Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge! (2001) PG-13
The opening scene of this movie is a frenetic, whirling burst of lights, colors, and music! But try and stick with it because it is one luscious movie!

As the story goes, Christian, an impoverished writer, comes to Paris and falls in with Toulouse-Lautrec and the Bohemians of Montmartre, which leads us all to a merry romp at the Moulin Rouge. Christian meets Satine, the club's star and a beautiful courtesan. When he falls head-over-heels in love with her, a dangerous love triangle begins!

Ewan McGregor is terrific as Christian, Nicole Kidman is perfect as Satine, and they sing and dance! Visit About.com to find more about the movie, the stars, and the music.

Bread & Tulips = Pane e tulipani

Bread & Tulips = Pane e tulipani (2000) PG-13
Bread & Tulips is a charming and quirky Italian film about an overlooked housewife who impulsively vacations to Venice and, with the help of a wonderful cast of supporting characters, finds herself. Part comedy, part romance, part fairy tale, this colorful film will leave you smiling!

In Italian with English subtitles.

Australia

Australia (2008) PG-13
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman star in this epic movie that’s also a love story. Baz Luhrmann directs this tale set in the Northern Territory of Australia during World War II.

My husband had traveled to Australia, and he loved the scenery portrayed in the movie. He was in the area where it was filmed.

Check out a LA Times interview with Nicole Kidman where she discusses the film and the region. Also visit Amazon.com for a behind the scenes video clip featuring Hugh Jackman. If you want to preview the movie, IMDb.com has several featurettes and trailers.

Charade

Charade (1963)
Charade, a film written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, tells the tale of a woman (Audrey Hepburn) pursued by several men, including Cary Grant, who want the fortune her murdered husband has stolen. Directed by Stanley Donen, it also features Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy and an Oscar nominated score by Henry Mancini.

It spans three genres: suspense/thriller, romance, and comedy, and is both charming and amusing. The interaction between Hepburn and Grant is the best part of this 1963 film shot in Paris. Check out About.com for more about the plot, cast, backstory, and more.

Definitely, Maybe

Definitely, Maybe (2008) PG-13
Ryan Reynolds and Abigail Breslin star in this cute chick flick with an unusual bent. Will Hayes (Reynolds) is a soon-to-be divorced dad with a precocious 10-year-old daughter, Maya (Breslin). When Maya starts asking questions about how babies are made, Will distracts her by telling her the story of how he met her mother. He adds an extra twist, though, by changing her name and adding the stories of his two other serious relationships. Maya’s quest is to figure out which woman is her mother. And by the end, Will wonders if he let the right woman go.

Costarring Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, and Rachel Weisz.

27 Dresses

27 Dresses (2008) PG-13
This entertaining love story stars Katherine Heigl and James Marsden. Jane (Heigl) loves weddings – and she’s been a bridesmaid 27 times to prove it. But then her sister gets engaged to George, who Jane is secretly in love with. And that’s when the fun begins. Will Jane finally graduate from being a bridesmaid to being a bride?

One of the highlights from the movie is when Jane modeled her bridesmaid dresses from the various weddings; it was fun to see the different styles. You don’t want to miss it!

Bells are Ringing

Bells are Ringing (1960)
Telephone operator Ella Peterson (Judy Holliday) becomes involved with the lives of all the customers at Susanswerphone, including handsome playwright Jeffrey Moss (Dean Martin). When Ella finally meets Jeffrey, its love at first sight, but she can't tell him who she really is--the motherly voice on the phone who has been listening to his problems and giving him advice. Includes the songs "Just in Time" and "The Party's Over." Also with Jean Stapleton (of All in the Family) and directed by Vincente Minnelli. See it at the library on Friday, December 5 at 7:00.

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (2008)
Twenty-six year old Josey still lives with her mother in the family mansion in the mountains of North Carolina. Acting as her mother’s cook, caregiver, and chauffeur, Josey has no life of her own until she wakes up one morning and finds local waitress Della Lee hiding in her closet. Through Della Lee, Josey meets and befriends Chloe, becomes involved in Chloe’s romantic problems and goes on a date with the man of her dreams. A charming romance with a touch of magical realism and maybe a touch of just plain magic.

Visit the author's website for an excerpt, deleted scenes, tidbits, discussion questions, and a preview of all of the candy mentioned in the book.

Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews

Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews (2001)
Savannah Blues is a light, fun read with a touch of learning about antique pickers. Follow Eloise "Weezie" Foley as she deals with a huge estate sale, eccentric relatives, a sexy ex-boyfriend, and her ex-husband. Love can be better the second time around.

Check out an interview with the author, read an excerpt, and glance over discussion questions. Also visit the author's website to learn more.

Mostly Martha = Bella Martha

Mostly Martha = Bella Martha (2001) PG
Martha is the chef who obsesses over each dish before it leaves the kitchen. When her sister suddenly dies, Martha adopts Lina, her eight-year-old niece and gets unexpected help from Mario, Martha's hunky new sous chef who is as carefree as Martha is cautious! Loved the musical score.

This film was re-made in the US with the title No Reservations (2007), starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson and Jenny Wade.

In German with English subtitles.

Becoming Jane

Becoming Jane (2007) PG
Anne Hathaway stars in this beautifully filmed movie about Jane Austen. This love story about young Jane and her intense attraction to a young, cocky and arrogant Irish fellow plays out like the very best Jane Austen novel. The movie starts slowly and then the chemistry between the two draws the viewer in as it builds to an emotional ending. This was a very good movie and as a tagline for the movie says, “Jane Austen’s greatest love story was her own.”

Also starring James McAvoy, Julie Walters, and Maggie Smith.

The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke

The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke (2006)
If you've read or seen the Jane Austen books/movies, you will like this witty, suspense-driven story about Jane Austen. Contemporary and historical alternating settings make for an enjoyable story. If you do not know Mr. Darcy and the other Jane Austen characters, you’ll still enjoy the novel, but you may not get the references to Austen’s novels. Fast, fun, female read for all Jane Austen's fans and new readers.

The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) PG-13
Six women and one male newcomer decide to meet once a month to discuss the six novels of Jane Austen. As each month passes, romantic troubles and misunderstandings in the lives of the six friends are replicated in the predicaments of Miss Austen’s heroines.

Based on the novel by Karen Joy Fowler.

The More the Merrier

The More the Merrier (1943)
This romantic comedy gets its humor from the real-life situation of the extreme housing shortage that occurred in Washington, D.C. during WWII. Office worker Connie Milligan has a sunny two bedroom apartment she decides for patriotic reasons to rent to a roommate. Funny, eccentric retired millionaire Benjamin Dingle, much to Connie's chagrin insists on renting the room. Mr. Dingle decides that what Connie needs is a nice handsome man, so he rents out half of his room to dreamy sergeant Joe Carter--then does all he can to push Connie and Joe together. This classic stars veteran character actor Charles Coburn and two great but overlooked stars of the '30s and '40s, Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea.

Stranger than Fiction

Stranger than Fiction (2006) PG-13
Will Ferrell is an IRS auditor who basically has no life until he suddenly hears a voice narrating his life. The voice is that of a writer who has made Harold the main character in her novel. As Harold hears his life unfold, he realizes that the author’s intent is to kill off her main character – him! This compels him to change his limited, structured life and even find romance. This is a really funny, charming movie. Will Ferrell plays a character that seems completely alien to most of his other roles. But he is wonderful! As the movie goes on, you really do start to wonder, “What will happen to Harold?”

See what Roger Ebert says about this film.

Also starring Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah.