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Gilbert Speaks on Thi Mai, Rumbo a Vietnam

13 Jun

When I’m not writing for Biff Bam Pop’s Pop Culture Site, I try to post the little gems that I consider worthy of my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre collection. Would Thi Mai, Rumbo a Vietnam make the cut?

Thi Mai, Rumbo a Vietnam

I absolutely love foreign films…and recently have become a big fan of Carmen Machi…a Spanish actress who is a cross between Sophia Loren and Merle Streep. The first film that I was fortunate enough to watch Carmen Machi was in Mother’s Love. It was funny, well written…and to tell the truth better than some recent American comedies…but back to Thi Mai, which was directed by Patricia Ferreira, and stars Carmen Machi, Adriana Ozores, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Dani Rovira, Eric Nguyen, and Nguyen Ngan Ha as little Thi Mai.

The film begins with Elvira (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon) getting forced retirement by the bank and her boss because of her age…I had to do a double take with Aitana because for a second, I thought she was Tina Fey LOL. I mean the resemblance is uncanny. Upset with her situation, Elvira talks her friends, Carmen (Carmen Machi) and Rosa (Adriana Ozores) into a carefree night out. All three women need this break because bad news is about to happen to Carmen.

Carmen’s single and successful daughter dies in a car wreck. Carmen and her husband are unable to function from the grief, and then the letter arrives informing Carmen’s daughter that her request to adopt an orphaned Vietnamese child has been approved. Against the approval of Carmen’s and Rosa’s husbands, the three women head out to Vietnam in hopes of adopting the child.

This is not how it works in real life, we know, but this is comedy. At the airport in Vietnam, the girls meet Andres (Dani Rovira) a gay, out of work actor who came to Vietnam to be with his lover. He comes to their rescue, many times. At the adoption agency, they meet Dan (Eric Nguyen) the agent in charge of the adoption of Thi Mai.

When Carmen is told that the child is no longer available because Carmen’s daughter is dead, the comedic escapades take over, giving us a true “I Love Lucy” vibe. This film is a campy, hilarious romp with the girls dragging Andres and Dan into their mission to get the child.


There were so many things about this film that I loved. Foreign films still value the older actresses. Older actresses are still seen as sensual. The film is in Spanish, but closed caption will help with this. What surprised me the most was the beauty of Vietnam. This war-torn country that survived almost total destruction during the war, has been rebuilt into a tourist attraction. A lot of lives were lost in that war. A lot of American children died in that war…but…from the ashes…Vietnam has rebuilt itself. The scenery, the people, the food were spectacular…I would love to visit there one day.

This film is definitely worthy of my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection. If you have the chance watch Mother’s Love and Thi Mai on Netflix.


Gilbert Speaks on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

13 Mar

I am a faithful fan of the Amazon Prime comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but I can’t stand the main character. I love the actress who plays Mrs. Maisel, but it is the secondary characters who have won my heart and keep me coming back for more. Why is that?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an American comedy set in the late 1950s and 60s. It follows Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) a Jewish Upper West Side housewife who, after divorcing her husband Joel (Michael Zegen), learns that she has talent as a stand-up comic. Midge and her two children move back home with her parents Abe (Tony Shalhoub) and Rose (Marin Hinkle) Weissman. Their apartment is the size of a small castle…and comes with the most patient maid in the universe, Zelda (Matilda Szydagis).

Although her husband, Joel Maisel is a standup comedian during the night while working at his father’s clothing manufactory during the day, Miriam immediately steals the spotlight from him. While working her comedy routine at the Gaslight Café, Miriam becomes friends with the manager, Susie (Alex Borstein) who over the next few seasons becomes Miriam’s frustrated business manager.

Rachel Brosnahan is amazing as Miriam, especially when Miriam is doing comedy on the stage, but Miriam is the type of character that makes you scream at your TV in frustration. Miriam is selfish, and impulsive, and leaves the raising of her young son and infant daughter to her parents and the poor maid. Maybe this annoying character was written this way for a purpose. What I do know is that the secondary characters step up to the plate to save the day in every episode.

My favorite character is that of Susie Myerson. Alex Borstein plays her character with the cutting edge of a surgeon’s scalpel. We’re never sure of Susie’s sexual identity, but Susie is a streetwise entrepreneur who recognizes Miriam’s talent and tries to find jobs for her client. Susie’s comments are hilarious and the situations she finds herself in during all four seasons are some of the funniest moments on television. She is the best friend that Miriam has although Miriam doesn’t realize it.

My second favorite character is that of Abe Weissman played by the amazing Tony Shalhoub. There is still a bit of his Monk persona as he plays the patriarch of the Weissman family. He tries to go with the flow, but between his self-centered daughter and his wife taking off to France in season one…Abe is forced to change both his views on his daughter’s secret life and his own job. He does change, and we viewers are offered some of the funniest comedic scenes, ever.

Another favorite character is Miriam’s nemesis, Sophia Lennon, played by the insanely talented Jane Lynch. The cutting-edge tit for tat fights between Susie and Sophia are legendary. You really need to pay careful attention to the machine gun speed jokes between these two. Jane and Alex have honed their characters into fine art.

There is one character that has stolen my heart and made me do research on the life of comedic hero, Lenny Bruce. Luke Kirby is amazing as Lenny Bruce. Lenny Bruce was a rebel who spoke out against the social injustices of his time and got punished for it. Truth hurts the rich and powerful.

Luke Kirby plays his Lennie as a gentle soul with a sharp tongue. Lenny comes to Miriam’s rescue several times after she gets thrown into jail for nudity and raunchy jokes. I have always suspected that Lenny cared for Miriam, but in season four, they finally get to sleep together after his show at the Carnegie Hall.


A great comedy series depends on the strength of the supporting characters. Comedy series like Seinfeld, Cheers, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel have succeeded because they allow the main character to be an annoying entity while shining a light on all the supporting cast members. Seinfeld would be nothing without George, Elaine, and Kramer. Same with Cheers…and more distinctly, with the cast of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

By Rachel Brosnahan playing her character as an annoyingly spoiled, selfish person, she allows the comedy to shine bright because the secondary characters are given the chance to not only step up to the plate, but to make the character of Mrs. Maisel…more loveable in a fragile way.

If you haven’t been watching this series, please do. You can find all four seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. Let me know who your favorite character is.

Gilbert Speaks on Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman

11 Aug


I need to apologize for not posting more often on my blogs. There are several reasons, but the most relevant reason is that I am dealing with the loss of my husband. Not only have I been lax in film and TV series reviews, but I haven’t done any writing on the fifth installment of my Roof Oasis Series. Anyway…when I do watch an unusual film, I make the time to write about it. Last night, I accidently came across Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman. Will this film make it into my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection? Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on Kim’s Convenience, A Netflix Sitcom

9 May


Due to the pandemic and my husband’s passing after his brave battle with a rare lymphoma, I have stayed cocooned in my house. I need to heal and adjust to my loss. Thankfully to my good friend, Jean aka a fellow psychic/medium….I learned about an awesome series on Netflix. What is Kim’s Convenience all about? Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on “Los Espookys”

16 Jun


There is a new American comedy on HBO, and it is definitely worth watching. Los Espookys follows a group of friends who turn their love for horror into an enterprising business. They create and provide horror for those willing to pay for it. It’s a little bit of Seinfeld meets The Exorcist. Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks On Mrs. Maisel

8 Feb


I am hooked on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which to me is the female version of Seinfeld. The star of this series is Rachel Brosnahan, and she plays the character of Midge, a standup comedian. Jerry Seinfeld had George, Kramer, and Elaine. Midge has Abe, Susie and Rose. This week, I want to focus on Rose Maisel, Midge’s mom. Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

2 Jan


My husband bought a new television. It is huge, and it is a smart, which means that we can now get Amazon Prime. I am proud to admit that I’ve become a Prime Zombie. There are many great original series on Prime, but The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has to be my number one favorite. Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on “Adam Ruins Everything”

22 Oct


My eldest granddaughter, Allie Gilbert, asked me to watch and review a show called “Adam Ruins Everything.” I was immediately on board with the project because I had been watching the series whenever I wasn’t working on my book, doing psychic readings or ghost investigations. What can I say? Granny is having a ball, but when one of my nine grandchildren ask me for a favor…I’m on it! So, who is Adam and why is he ruining everything? Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on Snatched, A Mother and Daughter Romp

30 May


This holiday weekend, my daughter and I finally had the time to sneak away to the movies. We were looking for something light and fluffy to watch having already seen “Alien Covenant” and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2” with our hubbies. The trailers for Snatched looked like fun and even though I’m not a fan of Amy Schumer, I do love Goldie Hawn. Was “Snatched” worth fighting the holiday traffic to see? Find out after the jump. Continue reading