shifted into holiday mode.  Like aging rocker Billy Mack says, “Christmas is all around us, and so the feeling grows.”

But first, here in the States, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving this Thursday.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love the way the aroma of turkey roasting in the oven permeates the whole house.  I love to watch the Macy’s parade on television, especially the Broadway performances on the street right in front of the store.  I love the roll-out of classic holiday movies, like Love Actually.

More than that, though, I appreciate having a reminder to be thankful for all the ways I’m blessed.  And I am.  I’m a lucky girl.  I’m healthy, I have a great home, this year I walked away from a job I hated to live the dream of being a full-time writer.

On the domestic front, having survived a season in hell, I’m living my happily-ever-after with a man who loves me more than life itself.  When I first heard Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, I thought of us, and how thankful I am that we found each other.  Here’s a little snippet of the lyrics.

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So, honey, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Our lives aren’t perfect.  We worry about finances.  We have two out of three collective adult children who currently aren’t speaking to us (gotta love millennials).  But we have each other, and we’re a great team.  And so I’m thankful.

Just thinking out loud.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Be sure and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Oh, and as a bonus, here’s your old Uncle Billy.