Friday, April 29, 2011

Flashback Friday -I Say A Little Prayer For You - My Best Friend's Wedding

Continuing with the wedding theme... here's one of my favorite wedding movie scenes. Rupert Evert and Cameron Diaz were great in My Best Friend's Wedding.

This also happens to be one my favorite Aretha Franklin songs.

I did watch the Royal Wedding and I am surprised how much I teared up. I loved everything about it. The pomp and circumstance, Catherine's beautiful House of McQueen dress (Sarah Burton is crazy talented), the handsome princes in their uniforms, the gorgeous Westminster Abbey.

I lost it when Prince William said, "You look beautiful" to Catherine.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jumping The Broom Mondays - What's Your Favorite Wedding Movie?

On Friday, Prince William and Catherine Middleton are getting married. The global TV audience for the royal wedding will be massive... more than the Superbowl, the Olympics or the World Cup.

Do you plan to watch the wedding? What are some of your favorite wedding movies?

Here are some of mine:

The Philadelphia Story
The Best Man
Four Weddings And A Funeral
The Wedding Crashers
The Princess Bride
The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Date
My Best Friend's Wedding

Thanks to Yvonne's comment, I'm adding Monsoon Wedding and Muriel's Wedding to my list. Can't believe I forgot them.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flashback Friday -Maroon 5 - This Love

Adam Levine is a native Angeleno and his dad owns the M. Fredric stores. This song was played to death when it came out.

Every time I hear it now, it reminds me of driving on The 10 to Santa Monica early on a Saturday or Sunday morning to meet friends for hiking in Temescal Canyon.

Buona pasqua/Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jumping The Broom Mondays - Paula Patton And Laz Alzono Interview

I'm trying to find out what the international release schedule will be. I heard JTB might be in the UK in June. Once I know more, I will post.

I do know that JUMPING THE BROOM will be opening in St. Maarten on May 12th!! I can't believe tiny SXM is getting the movie.

My mom had quite the scare when a neighbor called her.

Her neighbor: Is your daughter Arlene Gibbs?
My mom: Yes.
Her neighbor: *gives a yell*
My mom: WHAT? Something happened?
Her neighbor: No, no, no, man. I just saw her name in the Daily Herald!!
My mom: WHAT?!
Her neighbor: Yes ma'am. They said she has a MOVIE coming out! Lord, you all must be so proud!

My dad said some of his friends are salty because he didn't tell them about the movie coming to St. Maarten. It's because he didn't know until a few days ago.

The local cable company gets a Tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) feed along with French, Dutch and other channels. So St. Maartiners are seeing all the JTB ads that are running in America.

I bet Nestor, who works at the airport, will tell everyone and their mother about the film. He's seems to know all the folks on the island, including the many tourists who come back every year. Nestor recently turn 70 and has been working at the airport since 1966. I can't imagine flying into Princess Juliana International Airport and not seeing him.

JTB stars Laz Alonzo and Paula Patton were in Washington, DC for a special screening at Howard University. Laz is a DC native and graduated from Howard.

Below is their interview with Fox DC Morning show. They have a lot of chemistry and as Zoolander would say, they are really, really, ridiculously good looking.

Jumping The Broom stars on myfoxdc:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fendi, Kim Carnes, Lasagna And A Naked Man.

Yes, these things are connected.

Erica has a great POST about our evening, along with a cool slide show.

I was her date for the annual Fendi performance art show. The show is held in the Old Jewish Market by Circo Massimo. I've stepped into that building many times and never notice the Star of David in the ceiling until Erica pointed it out to me.

When Kim Carnes came out and sang "Bette Davis Eyes," I cracked up. It was so random! She sounded great.

The show was very interesting. I can't say that I understood everything that was going on. For example, I'm not sure what was the point of the extremely well-endowed naked man who stood onstage.

The crowded was eclectic... fashion forward young artists mixed with old money older crowd. I think Erica and I were the only Americans there.

There was small post party at the palazzo of Alda Fendi on Via Giulia. She personally greeted every guest, which was very Bella Figura.

The lasagna was delicious. I wasn't expecting food at the party but was very happy to see it.

It was a surreal evening. Despite the rain, it was one of those nights that reminded me of why I love living here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Flashback Friday - Sidney Lumet - Network Trailer

RIP Mr. Lumet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Went To My First Italian Wedding Reception In Italy 11 Days Ago...I'm Still Full.

I was told about the lunch following the ceremony but I wasn't prepared to partake in a 6 1/2 hour (yes, you read that correctly, SIX and a half hours) meal.

Annie, of my closest friends in Rome, got married. She and Giovanni had a wedding in her hometown back in Minnesota during the Christmas holidays.

Giovanni is Italian and there was another ceremony in Italy for their family and friends. After all they met here. I remember their first date. One afternoon at Ciampini I told Annie they were going to get married soon. And they did.

Giovanni's grandparents live in Fondi, which is near the beautiful beach of Sperlonga. His nonno (grandfather) is 91! Not sure how old his nonna is.

I drove down with Mauro, a friend of the couple's and we arrived on time for the pre-church festivities. The grandparents had a few friends and family over to their home for pastries, coffee, juice etc.

We walked from their home to the church. It was a gorgeous, hot, sunny day and the Historic Center of the small town was very pretty. The couple looked beautiful. Annie had her dress custom made in Rome.

People on the street were clapping and saying congratulations to the couple. At one point, Giovanni and Annie asked his nonna to join them upfront (Nonno was given a ride to the church, he has a cane).

Giovanni's parents AND grandparents were married in the same church. At the end of the short Mass, Giovanni's nonna was speaking with Annie. I couldn't hear what was said but I could tell by Annie's emotional reaction, she was really moved.

I know some American women who complain (a LOT) about the closeness of Italian families. I don't think it's weird or claustrophobic. Most Caribbean families are the same way. It's a different culture. I know America is more about the couple as a separate unit but we're not living in America.

Lunch was held at a restaurant in the country called La Magnatora. All the pasta was made by hand. The food was AMAZING. Very fresh.

I was going to write out the outrageous menu but it would take too long. The antipasti alone would have been more than enough food.

Giovanni's brother came over to our table and told us he warned the Americans (Annie's family) to pace themselves. Mauro schooled me at the church. I did pace myself and yet I could barely finish my lunch. The wine was delicious too.

During a break in between courses, I was talking to Annie's uncle. He pointed out how during an almost 7 hour luncheon nobody was checking their Blackberrys constantly and the older people at the party were included. It was very thoughtful of my friends to hold a ceremony in Fondi so the grandparents could be a part of their celebration.

Annie choked up as she gave a toast, in Italian, thanking her family and her new family in Italy. It was obvious how much Giovanni's family adores her.

I love how Disco never died in Italy and had a blast dancing. As I was looking through the photos from that day, I started to get a little teary all over again.

Auguri Annie e Giovanni!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jumping The Broom Mondays

Our movie is coming out (in the States) in four weeks. May 6th, Mother's Day weekend.

Earlier, I promised not to turn this blog into the JTB blog 24/7 so instead I will write movie related posts on Mondays (unless, there's some kind of breaking news).

That way, if you're more interested in reading about gelato or Bunga-Bunga politics, you know the next few Monday's will be Berlusconi free. Somehow I think my love for gelato will work itself into a post about Jumping The Broom.

As we get closer to the release date, there will be more publicity about the movie.

E! recently spoke to several members of the cast at the EBONY cover photo shoot. Our Stories Films (one of the producers) linked to it HERE on their Facebook page.

You can follow Jumping The Broom on TWITTER.

Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, Loretta Devine and Laz Alonzo grace EBONY magazine's May cover. It's so Springy. The exclusive interview gives readers some inside scoop about the movie.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Flashback Friday - Hugh Jackman - Oklahoma! Ok!

Hugh Jackman + musical theater = a very happy ragazza.

Stars like Jackman are rare these days. He can act, dance, sing, has charisma and is the hotness. Trust, I met him at the KATE AND LEOPOLD premiere years ago and tried not to stare. It was difficult.

The clip is from the 1998 Royal National Theater Production. He's probably best known for playing superhero Wolverine but I would love to see him on stage. So talented.

Buon weekend.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Staying in my apartment, time for some major spring cleaning

I decided to stay in the Center after my amazing landlord (at a great cost to her) installed new custom-made windows.

While I miss the charm of the old windows with their wooden indoor shutters, being able to get a good nights sleep is more important.

Originally, I wanted to move because of the noise and for more space. The noise issue in the summer will still be there (as I will want to open my windows ) but I can wear ear plugs like I have in the past. My landlord's architect came by to measure for a shelving unit in the kitchen area. That will help a lot with storage issues.

Living in such a small space I really have to keep clutter to a minimum. It's time for a spring cleaning marathon.

One of my favorite websites, Apartment Therapy, has some great spring cleaning TIPS for busy people.

I'm relieved I don't have to deal with the stress and expense of moving right now. My landlord is fantastic, which is something I don't take for granted. My landlord in L.A. was a nightmare. She was a horrible, cheap, dishonest women.

Also, the infamous G lives near by and one of my closest friends is moving to the area. I'm very excited about that.

Do you spring clean?

Friday, April 01, 2011

Flashback Friday - Celebrating My 3 Year Anniversay in Rome With Seu Jorge

Crunchy alert: level - high

I cannot believe it's been three years since my friend Robyn dropped me off at LAX with five bags of luggage.

While I had spent time in Rome, did extensive research and prepared myself for outrageous red tape, I had never lived outside America.

I was not in my early 20s or 30s. I was moving to a new country, had to learn a new language and moving thousands of miles away from my family and friends.

I didn't know what would become of me in Italy. I did know I didn't like who I was becoming as I hit my ten year anniversary in Los Angeles. Going to Toronto to work on our film TRAITOR made it clear to me I had to make a very drastic change in my life.

Once the film wrapped in Toronto, I decided to take the leap without a safety net.

During the last three years, my life has changed in ways I never imagined. I wouldn't have written the JUMPING THE BROOM spec if I didn't move. I wouldn't have this sense of being home, of peace, of feeling like I'm no longer observing my life but actually in it, had I not moved here.

I wouldn't have met my incredible friends, who I get see regardless of our hectic work schedules. My married friends and/or friends with children still have time for me here. Single woman without children are not cast out to sea in Italy.

Nobody here schedules dinner or drinks three weeks in advance like we had to in L.A. I tried to do that when I first arrived. That habit died quickly.

When you ask people how are they are, they tell you. They don't say, "busy", then run through a list of all their work projects to prove they are busier than you because they are a more important producer, exec, whatever.

Rome took me by surprise. I never expected to fall in love with this crazy city. When I was a teenager, I thought I would live in London or Paris one day.

During that first trip to Rome, six years ago this month, I assumed the effect the city was having on me was because of what was going on (or not going on) in my life back in L.A. I went to Rome after the production company I worked for shut down. I had been to European cities before, London, Paris, Amsterdam, etc. I wasn't an Italofile.

The next year I returned for a longer stay, renting an apartment in Trastevere. I had to see what this Rome thing was all about. This time I had a job.

Didn't matter. I had an even stronger reaction to Rome and Italy in general. On that trip I also traveled outside of Rome.

"Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city." Anatole Broyard.

I think about the Broyard quote often.

Us expats may complain about the random strikes (of course, there's a big transit one today), the bizarro Bunga-Bunga politics and the bureaucracy. But like Broyard said Rome was "pressed" into being a city.

Of course things are not as organized as they are in America. If they were, Italy would be perfect and no place is. The key is to find a place that is right for your priorities.

During that second trip to Rome I listened to Seu Jorge's CRU CD constantly. He's a Brazilian actor/singer. If you saw CITY OF GOD he played Knockout Ned and in LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZIZZOU (which was shot in Rome) he was the sailor who sang all the David Bowie covers in Portuguese.

It wasn't until a few months after my trip, that I saw the video for the song "Tive Razao". This is one of favorite tracks off the CD.

Where was the video filmed? In Rome, in Piazza delle Chiesa Nuova, near where I live now. Nice cameos by Willem Dafoe and Bill Murray.

This song (VIDEO HERE) always reminds of that trip. During those weeks I said to my friend, another producer who was in Rome at the same, I was going to move to Rome. I planned to do it when I was older, maybe in my 50s. I'm glad I didn't wait.

The apartment I rented belong to an actor friend of a friend. The owner was on set in Naples so his girlfriend, Valentina, showed me the apartment.

Four years later I moved to Rome. My first week here, my friend G. invited me to come with him and his girlfriend to a party thrown by a production company celebrating the release of their movie NON PENSARCI.

A few minutes after we arrive, who do I see? Valentina. She said, "Welcome back." G. was incredulous. Not sure how she remembered me after only a short meeting four years earlier.

Buon weekend.