Amanda and Joey watch the still-great Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore ‘80s throwback classic, The Wedding Singer.
This week is a double dose of nostalgia on You Had Me At Hello: both for this 1998 rom-com classic that sparked the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore chemistry that continues today and for the bright colors and great music of the 1980s.
Though it was released during Peak Sandler — the mid-late nineties that saw the releases of Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, and Big Daddy — The Wedding Singer stands out as the perfect blend of Sandler’s dramatic capabilities mixed with his signature Sandlerisms (“Woopie-de-doo!”).
Fixed with a killer soundtrack (New Order!), one of the best romantic scenes in rom-com history (Billy Idol), genuine chemistry (they are so cute), and lots of memorable lines (“My parents died when I was ten, would you like to talk about that next?”), The Wedding Singer is a treat, even 19 years later.
Robbie is handed champagne and orange juice on his flight to Vegas; and we tried to find suitable 80’s cocktails to adapt. Also: when bae interrupts your cocktail photo shoot; needs to be included in the Wedding Singer post:
Amanda and Joey revisit Garry Marshall’s 1987 rom-com starring comedic power couple Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
We’ve run into this situation a few times so far on this podcast, where we revisit a “classic” of the genre with great concern that what we’ll find is a movie that doesn’t quite hold up.
Whether it’s misogynistic or homophobic or a combination of things, it’s always hard to revisit a movie that you loved as a kid only to discover that, hey, maybe it’s kind of fucked up now that you’re an adult and know better.
Thankfully, despite some occasional icky-ness, we agree that Overboard mostly holds up. There are some parts that made Joey squirm, but in general the Russell/Hawn dynamic is so charming and the characters so likable that it’s hard not to enjoy it. Plus, there are just some damn good jokes.
What do Elk sneezes taste like? Probably not ginger kombucha and spiced rum. Even though Elk do live in greater Oregon, I thought Overboard was a completely different boat movie, and made a cool-rum based drink in advance.
Am I proud of myself for a having a senior moment? No. But this interpretation of a dark and stormy suits the needs of those (ahem, Joey) who want to avoid soda, and also enjoy a delicious alcoholic beverage.
This week, Amanda and Joey watch the endearing and fun Enough Said, starring the late, great James Gandolfini and the hilarious Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Probably best known for his tough guys like Tony Soprano in The Sopranos or enforcer Virgil in True Romance, the late James Gandolfini’s final starring role was totally unexpected.
Sensitive and funny, Gandolfini’s Albert pairs perfectly with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Eva, who also gets to go beyond her usual cutting sarcasm and explore a wider range of emotions as a divorcee looking for love, caught between a new beau and a new friend.
Amanda and Joey had differing opinions on Catherine Keener’s Mary-Anne (though Keener is a gem), but overall they agree that this is a modern romance classic and a reminder that we lost Gandolfini far too young.
In one of the scenes of Enough Said, Eva says “Drinking is overrated… I mean underrated.” And that is one of multiple scenes in this movie where they’re drinking wine. And so I knew I wanted to make a wine cocktail, but as it’s summer, I felt like maybe a cool-down was also in order.
When Toni Collette’s character was rearranging furniture, and then confronted by her husband saying that he would like to “fill her hole,” and Eva says “different hole…” I knew immediately that it would be the inspiration for this prosecco popsicle — because it’s literally filling a different hole…
This week, Joey and Amanda tackle The Big Sick, currently in theaters nationwide.
The conversation veers towards crying cues, the importance of representation in Hollywood, movies other than the Big Sick, and the perseverance of John Wick.
Because The Big Sick is based on the story of a real-life, very much still married couple, Joey and Amanda did not, in fact, speculate about whether these two would stand the test of time. We’re guessing the movie’s critical and box office success will only help.
Joey and I are doing Whole 30, and then we watched The Big Sick. Have you heard of this? It’s a crazy diet and social experiment and marriage tester. But it means we are actually going mocktail the week with a little sun tea.
Plus, something about sitting by the bedside of the person you’re in love with, while they’re in a coma, probably means lack of sleep, a lot of worry, and no alcohol on hospital premises, really makes this mocktail sound like a great change of pace for us.
Amanda and Joey watch The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, and the cutest little Floof Dog you’ve ever seen.
Directed by Anne Fletcher of 27 Dresses fame, The Proposal is one of Joey’s favorite mid-grade rom-coms and a movie that Amanda had seen, but allegedly forgot about until Sandra Bullock’s shamanistic dancing to Lil Jon brought it all back.
A frigid editor-in-chief convinces her executive assistant to be her sham fiance in order to avoid deportation and antics and love ensue — with cute pups, Betty White, and Coach/Mr. Incredible to boot.
Joey, Amanda, and first-ever guest Kate Digby Skinner dive into the wonders and nostalgia of Annie Hall in the latest podcast episode.
La-di-da. I lurff you. Let’s just kiss now and get it over with. Annie Hall is full of nostalgia: Joey reminisces about film school, Kate describes her own celebrity encounter and too much time is spent discussing Amanda’s driving.
The first time I had Campari, I was in Paris, and it was the only thing on the menu that I recognized, from one line in Life Aquatic.
I hated it, but was too embarrassed to say as much. In the eight years since, I’ve actually developed an appreciation for the apéritif and one of its signature cocktails, the Negroni.
Our friend Kate Digby Skinner, an interior designer/photographer, chose Annie Hall, and in tribute to her go-to cocktail of the moment, we made a variation of the Negroni; a classic cocktail paired with a classic rom-com.
Being 13 is either the best or the worst, depending on who you ask, and it’s agreed that for better parties everyone should know the dance to Thriller.
This week, Joey and Amanda watched 13 Going on 30. Amanda can’t say the word “naivete,” and Joey ponders the ethics of disclosing your magical time-travel experience to your partner. Being 13 is either the best or the worst, depending on who you ask, and it’s agreed that for better parties everyone should know the dance to Thriller.
My mom wrote us an email suggesting that we watch this movie, and suggested our cocktail be “Thriller on the Rocks.” I took half of her advice.
I was thinking about Jenna and Matty’s happily ever after, in their pink house probably in a New York suburb. The type of East Coast adults with Bernie stickers on their car, who drink kombucha on tap, and proudly brandish their L.L. Bean credit card. Their apple-cider vinegar still has ‘the mother’ and yes, they did try Whole 30.
We watch It’s Complicated starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin.
Joey and Amanda watch It’s Complicated, and contemplate the certainty of their future, whether Meryl Streep and Steve Martin will elope in Ireland, and whether having a cafe/catering business is indeed profitable. Copious tears were shed leading up to this recording. But also, so many people in this movie have been in so many other cool things!
This week: It’s Complicated. I remember in high school, I’d eat like two navel oranges a day. Peeling the perfect orange really brings me back.
And I’ve used some of my favorite flavors (bourbon, maple, and orange), in this simple cocktail, because that’s what home should be. Inspired by Jake, played by Alec Baldwin, grabbing the lady parts of his ex-wife, post-coital, and declaring: “Home Sweet Home.”
Joey and Amanda watch Think Like a Man, an ensemble comedy which follows a group of clueless guys and the women who trick them into relationships.
Joey is hugely offended when Kirsten (Gabrielle Union) guts the apartment she shares with Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) of all his nerd stuff. Amanda relates to changing her behavior to find the kind of lasting relationship she wanted, ie, not being introduced as “a friend.”
When we first meet Mya, played by Meagan Good, she’s just spent the night with some loser, who didn’t remember her name and ran away with both of their lattes while she was in the shower. After reading a dating advice book by Steve Harvey, Mya decides she’s going to set different boundaries in dating. So when Mya meets Zeke, she waits until the fifth date to invite him upstairs. Our cocktail this week is inspired by a scene in which Mya finally invites Zeke in for a nightcap.
They make it, and she does invite him upstairs, but to his surprise and chagrin, she offers him coffee. He asks for three shots of Jameson in the coffee, and she essentially ignores him. The subtext of the nightcap is subverted, and instead of rolling around in the sheets, having messy, drunken sex, they stay up all night talking.
Joey and Amanda watch Four Weddings and a Funeral, which leads them to speculate about which of their friends would’ve hooked up at their nonexistent wedding reception.
Amanda enjoyed the expletives, Joey enjoyed the structure. And the end montage leaves little to the imagination as to whether Carrie and Charles live happily ever after–luckily settled into their lives before Trump, before Brexit.
I’ve never been to England. My travels include 37 out of 50 States, two Canadian provinces and one spectacular trip to Paris, France. So I asked my well-travelled, smart friend Darcy what kinds of cocktails do people in Great Britain drink? In my mind, I thought of Shaun of the Dead, ales and stouts, and maybe a Scotch or two. Darcy clarified that room-temperature cask ales were more like it, and it wouldn’t be uncommon to see someone with a gimlet or gin and tonic. Perfect, I thought, I can make a quasi-British gin cocktail!
Darcy also sent me this post on Slate, basically a lyric essay dedicated to the gimlet; she said that Four Weddings and a Funeral is part-American, part-British, just like the gimlet, and I sent her every thankful emoji I can find.
This week on YHMAH, Joey and Amanda watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and somehow manage to review a Judd Apatow movie before a Penny Marshall, Woody Allen, Rob Reiner or John Hughes movie.
But writer/star Jason Segel is a relatable, flawed lead opposite both Kristen Bell as the titular Sarah Marshall, and Mila Kunis, the babely customer service lady; Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a gem. Not only because it’s the first taste of Jason Segel’s Muppet obsession, but it’s a sad break-up movie with a hilarious all-star cast that will keep you laughing and maybe even crying.
Joey and Amanda try to guess which of them is the bigger sad sack, and Amanda needs more information about Rachel’s (Mila Kunis) plans for going back to college before she can decide whether Rachel and Peter stay together. 10/10 would recommend watching again.
In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a despondent, lovelorn Peter — played by Jason Segel — walks into a Hawaiian hotel and resort and sees an angel: Rachel (Mila Kunis) sent from heaven by way of the Ukraine and Los Angeles. At the front desk check-in, Rachel causally offers Peter POG juice, a line easily overlooked without the closed captions.
POG juice, it turns out, is a the official drink of Hawaii, sold by the gallon at Costco and virtually everywhere, all over Hawaii: papaya, orange and guava juice, created in 1971 by a food product consultant in Maui.
This week on You Had Me at Hello, Joey and Amanda watched Say Anything, starring John Cusack, Ione Skye and John Mahoney.
Released in 1989, Say Anything follows two unlikely lovebirds the summer after they graduate high school.
In this episode, they discuss how not wanting sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career is a worthwhile attitude, and basically the pathos of every aspiring writer. Amanda drops a truth-bomb on Joey about Lloyd and his platonic BFF Corey, and they both agree it was highly inappropriate for Bebe Neuwirth’s character to show up at that high school party.
“I have this theory of convergence, that good things always happen with bad things.” -Diane Court
In honor of Diane Court, and we have applied the idea that good things always happen with bad things to our cocktail this week, because drinking is seldom only good and seldom only bad.
When Joey and I first starting thinking about our specialty cocktail for this drink, our minds went first to Vehlere’s graduation party, in which Diane Court wears a sparkling white dress that would surely get spilled on, and something called a Purple Passion pours out of a fountain. After a bit of research, I found that in the mid-1980s, Purple Passion was one of those mysterious “doesn’t taste like alcohol, don’t know what’s in it” drinks concocted in bathtubs and trash cans all over college campuses. Then, Everclear — the liquor not the band — decided to bottle and brand it; a precursor to Zima or Mike’s Hard. If you’re in the mood for some wacky 80s nostalgia, check out the Purple Passion website.
After learning that Purple Passion is an actual thing, I shifted my thoughts back to a few ideas: the messy, Solo-cup keg parties of my youth, cheap beer, and my first experiences drinking. I tell the story of my first drink as one wild night when I was trying to get Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at the midnight release, and the nice clerk at Borders handed me a ticket and told me to come back at 2:00 a.m. Sorely defeated, three months after my 21st birthday, torn between wanting the book and needing to go to sleep, I decided to uncharacteristically meet my friends at the bar. They asked me what I wanted to drink, I had no idea, so I said the first thing that came to my mind: “Gin and juice, I guess.” An hour later, I said that I couldn’t feel my lips and everyone laughed. The rest is history!
Joey and Amanda watch the not-so-great early aughts rom-com starring a charismatic Kate Hudson and a pre-True Detective Matthew McConaughey.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days director Donald Petrie, who also made generally liked movies like Miss Congeniality, Grumpy Old Men and Mystic Pizza, couldn’t wrangle his three screenwriters to interpret the source material into a workable script, and the result is a garbage movie that somehow seems to be gaining in popularity in recent years.
Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey star as alliterated Andie Anderson and Benjamin Barry, and while they’re charming and at times funny, their performances were not quite enough to save this poor, sad movie, riddled with tropes (and not in a good way). There wasn’t even a meet-cute.
In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Andie works at a magazine, a fictional Cosmopolitan knockoff called Composure. It was very easy for us to apply that logic to our cocktail, since the pervasiveness of the pink martini also known as the Cosmopolitan was at its peak consumption in 2003, the year HTLAGI10D was made.
During one montage, I believe Andie and her BFFs are actually drinking Cosmos. This is, of course, thanks in part to the ground-breaking, trend-setting run of Sex and the City.
The Cosmopolitan cocktail can be traced back to the mid-80s, when a Miami bartender basically threw together a “Kamikaze with a splash of cranberry juice.” As Composure Magazine had less of the integrity and vision than its real-life iteration, as unrefined as the original was, so is our cocktail.
Now, I love drinking but have an unrefined palate; I am, after all, from Lewiston, ME. And according to Vine Pair, the Cosmo fell out of fashion for the same reason bartenders initially loved it: it was so easy.
Amanda and Joey talk about the beloved Oscar-winning rom-com starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.
Released in 1987, both Cher and Olympia Dukakis took home Academy Awards for their performances in Moonstruck. It’s a film that was always on in the Esposito home, and although this was Amanda’s first viewing, she agrees it’s an absolute classic.
Joey and Amanda discuss Joey’s flashbacks to his grandparents’ house, the effortless charm of John Mahoney, and the culpability of Johnny Cammareri in his brother Ronny’s hand accident and why Uncle Ray and Aunt Rita were the best.
Although Moonstruck does not actually feature pizza of any kind, both the trailer and the opening credits are set to Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.” As in, when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie. And that line was stuck in my head for the entirety of our preparation, watching the film, and our discussion that followed.
As a result, I knew I had to somehow incorporate a pizza garnish on this cocktail. Had I seen this Las Vegas Weekly Pizza cocktail contest, I might’ve reconsidered. But something about the pizza in the sky was an image I couldn’t let go of, and thus, the Bagel Bite garnish.
Buck’s Naked BBQ in Freeport, Maine first took the food garnish to another level for me. Under a section on the menu called Fooze, they have margaritas, a bloody mary, and a mojito that come served in a pint glass with a baby back rib on top. The first time I had one, it came with a three-inch rib. The second time I had one, it came with a six-inch rib. Of course savory garnishes like olives, stuffed olives, and pearl onions are nothing new, and I’ve seen bloody marys served with any manner of garnishes, although my favorite to date is definitely this:
Some modern films set in New York are actually filmed in places like Providence, Rhode Island or Cleveland, Ohio. But Moonstruck is unapologetically the real deal, and based on the characters’ predilection for whisky, I decided this cocktail would be a Manhattan with a Bagel Bite on top, named for the neighborhood where the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.
This week, Joey and Amanda watched 27 Dresses, starring Katherine Heigl and James Marsden.
Released in 2008, 27 Dresses — a woman-directed, woman-written film — may not have dazzled critics, but Amanda related big time to the two major storylines: sister-on-sister conflict and falling in love with a writer.
She and Joey discuss the career decisions of Jane and Kevin, how terrible this New York Journal thing is, and reminisce about their own private elopement. It’s agreed that a dive bar in the back woods of Rhinebeck, NY is a great place to destroy the lyrics to “Benny and the Jets” and fall for someone.
There were a few references to alcohol in 27 Dresses that may have inspired our drink for this episode: Kevin ordering three fingers of scotch, no ice; Casey to Jane:
“He asks if you want a drink. You smile and say, ‘Vodka soda.’ If you already have a drink, you down it. Then there’s some flirting, some interoffice sex, an accidental pregnancy, a shot gun wedding, and a life of bliss. How many times do we have to go over this?”
And there’s Jane keeping Grey Goose and Redbull in the apartment specifically for Tess’s arrival.
None of these notions were particularly inspiring, despite having a giant bottle of Costco knockoff Grey Goose here at the apartment. Then there was the line, again from Casey, played by the ever hilarious Judy Greer: “Hey, do you want to come over to my place before the party? Some of the guys from shipping are coming, and they’re bringing tequila and bubble wrap.”
Befriending guys from shipping has plenty of benefits. If, like Joey, you were briefly employed at a Business to Business publication (B2B) in a small town, the shipping guy ruled the roost. He was the guy who helped you lift things. Shipping Guy told you when the storage was being cleaned out so you could score some free end-tables. He could be relied on for a secret afternoon warehouse beer. Moving? Shipping Guy will hook you up with 24 glorious brand new boxes and a heavy-duty tape dispenser to put your book collection in, because you are a monster, attempting to move hundreds of books across the entire damn United States. And if you’re on your way to Jessica Jones’ the goth receptionist’s engagement party, Shipping Guy might stop by with bubble wrap and tequila.
Although I think Casey is, at heart, more of a vodka soda or Skinnygirl® Margarita, I can also see her taking Jane to Vegas or New Orleans for a bachelorette party and insisting they let loose a little. So I made the Wedding Circuit, a frozen mango/strawberry margarita inspired by the friendship I hope these characters continue to have.
This movie has everything: the Cranberries, Parker Posey, internet dates, mistaken identities, broken hearts, New York City, capitalism and a cute-as-hell golden retriever named Brinkley. Amanda cried three times and Joey, for what it’s worth, got super excited every time Brinkley was on screen.
The discussion veers towards whether Kathleen and Joe stay in New York, how the hell Joe Fox, discount bookstore mogul, manages to get a #boatmodem and how all these early internet throwbacks bring back so many memories.
This week’s cocktail is inspired, in part, by a series of exchanges between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly, respectively. Joe and Kathleen are speculating about the origin of the number 152 in Kathleen’s internet crush’s handle (spoiler alert: it’s Joe!).
Joe Fox: Mr. 152 Felony indictments. Kathleen Kelly: Mr. 152 insights into my soul. Joe Fox: Oh yeah. No competing with that.
It turned out to be his address, as evidenced by a masterful sideways glance by Tom Hanks. Gosh, he’s good.
If by chance we were to use one of my old usernames, our cocktail tonight might’ve been inspired by “skittle4” (Skittle, the candy I was likely shoving into my mouth as my dad asked what I wanted my username to be, was taken), then the troublingly emo “shadeofred” and “starsfadetogrey”— that’s grey with an ‘e.’
There is actually a pretty great Earl Grey French 75 recipe out there somewhere that I’ve been meaning to try, so maybe I’ll find a way to work that in sometime. Joey, on the other hand, is and has always been DeLorean27. Not sure what Back to the Future cocktails that might inspire, but Tab might be involved. Or a Pepsi Free. That we’d pay for.
Welcome to You Had Me at Hello, the podcast where two married people talk about, drink to, and sometimes cry over romantic comedies.
In their first public audio recording, meet the hosts of You Had Me at Hello, Amanda Pleau and Joey Esposito, as they dig into romantic comedies.
In this snippet, they explain their new show full of themed cocktails, tears, and speculation on the longevity of rom-com couples. Amanda and Joey, writers at heart, were inspired by their nightly and weekly discussions of films, television and other podcasts and decided to put a modicum more effort into this endeavor and record!
“To state the obvious, romantic comedies have to be funny and they have to be romantic. But one of the most important things, for me anyway, is that they be about two strong people finding their way to love.”