Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to share my thoughts on three movies I’ve watched recently. They are Tick, Tick… Boom!, Encanto, and Falling Inn Love.
I’ve been watching more movies recently so I already have another three lined up to talk about! I am excited to share my thoughts on these, so let’s get into it!
Tick, Tick… Boom!
The first film is Tick, Tick… Boom! I watched this one on Netflix, since I have a subscription on that platform. I’m not going to lie, I mostly watched this because of Lin-Manuel Miranda (this was the first film he directed!). Also, because I do love musicals! The film follows a bit about the life of playwright Jonathan Larson, set in 1992 during Larson’s performance of his show Tick, Tick… Boom! and 1990 which is the parts of his life when he writes his first show Superbia, and those experiences later become his 1992 show.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film but I did sort of assume it would be about Larson writing Rent, his most famous work. Especially since the film started with quite a few parallels to Rent. As it got started though, it was clear it wasn’t about that but it was still a fun film to watch! I won’t get into spoilers yet, I’ll warn you when those start, but it was so different than I expected. I do think this movie had a very “love letter” feel to it towards the “starving artist” narrative of Broadway, to the current state of Broadway as it tries to survive the pandemic, and to Larson himself. If you don’t know, Larson passed away very suddenly just before Rent began previews Off-Broadway, so his story is very much known due to the tragic timing of his passing which meant Larson never experienced the success he had worked hard to obtain. So to create a film about Larson and not focus on his most well-known work was such a cool concept for me as I realized the movie was going to be different than I imagined.
As I mentioned, there are tons of cool little references and nods to Rent and Broadway itself. Since Rent was influenced by Larson’s life, certain things do come up in the film that will then tie back to Rent. As for Broadway, several current stars of Broadway appear in cameos throughout the film. And, of course, some prominent figures of Broadway’s history appear too. Most notably, Steven Sondheim, who passed away very recently is featured in the story.
I do think the film is enjoyable for anyway who likes movie musicals, even if the history or references don’t mean anything to them. But for those fans of Broadway, it is such a cool and sweet film to watch unfold. There are scenes that are just so memorable and fun, scenes that were heavy hitters, and knowing the future of Larson and his work was also quite bittersweet.
Now for some spoilers! I loved watching the diner scene with all those Broadway stars! I did read afterwards that it was meant to have more, but due to Covid restrictions and out of caution, some people weren’t able to make it. I didn’t recognize all of them, but the ones I did recognize were so cool to see!
I did really like how the 1990 scenes and the 1992 scenes were woven together. Seeing the “actual” scene vs. the “stage” scene with the music continuing through both was so fun! I really enjoyed the “Boho Days”, “Johnny Can’t Decide”, “Sunday”, and “Swimming” scenes specifically.
The scenes where Jonathan fights and breaks up with Susan, as well as the scenes where Jonathan fights with Michael and eventually learns Michael is HIV-positive were heartbreaking. Both Susan and Michael were such lovely characters after all! But they were great windows into the narrative of how much an artist gives to their work that they miss out on those cues and clues of what else is going on. And, of course, Michael’s story, as well as the character of Freddy, are reminiscent of Rent‘s story which later features several characters with HIV/AIDS.
I really appreciated getting more insight into Larson beyond just his most famous work, and seeing the “failure” that leads to success. Watching Larson doubt everything after no one was interesting in Superbia, only for it to lead to the next two projects that it did, was so relatable even if I don’t have multiple musicals or any Broadway experience whatsoever. I’m so glad we got a charming film such as Tick, Tick… Boom! though!
I watched Encanto on Disney Plus, which I also have a subscription to! I was really looking forward to this one. Not only was there the deeply-craved Hispanic representation, but it’s another Lin-Manuel Miranda work! This time, Miranda wrote both music and story for the film.
In Encanto, a Colombian family, the Madrigals, are given a “miracle” which grants each family a magical gift. For some reason though, the miracle skipped Mirabel, who takes on the task of saving the miracle even though she has no gift. The film is so fun, colorful, and beautiful. On it’s surface the film does feature Mirabel and the fact that she’s left out due to not getting a gift. But under that, the film explores family dynamics and generational trauma in such a deep and reflective way. That’s all I really have to say about it without giving away spoilers so if you haven’t watched the film yet, I would highly recommend it!
Now, to include spoilers! It’s crazy to think how much this film impacted me, as it did many other Hispanic people on TikTok! Everything from being Julieta, the eldest daughter that everyone expects to fix everything to having an Abuela or other family member with crazy expectations without a regard to how it affects everyone around them. Personally, I connected the most with the “perfect” Isabella, although I know no one asked!
I also have loved how TikTok has closely analyzed the film. Spotting Bruno in the background or noticing Dolores claps with only her index fingers otherwise it’s too loud for her was too cute! It was too adorable and I loved watching how passionate people became about the movie and how it resonated with everyone. And I loved how thoughtful Mirabel was! Even though she had no gift, she made sure to remain upbeat for Antonio’s big night, despite remembering her own ceremony. And walking him to his door was brutal! I will say it was too bad that Antonio and Camillo didn’t get featured as much but there were so many family members that it was understandable that they didn’t as much. I did love that the whole Isabella/Dolores/Mariano love story did get a somewhat happy ending after all where Mariano and Dolores were able to get together but with reasonable expectations (at least on Dolores’ side). Oh, and the whole “we don’t talk about Bruno” storyline? It was great!
The film also transitioned so naturally from English to Spanish when they incorporated them both and it was so fun! And, despite not having too many songs, they were all so great and beautiful. I really, really enjoyed the songs and the entire story! I do wish we had gotten to see more of the rooms and it was cool that the family got their gifts back in the end, although I did half expect the family wouldn’t get their gifts back but it was nice to see them be more thoughtful to Mirabel after they got them back too! Also, I really want to try an arepa con queso!
Falling Inn Love
So this was my pick for my work’s movie club! The movie club compromises of three of us who are in the same position and love rom coms! I saw this one on Netflix and had to watch! It was giving me Gilmore Girls meets every millennial woman’s quarantine dream of moving to the country and living that rural life.
The film features the character Gabriela, who loses her job when the company she works for goes out of business and breaks up with her non-committal boyfriend all in the same week. She drunkenly applies to “win an inn” in New Zealand and realizes the next morning that she’s won. When she arrives, she realizes the inn is actually a huge fixer upper and not the charming, beautiful building that was advertised. She partners with the cute, single, handyman with a tragic backstory to fix it up with the intention to sell it.
I’m sure you can tell where that story is going! To start with the spoiler free portion of this, the film was so cute! I did think it was silly and cheesy of course, but it was just the perfect amount. I thought the side plots were really fun as well! I would recommend this one if you want a rom com for sure!
As for the spoilery section, here we go! I mean, I don’t think there are a lot of spoilers to be had though, since it’s a rom com and their storylines are more or less the same at the end! But I did really like that Gabriella went through a character development where she arrives and refuses even a simple ride to town to realizing that a strong and independent woman can still ask for and receive help every once in awhile. I did enjoy this story and the lesson it taught at the end of the day!
So that’s three of the latest films I’ve watched! Let me know your thoughts on any and all of them!
Thanks for reading!
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