Hugh Grant – My Foppish Older Man Crush Sunday, Apr 4 2010 

We all know who Hugh Grant is. He’s the lovable jerk, Daniel Cleaver, from the movie’s Bridget Jones’s Diary 1 & 2. He is the dorky sap from Mickey Blue Eyes, and the foppish English dweeb from the famous Four Weddings And A Funeral. Over his long-spanning acting career, and a successful one at that, he has racked up countless roles that have showcased his acting talent, wittiness, ingenious facial expressions and great hair. (I’m sorry, but he does, even if he is stuck in the past with his chosen styles!)

Born Hugh John Mungo Grant on September the 9th 1960, in Hammersmith, London, he earned himself a scholarship to esteemed Oxford University where he enrolled in acting courses. Since then, his career has been on the up and up. His roles aren’t usually serious, gritty journey’s; he often portrays affable, eccentric and witty characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. His most common film trend is that of the leading man in a romantic comedy – working alongside actresses such as Drew Barrymore, Mandy Moore, Andy MacDowell, Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson and Sandra Bullock to name but a few.

He’s also the guy who got caught with prostitute Divine Brown in 1995, whilst dating Elizabeth Hurley. (He was consequently arrested for lewd behavior and fined.) Which isn’t exactly sexy buutttt…

I’m coming out of the closet here. Hugh Grant is my all time older man crush. From his quaffed hair, sparkling blue eyes and crooked grin, to his sexy English accent, his ability to be so witty and lovable onscreen and his quirky personality. I just can’t help but fall for him all over again whenever I watch one of his films. Age difference much? But I don’t care! Haha, he just does it for me!

Every girl I know has an older man crush (George Clooney being the most common!) and Hugh is mine. YUM-O!

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

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Wacky From The Web Friday, Jan 29 2010 

Okay, so I admit, when I get bored I often find myself mindlessly watching clips on YouTube. It was on one such occasion where I stumbled across “Garfunkel and Oates” , a two women musical comedic duo.

Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are quirky young women that have, between them, dabbled in acting, music and stand-up comedy, and have become an online phenomenon. Their 2-to-3 minute videos on YouTube feature self written songs about everything from dating and sex, to duck-love and pregnant women. These two extremely talented women are amazing. I cried with laughter while listening to some of their songs – especially when complimented by the petite Kate playing a ukulele!

Kate has had cameo appearances in shows like Scrubs, Malcolm in the Middle and How I Met Your Mother.

Riki has been in even more shows, and is quite a good little actress (in my opinion). Her credits include roles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Heroes, The Big Bang Theory, Bones, Criminal Minds, Nip/Tuck, and even roles in a few movies, such as Changeling.

So between the two of them, they are talented little dabblers. But it is their hilarious, self deprecating, bizarre songs that have me hooked. A selection of their songs that I love the most are:

Pregnant Women Are Smug

Me, You And Steve

Silver Lining

They have many, many more songs than just these three, but you can hunt them out yourself! Take the time to have a look – I promise you will have a bit of a chuckle (at least!) over some of their witty lyrics.

Kate and Riki

Flight Of The Conchords Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 

You would have to have been in a coma for the past several years if you didn’t know who Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement are. Either that, or you don’t own a tv, computer, read the news or listen to the radio – and only by accident stumbled across this blog now!

These two dorky comedians make up the band/standup duo Flight Of The Conchords, who moved from NZ to the USA proclaiming themselves to be “Formerly New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo”. 

Bret and Jermaine were flatmates while studying at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and started their later to be infamous “band” in 1998. Through comedic events, and stints at festivals and slots at places like Auckland’s comedy club, they gained a loyal following in their home country and also Australia. In 2007, they moved to America to film their own television series with HBO.

The show was a hit with everyone, worldwide. Despite it’s Kiwi-isms and humour, people seemed to really get it. Bret and Jermaine play fictional versions of themselves in the show – two Kiwi’s trying to make it big in America with their unique (cough cough) band. Throughout the two series, these cringeworthy characters bumble their way through dating mishaps, money problems and lame gigs that always end in hilarity. Each episode is peppered with on-the-spot songs that are so funny, so brilliant and so well done that they have now become some of my top played beats on my iPod to boot. 

Bret and Jermaine are hapless losers – Bret always dressed in his woolly jumpers (which always seem to have animal prints on them), and also the more sensitive and oblivious of the duo. Jermaine is slightly deluded, thinking himself to be cooler than he actually is, and is the most desperate to find a woman. Together they are deadpan, outrageously pathetic and oh so clever. The show is a laugh a minute, especially with Murray the band manager (Rhys Darby) and Mel the obsessed, slightly unhinged fan (Kristen Schaal). 

But the absolute best thing about Flight of the Conchords – of course – is the comedic music. It’s clever, it’s witty, it’s catchy and fun to listen to. Buy the CD’s, or download the singles on iTunes. You will crack up!

Also, both seasons of the series are available to buy – this is definitely one you want in your collection!

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

Safe As House Is Monday, Nov 30 2009 

When you have to go to hospital, don’t you just WISH for a vicodin popping, abusive genius with a limp for your doctor?! Okay, maybe not, but it certainly makes for good TV viewing!

The show House stars actor Hugh Laurie as Dr Gregory House, the abrasive, insulting, sometimes cruel genius of a medical diagnostician. At this point, we are up to series five with series six about to air – and let me tell you: I’m totally hooked! House is not just another medical show like E.R. and the like, but a brilliant show about one man and the impact he has on the people around him. Greg House is a Doctor like no other – he is completely politically incorrect, sometimes so disconnected from people that he treats them like dirt for their show of humanity, but makes up for it with acerbic wit, obsession to diagnose patients, intelligence which is so focused its awe-inspiring and a rebellious nature which just makes his character fun to follow. He is a maverick in the true sense of the word. 

The character House works at Princeton‑Plainsboro Teaching Hospital as the Head of Diagnostics, and for the first three seasons had three Doctors on his team whom he abused, taught and challenged into being better doctors. They then all quit, being replaced by a new team, with Foreman (From the original team) coming back into the fray while his other former teammates continued to work at the hospital in different roles. House’s boss, the Dean of Medicine Dr Cutty, is the only person who is ever able to reign House in, but often by trickery due to the fact House follows no rules other than his own. Cutty and House have a sexual tension that dances through the plotlines, never quite turning into anything (Yet!) but adding a scintillating depth to their characters tug of war over right and wrong. House’s only friend is another Doctor at the hospital, the head of Oncology, Dr James Wilson who is almost the opposite of House. Wilson is caring, decent and thoughtful. The friendship makes no sense and yet they both need each other, play off of each other, gain strength from their friendship. 

With all of the players now in place, let me tell you a little bit more about the show. Basically, every episode introduces a new medical case in which no one can diagnose what is wrong with the patient. House will only take on the most interesting or bizarre cases, and doesn’t care much for the patients themselves. His main goal is ascertaining what ailment the dying patient has and treating them. Quite often he breaks ethical rules to gain this insight, pushing his team to work alongside him. House is brilliant, and picks up on things that no other Doctor would ever notice. He saves people in the most fantastic ways, and comes across illnesses and complications which just boggle the mind. It makes you really appreciate the amount of things that can go wrong with the human body, I’ll tell you that much!

It’s not easy – Even House gets things wrong. Due to his cases being so difficult, sometimes the diagnoses are wrong. Sometimes this is because of the circumstances surrounding the patient, wether they have lied to him, wont let tests be done or freakish environmental factors. Sometimes it’s because of House’s state of mind, or that of his team. Wilson and Cutty spend a lot of their time trying to keep House in check, for the sake of the patients and the hospitals reputation, but also to look out for House himself. Despite his acidic nature, they care for him, and even though he doesn’t quite accept it himself, he cares right on back. It is a startlingly dark look into the human psyche, into pain and suffering. These characters make you think, make you laugh, make you cry. They each have their own personal demons, their backstories which unfold across the seasons. In each episode you learn another little piece about every one of them, you understand their motives more and you marvel at the brilliance of each medical case and what they bring to it.

This series isn’t about heartwarming moments (Although there are a few), it’s about the darkness in life, in sickness and self hatred, but finding a place within that. Finding a reason to BE. The acting is flawless, the plots absorbing. It is never boring, always insightful and totally addictive. I highly recommend it to anyone with an attention span. You wont “Get It” if you don’t follow it closely. You wont understand its REAL brilliance unless you catch on to the undercurrents. But man, this show is so worth watching. Hugh Laurie is one of the best actors ever, and his character House is a surly, selfish genius that you cant help but love. House is safe in my top five shows EVER.

 

House

 

 

Go Ricky, Go Ricky! Sunday, Nov 29 2009 

Last night I went and saw the new Ricky Gervais movie, The Invention of Lying. Now, I have been climbing the walls waiting for this movie ever since I heard it was coming out. Why? To be honest, I just love everything Ricky does. So even if I had to pay $15 to sit and watch Ricky sit on a couch and eat cheese (His apparent fave hobby) I’d gladly do so. But going by the ads and write ups, the movie seemingly had more going for it than just Ricky himself. And so it did.

First off, the plot is exceptionally different. I mean, don’t expect this movie to win an Oscar or anything (Really good movies never do) but it’s definitely one I’m going to buy on DVD when it comes out. Mark Bellison (Gervais) is a man living in a world without lies. In this world there is no such thing as embellishments, no fiction, no flattery. Everyone is brutally honest, and Mark struggles to find success in this reality as a writer, despite the content being flat-out boring (Imagination doesn’t exist). His romantic life is just as sad, due to the fact he is a “little fat man with a snub nose” in the eyes of Anna (Jennifer Garner) who is looking for a great genetic match to father children with. It is in this depressing, unimaginative reality that Mark suddenly discovers the ability to lie. The results are fantastic, hilarious, and to my complete surprise, utterly heartbreaking. The way it shone a light on human nature really got my thinking – which is quite a feat for a comedy! I wont go into detail other than to say this isn’t a fast paced flick, it’s a thought provoking comedy that makes you sit there afterwards and think about our society as a whole. Makes you consider the impact of religion, why we do the things that we do. Made me laugh, made me tear up – and made me high five my friend @FrostyBoy (See blog on the left hand side) when Stephen Merchant had his cameo.

Secondly, the cast is great! (Aside from the great Ricky Gervais and brilliant Stephen Merchant of course!) Jennifer Garner plays the romantic interest and plays it with surprising sincerity, Rob Lowe plays the nemesis (but you kinda want to pinch his cheek anyway), and then there’s Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., and even PC! (As in, Hi I’m Mac and I’m PC!) John Hodgman is just hilarious and I loved his small part in this movie. 

All in all, I enjoyed it. I was hoping for more of Ricky’s humour to be inserted into the character, but then that’s the fan inside me talking! I was holding out for a glimpse of Karl Pilkington but alas, he must be off researching Monkey News or something! Joking aside, this movie was worth the price of the ticket and I walked out smiling. What more could I ask for?

The Invention of Lying