Sunday, April 8, 2007

Staples, boo. Staples.

I must brag about a couple of items I acquired recently....

The perfect flats: Dying for a flat black shoe for quite some time now, I finally came face to face with the look I was going for. When visiting Saks for a couple of spring wardrobe updates, I was met with the flat shoe I had pictured in my mind. It turned out to be the Tory Burch Reva Ballerina flat, which apparently, everybody and their momma knew about but me, because now I see them everywhere. However, on this rainy but fulfilling Saturday, I had found my shoe. I absolutely love it for its bright gold accent and effortless ability to accent any simple ensemble. Oh, and I especially love the way the black and gold shoe compliments my Damier print LV Speedy bag. These details are minute compared to the fact that the Tory Burch Reva flats are the most comfortable shoes I own...and I own a lot of shoes.

My mascara: Just as celebrity make-up artist Tim Quinn recommended, no matter the brand, mascara is built to last 6 weeks and then be thrown out. For the last almost 2 months I have been testing mascara and, because I always feel the desire to splurge when in Target, I decided to test cheap Covergirl mascara: The Queen Collection, Queen Latifah's line of beauty products for women of color. For the first six weeks I used only Covergirl Lash Exact mascara followed by six weeks of the Volume Exact. I can’t speak for all mascaras by brand, but I have tried many others: Lancome, YSL, the pink and green Maybelline that everybody has (y’all know what I’m talking about), and I can say without hesitation, Covergirl Volume Exact is perfection. I constantly get compliments and it has maintained the same consistency, curl, lash length, and, of course, perfect volume over the six weeks. I highly recommend Volume Exact mascara and at worst, you're out 8 bucks.

Irrelevant, but necessary sidebar...

The Last Kiss

Not long ago, I spent some down time with my friend of (OMG I'm old) 10 years, Chervonti. We rented some movies equipped with Red Bull, roasted chicken and Chinese food, and Starbursts and just relaxed. Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette was a disappointment, but the usually consistent Zach Braff provided us with some "edge of your seat" entertainment in The Last Kiss. This wasn't 007 Casino Royal-type excitement by any means. The Last Kiss followed several interconnected relationships through different realizations and frustrations. It was an interesting and memorable film about relationship drama from a male perspective. There was a level of suspense involved worrying about the fate of each couple, one in particular.

I think most films hold, at the very least, an dialogue or monologue where the writer(s) obviously wants to send a message to viewers, some more powerful than others. In this film a man begging for the affection of the woman he mistreated is met with the following lines which moved me:

"I love her. I realize now that I love her more than I will ever love anybody else."
"Stop talking about love. Every asshole in the world says he loves somebody. It means nothing. It still doesn’t mean anything. What you feel only matters to you. It’s what you do to the people you say you love, that’s what matters. That’s the only thing that counts."

Amidst rooting for this guy to get his gal back (after a betrayal) and the uncertainty of how and if it would happen, We, the audience, and of course, the character, were hit with those strong words. "That's deep," I thought. It wasn't complex or revolutionary, but a reminder that at times when we know just the right thing to say, as well as times when we have no idea, we must exhibit the behavior that displays our commitment. And it wasn't just an "actions speak louder than words" speech, but a statement that said, "be there." You gotta see the film.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Rosses

There will be no coattail-riding in this family.

I saw Pride last night, the film about Jim Ellis, a black swim coach in the 70's who founded a competitive all black swim team in a rough area of Philadelphia. Of course, it was a tale of overcoming racism, overcoming one's past, and inspiring hope in a community. Okay, okay, GREAT film, but that is not why I am writing.

Even more inspiring than this powerful film is my growing affection for one, Evan Ross, son to Diana, brother to Tracee. I am a huge fan of the 2006 film ATL in which Evan first made an impression on me as an Atlanta teen named Ant. As any fool knows, I think the world of Tracee Ellis Ross, so when I found that her little brother would be starring in a film with the fine T.I. under the direction of Chris Robinson (a music video director), I was even more interested. I fell in love with the movie, it's characters, the individual actors, and certainly, Evan Ross. I have probably seen ATL 10 times thanks to HBO and Cinemax and it was no question that I was eager to see anything in which he had a role.

Enter Life Support, the HBO film released last month that focuses on the devastating AIDS crisis and how it effects families. Evan played a convincing AIDS victim, famished, weak, off his meds, and clearly not "living with AIDS" but dying from it. He was amazing and once again, I was impressed. (I am not here to write a review of the film, but it is a breathtaking must-see.) Last night solidified my admiration. In "Pride," each young man on the swim team has a a personality, a story, none of them are bad looking, and the acting was flawless. But I couldn't keep from looking into Evan's eyes, watching his talent unfold even when he didn't even speak. As an actor, he stands alone and he stands strong, and as biased as I may be because I am awe-struck by his fabulous sister, he has won me over in under a year with his undeniable onscreen abilities.

Just listen to this excerpt from an article in the Detroit News:

"Every now and then, you see someone and you think you are watching them at the very beginning of a big career,"[a media and pop culture expert] says. "I watched every episode of 'St. Elsewhere.' It was amazing how little that show used Denzel Washington, and I never got that sense watching him that here is a really big star. I didn't get it when I watched Jim Carrey in the sitcom 'Duck Factory.' "Evan Ross is 18 years old, and you can see this guy could really be a big star. … If I was asked to invest in the futures market of stars, he would be a good bet."

In 2007 and early '08, he has at least 4 films coming out: "Life is Hot in Cracktown," "Brooklyn to Manhattan," "Gardens of the Night" and "Burning Sands" If they are anything like the first 3, you won't be disappointed.

There seems to be no coattail riding in the Ross family.