Reading Rarities: What We Saw

Those who remember 9-11 will no doubt recall the huge demand for merch that immediately followed. The Longs Drugs I worked at during that time couldn't keep American flags, or anything flag-related, in the store. What we did get would sell out by the end of the day. Naturally, 9-11 books, magazines, and T-shirts were … Continue reading Reading Rarities: What We Saw

So Many Books

"Books are much more than an escape. They are a way of being fully human." So opens the 2020 documentary, The Booksellers, a Parker Posey-produced ode to the Holy Grails of the printed word, Rare Books, and the people who sell and collect them. Who else is a book person? You longtime "Room" readers know … Continue reading So Many Books

You Will Not Forget This Date

It's hard to believe 9-11 happened twenty years ago today. How much has America changed since then? How much has the world changed since then? Look at us now. https://twitter.com/ian_mckelvey/status/1427608214024212485?s=20 Of course, on that bright Tuesday morning we had no way of predicting what was about to unfold. People went to work and school, got … Continue reading You Will Not Forget This Date

It’s A Charmed Life

Who else misses Brittany Murphy? I do. She was a fun lady who left us way too soon. I always enjoyed seeing what kinds of parts she chose to play, and I think one of the nicest is 2003's Uptown Girls. Molly Gunn (Brittany Murphy) lives like a princess. Her Manhattan apartment looks like Rapunzel's … Continue reading It’s A Charmed Life

Warts and All

Obviously, not every family is perfect. There are families that are together in name only, and sometimes not even that. Even seemingly perfect families may not be so perfect under the surface because the plain and simple fact is that we're all human. Regardless of which scenario applies, life often forces us to deal with … Continue reading Warts and All

Page To Screen: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Few YA books are as daring as E.L. Koningsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It's a thinking book. It's also an unthinking book. For those who aren't familiar with the story, Claudia Kincaid is an upstate New York girl with three brothers who feels like there's nothing to set her apart from … Continue reading Page To Screen: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

At the Stage Door Canteen

Much has been made of the Hollywood Canteen and its efforts to entertain the troops during the Second World War. They weren't the first to the party, however, not that anyone's counting, but Broadway got there way before them. In 1917, various Broadway stars, many of them women, founded the American Theatre Wing, which was … Continue reading At the Stage Door Canteen

Travels With Papa

Summertime, and de livin' is easy... Ah, summer. And ah, vacation season. Unless one is a too-cool-for-school teenager who's suddenly allergic to Mom and Dad, especially when there's someone cute to impress. Katherine Heigl in her pre-Grey's Anatomy days takes this to the extreme in the 1994 father-daughter comedy, My Father the Hero. It's an unusual movie, especially … Continue reading Travels With Papa

Shamedown #5: I Don’t Know How She Does It

Hard to believe we're halfway through the year already, but Shamedown #5 is upon us. For anyone who would like to know what a Shamedown is, please visit Cinema Shame. It's fitting that I picked this movie for one of this year's Shamedowns, because a couple of months ago I got a job with a neighboring … Continue reading Shamedown #5: I Don’t Know How She Does It

Marrying In Haste

World War Two was a heady time, and on-the-fly decisions weren't uncommon. Like getting married, for instance. 1942 has one of the highest marriage numbers on record in the United States. Some of these couples had been together for a while, but whirlwind courtships weren't unheard of. Sometimes called "gangplank marriage" or "shoving-off marriages," they … Continue reading Marrying In Haste

Three Ziegfeld Girls

While The Great Ziegfeld is a terrific movie, only a small percentage of it focused on the actual making of the Follies. We barely even got to see those famed stairs. Like Broadway, the Follies are a big subject, and in 1941, MGM revisited them in Ziegfeld Girl. Starring James Stewart, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, and Hedy Lamarr, … Continue reading Three Ziegfeld Girls

The Man Behind the Curtain

While Broadway is considered the pinnacle of a performer's career, in the early twentieth century the Ziegfeld Follies were the pinnacle of Broadway. These lavish shows featured comedy acts, music, and dancing. Most famously of all, there were women in strategically skimpy and unusual costumes walking down stairs as if descending from heaven. To be … Continue reading The Man Behind the Curtain

Carrying the Banner

In the nineteen-eighties and nineties, there were very few musicals being produced, at least not live action ones. Some people said that it was because Hollywood had forgotten how to make that type of film. There were movies that featured dancing, or maybe a song or two, but as far as films with plot-driven soundtracks, … Continue reading Carrying the Banner

Page To Screen: Confessions Of a Shopaholic

Chick-lit can be very one-note: High-end fashionista meets handsome stranger and everyone looks fabulous. That's pretty much all there is to books of that genre. The characters never snap a heel or get a run in their stockings. Or, heaven forfend, wear something from Sears. Yawn. However, I do like me some Sophie Kinsella. Her … Continue reading Page To Screen: Confessions Of a Shopaholic