A Tween, A Teen and a Mom Review “The November Rule”


As we scrolled the romantic movie listings, we noticed a distinct lack of diversity.  We were wondering – where are all the people of color?  Don’t they fall in love and make cheesy movies? Of all of them that we have watched, we could only think of one with an African American lead – our all-time favorite – The Mistletones.  Then The November Rule popped up in the Netflix line-up so we decided to give it a try.  Despite a few bumpy Ewwww moments that we had to fast forward through, we all really loved this movie.

The Premise

Steve (Mo McRae) has a rule that he breaks up with whomever he is dating on November 1st so he doesn’t have all the pressure of going through the holidays, buying gifts and meeting the family.  Except for this time, he really likes Leah (Tatyana Ali), the girl he is dating.  She seems perfect, but Steve breaks up with her anyway despite the advice of his best friends.

80’s/90’s Star Sitings:

Barry Bostwick (inexplicably always a favorite of mine since he played George Washington in a TV miniseries) plays Leah’s boss.  Macy Gray makes an appearance as the drunk neighbor of Steve’s parents.  And although not a throwback star, some of you might recognize Faizon Love from his role as the department store manager in Elf.


The “It” Factor ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

This movie definitely has the “it” factor.  From the hip sneaker lingo, to the witty dialogue between Mo’s friends (and Leah’s too), this movie had all the feels.  We were rooting for Steve (Mo Rae) and Leah (Tatyana Ali) to get together, and we laughed out loud several times.  Which is a good thing, because this movie is primarily billed as a comedy.  But make no mistake, it’s a romance at heart.

One thing this movie had going for it is that it’s largely told through the male protagonist point of view, and that’s kind of refreshing in this genre.  He and his friends talk about romance and dating just as much as the women and it’s nice to have their perspective.

I also like that Leah didn’t wallow around when Steve broke up with her. In fact, she started dated a super hot basketball player.  This led The Teen to comment “I don’t see how Mr. Right is going to turn this thing around …”  We were worried for Steve.

The Him is so Handsome Factor:

Teen and Tween: ❤️❤️❤️

Mom: ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I think Mo McRae is good looking and has a great charm about him.  The girls thought he was cute, but not that cute – although they would give his abs a solid five. I think they were a little distracted by the ridiculously good looks of Mr. Wrong – James Avedon (Jay Ellis).  They would be even more distracted if they knew what a smart, kind person Jay Ellis appears to be  IRL from his bio – college basketball player, student body president, and Americorp Volunteer).

The Tropes (also known around these parts as “all the cliches”)

✔️ Dead Dad – This is refreshing.  All mothers seem to be alive and well.  The dad bites the dust this time – an added bonus that it’s the hero’s dad and not the heroine’s parent.  Steve’s dad has passed and it’s supposedly part of the reason for the November Rule.

✔️ Commitment Phobe Transformation – Anyone with a November Rule is definitely a commitment phobe.

The Ewwww Factor: ❤️❤️❤️

I wasn’t sure how this was going to go because The November Rule doesn’t have a rating.  This movie is definitely geared to a slightly older audience – older teens and adults.  Nothing racy, and no nudity, but there is some suggestive language that might make some uncomfortable.  You might want to fast-forward through the scene where Leah and her roommate (Lala Anthony) are scrolling through dating profiles due to some mild sexual humor.  We definitely had to fast-forward through the family Christmas dinner scene because of language and some sexually explicit humor.  Other than that, this movie is fine.  Squarely in the PG-14 rating sphere, I would say.  We all agreed we could watch it together, but Dad would probably make us turn it off.

The Bechdel-Wallace Test ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Pass!  Leah has several conversations with her co-worker about a job challenge and Leah and her roommate discuss her social media presence.

A Tween, a Teen and a Mom Review “Leap Year.”



I must say, I was happy to see this movie pop up in the Netflix “Because you watched” list.  I have caught bits and pieces of it from when it was released in 2010, but never the whole thing.  It’s rated PG.

The Premise:

Anna (Amy Adams) has a successful career in Boston as a real estate stager, and a heart doctor fiance named Jeremy (Adam Scott).  She thinks he has invited her to dinner to propose, but that turns out not to be the case.  She decides to take matters into her own hands, and purpose to him.  Apparently, it’s an old Irish custom for women to purpose on Leap Day in Ireland, and as it turns out, Jeremy is in Dublin for a conference on – you guest it – Leap Day!  However, plans go awry landing her in a one-horse Irish town where she hires Declan to drive her to Dublin and shenanigans ensue.

The “It” Factor:

Mom and Tween: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Teen: ❤️❤️❤️❤️ – She docked it a heart because she thought they should have dated a little longer before getting engaged.

We all agreed that this movie has the “it” factor.  Even though the plot is a bit thin and does nothing to advance any feminist notions, we loved it.  And let’s face it, you already know those things going into most romances.  I am always charmed by Amy Adams and she did not fail here.  She (and I might add, her amazing calf muscles) make the movie.  As the tween noted “she is perky and funny without being too annoying.”

We all loved the banter between  Anna (Adams) and Declan (Goode), the funny cow scene, and the cinematography.  It was filmed all around Ireland and the scenery is beautiful.  However, if you are a geographic purest, you will have some problems as it would appear they traveled the whole of Ireland and went way out of their way to get to Dublin.  I am geographically challenged, and even I noticed this.  Anywho, that is what a “willing suspension of disbelief” is for – right?  So just chill and enjoy the scenery.

Fun 80’s/90’s star appearance: Jonathon Lithgow as Anna’s father.

Him Is So Handsome:

Tween and Teen: ❤️❤️❤️

Mom: ❤️❤️❤️❤️

We all have a thing for dark hair and blue eyes in this family, so we all liked Matthew Goode.  I like him a little more.  The girls thought he was a little too old to get a full five stars, ageist that they are.

The Tropes (all the cliches):

✔️The road trip

✔️ Enemies to lovers

❓ Unconfirmed dead mother.  Anna meets her father (Lithgow) for a drink to supposedly tell him that she is getting engaged.  No mother shows up, and I get the feeling that she might not be on the scene.  Of course, that doesn’t mean she is dead necessarily, but you kind of get that impression. Here’s to hoping there is a living mother of a heroin floating somewhere in the backstory!


The Ewwww Factor: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Nothing Ewwww here.  Everyone can enjoy watching it together.

The Bechdel-Wallace Test: ❤️

It barely eeks out a pass because the majority of scenes are between Anna and Declan.  However, there is a bit of conversation between Anna and a female board member of an exclusive apartment building.  There is also a brief snippet of conversation between an innkeeper’s wife and Adams that doesn’t focus on men or romance, but rather on the marital status of the couple from the previous night and cooking.