Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Movies: Beauty & The Briefcase

Five Stars: Click Image to Watch!

Starring:
Hillary Duff, Chris Carmack, Michael McMillian,
Matt Dallas, Jaime Pressly, Amanda Walsh

Directed by: Gil Junger
Released: 2010
Length: 1h 26m

This movie is right up my alley, with a heroine that loves writing AND romance. In the opening scenes, Lane Daniels (played by Hillary Duff) is walking through the city, regretfully mindful of the abundance of cute guys that are NOT for her. But she's making the best of life by keeping her focus on her career, trusting that the rest will come - just like me. (Except, of course, that she's a totally gorgeous fashion writer, and I'm so not a fashionista.) Maybe my favorite part of this movie - and Lane's biggest obstacle to romance - is her checklist of requirements for her "magic man."

Now it's no secret that over the years, I've come to see relationships as a sort of business-type arrangement, where in order to achieve a truly successful partnership, each party must be clear about their requirements and expectations - and each party must be qualified (or willing to become qualified) to meet the outlined expectations. It's unromantic I know, especially for a romance author, but oh, the logic! It appeals to me on such a deep level. I guess if I had a checklist (and who says I don't?), then it might have something on it about understanding and appreciating the way this logic could, theoretically, help to ensure romantic success.

But getting back to the movie ...

Lane's writing career in the fashion industry isn't doing any better than her love life, but a chance conversation with a Cosmo editor sets her on an entirely new path - one that requires her to enter the business world with her checklist firmly in hand. This could be the perfect break for Lane, both in her writing career and in her romantic life, and it doesn't take her long to score a great undercover business job.

There's just one problem: she knows exactly NOTHING about business.

Thankfully, one thing she DOES know is how to fit in, and it doesn't take long at all for Lane to make friends at this new job - or to start scoring dates - which is perfect since her assignment is to find the perfect man, at work. But for Lane, the best date - and the biggest score - comes from the most unexpected place.

For me, this is the best kind of movie; it's upbeat and romantic with just enough emotional pull to keep me invested in the characters. I didn't care that in some places it required me to toss aside my inner cynical realist, and I loved that the movie had several great feel-good moments, such as when Lane gave Tom the final push to take some initiative at work. The underlying message, both in Lane's assignment and in that moment with Tom's green initiative, was an encouraging one that reminded me of exactly why I'm putting so much into my career as a writer - because it's all I want, and it's my passion, and it never feels anything less than right.

I took some notes over the course of the movie, too, and Lane's checklist has some great items on it, including:
1. Puts Passion Above Common Sense
2. Sexy Accent
3. Spontaneous
4. Fashion Sense
5.
6. Same Taste In Food
7. Travels To Exotic Locations On A Whim
8. Plays Sexy Musical Instrument.
9. Witty Statements On The Tip Of His Tongue
10. Public Fights And Torrid Make-up Sex

You can see that somewhere along the line I missed number five - but honestly, I'm okay with that because the rest of Lane's list is a great deal different from my own. I'll admit, we do have some points in common though, such as number nine. I loved number two as well, as I'm a sucker for almost any foreign accent - and you can't go wrong with number eight either. But the rest? Truthfully, I could do without number ten especially, and I could live quite happily without number one, as well. I've had my share of passionate men, especially ones who put "living in the moment" above common sense - and to be honest, that just doesn't work for me. Maybe it's just the fact that I've had a tumultuous life, but I found this list pretty lacking in qualities I really want in a man, like "integrity" and "dependability."

Still, for all its lack of depth on the surface, this movie ended with a great message about finding exactly what you want right when you least expect it - and sometimes when you didn't even know you wanted it yet. With that being said, Beauty & The Briefcase definitely hits a sweet spot in my romance-loving heart - 86 minutes well spent.

Hidden Delights From This Movie:
1. Lane's checklist (and this movie plot in general) assures me of the normalcy of my own.
2. The hot-guy adaptation of "Go Fish" Lane plays with her friends.
3. The public fight with Liam - what a good sport!
4. Shopping with Tom. That spin! That dance move!
5. The bust in the restaurant - and the double-drink toss.
6. That face "he" wore the last time Lane left the office.
7. "I love you too." Need I say more? Swoon.

Like I said, 86 minutes well spent. Because I'm a romantic at heart - and I like it that way. So ...


Questions for the Comments Section:

  • Have you seen this movie?
  • If you have, what were some of your hidden delights?
  • If you haven't seen it, do you plan to?

54 comments:

  1. I haven't seen that film yet, but you encouraged me to watch it! Seems like good idea for cosy evening!:)

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  2. Sounds like a cute movie, I love a good romance, especially on a cozy night in with a glass of wine!

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    1. Exactly. It's like calorie-free comfort food. Except for the wine, but wine doesn't count, right?

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  3. Hmm, this sounds like an interesting movie. I'm not sure if I'd enjoy it or not. It seems like something I'd have liked as a teen though!

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    1. It's definitely something an older teen would like - it had some steamy/sexy content though so I'm not sure I'd watch it with a young teen unless they've already been exposed to that sort of thing.

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  4. This looks like a cute movie, and best watch with a girlfriend a bottle of wine.

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  5. Ahh thank you for the good idea , I was just looking for a movie to watch , thank you so mucn

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  6. I don't think this movie is for me. Sounds too juvenile. Interesting take though.

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    1. I'm not sure I'd call it juvenile but it's definitely a chick click.

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  7. I've never heard of this movie... but I love Chris Carmack (he's on Nashville). I might look this one up on Netflix!

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    1. That's where I watched it - and where I watch most movies these days unless I use Amazon Video. With my kids, I rarely make it out to a theater anymore so this is easier and more affordable.

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  8. This is a great review, very helpful and insightful. You really make it come alive.

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  9. I loved that movie. And I swear I didn't choose a partner based off of Lane... no, I didn't. Except, he's sexy with an accent and a workaholic... well, maybe I did. :P

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    1. Hey, a sexy workaholic with an accent can only be beat by a sexy workaholic with an accent who is filthy rich and loves to travel, lol. I can't recommend choosing a man based on Lane's list - but if one falls into your lap and he has certain qualities in addition to Lane's list, then you just can't pass that up!

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  10. Never heard of this movie before. I'll have to watch it to see if I'll like it but as its billed as romance, I think I'm gonna enjoy it very much.

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    1. I definitely did - but romance is my genre of choice in most things, so it was no surprise.

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  11. its seems to be a cute movie!! i would love to see with my girls :-)

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    1. It was definitely cute, and I think older teens would really enjoy it! It might be too adult for younger teens though, depending on how conservative your parenting style is.

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  12. Sounds like you really enjoyed the movie and took a lot out of it in terms of a message. It's great when movies are easy to relate to, humorous and have some take aways to use in our lives.

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    1. I agree, and I love when a movie or book gives me something more personal than just the entertainment value!

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  13. This look such a cute chick flix movie. Gosh i hasn't seen anything with Hilary Duff in for ages. xx

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    1. I hadn't either - I think my last Hillary Duff experience was Cadet Kelly, lol. That being said, I enjoyed that movie quite a lot as well - but I was a teenager.

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  14. I haven't heard this movie before but I do like Hilary Duff. It would be nice to watch this with my girls! Thanks for the detailed review.

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    1. Of course! A word of caution though - it may be too old for younger teens depending on your views of steamy/sexual content. There's no nudity or anything (that I noticed) but there were sexual references in several places.

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  15. I have seen this movie but don't really remember it. I don't know if that means I didn't like it? I will have to watch it again.

    Kaitlyn
    www.mypostpartumlife.com

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    1. If you're anything like me, that just means you saw it more than a month ago. I've seen so many movies in my lifetime that they rarely stick anymore even if I did enjoy them.

      It's nice though - means I can enjoy them just as much a second time.

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  16. I love Hillary and I have never heard of this movie! I don't even know how that is possible.

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    1. Sounds like you need to rectify this situation - stat!

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  17. Ooh I look a good romance film. Will definitely go and see it now

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  18. I used to love this movie. I always found it so funny about the checklist. I would always think that is no way to find your true love if your so worried about a checklist.

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    1. I don't know though - I think it's healthy to know what you want in a partner in such a clear and defined way. It's definitely important to be flexible on that though too, because it's easy to be so caught up in your list that you miss what's in front of you.

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  19. I didn't know Hillary Duff still made movies. I wonder if my daughter would like this?

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    1. Well this one's not super new, so I'm not sure she's still making movies really. I would caution not to show this to younger teens and children though without watching it yourself first - just to be sure it fits with what you think is appropriate for them to watch.

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  20. Replies
    1. Me too, I found it to be a very entertaining way to pass an afternoon.

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  21. I loved this movie when it first came out! Then again, I sort of loved anything Hilary Duff was in for years!

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    1. I still like her and again, mostly for nostalgia's sake - but this was really a cute movie and I hadn't seen it before so it was a fun way to spend the afternoon.

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  22. I haven't seen this but now I want to! I love Hilary Duff as an actress.

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    1. I definitely recommend it! It was so cute!

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  23. I've never heard of this movie but it sure sounds interesting. I'd like to find out what happens after she goes undercover. It kind of reminds me of another movie though.

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    1. I'd be curious to hear what other movie you're thinking of. It might make a great follow-up review!

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  24. I love this movie! Such a cute flick, but I have to say Hilary is one of my favorite actresses!

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  25. I love this movie and Hilary Duff. Great review!

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    1. Thanks! I'm happy to have watched it - it was such a cute story and I loved the characters.

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  26. I haven't heard of this movie before but it really sounds an interesting movie for me.

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    1. It was super cute - a great way to spend an afternoon!

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  27. Thi is hitting close to home for me because I am not working. And it is upsetting the balance of our relationship.

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    1. That can definitely make things challenging. Sometimes it's because the person who isn't working (or worse, the person who is) feels like the person who isn't working isn't giving enough in the way of contribution - but I have found that having a person at home can be a contribution in itself. In my family, that worked well for us for a long time, and now that I'm a single mom, I'm still trying to maintain a work-at-home life so that my kids have their mom accessible to them when I'm needed. If I didn't have my kids, maybe it would be different - I guess I'll see when I get there.

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