Movie review: Book Club

Movie review: Book Club

I have never read the infamous 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I'll try not to judge (too much) those who have. From all I've heard, it just seems too trashy—not fun-trashy just trashy-trashy—for my tastes and time. There are far too many other books on my to-read list and far too little time in which to tackle them for me to squander even seconds on trashy-trashy.

The four 60-something, forever friends of BOOK CLUB initially seem to agree with me on such. Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have met monthly for decades to discuss books—reading selections made on a rotating basis—men, and more. 50 Shades of Grey is not the sort of selection the refined readers read. Initially.

Read More

Saturday movie review: 'At Middleton'

Many readers know I have a, well, history with the romantic comedy AT MIDDLETON, starring Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga. I first saw the film at the AARP Life@50 Conference in Atlanta in October and afterward had the unexpected and delightful opportunity to meet — and hug! — Andy Garcia. The memorable moment was a fantastic closing to my AT MIDDLETON experience.

Quotes from AT MIDDLETONOr so I thought. Turns out that was just the beginning.

Through an interesting turn of events, I ended up covering the red carpet screening of AT MIDDLETON at the Starz Denver Film Festival in November. I photographed and spoke to not only...

Read More

Photo finish: People of the red carpet

The Starz Denver Film Festival wrapped up this past weekend, with the last red carpet event being the screening of AT MIDDLETON, directed by Adam Rodgers and starring Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga.

Here, my view of the people of the red carpet:


red carpet eventThe AT MIDDLETON red carpet experience with my favorite co-star, aka Jim.


Read More

On Andy Garcia and me

The AARP Life@50+ Expo has come and gone, and I must say it far exceeded my expectations. So much to see and do and learn.

Though the connections made — and the dogs met — were delightful and well worth the trip, my favorite experience there was hands down the Movies for Grownups screening of "At Middleton," which stars Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga.

You may recall the trailer for the film, included in this post here. (And if you don't recall the trailer or didn't watch it then, go watch it. Seriously.)

You may also recall from that post that I mentioned Andy Garcia would be at the screening. Which he was.

After the lovely movie that I enjoyed from beginning to end, Andy Garcia, along with director Adam Rodgers and Glenn German — co-writer with Rodgers of the sweet story of two parents who meet during their children's college tour — took the stage for an "At Middleton" Q&A session with the audience.

Glenn German, Adam Rodgers, Andy Garcia

Glenn German, Adam Rodgers and Andy Garcia

Andy Garcia

Andy Garcia listens to an adoring audience member.Mike wranglers roamed the crowd, giving those in attendance the chance to ask questions. I so wanted to ask who chose the musical selections integral to the story, having seen Arturo Sandoval's name in the beginning credits (whom Andy Garcia played in a 2000 HBO film on Sandoval). But... though I can write for crowds, I sure as heck can't speak in front of crowds. At all.

So I kept my mouth shut, listened to others, and shot frame after frame of the handsome men on stage.

Then the topic of distribution of the independent film and support for it came up. Suddenly there was some mention of the support for the film on a site called Grandma's Briefs, with Andy Garcia saying something about there being a special request and... something else I can't remember at all because I somehow found myself standing and waving my arms and declaring to the men on the stage, That's me, I'm Grandma's Briefs!

And then Andy Garcia asked me to come up front.

Oh, <cuss>! I said in my head.

"Oh, no," I said out loud.

I quickly asked the gentleman behind me to please take my camera and get some photos, someone thrust a microphone into my hand (Here, take this!) and I headed up front.

Right into the arms of Andy Garcia.

Meeting Andy Garcia


I wanted to say, "Wow! What a wonderful, touching film!"

I wanted to say, "You are a good, good man, Mr. Garcia!" (I think heis. In part because he and his wife have been married as long as Jim and I, and his family is top priority. Need more? Google him.)

And I wanted to say — once we hugged and I melted into his unbelievably soft jacket that simply felt like home — "Gee whiz! Let's just stay right here and hug all freakin' day!"

I didn't say any of those things.

Instead, I said, "The other grandmas are going to be so jealous!" Yes, at that very special moment, I thought of you all.

Andy Garcia kissed me on the forehead, he thanked me for my support. And I just babbled: "Thank you, thank you, thank YOU...."

(As I mentioned, I can't speak for <cuss> in front of crowds.)

But Mr. Garcia was kind and seemingly genuine as he hugged me again — comfy, cozy hugs that, well, just felt like home. And we posed for pictures.

Andy Garcia with Lisa of Grandma's Briefs

Then I somehow managed my way back to my seat — after a quick hug to Sue, the PR rep taking photos... whom I also thanked profusely. The gentleman who used my camera gave it back, I thanked him several times, as well, then I sat back down and tried to stop shaking.

A few questions from the audience later — what the Q was or the A that followed, I couldn't tell ya — then the whole thing was over. Just like that.



Andy Garcia and Lisa at Grandma's Briefs Life@50+

When the lights came up and the crowd began exiting, the first thing I did was dial my husband. It's the normal response when a long-time married woman hugs another man, right? Tell your husband?

I simply had to share with Jim.

And Jim was immediately jealous — jealous that he didn't get to hug Andy Garcia!

But as he always is, my husband was thrilled for me.

"Was it a good hug?" he asked, as he and I put a lot of stock in a person's hug, agree that so much of one's character is revealed in their hugs.

I confirmed that it was.

And it certainly was.

Such a wonderful hug from a good, good man.

One truly unexpected, truly unforgettable moment.

Thank you, Andy Garcia.

Andy Garcia with Lisa of Grandma's Briefs

Today's question:

Whose hugs feel like home to you?