I've only seen the first half courtesy of Kate & Davis's dvr - but, wow, I can only say one thing: I was wrong.
I said Drew Barrymore!??? (while making snooty puke face)...and said, what the fuck are they thinking? (and I like Drew Barrymore as an actress, so if I'm saying this, imagine what haters were saying!)
I was wrong, she nails it, so does Jessica Lange - and the makeup is phenomenal (Oscar worthy, I guess Emmy worthy since this was made for HBO).
While nothing compares to the fabulous and heartbreaking documentary, this film adaptation showcases all you love about Big and Little Edie - and shows you some of their life before the decay.
Two words - Chairman Meow! Get ready for it!
I admit to enjoying a fluffy contemporary every once in a while, especially after a particularly angsty historical. I read Ridgway's Christmas and New Years' themed books last year on a whim from the library. I remembering enjoying them but not being blown away by characters or content. To my surprise "First Comes Love" features a hero and heroine with some real depth and history. I liked them both and wanted that sizzling sexual chemistry to develop into a lasting love - but, what is up with a secret marriage plot line??? It's not the painful secret baby but is it any better?
Despite the truly out there premise involving a miner's marriage loophole and one blurry night spent together years before I liked the lead characters, even a heroine who makes a very ridiculous decision. I loved the cast of crazies inhabiting the hamlet of Hot Water, a would-be ghost town turned tourist trap (a Gold Rush Colonial Williamsburg if you will) complete with period dress and playacting. Kitty, our heroine very neatly ropes our hero, Dylan into the starring role of Sheriff to her Madam of "The Burning Rose." In this small town atmosphere memories are long and roles are etched in stone, the descendants still pay for the mistakes or triumphs of their forefathers. Kitty and Dylan both love and feel trapped by Hot Water. Dylan, a golden boy forced out by tragedy and a self-induced exile is also a studly FBI agent. Thank goodness Ridgway uses his profession more for filler and rumors than actual plot, otherwise this sweet little story would have ended up somewhere I didn't want to go.
With the exception of the plot device that reunites the h/h at the beginning of the novel, I would have really loved this book for what it was, cute and entertaining. It's a testament to Ridgway's charm that I bought into this world and characters while reading, but I haven't found a keeper yet.
I've read a lot of Lisa Kleypas books over the years, but somehow this one slipped past me. "Again the Magic" belongs to the "Pretty in Pink" genre of romance, a 'wrong side of the tracks' tale, but in this case it's across the lawn and into the stables. Lady Aline Marsden loves stable boy John McKenna, a good young man who struggles to remain noble. McKenna attempts to keep his distance and keep Aline untouched for the anonymous aristocratic husband of her future, despite every effort she makes to persuade him. When the Earl discovers the would-be lovers, McKenna is sent away. Ambition carries him to America, where he perseveres with a bit of luck and a lot of ruthless business dealings. Kleypas fans will see some similarities to perennial favorite self-made man, Derek Craven ("Dreaming of You"). Kleypas breaks the novel into two sections, the time of passionate young love forbidden by society and the journey back together 8 years later. As a rule, I abhor revenge plot lines - they are mean and petty, and I never quite understand how the heroine falls in love with such a hero. McKenna's revenge is personal, he wants Aline, but believes he can manage to seduce and ruin her then walk away. Star-crossed young love however, remains a powerful thing, neither party has forgotten their short period of happiness. Essentially both characters have matured but not moved on - neither has married or ever really fallen out of love. When McKenna returns to England and the Marsden estate he meets the Earl and Aline as a guest and
real estate magnate, not as a servant.
As tumultuous as the h/h relationship is, it wouldn't be quite meaty enough to fill the pages. Thankfully there is a wonderful secondary love story featuring Aline's sister and McKenna's best friend and business partner. Both sister's seemed well on their way to becoming spinsters living off of their brother's favor by choice and tragedy. The Marsden's and Lisa Kleypas sure love their Americans - the protective older brother and future Earl in "Again the Magic" is none other than Marcus (Marsden) Westcliff from "It Happened One Autumn who gets his own spunky heiress from the states." (A wonderful story by the way - but not quite a stand alone as it is 2nd in the "Wallflower" series). I can think of few authors who tug the heartstrings with raw emotion like Kleypas. I couldn't consider this Kleypas novel a keeper, but I did enjoy the ride.