Fan Girl Moment

For a magazine-lover like me, life's little thrills include the moment during London Fashion Week when the editor-in-chief of British Vogue retweets you.
(I tweeted a link to an article about Shulman's upcoming new mag Miss Vogue, which will cater to a younger reader. Still brainstorming the best way to get my hands on that one!)



With Valentine's Day and one of my favourite books in mind, I thought I'd take a chance and share a few of the songs that have made their way onto my soundtrack.

Beyonce featuring Sean Paul “Baby Boy”

Before leaving to study abroad I took extra care in choosing the music that would come with me. I agonized over which songs to put on the one CD I would bring. Even at fifteen, I included a mix of genres and tried to fit in songs or remixes that my friends had yet to discover. Up until this point I was boy crazy from a distance. My feelings had never been reciprocated and I enjoyed the safety of that. As our group got to know each other in those first days in a foreign country, my crush became painfully obvious. I didn’t know what to say or do and tried to imitate the easy way my best friends (who were always adored by the opposite sex) carried themselves around the boys. One day, I offered him one of my headphones and we listened to that CD. It became the one thing we bonded over. He hadn’t heard Beyonce’s “Baby Boy” yet, and liked it immediately. I knew he wasn’t smitten, but I was just happy to share music with someone who found it as exciting as I did. One night after dinner, I ran into him at the residence. None of our friends were around and he suggested hanging out in my room. I knew to jump at the chance, but beyond that was clueless. 



Back to School

Josh Radnor has thought a lot about getting older. In Liberal Arts - his second directorial effort after 2010's Happythankyoumoreplease - the How I Met Your Mother actor plays Jesse, a man who returns to his alma mater for his favourite professor's retirement, and finds himself wrapped up in the sense of hope and possibility that hangs in the air on campus. The only problem? The actual students certainly don't feel it. While he shares his rose-tinted view of his college years with sophomore student Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), she is anxious to move forward, calling herself a "19-year-old rough draft." In the story of her life, Zibby's eager to graduate and find out what the ending of this chapter looks like. As an improv student (when he asks if that's all she does all day, she responds, "There's no script. We're just making this up as we go."), her character could have been a caricature of the wide-eyed college girl. But Olsen has a maturity about her, so that when she says that she feels like she's ahead of her peers, we believe it. 

This isn't a love story, but there are hints of romance. Zibby insists that they write letters to each other (read in voiceover), and she shares classical music with him. Their friendship is the focus of part of the film, but the director abruptly reminds the audience that the story is Jesse's. And so, their tame relationship gives way to his struggle to define age-appropriate behaviour. "Nobody feels like an adult," his former professor tells him. "It's the world's dirty secret." Despite its occasional detours, Liberal Arts is a cautious film about Jesse's resistance to grow up. Radnor's characters are emotional, but nothing ever gets too messy or too complicated before they back away. The older characters often speak in platitudes and try to offer guidance to the younger ones. But, as Jesse learns, sometimes you just have to live through it yourself. He has to go back before he can move forward.