Oct 3, 2011

A Tribute To Her Madgesty. Crazy, Stupid, Love. Xic Lo, Chatswood.

Here's the proof.  I really did go out for dinner and a  movie in my Bond's track pants.  Somewhere in the hazy background of the photo are my feet - shod in my trusty North Face waterproof hiking shoes.

This is a look Madonna was rocking way back in the day before Lady Gaga was famous enough to challenge Her Madgesty.  I think it's just about time for it to be revived (the look, not Madonna, she's doing perfectly fine on her own steam).  Track pants are perfect attire for when the weather is cold and wintry.  A colourful handbag gives the suggestion that you've made some effort to dress up for a  night out and that you weren't just sleep walking down the road to your local Hoyts.

But enough about what I've admitted to wearing - how was the movie and the food?  I thought you'd never ask.  I, for one, am liking the direction Hollywood is taking romantic comedies (or chick flicks as Mr SSG prefers to call them).  The love and relationships portrayed are just not about the very young or perpetually unlucky in love.

Hollywood is edging closer and closer to the real world.  Older married couples with children who fall out of love, twentysomethings seemingly stuck in safe relationships with commitment-phobes, the down side of being single and playing the field as well as the complexities of gender roles in our society.  Relationships aren't just about boy meets girl, girl meets girl or boy meets boy. That is just the beginning.  The real humour and ups and downs play out after that first kiss.

Crazy, Stupid, Love has had a lot of positive press from the film critics and has also been popular with audiences too.  What is not to love about a cast that includes Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon as well as relative newcomer to watch Emma Stone?  There's someone to look at for everyone, I reckon.  There were also so many moments that would have had most of the audience laughing knowingly or perhaps wistfully.

Cal (Carell) and Em (Moore) have been married since they graduated from high school.  They have a lovely home and young children.  On date night, after the main course, Em decides that she doesn't want dessert any more, she wants a divorce.  Perhaps they've both stopped trying or perhaps they've grown apart with the demands of their jobs and the kids but they 'haven't been us for a very long time'.  Cal moves out of the family home leaving Em in a dilemma about what to do now that she has what she thought she wanted.  It turned out the impetus for wanting the divorce is her own affair with a co-worker (David, played drily by Kevin Bacon).

Cal falls apart.  He goes to his local wine bar to drown his sorrows.  Every night he's there, the whole bar is treated to a repeat of Cal's drunken outbursts about how his wife left him and why she did so.  Jacob (Ryan 'can I call him delicious because he is' Gosling) takes pity on Cal one night.  He pulls himself away from his latest conquest and offers to help Cal rediscover his masculinity.

Somewhere along the way, Jacob finds true love in the shape of Hannah (Emma Stone) and the roles between Cal and Jacob are reversed.  Jacob now needs serious advice about how to conduct a long term, serious romantic relationship.    What follows are a series of surprises and misunderstandings which eventually lead the main characters to the one they were meant to be with.

I really enjoyed Crazy, Stupid, Love.  It hit all the right notes and was genuinely funny.  It is both a couples and a girls night out kind of movie.  I could go on and on about Ryan Gosling, but I won't.  I am including this clip of the trailer on Mr SSG's insistence because he liked it so much.

Speaking of movie trailers, we also discovered two new films that might be of interest.  New Year's Eve (a follow up to Valentine's Day) is to be released soon.  It appears to be a mega mix of the big names including Lea Michele, SJP, Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Halle Berry and Ashton Kutcher.  For me, it will be enough fun spotting the stars to be honest.  Riveting plot strictly optional.  Woody Allen also has a new film coming out starring Owen Wilson, it's called Midnight in Paris.  Gee, I'm easily entertained, I'll be going to see this mainly for the lavish images of Paris, Dior handbags and Owen Wilson.  Looks like I've got quite a few movie dates scheduled for the rest of this year.

Mr SSG and I were starving after the movie and decided to get some Vietnamese at Xic Lo, a short walk from where the cinema was.

Xic Lo is a diner style Vietnamese restaurant that used to also have a branch in the CBD.  I remember eating at the city outlet on one of my first trips to Sydney before moving here permanently.

The decor is spartan and the service is fairly efficient.  I was a little disappointed that the serve of mint and salad was not as plentiful as what I was given for my Vietnamese food fixes West of the city in Bankstown and Cabramatta.  Rent and overheads are probably higher in Chatswood, to be fair.

Mr SSG ordered a noodle soup which Xic Lo is famed for.  He had no complaints and finished it in next to no time.

I ordered what I always order - grilled chicken with vermicelli and salad.  It was delicious.  Very fresh and the chicken had a pleasant charcoaled finish to it.  The dressing was spot on.

No Vietnamese meal would be complete for me without a serve of fresh rolls.  We ordered a serve of the Summer Rolls which had prawns in them.

They were a little smaller than other places but delicious all the same.

Mr SSG was seriously hungry and also ordered the chicken curry and rice.

This featured a mix of vegetables including green beans and sweet potato.  It had a lovely ginger taste and wasn't overly spicy.

All up, dinner was $40 for two. On the expensive side for Vietnamese food but worth a visit if a trek to Cabramatta just isn't on the cards.

Xic Lo on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi SSG, thanks for the tip on chickflicks:) I have to watch these movies now while my husband is still in Greece, as he refuses to watch movies like these with me:)

  2. Mr SSG looks like he had the Bun Bo Hue

  3. I have been trying to decide if I should go to see that movie, you have just convinced me to do so. Love your blog, this is my first visit. x

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed your review, thanks for sharing. I think I'll have to head off to see this one myself!

    The details of your meal however are killing me! It's 11pm and now I have a serious case of the munchies. Yum!

  5. Might need to see that movie soon. Am off to The Smurfs tomorrow with my kids. I am going to try and persuade them to go to a noodle bar afterwards because I don't know if I am up for Hungry Jacks!

    Hope you are going well. Am impressed that you styled the trackies with the bag.

  6. I agree on the tracky pants SSG. I wore mine to the pub to watch the NRL grandfinal and then out to dinner after that. When I saw girls in heels and short skirts stuck in the rain, I knew it was the right outfit choice!!


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