“Sleepless in Seattle” VS. “You’ve Got Mail”

Here’s a comparison of movies that no one asked for!

So for Media, we’re doing reports on different directors and their directing styles. I am doing my report on Nora Ephron, the director and writer for the films “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless In Seattle”. The reason I want to compare these two films is because they’re starring the same actors, they have similar settings, they’re the same genre, and I watched them both on the same day.

Obviously, there are a lot of similarities between the two, but my thoughts on them are veeeeery different. 


You’ve Got Mail

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

So “You’ve Got Mail” follows the story of two competing booksellers as they fall in love. Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), the owner of a corporate chain bookstore, and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), the owner of a small, children’s oriented bookshop. The two met in a chatroom online and know nothing about each other, but have become good friends over email nonetheless. When the two meet in person, as Joe’s corporate store encroaches on Kathleen’s small shop, they are not very fond of one another at all.

Over the course of the film, Joe realizes that Kathleen is the person online that he’s been talking with online… only after he’s realized that he’s in love with her.  I don’t want to say anymore because this is an amazing movie and you should go watch it right now (it’s on Hulu!).

I just watched this movie for the first time on the 23rd and I already love it. I am not much of a romcom person, but this one ticks all my boxes. If you enjoy a good Enemies To Lovers story, then this one is a good one for you!

The only thing I dislike about this movie is the fact that (MAJOR SPOILERS UNTIL THE END OF THIS PARAGRAPH) Joe’s superstore eventually puts Kathleen’s shop out of business, as well as puts her and all of her employees out of a job. This happens AFTER Joe figures out that Kathleen is the person he’s been talking to online and after he admits to himself that he loves her. He then proceeds to befriend her as hisself and apologize to her. Only after a period of time has past and the two become friends in real life does Joe reveal himself to Kathleen has her internet penpal. She is shocked and confused at first, but ultimately goes with it and the two live happily ever after. I don’t really know how to feel about this ending. If it were me, I think I would be upset with Joe for not telling me that he was my internet penpal sooner… also I don’t think I would forgive him for putting me out of a job. But whatever I guess. I mean, I can respect that Joe tried to make it up to her by becoming her friend first before confessing to her… I guess it was kinda sweet. 

Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed this movie! Like I said, if you’re in the market for an Enemies to Lovers romcom, then “You’ve Got Mail” is for you!

I give it 4 stars out fo 5!

sleepless in seattle

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

I’m just going to come right out and say it. I don’t get the hype around this movie. Especially after watching it directly after “You’ve Got Mail”, it just doesn’t do it for me.

The film follows Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a reporter in Baltimore, as she tracks down and falls in love with a man that she’s only heard the voice of. The man, Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks), was focused onto a radio talkshow after the death of his wife because his son thought that it was time for him to find love again. Annie hears Sam’s appearance on this show and decides t do a story about him. Even though they have never spoken or seen one another, Annie feels a connection between them and writes to Sam, asking him to meet her at the top of the Empire State building on Valentines Day.

OH YEAH, I forgot to mention that while she does this, she is engaged to another man. (BIG SPOILERS AHEAD, UNTIL THE END OF THE PARAGRAPH) She literally leaves a dinner date with her fiancé to go to the Empire State building to meet Sam. The only reason Sam is at the Empire State building is because it was his son that got the letter from Annie to meet there and he ran away from home (their home in Seattle!) to do so. So Sam isn’t even there to meet Annie when he gets there, but they meet anyway and fall in love and live happily ever after. Woo.

This movie follows the “love at first sight” trope perfectly… and I hate it. The two leads are only on screen together for less than 10% of the movie, and they only truly meet in the last 5 minutes of the film. Annie goes through unsettling lengths to track down Sam once she hears him on the radio, including hiring a detective to stalk him. And she does all this while engaged to another man.

I really do like Sam. He’s just a grieving father looking for love. But I really can’t stand “love at first sight”. A lot of reviews online say that you can feel the character’s love for one another throughout the movie, even though they never meet and aren’t on screen together, but I just don’t get it. The ending just doesn’t feel earned or as romantic as it’s trying to be.

I give the movie a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Just watch “You’ve Got Mail”.

On paper, these two movies can seem very similar. “Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in a romcom and takes place in New York” could describe either of these movies. But the two are very different from one another. I thought for sure that I would get them confused after watching them back to back, but I have so far managed to keep them separate.

Obviously my personally favorite out fo the two is “You’ve Got Mail”. It’s not a perfect movie,  and comes with it’s own set of issues, but I much prefer it to “Sleepless In Seattle”. It’s on Hulu if you’re interested in watching it.

If you’ve made it this far, I hope you enjoyed reading all this! Also if you like either of these movies, go watch “Julie & Julia” on Netflix! It’s another Nora Ephron film and I’ve already written a blog about how good it is. 

Who knows, as I continue my Director’s Report, I may written another blog on a Nora Ephron film. Guess we’ll find out.

an unorthodox healing

This past weekend, I attended prom at my old school.

Before MSA, I had attended this school from Pre-K3 to 10th grade. Because of this, I had been hesitant to come to MSA. My old school had been all I’d ever known, so the idea of switching schools FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER was very scary to me. 

This weekend, when I revisited this school and the people there, for the first time in almost two years, I was hit with a kind of unsurprising revelation.

I have changed.

Of course, I am aware that I have changed within the past two years here at MSA. I made a blog at the beginning of this year recounting how I thought quarantine and COVID as a whole had affected me as a person, so obviously I am more than aware that I have changed!

But I don’t think I was aware of exactly how much.

When I was at their prom and talking to them and being there… I didn’t know how to act. I still have good friends there, so I wasn’t alone. The music and food was good, so I was having an okay time hanging out there… but it still put me in a weird place. The energy there had always been draining to me. The student there rarely got disciplined well, so bullies ran rampant throughout the dance. I felt like everyone there kept giving me side glances for wearing a mask, even though they weren’t a requirement. As I spent more and more time there, I couldn’t figure out how I had ever spent 10+ years in school there, when just the prom was almost unbearable just by itself.

I’m not going to too terribly bash my old school or anyone there, because I still have friends there that are enjoying there time there, and I’m happy for them! But it just never really worked for me personally. The school didn’t offer any sort of artist classes or activities for creative minds. And to be someplace all day everyday for years that doesn’t aline with your personal needs and interests is juts very draining. The energy there is just so off-putting for me and I don’t exactly have the fondest memories there, so I ended up leaving their prom worrying why I thought it would be a good idea to be there in the first place.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really couldn’t visualize myself there anymore. I couldn’t put myself back in the place that I had been in for some many years. I felt like a stranger there, I felt like a stranger to myself. I am no longer in touch with the person I was two years ago. Maybe I am not completely different, but I have become completely realized in a way that I previously never thought possible.

MSA has played a pivotal role in me coming to fully realize myself. It has provided me with a space to grow and see exactly what I am capable of. I don’t miss my old school and I refuse to live in the past, but I will never hate the person I was. She did the best that she could in her situation and she ultimately got me to where I am today. I am just her, but improved.

I guess what I am trying to say is that this weekend was a weirdly healing experience for me. I was back in a place where I had not very happy for a long amount of time and it made me realize just how happy and more sure of myself I am now. It is the first example in my life experience where my quality of life has gone up significantly because of a big chance I decided to take. Next year, I will be going to college in New Orleans, so this makes me hopefully that this new, big change I am making will bring me even more happiness. Maybe one day I will look back on my time at MSA and think that even though I was happy then, I am even better off now.

I have no idea if this blog makes any sense, but I just felt the need to write all my feelings out 😛


I am feeling a little burnt out this week, so just for fun, I decided to rank some random things that I enjoy!

Of course all of these tier lists are simply my opinion! However, if you disagree with any of my rankings, feel free to leave a comment so that I can tell you how you’re wrong 😀


So for Christmas, I got a Nintendo Switch and have been avidly playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons ever since. I have not played the game for an entire year yet, which means that I haven’t gotten the chance to experience some characters yet. But I think I have enough of an idea of the characters I do know in order to fairly rank them.

At the bottom, we have the “RAAAGE” category. It can only be explained as the characters that make me really upset, sometimes for valid reasons and sometimes for no reason at all. I feel the need to explain that I dislike the turnip seller character because she NEVER shows up to my island, and I dislike Timmy and Tommy simply because they follow me around their store whenever I’m in there and I hate it. The next category is “WHO????”, which are just the characters I have no personally encountered in the game. Next is “they’re there ig”, which is for the characters I have little to no feelings towards whatsoever. The “friend” category includes all of the characters that I deeply enjoy seeing in my game everyday. And last but not least is the “beautiful bb” category, which is my top three favorite ACNH characters. It includes Pascal, the otter that gives you mermaid themed recipes in exchange for scallops, Flick, a bug enthusiast who buys all of my bugs and gives me lots of money, and Sable, the shy Able sister that deserves all of the love in the world.


This ranking is pretty self-explanatory. Of course, this ranking is just my opinion, but it is just pretty much fact that Ratatouille and The Incredibles are the best Pixar movies… and everything in the D and E tiers are just okay. I don’t think anyone will really disagree with this ranking, but I do have some other (more complicated) feelings about Pixar movies that I may explore later, in another blog.


This tier list included every single character from the series ATLA and LOK. And when I say EVERY, I mean every single character that was ever named or spoke a line was listed. So obviously this list does in include everyone, because  that would have been a very long list.

Of course at the bottom we have Mako. Above him are the “ANNOYING” and “VILLIANS” categories. I don’t particularly dislike any of these characters, they’re just the characters I dislike more compared to all the other characters. Next is “cute animal sidekick”, because they deserve a place on this list as much as any other characters. The “they only had like two lines but loved them??” category includes every character I barely remember the name of but remembered loving for the entirety of their two minutes of screen time each. “DADS” include all of the Dads, and the Dads-adjacent. The “perfect side characters” do not have to be explained. These six characters, aside from Cabbage Man, should get more love because they clearly deserve it. “WOMEN” is also self-explanatory. “PERFECT” includes the four most perfect characters in the entire Avatar universe.

And last but not least, “COULD DESTROY THE WORLD AND I WOULD THANK THEM”. These eight characters are more than capable of destroying the entire world and if they ever did, I would personally thank them. Enough said.

Alright, that’s all. Thanks for reading!

Marriage Story: Uncomfortably Real

I didn’t mean for it to be, but I think that this blog is the finale of a series.

In October I wrote about one of my favorite movies (technically a limited series) of all time, “Over The Garden Wall”. I had begun writing this piece as a blog post but decided to write it as a RISE article instead. It was the first time I had actually done the research and put a lot of effort into writing about a movie and I was surprised that I really enjoyed it! Here’s the link to that RISE article: Over The Garden Wall: A Spooky Must Watch

This past month, I’ve begun writing about my other favorite movies. This has included my last two blogs about the films “Julie & Julia” and “Little Miss Sunshine”. In my opinion, these three pieces are probably my favorite articles/blogs that I’ve ever done!

Now, there is only one left.

“Marriage Story” is the only one of my favorite movies that I have yet to write about. I watched it for the first time on December 16th, 2019, just a month after it was first released on Netflix. I was told that it was sad and that I had to watch it.

Out of my four favorite films, this one stands out the most. Like, it itself isn’t particularly odd, but the reason as to why it’s my favorite is different compared to the others. 

With the other three films, I love everything about them. I love their worlds, characters, and distinct aesthetics. I love how they make me feel when I watch them. They check all my boxes!

And I’m not saying that “Marriage Story” doesn’t, those just aren’t the same reasons why I like it.

But before I get into why I like it, let me tell you a little bit about it!


More like divorce story

Just in case you didn’t know, the main characters are getting a divorce.

Charlie, a New York theatre stage director, and Nicole, a talented actress from California, are struggling through a divorce. The movie follows them throughout this process, with one of the main conflicts being who will get custody of their son.

At times, the movie is not easy to watch. It is most definitely not a “date night” movie… or a good movie for anyone in a new relationship for that matter. It shows the uncomfortably intimate and vulnerable sides of both of the main characters. And it never takes sides. Neither Charlie nor Nicole are the better choice for custody, neither are completely right or wrong in their reasonings for their divorce.

This is very offputting to some people who may just watch movies simply as a form of entertainment (which is completely valid). An example is my mom, who has said that she won’t watch this movie because it “seems too real”… and it probably is. It will undoubtedly make you question your own relationship if you’re in one. And if you aren’t currently in a romantic relationship, then it may make you reexamine what you actually want out of a partner.

Yes It is very Sad, but I love it

I said early that I didn’t enjoy “Marriage Story” for the same reasons that I enjoyed my other favorite movies.

This is because “Marriage Story” is so uncomfortably realistic. Every time I watch it, I just sit there in awe over the fact that someone was able to tell this story so well. 

Noah Baumbach based “Marriage Story” on his own experience and you can tell! There are some things that are so specific to this experience that couldn’t have possibly come from someone who hadn’t lived it.

I also love that he presents the characters as equals. Neither is completely wrong or right in their divorce and neither is made the villain/hero, they’re just two people who care about each other trying to work through a major life change. When research specifically the editing of this film, I came across an interview where the editor, Jennifer Lame, said that she and Baumbach cut many parts of the film that they liked simply to give Nicole and Charlie equal screentime. And that is just amazing to me.

This is the type of art I want to create. I am so insanely jealous of Noah Baumbach and his ability to capture this story the way that he did. Just the way he took his own life experiences and made them into this… that fact is just infinitely inspiring to me. I desperately want to be able to do this with my own art. This is what I want to create. I want it to be real and raw and beautiful and everything this movie is. And that’s probably why I’m a little obsessed with it.

And of course, it is very pretty

I feel like this is a mandatory part of these blogs now, but please enjoy these aesthetically pleasing stills from the film!

I didn’t know where else to fit this in, but please go watch Adam Driver sing! This is a scene of the movie that takes place need the end, but it contains no spoilers for the plot, so it’s okay to watch! It makes me cry every time.

In Conclusion, you should watch it

I think I mentioned this early in the blog, but the film is available to stream on Netflix. If you’re ever feeling up to watch a relationship fall apart (which probably is not often), then you should definitely check it out!

As for this being the last installment in my four-part-favorite-movie pieces, I do not think that this will be the last time I write about movies. I have already written about “happiest season” on both this blog and RISE, which was a movie that I HIGHLY disliked, so maybe I write more about movies I don’t like as much. Or maybe I’ll write about tv shows? Who knows!

If reading any part of these blogs has brought you any kind of enjoyment, then that’s awesome! And if no one has read them at all, then I’m at least happy that I got some enjoyment out of writing them. That’s all that really matters.

Little Miss Sunshine: It Will Make You Feel Every Emotion

I was told that I would love this movie.

In April of 2020, I receive it as a birthday gift on DVD. It was around the time that the idea of a prolonged quarantine was just setting in. I put the DVD into my computer and watched it for the first time on April 14th, 2020. And I do not think I can put into words how much I adore this movie! Like the title of this blog says, it made me feel EVERY EMOTION. So this week, I would love to tell you about one of my all-time favorite movies “Little Miss Sunshine”.

**content warning: mentions of drug use and attempted suicide**


The Plot

The Hoover family — consisting of a father, a mother, a daughter, a son, the mother’s brother, and the father’s father– pile into a bright yellow van and head to California to watch the daughter compete in the Little Miss Sunshine Contest. 

It is by far the best road trip movie I have ever seen. While on the way to California, the family faces many issues, such as their bus breaking down and other things I can’t tell you because of spoilers. I think the movie does a great job of balancing its time between all six main characters, giving each of them their own issues to deal with and time to work through them.

The Characters

I really do believe that each character has the potential to be someone’s favorite character. They’re each so different and are given their own set of problems to work through throughout the film. I can almost guarantee you that you’ll find at least one of them relatable, if not all of them.

Sheryl Hoover: The Mother

Sheryl (played by Toni Collette) is an overworked mother who just wants the best for her family. With her husband being focused on his job, she is left to take care of their two children, her brother, and her father-in-law.

Richard Hoover: The Father

Richard (played by Greg Kinnear) is trying desperately to build a career as a motivational speaker and life coach. This goal often comes before this family’s needs.

Frank Ginsberg: The Uncle

Frank (played by Steve Carrell), after an attempt at suicide, has been sent to stay with his sister and her family.

Edwin Hoover: The Grandfather

After getting evicted from a retirement home for snorting heroin, Edwin has been sent to live with his son’s family.

Dwayne Hoover: The Son

Dwayne is Sheryl’s son from a previous marriage. He has taken a vow of silence until he can accomplish his dream of becoming a fighter pilot.

Olive Hoover: The Daughter

Olive aspires to be a beauty queen and earns a spot to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.

Family and Love

I don’t know about you, but I love a good story about love.

I can’t say too much without spoiling the whole movie, but almost every character starts the movie feeling alone. Richard is struggling with his career, Sheryl is struggling to keep her family together, Frank has lost his job and was rejected by the man he loved, and Dwayne feels like no one understands him (Olive is pretty much just there to give the family a common goal and to be cute. The grandpa is just funny and snorts coke).

By the end of the film, the sense of unity between the family is incredibly heartwarming. You know that this experience has brought them closer together and that they know they have each other’s backs.

And this all comes through in the movie’s amazing climax! It is honestly the funniest and best thing I have ever seen, and I know that’s saying a lot! But it’s true! And I can’t tell you any more without spoiling it, but just know that it will be one of the most satisfying movie endings that you will ever witness.

All the feelings

I just spent the last section talking about how satisfying the film’s ending is, but happiness is far from the only emotion you will feel watching this.

At several points in the movie, I cried. The performances are amazing and the characters are so well written that you can’t help but fall in love with them. So when anything bad happens to them (which is often), you can’t help but feel for them. You just want them to reach their goal and it is such a fun, emotional ride there.

This is definitely one of those stories where the journey matters more than the destination.

it’s so pretty

Once again, I will be providing you with several stills for the movie to enjoy. This film in particular has a very muted, yellowish palette, which I enjoy a lot.

In conclusion, you should watch it

I hope that some part of this blog made you want to give this film a chance. It is available to stream on Starz and to rent/buy on YouTube and Amazon! I understand that the sometimes dark humor of this film may not be everyone’s thing, but I am certain that everyone who watches it will get something out of it!

Julie and Julia: The Most Comfortable Comfort Movie

Comfort movies come in all shapes and sizes. They can be anything from award-winning films to straight to DVD Barbie movies from the early 2000s. They’re any movie that can provide someone with some sort of comfort and warmth if they need it. Any film has the potential to be someone’s comfort movie.

So with that in mind, I am more than prepared to make the case that “Julie & Julia” is the most comfortable comfort movie of all time.

*no spoilers below*

*well, it was based on a true story, so if you don’t want any spoilers, then skip the part where I talk about that*

Based on Two True Stories

“Julie & Julia” is based on the true stories of Julie Powell, an author and blogger, and Julia Child, an American cooking icon. The movie follows both of their stories, flipping back and forth from Child’s life in the 1950s to Powell’s life in the 2000s. Child is bored at her home in Paris and decides to write a cookbook to pass the time. Powell is unhappy with her life in Queens and decides to prepare each recipe from Child’s cookbook and blog about it to give herself something to look forward to. Both women’s projects evolve into something bigger than they could ever imagine.

The movie is inspired by Julia Child’s book My Life in France and Julie Powell’s blog The Julie/Julia Project, as well as her book Julie & Julia.

Julia Child was an American cook and television personality. She was born in 1912 to a family who had a private chef and did not become interested in food until she met her husband, which wasn’t until the 1940s. She worked as a top secret researcher for the OSS during World War II. She was stationed in China, where she met her husband Paul Child, another OSS employee. Paul introduced her to fine cuisine and after the war, the couple was relocated to Paris. This is where the movie picks of Child’s story. After publishing her first cookbook, she would go onto win an Emmy for her cooking show “The French Chef” (1963-1973), be awarded the medal of freedom in 2003, and be credited with bringing French cuisine to the American public.

Julie Powell was working for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation during the aftermath of 9/11 when she began to blog The Julie/Julia Project. The blog followed her life and experiences as she cooked her way through Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking in just one year. She later signed a deal with Little, Brown, and Co. to write Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, later renamed Julie & Julia.

During the run of Powell’s blog and then her book, Child was asked to comment on it. She simply said, “I don’t think she’s a serious cook” and did not want to endorse it, as she felt that Powell was cooking for the sake of a stunt. 

Child died on August 13th, 2004. She and Powell never met.

It’s all about women

Meryl Streep and Amy Adams give amazing performances as Julia Child and Julie Powell. I mean Streep portrays a woman who was already a larger-than-life character on her own, but she also makes Child relatable and funny and it is an absolute joy to watch. Adams also gives a very entertains performance portraying just a normal person, which you think would be a little boring to watch but somehow it isn’t!

The premise of this movie sounds boring on paper (two women cook and then write books), but the way the characters are written and performed is surprisingly entertaining and incredibly relatable. It is unfortunately rare to find a female-driven movie that also has likable, well-rounded female leads.

You just can’t help but get invested in Julia and Julie’s stories as you watch them struggle to pursue their passions!

The Relationships

I, for one, am not used to men being so openly supportive of their wives. Child is bored of being a housewife and wants to pursue cooking as a serious career. And her husband, Paul Child (portrayed by Stanley Tucci), is unbelievably supportive of her. The portrayal of their relationship in the film is heartwarmingly healthy, especially for a couple of the 50s.

Without spoiling anything, Powell’s husband Eric (portrayed by Chris Messina), is not as supportive as Paul in my opinion. While he is still supportive for most of the film, he also tends to just rub me the wrong way. While I do not enjoy Eric and Julie’s relationship as much as Paul and Julia’s, I understand that other people may not have the same opinion. 

The bottom line is that I find it refreshing to see relationships like these in film. They’re healthy but the story is never really about them!

The comfy Vibes

This movie gives off some of the best vibes a movie can give. The color palette of it is soft and uses a lot of greens, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite colors. I am a big fan of Paris and we get plenty of shots of it throughout the film. Another aspect of it I love is the 50s fashion! I could never really describe the aesthetic fully in words, so please just enjoy these stills from the film!

Maybe I just like Nora Ephron…?

“Julie & Julia” was released in 2009 and was written, directed by Nora Ephron.I had heard of her before, but it took me way too long to realize that she had also written another one of my all-time favorite movies “When Harry Met Sally” (1989).

She has also written, directed famous movies such as “You’ve Got Mail” (1998) and “Sleepless in Seattle”(1993). Unfortunately, Nora Ephron passed away in 2012, with her last film being “Julie & Julia”.

The way I discovered this film was bizarre… but made a lasting memory!

Okay, so this is more of a personal story time than about the movie.

A couple of summers ago, my entire family went on a trip to Mexico. For some reason, my parents thought it would be a great idea for my sister and me to stay in a hotel room by ourselves while we were there (my parents were in the room next door to ours). We stayed up late every night watching TV. Some of the channels were in Spanish and others were in English, and some would run the same movie over and over again throughout the day in both languages. “Julie & Julia” was one of these movies. I would watch some of it in Spanish one night and then another part in English the next. I never finished it, but continued to think about it even after our trip had ended. I had liked what I’d seen and wanted to watch it in full.

About a year later, the film appeared on Netflix. I was so excited that I watched it right away and the rest is history…

In Conclusion, You should watch it

This film has a very special place in my heart and this week I just felt the need to write out all the reasons I love it. It is still on Netflix for those who want to go check it out, although you don’t have to. I understand that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and that is just fine. 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my incoherent ramblings. I hope you at least enjoyed some part of them!

my favorite movies from 2020

I know this is a little late… since we’re halfway through February already, but 2020 gave us some amazing films and I really want to talk about them!!

So I watched a total of 13 “films” released in 2020.

6 feature-length films

  • Palm Springs (Hulu)
  • Onward (Disney+)
  • the half of it (Netflix)
  • Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe (Disney+)
  • Soul (Disney+)
  • happiest season (Hulu)

2 musical stage production filmings

  • Black Friday (YouTube: Starkid)
  • Hamilton (Disney+)

1 documentary mini-series

  • Tiger King (Netflix)

1 limited series

  • The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)

1 Netflix interactive movie

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend

& 2 short films

  • If Anything Happens I Love You (Netflix)
  • Canvas (Netflix)

For the sake of this list, I will only be talking about my top two feature-length films!


Pixar’s Soul – Directed by Pete Docter

Soul was released on Disney+ on Christmas Day, which is when I first watched it. It follows the story of Joe Gardener, a middle-aged music teacher as he tries to become a professional musician. That’s all I really want to say about it, as I think it is best to go into movies blind. However, I will say that this movie is absolutely fantastic. I was scared that it would be similar to Onward, Pixar’s first movie of the year, in that it would be lacking overall and turn out a bit disappointing.

The only issue I have with it is that it’s Disney/Pixar’s first black male lead and he spends half the movie as a little blue blob. The film was also written and directed by a white man, which is all fine and dandy, but it would be nice if that crew working on the movie was just as diverse as the cast and characters. However, I am not a person of color so I cannot really speak on the matter. For a review from a person of color, see the link below:

With that said, Soul did not disappoint at all. It showed us a man who was lost and questioning his purpose in life discover all that life has to offer him. It is definitely one of Pixar’s more adult films, covering heavy concepts like death and the purpose of living. I cry every time I watch it. It’s just a wonderful movie overall with a heartwarming message about life.

Hulu’s Palm Springs – Directed by Max Barbakow

Over quarantine, I became obsessed with Brooklyn 99. So when one of the stars, Andy Samberg, came out with a new movie, I was excited to watch it! And I was not disappointed!

The movie follows Nyles and Sarah, two wedding guests who are strangers to one another, as they relive the same day over and over again. They take advantage of their situation, disobeying every rule and learning more about themselves along the way. It is hilarious and sweet and just all-around amazing.

Every time I watch it, I can feel myself falling deeper in love with this movie. And that’s really all I have to say about it. It’s just a solid rom-com with a darker, sci-fi twist! I completely recommend it!


To complete this list, I will be ranking the rest of my 2020 watches from best to worst! thanks for reading!

  1. Soul
  2. Palm Springs
  3. The Queen’s Gambit
  4. Tiger King
  5. Hamilton
  6. Black Friday
  7. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  8. Phineas and Ferb
  9. Onward
  10. half of it
  11. canvas
  12. happiest season
  13. if anything happens I love you

I think the stress is literally killing me

Apparently, “transitioning to adulthood” is one of the most stressful things someone can go through in their lifetime. That makes complete sense to me, as I’ve barely been able to sleep this past week due to stress. On top of issues in my personal life, I am about to graduate high school and move 3 hours away from home… and oh boy, is it not as glamorous as I thought it’d be!

What they don’t tell you on Disney Channel is that some nights you’ll be so worked up about things THAT YOU CAN’T EVEN CHANGE that you’ll give yourself a stomach ache.

Last week, my mom received calls from me at least three times a day because I had gotten myself so worked up over nothing. I just needed to talk about it with someone. I am in a much better place for this week, but OH MY GOSH! One thing that being an anxious person has taught me is that it’s sooo important to talk through your feelings. Or if you can’t talk, just write them out. Sometimes hearing your worries out-loud or seeing your fears written right in front of you can help a lot.

What I’ve begun doing recently is writing out everything I am anxious about, but organized into two columns. The right column is labeled “Can Be Controlled”, and the left column is labeled “Out of My Hands”. Those categories are pretty self-explanatory. After writing everything out, I’m able to look at all my worries at once instead of just having them floating around in my head. It helps me realize that what I can’t control isn’t worth me worrying about as much.

All this just to say that I feel like a lot of us MSA seniors are feeling this way right now and I just want it to be clear that we’re not alone. We’re all in the same boat and we all have each other to lean on for support. Just remember to take time for yourself every now and then!

they have free audiobooks on Spotify and no one told me….

This week as been really hard, for reasons that I can’t really say. So I’m going to list off some things that have made me very happy recently to remind myself that there are still reasons to be happy.

I can only hope that there is age least one person out there who will be as excited about this as I am. Maybe I am just late to the party, but I was convinced that Audible was the only app with professional audiobooks! I always wanted to get a subscribed to it but never had the money.

From The Great Gatsby to The Hunger Games, Spotify does seem to have a wide variety of stories! Classics I’ve always wanted to read, such a Little Women, and favorites I’ve been wanting to reread, like Harry Potter, are now free for me to listen to!!! I’m so excited!

Reading has always been such a big part of my life, but in recent years I’ve kind of fallen out of it. But audiobooks FOR FREE on Spotify… SIGN ME UP!

I mean as I’m listing to this, I’m listening to The Great Gatsby!!

Maybe I’m overreacting and maybe I’ll never actually listen to one of the books, but nevertheless, it makes me happy.

For two hours a day for the past month, I’ve played Animal Crossing: New Horizons. That’s all I have to say about that. At this point, I’m living to decorate my islands and appease my villagers.

I recently got some stickers from the dollar store. It’s just a collection of foods with smiley faces on them and they make me so happy. They’re holographic, so the right lighting, they turn rainbow!!!

I’ve been trying to make new friends recently. I know it’s kind of late in the year to start getting to know the juniors, but it’s better late than never I guess. Even though I’ll be leaving soon, it’s still nice getting to know them.

That’s all for now. Hopefully my week gets better, or else next week’s blog may be another list. Oh well! That’ll be okay. No matter the circumstances, it’s never a bad idea to remember the things that make you happy!

I tried leaving social media (and failed )

I believe that everyone at one point in their life will try and leave social media. I mean, there are so many pros to doing so. Social media can be a huge detriment to mental health! It can take up a lot of storage on your phone! And if you’re like me and have spent a whopping 6+ hours on your phone DAILY (or more), then you know that social media can be a huge time waster. That was my main issue with it.

I wanted to utilize my time better in the new year and with mindlessly scrolling through social media taking up the majority of it, it seemed like a no brainer!

To start, I posted a message on my Snapchat story on December 31st saying that I would be leaving social media for 2021. I then gathered the phone numbers of close friends who I previously only communicated with through social media, just to be sure we could still keep in touch. And with that, I was ready to leave Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok by January 1st. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I am waaaaay more dependent on social media than I thought I was.

On January 4th (only four days later!!), I re-downloaded Snapchat and Instagram.

Something I hadn’t taken into consideration was my school work. I was in the middle of filming a documentary project for class and I had to schedule interviews with my subjects. And the main way I was communicating with them was through Instagram and Snapchat, and I didn’t have any of their phone numbers.

I knew I would have to keep Instagram and Snapchat installed until after I was done with the interviews, so I decided I would only use them to communicate with my subjects. No posting on either of them or mindlessly scrolling through feeds or stories… and oh boy did that last a whole two seconds.

While I continued not posting anything myself, I found myself scrolling through Instagram more and more. While TikTok and Twitter stayed uninstalled, I made up for the time I’d wasted on them with scrolling through Instagram’s new “Reels” feature. It wasn’t the same, but at least it filled the time.

For the three days I was off social media, I was very productive. I finally put away all my Christmas decorations and cleaned my room up from the aftermath of The Week Between Christmas Day and New Years’. But after re-downloading the apps, everything went back to being the same.

This entire experience, all four days of it, taught me that I depend on social media to connect with people. I don’t regularly check-in with old friends or classmates, I enjoy seeing what they post and knowing what they’re up to! Usually, social media is dropped because the user is using it in an unhealthy way. I don’t see myself as using social media for validation or for comparing myself to others. I use it to stay in touch with the people I care about and keep myself updated on what’s happening in their lives.

I eventually re-downloaded TikTok. Twitter will probably stay gone forever, but the other three are here to stay. I still have to work on managing my time better and not getting sucked into the time-wasting vacuum that is the Instagram explore page… but maybe that’s a problem of next New Year!

I think I’ll probably try leaving social media again another day, hopefully with better results, but until then…

Follow at @addisonleigh.l on Instagram!