Saturday, June 13, 2009

Review: The Windsors: A Royal Family & My Life in Ruins

I haven't done a movie review in quite some time, but I recently watched two films that I had to comment on. I usually review films that are based off of novels, plays, or famous Broadway performances; however, I sometimes can't help myself and want to share a few great stories that fall outside of this realm. Neither of the following films come from literature, but both are interesting and deserved a quick mention!

As mentioned in a previous post, I like films about the monarchy. After watching the fabulous documentary Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work, Netflix recommended another documentary, The Windsors: A Royal Family. Part way through disc one of three, I grabbed the envelope the documentary came in to see when it was filmed, thinking it was filmed in the early to mid 1990's. Why? The film making was very 60 Minutes meets old school PBS documentaries--none of this modern, reality TV sense of following around one's subject. This documentary is made up of testimonials and interviews with friends, distant family, and assistants to the crown, who give their first-hand opinions as primary source photographs and film are used to show the most amazing footage of the monarchy. So, you're asking when it was filmed? According to my Netflix envelope it was 2007, according to Amazon it was filmed in 2002. Either way, I was honestly quite shocked that it was so recent.

I won't say that the film wasn't fantastic, but engaging, it's not. It is very much a piece of history, which I loved, but demanded that I pay careful attention to dates, connections between relatives, and the history of events occurring in the world at the same time as those presented in the documentary. A history teacher could use this for brief, amazing clips of Queen Elizabeth's grandfather, King George V and the world as it was during his time, clips of Winston Churchill addressing the Parliament, King Edward abdicating the thrown, or even the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, but that's as far as I would go. This documentary is amazing in its collection of primary documentation, but pretty heavy laden with history, in a way that I haven't seen in awhile. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but will say that it surprised me a bit in the beginning.

Now, just a quick word about the second film, My Life in Ruins. People often think I'm kidding, or exaggerating when I say I want to move to Greece someday (even if it's only for 4-6 months out of every year), but I'm not. Greece is an amazing country that I don't think I could get enough of (along with Turkey). Having said that, I ran to the theater to see Nia Vardalos's most recent film, eager to see scenes of Greece as the setting for her romantic comedy. The movie was cute, even if predictable and a bit cheesy. Vardalos (who looked pretty amazing) plays the Greek tour guide for her overly-exaggerated-in-their-lameness tourists, trying to interest them in the amazing history of the sites she presents them, when all they really want is ice cream and shopping excursions. First off, I was so offended by the ridiculous things the tourists demanded that I kept talking out loud. I know...chill out, right? Well, that's what my mother kept saying, but I kept picturing all the tours that I took while in Greece, and I could never get enough of the history and antiquities. Honestly, I think I was just a bit too keyed up to fully enjoy the tourists' horrid antics and silly lines. I realize that we were supposed to laugh at the stupidness of the tourists, but they made me want to scream.

Now, on the other hand, here's where this single girl has to gush for just a moment. Alexis Georgoulis (acclaimed as the George Clooney of Greece), made my day. :) My friend Doc and I had a moment in Athens, after hopping off their extremely clean subway system, where we ended up riding the escalator behind what I believe had to be a modern Adonis. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the man we giggled over (yes, at our ages we giggled over his amazing male beauty and enjoyed our escalator ride) reminded me of Alexis Georgoulis, so I calmed down and just enjoyed the film in all it's predictable silliness. I've included here two pictures of him; one where he's looking way too scruffy to really pay him any mind, but then the second, showing him in all his male gorgeousness (which looks like how he spelled his name).

See his scruffy self in the corner...

Now, he's looking like a romantic lead!

Overall, a cute film. It did have some questionable sexual innuendo, but was a pretty harmless romantic comedy, on the whole. Yes, it's predictable, but has its funny moments, and one really nice looking Greek romantic lead. Now, time to figure out how I can find myself a home on a small corner of Greece???

1 comment:

  1. My Life in Ruins sounds cute. I probably won't go see it, but it looks like it would be a good rental. I did see My Big Fat Greek Wedding (she likes titles that start with my, doesn't she?) in theaters, and really liked it.

    Did I tell you about that romance novel I read that was set in Turkey? I think I did.