Rave: For A Good Time, Call…

With an office full of girls, it kind of goes without saying that we’ll see any girlfriend-focused comedy (see: Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, Bridesmaids, etc.). Suffice to say, when Alliance Films offered us tickets to For A Good Time, Call…, there was no hesitation. We were in! 




Directed by Toronto’s very own Jamie Travis, For A Good Time, Call… is in theatres today. Inspired by Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller’s on-screen (and real life, we hope!) friendship, we decided to put a lady twist on our typical he said/we said film reviews with a she said/she said version. Enjoy!




On Lauren Miller:


She said: “Lauren, who also contributed to the script, plays Lauren Powell. While initially I found her uptightness annoying, she really grew on me as the story progressed (which I guess is the point). And her hair? My version of perfection.” 


She said (too): “I loved her from the start. She was my favourite character – possibly because she reminded me of Allison Williams from Girls…And it’s true, she had awesome hair.”




On Ari Graynor:


She said: “Holy scene stealer, Batman! Ari plays the foul-mouthed Katie Steele and from the moment she came on-screen I found myself wishing we were real-life besties. Girl’s got some damn fine comedic timing.” 



She said (too): “From her retro-inspired ensembles to her on-screen banter with Lauren – she was a great fit for the role, but I have to say, Lauren was still my fave.”




On Justin Long:


She said: “As Katie and Lauren’s gay BFF, this role was a bit of a departure from Long’s normal repetoire, and I approve. He provided the perfect middle ground for each girl’s extreme, and you could see how each could be friends with him. True story: during the film’s Q&A the cast revealed that Long based his character’s mannerisms on the film’s director, Jamie Travis.” 


She said (too): “Two words. ‘Lion King.’ That alone made me love him (and relate to his character). You’ll have to check it out to see what I mean.” 


Dirty Talk: 


She said: “Oh my! Do not go in there expecting a PG version of phone sex. There’s a lot of licking, sucking, touching, truck backing up’ing… you get the picture. Often crude, but always hilarious, the ladies vastly expanded my vocabulary by the film’s end.”


She said (too): “It’s a film that revolves around a phone sex line, if you’re going to see it, you have to expect some profanity. I don’t think it was overdone at all – and it definitely had hilarious moments where the whole theatre was laughing.” 


(L-R) Traves, Miller, Miller’s husband Seth Rogan & screenwriter Katie Anne Naylon.

Favourite cameo:


She said: “Tough call. I’m going to have to pick Zelda, who is Lauren Miller’s real life dog! Watch for a scene with Zelda and Justin Long, ripped straight from Lion King. Hilarious.” 


She said (too): “Seth Rogan! I don’t want to give away what exactly he’s doing in his cameo…but it’s definitely a part to watch out for.”




Real-life friendship relatability:


She said: “Sex phone line aside, I could really get behind the film’s portrayal of female friendship. As someone whose had her fair share of female roommates, I completely related to alternating between loving someone to hating someone to borrowing their leopard print dress. I appreciated that neither character was forced to subordinate their love for each other for the love of man. While the plot included sexual relationships with men, the friendship between Lauren and Katie was heart of the film.” 


She said (too): “This was a perfect film to watch with a close gal pal (which I did). Good friendships can be a roller coaster of emotion with a few extra passengers along the way (read: guys) but you just can’t beat having a bestie along for the ride.”


Watch the trailer here


Toronto residents, stop into Fuzz Wax Bar (701 Queen St. W.) and fill out a ballot to win a Good Time prize pack, including free tickets to see the film! Contest is open until Tuesday, September 4. 



Media, Darling: Fiona Forbes

Fiona Forbes is a Canadian television personality who currently hosts Urban Rush, an award-winning entertainment talk show based in Vancouver. Fiona earned a degree in history from the University of British Columbia. While she initially planned to pursue a law degree, Fiona applied to a journalism program instead on a whim. She has now interviewed over twenty thousand people, including everyone from Michael Buble to The Pussycat Dolls to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and received many accolades including praise from none other than Regis Philbin. It seems she has found her calling.

Twitter: @FionaForbes

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers
were on the horizon? 
I actually wanted to be a lawyer and through fate and serendipity I
ended up on TV before I went to law school. 

Where would you like to be five years from now?
Hopefully I’ll still be still be doing what I love to do – making people
laugh and interviewing interesting people. My co-host and I have always had the goal of taking our show to a national audience…

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t be afraid to hit up people you admire for advice and ask them how
they got their gig. Try and intern as much as possible – proximity leads to
opportunity – being in the right place at the right time is key in this
business!

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
(i.e.: what do you read/listen/watch?)
I’m a consumer of all media. As my job mostly focuses on the
entertainment world I lean towards the standards when it comes to TV –
Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood etc. to keep up to date. For my show
prep I lean towards pop culture websites and blogs – I have about 20 sites I
visit daily bookmarked. I love this part of my job and don’t really consider it
work!

Best interview you’ve ever had?
Over the years I’ve interviewed over 20,000 people so it tends to be
kind of a blur! One of my favourite people to talk to is Michael Buble. His
first TV interview was on our show many years ago and we always have a blast
and get into some sort of hijinx when we hang with Buble!

Worst?
Goldie Hawn. I was so excited to meet her and get the opportunity to
interview such an icon but let’s just say Goldie was not having a good day and
the interview didn’t even happen.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Never give up.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Keep your pitches short and sweet! I get so many press releases that are
so convoluted it’s like a puzzle trying to figure out what’s being promoted. Know who you’re pitching and take the time to personalize it.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about
#wins.
The best person I know in PR only pitches me when she knows it will suit
our show. She always comes up with creative ideas and always follows through
with them. She’s persistent but not pushy and always does a great job for her
client and makes great TV in the process.

I hate?
Cilantro. Seriously.
  
I love?
My job. I feel so fortunate to have found a career that I love.

Reading?
On a long flight I love to read Vanity Fair cover to cover. I also think
I’m one of the only females yet to read “50 Shades of Grey”…it’s on
the list!

Best place on earth? 
Amalfi Coast in Italy.


Dinner guest?
Would love to have dinner with my Dad – he passed away about ten years ago.
My favourite thing was to make him Sunday dinner and I’d give anything to do
that one more time.

Hero?
Same as my dinner guest. My Dad was a great man.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Uber! It’s a great car service that geolocates you and is there within a
few minutes. Cabs in Vancouver are so overpriced and always dirty.

Pool or ocean?
Oh, either is fine with me! I’m a total water baby and could stay in
either all day.

Voicemail or email?
Email. And less is more! 

Fashion-able: 2012 Designer Collaborations

There’s something so exhilarating about a great collaboration. Some of our favourite songs of all time have resulted from it (hello, One Sweet Day? ‘Nuff said.). We’re thrilled that fashion designers have started creating limited collections with guests – be they a blogger, editor, artist or model, we’re making our wish lists for items from these designer collabs.


The Man Repeller x Dannijo (MR Dannijo)

We’ve had a girl crush on The Man Repeller (aka Leandra Medine)
since the launch of her cheeky blog back in 2010. Everything she does is
perfection (lady boners all around!), so when she pairs up with a designer we
pay attention. Her collaboration with the jewelry line du jour Dannijo has the
perfect punch of colour for fall. 


This collaboration takes us back to the days of Claire Danes circa My So-Called Life—think daisy prints and the original grungy plaid of the
90s. British model, Aggy says she bought her first pair of Docs at 13 “as a combination of
showing that I wanted to rebel against my parents and they were the coolest
boots that I could get away with wearing to school”. We can’t wait to get our hands on this collection, which hits stores August 15.


That’s right folks, Flare Magazine’s fashion director Liz Cabral and Canadian shoe brand Aldo are teaming up again for another collaboration. There aren’t too many details out yet, but Liz tweeted “we’re doing more than just
a shoe”. This pairing makes us proud to be Canadian and if it’s anything like their first collab, you’ll probably want to start planning your strategy for being first in line. The collection will be revealed in September and available in stores and online in October.



What we love most about H&M collaborations is how they
bring high fashion to the masses. Labels like Lanvin, Versace and
Comme des Garçons are made affordable so us, the common folk, can wear high fashion items. The latest collab is with cult favourite Maison Martin Margiela. It launches November 15 in approximately 230 stores
worldwide, as well as online.



The latest artist to collaborate with legendary fashion house Louis Vuitton is 82-year-old avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama. The collection is fun
and quirky, just like her art. Polka-dot-obsessed Kusama’s collection is complemented by the breathtaking exhibits at the Whitney Museum in New York City and the Tate Modern in London. Available now in select Louis Vuitton stores worldwide.
“…a polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a
symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form
of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing.
Polka-dots become movement… Polka dots are a way to infinity.”
– Yayoi Kusama





 
 


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Yum, Yum: Market 707

Nestled beside the ever-popular pool-hopping destination,
Scadding Court, lies Market 707. Just east of Bathurst, at 707 Dundas Avenue, 15 small businesses operate out of modified shipping containers and form the market.  Services range from a bicycle repair shop to dim sum to camel burgers. Here’s a selection of our fave food offerings from 707:

 
These traditional Salvadorian corn pancakes are made right
before your eyes by owner Terri and are served with curtido, a cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar, and tomato salsa. If you’ve never had a pupusa, you’re sorely missing out on a delicious part of Toronto’s multicultural cuisine.

The Original One


Good dim sum can be hard to find outside of Chinatown and
Markham, but The Original One has got it covered. Their barbequed pork
buns are light and fluffy, and the bbq pork is perfectly seasoned. Besides the
fact that they’re $3, they’re steamed and ready to be devoured in four minutes
– the perfect amount of time to peruse the other vendors or try their bubble
tea.





Street food is a hot trend in Toronto right now and Gushi is on the bandwagon, serving up Japanese-style street food. Now if you want skewers done right, you should probably go to the restaurant named after them. Gushi is Japanese for skewers, including the $1.75 tasty shrimp skewer we sampled above. Lightly battered in Panko and topped with homemade teriyaki sauce, Gushi certainly lives up to its name.


Owner Dali Chehimi with the camel slider he prepared for us

Mmm, camel.

Ever had a camel burger? Didn’t think so. We have though, and can we just say that after you get over the whole omg-I-just-ate-a-camel thing, they’re mighty tasty. Owner Dali Chehimi is more than happy to let you sample the toppings and tell you where he gets the buns and the meat from (here and here, by the way). We weren’t sure if we could stomach an entire burger, so we opted for the $3.50 slider version topped with homemade harissa and caramelized onions. If you’re not up for the camel, Chehimi offers lamb burgers, merguez sausages, and other Tunisian and North African fare.

For a full list of vendors located at Market 707 visit http://www.scaddingcourt.org/market_707/
or follow the Market at @market707. Vendors are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., but time varies depending on the vendor.

City Living: Ashkenaz Festival

Here on the fourth floor, we love a good festival. This summer, we’ve rocked all kinds of fests, including those featuring filmmusic, beer and more, and we can’t wait for the Ashkenaz Festival (kicking off tomorrow), a huge celebration of Jewish music and culture. With more than a dozen countries represented, 200 individual artists and 80 performances featuring music, theatre, film, visual art, literature and dance, it’s no wonder this is the largest festival of its kind in North America. With so many amazing events to choose from (and a ton are FREE!), it can be hard to know where to start, so today we’re sharing some of our top picks!

Workshop: Sunday, September 2, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., HarbourKids Tent, FREE
Parade: Monday, September 3, 4 p.m., Redpath Stage, FREE


My daughter loves arts and crafts so we’ll definitely hit Workshop Day with Shadowland Theatre. At the workshop, we’ll get to create an oversized character/puppet (back-to-school bonus: each character reflects a historical character) to appear in the Parade. Such a fun family activity, and the best part: on Labour Day we’ll see our masked creation walk in the parade with hundreds of musicians, artists and other festival-goers!
  
Ashley’s Pick: The Corpse Bride
Thursday, August 30, 8 p.m; Saturday, September 1, 5
p.m.; Sunday, September 2, 1 p.m.
EnWave Theatre, $25 in advance, $30 day-of

I love theatre (and jump at any chance for a bit of a drama) and can’t wait to see Theatre Panik’s production of The Corpse Bride. In this physical theatre piece, a young groom on the way to his bride’s village accidentally weds himself to a corpse (shooooot, hate when that happens). Based on the same Yiddish folk tale as Tim Burton’s movie The Corpse Bride, the performance features former prima ballerina Evelyn Hart, a talented local cast and a live musical score. Epic combo.

Sunday, September 2, 3 p.m., Redpath Stage, FREE 


I can’t be the only 80s baby who gets excited by
Sharon, Lois and Bram. Can you say childhood favourite? Skinnamarink was basically
my playground anthem back in the day. Two members of the Juno Award-winning trio will
perform much-loved classics like Five Little Monkeys, She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the
Mountain
and of course, Skinnamarink. They’ll also perform some Yiddish songs
like Oy Vey, Oy Vey and I’m a Little Latke. Their performance is recommended
for ages 12 and younger, but you’ll spot me in the crowd too.
Christie’s Pick: Anthony Russell
Monday, September 3, 6 p.m., Lakeside Terrace, FREE


Who could resist an operatic bass who sings contemporary
Yiddish music? Anthony (Mordechai Tzvi) Russell is African-American by birth and Jewish by choice, and has a beautiful voice that’s rich with expression (I should know, I’ve been listening to his tracks on repeat). Definitely looking
forward to this one!

Monday, September 3, 6 to 7 p.m., EnWave Theatre, $20 in
advance, $25 day-of


I’d heard of Leo Spellman’s cousin Vladislaw Szilman, the
subject of Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning film The Pianist, before I knew of
Leo, but what an amazing man. Rhapsody 1939 – 1945 marks the Canadian premiere of the 99-year-old
Toronto composer and Holocaust survivor’s composition (which had been locked away and forgotten for almost 50 years). With Leo attending, this performance is sure to captivate
audiences of all ages.

Andie’s Pick: Lemon Bucket Orkestra
Sunday, September 2, 11 p.m., Brigantine Room, FREE


If you haven’t seen their impromptu performance on YouTube, watch it now (then come back to the fourth floor). This awesome Toronto group describe themselves as a “Balkan-klezmer-Gypsy-party-punk super-band”. The 13-piece ensemble has been gaining a reputation as Toronto’s liveliest party band. Expect this show to turn into a sweaty, Eastern European dance party that goes into the wee hours of the night.


What parts of the Ashkenaz Festival are you most excited about? Tweet us @rockitpromo and let us know! 

Fashion-able: Leslieville street style

Queen West is home to
great fashion, food, drink, espresso, entertainment and our very own
Burroughes building. We feel lucky to work in such a vibrant, happening ‘hood. But the other end of Queen Street is equally as hip, with its unassuming, grounded culture and (nearly) big-box store-free streets.


Leslieville is flourishing; it hosts high-quality
local, sustainable food stores such as Hooked, Rowe Farms and Leslieville Cheese.
We love its growing variety of delish eateries, such as Leslieville Pumps,
Paulette’s Original Donuts, Goods & Provisions and Enoteca Ascari 26. Shops
like Thrill of the Find, Baby on the Hip, Nathalie-Rose and Co. and Doll Factory offer great finds and a strong community vibe.

We decided to head over to the east end again (check out our previous blog
posts on Leslieville Pumps and Paulette’s Original Donuts), but this time to take a
few snaps of the local street style. We were not disappointed. We found the style
generally unpretentious and fun. Bright pops of colour and floral patterns were popular, and strappy sandals a staple.
Bright colours and a mullet skirt are fresh and summery.
A floral dress with gladiator sandals and a
black vest mixes sugar and spice.
This maxi dress with a smart cardigan and bag looks polished
but not overdone.
A print bag lends a flirty summer vibe to the
classic skinny-jeans-and-cute-blouse look.

This romantic dress looks city chic with a crossbody bag
and strappy sandals.
A bright skirt adds some sun to this outfit.
These bohemian capris are the centerpiece of a unique earthy
look.


We’re looking forward to hitting up more Toronto neighbourhoods to check out what styles people are rocking. 

Media, Darling: Peter Saltsman

Peter Saltsman is an
Associate Editor at Toronto Life, where he handles the magazine’s
Navigator section—the one that’s about real estate and stuff. Before that he
worked as a copy editor in the Arts & Life section at the National Post.
His work has also appeared in Sharp Magazine and Torontoist

  
 

Twitter: @toronto_life


Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the
horizon?


For a while I thought I wanted to be an architect. Turns out I have the glasses
for it, but not the spatial sense. And I wouldn’t be a very good magazine
editor if I didn’t also have a couple of unfinished screenplays on my computer.


Where would you like to be five years from now?


Anywhere that’s not law school.


Any advice for people getting started in your industry?


Play the game. Intern. Look busy. Beg for work. And, ideally, be good at what
you do.


What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? (i.e.: what do
you read/listen/watch?)

New York Magazine. Grantland. WTF with Marc Maron.


Best interview you’ve ever had?

Dolph Lundgren. He’s impressive, physically and intellectually. And I’d never
been to the Thompson Rooftop before, so that was fun.


Worst?


The keyboardist from Bon Jovi. I didn’t know his name when we talked and I
still don’t. But since then I’ve always prepared for interviews.


Best advice you’ve ever been given?


“It’s a newspaper—people are just going to throw it out the next day anyway.”


What rule(s) do you live your life by?


A good story, both in life and in print, is worth almost any amount of personal
humiliation.


 


What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?


Editors really need your help. So trust us: we’ll let you know when a pitch
works.


 


Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.


That time someone sent me a free sweater. But really, there are lots of awesome
PR people in this city. It’s great when the people you’re working with are
smart and interested and are willing to drop the pitch for a minute to find out
what I actually need.


 


I hate?


Earnestness.


 


I love?


Coffee.


Reading?

Independence Day by Richard Ford.


Best place on earth?


The Dairy Queen on Broadview at Pottery Road.


Dinner guest?


Anyone who’s buying. And maybe
Pat Tabler and Buck Martinez.

Hero?


David Letterman.


 


Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?


Rocket Radar. So I know exactly how late I’m about to be.  


Pool or ocean?


Neither. But if pressed, ocean.


Voicemail or email?

Email. Though if it’s a lonely afternoon in the office and I’m starved for
human contact, I’ll probably answer my phone.