A Movie Lover’s Favorites to help you through the Pandemic #25: That Thing You Do (1996.) This charming fable about a 1965 one hit wonder band is written, directed, and stars Tom Hanks. All the things we cherish about him are manifested in this movie. The scene in which the band first hears their song on the radio is one of the best cinematic depictions of joy you’ll ever see. When life and the Pandemic feel overwhelming, watch this movie, and your spirits will be lifted.
Remember that you’re never too old or too anything (sick, busy, etc.), to have wonderful romantic experiences. I’ve had many great romances since my divorce, and I firmly believe there are more in my future. We can find love at any age under any circumstances. If you want romance in your life, don’t give up!
A Movie Lover’s Favorites to help you through the Pandemic #23: Amazing Grace (2018.) I saw this film because I needed to get out of the house, but left the theater with my mind blown. Aretha Franklin was making a live gospel album in 1972 at a church in Watts, and the service was filmed. Watch this movie and let her talent and artistry fill your soul.
You’ll save yourself heartache and self-doubt if you remember that not every rejection is personal. I’ve met men who prefer chubby women, and others who only like very slender women. Sometimes you’re just not their type, and it has nothing to do with you.
Remember, as in the Bridges of Madison County, love can catch you unaware. Be open. I once met a man on the subway while vacationing in New York City. We loved each other, but the relationship didn’t last. He still occasionally calls and texts. Even if the relationship doesn’t endure, the good feelings may remain for the rest of your life.
On August 17, 2020, Readers’s Favorites gave my book, A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance, this great review.
Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite
A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance by Joanna J. Charnas is the non-fiction memoir of the author’s post-divorce dating life in her 40s and 50s. Charnas brings the reader into a thoroughly documented and thoughtful field as she finds herself determined to make a match. In what started as a series of crushes deemed unattainable, Charnas begins to take the quest seriously to put singlehood to bed—both literally and figuratively speaking. Each chapter delves into an experience with a new man, some budding into actual relationships and others that are DOA. Through it all, Charnas keeps an open mind and an open heart, accepting dates with men who she might not have previously considered a suitable match, but allowing herself the opportunity to embrace the encounters as she pins the episodes to themes from her favorite movies.
A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance is likely one of the most honest dating memoirs I’ve read. Joanna J. Charnas holds nothing back in detailing her state of mind, highs and lows, and brushes with men who were seemingly Mr. Right in addition to the Mr. Right Nows and Mr. No Mores. Adding her love of cinema and attaching this to men and scenarios, including input from some of the dates themselves, imparts a bit of levity to situations that a less tolerant writer might not have been able to concede. My favorite chapter is Kiss of Death, where Charnas dishes on men saying they want one thing when in fact they really want another, and the exact moment she knows the prospect is kiboshed. These are almost universal situations that virtually any person who has dated will be able to relate to. It’s rare to find a book on dating life where the author continues to engage as she snuggles up to age sixty. Charnas is a delight to read and her optimism and experiences are nothing short of extraordinary.
A Movie Lover’s Favorites to help you through the Pandemic #21: The Verdict (1982.) If you want to see old time movie star power, watch this film. Paul Newman gives a beautifully nuanced performance of a flawed, complex man. You’ll find yourself rooting for him every minute of this redemption tale. The movie was directed by the master story teller, Sidney Lumet.
A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the Pandemic #20: Shakespeare in Love (1998.) This film is total perfection, filled with wonderful performances and a superlative script by the great playwright, Tom Stoppard. If you’re experiencing the quarantining blues, rent this movie and for a couple of hours escape into its delights.
A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the Pandemic #19: Cabaret (1972). This film is social commentary in the guise of a musical. The performances by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey are spectacular and the directing by Bob Fosse is genius. Ms. Minnelli had already won a Tony Award and been nominated for an Oscar by the time she made Cabaret, but this film turned her into a superstar. If you want to hear great music, be entertained, all while revisiting an important history lesson watch this movie.