My Reputation Review

The film’s title might as well be “My Rebound” with how the romance here works. Right off the bat I can tell you that the romance here doesn’t work. Unfortunately in the movie the characters who are against this are two kids who are very unreasonable all the time so it’s hard to really use them as a good source for anything. The movie’s an old time title that has good writing and all but since the romance is right at the forefront, that hurts it quite a bit right from the jump.

Okay so Jessica’s husband died after a long battle with illness. Jessica’s mother Mary wants Jessica to wear black for the rest of her life so as to never stop grieving. She should not remarry and just spend the rest of her days like this. Jessica doesn’t agree to that and in fact she wants to move on as quickly as possible. The problem is that nobody in town is any good. Her old friend Frank is okay but not the right person. Jessica ends up going on a retreat where she meets a guy named Scott and they quickly hit it off. They get together so quickly that the whole town starts talking about it and now there are endless rumors about Jessica. Is there anything she can do to salvage her reputation at this point?

Well, Jessica shouldn’t care about her reputation within the town all that much as everyone is gossiping anyway. I do think that she found this other guy way too quickly though. This is almost a textbook rebound to me. Her husband dies and then she goes out and finds some other guy and gets serious about him very quickly. While the kids handle this poorly by running away and causing a fuss, it is definitely iffy. That’s why it’s too bad it wasn’t a friend who debated Jessica instead. The kids wouldn’t listen to anything so at least this way we could have a balanced conversation of some sort. It would be a big improvement there.

At the end of the day each person is different of course so yeah some might be ready to move on right away. It just never makes for a good romance plot in a movie. If anything I’m more in line with Jessica’s mother Mary on basically never moving on. You get one shot to pick a partner out and after that, that’s it. Win or lose, live or die, you have made your pick and stick to it. Ultimately I do think Jessica should have mentioned something to their kids so they didn’t find out about this at a random party. That has to be the worst way to find out.

As for Scott, well he doesn’t even seen like the greatest guy. He mentions how he’s not really the marriage kind of guy which is a massive red flag right out of the gate. After all, it sounds like he would be someone who is up for affairs then, he was really quick to try and pull the moves on Jessica after all and they barely knew each other. If that’s how he always acts, well that’s going to be a little difficult. He does say that he’ll clean up his act though which is good.

Ginna and Cary are at least good friends for Jessica. It’s good that she has someone to rely on since the town is so suspect. There’s a really dicey scene where a guy names George attacks Jessica and the whole thing is just so out of place. It was a really dicey moment for sure. The guy had a lot of red flags ever since his debut but you still never expect something quite like that to happen. Unfortunately we don’t get to see him arrested or anything like that. It would have been a great way to have ended his plot off. It’s just not good to know that he basically got off completely free.

As for Frank, well I wouldn’t have been rooting for him even if he had tried for Jessica more. It seems like he liked her and since the death was so recent, it would at least imply he liked her even while she was together. So this would be like he’s seizing his moment and that would definitely not go over well for me. It was sort of a lose-lose situation with all the candidates here to be honest.

Well, that’s enough on the romance. Beyond that, the writing is good at least. Everyone is quite formal and all, but without much of a plot beyond the romance there isn’t a lot to it either. I mean this is a case of the romance really being just about every part of the film. I guess the only other thing to talk about here is the reputation angle. Well, this part is one Jessica shouldn’t care about.

It’s clear that the neighborhood is always grumbling and gossiping about something. So Jessica is the topic today and someone else will be the topic tomorrow. That’s the nature of gossip circles. If everyone is always willing to gossip with you, you can bet that they will be gossiping about you as well. It’s all a big circle here and that’s just the name of the game. If you’re only upset when they gossip about you then that’s not really a good look.

Besides which, if they don’t even have the decency to not gossip in front of kids then I don’t think you need to worry about their opinions. Just keep it moving and if you don’t take it personal, they’ll probably still try to keep up the appearance of being your friend at least. Man, come to think of it there really were almost no good characters in this one. Ginna and Cary were probably the only two you could even root for since they at least appeared as very decent people. Well I liked Mary as well. She may be rather extreme at times but she came through to help when it counted.

If anything Jessica kept trying to be on the opposing side so much that she would be extreme herself. At one point she’s the one pursuing Scott like when she ran to his hotel room. It was a moment of emotional outburst and this time he played hard to get but it seems like she was willing to go quite far just to spite everyone. This relationship really doesn’t seem like a positive one the more I write/think about it.

Overall, My Reputation is a film that’s built off of a n iffy premise right from the jump. Jessica is doing her best to move on from her old husband but she seems to really be rushing things. Now it’s fair to say that she could really love Scott but I think she would need to slow things down quite a lot to make sure of that and that this isn’t a passing crush. Her kids may not be ready to accept this yet but if it’s a true love then that’s fine. You just have your doubts on this throughout the movie. Since most of the movie is her trying to get together with Scott…if you don’t like either character that’s a bad sign. This is one of the weaker romances I’ve seen as of late and I’d say to skip it.

Overall 4/10

Holiday Affair Review

The Holiday Affair is a very classic Christmas kind of story. In fact, you would almost think it was a Hallmark movie if it wasn’t so old as it follows a lot of the same story beats. You have the first guy who you know is doomed from the start and then the next guy who will ultimately end up winning out. It’s good but the romance in this one is especially weak which ends up burning off a star.

The movie starts with Steve minding his own business at a department store where he works on selling trains and anything else that customers would need. Well a lady named Connie shows up to buy the train and it turns out that she is a secret shopper from the other rival stores who never had any intention of keeping it. Steve is supposed to report her but doesn’t so he is promptly fired. Connie lets him have a date as an apology (She has a boyfriend right now by the way) and so they go around town as he helps her with these deceptive tactics at every store. Once Steve has proven that he has no integrity here, the two are split up in the traffic where Connie goes home to find her son Timmy and then her boyfriend Carl shows up. Steve ends up barging in later on as he found out her address and now things are going to get complicated. Timmy much prefers Steve but Carl has been Connie’s friend for many years so she was going to reward him with a safe marriage and it would all be happy. Can she really toss this guy aside for someone she only just met a few hours ago?

Now that’s probably a particularly negative way of framing the romance but it was just really bad from start to finish. By the end of the film you’re left wondering if she even really loves either one of them. So for Carl he is the classic “Best Friend” who actually liked Connie the whole time. I mean, it seems like they knew each other for ages at least. I forget how long ago Connie’s first husband passed away but given Timmy’s age, it couldn’t have been too long. So I guess Carl was playing the long game here but it’s always a quick reason to root against him.

That said, it seems like Carl and Connie were basically together, it just wasn’t official since Connie didn’t want commitment. Usually it’s the other way around so that was a fun twist. Carl just doesn’t seem like he would work out though. A big part of this is how he doesn’t really get along with Timmy. I mean, he tries but it’s clear that Timmy isn’t on board with this arrangement and that could cause massive issues down the road.

The biggest issue here is that Connie just doesn’t seem to love Carl. There is no enthusiasm at all to when he proposes which is a huge red flag and she only starts to go through with it because she’s worried that she might like Steve. That’s an even bigger red flag. Carl could have done a better job of fighting for her but at the end of the day do you want to fight for someone if they really don’t want you? In a way Connie made her choice and at that point it was time for Carl to dash out of there.

In general Connie was way too indecisive. She was hanging out with both guys and didn’t see a problem with it. When Steve made a move on her in the kitchen, she should have thrown him out and ended things on bad terms. You really can’t let things like that slide unless he is the one. That was the moment where she just didn’t make a choice and it really hurt her character quite a bit. With her still grieving over the death of her first husband, maybe Connie shouldn’t even be looking for a rebound right now. It’s not like marriage was her idea at all, just both of the guys kept mentioning it. If she wasn’t ready then she should have just stuck to that and just raised Timmy on her own. It would probably set a better example too.

Finally, I have to knock Steve here as well. While I suppose it’s fair game to go after anyone as long as they aren’t married yet, it’s generally understood that you don’t try for someone who is already dating. They should be seen as off the market at that point as they have made their choice. It’s a lose-lose situation for you. If you are able to win them away from the person they are currently dating, what’s to stop someone else from doing the same thing once you are married? If you try but are unable to win over the girl, then you’ll just feel bad. Doesn’t matter how bad your romance radar is, if you keep falling for people who are taken you have to regroup and look for someone else. That’s the only way out of this.

Steve’s a nice guy but it does feel like he was also trying to win favor with Connie by getting Timmy a gift and always hanging around. Some instances like the courtroom were pure coincidence though so you can’t blame him there. I felt like the court officer was also needlessly antagonistic the whole time. The story wasn’t nearly as hard to swallow as the guy was making it out to be. Without a true witness either (The guy had to run on a train after accusing someone of theft….what? If he can’t stick around to identify the perp then I don’t see how you can pursue the case) they should have just let Steve go. Especially after some witnesses were there to vouch for his innocence. It’s clear that the guy just wanted to mess with the main characters.

And to be fair, they make this rather easy. As for Timmy, he is mainly here to make things tough on everyone. Trying to get the refund on the train was fine but leaving home for hours to do it was not since he made everyone worry about him a lot. He should have left a note or something. It would have meant that the heroes would find him and accompany the kid to the store but it still beats the alternative. Timmy really didn’t think this one through here. His grandparents were fun though, they don’t have much of a poker face but they are good with the reactions.

Overall, The Holiday Affair is a fun Christmas film. I liked the dynamic Steve and Connie had before they got together as he was quite the sharp seller. That said, the title is very appropriate for the film as the whole romance just feels like two different affairs. I don’t see the relationship being perfect long term and either way it just feels like a lot of rebounds here. I have to doubt Connie’s overall sincerity here and we don’t even know Steve all that well. Certainly not long enough to really know how well he’ll do in this role. This film may be older but the romance moves at quite the rapid pace and I just don’t think it works here. At least with all of the characters being so open about this, it’s nice to see Steve and Carl really get into it with passive aggressive comments. I won’t forget Steve’s speech at the dinner table anytime soon.

Overall 6/10

Move Over, Darling Review

It’s time to look at a fairly old romance comedy. This film shows why you shouldn’t be so quick to move on from your first bond. The phrase is “Til Death do us part” after all so you’d expect not to move on to someone else so easily. This is a pretty fun film, but definitely one where the guy ultimately gets off a bit easy. Fortunately we had the Judge to keep everyone on the straight and narrow.

The film starts with Nick and his wife Ellen being in a plane crash. Nick manages to survive and then meets up with a lady named Bianca. He decides to marry her, but the problem is that Ellen isn’t legally dead yet. Nick runs to court to expedite the process and once the judgment is made he quickly marries Bianca. The timing was rough though as Ellen has finally washed up ashore and it turns out that she was alive. The navy found her on a deserted island after these 5 years and she’s ready to get back to her family. Of course it turns out to be a pretty rude awakening when she finds out that Nick has re-married. She tells him to quickly end things with Bianca but he is unsure if that’s what he really wants to do.

So, they just married and are in some kind of elope phase where you can still cancel the marriage or something. That helps simplify things, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from Nick’s perspective. He does a pretty terrible job of trying to break up with Bianca. You can tell that he’s being half hearted about it, but that makes sense since he liked her enough to re-marry in the first place right? He seems to want to be able to keep his marriage to both of them, but of course that is completely out of the question. He also sets a bit of a double standard with this as he is unable to make a decision, but then gets super jealous when he finds out that Ellen was with another guy on the island. He cops out of every decision and doesn’t make a move until there is no escape at the end. Nick’s just not a great character.

Meanwhile Bianca is pretty reasonable. If anything she is the one trying to make this relationship work while Nick is running around. You’ll feel bad for her since she is pretty innocent in this whole affair. As far as she knows Ellen is dead, but the film does try to make you root against her by the end. It’s clear that she’s not an amazing person or anything like that, but at the same time she’s definitely way more sympathetic than Nick.

Meanwhile Ellen’s a solid protagonist. She does her best to force Nick into doing the right thing, but at the end of the day he still has to make the decision. She puts as much pressure as she can and the only possible “mistake” she may have made is in not mentioning Stephen. At the same time, I don’t think there was any need to tell him or at least not until this situation was over. It would have just complicated matters and you just know that he wouldn’t have taken it well at all. He never takes these things well.

Meanwhile I feel like the Stephen plot in general was completely unnecessary. I think it’s only here to do the whole “Nick wasn’t the only one keeping secrets” thing so both characters are at part to blame. This doesn’t work though because we find out that Stephen was just chasing her around the whole time while on the island. the plot doesn’t really add up though as Ellen shouldn’t be so content with Stephen in that case. Maybe things actually did happen although I don’t think it’s likely. This plot just had no place in this film and it feels really forced.

The best parts of the film are definitely when the characters head to court. The judge really steals the show here and commands a lot of respect in the court room. People definitely aren’t going to be messing with this guy. He definitely doesn’t know much about law and seems to have cheated his way to the top, but I suppose it worked out. He still comes to the right verdicts and has a sense of humor as well. I’d have been happy to have had even more court scenes. They were definitely the best part of the film and is a solid example of humor done right.

In general the writing is pretty solid in the film. I still say that Nick got off way too easy though. I was totally on Ellen’s side here and Nick really should have done a better job of not moving on from her so quickly. How I see it, 5 years is way too soon to move on to the next person if you seriously had a good marriage. If you move on sooner then how much did you really love your original partner? If it’s easy to find a replacement then that’s a serious problem. If the film was played more seriously that could have gotten dicey, but as a part comedy plot it works a lot better.

Overall, Move Over, Darling is a fun film. At the end of the day it’s definitely a quality watch and the good aspects definitely outweigh the bad. It may not have the most satisfying ending and the characters stretch out the story way more than it should have been, but the journey to the ending is fun. If you’re in the mood for a light hearted rom-com then this is the title for you. The good part about a dual genre film like this one is that even when the romance is pretty poor as we saw in this movie, the comedy can then keep it afloat. These retro films always had a really nice sense of humor so it’s usually a winning strategy. We’re nearing the end of the Doris Day marathon but it’s been a fun stretch of titles. The next one I’ll be reviewing is basically a remake of another Doris film I saw recently which is interesting.

Overall 6/10