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Culture > Entertainment

My Unsolicited Movie Reviews

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

Let me preface this by saying that all movies are better on the big screen!

Wedding Singer – 4/5 stars – 1998

Robbie (Adam Sandler) is a wedding singer who is stood up on his wedding day! Meanwhile, Julia (Drew Barrymore) is a waitress who, after being engaged for two years, sets a date for her wedding (after pretty much begging her fiancée who you’ll learn to hate). Julia and Robbie meet and immediately hit it off, and because Julia’s fiancée is a grade A prick and has no interest in planning the wedding (or really getting married for that matter), Robbie helps her out. You can guess where this is headed as the two spend more and more time together and things begin to get complicated. 

I saw this for the first time as “Drunken Cinema” at the Apollo Cinema in Kitchener where it was interactive. A huge plus for this movie is the wicked 80s soundtrack. I can’t even put my finger on what it was that I liked about this movie so much, but I just found it so fun and cute but not like any other rom-com I’ve seen before. That is not to say this is the BEST rom-com, but it is a favourite of mine that I rewatched within three days of seeing it the first time. Adam Sandler was somehow a cutie in this movie (so random, I know) and Drew Barrymore is so adorable — I literally had to go out after I saw the movie and buy the same headband she wears throughout the movie. This movie just makes you feel giddy and excited as you watch love happen! This movie provides great characters to love but also characters to hate, which keeps it spicy! You are bound to laugh out loud, sing along, and smile so big your cheeks hurt. 

Iron Claw – 4.5/5 stars – 2023

This is the true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s (don’t let this stop you from watching the movie — I knew nothing about wrestling and had no interest in it). Through tragedy and triumph, under the shadow of their domineering father and coach (hello toxic masculinity, holy cow), the brothers seek larger-than-life immortality on the biggest stage in sports (ya get ready for a whirlwind of emotions). 

Where to even begin? The fact that this is based on a true story was enough to leave people weeping in the theatre, alongside the fact that Zac Efron was incredible and deserves an Oscar for this role (even more so than the one he deserved for HSM 1, 2 & 3 xo). The supporting cast of Jeremy Allen White, Lily James, Harris Dickinson, and Stanely Simons were outstanding to say the least, and the movie would not have been the same without them. This is yet another movie with a top-tier soundtrack; I definitely went home and added a couple of the songs to my playlists.

I know nothing about wrestling and went into this movie knowing nothing about the story but was not at all disappointed. You do not need to know anything about wrestling, as they explain or show anything important to the sport, and the movie really focuses more on their family dynamics and the relationship between the brothers. 

I learned afterwards that the directors removed parts of the actual story because they thought it would be too sad and would end up taking away from the rest of the story. This movie grapples with toxic masculinity, and it truly is difficult to believe these boys were raised believing that pain is weak and crying is weak and feeling any emotion other than determination is weak. Your brother died (spoiler alert oops) but don’t feel sad about it because that is weak! Aside from the dad being the absolute worst, it shows you the bond of siblings and how sometimes it’s what keeps you going. I can’t imagine a life without my sisters and think of all of the times I would have been lost without them. Siblings provide you with an unmatchable sense of support and as portrayed in this movie, and they really are your rock whether you realize it or not. I have really made this movie seem like the saddest movie of the year, but I will tell you that it ends happily. Yes, there are sad parts, but you also feel connected to the characters which allows you to feel the happiness and joy the boys do as it happens. 

All of Us Strangers – 4/5 stars – 2023

One night, screenwriter Adam (Andrew Scott), in his near-empty apartment in contemporary London, has a chance encounter with his mysterious neighbour Harry (PAUL MESCAL!!) that punctures the rhythm of his everyday life. As Adam and Harry get closer, Adam is pulled back to his childhood home where he discovers that his long-dead parents are both living and look the same age as the day they died over 30 years ago (this was confusing for me at first). 

This movie encapsulates the sense of isolation, delivering a poignant portrayal of the complexities of loneliness which proves to be quite devastating. This film delves deep into the intricate process and emotions of grief and denial and the struggle to carry on with life while your personal life is falling apart. The pacing of this movie was slow, but it was deliberate to allow a meticulous examination of details that helped to immerse the audience. It was the colours that really did it for me. Paul Mescal and Adam Scott were a perfect combo and perfectly portrayed every emotion without it feeling forced. All of Us Strangers, to me, really was “storytelling” at its finest and said so much sometimes without the characters saying anything at all. This movie really makes you feel! 

Poor Things – 1.5/5 stars – 2023

Get locked in, people. I don’t have good things to say about this one. Brought back to life by an unorthodox scientist (Willem Dafoe), a young woman (Emma Stone!!) runs off with a lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her time, she grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation. 

This movie was bad! I hate movies that try so hard to be quirky, different, and obscure just for the sake of it but don’t actually provide you with anything substantial to think about or feel. Emma Stone (who I do adore BTW) said in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress that this movie depicts what it is like to fall in love with life. What part of life did she fall in love with? Sex? Seriously. Also enough with the fish eye lens. 

I found it difficult to connect with the main character which made me feel disconnected from the whole movie, but I also do not think this movie is the type of liberating feminist movie it wanted to be. I respect the effort but I was put off by the fact that so much of this movie was her engaging in sex, and I think women being allowed to want and enjoy sex is just not the type of liberation that really represents  “freedom from societal prejudices’”. I think women can do a lot more than just want sex for their own sake for them to experience liberation and freedom of one’s self. She had a close female relationship, and I really would’ve liked them to explore that deeper and show more of her experiencing a strong female bond. I also felt that a lot of the liberation she felt was due to her ignorance as well which then sort of cancels out. 

Though the costumes were terrific and the performances themselves were quite good, this movie just was not for me and I don’t understand the point. The only part of the movie that stood out to me is when she is on a cruise ship and sees an area full of dying children and slaves and cries because she can’t understand how this could happen. I think this is a real part of life. It is difficult to mature and begin to notice the atrocities that go on all around us, even in the everyday lives of some individuals, communities, or entire countries. They show a powerful scene like this and then in a few scenes she is having sex again, and I just found it almost hit the mark and then swerved in another weird direction and I just felt annoyed. 

This is a hugely popular movie and many people love it and there are people who do feel it beautifully depicts feeling liberated and is pro-feminism. You may love it and feel the complete opposite of me, and that could be true for any of the movies I talked about, so go into any of them with an open mind.

Happy watching!! 

My name is Lexie and I am in my fourth year of the Health Sciences program at the University of Waterloo! I love yoga (but only hot yoga!), seeing movies (I have the Letterboxd app where I have logged, rated, and reviewed (sometimes) every movie I have ever seen), and anything that involves dogs or Taylor Swift (<3).