Film 3 sentences and a rating star
Credit: Amelia Woon

Three sentences and a rating

As a pro-procrastinator and a lover of all things pop-culture, I consume an insane amount of media. As a result, here’s a list of all the films, TV shows and books I got through during the vac, and whether I think you should also have a look at them in three sentences and a rating out of five.

Bottoms (Film, 2023)

Chaotic geek lesbian Scott Pilgrim. Another brilliant Emma Seligman film with Rachel Sennott, Ayo Edebiri, and let’s not forget dumb jock Nicholas Galitzine. A lot gorier than I expected. Four stars.

Royal Shakespeare Company: The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Recorded play, 2015)

Didn’t love this adaption, but they made the best(?) of one of Shakespeare’s weaker plays. There’s so much you can do with the play in a modern setting, so I was kind of annoyed they missed out on a lot of major themes, and instead chose humour that didn’t really work. Watch the Sir Gregory Dornan adaption week 4 in the Oxford Playhouse instead (totally not a plug). Two and a half stars.

Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare (Script)

Might be the earliest Shakespeare, but definitely not his best. However, you can see a bunch of his later prominent themes already begin to pop up, which is super interesting. Again, get tickets to the Playhouse shows. Two stars.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith (Novel)

I really wanted to like this and to be honest, after finishing the book, I did miss the characters. However, White Teeth uses a narrative style that I haven’t really liked in the past and some of the characters were so infuriating, they made me want to punch a wall. The way the book was split up into different characters’ point of view was super cool, and it’s insane that Smith wrote this whilst still at university, but did it need to be 500 pages? Three stars.

Before Sunrise (Film, 1995)

One of my all-time favourites, but I do remember it seeming a lot better the first time I watched it. The definition of all vibes, no plot, it’s literally just a long conversation for an hour and a half. Jesse was a lot creepier than I remembered, and Celine was a little too good for him. Four and a half stars.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (Film, 1999)

I first started watching this film last vac at around 2am thinking it was going to be another all vibes, no plot (again)… then the boat scene happened. Cinematically, it hasn’t aged that well, but still an enjoyable watch. Love to see young Matt Damon as a misguided know-it-all. Four stars.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Extended Version (Recorded concert, 2023)

Watched the non-extended version with my sister at the cinema when it first came out. It was great and the cinema’s atmosphere was immaculate, but was it worth £19.89… I get the pun, but no, no it wasn’t. Also, where was seven, Getaway Car, Back To December, Haunted, Out Of

The Woods, I Did Something Bad, Gorgeous, Dress, I Bet You Think About Me, Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve (the list goes on) TAYLOR?! I don’t know how to rate this one.

Starstruck (Film, 2010)

Rewatched it after years on my birthday (everyone say happy birthday Joey) and the vibes are still great. Just another classic Disney original, where the superstar boy falls in love with the only girl who hates his music and doesn’t want anything to do with him. Sterling Knight can do no wrong (unless he has… then please don’t quote me on that). Three stars.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (Film, 1994)

Young Hugh Grant with glasses AND Kristin Scott Thomas – love. Actually a really lovely, realistic dynamic of a friend group. Justice for Gareth and Matthew. Three and a half stars.

Stoner by John Williams (Novel)

Not what you’d expect a book called Stoner to be about, it’s just about a man called William Stoner. This is definitely a new favourite, the writing was magical and for the most part, you were really rooting for Stoner. It’s insane that someone can write a whole man’s life in 300 pages. Five stars.

What We Do in the Shadows (Film, 2014)

Love this film and may have forced a friend to watch it. Just a handful of geeky vampires who flat share in New Zealand, and have a documentary crew following their daily lives. Also gorier than you’d expect. Three and a half stars.

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Novel)

TJR has absolutely done it again. Although, I don’t think it’s as great as the other Reidverse books and the start was a little patchy, Carrie Soto is such a believable and powerful character. Definitely a read for all the overly ambitious girlies, I’ve never been so invested in any sport, let alone tennis outside of this book before. Four stars.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Novel)

I would like to formally meet the people who thought the US edition cover was a good idea. Read it in a day but it wasn’t super readable (some of the lines were a little too cliché and cringeworthy). The thing that kept me reading was the rage I felt because majority of the secondary characters (especially the men), were so awful. Three stars, I can never get away from rowers (I promise this is relevant to the book’s plot).

High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Film, 2008)

Absolutely the best HSM film. Kelsi was insane for repeatedly writing bangers for a school musical. The Boys are Back and Scream, what else could you want? Five stars.

I Love You To Death (Film, 1990)

This is my ultimate comfort film, and I will have no arguments against it (even if it’s pacing is weird, and Joey’s Italian accent is teetering on the offensive). Hippie River Pheonix and stoner Keanu Reeves are a need not a want. A great light, dark comedy. Five stars.

Gifted (Film, 2017)

This is one of my sister’s favourite films and I am sorry(ish) for what I’m about to say. It’s alright. Mckenna Grace and Chris Evans were brilliant, but every grown woman is questionably depicted, with them either serving as an irritating love interest, a power-hungry mother, a depressed sister, or a stereotypical person of colour. Three and a half stars.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (Novel)

So, so, SO brilliant. McCurdy’s writing was electric, funny in the darkest, most heartbreaking moments and super readable. After all the recent news surrounding Nickelodeon child actors – and the man who should not be named – this is an important and deeply personal read (but please look up the trigger warnings if you need to). Five stars.

Freaks and Geeks (TV show, 1999-2000)

A crime that this show wasn’t renewed. I watched this at my sister’s recommendation, and it was a pretty relatable and realistic perspective on high school, friendships and ambitions, even the ‘topical’ episodes didn’t feel too cliché or preachy. But why is everyone so mean to Sam for literally no reason? Four stars.

Image Credit: Amelia Woon