Summary: As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends. Based on the Archie comic.
Mild spoilers ahead but nothing that spoils like big plot points or anything like that. This is a late review but this is my LAST SEMESTER OF GRADUATE SCHOOL and I’m trying not to drown. Whooo! lol
Cast and Characters. I’m not going to go into super super detail about each character but they’re all pretty great and interesting people and I think all of the actors do a great job in their roles. Some stand out more than others but overall solid cast.
Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman. A half-human, half-witch teenager attending Baxter High, who is just beginning her dark education, while trying to maintain a normal life. She is a sweet girl who loves her family and her friends with a fierce passion and she will do whatever she can to protect the ones she loves. She knows she’s a witch and does a few minor things and there but as her 16th birthday is coming up, she’s really getting ready to be in the thick of things. Growing up she knew of the ritual to come when it came to her birthday and she’s looking forward to it, but at the same time, she doesn’t want to leave her mortal life behind because of the connections she’s made. So, Sabrina has to make the choice of being a mortal or being a witch. Throughout the show she does things with honorable intentions and sometimes things go astray because magic isn’t always predictable and it comes with a price. I think Kiernan Shipka was a great choice for Sabrina, I actually think she is the best for the role and I can’t imagine anyone else in the role right now. She is sweet but passionate and she handles some great emotional moments. She actually made me tear up when she was talking to Harvey in a later episode. I don’t think I’ve really seen her in anything other than her voice over in When Marnie Was There and she was great in that so she can definitely pull off the emotions that Sabrina feels and she’s great!
Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle.Sabrina’s charming, dreamy boyfriend who is the son of a coal miner and unaware of the dark forces conspiring to keep him and Sabrina apart. I was a little worried about the brown hair look on Ross but as the show went on, it grew on me and I really liked him. He’s sweet and so supportive and I love that he was the nice guy next door, who also liked to draw, who was also a romantic. First him and then Sebastian from The Carrie Diaries, where is MINE!!? He has a hard relationship with his dad, it even borderline on abusive (verbally and emotionally) and he leans on his older brother who he looks up to like no other. I was worried that he was going to just be the love interest, I hate that in general, but he actually had some stuff to do. He had a traumatic experience as a kid which paralyzes him and prevents him from working for his dad in the mines, but he still goes with Sabrina when she has to go in there. That’s what I call love. Then there’s a side plot that deals with a possessing demon and him worrying about if he’s brave enough. I liked his arc but I’m sad at how the season ended with him and Sabrina. Ross Lynch is very likable and I think he kept Harvey likable and not too whiny or annoying because he’s so nice.
Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman. One of Sabrina’s two witch aunts, who has a motherly nature and warm sense of humor and is skilled at brewing potions. I’ve always remembered Hilda to be a bit goofy and the opposite of Zelda which she still is here, she’s definitely the nice one and I love how loving she is. Lucy Davis is super likable and while I think they didn’t know what to do with Hilda after a while she still had some great moments like when she saved Susie in the bookstore. I just hope they allow her to do more in the second season because she is so likable.
Chance Perdomo as Ambrose Spellman. He is Sabrina’s cousin from England, who is her partner in crime, but is forbidden from leaving the Spellman home after being placed under house arrest by the Witches Council for attempting to blow up the Vatican. We don’t really learn a ton about him but while he may have done some questionable things in the past he still manages to try and be a conscience for Sabrina. I think he became a missed opportunity as the show went on and like Hilda, they didn’t know what to do with him but he quickly became a favorite character. He wants to be free to do what he wants since he’s been stuck in the house for so long. Chance is so charismatic and likable that I want a lot more of him in the second season.
Michelle Gomez as Mary Wardwell. Sabrina’s favorite teacher and mentor at Baxter High, who becomes possessed by the devil’s handmaiden to become Madam Satan, a cunning manipulator. So, we meet her in the first episode, the regular her and the possessed version and I have to say that Michelle Gomez kills. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in anything but she is so memorable that I can’t wait to see what they do with her in the second season. Her delivery, the way she moves, all of her clothes and her hair is amazing. She is trying to manipulate Sabrina onto a path to better serve their Dark Lord and she is good at it lol.
Jaz Sinclair as Rosalind “Roz” Walker.The brash, empowered and outspoken daughter of Greendale’s minister and Sabrina’s best friend. She is big on equality and for students to be able to read whatever books they want, she is very opinionated but clearly loves her friends. We learn that she has trouble with her eyesight and might going blind which she is terrified of happening but something else might be manifesting because of her losing her eyesight which becomes really important down the line. I like Jaz Sinclair (just don’t do anymore When the Bough Breaksstuff mmkay?) and I think it’s funny that she and Sabrina are friends when they aren’t in the comics. I also like the fact that she is loyal to her friends even when she’s sure they’re not being completely honest.
Tati Gabrielle as Prudence Night.A student at the Academy of the Unseen Arts, with a personal grudge against Sabrina. She is the leader of a trio of witches, the Weird Sisters. I LOVE HER. At first, I was like “meh, she’s awesome but I don’t like her but then I ended up really loving her. She’s an interesting character and in ways you really sympathize with her because as far as she knows she’s an orphan and it seems like she tries to be this big bad witch in the school just to make up for that. I enjoyed everything about her, her look, the way she spoke and all of her dialogue was interesting. I don’t think she’s in the comics, at least not that I have seen yet but she’s awesome. Tati Gabrielle is a gem. A GEM.
Richard Coyle as Father Faustus Blackwood.The High Priest of the Church of Night and Dean of the Academy of the Unseen Arts. I mean, he’s your basic headmaster who thinks his way is right and he has ulterior motives and is creepy and what not. That’s all fine and dandy and I think Richard Coyle plays it up soooo well. I mean, he looks like the bad guy but it’s up to you to decide if that’s what he is.
Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman.One of Sabrina’s two witch aunts, who is sterner than Hilda and very protective of Sabrina. She is also a member of the Church of Night, devout to the Dark Lord. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about her in the beginning, she’s always been the sterner of the two aunts but as the show went on, she is pretty great. There is a great scene with her in the episode with the Nightmare monster that was great and some great emotional moments from her. She really wants her family to be safe and do what they’re supposed to do as members of the Church of Night. She does get involved in some things but I think Miranda Otto plays it so well that she manages to hold on to some dignity even though they go through some crazy stuff. I also love her delivery and all of her clothes are beautiful.
Tone of the Show. This goes hand in hand with the next point but I liked the overall tone of the show. It’s dealing with identity and maintaining morality and humanity and choosing the best path for you. Sabrina Spellman is half witch/half mortal which presents an interesting story throughout the season in which she must do things that could sway either side but because she’s both, she thinks she can do whatever she wants and sometimes without consequences. It’s quite interesting. It is a dark show, not all the time but the witches are children of the night which allows for some cool effects or cool connections to “dark magic”. For example, I think Salem is usually a warlock that was cursed into a cat but in this show, he’s a goblin, whose form we only saw once and it was super creepy who takes the form of a cat to be Sabrina’s familiar. There’s also a subplot with a possessing demon and it last for a little while in the show and also creepy.
Horror Factor. The show is creepy like legit. I think it was cool for the most part because when you’re dealing with witches, there needs to be a tone set for what kind of witches they are and when that’s clear, it opens the door for horror elements. In the first episode there is a scene with a maze and a tree, oh boy, I was like O.O, it all works for this show. If this kind of stuff was in the Melissa Joan Hart version it would be weird because it wouldn’t fit. Even the stuff with the demon and Uncle Jesse freaked me out, the comic is also equally creepy.
Sabrina and Harvey. They’re super cute. I remember in the older show that they had a relationship that took forever for them to get together and then it was on and off again but in this, they start off together, they start off in love and it’s really cute. They love each other and normally I make a little fun of 15 and 16-year olds being in love but I think it’s clear they have something pretty special. It was really sweet. Sabrina adores this boy and she always wants him to be happy especially since he doesn’t have the best relationship with his dad. That’s why what happens in the end blew my mind!
Sabrina and her friends. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about her friends, but as the show went on, I liked their relationship. I loved the loyalty between them (I’m talking about Sabrina, Roz and Susie exclusively) and while they know Sabrina might be keeping something from them, they don’t get upset because she’s not being honest, I mean they’re a little frustrated but they don’t treat her terribly. I liked how a lot of what Sabrina wanted to do was because she wanted to help her friends, she wanted them to be okay if she was gone at academy. They were supportive of each other and clearly loved each other (which is funny because so far in the comics, Sabrina and Roz are NOT friends lol).
Really Dark. By dark I mean the show’s lighting isn’t very good. It may be intentional and in ways I get why it looks visibly dark but there’s a problem when I can’t see what’s going on ON SCREEN! If that’s a production choice then they need to change that in the second season. It’s okay, it can be dark but light enough where I can see what’s going on!
Starts Off Really Slow/Drags in areas. The first episode is really kind of slow. I mean it sets up stuff but it feels like it’s dragging on. I thought I was in the second episode but I was still in the first one lol. I think though once it gets going it’s really easy to breeze through but it does have moments where I’m like “okey dokey, don’t care about this. Back to the real stuff!” but it’s not often but it’s there.
Crossing the line. This isn’t really a problem for me but I wanted to address it because I can imagine it being a problem for some. There are elements in the show that are meant to be the way they are because Sabrina is supposed to make choices to push her down a darker path and what not, but I can see where it can be too much for some people. I thought about this a lot while watching the show and sometimes it made me squirm. It was bold and I commend the show for taking no prisoners but be aware that the witches do go “praise Satan”. I think if you’re firm in your beliefs it’s not going to affect you as it’s just entertainment but be aware.
Overall, I really liked the show, it was really good. I think the first episode may be a little hard to get through because it felt a little slow but once I got past that first episode, I blew through the rest of the show. I think it’s really worth the watch, especially if you’re into stuff like this. I think all of the cast does a really good job in their roles and I think all of the characters are really interesting and I’m curious to see what goes on with them in the second season. I like the tone of the show and what the message is which is that good and evil is not just black and white and you have to find out for yourself who you are. I think Sabrina represents a little bit of everyone without all the magic stuff. I’m not much of a horror person but I think the horror aspect really works for the show and it’s creepy but I could handle it. My biggest issue with the show is that it’s visibly dark in that it’s hard to see a lot of times and that it starts off really slow. I also want people to be aware that it might be a bit too much and not to watch it if it’s going to make you upset. Great show!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you watched Chilling Adventures of Sabrinayet? What are your thoughts about it? Let me know! And if you can, check out the comics at your local library!
Summary: Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
Cast and Characters.
Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter. 16-year-old Starr is stuck between two worlds. The world of her neighborhood, Garden Heights and Williamson, her prep school. She understands what it means to code switch depending on the people she’s around. One night she attends a party with her best friend, and she meets up with Khalil, a boy she knew from her childhood. They reconnect and when the party turns sour, she and Khalil escape and have moments in the car. Unfortunately, she watches as Khalil is murdered before her very eyes by a cop. She is stricken by this and has to continue through her life with something so horrific in her memory, in her bones and she struggles with the pain that she knows what happened. However, she’s afraid to say anything because she’s worried what that might do to her family. Also, King of the King Lords pretty much threatens her about dry snitching and what not. But Starr must find her voice in order for Khalil to find justice and to find peace for herself. It’s a powerful story to see told by a friend and a witness. I was a little worried about Amandla at first, I think she’s a good actress but I haven’t seen her play a part like this but she pleasantly surprised me. She does make these weird faces lol, which throughout the movie I was like “lol girl stop” but I know she can’t help it because it’s just her face lol. I thought she did very well with all the emotional bits. Definitely a movie to make her mark as more than just a YA adaptation actress.
Supporting Characters.I mean, everyone on this list are people we see quite often in the movie but I had to give Amandla her due above and then hit everyone else after. Everyone does very well in the film.
Regina Hall as Lisa Carter.A friend of mine was curious to see how she would do playing a role like this. I understand her concern but I had a little more faith in Regina Hall and I thought for what the role asked of her, she did very well. She was firm when she needed to be and she has some of the best facial expressions, very funny. I also thought she had great chemistry with Russell Hornsby. I do think her role got a little downplayed in the movie compared to the book but from what she was given, I thought she did well and was memorable as the mom. Some of the best moments was the moment at the diner and at the end when they’re all at Carter’s groceries.
Russell Hornsby as Maverick Carter. Outside of Starr, he really shines. I think I’ve only seen him in Fences, but I loved him here. He’s not exactly what I thought Big Mav would look like but he really played him the way I would want him to be played. The movie starts out with him telling his kids how to conduct themselves when faced with police and you can tell that he might have just gotten out of prison and he’s trying to make sure his kids understand. He did this face where he could kind of snarl whenever he talked and I liked that because it’s something I would imagine a man whose been through what he’s been through would do. I loved the way he talked to his kids, he may come off a little hard but it’s clear he loves them. He’s always on their side. He was also really funny, especially the prom scene. Again, with the diner scene where everyone did such a great job, but he did really good here as well since it was directly happening to him.
KJ Apa as Chris. First things first, when he first showed up, that dark hair was not doing him any favors. I can’t remember if Chris had dark hair in the books or not but KJ Apa was way to pale that it was kind of shocking. It grew on me as the movie progressed. Anyways, I liked Chris a lot. I thought he was cute and sweet and I understood his confusion throughout the movie. It’s hard to be in an interracial relationship when things are going on because it’s hard to know who to trust with your feelings and whether or not they’ll understand. That’s where Chris stood with Starr after the event. He was in the dog house in the beginning because of what he did before the movie, but throughout the movie he was in a state of confusion because he didn’t know what was going on. I think Chris is a good kid, I do wish we got to see a little more of him and that he was included in more things mostly at the end, I think it would have been nice to have that but I also get why he wasn’t there. I like KJ Apa, he’s likable (though not as Archie Andrews lol) and I liked the chemistry he had with Amandla and his introduction is like the best because he’s so cute! KJ just has this All-American-Boy thing about him where he’s just so earnest, he plays that really well.
Algee Smith as Khalil Harris. Ahhh Kahlil. I think Algee Smith is so cute. I haven’t seen him in anything else (No I have not seen that New Edition movie though I might watch it now because of him), but he has this light about him. I don’t know if it’s because of who he was playing but as soon as he walked into the room and Starr looked at him, I was like “he’s my favorite” and he’s just so sweet and likable that it sucks that he was murdered. When he and Starr meet up, they catch up and what I love about him is that when the fight breaks out, he didn’t leave her, he made sure she was with him so he could make sure she got home safely. While they were in the car, they reminisced and he thought of what could be and he says this line that made me go “Dang, where’s mine!?” *sighs* He’s super likable and I wish Justice for Khalil. Algee Harris is great, he’s charismatic, and I hope to see more of him. I did fan cast as one of my characters from one of my books lol, I see big things!
Lamar Johnson as Seven Carter. Sadly, I don’t think we got to see as much of Seven as I would have liked. However, I really liked him. He’s the product of a night between Maverick and Iesha (King’s wife? Girlfriend?). He clearly spends a lot of time with the Carters as he goes to school with both Starr and Sekani. He is very protective of both of them and he loves the Carters so much that when Iesha and King came to the funeral, he didn’t want to be with them but stay with the Carters. I mean, it makes sense as King definitely doesn’t seem to like him, though we never really got to see an interaction between King and Seven. There is a story line that gets passed to him where in the book it happens to a character they removed from the movie (I talk more about this at the end of this review), which was fine with me. It allowed the moment to be way more personal for everyone involved and I think it flowed seamlessly with the events before and after. It just made more sense that way. I also will keep an eye out for Lamar Johnson though because whenever he was one screen, my eye did go to him.
Issa Rae as April Ofrah. What can I say about Issa Rae, hahaha that rhymes. But she doesn’t have a HUGE role but the role she plays is perfect for her. Issa Rae is likable no matter what she does. She plays this woman who stands up for justice and she encourages Starr to find her voice for Khalil. She’s great. Boom.
Sabrina Carpenter as Hailey.There are two of Starr’s best friends from Williamson but Hailey gets a little more screen time in that she is the person closest to Starr at Williamson who doesn’t understand. It’s hard when you’re trying to be two people and suddenly your worlds collide and people don’t get it. Hailey doesn’t get it. Sabrina Carpenter is really likable, I mean I still wanted to kind of hit her but her character isn’t supposed to be likable and I just felt like she was really ignorant.
Common as Uncle Carlos. So, I think this was perfect casting once I found out about it and I think Uncle Carlos is a good and interesting character. He’s a cop which makes him on both sides of the situation and puts him in an interesting situation. He’s there when Starr calls him and I’ll talk about him more. I think Common is fine in the role, mostly with what they gave him.
Anthony Mackie as King. I think Anthony Mackie is a fantastic actor and I’ve seen him play villain roles before. I was a little worried though because physically he doesn’t look like how I would picture King who was described as a big man and Mackie looks younger than Maverick especially with them seemingly growing up together and Big Mav being his right-hand man. We don’t see him a ton but when we do, he’s in the background mean mugging, or threatening people. Anthony Mackie is good in roles like this though so I think he’s great and he’s quite intimidating lol.
TJ Wright as Sekani Carter. I don’t have much to say about him but he’s really cute and they did a little something different with him at the end that I didn’t expect. It was actually a great moment and it really worked for what the message of the movie was. This kid was great. Kind of reminded me of the little boy fromBlackish, he really embodied the meaning of his name.
The Family. It’s very important that the Carter family feel like a real family and be strong. There is a lot of history with what happened with Maverick and even the stuff between him and Uncle Carlos. I loved that the movie started out with Maverick talking with a young Seven and Starr about how to conduct themselves in case they’re pulled over by the police. It’s a very important conversation that all black families should have and it set the tone from the beginning. It set the tone of the movie and the tone of the family. Throughout the movie, we see a beautiful love with Lisa and Maverick. A cute sibling relationship between Seven, Starr and Sekani and a great relationship with the parents and their kids. It’s important to note that Lisa is not Seven’s mother but she treated him like her own son. I loved that the movie made sure we saw they were a family.
Relevant Story. No matter what you think of the movie overall, the story is relevant to what is going on today. Khalil was unarmed. Yes, he reached into the car and grabbed his hairbrush but why does no one ever shoot to disarm or shoot a taser? Why is it always shoot to kill? Sure, you’re in fear of your life but both of them were harmless, they didn’t even look like they were trouble other than the fact they’re black. We see Starr struggle throughout the movie with speaking up, we even learned that what happened with her other best friend as a kid, and how she didn’t speak up then. A lot of people go through that, no knowing whether or not they should “snitch” or speak up when they witness something because they’re afraid. Starr deals with grief and then she sees what happens with her family and Khalil’s family and she has to make the choices whether or not to live for Khalil.
Khalil’s Death. Not a spoiler since you know it from the trailer and what not, but it doesn’t lessen the blow when it happens. Starr and Khalil are having a great moment in the car, they talk about THUG LIFE, music and childhood and it’s so cute. Algee and Amandla have great chemistry and it’s so cute to think of the future. Anyway, they drive off and get pulled over and Starr thinks of what she learned as a kid. Khalil is a bit more frustrated because he’s not sure what he did. Watching the scene unfold knowing what it leads up to is very tense and then when he gets shot, it felt like I got shot three times because at this point, you like Khalil. We don’t get to know him that much since it’s basically 30 minutes into the movie but he’s likable and you like him. Starr is hysterical and the cop puts her in handcuffs and she’s trying to comfort him… it’s just so much. First scene of the tears and I still can’t forget it. I couldn’t forget it in the book either.
All the Feels. I think I cried like five times in the movie. I don’t expect everyone to cry while watching it but if you don’t feel anything, or don’t care about anything you see then, one, you’re made of stone and two why are you even watching this movie? lol being that this kind of thing happens in real life, it’s hard to not picture the people you know and love in these positions. When all of the death was happening a couple of years ago, it seemed like it happened every day, I had a moment where I just hugged my youngest brother because he’s tall, he’s black and I couldn’t bear the idea of losing him like that. So, I get it. It doesn’t happen constantly, there’s a lot of laughs in the movie too, but it’s very realistic.
Would you Shoot? Starr and Uncle Carlos have a moment in his kitchen after the family gets shot at in their house. She’s talking to him about it and he tells her what it’s like to be a cop on the force and it’s intense. I totally get it. It was a great scene and you can tell that he really wanted her to understand just what all of that meant, but at the same time, you can tell from her that she expected something different from her uncle being a black man on the police force. What he was saying is probably true for most cops, I don’t know, I’m not a cop, but he’s right, it is the world we live in and it sucks. Great moment from both Amandla and Common.
Get out the car! There’s an entire scene that happens from this diner all the way to the Carter’s house. Big Mav and King have a moment and the police show up and well you can guess what happened. So, everyone has high emotions because of what happened and Starr says something that triggers Maverick and he makes all of the kids stand out on the lawn and recite a part from the Black Panther’s Seven Point program. He then tells them what their names mean and it was such a powerful scene. It quickly became a favorite in the movie.
Starr and Hailey. There’s a scene particularly towards the end where Starr and Hailey get into it. I won’t spoil it but Hailey basically makes a comment about the hairbrush and Starr snatches the one that’s in Hailey’s book bag pocket and makes a point. It was a great scene. In the book they have a physical fight but I actually think I liked this better just because it makes an important point. Amandla did great in that scene.
Uncle Carlos. He’s not a bad character nor is Common a bad actor (he’s inconsistent but he’s fine), I just think they didn’t end his character on a good note. He’s supposed to represent the other half. He’s a cop which could make it hard for Starr to completely want to give up on all cops because of her uncle. They had a great relationship in the book and I think in the movie it was kind of implied that he was a large part of her life while Maverick was in jail, but I don’t think they played it up enough. I mean he was really important and he should have been way more in the movie. While I liked the conversation, they in his kitchen, it showed what cops might go through when out in the field, I don’t think they ever gave him the chance to really show that he was on Starr’s side. I think that was an issue because he needed to be and should have been. I don’t want to compare to the book too much but in the book, he gets into a fight and put on paid leave… that should have happened because it shows both Starr and the audience that he was still on her side. Common was perfect casting for him, but they really missed the mark on what to do with his character. Plus, he and Maverick have beef… it would be well founded but they don’t give it time to marinate before it’s finished. Meh.
Seven and King. In the movie we learn that Seven is the product of Iesha and Maverick having a night together. Something happens towards the end of the movie with Seven and it kind of came out of nowhere. Outside of King making a comment to Kenya and Starr about Seven’s name (though you can’t really talk King…) they never have a moment to really show that King doesn’t like Seven or anything of that nature. I think there should have been a moment or a few where King may look at him funny, or they have an argument, or something that would have made the part at the end make sense and not just some extra drama.
Overall, I loved The Hate U Give.For one, I think it’s a great adaptation of a fantastic book and I was thrilled that it for the most part kept the essence of the book. As a film, I think it was handled really well. All of the characters serve their purpose and I think audiences can identify with Starr with what she went through. I can’t imagine everyone going through what she went through but Amandla Stenberg does a great job playing the part. There are times where her facial expressions look really funny but she manages to push through the funny faces and really deliver a performance I think is her best. She had me by the heart strings. I loved the family dynamic and that they felt like a real family and how they reacted to each other like a family would. The story is extremely relevant in the situation and I think it’ll hit close to him for a lot of people. There are a lot of GREAT scenes as well that I think are extremely memorable. On the flip side, I think Uncle Carlos received the short end of the deal in that his character should have been used more and been more of a lifeline for Starr in that he was a cop but someone she looked up too. I also think the relationship between Seven and King should have been used more because it comes to a head at the end and it’s random. BUT I loved the movie and I think it’s a must see!
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
P.S. There’s a couple of spoilers down here.
Khalil’s hairbrush: In the book when Starr and Khalil get pulled over, he is told to get out of the car. In the book, he opens the door to check on Starr and then gets shot, he doesn’t even get the chance to ask Starr if she’s okay, or at least to finish the question. In the movie, I was worried because the trailers showed that he actually reached for his hairbrush when it was actually in the side of his door that the officer thought was a hairbrush. Khalil never reached into the car, he never pulled anything out the car. I was worried that would change the situation and the narrative. Either way, Khalil should not have been killed but I think with it obviously being a hairbrush, it actually takes away the element of confusion because the cop clearly saw the brush. I don’t know, it’s kind of…hard but either way I wanted to mention it.
DeVante:So, I mentioned in the book review that I thought the DeVante storyline I could take or leave. I liked it but it could have been cut out and I wouldn’t have missed it. I knew they would probably cut it out of the movie and they did. I totally get why too. All the stuff that happened to him was outlier and was there so Maverick could have a way to save someone since he couldn’t save Khalil but I think he had enough to do with his family. In the book, DeVante gets beat up by Kenya and Seven (who is driving) takes Starr and Chris with him to go and get him. In the movie, Chris is driving and it’s Seven who gets beat up. I like that because it keeps the story personal. Sure, Chris doesn’t have the chance to get close to DeVante like in the book, but for the movie sake he didn’t need to. I liked that it was Seven because it was more personal for Starr and for Iesha who uses that moment to save her children. That’s way more powerful I think than her trying to save DeVante. That’s just me though.
I actually used to watch this show when it first came out. I thought it was a very interesting premise and I really liked it in the beginning. I fell off during season 4 after the whole thing happened with Bay and Tank and I never caught back up. So, I decided to binge it on Netflix and I remember all of the feelings I felt while watching it, as I felt them again. However, going forward with the rest of the season and season 5, I really enjoyed the show as a whole. I was quite shocked. I mean, usually there are seasons that are not as good as others, and I can’t really say which season I preferred because they were all handled really well. I think Season 5 was probably one of my favorites though, we’ll see.
Watching the show again also put me back into learning American Sign Language, I’ve fallen off again because I flew through the classes online but the next level is too advanced lol, I needed a step between beginner and intermediate.
Anyways, on with the review!
Summary: Two teenage girls’ lives are turned upside down when they find out they were switched at birth.
Cast and Characters. Being a TV series, we meet a lot of characters but there were the certain people who remained important regulars, which was the Kennish and Vazquez families with some friends mixed in. I’m going to try to hit all of them, I may not go into super detail or anything like that but I just wanted to put my thoughts on them as characters and of course the actors playing them.
Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe.He starts out as a regular but becomes a reoccurring character in the last season. He is Daphne’s best friend who is also deaf. In the beginning, he’s clearly in love with Daphne, who he’s been friends with since childhood. He and Bay work together later to find her father and they grow really close and eventually start dating and thus begins the iconic relationship of Bay and Emmett or “Bemmett” lol. Emmett is also a photographer and wants to be a director being that he loves old movies, especially old scary deaf movies lol. He has a tendency to be jealous and he’s kind of hotheaded and very use to giving his opinion in any situation. There are times when he tries different things for Bay, sometimes he even gets into trouble for trying to do things for her which is cute… sometimes. I like Emmett, I always liked Emmett but in later seasons, he flip-flopped a lot for me due to his attitude and how he treated Bay when he went off to college. Ugh lol. I like Sean Berdy, he’s so cute and whenever he got emotional, I really felt bad for him (unless he was being unreasonable) because his emotions played on his face, which is important since the Deaf Community uses their facial expressions are part of their language.
Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish. Sooo Toby is Daphne and Bay’s older brother. There were a lot of times where I think the show didn’t really know what to do with him since he would just be floating around in the background but I consistently liked Toby. In the first few seasons, he was really trying to be a musician, he had a band and everything. His big problem was gambling and even though their family was well off, he still managed to dig himself into debt because he was reckless with money, which made him a jerk at times. Once that was rectified until waaay later, he got his life together. He had like three major relationships and I don’t think I really liked any of them, Lily the most I guess, but I felt like he got trapped in the end lol. Regardless, he stepped up to the plate. He was smart when he put his mind to it. I’ve always liked Lucas Grabeel, I find him likable no matter what character he plays and I feel like Toby could easily be annoying and I could be over him, but I think it’s because of Lucas that that didn’t happen. Whenever he had to perform musically, I think that was some of his best stuff being a musical guy, it just seemed natural compared to some of the “soap opera” story lines they gave him.
Katie Leclerc as Daphne Paloma Vasquez (born Bay Madeline Kennish). She is the biological daughter of John and Kathryn. When we first meet her, we learn she’s deaf and became so when she got sick at the age of three from meningitis, I think. In the beginning, I liked Daphne because all of this was happening and she managed to remain quite calm about the whole thing while Bay seemed to spin out of control. However, once she finds out that Bay and Emmett are spending time together and even dating, she gets upset and basically tells Bay that she’s not going to let her date him without a fight since she now all of sudden likes him lol. From that moment on, I didn’t really like Daphne. She has a major temper (just like her dad), she’s athletic, intelligent and has a lot of opinions on a lot of things. Sometimes she does things with good intentions but she either handles it in a stupid way or gets involved with people who pretty much encourages her to do stupid stuff that has long term consequences. She feels this passionately, which is fine, but I needed her to get her life through most of the show because she was way to entitled about certain things. I’ll get more into her attitude and stuff later. Whenever she’s being nice or whatever, she’s fine and I think Katie Leclerc unfortunately had a character that acted like a child which she played very well. Soooo good job Katie lol. I have to say though that her relationship with Bay was very interesting and whenever they were getting along, that was some of my favorite stuff because Daphne would teach her sign language and they would have moments where they talked around hearing people through sign language and it was like they were sisters with a secret code.
Vanessa Marano as Bay Madeline Kennish(born Daphne Paloma Vasquez). She is the biological daughter of Regina and Angelo. She was raised in the wealthy neighborhood of Mission Hills by John and Kathryn Kennish. Bay is a very talented artist who has a particular love for Frida Kahlo. Bay can be very impulsive at times, and, at first, doesn’t take the news of the switch very easily. However, she gradually gets better in accepting that Regina and the Kennishes are both her family. In the beginning, Bay was the one who initiated finding out if she was biologically a Kennish because she doesn’t look or act like any of them and it started with an assignment they did in class. She was very spoiled and bratty in the beginning and I didn’t like her because I thought she was being unreasonable with everyone around her like it wasn’t her fault that they found out in the first place! The whole thing with Daphne and Liam, man that was so ridiculous but she ends up getting her life together and I really liked her throughout the rest of the show. She had her moments when she was ridiculous and bratty but it didn’t happen constantly like it did with Daphne. Bay actually makes some significant sacrifices that were noble but stupid. Her art was very important to her, she started out doing street art and still did it every now and then but she really got to do some cool stuff later when she became a tattoo artist in the last season. It was dope. Vanessa Morano managed to find the balance in Bay’s character where she was likable and unlikable at some times. I also loved her delivery, sometimes she said things with this monotone tone and it was hilarious.
Constance Marie as Regina Vasquez.Bay’s biological mother and Daphne’s legal mother. So, with Regina, I get why people don’t like her but I always liked her. In the beginning, she came off a little hard when it meant working with the Kennishes, especially since she raised Daphne, she was her daughter and she did not like the idea of sharing her or sharing the parenting (she had a point though since John and Kathryn did not include her when it came to parenting Bay soooo). Bay viewed her as the “cool mom” since Regina was so chill but at the same time, Regina was way stricter in ways than John and Kathryn. She was a recovering alcoholic so that becomes a problem later in the show. When everyone finds out that Regina knew about the switch for a long time, she was pretty much treated like a criminal by everyone for a while even though I get it and I think Kathryn got it too. When learn a lot about her and Angelo when they were young. Regina at some point also loses the ability to do sign language and to paint which seemed like she lost the connection to Bay and Daphne which Daphne was more of jerk about it than Daphne was (like girl, I know your mom can’t sign to you anymore and it’s hard to have to read lips all the time but it’s not like she just chose NOT to sign… ugh lol). Anyway, a lot of stuff happens to Regina throughout the show, some of it was brought upon because she makes stupid choices (like mother like daughters) but in the end, I was happy with her ending in the show. Constance Marie was great throughout the show; her acting was great especially when Angelo was on the show and they had to play off each other. I often teared up because of her because she was so strong so whenever she cried, it felt like she was crying for something so strong, which she usually was, I thought.
D. W. Moffett as John Kennish.He is Bay’s legal father and Daphne’s biological father and HE ANNOYED THE CRAP OUT OF ME THE ENTIRE SHOW! There were times when he was legit okay, but most of the time I was so irritated with him that anytime he did something nice, I was like “I don’t believe this is real” lol. His first thought in response to anything he didn’t like was to yell and throw tantrums. Anytime Regina did something he didn’t like, or she made a choice in parenting he didn’t agree with, or he found out something about her past, he was always so ready to take her to court to get fully custody of Daphne as well. Just… really dude? He does get a bit better in the last two seasons… ish but he was just so… angry. Sometimes it was warranted but other times it was like dude calm down! He used to play Pro Baseball so he’s famous for that and Daphne clearly gets his athletic genes since Toby and Bay both are artists lol, he really tries to be really involved with Daphne and her sports. In the later seasons, he had a heart attack because he’s extra which kind of helps him tone things down a bit but he has his opinions and it takes a while to make him change his mind. I do have to say though that anytime he took the time to talk and understand Regina, Angelo and even Bay were great moments. There’s a great scene in the last season or the fourth season where the Kennishes did this awesome thing for Bay after she didn’t get into the school of her dream. He and Kathryn really stepped it up! D.W. Moffett did his job because he made me dislike his character haha.
Lea Thompson as Kathryn Kennish.She is Bay’s legal mother and Daphne’s biological mother. I’ve always loved Lea Thompson since Back to the Future so when I saw she was the mom when I first started watching, I was so excited. Now Kathryn was interesting because I liked her overall as well but there were times where I thought she was being extra as well. I loved the scene between her and Regina when Regina tells her to stop trying to change Daphne to fit them but learn her language… such a great scene and after that Kathryn began to learn and she’s really good at it. I think she took the time to understand Regina first, they definitely butted heads though throughout the show but she was always a bit more willing. What’s funny about Kathryn was she had a voice but didn’t know how to use it because John’s voice was so overpowering. She became an author later and she was a cook (I really wanted to try her food man… hers and Angelo’s). She connected with Daphne and really tried to make stronger connections with Bay. I loved when she started standing up for herself more. Lea Thompson is always good, she is always good with emotional scenes, I didn’t know she could sing until this show which was great and I loved when she would fight back.
Gilles Marini as Angelo Sorrento.He Bay’s biological father and Daphne’s legal father and HE IS FINE! lol We hear about him a lot in the first season and I didn’t even realize how early he came into the show lol but as far as the others know, he’s this terrible person who left when Daphne went deaf but when he shows up, we learn that it was because he thought Regina cheated on him since Daphne didn’t look like him and they just argued all the time. However, he and Regina were so good together, so passionate that I really wanted it to last. He joins up with John and Kathryn kind of, to sue the hospital for damages and wins like 1 million dollars which he tries to use to help out his girls. Unfortunately, he bites off more than he can chew and blows through it too fast. He later gets into a fatal car accident and I cried for like four episodes straight. It hit way to close to home which I remember being sad when I first saw it but it was different this time around. Angelo really made an impact on everyone even if John and Kathryn (more so John as time went on) didn’t really like him. He connected with Daphne over cooking (as well as Kathryn), he also tried to learn sign language to connect with her better. He connected with Toby over music and he gave Bay a whole side of her family she didn’t even know about and of course he was in love with Regina. It was beautiful. As soon as he came into the picture, I liked him. Gilles Marini is very likable and he had such great chemistry with Constance Marie as well.
Marlee Matlin as Melody Bledsoe.She is Emmett’s mother and Regina’s friend who is also deaf. I don’t think she was ever a regular but she was around so much that she might as well have been. She is Regina’s best friend so she was around for that and of course when Bay and Emmett started dating, she was around because of that too. She was also the guidance counselor at Carlton (the deaf school) which allowed her to be involved in all of the kids’ lives. She got on my nerves a few times too though because she would react to things that I thought was ridiculous, like when Regina couldn’t sign anymore, she almost walked away from her in disgust. I was shocked and like “girl bye, if she’s supposed to be your best friend you wouldn’t treat her like that!” It also took her a long time to warm up to Bay but they ended up becoming pretty close in the end. She took in Travis, who had a bad/sad home situation which was kind of her and she also served as a mentor for a lot of the kids in the school. This is the first and only thing I’ve ever seen with Marlee Matlin but she was great and I loved it when she spoke because she normally didn’t and when she did, it was legit!
Supporting Characters.There were a lot of supporting characters but I’m not going to get into all of them but it’s important I highlight just a few. Ivonne Coll was Adriana Vasquez, Regina’s mother and she loved her telenovelas but always said that the real life had way more drama due to Angelo, but she just didn’t like him. Austin Butler as Wilke who was Toby’s best friend and dated Daphne for a bit, and I really liked him, I was sad when he left and never came back. Maiara Walsh as Simone Sinclairwho was Bay’s nemesis and dated both Toby and Wilke and pretty much a controlling and sometimes terrible person, she gets better when we see her later. Blair Redford as Ty Mendozawho knew Daphne and Regina from their old neighborhood and dated Bay in the first season and later after Emmett cheated on her with Simon (drama y’all). MOST IMPORTANTLY Ryan Lane as Travis Barneswho was Daphne’s deaf friend who had an attitude but was taken in by Melody, he became best friends with Emmett, he was in love with Daphne and I think they dated briefly but ends up with Bay. I loved Travis.
The family dynamic. The family dynamic in the show was very much up and down quite consistently. Someone was always arguing because of something someone else did. It was a lot of drama but when they weren’t dying in that drama, I really liked the Kennish-Vasquez family. One of my favorite moments was when Kathryn felt really ignored by everyone mostly John, that they staged a little musical moment to make her feel better, it was super sweet. Like everyone including Angelo and Adriana were involved. Stuff like that needed to happen way more often because when it did, I loved it.
Bay and Daphne’s sisterhood.One of the strongest things about the show was the dynamic between Bay and Daphne and boy was it rocky. They never had a perfect relationship until the last season and even then, it wasn’t perfect. At first, they did not like each other because Bay was super extra and then Daphne became super extra forever. They butted heads a lot and there were plenty of times when one was jealous of the other due to the ties to their parents. Whenever Bay, Regina and Angelo had something going on, Daphne would get really jealous and vice versa and Bay would do the same if Daphne connected with John, Toby and Kathryn which actually happened a lot more than Bay with Regina and Angelo. Very one sided at times. But when they understood each other and worked together and did things for each other, that’s when you could tell they really did love each other like sisters. An instance of this is when Bay took the fall for what Daphne did to allow her the chance to be Pre-Med. She did not have to do that. Anyway, I just really liked it when they were being nice to each other and really trying to be in each other’s presence.
Relevant Storylines. The show tackled a lot of different storylines. Of course, there was the stuff that was handled within the family, but the storyline with grief, particularly with Daphne was intense because she ended up committing some serious crimes. But the two big ones I thought were what happened with Tank and the stuff on the college campus similar to Black Lives Matter movements.
Tank-So Tank and Bay dated but she cheated and went back to Emmett. It was sad. Anyways, she went to a party on the college campus and got super drunk and wakes up the next morning in bed with Tank not sure what happened. She was partially naked. It turns out they slept together but she not only remembers it but doesn’t think she agreed to the union though Tank is sure she did. It turned into this big thing about consent and Tank basically got expelled. It was a hard situation because Bay didn’t remember and there has to come a point where the other person realizes someone is too drunk to give consent. Just wait. I felt bad for Tank because he was a good guy but at the same time… pay attention.
BLM- So it started with Mingo went to a dorm party dressed up as Lil’ Wayne and Iris, one of Daphne’s friends, said it was offensive which I get it. Not to mention, it’s happened so many times. Daphne took it upon herself to be a spokesperson about it which really showed her ignorance. She often did stuff like this. It lasted for a long time in the season, something I was really surprised about. I thought the show handled it in an interesting way.
Tense Storylines. While I mentioned that the show handled some relevant storylines, I don’t think it really stuck the landing the show thought they were going do. In terms of the Tank situation, it was kind of weird because he was a good guy and someone that people liked and trusted. The later he ended up dating Marybeth who gave Bay grief about Tank so much when Bay was friends/dating him, so I thought that was a weird payoff. I also didn’t like how they handled the consequences of Daphne’s bad choices because of grief, she should have been punished for what she did. Grief can affect a lot of things but having her break the law and then Bay takes the fall, yeah sure she met that girl and did something nice for her and had something nice happen, but Daphne should have gotten in trouble for that. I don’t care. Plus, the whole thing with Emmett and being depressed, I don’t think they handled that well at all. Bay and Daphne returned home because his depression and then it was wrapped up pretty quickly. Very poorly handled.
Overreactions Everywhere! This show was like a soap opera a lot of times and it was really annoying when it was. Some things that happened, okay I get it you, you have every right to be upset, but why are you acting like that still?? For example, when Angelo was in the hospital for his accident, Daphne got all mad and told Regina it was her fault and she pretty much shut her out for a long time. Even when it seemed like they were past it, she still had an attitude. I get that you’re upset and that Regina and Angelo had an argument before but there is no reason for you to act like that and treat your mom like that. You’re grieving, okay, but so is your mom who probably feels worse than you. Mostly everything John did was an overreaction and like father like daughter, so did Daphne. I just couldn’t take some of the ignorance these characters had and they tried to make it seem like they were oh so smart… like nah, you’re stupid and you think you’re right but there’s no way you logically think that. *sighs* Such a conundrum.
Daphne’s Attitude Problems. In the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of Bay because she was being a brat, but then that switched to Daphne at some point in season 1. I think a lot of that happened when she noticed that Emmett was spending a lot of time with Bay, or that they were looking for Angelo and she just felt so entitled to what everyone was doing around her. It got worse as the show went on. She was rude for a long time Regina when they found out that Regina knew about the switch before, don’t get me wrong, she had every right to be upset, but she was so mean. Girl, that’s your mom! I also get that she was upset that Angelo was around after he left, but it has nothing to do with you that Bay wants to meet and spend time with her dad. Relax. Or how she told Bay that she was okay with her going to Carlton but then turned around and tried to get her kicked out with the other hearing kids in the pilot program. I totally get it, you want your school back to the way it was, but Bay really wanted to be there. She is also super spoiled, like girl, you may have grown up not having a lot but that does not warrant your attitude anymore because everyone literally does EVERYTHING for you. EVERYTHING. I know John and Kathryn felt like they missed out on a lot, but they pretty much did everything for Daphne, most of the time against Regina’s wishes, or without even asking Regina. Super rude and Daphne would get mad at her mom when she said something about it. Like girl, that’s your mom, she raised you, get a clue! She gets better in the last season but I spent most of the show really disliking her.
Stagnant Characters. There were a lot of times in the show where some characters were just stagnant in their roles. This happened a lot with Toby, where he was just there. They somehow managed to give him something to do by being a father or bringing up the gambling thing again but he just floated around in the background with boring storylines for a while. Also, Emmett had his issues going on in the last season but they didn’t really give that storyline they tried to give him a good chance and it wrapped up way to fast. I don’t know why he wasn’t a regular if they were going to do a plot like that but he was stagnant for a long time in the show. It was like after he and Bay broke up (both times) they weren’t sure what to do with him.
All the Dating. SO MANY RELATIONSHIPS. Kind of reminded me of Gossip Girl because everyone literally had so many options it was ridiculous. I mean shoot, where are my options? I mean Regina had a lot of options, Kathryn had this young guy who was into her, Melody had a crush on John at some point, Toby had like three girlfriends, one of them was his fiancée and I think he married Lily in the end.
Bay (in this order):Liam, Ty, Emmett, Alex, Noah, Ty (again) Tank, Emmett (again), Garrett, Travis.
Daphne (ooooh boy so many):Liam, Wilke (probably my fave), Jeff (an adult and her boss), Travis (yep Bay’s Travis), Jace, Jorge, Campbell, Noah (they didn’t date but he liked her), Mingo (who I also liked).
At some point I was like they both need to just be single for a while and get your lives together. I mean sheesh, a lot of their problems were because of their taste in boys. I mean I overall liked all of Bay’s boyfriends even Noah who decided he liked Daphne instead and Tank who ended up becoming a kind of villain. I’m still unsure how I feel about that plot. As for Daphne’s dudes, I liked Liam, Wilke, I don’t really count Travis since he liked her but she only dated him to prove a point, I don’t care what anyone says and Mingo. Everyone else… meh. It was just too much focus.
Overall, watching it a second time I realized I really liked this show. I went through it pretty quickly and I was a little surprised at how it ended mostly because I never saw the last season and I was pleasantly surprised at the wrap up. I had a good time with the show overall. I liked most of the characters and all of the actors did a good job with their characters, they played their parts well. I liked all of the relationships that were built with the two families and even some outside people. I liked it a lot when the Kennish/Vasquez family worked together or did things that brought them closer and it didn’t seem like they were at each other’s throats. I loved the relationship that grew between Bay and Daphne when they just were friends/sisters and not hating each other. I thought the show handled certain storylines really well. Now, on the other hand, the show was very melodramatic with all of the over reactions that everyone ALWAYS had, plus Daphne’s unlikable personality throughout the entire show really made me dislike watching the show at points because she was just terrible. A lot of characters were very stagnant at times where they show didn’t seem to know what to do with them and I don’t think they stuck every landing with some of the storylines that were “big” and intense. I also was annoyed with all of the relationships because they just were ANNOYING. But I think Switched at Birthwas a good show, dramatic and what not but I very much enjoyed it.
Rating: 3.89 out of 5 stars.
Did you ever watch Switched at Birth? If so, did you like it? Who was your favorite character? Who did you like the least?
Let me know! Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more reviews!
Summary: Max, a macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog in a prestigious Dog Show, along with his human partner, to avert a disaster from happening.
Voice Acting. I didn’t care about any of the characters but I think the voice actors had a great time in this movie.Ludacris plays Max, Jordan Sparks plays Daisy, RuPaul (who I instantly recognized and even said “Now sashay away! lol), Gabriel Iglesias as Sprinkles, Shaquille O’Neal as Karma, Stanley Tucci as Philippe and Alan Cumming as Dante. It was clear they all had a good time and the voice acting was just fine.
Animation. It’s a talking dog movie, there are a lot of those and while the animation for it wasn’t always good, there were times when it looked legit.
One Joke.I don’t even remember what it was and I’ve been sitting here trying to remember which part made me laugh out loud but maybe it wasn’t that funny since I don’t remember what it was. I have to give the movie props though since it was the only thing, I found funny. If I ever watch it again maybe I’ll find out the joke.
The Characters. I didn’t care about anyone nor did I really like anyone. I mean, they’re all pretty harmless but they’re just cutouts of cliché people. The hardened cop (Max), the clumsy cop (Frank) and they don’t get along and of course have to get it together by the end and the love interests on both ends. Of course, all of the side characters that we normally see, like Phillipe who reminded me of Michael Caine’s character inMiss Congeniality.
Not Funny. It’s not funny. I think I chuckled maybe once or twice and only actually laughed once. Otherwise, all the other jokes didn’t land. Obviously, it’s a talking dog movie so a lot of the humor revolves around dog stuff, drinking out of toilets, garbage, that kind of stuff which isn’t very funny. Maybe if you’re a kid it’s funny but otherwise it’s not.
Animal Animation. Mostly all of it looks pretty bad, it’s not so much the mouth moving parts but the other stuff. Max does a “and scene” and he did the hand movements too and wow, looked so bad. Also, the little panda in the movie, while cute also looked terrible when it was doing facial expressions. Also, the pigeons… ugh.
Overall,Show Dogs is definitely for kids or at least kids who like talking animals because I’m sure they would enjoy it way more. I don’t think it was funny at all. The voice acting for the animals is good, the actors are all having a good time, some of the animation in the animals was handled really well and there was one joke that I actually laughed out loud on that I don’t remember. However, the animal animation when it comes to physical movements that are things dogs don’t do looked super weird and of course it’s not funny and the characters are meh. But if your child needs something to watch while you clean up or cook dinner then pop this one in. It’s really harmless.
Rating: 1 out 5 stars.
Have you seenShow Dogs? If you have, let me know your thoughts down below and if not, don’t worry about it hahaha.
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Summary: The adventures of a young orphan girl living in the late 19th century. Follow Anne as she learns to navigate her new life on Prince Edward Island, in this new take on L.M. Montgomery’s classic novels.
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of main characters and we do meet some supporting people. I kind of wanted to only talk about a few of them but I figured I should go ahead and hit most of the main characters who have been regulars in both seasons.
Amybeth McNulty as Anne Shirley. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the book, but I remember Anne being a bit precocious and annoying and I think Amybeth does that well. She has this dreamy look about her, also a bit awkward so I think she physically fits Anne well. Whenever she talks, she says every word with a dramatic flair. The first time she had to read for class, she stood up and read so dramatically that everyone laughed but I think Gilbert was smitten. Anne puts her heart and soul into everything she does, even when she does the wrong thing with the best intentions. She talks a LOT which is a LOT but usually what she’s saying has some merit, especially in her mind. She has a large imagination and always wants to share it with others. An avid reader, always wanting to learn and very intelligent. She had a sad past which caused a bit of PTSD and I hope in the future she allows herself to talk to someone about it. I really like Amybeth as Anne, she really seems to get the character she’s playing and while it may not be the Anne that purists are used to, (she reminds me a lot of the animated version) but she fits that kind of character. I think she does so well in balancing all the emotions that Anne faces in the show.
Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert. Of course, Marilla starts off as really mean towards Anne because she didn’t want a girl but a boy. She tries to warm up to her, but it takes a little while and once she really warms up to her, she and Anne have a complicated relationship that shows Marilla isn’t always sure how to handle the outgoing and imaginative nature of Anne Shirley, though I think she handles her very well. In season two, it was very interesting to see how she reacted to the grifters, especially Nate who was the “good looking one” (lol I mean whatever) and he flirted with her and we learn a lot about her childhood and her childhood love and that she might be a bit starved of romance because she really tries different things with her hair for him to notice. We really get to see different sides of her and I hope in season 3, especially with her being sick and having painful headaches, that she takes it easy, go to a hot spring or something and perhaps even fall in love. Geraldine James is great, she can be so hard when Marilla is being mean but whenever she’s sad, you really see it in her eyes. She is fantastic.
T. H. Thomson as Matthew Cuthbert. I love Matthew, he is such a sweet man. When he goes to pick up “the boy” and he finds it’s Anne, he is shocked, but he didn’t want to just leave her there. He was way more into keeping her and inviting her into the family than Marilla was, and it was just from that conversation they had on the way to Green Gables. I love how he would just look at her in awe as she talked. Matthew is so quiet, so he is an intense listener and I think Anne and he created a bond that is special. There’s a scene in the first season where he goes to find her because she ran away after Marilla sent her away thinking Anne stole from her and he’s trying to figure out what to say to make her come back with him, and when a cop asks Anne if she was okay Matthew says “She’s my daughter!” and it was so beautiful! It’s one of my favorite scenes. He’s generally always on Anne’s side whenever something happens, he’s always the one to try and do whatever he can to make her happy. R.H. Thomson plays the quiet, awkward man well. Matthew never really knows what to say and you can see him trying to figure it out and I like that.
Dalila Bela as Diana Barry. Diana from what I remember is probably the most like her original character, which is fine. She is kind, pretty and friends with everyone. She and Anne manage to connect right away, and Diana is very loyal to Anne and is always willing to teach her things about Avonlea and the people in it. Diana comes from a wealthy family, so she has pretty things and always looks beautiful in her clothes but unlike some of the other girls earlier in the season, she never makes Anne feel bad about her lack of outfit choices. She’s always interested to hear Anne’s stories and participate in her imaginative games, always seems to play the Prince lol. I love Diana, she was always a favorite character of mine because she was so sweet and learned from Anne how to be strong and stand up for herself. I think Dalila Bela is great in the role, I just wish they allow her to do a bit more than what they have her doing right now.
Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert Blythe. When the show started, I was waiting to see him. We didn’t see him for like two or three episodes but the girls in the class kept talking about him and I’m like “WHERE’S GILBERT!” lol, I remember him being a little bit of a hothead and a bit of a jerk, but I always liked him. So, when we first meet him, he steps in while Anne is being bullied on the way to school. She of course doesn’t talk to him because the annoying girls (who grow on me later) tell her she can’t talk to him because one of the girls like him, he’s intrigued. It’s all over his face and I loved it. When they get to school, he tries to talk to her, but she tries her hardest to ignore him and you can tell he doesn’t like that. So of course, he grabs her pigtails and calls her “Carrots” which is iconic however, he tries to accept the blame when Anne gets in trouble for yelling and slapping him with her slate. It was amazing lol. All in all, I really like Gilbert in this show. I do think they toned down his jerky personality I remember and his temper, though it does seem to be there at times. He’s very smart so he and Anne often go back and forth on trying to outdo each other but I feel like he does little things to make her happy, like misspelling a word during a “Spelling Bee” so she could win. He ends up facing tragedy which allows him and Anne to connect on a different level, but it takes a moment because Anne has “foot in mouth” syndrome lol. He ends up leaving to go work on a steamer to “see the world” because he didn’t want to get stuck in Avonlea, but he does end up returning home after helping a woman deliver a baby, so he wants to be a doctor. I do remember him being a doctor later, so I was like “yasss finally”. I really like the young actor who plays Gilbert. He plays Gilbert very chivalrous but also sad in ways and he has his moment of hotheadedness which I enjoy. I love the way he looks at Anne whenever she’s just talking, I find it super cute. Certain expressions he chooses for the character work well.
Aymeric Jett Montaz as Jerry Baynard. He’s one of my favorite characters and he doesn’t even get to do a lot in the show. When we first meet him, he’s the hired hand that Cuthbert’s hire since Anne turned out to be a girl instead of a boy. At first, he and Anne butt heads because she doesn’t like that he’s there since she feels like she could pull her weight as both a boy and a girl, but Jerry is unfazed by her. He’s French so I love his accent and anytime he says something in French, it’s so cute. In season two, we got to see a little more with him, in that he gets mugged by two grifters who ultimately make it to Avonlea and he’s not sure why he’s afraid of them, but he is. I wish they would have done a little more with that. So, I hope to go forward they allow him to do more. This kid is also great, anytime he’s on screen, I think he holds his own and sometimes he’s not doing anything lol. Some of my favorite bits is when he and Anne are traveling and he’s just singing in French and she’s so annoyed.
Dalmar Abuzeid as Sebastian “Bash” Lacroix. We meet him in season two when Gilbert meets him on the steamer. He’s from Trinidad and he and Gilbert form an interesting friendship. It really was a way for Gilbert to experience the world and to see that there is more out there besides his little town and that racism is a thing. I think some of the best stuff happens when they get back to Avonlea but while out on the water, he really shares a lot of real world experiences with Gilbert and befriends him and was kind of a “mentor” of sorts while they were out on the water. When they get back to Avonlea the cold weather is a shock to him, but he tries to acclimate lol, but he also gets upset with Gilbert who wants to be a doctor and didn’t stay true to his word about working his land with Bash. So, Bash gets a little side plot where he goes to the “Bog” where all the black people are in Avonlea and has his own story. I liked Bash. He was interesting, and I was surprised that he came back with Gilbert so now I’m curious to see what happens with him in season 3. I like the actor, he was very charismatic.
Cory Grüter-Andrew as Cole Mackenzie. He comes in season two, he’s an artist and seems to keep to himself in the beginning. Anne and Diana take a liking to him and befriend him. He’s a very gentle soul and he loves going to school because he doesn’t particularly care for staying home and doing field work, he wants to be in school, he wants to draw. He’s able to find solace in being friends with Anne. He even sketched her once (which made me wonder if he liked her but then I realized, he was struggling with his sexuality). Later, we learn more about him when he goes with Anne and Diana to Aunt Josephine’s party where they discover she and her best friend… Jane? Olivia…. Idk lol were lovers which allowed Cole to realize that he was gay. It was an interesting arc and I’m glad they allowed it to be something that discovered on his own or thought about on his own. He did get bullied a lot from the boys and the teacher (which was ridiculous because he was gay too, but I get it) but he was able to find freedom in the end. I guess we’ll see if he returns in season 3. I thought the young actor did a good job for the most part, whenever I was supposed to feel bad for him, he made me feel that. All the emotional stuff he handled well.
Friendship between Anne and Diana. A big relationship I remember from the book was the friendship between Anne and Diana. They are bosom buddies and kindred spirits and I love how Diana understands Anne to the point that she doesn’t judge her. There are times where she might feel a little unsure of what to do because Anne is so herself whereas Diana grew up in strict household so they’re like different, but they work. I love how passionate they are about being friends, it’s just so pure. When Diana’s mom freaked out about them being friends, it physically pained the both to not be together and I’m like “that’s true friendship” and how without second thought, Diana went to Anne for help when her sister was sick and how Anne, without second thought, did everything she could to help. Amazing.
Shirley-Cuthbert Family. One of the best things about the show is the relationship Anne has with Marilla and Matthew. When Matthew picks her up from the train station, he’s a bit shocked because they sent for a boy but got a girl instead however Matthew was a little more accepting in the beginning than Marilla was. He listened to Anne talk, her imagination was different for him and you could tell that he was just in awe of her. It was quite amazing. It took a little more time for Marilla to warm up to her but when she did, especially after she accused Anne of stealing her family broach, it not only tore her up inside that she sent her away, but she didn’t know what to do when Matthew didn’t return with Anne right away. One of my favorite moments, is when Anne is in a train station reciting poetry for money and Matthew shows up, obviously Anne is hurt that she was sent away, so she kept telling him to go away and when the police asked what was wrong, Matthew said “She’s my daughter”. It was such a beautiful moment because Anne’s expression and the realization on Matthew’s face… ugh so beautiful. Anne and Marilla have some great moments too.
Cinematography. Oh man I think this show is beautiful to behold. Bobby Shore is the cinematographer and some of the shots they get, just wow. There’s a shot where Anne is standing on the ledge of a cliff overlooking the water and the music coupled with the shot in that scene, very memorable. Whenever it snows it’s very beautiful and when Anne first gets to Avonlea, they really show what the world around her looks like, it almost seems like it’s what Anne might see when she’s looking at the world.
Dark Tone. I quite liked the dark tone of the show. It wasn’t always dark, but it had its moments, very realistic. Whenever they showed bits of Anne’s history, it made sense to help show us who she was, or why she was the way she was. I liked how she dealt with things so horribly, but it allowed her to have the kind of experience that would allow her to save children from sickness. I think it fit with this new adaptation of the story.
Might be a bit too dark. This didn’t particularly bother me as the show went on but when we got our first flashback of Anne at her old family or in the orphanage, I was kind of shocked. I read the first book back in middle school, I remember loving it and I used to watch the animated show and I loved the 1934 version of the movie with actress Anne Shirley and it had some sad moments but not dark. I can imagine purist having an issue with the dark tone, or that it’s too unlike what they remember that they won’t like it. Going forward, it made sense why they included that with this version of Anne.
Second Season. I don’t think the entire season was bad there was just parts about it that I thought were weak and that it feels too fast in some ways. There are some things I thought were strange. Most of the season had Gilbert on a steamer where he meets Bash and while I don’t mind Bash, I think that whole story line was a little weird. I feel like they did that to have Gilbert realize he wants to be a doctor after he helped a woman give birth in Trinidad. It was great to see some diversity the show lacked, buuuut it just felt out of place. It was… clunky. When they go back to Avonlea it gets better but while Gilbert was gone, I was kind of like “Uh… okay.” There are some other plot points where I’m like “these people can’t be this stupid” or the fact that there’s a lot of messages that felt too on the nose.
More Jerry and Diana! This is only a minor complaint, but I want the show to use Jerry more. I really like that kid. He’s been around since the first season and I liked him from the start. They tried to throw in a little something for him with Anne teaching him how to read and him not trusting the drifters the Cuthberts lodged in their home (there’s a great moment with him and Nate in the barn) but I think they should include more. I’m not into a love triangle between him, Anne and Gilbert, besides I think Jerry likes Diana. As for Diana, I don’t mean them TOGETHER, but I wouldn’t mind that, I just want Diana to be included more. She’s a great character and while I love her friendship with Anne, I would love for her to have her chance. She got to learn a little something about her Aunt Josephine, but I want her to become Diana and not just Diana, Anne’s best friend.
Overall, I really liked Anne with an E and I think it’s a very different adaptation and I think people should give it a chance if they love the world of Avonlea. I understand it might be “too different” but it’s always interesting and cool to see what fans of the source material think and how they might envision the world the author created. I think all the actors do a great job in their roles and I like all the characters, they may annoy me but there isn’t anyone I flat out dislike (out of main people, because that bully kid, Billy I think, I hate him lol). I like the dark tone in some areas because Anne’s history wasn’t happy-go-lucky, and she’s still affected by it. I like the fact that it doesn’t shy away from certain story points but that it confronts them head on. I love the friendship the show built around Anne and Diana which is such a pure relationship that I remember loving from the book and the animated show. I love how loyal they are to each other and how much they love each other to the point where Diana goes to Anne without second thought and vice versa. I love the relationship between Anne and Marilla and Matthew. It was strained at first mostly with Marilla, but I love how it’s still building a strong familial relationship. I didn’t mention this earlier, but I also love the budding relationship between Anne and Gilbert. They don’t always talk but when they do, they manage to be awkward but cute at the same time. The cinematography is also wonderful, the world they’ve built is so beautiful to look at. Now, I can understand why some people might consider it too dark from the world we know in the books and some other mediums. I also think the second season was weaker in places than the first one, I got a little “on the nose” and had some weak plot points that I don’t think the show handled that well. The tone was a little different, but it seemed rushed and out of place… mostly the stuff with the grifters (though I liked that plot, it just was weird) and Gilbert on the steamer. I also would like to see more for Jerry and Diana as they are important in different ways in Anne’s life and we only see Jerry at Green Gables and I would love to know more about his family and his life and see him succeed at reading! Also, just allow Diana to do more than just be Anne’s best friend. BUT I like the show and I can’t wait for season 3!
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Anne with an E? If so, let me know your thoughts below in the comment section!
Have you seen any other versions of the Anne of Green Gables books?
What classic literature would you like to see adapted into a TV series?
Summary: A musician helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
Cast and Characters. We meet a few people along the way in the film, but I’ll stick to the two main people, though I want to give Anthony Ramos a shout out because I always get excited when I see people from Hamilton in other things.
Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine. He is an established singer-songwriter, not sure how long he’s been in the business but it’s clear he’s been doing it a long time to the point where he’s jaded and of course an alcoholic. He stumbles into the first bar he sees one night (well his driver dropped him off) and he gets to see Ally perform a song in French and he is immediately taken. He becomes a mentor for her and later the love interest. Jackson has a lot of issues, daddy issues, self-issues and all the other issues but he does care about Ally and really does try to do right by her, especially at the beginning. I give him credit for that. I don’t think he’s unlikable, but I can see why someone might not like him, I just thought he was sad and kind of a tragic figure. Bradley Cooper did a really good job with him. He surprises me when he’s playing a serious role, I don’t know why lol, but anyway, he did well with keeping Jackson right at the corner of “I like him, he’s sad” or “Wow, this guy is a dick” which works for his character. Great expression in his eyes. *sighs* His eyes. Beautiful. I really thought he shone in the second half.
Lady Gaga as Ally. She is a waitress who sings in a Drag Queen nightclub. She is a singer-songwriter who is pretty much amazing at what she does. Ally performs a song in French “La Vie en Rose” I think and pretty much has Jackson by his heartstrings when she lays on the bar counter and looks at him (I never realized how big and green her eyes are… eyes are kind of a big thing in the movie as Bradley Cooper as the director, kept a lot of the shots close in on the actor’s faces so we get to see their eyes quite a bit in the film). She loves to sing and write songs but is a bit discouraged after she was told she had a beautiful voice but her nose was too big, so when Jackson believes people would want to hear her, needed to hear her, she’s against it at first but once she gets out there, it becomes something she craves plus she’s great at it. Ally is sweet, and she understands how to handle Jackson, but she does get a little lost in the industry later. I thought Lady Gaga was good, this is the first time I’ve seen her act and I thought she was the highlight of the film, the star and I liked that Bradley Cooper gave her top billing. All the emotional stuff she handled well, and I was impressed.
The Music. The highlight of the movie is the music, how it’s used and the connection that people have through the music. First, the singing is fantastic, Lady Gaga can SING. We knew this, but this movie really allows her to showcase her singing chops and whenever she did sing, especially in the beginning of the movie, I got chills. Honest. Bradley Cooper also surprisingly can sing as well. I guess his character sings country or something along those lines which I thought he did well and when they sang together, obviously she overpowered him, but he held his own. As for the songs themselves, the only one I really remember is the “Shallow” one because it’s catchy and I feel like it’ll be nominated for “Best Original Song” which is cool but I think they used those songs as ways to connect moments in the movie, or connect characters, it wasn’t just characters singing songs (until ya know, the generic pop songs later). Definitely the highlight.
The First Half. I prefer the first half. It’s much stronger and better paced than the second half. I really wondered for a while if it was because the first half was lighter than the second and I decided that’s not the reason, I just think the story flowed better in the first half, the characters were more interesting and the story had the chance to go in an original direction but didn’t so first half is definitely stronger. Plus, all of the stuff with his brother, they had a great moment (No idea what they said half the time lol, but it was an emotional moment).
Chemistry. Like I said previously, I think the first half is stronger than the second half. I thought that Gaga and Cooper had amazing chemistry. The first moment he saw her singing in that Drag Club and she looked over at him, it was like “whoa” and I was on board for what I was sure going to be an interesting relationship and indeedy it was. I really liked how they seemed to understand each other on a different level. They have a conversation outside of a mini-mart and he’s telling her a bit of his story and she just makes up a song verse for him. Throughout the movie, we see a lot of moments between them, I mean crazy stuff ensues, but she knows how to handle him and it’s very clear they love each other. While the second half dragged on for me, I thought the two of them really held it together as a couple going through something interesting.
Predictable/Cliché. I called this movie from the beginning. I’ve never seen any of the other incarnations of the movie so I’m solely going off this and, the movie and story is very predictable and cliché. Jackson Maine is the established singer-songwriter who has a sad past, and who struggles with vices such as drugs and alcohol, he has a heart of gold but can’t seem to get out of his own way. Yep. He discovers a hopeful artist who wants to be a singer but thinks she can’t because of her appearance, he believes in her, she sings with him and then she becomes a star because a industry person is interested and she loses her sound blah blah blah, I called all of that and I was a bit upset when I was right. I may not have seen the other movies, but I have seen this movie so many times that I was hoping for a bit of originality and it seemed to start off that way in the first half but then it fell into the usual in the second half.
Second Half. Dragged on way too long. I started getting antsy. That hardly ever happens to me, long movies don’t bother me at all but the second was much weaker and I felt like I was watching a movie unfold that I’d already seen before. I got a bit irritated with that and I didn’t think the characters were as interesting as they were before, almost like the development we were getting in the beginning didn’t come full circle. I think the biggest thing is that Bradley Cooper does well in the second half, almost like the first half was dedicated to Gaga’s character and the second half for Cooper, which worked out I guess lol.
Overall, I liked A Star Is Born, I don’t think I liked it as much as other people do but I think it’s a really good movie. This is Lady Gaga’s movie as she does such a great job, especially with the singing and the emotional bits. Bradley Cooper also does really well, and I thought his direction was handled well and that he really tried to focus on the characters and their emotions (sometimes that’s annoying because you can’t really see what’s going on around the character, but it worked most times). The music is the highlight outside of Lady Gaga and I loved how they all fit the scenes they were in, or how it was used to describe a character at that moment. There was great chemistry and the first half of the movie was really good, I was totally invested. My biggest problem is the fact that the second half was weaker than the first half and it was totally predictable. It annoyed me, and I also thought it was too long because I started getting antsy as the film felt like it dragged on. Oh yeah, I totally needed subtitles in some pockets of the film. But, I liked it and I’m sure it’ll receive a lot of Oscar nominations.
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen A Star Is Born? What are your thoughts?
Which movie featuring a singer turned actress/actor is your favorite??
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Summary: A teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life.
You can check out my review of the book here! This is a short review!
Cast and Characters. We do meet a lot of characters in the movie, some of them we see quite a bit throughout but I’m just going to talk about two of them.
Lana Condor as Lara Jean. She is our protagonist. She has this thing whenever she falls for a boy and wants to move on. She writes love letters to them, addresses them but doesn’t send them, she puts them into her hat box and hides them in her closet. It’s her way of moving on from them. LJ is probably the quirky one of her sisters. Margot is calm and collected, Kitty and outgoing and loud and then LJ is just… not those things lol. She tries to be like Margot and Kitty in different ways but that’s just not her thing which works for her. She’s funny, awkward and a bit clumsy at the best of times. I really liked Lana Condor in the movie, she was cute, and I think really played the character how she was written in the book because Lara Jean is also very dreamy and whimsical, and I thought she managed to do very well. Also, she had great chemistry with Noah Centineo.
Noah Centineo as Peter. He is a lacrosse player and probably the popular guy in school. Everyone seems to like him, and he seems cool with everyone. When he gets the letter from Lara Jean, he tells her “I’m flattered but it’s not going to happen” lol which was still awkward and what not, but he rolls with the moment. When they make their deal, he holds up his end of the bargain but at the same time, he always tried to make sure LJ was comfortable which I liked about him. He was witty and charismatic and when you start notice that he might like LJ, it’s clear it confuses him to some extent. I still quite liked him in the movie, maybe not as much as I liked him in the book, but I still really liked him. I’ve never seen Noah Centineo in anything (I don’t watch The Fosters) but I thought he was fine, he had a natural swagger that I thought Peter had and he was cool, and handsome which all helped the character. He also had great chemistry with Lana Condor.
There are a lot of supporting characters in the movie like Janel Parrish as Margot who was fine in the role of being the calm, collected and maternal big sister. Anna Cathcart as Kitty who is Lara Jean’s younger sister and she was cute and precocious. Madeleine Arthur as Christine who Genevieve’s cousin and Lara Jean’s best friend and she’s is not that present in the movie but whenever she needed to be there for LJ she was, which I guess was her point. Emilija Baranac as Gen who served her role as Peter’s ex and a bully pretty much to Lara Jean throughout the film. Super unlikable lol.
Israel Broussard as Josh who is Margot’s ex-boyfriend and one of the boys who received a letter from LJ. He’s cool with the family, he was close with both Margot and LJ, in different ways, and when Margot breaks up with him before leaving for school, he seems a little lost in what to do with their family, but LJ tries to convince him it’s okay. However, when he gets the letter, he just wants to talk to her, but he avoids him. Now, he’s not in the movie as much as he is in the book. I think they hit on some of his bigger plot points, but he doesn’t show up as often which I think helps keep him from being unlikable which I found he could be in the book. They also didn’t do the love triangle thing either, which also helped. But Israel Broussard was good in the role of Josh, the boy next door.
The Romance/Chemistry. It’s very important that Lara Jean and Peter have chemistry and they did. Lana Condor and Noah Centineo were cute together, they had great chemistry even when they were just faking it for their classmates and their family. When they started to get comfortable around each other it just seemed so natural. It was natural in the beginning when they weren’t really friends with each other, they had a natural chemistry, but it grew even more as the movie progressed.
Cute Teen Movie. It’s a super cute movie. I really had a good time watching it because it’s lighthearted, the characters are all likable and it’s harmless. In the end, you could say you learned something about being brave and bold, and looking at people on the inside more so than the outside and all of that, which is true sure, but it’s also just a cute teen movie.
The Letters Being Sent. I don’t like how we knew from the beginning that Kitty sent the letters (spoiler alert? lol) because it would have been cool for both the audience and Lara Jean to not know. Kitty had her reasons for it which in a way was kind of sweet, but it was also kind of mean and I just wanted that surprise for the audience to still come later the same way it did for Lara Jean. We didn’t have to see that.
Not Spontaneous Enough/Not Enough Love. I don’t want to compare the movie and the book, but I thought they should have allowed Peter and Lara Jean to do more things together. It just didn’t seem like a legit natural progression to get to the point at the end. I mean, you believe they start to like each other at some point but it didn’t seem like it was real because they didn’t do enough together, at least to me. Peter did a lot of spontaneous stuff in the book which helped LJ get attached to him, like showing up at her house and meeting her father, or when they went to the estate sale. I just wish they did more things together that didn’t really involve them showing off for other people because sure, that helps because of their deal but hanging out outside of all of that would really allow for them to really connect way more than I thought they did in the movie.
Overall, I really liked the movie, I thought it was super cute. I liked all the characters and the actors. I didn’t think anyone didn’t fit their character, nor did I think anyone over did or under did it. They all played their characters the way they were written, except maybe Kitty who was way more of a brat in the books than the movie. I really though Lana Condor and Noah Centineo had great chemistry with each other and managed to play off each other, even when their characters had to be awkward or not “attracted” to the other early in the movie. It’s a cute teen movie where you might learn something because the main characters do to an extent, but even if you don’t, it’s just a good entertainment watch. I only had two negatives which were I didn’t think they allowed them to do enough for me to really believe them in the end, I just wanted to see them hang out more outside of doing it to make Gen jealous. Otherwise, I really liked the movie.
Rating: 4 out 5 stars.
Have you seen To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? I swear it’s a mouthful saying and a handful typing it lol. What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments below!