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LAFD Stations 23 and 69 Deemed Honorary Parade Marshals

LAFD Station 23
Photos by Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

When selecting the marshals for the annual Fourth of July parade in a typical year, the Palisades Americanism Parade Association looks for people who have been active in the community, and often names the honorary mayors of the Palisades or other noteworthy community members, usually an individual or couple.

This year, for the first time, PAPA has named more than 50 members of Los Angeles Fire Department Stations 23 and 69 as honorary parade marshals.

“They have done so much for our Palisades community, between risking their lives every day to the fires that we experienced last year, and they are generally just heroes of the Pacific Palisades,” Matthew Rodman, president of PAPA, shared with the Palisadian-Post. “We want to honor the Palisades firefighters for their continuing heroism during the COVID-19 outbreak, the brush fires over the past year and their day-to-day service to our community.”

With social distancing orders in place during Fourth of July celebrations in Pacific Palisades, it took the ingenuity of PAPA and contributing efforts of the community to mark the occasion with new and amended events.

“We feel honored by the community every day and we are very community-oriented, so we felt privileged when we were selected to be the grand marshal,” Paul Egizi, captain of LAFD Station 69, shared with the Post.

LAFD Station 69 has three platoons, with Station Commanders Tom Kitahata, Jeff Brown and Egizi, and 36 sworn members.

“Every day we’ve run into different challenges,” Egizi continued.

Selecting the two stations as honorary parade marshals was a move that is particularly relevant in a year when LAFD was active in fighting nearby fires to keep the community safe.

Toward the end of 2019, LAFD battled the Palisades fire, which first broke out Monday, October 21, and burned through more than 40 acres of steep, cliff-like terrain, threatening several homes along Vista Grande Drive and Charmel Lane.

LAFD Station 69

One week later, the Getty fire broke out, prompting evacuations in the Palisades and school closures that lasted several days. The fire, which was caused by a branch hitting a power line, burned 745 acres near Sepulveda Boulevard.

In more recent days, citywide protests following the death of George Floyd prompted more challenges for the firefighters.

“Engine 69 during the civil unrest spent the week going to the impacted areas outside of the Palisades,” Egizi shared.

Since this year is a little different with social distancing orders in place, being named honorary parade marshals lent a platform for the two fire stations to be recognized as part of the special occasions where they would typically be fixtures.

“We’re not letting people on the rig, we’re not going to any parties and we’re not going to any celebrations,” LAFD Station 23 Captain Kurt Vosberg shared ahead of the event.

LAFD Station 23 has 18 sworn members (three platoons) and three station commanders: Scott Gribbons, Robert Williams and Vosberg.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be selected as the honorary grand marshal,” Gribbons added. “Furthermore, I would like to stop and thank everyone in the Palisades community for being so supportive of not only Fire Station 23 and 69, but of the LAFD in general.”

Palisades Rocks the Fourth From Home in 2020

Adam Topol and Tom Freund
Photos courtesy of Palisades Rocks the Fourth

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

This year Pacific Palisades rocked the Fourth of July in a different fashion: virtually.

Palisades Americanism Parade Association presented its annual Palisades Rocks the Fourth as a virtual concert that was live-streamed for free across social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitch—allowing viewers to enjoy music from afar during Safer at Home orders.

Actress, writer, singer and Palisades Charter High School alumna Gilli Messer opened the event by singing “America the Beautiful,” followed by a formal introduction from emcee Sam Lagana, who is the stadium voice for the Los Angeles Rams.

Sam Lagana

“Normally on July Fourth we would have started the day on Sunset Boulevard … and that would have been followed up at 2 o’clock with the Palisades Americanism parade,” Lagana shared. “We would have rolled over to the high school and had our Palisades Rocks the Fourth live concert, followed by our town fireworks. But this is not a normal year. Instead we’ve brought Grammy Award-winning artists and incredible music all together for you.”

The one-hour show, which kicked off at 8 p.m., featured musicians Adam Topol and Tom Freund, who headlined the concert, Ben Harper, Rocky Dawuni, Louise Goffin, Jessy Greene, Chris Joyner and KT Tunstall. Additional performances were made by Trinity Rose, Arielle Martinez Cohen, Jacob Winthrop and the Pali High band.

Local officials Richard Bloom and Mike Bonin, actor Steve Guttenberg, and head coach of the Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr shared celebratory messages throughout the program.

“Happy Fourth of July, it’s the best day of the year in the Palisades,” Kerr said. “I have such great memories of running in the 10K, being in the parade, feeling the energy all day long in the town and watching the fireworks from my mom’s house on Chautauqua.

“We’ll stick it out, we’ll get through this together and I can’t wait to see all of you next year at the festivities.”

The end of the show called for a community-wide sing-along of “This Land Is Your Land” featuring the performers of the night.

This year’s virtual concert also served to raise awareness for MusiCorps, an organization that helps wounded veterans play music and recover their

lives, as well as the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund for musicians who have been affected by the pandemic.

Pali High band

Palisadians Keith Turner and Rob Weber, with the assistance of Topol and Freund, and editor Joshua Cutsinger, produced Palisades Rocks the Fourth this year. Palisadian filmmakers Tyler Newman, Peter Keenan and Sarah Kelly contributed most of the scenic footage from around the Palisades for the production.

“When the coronavirus lockdown hit California in mid-March, we had no idea what the future held for the Palisades July Fourth celebration,” Weber said to the Palisadian-Post. “During the lockdown I was moved by the videos of similarly home-bound people in Spain, Italy and other countries, going out on their balconies in the evening to sing songs with their neighbors.

“It occurred to me that we could try something similar here in the Palisades … it was a fun experience, and the final product absolutely exceeded our expectations.”

Turner added that an important part of Palisades Rocks the Fourth is showcasing the young talent in town.

“We had over two hours of solid performance and many hours from other submissions—there is enough talent in Pacific Palisades to fuel a 24-hour a day music television channel,” he said. “We had a lot of tough editing decisions to keep the show to one hour in length.”

Weber said most of the performances shown were recorded within two weeks of the Fourth of July, and the team was editing up until the evening of July 3.

“Boy, did I ever underestimate the amount of work necessary to make a TV show look good,” Weber said. “I do hope that California will be in a space that allows us to host a parade, live concert and fireworks again in 2021.”

The concert is still available to watch on YouTube indefinitely.

LAPD Provides Local Updates at Community Council Meeting

Officer Brian Espin
Photo courtesy of PPCC

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

At the second virtual meeting of the Pacific Palisades Community Council on Tuesday, June 30, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Brian Espin reported summertime updates pertaining to Pacific Palisades.

“Now that summer is coming around—especially in the Palisades area—we’re going to get busier because of the beach,” explained Espin, who is filling in for Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore for the next few weeks. “Our biggest problem that we’re having is burglary from motor vehicles, which I am sure you are all aware of, as well as vehicles being taken.”

Espin shared that he has seen several reports of grand theft auto, the intentional taking of another’s car without the owner’s consent with no intent to return the vehicle, with at least three in the Palisades.

“One was down by the beach at the surf spot where the surfer put their keys either on the tire or the bumper and someone either saw that or knew where to look and they took the car,” Espin reported.

A second instance was reported near Sunset Boulevard and Swarthmore Avenue, where the vehicle owner left the key fob inside.

“A lot of these guys are opportunists,” Espin explained. “They’re walking through the neighborhoods—usually late at night or sometimes during the day—and they’re doing what is called door checking.”

This is when door handles are checked to see if they are locked. Car windows are also looked though to see if there are bags or anything enticing.

“I encourage all of you, just like everybody has been told before: lock it, hide it, keep it,” Espin said. “Don’t leave anything in your car, even if it’s an empty backpack, it’s still enticing somebody walking by and that’s going to give them that motivation to get into a car.”

Espin reported that there have been at least six burglaries in the past month—usually they check to see if the resident is home and if nobody is there, they go around to the side or back yard and smash a window or remove a screen.

In the Brentwood area last year, Espin explained that people were pushing patio furniture up against homes to get to the second-story door or window, which usually remain unlocked.

“If you do have a second story,” Espin said, “make sure your windows are locked, make sure your sliders are locked.”

To help prevent crime in the Palisades, Espin recommended that community members be neighborly to one another. He suggested setting up a text or email thread specifically to discuss neighborhood safety.

“I don’t want people running out with pitchforks and knives and torches, trying to scare them out of there,” Espin said, “but if people come out on their porches, turn their lights on, make yourselves visible so they know you’re looking out for your neighborhood, that’s what usually deters these people.”

The next PPCC meeting, which will take place via Zoom on Thursday, July 9, starting at 5:30 p.m., will feature guest speaker LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan, who is expected to speak on wildfire conditions and safety, as well as the potential impact of the budget on LAFD operations in the Palisades. For a complete agenda and meeting log-in information, visit pacpalicc.org.

Taste at the Palisades Permanently Closes Doors

Taste at the Palisades
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

After 11 years in business, Taste at the Palisades has permanently closed its Highlands doors.

“The forced shut down due to quarantine orders regarding COVID-19 on March 15, ongoing and escalating issues surrounding the pandemic coupled with an extremely unclear future brought us to this most difficult decision,” according to a statement by the restaurant’s owners and management.

Director of Operations Erez Mizrahi said Taste had previously temporarily closed beginning Friday, March 13, in compliance with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s order to shut down all restaurant dine-in operations.

“Due to the low population density in the Palisades area, it was not logical financially to stay open for take-outs,” Mizrahi said to the Palisadian-Post about the closure. “Our lease ended on [Tuesday, June 30] and we decided not to renew it.”

Photo courtesy of Bud Kling

Located at 538 Palisades Drive, the Highlands eatery was known for American classics and comfort foods, including a selection of stone oven pizzas, pastas, salads and more.

Its sister location, located on Melrose in West Hollywood, is temporarily closed, “to re-group, re-stock and navigate through the new social distancing dining and health regulations, including making adjustments to our dining rooms to comply.”

Mizrahi added that Taste Melrose will reopen when it is safe to do so and purposely did not open this past month, preempting recurrent issues restaurants are facing during this time as they reopen.

“Many restaurants who barely stay afloat will go bankrupt after this second closure,” Mizrahi said.

There was no information available whether Taste at the Palisades applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan prior to its closure, but a GoFundMe fundraiser was created on March 21 in support of its “servers, dishwashers, culinary team, bartenders and everyone else in between that help to operate our beloved restaurants on a daily basis.”

The fundraiser has currently raised $7,910 of its $10,000 goal.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Methanol

Re: Methanol in hand-sanitizers and gas leaf blower exhaust. Please note that “The Food and Drug Administration just warned consumers yesterday not to buy several brands of methanol-based sanitizer manufactured in Mexico, which can induce nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.”

Please also note that gas blowers blast methanol, found in gasoline, in our air, on our baby strollers, bikes and cars; on our outdoor furniture and through our open windows, on our pets, ourselves, and our kids.

Isn’t it time we stop allowing our air to be poisoned?

Pepper and Joe Edmiston


‘Wake Up’

On a recent Saturday, the USA had 41,000 new cases of coronavirus. That is an all-time high.

America has more new coronavirus cases than India, Europe, China and Russia combined. Dumbfounded? Don’t be!

America has botched handling the coronavirus. It seems that many Americans have not fully processed the danger of the coronavirus. It is a tremendous public health failure.

Wearing a mask protects everyone and if everyone wore one, the virus infections in the USA would drop fivefold.

After Memorial Day, some businesses started to open such as bars, restaurants and the like. And people started gathering together to celebrate. Bad idea. People are gathering in groups without masks and the results are more than disturbing.

The fact is that there is still no national strategy, plan or agenda. People say they don’t want to wear a mask as they consider it an infringement on their rights and liberty. Baloney. People wear seat belts while driving their cars and don’t consider that an infringement of their liberty. But wearing a mask in the minds of many is not necessary at all. Crazy!

While driving my car to drop off mail in a letter box, I now notice many people in groups walking without masks. It is a fact that the virus spreads when people are close together and have no masks. Here is factual and strong advice: Wear a mask and stay at least six feet or more from others. The virus isn’t going away and there will be no respite until a vaccine is developed. Please, stay healthy.

Robert Fox


The Palisadian-Post accepts letters to the editor via email at mypost@palipost.com or mail/hand-delivered at 881 Alma Real Drive, Suite 213, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. To be considered for publication, letters must be signed, and are subject to editing for length and clarity. Opinions expressed in letters do not necessarily reflect the views of opinions of the Palisadian-Post.

Your Two Cents’ Worth

Lost Item

On 6/20, outside of Rosie’s Nails near Sunset & Via De La Paz a gold ring, with a opal green stone was lost. Please call Debbie if found: (310) 454 6435. REWARD $


Fourth

My family enjoyed watching the Palisades Rocks the 4th 2020 video produced by the Palisades Americanism Parade Association. But as there was only one non-white person in the video, it’s worth a reminder that 2020 is the year of Black Lives Matter (and that’s plural). If the Palisades can’t fully represent America’s diversity, the least we can do is to stop acting so white.


Fourth II

Despite not being able to celebrate together, I think Pali Rocks the Fourth was the next best thing. It highlighted the beauty that surrounds us, as well as the amazing talent! I’d like to send a huge thanks to everybody who helped put it together, it takes a village!


Fourth III

I’m kind of new to the Palisades and really wish I could have experienced the Fourth of July Pali-style, but let’s keep taking the steps to get us there. Here’s to the next one!!!


Donations

To my fellow Palisadians, I’ve loved seeing all the generosity outpouring from our community during this time. From donations to item-drives and so much more, I hope that spirit never dies around here.


Complaint

I’m complaining about the fact that I don’t have anything to complain about! For the most part, people are driving with courtesy and showing patience. Those under 40, who are wearing masks, look fantastic and are inspiring. We have a new hardware store in town that is terrific. Our markets have food and paper towels on the shelves. My rent is paid.


PPTFH

During the past three months while most of Los Angeles was Safer at Home the PPTFH Outreach Team was out on the street hard at work furthering the mission to compassionately end homelessness in our community. If you would like to be part of solution, PPTFH is seeking donations of any amount.


Community

I hope those who know and appreciate our LAPD officers and firefighters will let them know how much they are needed and valued. They help make our community a place we all want to live.

Neighborhood News

LAUSD Return to Campuses UnclearPacific Palisades 

With a little over one month until students return within Los Angeles Unified School District, it is not yet determined if students will be returning to on-campus learning when the 2020-21 school year resumes in August, according to Superintendent Austin Beutner.

“No decision has been made about a return to school facilities, but it’s reasonable to assume instruction will include an online component for most students,” Beutner announced during a community-wide school update on Monday, July 6.

The school year will begin with a clear and consistent set of expectations for the classroom, Beutner continued.

“These include a regular class schedule, attendance taken every day, standards-based instruction, including daily, live instruction and regular assessment of student progress,” he said.

The announcement revealed a record number of students are attending online summer school and that LAUSD has provided more meals than any other school-based relief effort in the country.

—JENNIKA INGRAM


Hank’s Under New Ownership | Palisades Village

Palisades Village restaurant Hank’s, originally owned and operated by the Bromberg brothers’ Blue Ribbon Restaurants, has now been taken over by Caruso. Bruce and Eric Bromberg will continue to operate Blue Ribbon Sushi, also in the development.

“As the Bromberg brothers refocus their attention to the Blue Ribbon Sushi brand, they have handed over the reins of Hank’s to Caruso,” a representative from Caruso explained to the Palisadian-Post. “The restaurant has always held a special place in Rick Caruso’s heart, having been named in tribute to his father. Caruso looks forward to continuing the legacy of the double diamond burger and building upon the lively locale that Bruce and his team brought to the community.”

The Brombergs operate an assortment of eateries across the country, including Blue Ribbon Sushi, Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken and Blue Ribbon Bars.            

—SARAH SHMERLING


PPCC UpdatesPacific Palisades

Photo courtesy of PPCC

At its June 30 board meeting, the Pacific Palisades Community Council voted to unanimously approve bylaws amendments that will allow meetings to be held virtually in exigent circumstances, like throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given the pandemic conditions and orders, it appears that for the foreseeable future, PPCC meetings will likely be held via Zoom,” PPCC representatives reported in an email.

Also during the meeting, the Nominating Committee, comprised of Sue Kohl, Steve Cron and Cathi Ruddy, announced nominees for officer positions for the 2020-21 term, nominating the officers who currently hold those positions. The committee nominated David Card as chair, David Kaplan as vice-chair, Richard Cohen for treasurer and Chris Spitz as secretary.

Additional nominations from the board are now open and, pursuant to PPCC Bylaws, will be accepted until 15 minutes before the scheduled close of the July 9 meeting.

—SARAH SHMERLING


Amalfi Estates Welcomes Luke Ithomitis | Pacific Palisades

Amalfi Estates reported that they have recently hired Luke Ithomitis as director of sales and operations.

“Luke has years of deep experience working with and scaling high-growth real estate teams in the luxury sector,” according to a statement from Amalfi Estates. “As director of sales and operations, he oversees the people and culture of the company with a focus on strategic support operations, training and development, and recruiting.”

Ithomitis began his career in architecture and has since worked in commercial, development and luxury real estate.

—SARAH SHMERLING

Palisadian Artist Explores Local Landscapes

Photos courtesy of Marisa Murrow

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

Visual artist and longtime Palisadian Marisa Murrow paints iconic portraits of local mobile parks and abstractions around town and beyond.

“Part of the fascination with the trailer parks is the landscape,” Murrow said, adding that it is also related to moving around the plants and trees and changing the colors of the houses.

“It’s really exploring the landscape and human connection,” Murrow shared. “I was wearing a uniform up until I graduated from high school. There was a sameness I was very used to in school. It caused me to pass the surface and dive in to get to know people.”

She added that what is going on inside these homes is very special and different.

“I wonder what the person is like who lives in that house?” Murrow continued.

Murrow also takes commissions; she shared that some of the demand for her work comes from Palisadians who have left the area and miss it.

Growing up in the Palisades, Murrow attended Corpus Christi and Marymount High schools. Her parents, Phil and Pat, still live in the Alphabet Streets.

After graduating high school, Murrow left the Palisades to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Murrow has since exhibited her work at Laguna Art Museum, California Heritage Museum, LACMA Rental Gallery and the Brand Library Art, among many others.

Her exhibitions are often small, intimate portraits of mobile homes in Southern California. The uniformity of these geometric structures appeal to Murrow, she explained to the Palisadian-Post.

“Inspired by the California landscape and densely wooded forests of the east coast, Murrow thrives off the complexity of these spaces,” according to her website and Instagram. “Outside is my home. Painting is my passion.”

Murrow opened her Westwood studio in 2010. It’s set up as a workspace and a place where she meets with collectors.

About three years ago, while a resident at Vermont Studio Center, Murrow branched out to create abstract paintings inspired by the natural world. Lately, she’s working abstractly and representationally, Murrow shared.

“When I do the abstract work, I’m physically working with nature in my hands,” she explained. “The thread through everything I do is nature.”

Murrow shared that she still loves to hike Temescal and Los Liones Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains and often collects nature for her work. She uses a mixture of oil paints, paper and acrylic, and incorporates natural materials she picks up while hiking.

“I like things that are in movement where the physical and psychological can play,” Murrow explained. “Much like German artist Anselm Kiefer, holding on to the things I collect in nature, these elements become part of the painting and the place they come. Like a compositional storm between chaos and order these richly textured paintings describe the restless state of a spirit being set free.”

Murrow shared her reflections on how COVID-19 has impacted her life as an artist.

“I think it’s business as usual with a lot more solitude,” Murrow said. “There are no distractions. What is challenging is that because I spend a lot of time in isolation and look forward to being social and rewarding myself for my hard work and there’s nothing to go out and do.

“I live alone so it’s been really interesting to go within, instead of reaching out for stimulation. I think a lot of people have been forced to sit down and think about how they are living on this planet. This pause has caused me to go deeper and stand through to that.”

For more information, visit marisamurrow.com or @marisamurrow on Instagram.

CRIME REPORT

Robbery

Beirut/Friends, June 27 at 9:30 p.m. The suspects (#1 male Hispanic, black hair, 5’8”/5’9” 160 lb, 16/17 years, #2 male, 5’10”/5’11”, 16/17 years, #3 male, 16/17 years) approached victim and demanded victim’s property. Suspect #1 threatened victim with a knife and then all three suspects began to punch and kick victim until they were able to take victim’s property.


Attempt Carjacking

Entrada/E Channel, June 24 at 4 p.m. The suspect (male Hispanic, black hair brown eyes, 5’10” 130 lb) pushed victim as victim exited her car. The suspect entered victim’s vehicle but seemed unable to operate it and then exited the vehicle. The suspect fled the area on foot.

17300 Pacific Coast Hwy, June 21 between 6:30 and 7 a.m. The suspect took victim’s vehicle from a parking lot using keys “hidden” on the vehicle.

16800 Livorno Dr, between June 22 at 4 p.m. and June 23 at 8:45 a.m. The suspect took victim’s vehicle from the street possible using a spare key left in the vehicle.

500 Stassi Ln, between June 27 at 6:30 p.m. and June 28 at 8 a.m. The suspect took victim’s vehicle from the driveway possibly using keys left in the vehicle.

16700 Edgar St, between June 28 at 10 p.m. and June 29 at 7 a.m. The suspect took victim’s vehicle from the street.


Burglary

700 Chautauqua, June 22 at 10:10 p.m. The suspects (#1 male black, 6’3” 200 lb, #2 male black 6’4” and heavy set, #3 male black, 5’10” 190 lb) smashed a glass sliding door to enter victim’s home and left with unknown property.

500 Swarthmore, between June 19 at 12 p.m. and June 23 at 12:10 p.m. The suspects smashed a glass sliding door to enter victim’s property and took a blanket.

800 Muskingum Ave, between June 26 at 3:30 p.m. and June 1 at 8:11 a.m. The suspect pried open a door to enter victim’s home and took unknown property.


Burglary/Theft from Vehicle

16800 Pacific Coast Hwy, June 20 between 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. The suspect entered victim’s vehicle and took a wallet, credit cards and cell phone.

1500 Will Rogers State Park Rd, June 23 between 5:30 and 7 p.m. The suspect smashed a window to enter victim’s vehicle and took a purse and wallet.

800 Enchanted Way, June 13 between 1:30 and 2:20 p.m. The suspect entered victim’s vehicle and took a coin purse and sunglasses.

700 Temescal Canyon, June 20 between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. The suspect smashed a window to enter victim’s vehicle and took a wallet and purse.

1400 Allenford, June 28 between 4 and 5:10 p.m. The suspect smashed a window on victim’s vehicle and took money and a backpack.

Beckwith/Pontoon, June 25 between 12 and 7 a.m. The suspect entered victim’s vehicle and took clothing.

1500 Will Rogers State Park Rd, between June 24 at 4 p.m. and June 25 at 1:15 p.m. The suspect entered victim’s vehicle and took a wallet, money and sunglasses.

500 Los Liones, June 26 between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. The suspect entered victim’s vehicle and took a handbag, shoes and glasses.


Theft

17200 Sunset, June 16 between 12:05 a.m. and 8 p.m. The suspect took packages delivered to victim.

17800 Castellammare, June 30 between 4:11 and 9:30 a.m. The suspect (male Hispanic, 5’9” 170 lb, 25 years) took a security camera from victim’s property.

Catching up with Palisadians

Photo courtesy of IMDb

The Post Goes Through Past Shows and Movies Featuring Locals

JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

Recently when searching for a film the whole family could watch, I came across the romantic comedy “Yes, Man” with former Palisadian Zooey Deschanel, funnyman Jim Carrey and Palisadian Bradley Cooper. I have watched it a few times and consider it a really sweet romantic comedy with some good humor.

The story is about a man who challenges himself to say “yes” to everything. Although this film was met with mixed reviews in 2008, I think the timely nature of the film’s theme of saying “yes” to life is a good message to receive during a pandemic when we have to strive to make opportunities.

Directed by award-winning Peyton Reed (“Ant-Man,” “Bring It On”), the film stars Deschanel as Allison, the love interest of Carl Allen (Carrey), while Cooper plays Carl’s good, solid friend Peter who does the right things.

Other cast members include John Michael Higgins as Nick, Rhys Darby as Norman and Terence Stamp as Terrence Bundley.

Deschanel shows off her range when her character Allison sings quirky lyrics in an on-stage performance, which brought smiles to the people in our house. Deschanel’s character is very amusing with her variety of interests, including running at the same time as taking photographs at Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.

We also liked the fact the film didn’t overplay the relationship angst. Cooper does a great job of not over-acting in the role of a responsible pal who has the guts to tell Carl to get his life together.

The fact that Carl’s ex-girlfriend’s relationship didn’t work out and she was interested in coming back wasn’t overplayed either. It just showed he had moved on, not that Carl wanted to rub it in her face.

Since there’s been a revival of the Harry Potter series for the tweens in my family, they particularly enjoyed it when Allison and Carl head to a Harry Potter party in costume in the movie—especially the fact that Carl’s outfit was too small as they only had costumes for children.

Other than one scene that might be worth a fast-forward—when Carl is confronted with a romantically inclined older neighbor—the film is PG-13 and a feel-good movie.

We were all in unison that we liked the end message—say yes, but use reason and judgment because saying yes to the wrong things will land you in trouble.

The screenplay is credited to Nicholas Stoller who later won awards for “The Muppets” in 2011 and “The Storks” in 2016, actor Jarad Paul (“The Grinder”) and Andrew Mogel (“The Grinder”). Danny Wallace wrote the memoir of the same name from which the movie is loosely adapted.

Carrey has recently published a new semi-autobiographical novel called “Memoirs and Misinformation” he co-wrote with Dana Vachon.