You’re Only As Strong As Your Next Move: A Review Of Begin Again

You’re Only As Strong As Your Next Move: A Review Of Begin Again

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Before you decide that TFiOS is the best movie of the summer, watch this heartfelt story about chasing your dreams and making something special happen. 

I recently saw a movie that is going to become one of my favorites, and one that I fully intend to buy the second it comes out on DVD. Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, and Hailee Steinfeld, is a wonderful film about love, music, and starting over.  

The movie is raw, honest, and genuine – much like the music of Keira Knightley’s character, Greta. It’s rated R, mostly because they swear quite a bit. But in the real world, who doesn’t? The characters – even the broken ones, like Mark Ruffalo’s Dan – are people I would want to be friends with. It is set in New York City, with incredible scenery and a low-key vibe. There is no trace of the distracting glitz that could have ruined the movie if it was set somewhere predictable like LA. Through the dialogue and production, the viewer can see how everyone involved with making the film is dedicated to their craft. The movie’s title aptly states its main message: there is so much beauty in second chances. 

The story is simple: Dan, a once brilliant record executive, is now a faded image of his former self, spending more time getting drunk than he does signing promising new musical acts. His business partner, finally fed up with him, fires him. In a stereotypical fashion, he goes out and drowns his sorrows at a dive bar, where he hears Greta quietly strumming a ballad on stage. In what could be seen as the creative imagination of a drunk man running wild, instruments come to life on stage and Dan hears Greta’s rough song as a full-realized production. He also sees a second chance for himself, a way to get back to the life he once knew. Of course, it’s not that easy. Dan begs Greta to sign with him, but she refuses, saying that she is headed back to England to nurse her broken heart. Slowly but surely, he convinces her, and they set out to make her first album. Since Dan isn’t actually a record exec anymore, he makes a deal with his former partner: they will make a demo album, and from there, the record label will decide whether or not to sign Greta. They enlist Greta’s musical friends to assemble a band, and they make their album on the streets of New York City. The movie itself is a love story to New York and starving artists, and it is an incredible thing to experience as a viewer. The story strips away the crazy showmanship and faux-reality of Hollywood, and the spotlight is able to truly shine on the music, which is what’s important. It’s impossible to not be inspired to chase your dreams when watching this movie. 

The music is all extremely well done, unlike the over-produced pop that dominates the radio these days. The words spill off of Knightley’s tongue so delicately that you really do believe she wrote them. She makes a convincing young musician, and is a beautiful breath of fresh air. Mark Ruffalo does a great job portraying a record label exec who has lost his way, and manages to come off endearing when he should seem like a tool, something Ruffalo has done well before (think The Kids are Alright, except he doesn’t end up being a huge jerk by the end this time around). I also love how Hailee Steinfeld’s character Violet was written – she is witty, sharp, and mature, but you can still see that she is just a lost young girl trying to find her way and impress her erratic father. Adam Levine was even pretty good in his role, and I’m not even a huge fan of his. Months ago, when I first heard he was going to be in this movie, I laughed, remembering his fairly pathetic role on American Horror Story – but I thought his acting actually wasn’t too bad! 

There’s not much more I can say – After all, I’m not a professional movie critic – except, go see this movie!!!

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If Taylor Swift Songs Were Types Of Alcohol

Because what's better than a drink and some T-Swift?
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With Taylor Swift's quick return to the music scene... and in a big way, might I add, I decided to associate some of the best Taylor Swift songs with alcohol.

I mean, who wouldn't want to drink to Taylor Swift's catchy melodies and perfect choruses to get over an ex or tell someone exactly how you feel about them?

Taylor Swift has been around for a decade at this point, and let's face it, pretty much all of her songs could go along with at least one type of alcohol.

1. "Welcome To New York" - Moscow Mule

It only makes sense. Visit the Big Apple and you have to indulge in the state's signature cocktail. Moscow mules are a New York classic, and if it's your first night in the city and you haven't bought yourself one, are you even in New York?

2. "Blank Space" - Everclear

Think about it... A night of drinking Everclear will leave you with a giant blank space the next day. You might also look like Taylor did in the music video.

3. "Tim McGraw" - Beer

Tim McGraw is a throwback to Taylor's high school love. What better way to reminisce than with a couple friends and a keg of your favorite cheap beer?

4. "Style" - Cristal Champagne

What's more stylish than with a glass of the most expensive bubbly you can find? Just like Taylor Swift, Cristal will never go out of style.

5. "Shake It Off" - Martini

Get it? Cause you shake a martini? I might be the only one who thinks that's funny but you might end up dancing a little bit with a martini in hand when "Shake It Off" come on the radio.

6. "Red" - Merlot


Red has to go along with a red wine. What else could go along with yet *another* T-Swift breakup song?

7. "22" - Margaritas

Let's face it, when you're 22, you really only drink margaritas. They're fun- and all the hipsters are probably drinking them too.

8. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - Southern Comfort

When your heart is broken, who are you going to turn to besides the only alcohol that gives you comfort...Southern Comfort that is.

9. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Fireball

I can't say I've ever met anyone who spent a night with Fireball and didn't regret it the next morning.

10. "Look What You Mad Me Do" - Tequila

T-Swift's latest single is an angry one. What better to make you angry than tequila? Taylor basically just called out everyone who had ever talked about her behind her back and she did it in true Taylor fashion-by writing a song. She was probably drunk on tequila when she wrote it too.

11. ...Ready For It? - Bottomless Mimosas

Because it's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Which Guest Cameo Are You From The 'thank u, next' Music Video, Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

Are you more of a Kris Jenner or Miranda Sings?

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Ariana's most recent single "thank u, next" has had everyone shook since she released it out of nowhere. Not only is the song an anthem, but the message behind the lyrics are empowering for girls everywhere who have been through a tough heartbreak.

After the song's release, none of us thought that the music video would go to this iconic level, but then the previews for the music video came out, and we were wrong. I loved all of the different references to some of my favorite rom-com movies, but my absolute favorite was seeing all of the different guest stars that Ari included in the video.

If you're wondering which guest cameo you're most like, here's what your zodiac says about you:

Sagittarius - Stephanie Drummond

Kind of like Stephanie, aka the "army pants and flip flops" girl from Mean Girls, Sagittarius' are very straightforward and won't hold back from telling something to someone. They're also very enthusiastic about certain things and curious to try something new, which makes them super unique.

Capricorn - Daniella Monet

Capricorns are smart, hard-working, and fully in control over your life, just like Daniella. There are times where they might stress themselves out to the max to make sure everything is perfect, but they're confident what they want and are determined to achieve that goal.

Aquarius - Elizabeth Gillies

Aquarius' are always fun with friends, which is just like Liz Gillies and her friendship with Ari. They're also good listeners and always willing to help others, as well as fight for causes that are important to them.

Pisces - Troye Sivan

Pisces are very creative and imaginative, just like Troye. These people aspire to achieve emotional and spiritual harmony, which can be easily seen from their generosity and compassion for others. However, they also sometimes value dedicating time for themselves to recharge, which is never a bad thing.

Aries - Gabi DeMartino

As an Aries, these people walk with confidence and determination and are true-born leaders. This means that they also have no problem with being honest or assertive and that they simply have no time for anyone else's BS.

Taurus - Jonathan Bennett

Just like Jonathan Bennett, who's best known for playing teenage heartthrob Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, taurus' extremely reliable and trustworthy. They want everything around them and in their life to be simple, which might not always be easy, but Taurus' are also known for their patience.

Gemini - Miranda Sings

Geminis tend to be very expressive people, which is just like Miranda Sings (aka Colleen Bellinger). They might have a bad rep, but they're also very curious, versatile, and affectionate.

Cancer - Ariana

As Cancer signs, these people are very sweet, have an intuitive side, and are kind to everyone around them, even if they're just a stranger, which is just like Ariana. Other signs might think that these people are just simply cute, but appearances are misleading and there's definitely more to this sign than being cute, such as being an imaginative person and a loyal friend.

Leo - Matt Bennett

Leos are known for being warm-hearted and cheerful people, just like Ari's best friend Matt Bennett. They're also very humorous and goofy and are the people that can help cheer anyone else up who needs it.

Virgo - Kris Jenner

Virgos are known for their strong loyalty and hard work they put into everything they do, which is just like Kris Jenner as the "mom-ager" for her kids. They're also very intelligent and analytical, and are dedicated to making sure that everything is perfect.

Libra - Jennifer Coolidge

Just like Jennifer Coolidge's role in the music video (and Legally Blonde), Libras are extremely compassionate and understanding with everyone around them. They are also in a constant search for peace and fairness, which is why they also tend to be fair-minded.

12. Scorpio - Bruiser

Last but not least, Scorpios are well known for being resourceful and passionate about what they do. There are times where they can be a bit stubborn, but at the end of the day, they're also known for being a true friend, or in this case, like a Bruiser to Elle Woods.

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