Films We Really Shouldn’t Love But Do: Part Two

So our first post on Films We Really Shouldn’t Love got a really good response so we said we would do a follow up and I was inspired to start:


Eurotrip (2004)

After my recent trip to Sicily I was reminded of this film that I used to love a lot more than I should. At least it’s not The Godfather Part 3. Right? Well…I guess.

When I went to see this film (that’s right, I went to the cinema especially to see this film) it was for three reasons: 1) I liked the American Pie films, 2) The trailer looked pretty funny (I think) and 3) Michelle Trachtenberg is in. The first two reasons need no explanation but the Michelle Trachtenberg thing definitely does. I’ve already previously mentioned that I’m a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and Trachtenberg was in the series. I did not in any way love her in the series but this film role was such a distance from her character (careful to avoid spoilers here!) in Buffy that I was intrigued. (I have since fallen in love with her in Gossip Girl. She is one of the best things about that show.)

Now I’ve established why I went to see the film. Then I was addicted. One song gets stuck in your head and is lip-synced by a shaved head, tattooed Matt Damon:

Then, there’s the paper-thin plot which is held up through amazing little comedy scenes that you constantly associate with European countries. (And yes, England is full of football hooligans headed by Vinnie Jones. Of course.) France – Robot fight. Italy – creepy pervy Italian man. Netherlands – hash brownies and dominatrixes. Eastern Europe – Absinthe. Germany – child Nazi supporter. All stereotypical (except the robot fight in Paris) but…actually pretty funny.

But here is the scene that I constantly thought of when in Italy. Enjoy!


High School Musical “Trilogy” (2006 – 2008)

I think I’m going to get kicked off the DTSFT team for this one.

I write “trilogy” because I usually associate that word with films that are epic, films that are legendary, films that have made their mark in history, like the Dollars Trilogy, Toy Story, Christopher Nolan’s Batman and The Lord of the Rings (my favourite films ever). High School Musical is none of these.

But it doesn’t matter. The whole thing may be silly and predictable, but once you get past that there is a positive message, loveable characters (like champion hat-wearer and hip-shaker Ryan Evans) and a lot of great songs. And Zac Efron. I love me some Zac Efron.

I didn’t exactly go merchandise crazy, but I did buy all of the DVDs (including the ‘Dance Along edition’ of High School Musical 2) and I was given a poster for Christmas. I even went to see High School Musical 3: Senior Year at the cinema – and paid for it. And I ain’t ashamed. But I am ashamed that I’m not ashamed.

Here are three of my favourite musical numbers from the “trilogy”:


The Three Stooges – 2012

Now hear me out. When I went to see this film I fully expected it to be the lame cash-cow that it obviously is. What surprised me was that it was a funny lame cash-cow. Think of it as an actual lame cow that secretes dollar bills when you milk it, but it’s really quite good at telling jokes.

The Three Stooges – based on a comedy act that was around before I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye (or a pain in her arse – not sure which) – didn’t require much acting from anyone involved. The gags are basic at best (someone farts in a sinking car, bubbles break the surface, everyone puts on their best “eww gross, flatulence!” face), and the schmoopy heartfelt moments were as sickening as the butterscotch in a TGI Fridays desert; but what saved this film was the slapstick.

It was very well executed by the three leads Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos and trumped all of the verbal wisecracks. The timing of their over-exaggerated physical fights was perfectly in-sync – which is probably just as well, because if it wasn’t then this film would feature in post titled Films That Are Balls.

Larry David’s ratchet-voiced nun Sister Mary provided a laugh for the adults, while the inclusion of the Jersey Shore collective was a nice touch and confirmed that reality TV stars should take up MMA before even considering going into acting.

And the best joke of the film?

“Those three idiots crashed the party!”

“The Kardashian girls?”

Boom. Watch the trailer and I defy you not to at least smirk.


The Room (2003)

Have you ever seen this film? There’s no in-between with this one, no “oh I’ve seen some of it” or “erm, I can’t remember”, because with this film there is no such thing as doing things by halves.

The Room, a film by the living genius Tommy Wiseau is one of those rare gems that come along once in a blue moon and if you’re lucky enough to encounter it, well it’s basically like seeing God – if God is a man with a simultaneously wrinkly and smooth face, and black hair so luxurious that it would make Cher throw out her whole collection of wigs.

Remember I told you about Mystery Science Theatre 3000? Well, this film is so bad that people actually meet up to heckle it in the style of the MST3K boys. The story (sort of, you try following this pile of crap) is essentially that Lisa, the beautiful and ‘near perfect’ partner of the lovely and loyal Johnny has grown bored of their relationship and decides to embark on an affair with Johnny’s best friend, while throwing around some accusations of domestic abuse and lies about being pregnant. She eventually decides to shove her affair with Mark in Johnny’s face in his own damn house, with TRAGIC RESULTS!

You know the kind of crappy acting that only children are capable of? You know what I’m talking about – nativity plays and school productions, you sit there trying to block out the terrible performances while also trying to appear loving and supportive because they’re looking out into the audience to see you smile and wave. Well the great thing about this is that it’s a film, and they can’t see you cringing and laughing at their piss poor performances – and even if they could, they’re adults so it doesn’t even matter!

Plot-lines drift in and out, as do characters – ideas and people are heard of and then never seen again. Arguably the most famous example from the film is when Lisa’s mother announces to her over a cup of tea: “I got the results of the test back, and I definitely have breast cancer”. Oh my god, you think, this film just got serious. Naaaaah don’t worry about it – this storyline is never mentioned ever again throughout the film. If that plot line was a delicious lamb shank and its appearance in the film was it being put in the oven, by the end of the film you would smell smoke and have to evacuate your house, only for the fireman to tell you with a tear in his eye “I’m sorry, ma’am, the shank… it didn’t make it” and present you with the charred remains of the plot line – sorry, delicious lamb shank – that you just plain forgot about because of the complexities of the rest of the film.

Here’s two videos from youtube with some of the best bits from the film. The only problem is, the best bits of the film are every single second of it. You need to experience this film. It’s so, so bad.


Saw This And Thought It Was Cool

A sort of Halloween-y one for you book lovers out there!

Penguin has released this beautiful hardback of stories retold by the wonderful Philip Pullman just in time for Halloween, and apart from the absolutely gorgeous cover (seriously, I can’t stop looking at it) it caught my eye because of the content – classic stories from folklore and some lesser known scary tales are presented in the book along with an introduction by the author.

It’s worth checking out the book’s page on the Penguin website as there are some goodies on there such as audio clips of Pullman reading excerpts and paper animations too.  You know I love scary stuff, and I think that cautionary tales from folklore are a great addition to any library, whether you’re 8 or 88 – everyone loves a good scare, don’t they?

Have a spooky Halloween!

Style Icon: Naomie Harris

At the Skyfall photocall in New York, October 2012

At the Skyfall photocall in London, October 2012

At the Skyfall press conference in London, November 2011

At the Skyfall World Premiere afterparty in London, October 2012

At the ‘Keep A Child Alive’ Black Ball in London, June 2011

At the Tommy Hilfiger flagship store launch in London, December 2011

At the Skyfall premiere afterparty in Sweden, October 2012

At the Skyfall premiere in Rome, October 2012 (with bonus Daniel Craig)


Costume Plot: Delysia Lafosse from ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day’


After writing a costume plot for Peggy Carter I realised how much I enjoyed writing about costumes in the films so I’m going to try to do a semi-regular feature of this – including a wide range of films (mostly DVD releases so I can re-watch and pause to get the most from them).

This post concentrates on Amy Adams’ character Delysia Lafosse from Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008). I’m very fond of this film, based on the novel of the same name by Winifred Watson, for its simple yet effective story, time period, characters, performances, set design and, of course, costume design. the costume designer was Michael O’Connor who is most famous for his Oscar-winning work in The Duchess (2009). This was his first nomination as well as first win – he has subsequently been nominated for his work on Jane Eyre (2012). Delysia has the largest number of costume changes in the film, especially considering that this is all in one day – pretty much.

First introduction to Delysia

The first time we see Delysia she is “dressed” in a silk dressing gown trimmed with feathers – ostrich I think. Straight away this person is different from everything we’ve seen in the film. Miss Pettigrew’s London is dowdy, full of browns, greens and beiges – and definitely not silk and feathers. Delysia’s dressing gown lights up the room and successfully fulfils the task of an introductory costume – it tells the audience who this character is. The soft colour of the dusky pink also suggests youth, if not quite innocence (given what we know) but naivety. The costume also works for story-telling. Delysia has had an extravagant night, she’s rolled out of bed and this is the first thing she grabs. How I wish that were true of my life.

Changing for meeting Nick

Following the fear of being seen in the dusky pink dressing gown by Nick, Delysia quickly disrobes and grabs a long brown fur coat – as you do. I wish I could guess on the type of fur (or the type of fur it pretends to be) but I have absolutely no idea. Sorry. The coat itself has a very interesting collar with wide-ish lapels – giving off that distinctly ’30s vibe. Discussions have already been made about Nick owning the flat so one can presume that these extravagant clothes (at this point we’ve only seen the gown and the coat) are due to Nick’s “generosity”.

Changing for the negligee show

Before we see Delysia dress for the fashion show we see her underwear briefly – interesting to compare with the first negligee range shown at the fashion show. It’s established that the first range is all whaleboned, support-wear and corsetry whereas Joe’s collection is beautiful fine silk negligee – with no “support”. This is the style of underwear that we see Delysia wearing. Negligee that just flows and doesn’t leave unflattering VPL underneath flowing, bias-cut ’30s dresses. And she’s wearing seamed stockings as well. Of course.

Then there’s the dress itself. In an interview with Michael O’Connor he mentioned the colour:

And it’s in relation, because Miss Pettigrew’s in dowdy browns, so you don’t have to be so bright with Delysia, so she’s wearing a light blue, to start with, which is a brightness in the street where all the extras are in darkish colours. And so she stands out, as if she’s living in a fantasy world in her own head and that was the plan.

The cut of the dress itself is beautiful. The flow of the skirt very effectively shows off the bias cut and the graceful flow of the fabric. The emphasis on the shoulders, using shoulder pads and slight gathers at the sleeve head, are very symbolic of the period. And the dress has accessories galore – as one would. Despite it possibly seeming a little fussy to modern audiences this is how wealthier women in the ’30s would dress – brooch, hat, gloves and stole.

Bath scene

Now here’s a rather tenuous “costume” change. The head scarf is to maintain the curls – not quite tied in the ’40s style though. The colour of it is in the same dusky pink tones as the silk dressing gown – possibly made from the same fabric. This would then suggest that the dressing gown was constructed for the film rather than being sourced. As the dressing gown was Delysia’s “introductory” costume this doesn’t seem too unlikely – it needs to make an impact.

From the bath scene, via the Venus pose, comes the very boring towelling dressing gown. If anything, this is merely to aid Delysia’s drying and make Guinevere feel more at ease – she’s clearly uncomfortable with Delysia wandering around just holding a towel to herself. The towelling dressing gown is seen for a very short amount of time and you only ever see the top section of it.

This then moves into dusky pink underwear underneath a light pink dressing gown. Delysia has moved on from being mothered by Guinevere and back into her “glamour” stage. The underwear seen is very similar to that of Joe’s range at the fashion show – as Delysia had spoken of her intention of buying underwear from there to wear that evening. This underwear is “smaller” than the black set she wore underneath her day dress – intended to make the right impression…

The Pile on the Pepper party

The pink dress Delysia wears for the party shows a slight lean forward to ’40s fashion. The dusky pink colour is close to that used in her lingerie. The colours that Delysia has been dressed in (excluding the black lingerie) have all been soft tones. I mentioned the youthfulness and naivety and O’Connor mentioned her living in a ‘fantasy land in her own head’ but the tones also allow Guinevere to be a more nurturing, motherly influence. The ruching at the shoulder seams adds to the material at the bust and compliments the  interesting plunging neckline. Delysia is positive that this party will include the announcement of her starring role in Pile on the Pepper so she needs to stand out – or at least overshadow Charlotte “The Rabbit” Warren. The diamante detailing on the dress focuses the attention on the two key features of ’30s (and ’40s) clothing – the shoulders and the waist. The patterning is minimal and subtle but ensures that Delysia catches the light and is always the focus of the audience (and party guests).

Delysia’s final night singing at the cabaret

This scene is only shown briefly for Delysia to tell Guinevere the truth about her life. She shows her frailty in this scene and by being drenched in soft white feathers she seems even more at risk. And more able to be cared for by Guinevere.

For this scene Delysia needs to stand out and feel secure more than ever. Her last night singing at the club and also interacting with Nick (the owner of the club), Michael (her accompanist) and Phil (audience member) – all together, in one place. The dress needs to make her feel safe, so the gold is a little bit like armour. The draping of the dress is very similar to Grecian dresses. Is this a callback to the Venus pose in the bath scene? Or because those three men see her as a goddess? On a pedestal, although each places her on a very different pedestal.

Leaving Suit

Delysia’s final costume is much more structured than her other costumes – she is happy, safe and secure and no longer living in her fantasy world. The grey and white stripes on her dress (and the lapels of her jacket) give the hint of ‘wedding’ wear but this is a travel dress. It is reminiscent of suiting and a much more mature choice for Delysia. The cut of the dress is still in keeping with the cut of her previous dresses – she hasn’t changed her entire personality – but the subdued colours highlight her internal change. Maturity shows through, and although Delysia would never want to be overlooked, she doesn’t need to ‘stop traffic’ by standing out so completely.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings. I’m not sure how much of this makes sense! But I enjoyed thinking about it all – the reason I took a costume degree. Any thoughts or things I missed/mis-read? Please let me know your opinions.

S x

Saw This And Thought It Was Cool

We here at DTSFT love a Marvel/superhero/Avengers related film. Currently we’ve been mostly excited about Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier but after the trailer release for Iron Man 3 (no subtitle…) I am pretty excited for this too. I love Kiss Kiss Bang Bang so I have faith that a Shane Black directed film (and co-scritped with Drew Pierce) will bring along a great film. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, here it is: S x

Happy Nolan Day!

Sorry it’s a late post, I was at the cinema (I saw Looper – epic, by the way, loved it), but….


The finale was absolutely brilliant, I couldn’t tear myself away from it. So many questions: is Charlotte OK? Did Victoria and Lydia survive that crash? Will Jack and Emily ever get together? Is Fauxmanda really carrying Jack’s baby? Will Conrad ever get his comeuppance? And most importantly – whatever will Nolan wear next???

To keep you all tied over until Season 2 (which has already begun in America, but doesn’t reach our shores until January 2013 – I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!) I picked out something from tonight’s episode (‘Reckoning’) that caught my eye:

Great look, Nolan…but I’m not too sure if the blood goes with it

The trousers and socks combo? Awesome. Even when he’s had the shinola kicked out of him, Nolan still stunts on all of us. Clashing patterns can work very well, if done properly. It’s also a good move to wear a darker pattern with a brighter one.

I’ve had so much fun doing this post throughout the series, and I’ll definitely return when Season 2 begins with your weekly Nolan Ross fix. But until then, I hope you enjoyed it, and here’s to Nolan Ross, the snappiest dresser in the Hamptons!

Until January!


Style Icon: Gary Barlow

My style icon choice might raise a few eyebrows but seriously, G Bash knows what he’s doing. If you had to turn up every Saturday night for The X Factor, you’d need to find some source of creativity and fun, or else you’d have a Rylan-triggered mental break down and wind up sobbing in a corner eating cod’s roe straight from the tin with a tiny plastic fork.

Gary’s chosen fun outlet seems to be suits, as each week he steps through the giant X Factor doors looking like a certified banger*.

Are the suits tailored? No idea, but they certainly look it (I’m not very knowledgeable about such things. That’s where Sophia comes in).

He’s brave with his choice of attire too, occasionally injecting coloured ties and eye-catching fabrics to keep things interesting.

Yep, Barlow has come a long way from being the peroxide-haired boy-band member having jelly spread all over his rear in the Do What You Like video. Have a gander at some of his clobber below.

As I said on my Twitter, I have dubbed this his “Lord of the Effing Manor look”. Maybe it’s the tie. Or the dog. Not sure which.

I like the not-quite-black shoes here. The two different shades of tartan are a nice touch too, keeping them dark stops him looking cray.

Behold, the pocket square! And he gets props for being brave enough to wear tartan in this colour all over.

And bam – the classic “straight-up black” suit. Brownie points for the buttons on the cuffs and the skinny tie.

Louis Walsh needs to up his game.

*For those not in the know, a banger is, in summation, a really rather good-looking person.