Vacation Hangover Movies: Cruise Edition

The post-vacation transition from relaxation back to the rise-and-grind routine is usually a pretty tough one. At press time, it’s my first day “back to work” (working from home is such a godsend) after a 10-day cruise throughout the Caribbean. I boarded Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas with my family on Thursday, June 18 and spent the next week exploring: King’s Wharf, Bermuda … Philipsburg, St. MaartenSan Juan, Puerto Rico … and Labadee, Haiti. We kayaked. We snorkeled. We saw the sights. We swam. We sweat buckets on beautiful beaches. All while living on a floating oasis that offered an ice-skating rink, full-sized boxing ring, rock-climbing wall, surfing simulator, mini golf course, three pools, five hot tubs, and mouth-watering meal options that included a full daily buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a coffee café, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor, cupcake shop, Johnny Rockets, sushi bar, 24-hour pizza, and a five-star formal dining room for dinner. (I’m actually working from home because I can’t see my feet anymore; I just roll from room to room.)

Needless to say, it was a wonderful escape … but it’s always nice to come home. I tend to return to reality with overwhelming wanderlust stowed away in my suitcase, so to help my travel hangover subside, I usually watch some movies that help me ease back into the real world. When I go to Disney World, I unwind with Disney movies. When I visit an island, movies that take place in Hawaii or Greece, usually. So since I just got off a 13-deck luxury ocean liner, I plan to indulge in some of my favorite flicks that take place on (or in) the high seas, such as:

Pirates of the Caribbean | 2003

PiratesBefore Johnny Depp became Disney’s cash cow and Tim Burton’s play thing, he was a respected actor who chose his roles very carefully. The tip of the slippery slope he’s found himself on in recent years (in my opinion) was his very first portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow—which isn’t to say that I don’t love those movies, because I do, very much so. I just don’t like what it did to his career and that they couldn’t stop at just one excellent film. Regardless, the first is the best, as is usually the case, and I absolutely love watching it when I want to get into a nautical mood. Based on the popular Walt Disney World attraction, it’s a highly quotable swashbuckling adventure that I’ve practically memorized. Drink up, me hearties, yo ho! Continue reading

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More V-Day Clichés

I’ve been Single a while, but I don’t bow my head in shame when I say the word like most girls do. It’s a choice I made quite a few years ago to not tie myself down when I am undoubtedly still slugging through the best years of my life. I love knowing that I can pick up and move to a new state if an opportunity presents itself without worrying about who I’ll be leaving behind. I can go where I want when I want without having to check in with someone. It’s either a selfish or smart way to live. I choose to think it’s smart.

In college, my friends and I were too wrapped up in throwing epic parties to even bother finding significant others. This suited us just fine. I love looking back at my college days knowing I made the absolute most of those four short years without someone holding me back from doing whatever my heart desired in any given moment. It was liberating, and when it finally came to an end, I had a sinking suspicion that the career I was trying so desperately to launch would ultimately be my top priority over finding a date for Friday nights. Online dating? Noooo, thank you. The few horrifying hits I got from my first foray into that nightmare turned me off the whole thing pretty strongly, even though I have friends who have found boyfriends, fiancés, and husbands on sites like OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Match, eHarmony, etc. I still have time. I’m not worried.

Anyway, whether single by choice or by circumstance, V-Day is still a tough one for us single ladies to grin and bear each year. (My fellow single girlfriends and I are planning a night out this year—tearing up a dance floor, drink in hand, sounds like the perfect escape from the sight of the chocolate boxes and red roses that pop up everywhere.) I expressed my disdain for this holiday last year with a look at three of my favorite romance movies to drown my sorrows in—and since my outlook hasn’t changed in the past 365 days, here we go again with three more movies. Continue reading

My Must-Watch Christmas Movies

5. Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually

This was the movie that started the chain of terrible holiday-themed ensemble cast rom-coms (lookin’ at you, Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve). OK, OK, so Love Actually is an all-Brit version and at least it’s not called “Christmas,” not to mention it has very little to do with the holiday itself … but for all its cliches, I still adore this movie, particularly when Hugh Grant starts dancing across his house to The Pointer Sisters.

4. The Family Stone (2005)

The Family Stone

I can watch this movie 17 times a season and not get sick of it. During the week of Thanksgiving this year, I watched it three times in three days! If I need to wrap something and I want background noise, it gets popped in. It’s feel-good family drama starring Sarah Jessica Parker at her least annoying. Continue reading

Top 5 Picks for Fall Films

Movies

Sometimes I think I enjoy the trailers more than the film itself when I go to the movies. I know I’m not alone in that. I’m pretty sure everyone will agree that they enjoy being a movie critic in under 3 minutes—I can’t explain it any better than Dane Cook. I watch the screen hungrily and text myself the titles of the ones I think look good. With summer winding down, we’re now getting sneak peeks of all the awesome pictures waiting for us in the coming months. I’ve picked five of my favorites, all action/dramas, listed below according to release date. Maybe they should be on your list, too? Continue reading

“Saving Mr. Banks” | 12/20/13

I couldn’t envision a more perfect Walt Disney than Mr. Tom Hanks. This looks brilliant. One of those beautifully enchanting movies that comes out right before Christmas and reminds you why it’s so important to hold onto the magic of childhood. Admittedly, although Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way, Mary Poppins is not one of my favorite Disney movies. I have a feeling, however, that this movie will do for her what Finding Neverland did for Peter Pan (I cry every time) and I will fall head over heels. Continue reading