The Late, Late Show With Amy & Emily

My sister and nieces arrive today for their annual summer visit, and thus begins my month long routine of staying up way too late with my sis to snack, talk, and watch movies.  When we were younger this always got us in trouble with a “Girls. Girls! GIRLS!”, so we’ve trained ourselves to be nighttime ninjas with opening snacks and keeping the giggling at a whisper-level.

Despite the night owl fun, I’ll still be here to blog about summer TV, movies, and books, so here our my picks for this coming week/weekend.


Pretty Little Liars, Guilt…and now, Dead Of Summer. Freeform is my guiltiest of pleasures in the summer months, so I’m thrilled for the return of PLL this week, and the premiere of Dead Of Summer next week–a throwback to ’80s slasher films, but with a lighter touch since it is Freeform after all. (They haven’t quite lost that ABC Family vibe yet, with edgier themes still coming across a little bit sillier than they should.)

Cameron Crowe has been hit or miss for me since Elizabethtown, with Aloha being his biggest miss, in my opinion. But I’m always nostalgic for his films that I do love, so I had my fingers crossed for Roadies, especially as a Carla Gugino fan.  The performances are fine, and Crowe’s trademark love of music is all there, but wow, the whole thing just didn’t work for me. The behind-the-scenes antics of roadies seems like a great concept, and a natural fit for Crowe, but like Aloha, the dialogue and the people are tedious. Skip it, and revisit Almost Famous instead. (The pilot is available on Hulu for a short time, along with other Showtime premieres.)


You don’t need any littles to go see Finding Dory, although I’m sure any kid would enjoy it. I’ve been hearing mixed reviews, but I personally loved it, mainly because Ellen DeGeneres is so fantastic. There weren’t as many memorable moments as Finding Nemo, but it has a great message. Warning: bring tissues!

Staying in instead? 10 Cloverfield Lane is a great, psychological thriller. Cloverfield was one of the few J.J. Abrams films that I thought was overhyped, so I worried I wouldn’t care for this (companion?) film. However, aside from a few ridiculous moments at the end, this felt like it was from a completely different world than the first film. Definitely worth checking out. (Netflix/Redbox/streaming)


I’m sad to say that I bought Beautiful Ruins on vacation in 2013, and it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since. The cover is a beautiful shot of Italy’s coast, so I kept saving it for a summer read, only to get busy and forget about it, or get distracted by another book. Well, no longer! I finally started it a few days ago, and I’m completely in love with Jess Walter’s writing. The story goes back and forth between a small village near Cinque Terre in the 1960’s at the “Hotel Adequate View”, and today’s Hollywood. Those are the bare minimum details because I want you to discover this lovely, witty novel on your own. Perfect summer reading!

P.S. It pairs well with a Blood Orange San Pellegrino! (I do love a good theme.)

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