The Blonde Bombshell

“Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled”

The opening lines of Elton John’s hit song Candle in the Wind  fueled my curiosity towards learning more about the woman he sang about, as I was unsure of the significance behind this song.  I remember my parents explaining to me that he wrote this ballad in remembrance of Marilyn Monroe after her death and that her birth name was actually Norma Jean. At this time I didn’t know much about movie stars and stage names, but found it peculiar that anyone would could just change their name to something else.  Just as easy as it was for Norma Jeane Baker to change her name to Marilyn Monroe; her acting career nearly blossomed over night, pegging her as one of the most well-known movie stars ever to live.

I haven’t seen many of Marilyn’s movies, as I would not necessarily call myself an  “avid fan.” (I am more of an Audrey Hepburn follower.) However, I have seen Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and can see why Marilyn became the sensation she was.  Even though Marilyn only filmed 30 movies in her lifetime, she will always be remembered for her roles in these films and even won a Golden Globe for her performance in Some Like It Hot . Her bodacious curves, bleach blonde hair, sultry voice all wrapped up together with an air of innocence were all qualities that make her the sex symbol of her era and still today.  I give credit for Marilyn for being an icon of her time, but ever since I learned about her affair with President Kennedy, she always left a sour taste in my mouth. How could she do that to such a classy lady like Jackie?! Scandalous. All that said, I am still intrigued and entertained about the stories surrounding her life and career as a movie star.

This year will commemorate the 50 year anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death on August 5th 1962, and her legacy still lives on. In the past year alone, both a television show and movie have been created in honor of this buxom blonde.  I recently started watching NBC’s “Smash” which is produced by Steven Spielberg and includes a great cast such as Debra Messing, Christian Boyle and Katharine McPhee.  I instantly got hooked about 20 minutes into watching the first episode.

The show’s plot features a team of writers creating a Broadway show called “Marilyn,” based on her life with songs referencing pivotal points in her career.  All odds are against Katherine McPhee’s character, Karen, an aspiring actress, as she auditions for the part of Marilyn against Ivy, who is the spitting image of a modern day Marilyn. Cast members put a spin on songs about Marilyn’s life such as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” which is about Marilyn and Joe Dimaggio and a song called “Let Me Be Your Star,” which embodies Marilyn’s transformation from a no-name brunette to a starlet.  Of course this show is not all song and dance–it shows the trials and tribulations all of the characters face as they try to make it big in Broadway.  Smash is definitely worth checking out!

Watch a clip from “Smash” by clicking the link below.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1383532

Not only was a television show loosely crafted around Marilyn’s life, but in 2011 a movie was created to showcase this starlet in “My Week With Marilyn.”  Michelle Williams portrayal of Marilyn Monroe earned herself an Academy Award for Best Female Actress at this year’s Oscars. I haven’t had the chance to see the film yet, but ever since I saw the trailer I have wanted to.  It’s obvious that Michelle Williams poured her heart and soul into “becoming Marilyn” for this role and that alone shows it is sure to be a good film.  Just from watching a short clip and the theatrical trailer, viewers can see that Williams captured the essence of Marilyn nearly perfectly.  I am anxious to watch this movie once it hits shelves on March 13th.

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Modern Day Audrey

One of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies, aside from “Sabrina” of course, is the 1953 film “Roman Holiday.”  This film follows Audrey Hepburn’s character, Ann, who just so happens to be a princess.  When Ann and her royal family arrive in Rome, she is immediately filled with boredom and yearns to see Rome for herself, unaccompanied. Escaping her strict regimen, Ann sneaks out to explore the Eternal City. She hitches a ride in the back of a delivery truck and later falls asleep on a park bench when the after effects of a sedative she took earlier in the night finally set in. Gregory Peck’s character, Joe Bradley, who is an American journalist, finds the sleeping princess and takes her back to his apartment so she can rest peacefully.  (This sounds like a legitimate kidnapping, but I promise Joe’s intentions are harmless : )

The next morning Joe rushes off to cover the Princess Ann press conference, but doesn’t realize she is actually asleep on his couch. The film continues to show the growing relationship between Joe and Ann and how the secrets of their identities unfold as they traipse around Rome. It’s a pretty sweet little love story.

Above you will see my take on the “Modern Day Audrey” in Roman Holiday.  A beautiful minty green top with a bow tie front compliments this caramel, pleated chiffon midi skirt perfectly. (It sounds like I am writing about food, not fashion!) I think this ensemble has  just the right amount of “flowiness” for a ride around Rome on the back of a Vespa, a la Audrey & Joe  in Roman Holiday. Nothing says a vacation in a romantic city like your skirt blowing in the wind, right??  And of course when traveling by foot, a sturdy pair of gladiator sandals are appropriate, such as this braided pair.  In true Audrey fashion, one must wear a stylish scarf, but perhaps instead of tying this pretty paisley one around your neck, try it tied around the handles of your handbag.

P.S in the latest issue of Matchbook Magazine, a feature story about Ryan Gosling reveals that his dream project is to work alongside Natalie Portman in a remake of Roman Holiday. Swoooon. I really, really hope this happens.

A Christmas Classic

Judy Garland’s version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” cannot be matched.  The song originated from the movie “Meet Me In St. Louis,” which a lot of people probably don’t realize.  The emotion behind Judy’s voice is so real in this scene. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a must-see!!!   This is definitely one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time!

Upcoming Flicks

Several movies are coming out in late 2011 or 2012 that I am really looking forward to seeing.  I feel like I haven’t seen a really good movie in a long time, except for Midnight in Paris, so I’m ready for something great to watch in theaters!

“Like Crazy” looks very emotional and gripping and critics have compared it to a mix of “Blue Valentine” and “500 Days of Summer”, so I think i’m ok with that! Can’t wait to see it.

I read the book “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” earlier this year and absolutely loved it.  Emma Watson stars in this film and I think it will be interesting to see her outside her normal role as a wizard, nonetheless acting as an American suburban teen.  I hope this movie is as good as the book!

I’m currently reading “The Hunger Games” and know very little about the plot of the book or movie, so it will be interesting to see how that pans out!!

Like Crazy

I can’t wait to see this!!  “A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa” (via imdb.com)

Hogwarts Babies

Can you believe how much Harry, Ron and Hermione have grown up since the first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001?? Yes, that was indeed 10 years ago…crazy! Tonight at midnight the final film premiers in theaters and I am sad I will not be attending. However, I already know the ending of the series so it’s not like I’m biting my nails in suspense. Here’s to the end of an era. I will miss my little Hogwarts friends! I hope everyone enjoys seeing, ” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ if you’re going at midnight!

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s film, “Midnight in Paris” has all of the elements I look for in a memorable movie: a great cast, (Adrian Brody, Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates, Rachel McAdams, ) to name a few, time travel, a beautiful setting: Paris, France, quirky characters and it falls under the Romantic Comedy genre, one of my favorites.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone! The audience demographic for this movie is very widespread and I think almost anyone would enjoy it. I actually want to see it for a second time and I will definitely be adding it to my collection when it is released to DVD.  My rating? A+

Disney Pixar’s “Brave”

I sure love a good Disney Pixar movie! Some of my favorites include, “Up, Wall-E, The Incredibles and  Toy Story.” While all of these movies are fabulous, they also all feature males as the lead role.  However,  “Brave”, which is being released Summer 2012, is Disney Pixar’s first female lead fairy tale movie and I am very excited!

Here is a very basic plot summary from IMDB:

Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, “Brave” features Merida, an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty. Merida makes a reckless choice that unleashes unintended peril and forces her to spring into action to set things right.

Do you like Disney Pixar animated movies??

 

The Vow

Are you ready for a mushy little chick flick trailer?! Rachel McAdams & Channing Tatum star in this V-Day romantic movie, “The Vow”

Hasn’t Rachel already starred in a movie where she has memory loss problems?! hehe  : )

P.S. Blog entries and pictures about my trip to the South coming soon! : )