The voice of Aretha Franklin shines in full operatic aria in ‘The Upside’ movie with star Kevin Hart

Music travels with us throughout our lives. It makes the world go round. For many, it is a lifesaver, gateway to the soul and makes up the soundtrack of our lives. Like the great reggae artist,  Bob Marley so eloquently says, “When the  beat hits, you feel no pain.”

photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

NYC based Influencer @debrafrombrooklyn rocks stripped pants and purple booties at a screening of ‘The Upside’ movie in Manhattan

 

This brings me to the recent release of ‘The Upside‘ a comedy-drama starring funny guy Kevin Hart taking a spin at a serious role opposite thespian Bryan Cranston and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman. The movie which features the music of late music icon, Aretha Franklin is a remake of the 2011 French movie, ‘The Intouchables’  which starred  Omar Sy and  Francois Cluzet.  In this American remake, the concept is kept pretty much the same but lacks the full-on heartwarming charm and inspiration that the  French version exuded thanks in parts to Sy.  The movie, based on a true story, tells the story of two men from different backgrounds culturally and financially, who change each other lives for the better. Hart plays Dell, an ex-con out on parole hired as the caretaker of Phillip (Cranston), a billionaire and quadriplegic, the result of a paragliding accident. Kidman plays Phillip’s assistant.

The movie is the first comedy-drama released for  2019. That it includes a soundtrack featuring the music of the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin   who passed away in August of 2018 will definitely lend to getting lots of music fans talking and filling theater seats. I had the opportunity to attend a recent screening in New York City, given by the  MOMS .

New dad Kevin Hart chats with The MOMS, Denise Albert  and Melissa Gerstein

New dad Kevin Hart chats with The MOMS, Denise Albert, and Melissa Gerstein …..photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Aretha’s musical chords are woven perfectly into scenes. Hart himself even gives it a go, with a comedic spin, of course, singing on the much beloved  “Think”.  Four of Franklin’s songs appear on the movie’s soundtrack, each song adding flair to the storyline, like when  Dell is overcome with his appreciation of classical music while attending the opera alongside  Phillip and hearing  Nessun Dorma sung superbly by the Queen of Soul.

Surprisingly, taking the #1 Weekend Box Office opening position away from front runner  ‘Aquaman‘ which is holding high with billion dollar sales worldwide, ‘The Upside’ on its Jan 11-13 opening weekend cemented itself to the list of movies featuring  Aretha’s music that went on to become memorable.

 

Like I said music makes everything better.  I felt that the music saved the ‘Upside.’  The movie could definitely have been better. If I had to watch the movie again I would probably opt for the French version as Hart and Cranston didn’t fully click like Sy and Cluzet. The movie did showcase that if given more opportunities  Kevin Hart should really try dipping into more dramatic roles but without the funny.  Finally,  I would also ask Hollywood to stop going back to that old drawing board script that depicts black male characters as ex-cons, dead beat dads or not privy to a socially elite lifestyle.

 

With that being said out of 10  popcorn bowls The Upside  gets 5

Want to check out ‘The Upside’ movie  soundtrack take a listen here at the website Lyric Soundtrack.

Want to see the 2012 French version  ‘The Intouchables’  which starred  Omar Sy as the lovable  Driss a down and outer from the projects of Paris and Francois Cluzet playing the role of Phillipe. Watch here

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by Debra Lewis-Boothman

 

RED, HOT AND LOVING HER 40s MOLLY SIMS TELLS-IT-LIKE-IT-IS IN NEW BOOK by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Supermodel Molly Sims and her baby bump wears red like no one’s business. She stuns in it!

RED HOTTT! Molly Sims who is 8-months  pregnant stuns in red.

RED HOTTT! Molly Sims who is 8-months pregnant stuns in red.

Celebrating the release of her new book “The Everyday Supermodel” at the Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro on Jan 29,  six-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model  Molly Sims  shared   tips on beauty, fashion, wellness, parenting and what it’s like to be in her 40s.

“It takes work, it is not handed to you,” the former model  declared  about looking beautiful . “In my  20 year journey, I did not look like this, ( pointing at herself .) I  look better at 41  than when I was 21,” the shared with mom bloggers including  Crownheightsmom who attended the afternoon luncheon  and MOMS Mamarazzi  event with hosts Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein co-creators of  the  MOMS brand. “We are all self made women, so try and embrace the now, ” Sims told the attendees whom all left with a signed copy of her book  which gives advice , tells-it-like-it-is truths, and gives insider insights from some of the  best industry experts from beauty, health, fitness and fashion.

 

PAGE TUNER: Molly Sims  shares  beauty, fashion and wellness tips in her newest book

PAGE TUNER: Molly Sims shares beauty, fashion and wellness tips in her newest book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The afternoon luncheon  brought out many mom bloggers . It was co-sponsored  by the MOMS and  Big Belli Co presents 40Weeks -the movie pregnant women have been waiting for. See more at 40weeksthemovie.com. Available March 1 on DVD and Download.

Molly Sims is interviewed by Dominique Debroux,the founder of Big Belli Co.

The former Victoria Secret Supermodel  shared  chic and  figure flattering style advice for every budget  as well as  on-the-go workouts to  help women move, dance, spin and stretch their way into  their  hotter healthier  selves . Yes, it  takes work,  but aren’t we all  works in progress? Taking care of ourselves daily by eating and  drinking healthy,  treating ourselves to simple beauty  regiments and daily exercise  pays off.

Molly  share a group hug and a group laugh with  Dominique Debroux of co founder of Big Belli Co, Melissa of the MOMS and filmmaker Christopher Henz

Molly Sims shares a group hug and a group laugh with Dominique Debroux founder of Big Belli Co, Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein of the MOMS and filmmaker Christopher Henze of 40 Weeks on DVD/Download Mar 1

“I did not always look like this.  I worked  hard to get to where I am today, ” Sims  declared. “Do you think I looked like this when I was 19 years old?  Well I didn’t . I worked my ass off. I was 20 pound overweight. I had brown hair, I had braces, I had acne, ” she says.

Molly  and Crownheightsmom share a laugh

Molly and Crownheightsmom share a laugh

Inspiration is all around you notes Sims. “As the  years go by I changed. I was like a sponge and I am still like a sponge. I look at magazines. I look at celebrities, I look at other moms. Anybody can change themselves .I am a firm believer in that you can do anything you want to do. I am from Kentucky.I went to public school. I have been a waitress, and a really  bad waitress. I was a sales lady and a really good one because I was honest .I would tell customers you cant wear that  but you can wear this  and I always had my returning customers. If someone said to me you should do this I was ok I will try it. Some women are critical and they take it so personally. I have been told my  calves are too bigs, my arms  are too big, I’m too fat, your  hair should be longer your hair should be shorter.I  cant believe you would wear that .I have heard it all .”

It's all about Molly , Debra and the book

More selfie fun with Molly Sims and Crownheightsmom Debra Lewis-Boothman

She’s can relate to the every day woman.  “I’m not different from you. Anything you can say I can probably say that I have been told that.  I have learned from so many . I took tips from people. I always suggest that you should  find someone you look up to and  learn from them . Also, learn your body.

Crownheightsmom catches up with the MOMS co-creators Denise and  Melissa

Crownheightsmom catches up with the MOMS co-creators Denise and Melissa

Want to feel good about yourself, Sims  a big yoga enthusiast  asked .”Get out of the sweatpants and put on a pair of jeans,”  she says. Adding that she doesn’t  follow trends . “Once it looks good  on  I just put  a sweater or a jacket on over it.”

The “House of Style” host and “Las Vegas” star asked that those attending  do something for her, “Never ever say you are going on a diet and never look at a picture and be like ugh God, I hate this picture.'”

Speaking of pictures Sims shared and showed how she’s been storing all of the thousands of photos and videos she’s amassed over the years especially  those of her husband Scott Stuber and 2-year old son Brooks Alan . Sims told the group  that  she’s been using  LYVE App the new  photo sharing and storing  app that  saves and collects all of her photos and videos she has  stored on different devices –mobile phones, computers, cameras, and ipads. She says   that Lyve  has really helped her to keep photos in one place . “They  have installed a small device in my home office and  has been working to collect and catalog just about every photograph and video I’ve ever captured with a digital camera. I don’t envy the device. During the last decade just  like almost everyone else on the planet, I went bananas for photos and videos. I estimate I’ve  more than 20,000 pictures and clips spread across phones, tablets and a handful of far-flung folders on a handful of computers,” she says.

Sims uses LYVE to keep her photos and videos together

Sims uses LYVE to keep her photos and videos together

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Molly Sims uses Lyve to store her keepsake photos and video memories

Mom bloggers  mill around the LYVE App device

Mom bloggers gather around the LYVE App device to get info and see demonstrations featuring pics of Sims and her family

Molly Sims’ is FUN! She is funny and open and warm. This new book will definitely do well . Molly  shows  moms and women how to balance it . The event was  wonderful and the midtown restaurant  Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro was the perfect place to hold it. The luncheon menu included  a mix of sandwiches and salads and delicious treats for dessert. Crownheightsmom will definitely be heading  back to taste the full menu at a later date.

Yummy eats from Artisianal Fromagerie Bistro

Moms enjoying  luncheon

Moms bloggers enjoying the luncheon

To keep up with Molly  go pick up her book at local bookshops and online and definitely  go to her website  mollysims.com

Molly Sims and her bump

Molly Sims looking fab at 8 months points to her bump