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New on Netflix 2022 reveiw

Disclaimer: These are a few opinions from a very avid Netflix watcher. I'm not a professional, just opinionated. (Possible spoilers below. Read at own risk.)

February 8, 2022

 

 

Press released promotional image for season 2 of Emily in Paris

EMILY IN PARIS

Overview: A young woman named Emily, originally living in Chicago, gets unexpectedly transferred to the Paris branch of her work. She doesn’t know the language or the culture and eventually falls into a whirlwind of work fiascos, drama, and discovery of the French word for  “homewrecker.”. In way over her head, Emily must use her charm and wit to win over her French co-workers before they boot her back to the states. 

Background: Conceptually, Emily in Paris was thought to be the newest “Sex in the City.” With big expectations to live up to, however, the backlash is not uncommon. A lot of negative criticism for the show started in France where many people disagreed with director Darren Star’s choice of casting Lily Collins as Emily. 

Collins responded to the backlash saying “As disheartening as it sometimes is to read these things, it’s also a gift; you’re being allowed to improve

Her male co-star Lucas Bravo, a French actor, followed up with, “We’re portraying cliches and we’re portraying one single vision of Paris.” He stated that it was impossible in a lifetime to nail down Paris and portray her unmatched beauty on the cinematic screens. 

Starr commented that the cliches are meant to help generate a shift in Emily’s perspective of Paris. “The first thing she is seeing is the clichés because it’s from her point of view [at the start],”  Starr said. “[I am not sorry] for portraying Paris through a glamorous lens.”

Rating: 4/10  Emily in Paris loses points for being repetitive. There is little to no improvement in Emily’s character. She portrays Americans as ditzy, abrasive, and naive, and the experiences of her character, between meeting guys on trips and getting by only speaking English,  set an unrealistic expectation of Paris. Emily in Paris portrays France in a very idealistic way that seems to cater to a language barrier and an obnoxious tourist much more than one might see in reality. Throughout the show, Emily is constantly meeting exceptionally good-looking, polite, and respectful French men, something that likely wouldn’t happen to the average tourist. The show romanticizes the idea of meeting strangers in foreign countries, when really it’s a huge safety risk for many women, especially with a language barrier. 

Costumes: The costumes are highly impractical for daily wear. Emily is often depicted in ridiculously tall heels to boost her 5’5 frame, short skirts, and crop tops. Even with the show’s lack of seasons, it’s still unimaginable that someone would wear such frivolous, unprofessional attire for a workplace that was already judging her every move. Emily is dressed in bare clothing that plays up her beauty, focusing on her looks rather than any other aspect of her character. I believe the intention of her costumes was a poorly executed attempt at a girly feminist, and it instead painted her as a damsel that French guys could swoop in and save. Following Parisian stereotypes, most of her colleagues are dressed in chic and simple clothing, serving an elite eloquence which is contrasted with her loud, chaotic, and almost childish clothing. It clearly shows how she stands out and takes pride in her loud, boisterous American ways. She is a perfect example of a disrespectful tourist, who makes little effort to immerse themselves in the foreign culture. This representation of the American tourist is a small dig on how the rest of the world views tourists from the States. 

Plot: 4/10 If you squint, tilt your head and jump on one foot, you can see a half thought of a small plot about a “quirky” American girl being immersed in French couture and finding her way in this new big world. In my opinion, this show lacks a definite structured plot and mainly revolves around Lily Collins’ character. Emily is often naive when it comes to the French workplace, promising too much and being unable to deliver. The episodes end with a “new friend,” typically a handsome Frenchman, swooping in and solving her problem, while she gets praised for her quick thinking. In reality, it’s all her more talented friends helping her along and allowing her to steal the credit. By the end of season two, fans were thoroughly disappointed that Emily made little to no character development, still falling into her own habits of depending on her friends to fix her problems. The show slowly became a repetitive time loop of a pretty girl struggling to solve her “first world” problems. That being said, it’s still an enjoyable show with many elaborate settings. Don’t watch this show with the intent to watch something with a quality plot, writing, and logic, but it’s an enjoyable whirlwind of colorful outfits and silly problems.

Overall: Emily in Paris is a light, bubbly show to watch to escape out of reality into a stunning, sexy city, living out a secret desire for French drama, through the eyes of a girl named Emily. 

 

DON’T LOOK UP

Don’t Look Up promotional image

Overview: Don’t Look Up is a spoofy satire about two scientists, Kate and Randall (played by Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo Dicaprio) who discover a “planet-killing” meteor heading straight to Earth. Kate and Randall insist the meteor will strike in 6 months, but they are blatantly ignored by Meryl Streep’s character, Madam President. It’s an oddly political and relevant satire about climate change, overall scientific denial, and how unwilling the government has been to help if it’s not going to make them look like heroes. Between affairs, political scandals, religious hillbilly played by Timothee Chalamet, and a whole lot of random cursing, this movie effortlessly delivers in all regards for an enjoyable watch.  

Meaning: This could take a while. In my opinion, jam-packed, small references to what is being made fun of make a good spoof. In this case, it’s our government and the state of America in 2020. In 2020, the relationship between the government and people was less than friendly, a very love-hate relationship. This is reflected in Adam Mckay’s ¨Don’t Look Up¨ between comet-believers who follow science and those who look at the meteor as a hoax (sound familiar?) and believe they will profit from it, exactly as Madam President has told them. There are many obvious nods that would imply that Madam President is based on our former president, Donald Trump. It was no secret that at the beginning of COVID, the government was less than willing to embrace the truth of the fact that the world is now in a pandemic and instead spent the beginning of the pandemic in denial. Much of the office and former president Trump spent time convincing millions COVID was not a big deal, mirroring the government’s response to the meteor in this movie. 

Plot: The movie opens up on a relaxed scene of a quirky scientist rapping along to ¨Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit,¨an almost stereotypical sleepy morning scene. A sense of a quiet science department that doesn’t get planet-dooming news arrives on screen. The movie hightails it from there, as Randell and Kate are flown to the capital where they wait all night for the president. Anticipation builds as well as the audience’s urge to hear Randell and Kate’s news. The tension is cut abruptly as Madam President ignores their information to benefit her own political agenda. This leads to the conflict of the rest of the film; being heard. Tides turn for what seems like the better when the president agrees to help them. Hope is rekindled and Randell is completely drawn into the capital’s agendas, becoming their spokesperson and the main piece of their propaganda. He fits the media’s style of keeping hard news “light and fun.” Kate is harder to manipulate with her headstrong bluntness and emotional persona that leads to frequent breakdowns, a very realistic reaction to discovering doomsday news and being ignored. She becomes too vocal against the government, even causing a riot, so she is removed and goes back to her hometown where she falls into a doomed love story with Chalemet’s character, Yule. He is a man of little words, yet he defies stereotypes as an oddly poetic soul. 

I won’t give away the ending, but we are presented with a cozy dinner, some of our new favorite characters, and a heartwarming conversation about a trivial debate over  “store-bought vs home-baked apple pie.” It’s a simple use of juxtaposition to the chaos around them, but a lovely one nonetheless.

Costumes: Susan Matheson, costume director for “Don’t Look Up,” portrayed 2020’s archetypes perfectly. Randell Mindy represents the older half of our nation, the ones who grew up without technology. Not growing up surrounded by tech made you easy prey to all the online “media wars of 2020.” He is shown fighting with a non-believer online, taking his insult of “crackpot” personally and violating the first rule of the internet: don’t read the comments) He and his costumes represent a quieter, less aggressive generation that was entirely unprepared for the world’s media takeover and how intertwined it has become with politics. He wears muted colored suits with button-ups and relatively bland colors. The simple earth tones mirror his reserved persona. He becomes easy prey for Madam President, and she turns him into her personal puppet to gain the favor of a demographic to which she doesn’t appeal.  Conversely, Kate is a summed up version of Generation Z. With her choppy, likely done in her bathroom at 2 am haircut, and the obvious look of “I don’t care what the world thinks of me,” she represents a huge demographic of people who want to live their lives uninvolved in political movements. Her look presents a  nonconformist to political stereotypes and agendas. Kate has her priorities and none of them involve government or a basic look. Madam President and people of the White House fit a much more simple stereotype of your basic politician. Their outfits are loud, bold, and consist of 4 colors; red, white, blue, and black. All of their outfits are full or crisp lines, statement pantsuits with a lot of solid colors, and classic de-aging makeup. Overall, these looks are basic to the point that you have to like them. 

Rating: I give this movie an 8/10. I love the actors and I love the message. 2020 was a hard year and I constantly felt like the government had a secret agenda in which I was an unwilling participant. This movie gave me validation in the fact that I wasn’t the only one who shared similar beliefs. Adam Mckay’s movie is supposed to start a fire in you. It’s supposed to wake you up, scare you, and shake you till you can finally see how being oblivious will lead to utter destruction. You can interpret this movie in tons of different ways: a joke with a twisted punchline, a blatant warning call for the future, or a spoof on 2020 for example. Any way you see it, there is one guaranteed warning. If we don’t act now it will be too late. Climate change is real and it’s coming. Are we ready? 

 

After We Fell promotional image.

AFTER WE FELL

 Overall: Where to begin? Shall I start with the choppy plot that looks like fate was drunk and decided to play a game of matchmaker? Maybe I could discuss the “heavy breathing” mediocre sex scenes that leave you feeling uncomfortable and regretting the life choices that led you to the low point of viewing this movie alone at 1 am? Or maybe I’ll just simply mention the facial expressions themselves, forever sporting the “You hurt me! I can’t believe you! Let’s have make up sex!” vibe.

Plot: After we fell is a pathetic excuse for a film. It’s a weak combination of Tik Tok level acting with too much plot for one badly executed movie. Tessa, our leading lady, is offered her dream job at a publishing firm in Seattle and is trying to convince her ¨bad boy¨ boyfriend, Hardin Scott, to move in with her. Even though this should be an easy decision, it never is with Wattpad stories-turned-movies. He wants her to move with him to London. The whole movie revolves around this toxic couple’s decision on whether or not they should invest in the future together or accept that they only worked in college. I won’t say anything about the ending, except that you will be disappointed and regret your movie choice. I sure did. 

Costumes: The costumes in the movie are arguably one of the worst aspects. They tried too hard. Hardin is a cut-out bad boy with a heart of gold and is portrayed in black, the coined color of any person up to no good. Tessa on the other hand is portrayed in soft light colors that scream innocence and angelic pureness. This oxymoron of a couple is dressed in a very complementary fashion, the last attempt for the audience to buy into the nonexistent romance between this very toxic couple.

Background: Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin have found their biggest roles in the After movie series, and it shows. The kindest way to describe their acting is over-exaggerated. A lot of the facial expressions seem to be dramatic, prolonged stares that fail to convey the subtle hidden meanings that they may have been attempting to show. The first movie was a hit because of two simple reasons. Number one: there are a lot of 11-15-year-old girls in the world who read the After fanfic (originally One Direction based) between a girl and her bad-boy boyfriend, Harry Styles. Reason two: Josephine and Hero are two conventionally attractive people that have above-average chemistry that is decently enjoyable to watch on the screens. These two reasons carried the first movie but soon declined by “After We Collided.” The movie series became a joke among the fans and turned from a steamy romance “Wattpad come to life,” into a “God, remember when we were into that?”  I can’t write more on this movie without using the phrase“I hate this,”  which is not really a respectable statement. With that being said, my parting words of advice: this is not a binge-able movie trilogy, and you will tap out around 30 minutes guaranteed. Good Luck!

THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW

Promotional image for The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window

Overall: Chills. The “Women in the House Across from the Girl in the Window,” “understood the assignment” for dark comedy. It’s a blatant parody of many books of the same niche genre such as The Girl on the Train and the Women in the Window. The main character and excessive drunk, Anna, is frequently posed reading famous books of this genre to try and distract herself from spying on the new neighbors. The neighbors are a daughter and father. Exactly what he lost. 3 years agoAnna’s daughter died and her husband soon left her. She lives more in the past than the present and is at a complete standstill unable to proceed to the future. 

Plot: The storyline follows the classic “crazy lady” thriller. A woman believes she witnesses a murder, the police don’t believe her claim, and she starts to doubt her own sanity. This series is no exception. Anna’s sanity slowly deteriorates from extreme “wineaholic” to crazy neighbor who screams bloody murder for no apparent reason. She plummets into a state of confusion where her visions start to seem more real than reality. The series’ plot is a typical murder mystery where the police’s main suspect tries to find the actual suspect to prove their innocence. In this case, the lines become innocent and guilty blurs. Anna can’t remember a lot, but what she does, doesn’t align with anyone else’s accounts. Anna humorously struggles with a fear of rain, (ombrophobia) which is a not-so-subtle parody on “The Women in the Window” who suffers from agoraphobia (a fear of leaving one’s house). Both leading ladies have phobias that are cribbing to their lives and present a relatable comedy of obsessive stalking on Instagram.  “Women in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window” is an accessible dark comedy that is funny, slightly scary and a must-see on Netflix. In relation to the fear factor and Halloween level gore, my personal recommendation is viewers be 13  or older to watch. 

Costumes: I think I would describe Anna’sstyle as excessive. She’s constantly dressed in tan and over-the-top dull colors. She is painted as someone who is unavailable. The tan sets such a depressive tone, and she looks like someone you would never see in a crowd. Anna’s clothes give the impression she wants to disappear, which would be understandable knowing the trauma she’s been through. Another aspect that her outfits convey is innocence. She is dressed in sweaters with modest cuts and an oversize fit. There is no white or slinky cut insight. She is the epitome of a quiet innocence which is a stark contrast to her actions. The juxtaposition of blood on cable-knit sweaters is such a fun contrast and adds to the thriller of never fully knowing what Anna is capable of. 

Rating: In my first viewing of this show, I felt all the emotions. I was scared, I was confused, I felt her panic and I felt her self-doubt. I was crying multiple times while goosebumps ran up and down my back. On my second viewing, I saw the parody. I saw the humor. I saw the grave’s dramatic changes to different, even more morbidly sweet, sayings. I found humor in the extremities of this series. I really enjoyed the multiple layers this series delivered. It’s a mystery-thriller that manages to touch on mental health, while still calling itself a comedy. It’s really effortlessly executed, but I’d expect nothing less from Kristen Bell. She plays out Anna’s internal wars and her fear of herself perfectly.  I rate this series a solid 7/10. It’s well done and an easily rewatchable series. 

 

 

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