Movie Confessions Blogathon

Two weeks ago I asked all you lovely bloggers to send me your movie related confessions. You delivered, big time, and boy oh boy did you shock me along the way! Let’s get straight to it, shall we?

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Firstly, there’s a heck of a lot of ‘must see’ movies that you haven’t seen. In fact, I hold you all personally responsible for making me sit through The Godfather a couple of years ago, because I thought I’d be a blogging fraud if I couldn’t hold a conversation about it.

“As of this blogathon, I have not seen any Studio Ghibli film.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“As of this blogathon, I have not seen any Terminator movie outside of short clips.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I’ve never watched any of the Godfather films. I know they exist and that they are excellent, but they just keep passing me by. One day I’ll manage.
And neither have I watched Forrest Gump. To be honest, unless it just happens to be showing on TV, I doubt I’ll actively seek it out. It has just never appealed enough to get me to watch it. Despite hearing all the wonderful reviews. And, if I watch it I’ll probably wonder why it took me so long.
…Or Shawshank Redemption. Or Silence of the Lambs.” – Thoughts All Sorts

“I have not actually yet seen Citizen Kane, nor The Godfather films for that matter.” – This Is Madness!

Shocking, guys. Shocking. You also had a lot of love to share, some guilty pleasures, and some movies that just deserve more love all round!

“I love Dirty Dancing so so much, as well as Grease, Mean Girls, Napoleon Dynamite, Wayne’s World 1 and 2, the Bridget Jones trilogy and Miss Congeniality. If any of these movies are on TV and I happen to be flicking the channels, I just have to watch them.” – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews

“My friend and I became obsessed with Suite Francaise and we saw it three times at the cinema. I thought it we saw it enough times, the ending would have been happier.” – She Likes Movies

“In my opinion, the X-Men franchise beats the MCU any day of the week. Any. Day.” – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

“I prefer George Lucas’ Star Wars (prequels included) over Disney’s Star Wars.” – This Is Madness!

“When Garfield the movie came out, I made my aunt take me to see it. There was only 4 other people there. I absolutely loved the film, mostly because of Bill Murray but I know it’s a most hated film. My aunt has never forgiven me for making her go.” – She Likes Movies

Realweegiemidget has so many guilty pleasures that they sent me a whole list! Read it here.

I’m getting a warm, fuzzy feeling from all this love right now. Oh wait, I just left my fan heater on behind my desk. My bad! Hold on tight, things are about to get rough now as we head into the things you find completely overrated.

“I find many best picture Oscar nominated movies to be overrated.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I think Meryl Streep is overrated. She’s not a terrible actress, but a bulk of her greatest performances were at the beginning of her career. Her roles since Out of Africa or Sophie’s Choice are just okay. She doesn’t wow me like everyone else seems to be…” – Anonymous

“All the ‘hype’ around La La Land has actually put me off the movie. The Trailer didn’t help catch my attention either.” – Thoughts All Sorts

“I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t enjoy Moonlight and was saddened when it won Best Picture this year.” – Movie Rob

Ouch! It’s not getting any better from here, folks. Here’s what you absolutely hated. Fans of Birdman, beware…

“I really didn’t enjoy Terence Malick films. I value a very strong plot/screenplay in a film, and I feel that he focuses too much on the cinematography and visuals for my taste.! – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews 

“I really hated Birdman.” – Life of This City Girl

“I strongly disliked Birdman. I just couldn’t connect with it. I really enjoyed what is considered to be one of the worst Best Picture winners of all-time, The Greatest Show on Earth. Who would want to miss seeing Jimmy Stewart in a clown costume?.” – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews

“I absolutely hate the James Bond series. And in fact, it is the only series of films that I refuse to watch, no matter how good everyone says certain entries are.” – This Is Madness!

Can someone go check to see if Michael Keaton is okay, please? These next few don’t fit into any particular category, but they’re still great. My apologies go out to Katie at She Likes Movies because I’m still laughing at her Back to the Future confession, even though that movie is probably ruined forever for her.

“I was really disturbed by Inland Empire so when I had an argument with a close friend of mine, about films, when we sorta made up, I said she could have my copy, thinking it was a punishment as I was still angry with her.” – She Likes Movies

“My blogging friends know more about my movie ‘addiction’ than my friends and family in the real world do.” – Movie Rob

“I feel like I have overactive tear ducts, so if there is any kind of emotional scene in a movie, I will at the very least get watery eyes.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I once had an awkward encounter while Back  to the Future was on in the background. Things ended so badly with the guy that I couldn’t watch the film until years after. And I love Back to the Future.” – She Likes Movies

Last, but by no means least, one of my all time favourite bloggers, known as Lady Sati over at Cinematic Corner had so much to confess (seriously girl, how did you have anything left?) that she needed her own section. Are you ready for this?

“1. Big Little Lies is overhyped as hell. Spoilers – the idea in this day and age Jane didn’t know what her friend’s husband looks like and that he would lose his cool so bad and just started beating those women up buried the show. And Vallee music video filmmaking style is fine in 2h movie but it was a nightmare to get through when I saw the 7 episodes in one sitting.”

“2. I judge people who tell me they like Chris Pratt. All you need to do is google the chihuahua him and his wife abandoned or the cat he gave up on twitter because he knocked his wife up. I wish these two never worked in Hollywood or anywhere else again.”

“3. I think Amy Adams is the most overrated actress on the planet and if she wasn’t there every single Oscar season doing tons of interviews and round tables no one would nominate her on merit of her performance. Gary Oldman is 100x better than her but he doesn’t do award circuit promo thing. He has one nomination, she has 5 and everyone cries that she didn’t get a 6th one this year. It’s ridiculous.”

“4. I think people who doubt how Jennifer Lawrence went from doing indie films to doing big profile movies over night even after they saw her casting couch photos are naive.”

“5. I never saw Citizen Kane and I don’t think I will. The idea you need to sit through some old, boring movie – from all accounts I heard – just because you are a movie fan is stupid.”

“6. I have The Heat in my top 100 and Logan in my top 25 and yes they are both higher than Psycho. Because when I come home and want to see something to entertain me – the film that does a better job at that is gonna be higher on my favorite movies list than a better/more acclaimed film.”

“7. Seeing how Hugh Jackman on his own makes Les Miserables watchable makes the fact the Academy chose to give overrated DDL his third Oscar for mediocre performance in Lincoln even more ridiculous.”

“8. And finally I have little respect for people who 1. take the money 2. lose weight/do crazy things/put their health at risk 3. ramble on during talk shows how much they suffered when not only did they not do those things for free, out of their own free will but usually they get awards for it which leads to more roles and more money. If you ate a carrot a day, it’s because you chose to. No one forced you. Now please, shut up about it.”

“Oh and one more! 9. Meryl Streep gave a standing ovation to a rapist Roman Polanski. Praising her for her ‘anti-Trump speech’ during Globes was so cringe-worthy. She stood up and clapped for a rapist. She has no moral authority over anyone.”

Everyone, I can’t thank you enough for taking part and spreading the word! I thought I would have to pad this post out with my own confessions but you’ve outdone all of my expectations! I’m thinking we’re going to have to make this a yearly tradition.

TV Rambles: Big Little Lies, Legion & Girls

Is it just me or are having a really slow few weeks for movie releases? I’ve been struggling to find something to watch lately, which has led me to watch a fair bit of TV, which I guess is never a bad thing!

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Big Little Lies (2017)

Big Little Lies seems to be on everyone’s minds (and screens) lately. Based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty, and not to be confused with the similar sounding Pretty Little Liars, this is a 1 season, dramatic story with a murder mystery lying underneath. It also hosts one of the most incredible casts I’ve ever seen on TV, with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley & Alexander Skarsgard to name a few.

I’ve only read 1 novel by Liane Moriarty so far and I kind of hated it (Truly Madly Guilty) so I was worried about starting Big Little Lies, but the hype dragged me in and I couldn’t help myself. I needn’t have, this show caught me instantly and I binge watched the hell out of it in the end. I actually got so absorbed into these characters’ lives that I forgot about the mystery it was building up to.

That’s my advice if you want to give the show a go, just relax and enjoy every episode for what it is, rather than try and play detective. The final episode absolutely blew me away, but if I tried to over analyse everything I saw it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. It definitely lives up to the hype!

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Legion (2017 – )

I hadn’t seen much advertising at all for Legion, but it was recommended by my husband’s friends who had got hooked so we decided to give it a try. Guys – this is the weirdest TV show I have ever had the joy of witnessing. It’s produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television, set in the X-Men Universe. Dan Stevens plays the main character, David Haller, a man with incredible abilities that he’s unaware of, thanks to the fact he’s been in a psychiatric hospital for years to treat his apparent schizophrenia.

Seriously, I’m not messing around when I say how weird it all is. Prepare yourself to be shocked by mysterious characters not being who you thought they were, and for a giant, fat scary man to show up out of the blue. There’s also a children’s book called ‘The World’s Angriest Boy in the World’ so you know…there’s that. Honestly? I would have quite happily given up after the first episode, but it gets so much better. It’s one of those shows where every episode seems to end on a ‘WTF’ moment.

The only thing that really bugged me by the end of the season was David’s love interest, Syd. She had her uses in the first few episodes but after that she just came across as whiny and needy. She has powers too of course, but doesn’t even want to use them, and yet she somehow holds enough merit to be part of the main squad? It doesn’t sit with me, sister.

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Girls (2012 – 2017)

Okay, I realise I’m the only person in the world who likes Girls (or so it seems) but it seemed to make sense to make this post a triple whammy, and the final season has just finished! I started watching this show just before Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out so I could get to know Adam Driver better, and ended up falling in love with the show and spiraling into an Adam Driver obsession. Sigh. Why do I do this to myself?

This final season has been so full of highs and lows. I was all in for Hannah (Lena Dunham) to finally grow up and raise a child, I could have cried for joy when Adam (Adam Driver) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) to realise they’re the worst couple ever, and right now I’m just about ready to campaign for Elijah (Andrew Rannells) to have his own show.

I guess at the back of my mind though I always saw Hannah and Adam as end game. I’m hopeless I know, they were terrible for each other sometimes, but I felt like Adam was the only one to ever call Hannah out on her crap, and Hannah made Adam seem like a normal human being. As normal as Adam could ever be at least. I’ll hand it to Lena, it all ended realistically, but it was still a hard pill to swallow. I can always rewatch the first few seasons I guess.

So, that’s left me with a huge TV-shaped hole in my life! Are there any new shows out there that I have to try? Fargo starts tonight doesn’t it? Yaaaaaaas!

Review: Table 19 (2017)

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Can we at least agree this is one of the most beautiful movie posters ever?

Last year was all about weddings for me. I had my own, and then I was a bridesmaid for 2 of my bridesmaids! 4 weddings in one year where you’re organising 1 yourself and you’re a big part of another 2 is exhausting, and now I have no weddings to go to this year. It’s kind of a relief, and kind of sad too, so I’ve been really looking forward to watching Table 19 and just sitting back, to enjoy the festivities.

Table 1 obviously hosts the Bride, Groom and parents, and the level of importance carries on right down the line to the very last table, in this case, 19. This is the table of ‘people who should have known to RSVP no’. We have the Best Man’s ex-girlfriend (Anna Kendrick), the Bride’s childhood nanny (June Squibb), someone’s odd cousin (Stephen Merchant), the son of a friend who’s mother is trying to get him laid (Tony Revolori) and a married couple from work who aren’t important enough for the work table (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson).

If you’ve heard of this movie, you might have heard about the luke-warm reviews it’s been getting. I tried not to read too much in case it clouded my judgement but let me tell you, I actually kind of loved it. I’m biased because I have a huge lady boner for Anna Kendrick, but there’s so much more to this story than meets the eye. It looks like a simple enough plot, the table of losers realise they’re losers and find a way to have fun despite the fact – right?

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Well yes, but for a movie with such a small run time we really get inside each of these characters lives. There’s a huge plot line completely hidden in the trailer that I juuust worked out before the reveal, which adds a huge dramatic element to the whole thing. I’ll save the surprise for you to see for yourself.

It’s funny, in quite a dark way. Whereas a lot of movies struggle to find a balance between comedy and drama, I think Table 19 nailed it. Something will happen that will have you laughing out loud, and it’ll be followed so quickly by something serious that it completely throws you off balance. In fact, I was still laughing at parts despite the darkness. It’s overwhelming, and perhaps that contributes to the negative reviews, but I thought it fit the mood perfectly. That sounds contradicting I know, but in some movies you’ll have one hilarious scene, and 20 minutes later a serious, pull on your heart strings kind of scene, and it’s confusing. Table 19 fuses the two together.

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This joke about the jacket never got old. I’m laughing just thinking about it!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a perfect movie. It feels quite long despite its run time, there are a few loose ends here and there, and I feel like everyone got some closure with their issues apart from Stephen Merchant’s character. It’s quite over-dramatic and cheesy in places, but the whole movie is like that, so although those scenes don’t feel out of place in the grand scheme of things, if that kind of drama level is a turn off for you then you’re going to hate the whole thing.

Oh and one more thing – with my wedding organising hat still on – who was in charge of the running of the day here?! Sitting everyone down for their meal, having a band play, the married couple’s first dance, then sitting again? WHERE IS THE FOOD YOU GUYS.

All in all, I’d recommend that you ignore a lot of reviews (heck, even this one if you like) and see it for yourself. Who knows, you might even enjoy it! Table 19 gets 4 out of 5 wedding cakes from me, and I realise this is the second time this week I’ve rated movies out of cake, but I’m pregnant and I just really like cake, okay?

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Review: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (2012)

often-off-topic-pregnancy-announcementIf you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter (probably for the best) then you won’t know, but I’m pregnant! Argh! That still feels weird to admit, mainly because I’m currently pregnant enough for all my clothes to be uncomfortable but not pregnant enough for strangers to pick up on it, I just look like I ate too much at an all-you-can-eat buffet and didn’t get much sleep the night before.

Here’s the proof, anyway! I don’t have any weird cravings yet but what has seemed to happen is that I’ve lost my filter, so you’ll have to excuse my bluntness around here lately. I think I even surprised my Mum the other day. Maybe it’s actually my age, but I just don’t seem to feel the need to think before speaking out loud any more.

Anyway, you’re here for a review, so let me get started. To avoid the ‘advice’ and horror stories from friends and family, I instead turned to movies to find out more about what pregnancy might bring me. I thought What to Expect When You’re Expecting might bring me that.

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Attempting to follow that age old ‘Love Actually’ formula, this movie features 5 different couples and tells their pregnancy stories. The couples range from super wealthy and famous and their planned pregnancy, to a younger couple facing a dilemma after a one night stand. The cast is decent, with familiar faces such as Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock and Joe Manganiello. Something for everyone!

The movie falls flat for 3 different reasons. Reason the 1st is the same problem all these ‘interconnecting stories’ kind of movies have, there are so many characters with so little time to develop them that as a viewer, I simply don’t care enough about them. In fact, the only character I really connected with was Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and her story was so sad that I wondered why I was sat crying during a comedy movie.

Which brings me to reason numero dos. Is this a comedy, a romance, or a drama? It’s all of them, and none of them. It has 3 great actors well known for their comedic roles (Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock & Rebel Wilson) and yet I didn’t laugh once. One storyline as I mentioned is heart-destroyingly (now I’m just making words up) upsetting, and as a pregnant lady with moods swings this entire movie threw me off balance.

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The last reason is that I didn’t really learn much about what to expect now I’m expecting, other than the fact that people are can be real a$$holes, and I kinda knew that already. Based on my own experiences so far, here’s what this movie was missing:

  • A character marvelling at how their breasts have doubled in size in just 3 months, and their joy in going bra shopping for the first time since they were 13.
  • At no point did I see any character need to pee like their life depend on it, and especially not 5 times in 1 hour.
  • Food featured heavily in this movie (I notice food all the time now) and yet no one felt the need to devour an entire sponge cake, or go completely off their favourite food.
  • No one told any character ‘Oh my gosh, you look more pregnant than the last time I saw you!’ followed up by said person receiving a fist to the face.
  • Also, no one revealed their pregnancy and got the reaction of ‘I knew you’d been eating loads lately!’ again followed up by said person receiving a fist to the face.

Pregnancy is wonderful, you guys. Unlike this movie. Which gets 2 sponge cakes out of 5 from me, because that’s probably all I could eat without being sick. Probably.

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What the Hell Happened in Lady in the Water (2006)?

A couple of weeks ago I felt in the right kind of mood for an M. Night Shyamalan movie, and found myself watching The Happening (review here). Shyamalan gets a lot of hate, and in fairness I’ve mainly watched his better movies, but I’m rapidly finding myself wanting to watch everything he’s done for the hell of it. The Happening was an absolute disaster in more ways than one, but you guys, it was so much fun to watch and make fun of.

lady-in-the-water-review-2006When I reviewed it for the blog, some of you mentioned Lady in the Water, telling me it was even worse. You realise what you set in motion in that moment, right? I had to watch it!

It took me 2 days, and 3 sitting to actually get through it, it was actually that bad. There were times I wanted to call it quits, but I stuck with it for the sake of the blog. I can’t write a review I’m afraid, mainly because I’m still not sure what actually happened in front of my eyes, but for my own sake (and yours) I’m going to try and explain what happened. Spoilers ahead, but you’re not missing out on much!

The movie opens with a stick man explanation of the people who live in the water world, watching over us land folk, until we got greedy and forgot about them. Every now and again they send their water kids to our world, but most of them get eaten by wolves. Um, okay.

Then we see a stuttering Paul Giamatti, the only maintenance man in a huge apartment complex, talking with his pool cleaner about how dirty it is. It’s almost like there’s someone living there, eh, eh?

Bingo. Bryce Dallas Howard is the lady in the water. Giamatti tries to take her outside, but they get attacked by a grass wolf. Stay with me now, this isn’t even that weird yet.

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It’s called a Scrunt apparently, which sounds like the world’s worst Pokemon to me.

I don’t remember how, but we somehow learn her name is Story, and she is a Narf. I guess Narfs are the people from the water world, but what a terrible name.

It just so happens that one of the resident’s mothers knows all about the story of the Narfs, which is super lucky, but to convince this old lady to tell him the story, Giamatti has to convince her that he is actually a child (?!) and finds himself sat on her sofa with a milk mustache. No innuendo, I swear.

It turns out that Story is trying to find the ‘chosen one’ who’s a writer, leading Giamatti on a goose chase around the building. He meets a grumpy film critic, a group of rowdy lads, a crossword puzzle loving Jeffrey Wright and his son who reads cereal boxes, and a dude who only works out his right side of his body. Oh! And Mr M. Night Shyamalan himself, who’s writing a Cookbook that has nothing to do with cooking. Right.

I’m being way too detailed here, let’s speed things up a bit.

Old lady says that for Story to get home, they need a Guardian, a Healer, a Translator, a something else (I forgot) and a Guild.

The Translator turns out to be the puzzle fan’s kid, who stares at a cupboard of cereal to work out they need to perform a ceremony.

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I really wasn’t kidding about the cereal you guys…

The Healer is some other lady who sees butterflies everywhere by the pool.

The Guild is the group of lads, who decide the best way to get Story home is to throw a huge party for the grumpy film critic.

Cue party time, and suddenly about 200 people live in this weird complex.

There’s a band, and them playing is crucial to the ceremony apparently, but they aren’t paying attention, and getting someone to go and tap them on the shoulder is out of the question for some reason.

The grass wolf has managed to find his way into the complex at this point, and ends up eating the film critic after he does this weird speech. Does Shyamalan hate critics? I bet he did after releasing this movie. Maybe he saw it coming, and just didn’t care.

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Turns out this guy saves the day in the end. By staring at the grass wolf.

I just lost it at this point, seriously. A giant eagle flies overhead and takes Story away, and then the credits rolled.

WHAT. THE. HELL. YOU. GUYS.

Dare I ask, has M. Night Shyamalan made anything worse than this? I need to know, just in case I have a sudden lapse in judgement and find myself with nothing better to watch on a Sunday night.

Introducing the Movie Confessions Blogathon!

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Fellow bloggers, readers, gather round. This is a safe space. We all love to talk about movies, right? Some friends and family might even consider us to be experts in the field, often asking us for recommendations and taking our reviews deadly seriously.

But at the end of the day, we’re all humans, and sometimes we have some opinions that aren’t shared by many others. That’s what this little Blogathon is all about!

For the next 2 weeks, I encourage you to send me your movie-related confessions. Perhaps there’s a classic movie that you can’t bear to admit you’ve never seen, maybe there’s an actor or actress loved by the masses that you actually can’t stand. You might have told the world your favourite movie of all time is The Godfather, when actually it’s The Notebook. Do you have a secret love for Nicholas Sparks?

Whatever you’ve been keeping quiet, now’s the time to spill the beans! Send me as many confessions as you’d like, and I’ll compile a master list on Friday, 21st April 2017. If you’d rather stay anonymous that’s fine, let me know, but if not I’ll link back to your blog. And don’t worry, I’ll be sharing plenty of my own confessions too, as if I don’t embarrass myself enough on a daily basis.

Here’s how to get in touch:
Email: allieisoftenofftopic@gmail.com
Twitter: @OftenOffTopic
Contact Form: Simply click here!

It’s all just a bit of fun at the end of the day, and the more the merrier! 🙂

Book Review: Behind Closed Doors, B A Paris

It seems weird to say now, but a few years ago I had to be convinced that a tablet was something I needed in my life. Not in the medical sense, the electronic. I just didn’t see the point; I already had a phone, a laptop, a TV and a Kindle, I counted myself lucky enough and didn’t need another piece of technology in my life. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without one. I use mine every day for gaming, reading, watching, blogging, you name it, and during our house move it’s been my best friend.

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My whole house may have been in boxes, but my sofa was sat in the living room and I had my tablet, so all was well with the world. Anywho, I digress, what I actually want to tell you about today is the debut novel by the talented B A Paris, Behind Closed Doors. It was one of the 12 books I chose at the start of the year, and my messy handwritten notes tell me it was my ‘Psychological Thriller’ choice.

That was all I remembered when I started reading, and admittedly I almost gave up within the first 10 pages. It opens at a dinner party between couples, and our main character Grace is desperate for her husband’s approval with the three-course dinner she’s prepared for the guests. Ugh. What happened to cooking together? Then she gushes about how perfect her marriage with Jack is, and shares photos from their perfect Honeymoon abroad. Double ugh. I went back to read the blurb to try and work out what tempted me to read this in the first place, and then I realised.

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You see, the seemingly perfect marriage is the whole point of the story. Grace is always immaculately dressed, the house is spotless, and she loves her husband dearly. They go on holiday together regularly, and stay in the nicest hotels. You know what’s odd though? If you ever invite Grace out to lunch, she’ll either cancel last minute or turn up with Jack in tow. You’d like her number to keep in touch? Sorry, she doesn’t have her own mobile phone. Also, why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows? Why indeed!

For a book I thought was going to annoy me, I read Behind Closed Doors in record timing, for me at least. I just had to know what happened next. At 353 pages, it’s not the longest novel in the world, and you could easily read it over a weekend if you were so inclined. To tell you any more would be giving too much of the story away, but let me tell you, I’m sure I nearly passed out during the last few chapters because I was holding my breath, I was so tense.

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I think Behind Closed Doors could make a great movie too, without the need to cut much material. The dialogue would need some work, because on paper it comes across almost pantomime-like at times, a little over dramatic I think. Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend this book to you.

B A Paris is releasing her second novel, The Breakdown, later this year, and I’m quite excited to give it a read!