Author Archives: christinerose

About christinerose

Techno-geek & coder. English Professor. Award-winning author of the Rowan of the Wood YA fantasy series. Needs copious amounts of dark chocolate, frothy mochas, and silent solitude.

London Travel Tips & Helpful Apps

London Sunset

London is expensive. I mean, really expensive. The prices exceed that of New York City and San Francisco for living arrangements. The exchange rate makes it even more pricey for Americans. Even the competitively priced AirBnB (app) has rates at £120/night, which equals close to $200 in Zone 1. Plus, space is extremely limited in Europe, especially the cities like London and Paris. That $200/night will get you a studio about the size of a large American walk-in closet, a kitchenette, and a bathroom in which you can barely turn around. I kid you not. Space is definitely a shock when traveling to Europe from America for the first time. Still, they are better priced than most hotels in the heart of London’s Zone 1. Zone 2 is still considered central, and it’s usually only a few tube stops away from the greatest attractions.

I remember flying to London in the late 80s and early 90s. I paid $500 for a ticket then. These days when I travel, I use point from an American Airlines reward card, so I get a “free” ticket. This “free” ticket costs $700 in taxes, more than I used to pay outright. Of course, it’s still a great savings since a round trip ticket in the summer from PDX to LHR is about $1200 before taxes.

Fortunately for me, when I travel to London each August, I look after pets for my friends, so I get accommodations for free. They get peace of mind and free pet sitting. It’s a great arrangement if you can find it.

Despite these ways I save enough money to make the annual trip possible, it’s still expensive. Over the years, I’ve found ways to make the most of my money and time while in this remarkable city, and I’d like to share those with you.


If this is your first time in London, you must see all the must-see places. Every year, I go to listen to Big Ben chime on my first day there. It is one of the most beautiful sounds to ever enter my ears. I highly recommend it. There’s nothing that says “I’m really here” like the sight and sound of that magnificent clock tower. It’s awe-inspiring, much like seeing a celebrity.

Before you do much else, especially if you don’t know where to start, I suggest you invest in the Hop On – Hop Off double-decker tour bus for your first or second day. This will give you an overview of the city and ensure you see all the main attractions. You can return to the ones that interest you the most on subsequent days or move onto other things.

Baker Street London Underground Station platform


Your best bet is to get an Oyster card for travel or a series of daily travelcards. It’s difficult to travel around London without one of these. An Oyster or Contactless card is required for nearly every kind of intercity travel, although Apple Pay is starting to spread and can now be used on the Underground. You can get an Oyster for £5 at “Off-License” (Convenience) shops as well as train stations. You will “top up” this Oyster card for traveling on buses and the Underground (Tube) or Overground trains. The most cost effective way to travel for tourists going all over the city via Tube and/or Bus is to get a weekly Travelcard, which currently costs £32.10. The only alternative to this is if you’re staying at a place from which you can walk to most places you want to visit.

Another option is to travel by buses only, which I highly recommend if you are not pressed for time because you really get to experience the magnificence of the city. The daily cap for buses is £4.40, or the equivalent of three (3) bus rides. Every ride after that for the rest of the day is free. Traveling by double-decker is a great way to see the city, although the bus system is more complicated to understand than the Underground system. I live on this London Bus app when I’m there. It will show you nearby bus stops and the time the next bus is arriving.

If you prefer traveling via the Underground, this helpful app has the Underground map.

You could also take the infamous Black Cabs (app) or even Uber (app), but they are pricey by comparison. Besides, driving in London is maddening, so by no means rent a car and expect to get around inside the city.


The British aren’t well known for their cuisine, but there are some lovely options that are particularly British that one should enjoy it while in London. First, have a full English breakfast at a pub at least once. You will of course indulge in a delicious serving of chips talked with salt and vinegar from a local “chippy,” and if you’re smart you will include a decadent Cornish Pasty at one point during your stay. Maybe even twice.

That said, you can’t have Cornish Pasties, “chips,” beans and toast, or Bubble and Squeak washed down with Guinness for every meal, or you might go into carb overload (not to mention the limited nutritional value these things contain).

Although it’s essential to have a big, heavy meal at a pub at least once during your stay, but almost knees when you’re out and about, there are much easier, healthier, and cheaper options available.

A place called Pret A Manger is on virtually every street. If by some off chance you don’t see one, this handy app will help you locate the closest one. They offer fresh, healthy food, prepackaged and for a reasonable price. They only make so much every day, and when that’s gone, it’s gone. You know it’s fresh, because it was made just that day. It’s a great way to quickly grab something to eat between one amazing attraction and another. Besides, they also offer free WiFi.

Similarly, a place called Eat is also frequently seen around the city. Mark & Spencer’s (app) is a department store, and they often have a special sections or a standalone shop called M&S Food. Even a Sainsbury’s Local or a Tesco Express will have ready-to-eat food at a reasonable price. Any of these places offer quick, healthy food while you’re on-the-go. (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose are popular grocery stores in London.)

If you’re a vegetarian, like me, you simply must try The Shakespeare’s (pub across from Victoria Station) version of vegetarian Fish and Chips. The “fish” is made with halloumi cheese, and it’s a great way to experience that traditionally English meal without eating any animals.



One of my greatest joys while visiting London is to experience it on a bicycle. Of course it’s impossible to carry a bicycle with you when you’re traveling overseas, but fortunately London has a slew of bike rental stations throughout the city. They are currently sponsored by Santander Bank, so they’re called Santander Cycles.

For a mere £2, you can rent a bicycle for 24 hours at unlimited 30 minute increments. There is a self-serve station with a touchscreen video to check out the cycles. Use a credit card to reserve, and each time you want to check out a new bicycle you reinsert the credit card and get a new five digit code. You punch these five digit codes into one of the bike’s docking stations, and then lift the bicycle out. Ride through Hyde Park, from Trafalgar Square down Whitehall towards Parliament, around Parliament Square, pedal in front of Buckingham palace, or even cross the Tower Bridge.

It’s a brilliant and cost-effective way to see the city. As long as you don’t have a bicycle out for more than 30 minutes at a time, you will never be charged more than that initial £2 in any 24 hour period.

You can find a map for Santander Cycle stations at the information center in various bus depots and tube stations. I found mine at the bus terminal at Vauxhall. It also gives you a nice layout of London, so you can see where the cycle stations are in relation to the places you want to visit most.

There is also an app for that! Check out the Santander Cycle app and use it in conjunction with a used iPhone you can get from PowerMax. You’ll always know where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there.

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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Travel & Tourism


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An Open Letter To Benedict Cumberbatch

Dear Benedict,

Last night, I saw you perform Hamlet for the second time. Unlike so many of those around me, I did not travel to London just to see this performance. I come to London every year because London is the city of my soul.

Although I recognized your talent and have greatly enjoyed your work until now, I frankly was a bigger fan of Hamlet. As an author and English professor, Hamlet is my favorite play, one I’ve both studied and taught. I identify with that melancholy Dane on many levels, so an opportunity to see Hamlet in London, especially starring an actor of your ilk, thrilled me.

After my first viewing, it took me a week to even put my emotions and thoughts into words.

I was so deeply moved that I had to see it again before I returned to the States.

After my second viewing, I waited by the stage door in hopes of an autograph, determined to find the courage I didn’t have after the first. When you made it around to me, I tried my very best not to keep you any longer than necessary. I was just two or three from the end of the line, and I knew you would be leaving soon. After a performance like that, you must’ve been utterly exhausted, especially since you do that an unthinkable seven times a week.

You were kind enough to not only sign my program but also agreed to a selfie. As you moved onto the next person, some girls pushed me, and I cried out as I briefly lost my balance. You stopped and seemed very concerned, and you told them to be careful and not to push.

You went on to sign their programs, and I quietly muttered, “brilliant performance.” To which you sincerely responded, “thank you,” turning back to look at me. Sadly, in my timidity I had cast my eyes down. Although I met yours a second later, I had but a fleeting moment of eye contact before you looked away.

“Brilliant performance,” I said.

What I had meant to say was this:

Your performance was magnificent. Inspired. Remarkable. You captured Hamlet just as I have always seen him. Raw. Broken. Desperate. Drowning in pain, in such profound despair.

Your delivery was exquisite. Your grief, piercing. Your impassioned anger and sadness deeply touched me. You embodied Hamlet in a way I’ve never seen.

What I had meant to say was that I was in awe to be in the presence of an actor who possesses the level of dedication necessary to deliver such a performance, not to mention the talent. In awe of the focus and effort you must have to become the prolific actor you are.

Before I saw you as Hamlet, I considered you a fine actor.

Now I realize you are an exemplary actor.

What I had meant to say was Thank You for taking the time to sign our programs and pose for pictures. Even though you had given so much of yourself on stage, you took the time to do that for us, and what’s more you were so kind while you did it.

My humble utterance of “brilliant performance” held all of the above and more I’ve not the talent to effectively express in words, despite my profession.

Although I can’t say I have seen everything you’ve done in your career thus far, I have seen many. I have enjoyed them all. I have felt them all. Now, I have a new-found, deepened respect for you as an artist.

I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future, and I can only hope to have the opportunity to express my admiration in person one day. On that day, I won’t cast my eyes down, but I will hold your gaze and fully be present in a rare moment when two human beings truly see and understand one other.

Until then, I wish you continued success, happiness at home, and peace within.

Quite sincerely,
Christine Rose



Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Personal


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Goodnight Sweet Prince: A Reflection on Hamlet

Barbican Theatre's Poster for Hamlet

Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Hamlet at the Barbican Center, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. This show has been sold out for over a year. People fly in from all over the world just to see this performance because they are huge fans of Benedict Cumberbatch, mostly from his work in Sherlock

Me? I’m a bigger fan of Hamlet. After all, my degrees are in British Literature with a focus on the Renaissance Era, and Hamlet is my all-time favorite play. I know it inside and out. I’ve seen many adaptations and portrayals by some of the greatest actors of our time. 

Before I saw Cumberbatch as Hamlet, I liked his work. I could even say I loved his work. He’s brilliant as the high-functioning, sociopathic, consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. I’ve also seen a few of his films since then, and I have not once been disappointed. I recognized his talent, and I considered him a fine actor among many.

After Hamlet, my respect and admiration for him has grown exponentially.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet

His impeccable delivery and eloquent execution left me breathless. The emotional depths to which he delved required ardent focus, profound dedication, absolute courage, and extraordinary talent. His heartfelt performance touched my very soul, as he captured the essence of the melancholy Dane like no other I’ve seen. He must’ve been emotionally and physically exhausted after such an exceptional performance. I know I was. Exhilarated and exhausted all at once, humbled at being in such close proximity to creative genius. The remnants of which still heave my heart a week later.

Such passion and intense emotion left me feeling drained, and strangely sad. No, not sad. It’s a feeling I can’t quite describe. Since that night, I’ve been trying to articulate the sensation and label it, but I have yet to do so.

Still, it lingers.

When I can’t find the words to express my experience, I have a tendency to talk and talk and talk, trying out words here and there–rather, trying on words to see what, if anything, defines the emotion, gives voice to the thoughts.

After the show, I watched the hordes of “Cumber-babes,” as they call themselves, crowd around the stage door to wait for him to emerge. Many other actors came out and walked past the hundred-or-so (mostly) women pressing themselves against the crush-barriers, who hardly glimpsed in their direction. I wondered how they felt. Perhaps they felt as invisible as I did, or more so since they just performed in the same play as Cumberbatch, only without acknowledgement of their own talent. Without fans wanting their autograph.

On the other hand, perhaps they were relieved they could get off work and just go home to their privacy and families.

Maybe a little of both.

As I made my way around the edge of the crowd, I saw Leo Bill, the actor who played Horatio leaving. No one even looked at him, but I said, “Well done,” as he passed me. He turned, surprised, and replied, “thank you” with the sound of soft gratitude.

I wish I had talked with him more.

Then another passed. An older actor named Karl Johnson who played King Hamlet and the Gravedigger. Someone I wouldn’t know by name until now, but I certainly recognized him from many films and TV shows throughout the years (Rome, Mr. Turner, among many others). Perhaps not the celebrity of Cumberbatch, but still a well-known, working actor in British theatre, TV, and film.

He passed by everyone without notice and disappeared into the London night. I wanted to talk to him, too; but I didn’t. He was far from me, and I didn’t want to chase after him. Maybe others thought the same.

I had a chance to get Ciarán Hinds autograph and picture, as most everyone had left after Cumberbatch made his appearance, but I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I would just be bothering him (even though he was signing and posing for others with a genuine smile).

I felt humbled. Inadequate, somehow.

My groupie days died with the cassette tape, but I found myself still in awe of these people. Just people, like you and me. People with drive and focus and talent. I’ve met my share of famous people, having worked in both the literary and film worlds, but there is still something quite intimidating about it for some reason.

I’ve respected Hinds’ work before this (Rome, Game of Thrones, among many others), and his portrayal of Claudius was excellent. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to say, “Well done.” I couldn’t speak loudly enough to ask for a picture or autograph. I tried once, but my words were so soft, they dissipated in the misty London air.

When it was all over and I parted from my friends, who had been assertive enough to get autographs and/or pictures with Cumberbatch and/or Hinds, this indescribable feeling really weighed on my heart. 

Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet

There I was, alone on the tube. It was near midnight in this remarkable city, and I had just seen the best performance of Hamlet in my life. I had just made new friends. I had just been in the presence of profound dedication and talent, and I was humbled. I was invisible. I felt as if my own flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, or perhaps it already had. 

This amazing night full of passion and profound depths of emotions quickly became empty, a stale promontory.

A week later, I’m still grasping for meaning, for understanding.

Certainly the proximity to such creative genius, both in the timeless work of Shakespeare and Cumberbatch’s impeccable execution of the melancholy Dane, held up a harsh mirror to my own life and creative failures. Missed opportunities and overall insignificance. Shame and self-loathing. 

Yet, I yearned to be in that theatre once more. I longed to capture the swell of emotion as my soul cried and laughed with Hamlet. Instead, I replayed his soliloquies over and again in my mind, trying to hold on to every word, every moment of ecstasy.

I again saw the tears fall on his cheeks, watched his eyes crinkle with laughter, clutched my own heart in his palpable grief. I spoke “To Be or Not To Be,” emphasizing the words as he did, attempting to remember each intonation, each accent, each eloquent syllable.

If only I could bottle such perfect moments and taste their bittersweetness again and again when I’m feeling low. If only I did not have to say goodnight to that sweet prince. If only I could be illuminated by his brilliance. If only some rosemary would bring me remembrance. If only I could for once not merely be in close proximity to greatness, but that I could grasp it, absorb it, become it.

After writing the above, I’ve realized that perhaps it’s none other but the main, facing my mediocre reality after experiencing the emotional depths into which Cumberbatch took me. 

It’s merely the decompression of a touched and troubled soul, longing for inspiration once again.

The rest is silence.


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Bittersweet Ending to Rowan Series

Spirit of the Otherworld Book CoverMy favorite book review site, Bitten By Books, has reviewed all 5 of the Rowan of the Wood books. Here is an excerpt from their final review for Spirit of the Otherworld: 

The end of a series is always bittersweet. While it is satisfying to finally have every mystery solved, it is also like saying goodbye to good friends. The members of the Freak Squad definitely feel like friends at this point. Spirit of the Otherworld is a fitting end to what has been a mostly strong, refreshingly different young adult series. In a market saturated with vampire stories, the Rowan of the Wood series gives this genre a new twist, satisfyingly combining vampires with Celtic mythology. While there may have been a few minor bumps along the journey, this is definitely a series I would recommend for readers of all ages.

Read the entire review on their site.


Posted by on July 19, 2015 in Books & Reviews


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Turning Techy

PowerMax SasquatchThe title of this piece is an homage to my friend Jane in London who is one of the people that inspired me to take the tech path. TurningTechy is her Twitter handle, and I love it. After Jane’s initial inspiration last year when she excitedly spoke about her Day of Code workshop, many other things began to fall into place. I became aware of other women in tech. Friends in Colorado, friends in Portland, a growing online presence through places like Girl Develop It, Girls Who Code, and #WomenInTech, so I decided to take the plunge myself. After all, I have lots of experience in tech, turns out. Sweet!

I started to learn to code via Khan Academy, Codecademy, and Treehouse. Obama came out with his TechHire initiative, working with businesses and communities to get people trained for the growing need in technology, especially women over forty like me. One of the twenty communities participating is Portland, of course, because PDX is just that awesome. I got a job on a SAT (Server Analyst Team) at a community college. I got a better job with a tech company in Greater Portland.


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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Personal


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How to Make French Bread from Scratch!

Over the past year, I’ve completely redirected myself away from writing fiction and teaching English toward a more technical future. I’ve been refreshing my HTML and CSS skills, and I’ve been learning new skills and languages, like JavaScript and Python. Soon, I’ll be tackling iOS.

Here in Portland, there is an amazing organization called Treehouse, and once Obama’s new TechHire program inspired me to keep on my current path (and even helped me believe a change of career at 45 into technology is possible), I started looking to see which languages were in the highest demand. This made me stumble upon the best job every in the history of jobs: a teacher at Treehouse.

Not only do they offer a full benefits package and an excellent salary, but they deeply value the work/life balance. They have a 32-hour/4-day work week. Lunches are free. Every day. Five-weeks paid vacation, and there’s even a doggy mascot in the office. It couldn’t be more perfect for me.

The first part of their application process is to submit a teaching demo video of 3-5min in length. I got a little too excited (as I tend to do when it comes to technology and teaching), and I made a 9 min instructional video on how to make french bread, which you can see below. Don’t worry. I followed their directions and cut it down to 5min for the submission. (I’m a former college English instructor, so I understand the importance of following directions!)


Let me know what you think of my instructional video in the comments below and tell me how your bread turned out.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. Better yet…join me at Treehouse in learning new tech skills, and code your way to a better life! All their classes are online, so you can do them in your own time and at your own pace. See you in cyberspace!


Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Healthy Living, Personal


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It’s About Love, Actually

The internet recently exploded in debate over the film Love Actually….again. Since it is one of my favorite films of all time and since I watch it every year as a holiday tradition, I know the film quite well. I have watched it at least once a year (with one exception) since I walked out of the cinema floating on a cloud of joy in 2003.

Although there several articles about Love Actually have been published in the past few years, and regurgitated every Christmas, I’ll mostly be responding to Orr’s  “Love Actually Is the Least Romantic Film of All Time.” Others have responded to Orr’s piece, like Ben Dreyfuss’s “Why ‘Love Actually’ Matters” in Mother Jones and Orr’s Atlantic colleague Emma Green’s intelligent response that explores C. S. Lewis’s four types of love in “I Will Not Be Ashamed of Loving Love Actually.

First, let’s briefly define the word “romance” and “romantic.” Although not an appropriate resource for academic or serious work of any kind, I like Wikipedia‘s definition:

Romance or romantic usually refers to Romance (love), love emphasizing emotion over libido.

It goes on to define Romantic Film as “love stories…that focus on passion, emotion, and the affectionate romantic involvement of the main characters.” defines “romance” and “romantic” in many ways, some referring back to the other, but here are a few:

a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention
fanciful; impractical; unrealistic:
imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, chivalry, etc.
characterized by a preoccupation with love or by the idealizing of love or one’s beloved
displaying or expressing love or strong affection.
ardent; passionate; fervent.

Depending on the definition he’s using, perhaps Orr is correct, in the title of his piece at least. Perhaps Love Actually isn’t “romantic,” but that isn’t really the bulk of his premise. If this were merely arguing over semantics and Orr’s failure to define his terms clearly, I wouldn’t have felt the need to respond. Although one might not categorize it as “romantic,” it is absolutely not “anti-romantic,” as he asserts in the following:

So take the film on its own titular terms. What does Love Actually tell us about love, actually? Well, I think it tells us a number of things, most of them wrong and a few of them appalling…Love Actually is exceptional in that it is not merely, like so many other entries in the genre, unromantic. Rather, it is emphatically, almost shockingly, anti-romantic…

the bulk of the film—I think it offers up at least three disturbing lessons about love. First, that love is overwhelmingly a product of physical attraction and requires virtually no verbal communication or intellectual/emotional affinity of any kind. Second, that the principal barrier to consummating a relationship is mustering the nerve to say “I love you”—preferably with some grand gesture—and that once you manage that, you’re basically on the fast track to nuptial bliss. And third, that any actual obstacle to romantic fulfillment, however surmountable, is not worth the effort it would require to overcome.

This assertion tells me that author (to quote the poignant Joni Mitchell song prominent in the film) “really don’t know love at all.” The fact Orr sees the film this way saddens my heart, and I pity him for it. Appalling and wrong? Far from it. In fact, I think the film captures the very essence of many different forms of love, human relationships, and the human condition.

After the pity, bewilderment sets in. The three lessons on love Orr sees is so far removed from what the film actually shows that I find it difficult to know where to begin. Basically, Orr says the Love Actually teaches its viewers that (1) love is based mostly in physical attraction without the need for intellectual or emotional communication or connection,  (2) the way to get laid is to work up the courage to say “I love you,” and (3) love isn’t worth the work to overcome even the most “surmountable” obstacles.


Only one subplot is focused on the search for love based mostly on physical attraction, and I’ll get to that near the end. Not a single person consummates their relationship because they worked up the nerve to say “I love you” in some grand gesture. The grandest gesture and iconic scene between Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightley, shown left, doesn’t end in consummation. In fact, there was never a pursuit for love between them before that scene and certainly not after. And with all the emphasis I can possibly muster, if anything, Love Actually shows that love is most certainly worth it.

This film is about hope. It’s about loss and pain and sacrifice. It’s about fear and desperation. It’s about complications. It’s about making horrible mistakes and difficult decisions out of care and selflessness and courage. It’s about surviving.

Which means, actually, it’s about love. Romantic love, sure, but also all forms of love. Here is a summary of the stories as I see them:

A man betrayed by his brother, who goes to another country just to pick up the pieces of his broken heart and shattered life, falls in love with the woman out of mutual care and respect, of being comfortable together. Two people who think the same, who understand each other, even though they don’t understand the other’s language.

A woman so dedicated to her brother she sacrifices her own life to care for him, giving up a chance to be with the man she’s been infatuated with for years. Although he understands that “Life is full of interruptions and complications,” she knows she can’t truly invest in a romantic relationship and be there for her schizophrenic brother at the same time.

A man surviving his wife’s death by helping his stepson navigate a budding love life, urging him to take a chance and live in the moment to minimize regrets. Perhaps he’s projecting his own regrets of his lost love and all the time he’ll never have with his late wife, determined his stepson will live fully, all while deepening their relationship and healing their grief.

An old, has-been rock star who has pissed his life away and finds the only real, lasting relationship he has ever had is with his manager. He realizes this at the end and leaves a party with Elton John to be a “rock ‘n roll loser” to get “drunk with his fat manager,” turning his back on the shallow, meaningless connections based on his fleeting success and embracing the most invested, loyal, and constant relationship of his life.

A man so desperately in love with his best friend’s wife, that he does everything he can to deny his feelings and stay out of their way, even if it means being cold to her for “self preservation.” When she discovers his true feelings, he fights within himself before deciding to express himself completely to her and then let it go, sacrificing his heart for her happiness and his friendship.

A woman who thinks so little of herself that she feels her only worth is between her legs, she must seduce a married man in order to feel worthwhile. That married man stereotypically, in his midlife crisis, succumbs to her, even if just by a gesture. His wife, so busy taking care of everyone else that she no longer takes care of herself, and neither does anyone else.

A couple who meet in the most awkward of situations, as stand-ins for a sex scene, really fall in love through their conversation and getting to know one another, not (ironically) through sexual attraction. Then find it even more awkward when it comes to their first real kiss.

A powerful man, used to yes-men and appropriate, proper, professional behavior by everyone around him, becomes intrigued by the aide with a potty mouth, and later is inspired to stand up to the most powerful man (bully) in the world because he insulted her honor by objectifying and propositioning her. Although so many comment on her thighs and weight and ass, even her parents, he sees her as a person, not a collection of parts, and loves her for who she is, not how she looks.

In fact, the only person in the entire film who’s search for love is based on physical appearance is Colin, the bloke with “the big knob,” looking for any willing warm body with which to have sex. He, and the American President with his inappropriate behavior and comment about Natalie’s “pipes,” are the only two characters focused mostly on physical attraction at all. Colin is the only one “looking for love,” and is used as a comic relief in the film. Both of these characters embody a social critique of the American culture and government. It’s the Americans who are portrayed as incredibly shallow, much as we portray ourselves in RomComs, SitComs, and in all popular culture, actually. It’s the Americans who are basing their search for love on trivial matters such as a foreign accent or appearance.

So, no. It’s not a romantic film. It’s not about some narcissistic fantasy of perfect love, which apparently is how Orr views love. It’s not some fairy tale RomCom with a get-lose-get girl plot ending happily ever after, or for happily for now.

It’s about human beings fumbling and hurting and hoping and losing. It’s about sacrifice and pain and regret. It’s about fear and rejection and vulnerabilities and longing. It’s about real relationships with all their complications and doubt and confusion.

It’s about Love, Actually.


Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Books & Reviews, Personal


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