Happy New Year!

If you’re not out celebrating the end of another year at a lavish party, chances are you’re sitting at home waiting for that ball to drop, and maybe watching a movie of someone enjoying their night a bit more than you. New Year’s is an often overlooked holiday in cinema, caught between Christmas and the ever-impending Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t mean that a countdown or two doesn’t creep into a favorite film every now and then.

Here’s a breakdown of just a few that I’ve noticed:

Harry-Sally

When Harry Met Sally (1989): Possibly my favorite New Year’s scene of all time. Harry realizes he’s in love with Sally and races across the city to find her. He spills his heart out in one of my favorite little love speeches ever—“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Then they share a slightly-after-midnight kiss after debating the true meaning of the classic tune, Auld Lang Syne. (Hint: It’s about old friends.) Continue reading

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The Valentine’s Day Cliche: RomComs

Let’s talk Valentine’s Day … I’ve seen one or two (or 200) too many romantic comedies and I have to say, Garry Marshall’s 2010 ensemble spin on the holiday itself really threw the whole thing into perspective. Admittedly, I spend almost every February 14 as Jessica Biel’s character—openly bitter and armed with a weapon to ward off Cupid’s arrow. Valentine’s Day has always been the most overhyped holiday in my book. Maybe this is because I was robbed of a sweet romantic gesture on this day back in high school, who knows. But I still don’t think we should dedicate one day a year to telling someone how we feel; that should kind of happen every day. Which brings me into this nice segue here … love stories. Ironic, right? I’m anti-V-Day, but I love love? Well, sure. It’s easy to get swept up in a great love story. It’s the backbone of nearly every box office hit. We root for it. Anyway, with the dreaded day right around the corner, I figured now could be a good time to wax rhapsodic about my favorite fairy tales. So, here are the soul mates who have given me hope that I’ll eventually find mine: Continue reading

I ❤ New York

21465_938554432738_1788822998_nWashington Square Park, Saturday, August 3, 2013.
Photo by Danielle S. Tepper.

At the risk of sounding like a postcard (or a T-shirt), I love New York. I’ve been a city girl all my life. Growing up on the Jersey shore, especially central NJ, you hear about the city constantly. As a kid, it starts to sound like the North Pole. My family has New York in its blood: My mother was born in Brooklyn and my father in the Bronx. I can feel that lifestyle buried deep inside me somewhere. When I get off the train at Penn Station and ride the escalator up to street level and the noises and smells start to reach me, it feels like coming home.

I was eight when I went for the first time. My parents bought tickets to Beauty & the Beast on Broadway for my birthday and we went in with my best friend and her parents. I don’t remember many details, but I do know that my lifelong love affair with Manhattan had to have begun that very day. I’ve since gone in countless times, at least a couple times a year. School bus trips. Annual family visits. Nights out with friends. Ten Broadway shows. The Met. Madame Tussauds. The Museum of Natural History. The Rosie O’Donnell Show. Rockefeller Center. The NY Public Library. Battery Park. Little Italy. The Harry Potter Exhibition. Darren Criss and the StarKid SPACE Tour. An ED2010 panel. Strand Book Store. Bryant Park. SoHo. NBC Studios Tour. Chelsea. Central Park Zoo. Ellis Island. The Empire State Building. Essentially all the tourist traps and then some. I actually hate feeling/acting like a tourist because even though I have yet to be able to call it home, it’s my city. It’s the city. Continue reading