Barb’s CafeToday | The Lost Valentine

The Lost Valentine

Recommended for your viewing pleasure.  A Must Watch before and on Valentine’s Day.

The Lost Valentine stars  Betty WhiteSean Faris and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

 Here is the story.  In World War II Betty White’s character, Caroline,  bids goodbye to her beloved husband Neil.  Waving goodbye at the train station, he is off to war as a proud member of the Navy.  Sadly, Neil does not return.  Every year on Valentine’s Day, she returns to the train station in memory of their incredible love story albeit brief.  She has never missed of one of her special days.

Decades later Susan, a journalist played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, learns Caroline’s dedication to her late husband and unwillingly has to do a story about her.  When Susan meets Caroline, she finds a better story than she could have ever imagined.  All the while, Susan’s personal relationship seems to be stalled.  In the course of getting Caroline to share her story,  Susan meets Caroline’s grandson Lucas, played by Sean Faris.   Susan continues developing her story. All the while,  Susan is touched by Lucas’ devotion to his grandmother and realizes she has developed feelings for him.  Well you sort of know where the story will travel.  However, there are unexpected turns as the story progresses.

The film is based on the book  The Lost Valentine by  James Michael Pratt.  Go head, Buy it. Read it.  Watch it. I know you will love it!

My copy of DVD and Paperback

My Copy of DVD and Paperback

The movie is just an inspiring story of Lasting Love, Dedication and  Hope.  As you may gather, I really liked this movie when it ran on   The Hallmark Hall of Fame  special in 2011.  I know.  I am such a ‘sucker’ for these.  This is definitely one of the better ones.  No mean spirited, angry people fighting for attention. No worrying about running out of hair products or “what can I possibly wear”.   The typical TV movie.  

Sean Faris and Jennifer Love Hewitt    via

Sean Faris and Jennifer Love Hewitt   via  FanPop

Betty White is delightful and entertaining. I believed her portrayal of  Caroline.  Billy Magnussen portrays Neil.  A great role for him.  Very likable.  Quiet, loving and gentle.   I actually enjoyed Jennifer Love Hewitt as the journalist.  I like her more as she matures.  Our little Jenny is growing up!  Sniff. Sniff.  And then, there is Sean Faris.  His role as Lucas, Caroline’s grandson,  did not have a great deal of screen time.  He definitely is easy on the eyes.  See, it is moments like this, I have such an appreciation for  PAUSE and REWIND.  Jennifer and Sean have really ‘good’ chemistry.  The role of Lucas as a loving grandson is appealing and he is quite “ruggedly handsome”.  (sorry Rick Castle!) Or is he more the GQ type?  I’m thinking  GQ.  Either way he close to perfect on screen.  

Appears the cast members have a special kinship to their on screen characters.   Betty White and the real love of her life, Alan Ludden, sadly died in 1981.  You just know their love was special, when you watch her eyes as she lovingly speaks of Alan.  Sean has spoken numerous times of his strong  relationship with his grandmother,  whom he adores.   Awww.  

Behind the scenes   by me

Behind the scenes by me

Now… some behind the scenes:  We all know Betty White is a lover of animals.  While filming in the Atlanta suburb, the neighbors and other locals would frequently be out for a stroll with their pets.  Of course, filming would stop as Betty delighted in personally greeting all these fine pets.  

Betty, being Betty, kept the cast and crew well entertained with  her huge repertoire of stories.  Wish I could have been there.

The movie was filmed in a residential area of Atlanta Ga.   The rotunda at the Georgia State Capital served as the railroad station. It has  much of the original interior, just as it would have been during the 1940’s.  

The last scenes in the movie were filmed with active Naval Officers and personnel.    

Seriously though, I did really like this movie.  It will air on Saturday, January 26th at 9 pm on The Hallmark Channel.  Check your local listings.  Hopefully,  it will air a few more times before Valentine’s Day.  


Barb’s Cafe Today | A Moment for Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger    via ET Online

Heath Ledger           via ET Online

Heath Ledger – passed away 5 Years ago January 22, 2008. 

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My trip to the movies is not to be.  Nor has it been for some time.  A damaged knee has curtailed many an outing for me these past months.  I have yet to see any Oscar Nominated movie.  Bummer!  I know!  Since my coffee stop indulgence has been curtailed as well, I have been roaming through Facebook and Twitter to maintain my ‘what’s new with you’ conversations.  So while enjoying my go to coffee drink of choice – Green Mountain Breakfast Blend – I was catching up on happenings when I ran smack dab into Heath.  I stopped. Then realized I needed a moment.

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Sipped on my drink while it was still steaming and contemplated Heath Ledger.  Has it been 5 years! Usually I remember these things. I am getting up there in years you know,  but not that ‘up there’!   It was while watching the movie ‘10 Things I Hate About You‘ that Heath Ledger will forever be endeared to me.   

Heath Ledger & Julia Stiles   via Amazon

Heath Ledger & Julia Stiles via Amazon

I enjoyed the movie and his performance very much.  I kept saying “who is this guy”?  When I watched dramatic moments and even the silly ones, I knew there was that ‘something’ surrounding him.  Talented, really good-looking and playful.  The plus being he was an Aussie.  Yeah!  The accent is hard to resist. 

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I remember girls just buzzing about him.  He was on fire.  His 2000 performance in ‘The Patriot‘,   the revolutionary saga as Mel Gibson’s son Gabriel, was a glimpse into his future in movies.  Heath shined in that role.  And, yes we all cried when he was died.  

Heath Ledger ‘The Patriot’ via tumblr

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Lastly, Heath Ledger deserved the Oscar for his portrayal of  Joker in ‘The Dark Knight‘ which he received posthumously.  Sometimes even we staunch movie lovers can forget Academy Award winners .  The Joker was portrayed with such ease of evilness, it became very real on the screen.  It was said that it took much from him to get in touch with that character.  I wonder if it was worth losing a part of one’s self to achieve that performance level?  No judgement.  Just thoughts.  That was the one and only time I have ever seen the movie.

I think back on what might have been.  Contemplation only brings more questions, however.  To what heights of stardom would his acting career have reached?  Would he have settled down as a family man?  Perhaps he would become a director – another Ben Affleck?  Who would he really become?  I think he could have achieved much.  He definitely had that potential.  I for one, am very pleased you were here.   

In his last days, he was alone and ill until his death.  No one should ever be that alone.  The question that remains is………where was the someone to truly care for him?   The someone extending hope and compassion when the moments of hopelessness came calling?


Barb’s Cafe Today | How Do You Solve a Problem Like Lance Armstrong

Photo by Peter DeJonge AP via NY Times

Remember the song from ‘The Sound of Music’?  How do you solve a problem like Maria?

” How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown! “

Well! That is what  jumped into my little brain when I looked at this photo of Lance Armstrong.

How do you solve a problem like Lance?

How do you catch a cheat and pin him down?

How do you find the word that means a cheater?

OK! So I cannot write a song.

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To begin, it is sad that we are talking about yet another cheating/doping scandal in sports again.  All this when we should be talking about ‘mmm, let’s see, anything else. Our children’s future. How to make our country safe.  Instead we are all talking, writing and watching stories about another cheating scandal that has devastated many lives.

I read many comments online about the interview and the doping, cheating scandal.  I found everyone has an opinion.  There were some that I felt were scary to me. Here are a few.  “Just another cheat. Who cares”  He didn’t lie to me so it doesn’t matter”  “Like he was the only one. The others didn’t get caught”  “Come on. Everybody does it”  “It’s not a big deal”    These comments scare me because I think  it is a big deal.  The overall impression was….I do not care. I do not want to hear or know the facts.  I have better things to do.

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gotten a call at their Michigan home from Armstrong offering to say he was sorry

Betsy & Frankie Andreu photo by Betsy Andreu

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  I am not making light in any way of the lengths to which this person went in order to cheat, deceive, lie, defraud and viciously threaten to ruin ANYONE who did not condone and help hide his years of doping/cheating conspiracy in order to win.  He bullied team mates.  He bullied anyone who questioned his actions.  The bullying escalated into threats of personal and financial ruin.  Bullying does come in all forms.  The only match for the depths of cheating is his arrogance.  He knew well, he would never be caught.  At least in his own mind he was untouchable.  Betsy Andreu was one of  the few who did speak out.  He viciously threatened her and her family.  Betsy is the wife of Lance’s former teammate Frankie Andreu.  You can find many clips online of Lance denying those allegations and attacking Betsy for speaking out. If you watch him deny and what comes out of his mouth.  You will know exactly what kind of person Lance is.

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I posted this morning:   Lance has no ability to help himself. He believes every lie he has told. He is above all this fuss over the ‘doping’ charges. If you had thought he would open up and pour out his heart….duh…, his heart became too small…. when his cheaters ego went ballistic. He is bullet proof.  As I said for years… he speaks, he lies. Stop allowing this cultural acceptance of cheating in sports or anything.

FingerTipping  commented
This is a financial fraud and should be prosecuted in the court of law and prison time should be served. This have been a racketeering scandal that has made many millions of dollars for Armstrong and his associates under full knowledge of doing so. It has taken millions of dollars away from many businesses, athletes and fans who were deceived through deceptive practice for financial gain. Stealing in any business environment where the public has been mislead and conned into believing in a brand, product, service or event where financial investment has been gained is punishable by law.

I had not considered this as racketeering  Hmm!   People are saying there was money laundering, bribes and on and on.  Even I am astonished at the depth of deception.

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A few Facebook fans were pleased he ‘poured his heart out.’  Really!  Not what I saw recently or have seen him say or do over the years. I do not think it is in him.  I would like to believe but he continues to show his true colors. The only reason he wanted to speak with Oprah is to open doors for his eventual return to cycling in a few years.  He kept referring to himself in the 3rd person.  Almost as if it were someone else making those decisions to dope and conspire.  He does refer to himself when he speaks of the wins and medals.

Speaking of a lifetime ban.  Pete Rose was handed a lifetime ban from baseball.  This was a person who loved baseball with all his being.   No, he is not perfect.  He must be tired of shaking his head when he hears the Breaking News….  Another sports scandal has come and gone with little consequence.  Pete Rose should have the lifetime ban lifted and he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Back to Lance the Vicious Defender of Many Lies:  “World Anti-Doping Agency General Director David Howman Tuesday said nothing short of a confession under oath — “not talking to a talk-show host” — could prompt a reconsideration of Armstrong’s lifetime ban from sanctioned events.”  See what I mean!  We make rules and yet allow certain people to walk around those rules.

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So, what to do about Lance Armstrong?   He broke the law. Many crimes were committed. He should be prosecuted as the law requires.   He craves fame.  Therefore, I think we should ignore him!  Never ever, interview him again.  No photo shoots.  Never Ever!  He can ride off into the sunset in deep contemplation.

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