Movie Review: Some Like It Hot

Rating: 4 out of 5

If you guessed my birthday, you would be correct! I’m officially 24, transitioning from my “Screwing up is encouraged” early twenties to “Maybe we should get it together?” mid twenties.

And while I don’t always feel like a full-fledged adult–given that I ate pizza for breakfast today and am still on my family’s cell phone plan–I also don’t think that milking my metabolism and rollover minutes is the end of the world.

I mean, it’s days like my birthday where I’m actually proud of myself. I’ve got a Master’s degree and a great job, with enough money to save, invest, and pay my crazy expensive rent and student loan.

I’ve also got a loving family and fantastic friends who threw me an Old Hollywood-themed birthday party! We made martinis and margaritas, stuffed ourselves with Chinese food, and played fun games.

Did your bday party have a "Wuthering Heights" guestbook?

Did your bday party have a “Wuthering Heights” guestbook?

We also watched Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot” (1959). This film is set in 1929 and stars Marilyn Monroe as Sugar “Kane” Kowalczyk, a young woman in a female band called “Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators,” which is headed to Miami.

Actors Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play Joe and Jerry respectively, two Chicago musicians on the run after they accidentally witness the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. To escape the mob, they dress up as Josephine and Daphne and board the Syncopators’ train.

Image via The Guardian

Of course, with Monroe being the blonde bombshell that she is, both men compete for her affections–which is difficult and hilarious while they’re dressed as women. I won’t give anything away, but it’s definitely a fun flick to watch with your girlfriends.

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with “Some Like It Hot.” I’ve never been one to glorify Monroe, but I had read and seen “My Week with Marilyn.” I’ve also decided to watch more classic films, but have been mostly disappointed so far. I guess I’ll just to have to accept that I don’t understand what all the fuss is about over Audrey Hepburn. So while I may not want my breakfast at Tiffany’s, “Some Like It Hot” was full of crazy antics and funny one-liners.

And if you’re wondering why a book blogger is writing a review of this film, then check out my last post where I reviewed “Nerds Like It Hot” by Vicki Lewis Thompson. In the book, Thompson alters the plot: Instead of the male leads running from the Mafia, it’s the female protagonist with the hit on her. And to further her disguise, she puts on a blonde wig and dresses up as Marilyn herself.

On its own, “Nerds Like It Hot” wasn’t the best read from Thompson, but I appreciated this movie even more because it was fun to compare the two stories. This was the first film I watched of Marilyn, not just about her, and I’m glad that I did. I’d love to hear what you think of the actress–and would appreciate more classic movie recommendations to add to my list!

Lastly, thanks to everyone who’s been following this blog. It’s been a blast being Book Club Babe, and I hope to continue doing so for many more birthdays!


Book Review: Nerds Like It Hot

Cover via Goodreads

Rating: 2 out of 5

Hey everybody! I’ve finally got a break from traveling for a few days–that is, before I head back to my hometown to spend my birthday with family and friends. But I might have to blow out my candles wishing for a better read, since this last book was a disappointment.

I’ve been a fan of romance novelist Vicki Lewis Thompson for years now, having read six of the eight stand-alone novels in her Nerd series (Check out my reviews of My Nerdy Valentine and Gone With the Nerd).

In Nerds Like It Hot, Hollywood makeup artist Gillian McCormick witnesses a murder, and to avoid being eliminated by the mob, she goes into hiding on a cruise for single geeks.

By her side is former actress Cora Bledsoe, who makes Gillian over to be the spitting image of her friend Marilyn Monroe. And guarding Gillian are two private investigators, Dante Fiorello and Lex Manchester.

Despite being hunted down by the Mafia, Gillian and Lex manage to grow fond of each other. Unlike in other Thompson novels, their sexual tension builds extremely quickly, which eliminates the anticipation that makes romance novels successful.

Not to mention, their first love scene ends just as rapidly as it began! I’ll just say that if there’s one thing required of a male lead, it’s stamina. Talk about frustrating!

What’s also frustrating is the forced emotional obstacles that Gillian places on her relationship with Lex. First, for some reason she believes that no man would love her plain Jane brunette exterior after disguising herself as a Marilyn Monroe, blonde bombshell. Someone needs to inform this makeup artist that true beauty lies on the inside.

Also, she frequently harps on the fact that she’s a Cancer and he’s an Aries, as if that means anything. Any woman who throws a hissy fit over astrological incompatibility doesn’t deserve the brain she was born with. Enough with the stupid pseudoscience!

Lastly, even though the dangerous criminal was unique and hilarious, the novel suffers from the too-easily-solved plot of the romance genre. I like knowing that there will always be a happy ending, but authors should try their best to make the suspense believable.

With the Nerd novels, I expect geeky, sexy fun. Unfortunately, the characters aren’t nearly geeky enough (good grades does not a nerd make), the sex was often awkward, and any fun that occurred was only thanks to the secondary characters with little screen time.

Perhaps I’ll appreciate this story more after watching the film, “Some Like It Hot” at my Old Hollywood-themed birthday party, as I’m sure Thompson threw more nods to Monroe than I was able to catch.

But for now, I just might be outgrowing the Nerd series. If anyone has better romance novel recommendations, let me know!