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Shlomi Rabi, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, could be quite simply classified as your typical romantic comedy, only with one major twist: it has none. Nope. Not a single one. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know everything that you will need to know about the movie. Only, well, not really.

Okay, so the ingredients are pretty typical: man and woman meet, fall in hate (deep, deep hate), make each other miserable, go through a series of oh-no-you-didn’t moments in which they engage in circus-silly acts that will surely generate laughs from anyone who’s in a relatively calm state of mind and would not mind sinking into the fluffy plotline. Then—crisis! And wouldn’t you know it—they end up falling in love after all.

Aww.

(Anyone who’s seen the trailer who would still dare to accuse me of ruining the movie for them has either admitted to being a recent Amish dropout or having the world’s least complicated brain.)

So is the movie worth watching? For sure. The movie does not purport to change lives or revolutionize a concept that has been explored under every possible lens. However, what the movie does (and quite well) is bring out what we love the most about romantic comedies: believable chemistry and quirky sidekicks (a special shout-out to Oscar Nuñez.)

Bullock, despite her resistance, shines best in this genre. She is enjoyable to watch and her timing is perfect. Reynolds is as much fun to watch (all of him, ahem), and pleasantly surprises with his comedic skills, and his abs.

The Proposal might be a tad too sugary sweet sometimes, and you might even walk away with a minor toothache. But just like any other wedding cake, this one—whether you admit it or not—ultimately hits the spot, just as you’d expected.

The Proposal comes out Friday, June 19th.

To find out what else Shlomi has said “yes” to, click here.

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team
 
Even if you’re not getting married, chances are you know someone in your circle of friends that is. If you are the lucky bride-to-be, then an event at the historic Drake Hotel this Thursday should be on your radar.

Read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

The 6th Annual Lake County Film Festival (LCFF) begins tomorrow (Wednesday, March 4th) and runs through Tuesday, March 10th.  It will be hosted by the College of Lake County and will feature over 100 works including documentaries, narratives and short programs.

Enjoy a relaxed evening as the LCFF kicks-off at Mickey Finn’s Brewery in downtown Libertyville on March 4th. Doors open at 6 pm and short films will be previewed at 7:30 pm. This event is free to attend.

lcffMonday and Thursday films at the LCFF are free.  The educational documentary, The Providence Effect, is free to anyone working in education. Plus, all day on Saturday and Sunday there will be filmmaking panels and a free film room.

One Featured Documentary: The late musician and Chicago native, Wesley Willis, is shown in Wesley Willis’s Joyrides (by Chris Bagley & Kim Shively) that chronicles his life and rise to fame in the underground music world through his friends and family.

One Featured Narrative: Desperate Housewives actress, Dana Delany stars in Route 30 (by John Putch) playing the role of Amish Martha.  The film is about three interconnecting stories set along the Lincoln Highway in South Central Pennsylvania.

One Featured Short Program:  Chicago=Awesome (by Dan Lamoureux). It’s about why Chicago should host the 2016 Olympics.

March 8th the awards ceremony will take place at Gurneez Diner at 9 pm. Once again, this event is free to attend.

Ticket Prices
Individual Ticket – $7.00
Full Day Pass – $15.00
Full Festival Pass – $35.00

For full festival information visit www.LakeCountyFilmFest.com


Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)
Yesterday I took an impromptu trip to the movies to see the advanced screening of “Not Easily Broken” at the AMC River East Theater (located at 322 E. Illinois St.). Initially the movie wasn’t on my “must-see” list for 2009, but my expectations were pleasantly surpassed in this light-hearted family drama.

“Not Easily Broken” is an adaptation of the book by the same name written by renowned pastor and author Bishop T.D. Jakes who also served as one of the producers of the film along with it’s star, Morris Chestnut (“Boyz N The Hood”, “The Best Man”). The film centers around a couple in the prime of their marriage, Dave (played by Chestnut), a former baseball player turned modest construction foreman who’s athletic professional dreams were short lived by a career-ending injury and Clarice, played by Taraji Henson (“Baby Boy”, “Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), a successnot_easily_broken_113ful real estate mogul who is into her career and lifestyle more than her husband. This creates conflict in the relationship when Dave begins to lose interest as a result of Clarice’s neglect and puts his focus into a local baseball group he coaches in the inner-city of Los Angeles. Things are further complicated when the two are involved in a serious car accident that nearly cripples Clarice, and forces Dave to be her caretaker while having to deal with the increasing household bills and his meddling mother-in-law convincingly portrayed by Hollywood staple, Jenifer Lewis (“Madea’s Family Reunion”, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”).

This film takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride through the eyes of Dave, as a man who is made to feel like his manhood is being stripped away at every turn, but he is “not easily broken” and fights to save his marriage, the kids in the community he cares for and his sanity. His desire to have a family of his own is also a driving force of his character. Chestnut eloquently portrays this conflicted man amongst a great supporting cast that includes Wood Harris (“The Wire”, “Remember The Titans”), Kevin Hart (“Soul Plane”, “Scary Movie 4”), Niecy Nash (TV’s “Reno 911!”), Eddie Cibrian (“The Cave”, TV’s “Third Watch”) and Maeve Quinlan (“South of Nowhere”).

This definitely a film geared towards married couples, but I would recommend it for families as well due to the fact that it’s short on profanity and big on heart. There are of course moments midway through the film that will tug at the heartstrings which I won’t give away here. TD Jakes first foray into film, 2004’s “Woman Thou Art Loosed” which starred Kimberly Elise was also a welcomed surprise when I saw it and this one follows suit. For those of you who may shy away from religious-themed films, Jakes and the director (the great Bill Duke in this case; “Hoodlum”, “Cover”, “Rage In Harlem”) do a good job of conveying Christian family morals that make the viewer relate, while not being “preachy” and still keeping the film contemporary and also not limiting it to being a film catered to predominantly African-American audiences I might add. If you’re not too busy watching Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway battle it out in Vera Wang or being terrorized by torchered souls and exorcisms this weekend, I would add “Not Easily Broken” to your “must see” movies this weekend.

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team
Clog stomping, frost zombies, disappearing birthday cake, and a pair of Underoos had Chicago in stitches last Friday night.  The comedy troupe, Stella, are no novices to the instigation of laughter.  Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain have a lengthy history together of TV shows, appearances, tours, and movies to pad their reference material.

The sold out show at The Vic Theatre last weekend was a visual extravaganza of silliness.  Stella came equipped with an informative slide show on Christmas trees, a group effort at caroling, and a game of Zots and Crambles complete with crowd participation.  Of course, all the attempted projects of the night took off on a road of tangents ending in anything from dancing to doodie.

The evening came to a close with a special video skit of  Showalter’s birthday and an encore song comprised mostly of gibberish.  The video clearly highlighted what the trio does best and the performance was concluded with a roaring approval by the audience.

Season 1 of Stella is available on DVD and “Role Models”, co-written by David Wain, is in theaters now.  For more information on Stella visit: http://www.stellacomedy.com/

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Twilight is such a highly anticipated movie that literally mobs of excited fans are attending all the promotional stops prior to the movie (especially when the incredibly handsome Robert Pattinson is involved). I’m halfway through the book by Stephenie Meyer right now and definitely understand what draws the fans. Her story is very intriguing. I am absolutely glued to the book. And from what I’m hearing from those who attended the preview earlier this week, the movie is very true to the book. And the ladies all agree that Robert Pattinson is yummy.  The movie officially opens here this weekend.

I spoke to actor Peter Facinelli this week. He plays the very handsome Dr. Carlisle Cullen, one of thepeterfacinelli vampires in Twilight. He was incredibly modest not only about his good looks (c’mon!) but also about assuming that the movie would be hugely successful garnering a guaranteed sequel. He spilled to me that he was a vegetarian until he filmed this movie. Apparently, playing a vampire made him crave red meat!

You can listen to our conversation by clicking HERE.

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Itika Oldwine, NBC Chicago Street Team

An interesting thing happened the other day.  A locally based multi-media website dedicated to the Hip-Hop lifestyle called 247hh.com launched an Election ’08 PSA that was meaningful, insightful and even tear jerking at times.  And to garner more exposure for the video, as well as bring local Chicagoans from the world of hip-hop together, they hosted a screening of the film at a lounge in the West Loop’s meat packing district.  

Now, of course, the purpose of the screening was to get exposure for their video and motivate people to vote on 11/4 but I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge the amazing venue where the event was held.  The 247hh Cooler makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the artsier side of the meat packing district.  The walls are covered with paintings by local artist Chad “Wick” Christian, there are two projectors that bounce images off of the exposed brick walls and the hand painted floors in the bathroom, yes I said it… the bathroom, are truly beautiful.

But I digress, because hands down, the show stealer that evening was the remarkable video featuring popular artists from the world of hip-hop such as rappers, The Game, Young Jeezy and Chicago’s own Common, as well as folks from the world of hip hop that are not as recognizable but still have something powerful to say about politics in America.   

These types of screening events are something that will be on-going for 247hh.com.  Their goal is to regularly and frequently launch and screen videos with purpose and relevancy to give folks from the world of Hip Hop a platform and invite people from Chicago and beyond to come and view their vids in a group setting.

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