Chick flicks: From a modern classic, scandalous affairs and wander lust

Aug 06, 2022
The best chick flicks on right now. Source: Getty

There is a definite girly flavour to my viewing picks this month, along with my enjoyment of cut glass accented, well-spoken Brits.

Persuasion  

My Bestie and I headed off to a swanky hotel for a couple of days to celebrate one of her BIG birthdays, the kind of hotel that has big feather pillows and a pink bow on the spare toilet roll. After one of our early evenings out, we came back, settled into our luxurious beds, and indulged our Jane Austen and period drama girly obsession without either of TBWSTC (The Blokes Who Share the Couch) within earshot or able to scoff, as we had left them at home with family responsibilities.

The Bestie and I have a shared love for Jane Austen, having performed in her plays, read her books and even visited her home, garden, museum and grave during a trip to the UK a while back, so it should come as no surprise that we loved this movie.

My initial concerns were based on some reviews complaining about modernisation, Ann Elliot (played by Dakota Johnson) being too attractive, and one that went so far as to claim that it was the worst adaption ever. They were so wrong. Ron Bass wrote the screenplay and Carrie Cracknell directed it with some very clever touches. Ann speaks directly to viewers at times, taking you into her confidence. Her over-the-top father Richard E. Grant and sister Mia McKenna Bruce are divine.

It’s a great interpretation of a timeless classic and a must-see for Austen fans who understand that truly great works can be interpreted time and time again in a myriad of ways. We watched it on Netflix with French champagne and fluffy feather pillows.

Anatomy of a Scandal

This is a six-episode miniseries exploring a sexual scandal amongst Britain’s elite and most powerful. Up until the end of episode four, I was really hooked, but there lurks an incredible coincidence that I found hard to process until I gently reminded myself that it’s fiction and it’s okay to have incredible coincidences. Once I suspended reality, I found myself needing to know the outcome.

The storyline is parliamentary minister, James Whitehouse, is a happily married man with a loving family home, and then a scandalous secret comes to light.

I’m a fan of Michelle Dockery (aka Lady Mary in Downton Abbey) and could listen to her beautiful, cut-glass speaking voice for hours. There are some stars shining in this David E. Kelly creation based on Sarah Vaughan’s book with Sienna Miller alongside Dockery. The outcome is satisfying, yet so unlikely. I picked up the plot twist a little too early, but all in all worth a watch on Netflix.

Love and Gelato

What’s not to love about summer in Italy? Lina fulfils a promise to her dying mother that she’ll spend the summer before college in Rome, just as her mother did. Carefully orchestrated ahead of time by her mother, Lina experiences walking in her mother’s footsteps connecting with life, people and of course, places.

The movie is a bit of a chick flick, and predictable, but the scenery and food make it more than bearable. Written by Brandon Camp based on the novel by Jenna Evans Welch, I watched Love and Gelato on Netflix and have been hankering for some good Italian gelato and authentic pasta ever since, or better still, a flight to Italy.

Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World

Joanna Lumley has scored herself my dream job of late, visiting amazing places with a film crew in tow. Her latest offering on ABC iView is a three-part series visiting Paris, Rome and Berlin. I’m hopeful that there’ll be others to come to live up to the series title – let’s try for New York, Amsterdam, Marrakesh and Sydney for a few more.

I mentioned to TBWSTC that I can’t be sure whether Ms Lumley really is so excited and grateful about the experiences she is sharing or whether she is just a really good actor, which she most definitely is, and is acting excited. Regardless, I found myself sharing her enthusiasm for the both expected and the special off-beat experiences in each city. As we have spent so long not being able to travel, this microdose of Europe is more than welcome and as always, Joanna is so lovely to watch and listen to.

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