Lifestyle, Opinions

These 9 Movies Have Cheated Your Feelings – Matthew Fam

You have been lied to- and romance movies are the biggest culprit. While these box office hits may leave you feeling fuzzy on the inside, expectations of how love and reality should pan out have been highly misconstrued by films we’ve come to know and adore.

giphy-11. Legally Blonde
Going out on a limb to impress a guy when he clearly isn’t into you should be criminal. Would you let this poor girl spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an overrated degree she’s not even interested in? Where is the justice??


giphy-72. Bridget Jones’s Diary
Right. So it’s probably not wise to leave your open diary lying around for potential dates to see. Moreover, letting guys fight for you (because editors and lawyers have nothing better to do than fight in public) merely objectifies you as a prize to be won. And you’re better than that, girl!


giphy-93. The Proposal
All this while, we’ve conveniently forgotten what a pain actual partner visa arrangements can be! If you’ve ever applied for a visa, you’d be amazed how all the paperwork gets magically shelved in favour of scenic Alaskan fishing and Ryan Reynold’s washboard abs.



4. 27 Dresses
Here’s when it gets mildly offensive. Guy points out the reason for wedding planner’s workaholism as a method to cope with loneliness. And girl actually buys it. Come on! Equating busy career women to grumpy, lonely spinsters is so 90’s.


giphy-105. How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days
The movie all magazine journalists wish their lives could be, but know won’t never happen. If writing a feature story entails you to go on that many dates and glamorous outings (were all these on her company’s dime?) sign us up right now.

Tricking a guy can compromise his trust big time- and that’s not something you’d want to risk.


giphy-26. No Strings Attached
She and him are just looking for some sugar… if you know what I mean. Transaction made. But what happens when they start falling for each other? While some relationships do blossom from friends with benefits to official steads, the movie drives an unrealistic expectation that we can eke out a romance out of any arrangement.


giphy-87. The Ugly Truth
Somehow, we make it our personal mission to wish that we have the goodness within us to miraculously transform a playboy into reformed lover. Wrong. Taming a hardcore d-bag, and turning him into a loyal life partner- while possible in exceptional cases- is a false impression that you’d much rather leave at the cinema.


8. Twilight
Where. Do. I. Even. Begin. I can’t decide if Bella is facing a genuine dilemma choosing between the boys, or is pretending to enjoy all the attention. Just as how you wouldn’t want a guy to string you on, doing so to somebody else- through 4 entire movies, no less- is just evil.

The only true lesson to learn from this film franchise? Good looks and zero talent can land you a starring role.

And sme...lly.

And sme…lly.

9. Warm Bodies
Love changes zombie into boy band member lookalike. Fine. But what I don’t get is: doesn’t she get a whiff of funk from this semi-decomposed guy?? What this movie fails to teach you is that bad body odour ought to be a total deal breaker. And that the female protagonist probably suffered from a blocked nose throughout the entire duration.


About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. 7 Lies You’ll Hear About Millennials – Matthew Fam

2. [Love In Lines] When You Don’t Have Time For Love – Tan Lili

3. [Love In Lines] Whatever You Have Learnt From Matchmakers Is Wrong – Deborah Tan

Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] How To Know If You’re Falling In Love – Vanessa Tai

Call it infatuation, lust, puppy love, or whatever you want. According to Vanessa Tai, the first few flutterings of love is possibly one of the best feelings of the human experience.

material world_falling in love

Although I often say I’ve never been in love, I have to confess that’s not entirely true. I do know what it’s like to start falling for somebody, but for a myriad of reasons, I always end up putting a stopper on my feelings. Now that I’m older (and hopefully wiser), I want to stop holding myself back and finally give in to the giddy exhilaration of falling in love.

Disclaimer: This list is particular only to me, but I believe you may find some common traits!

1. You behave differently around him

At work and with friends, the side of me people usually interact with is the straight-talking, strong and independent business owner. But when I’m with a guy I’m falling in love with, a forgotten side of me seems to make more regular appearances. I listen more than I talk, and for some reason, my voice and mannerisms become softer. It’s most peculiar.

2. You get off your high horse

When I am not in love, my mind tends to be more pragmatic. I would express derision toward people who make (what I deem to be) poor decisions because of love. For example, I had a friend who gave up a prestigious overseas scholarship because she didn’t want to be away from her boyfriend. Non-in love me thought it was a waste and a bad decision, career-wise. However, in-love me will be more likely to understand how difficult it is to be apart from someone you love so deeply.

3. You feel safe with the other person

When you first start dating someone new, you’re both feeling each other out and trying to establish a connection. Both of you are slowly letting down your guards and inviting the other person into your inner thoughts. It’s scary, but also invigorating.

Sadly, it doesn’t always pan out. Sometimes he may discover something about you that causes him to back off (and vice versa).

But you know you’re falling in love when you feel safe enough to reveal your deepest insecurities … and he replies with utmost sincerity, “You are perfect as you are.”

4. Everything suddenly seems extra romantic

Like many women, I’ve always had a soft spot for romantic comedies. But when I’m falling in love, EVERY LITTLE THING seems romantic. Random love song on radio? Speaks directly to me! Random news story about couples who’ve been married for years? True love exists afterall! Random thing that reminds me of the guy I’m falling in love with? It’s a sign that we’re meant to be! And so on. It’s nauseating … but also very normal.

5. You write lists like these.

Need I say more?

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Vanessa Tai talks about navigating the often-confusing world of singledom. Stay tuned for more!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

[If You Like This Post, You Might Also Like]

1. [Love In Lines] Being Vulnerable In Love
2. [Love In Lines] The Fear Of Getting Hurt
3. [Love In Lines] To Thine Own Self Be True

Arts & Events, Lifestyle

MW Reviews: The Henderson Project – Vanessa Tai

The Henderson Project is a passion project of Dream Academy, where theatre-goers are guided away from “the beaten theatre path” and onto an intriguing adventure. 

The gritty Henderson Industrial Estate seems like an unlikely venue for experimental theatre. But step inside the Dream Academy studio and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into your friend’s home. The studio only accommodates up to 50 people, so it makes you feel like you’re relaxing in a friend’s living room, enjoying an intimate evening of music and conversation. Oh, before you enter the theatre space, make a stop by the makeshift bar and get a glass of beer or wine, or try Selena’s Fried Rice.

The Henderson Project kicks off with “The Last Five Years”, a modern musical by Tony-award winner Jason Robert Brown. Starring Linden Furnell as Jamie and Mina Kaye as Cathy, this musical traces the rise and fall of their five-year relationship. What’s unique about this tale of soured romance is how the two characters do not interact at all throughout the show. Cathy plays out her version of their love story backwards in time, whereas Jamie tells his side of the story in chronological order. Despite this, the poignancy of the characters’ thoughts and emotions are conveyed effortlessly through the lyrics, which are equal parts witty and meaningful.

Mina Kaye has some powerful lungs!  Photo Credit: Wyatt Biessel

Mina Kaye has some powerful lungs!
Photo Credit: Wyatt Biessel

Furnell and Kaye also did an excellent job in bringing out the highs and lows of their characters’ love story. Besides their flawless delivery of the songs, the small space enabled the audience to better empathise with the characters because we were able to catch every small sad smile, or subtle flick of an eyebrow.

I was very distracted by Furnell's washboard abs even as he belted out an emotional number.  Photo Credit: Wyatt Biessel

This was supposed to be an emotional song, but Furnell’s washboard abs were a distraction! 
Photo Credit: Wyatt Biessel

This central theme of love overflowed on to the next show, “Happy Robin”, which is a solo performance by veteran entertainer Robin Goh. As he bantered with the audience and belted out his favourite love songs, I couldn’t help but again feel like I’ve been transported into someone’s living room. Goh has an engaging stage presence, and his soothing voice is sure to take you on a languid trip down memory lane.


Fall in love with the soothing vocals of Robin Goh. Photo credit: Wyatt Biessel

According to Tricia Tan, Dream Academy’s PR and Marketing Manager, this is just the beginning for The Henderson Project. In fact, the production house has plenty of exciting ideas and initiatives in the pipeline. Well, if this debut is anything to go by, I can’t wait to see what else they have in store!

The Henderson Project is now playing till 16 February. Call Dream Academy at 9874 4465 or email them at for tickets. 

Note: The author was invited to review The Henderson Project by Dream Academy. All opinions are the author’s own. 

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets

[If you like this story, you might also like]

1. 10 Minutes With … Frances Lee
2. Movie Review: Her
3. The Walking Dead Is Turning Male Stereotypes On Their Head

Contests, Lifestyle

Who Was Your First Love? – Vanessa Tai

First love is an exhilarating experience. Everything feels new and exciting, and you’re unfettered by the baggage of past relationships. While not all of us still keep in touch with with our first love, it’s always fun to reminisce about the first time we fell in love.

While I’ve had crushes on like, I don’t know, a million guys before, somehow falling for X felt different. He was someone I got to know through a school camp, and I was immediately taken in by his sleepy eyes and dimples (these two physical features are my absolute kryptonite). One thing led to another, and we soon found ourselves chatting on the phone every day. Thinking back, it was fairly chaste – we rarely went out on official “dates” and if we did, our friends would be there too. Even though we’re no longer in contact with each other, I still hold on to some fond memories. For example, how we would exchange presents via our friends because we were too shy to do it face-to-face, or the time he called me from the airport before he left on an extended overseas trip.

Of course, the story of my first love is not as exciting as those in the movies!


Endless Love is a new romance drama starring Alex Pettyfer (last seen in The Butler) and Gabriella Wilde (last seen in Carrie). Wilde plays Jade Butterfield, a privileged and bookish high school student who falls in love with David Axelrod, a charming young man with a troubled background. David is Jade’s first love, and she’s so enraptured by him that she’s willing to forgo everything, including her parents’ approval. However, there’s something about David that makes Jade’s father uneasy, so he sets out to uncover more about David’s past …

We have five pairs of tickets to the Endless Love premiere to give away!


Here’s what you need to do to win:

1. Download Material World’s app, “Material World”, free on the iTunes store and Google Play.

2. On the Contest tab of the Material World app, fill in the name of the contest (Endless Love) and your particulars, and answer the following question: Name the male and female lead in the movie, Endless Love.

3. Then share this post with your friends on Facebook. Remember to tag “MaterialWorldSG” in your post. Set your post on Public so we can verify you have completed this step.

4. This contest is open only to those who download Material World app, and Material World fans on Facebook. Contest ends Thursday, February 6, 2014.

The premiere for Endless Love (PG-13) will be held on February 11, 2014 (Tuesday), 7pm at Bugis+.

Endless Love (©2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.) opens in cinemas on February 13.

Entertainment, Lifestyle

Movie Review: Stuck In Love – Vanessa Tai

Despite being touted as an indie film, Stuck In Love seems to follow a formulaic Hollywood story arc where everything works out well in the end. That’s not to say it was a horrible movie … just horribly predictable.

Despite being divorced for nearly 3 years, Bill is still very much in love with Erica.

Although they’ve been divorced for nearly 3 years, Bill is still very much in love with Erica.

Stuck In Love follows the lives of the Borgens family over the course of one year. Bill Borgens (Gary Kinnear) is a novelist struggling with writer’s block after his divorce from Erica (Jennifer Connelly.) Their children, 19-year-old Samantha (Lily Collins) and 16-year-old Rusty (Nat Wolff) have been groomed to be writers by their father since a young age, but that’s where the siblings’ similarities end. Sam is badly affected by her parents’ split, and acts out by avoiding long-term relationships in favour of no-strings-attached flings. Rusty, on the other hand, is a sensitive romantic who finds himself in a relationship with his beautiful but troubled classmate.

The movie reads like a lightweight summer novella, with just enough twists and turns to keep you interested but there’s nothing immediately gripping. While the film makes allusions to literary greats like Raymond Carver and Stephen King, it doesn’t flesh out the characters in depth, as any great novel (or film) should. Instead of exploring the private agonies and neuroses that are particular to writers, the film skimps over the characters’ thoughts/motivations/desires, making them one-dimensional at best and confusing at worst. Hell, towards the end of the movie, the viewer is still confused as to why Bill and Erica’s marriage turned sour!

Lily Collins shines in her role as a cynical teenager.

Lily Collins shines in her role as a cynical teenager.

I guess the only redeeming factor of the thinly-plotted movie would be its sterling cast. Collins was surprisingly convincing as a conflicted young adult, especially during scenes where she let down her guard and revealed her vulnerable side. Kristen Bell, who has a small role as Bill’s f*** buddy, is her usual perky and hilarious self. Her All-American girlishness coupled with her petite frame and innocent face makes the politically incorrect lines she spews so jarring, so much so you can’t help but laugh along.

In all, if you’re a fan of rom-coms and are looking for a feel-good movie to perk you up, Stuck In Love is a passable option.

Stuck In Love is now showing in cinemas island-wide. 

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

[If you like this story, you might also like]

1. Movie Review: The Bling Ring
2. The 5 Scariest Movies Of Recent Times
3. Which Actor Should Play The New Batman?

Arts & Events, Contests, Lifestyle

3 Life Moments I Wanna Relive – Vanessa Tai

What would you do if you could go back in time to relive any moment, whether good or bad? You could relive the butterflies you got in your stomach when you had your first kiss, or travel back in time to tell your crush how you really felt … the possibilities are endless. That’s the premise of About Time, a new British romantic comedy starring Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy. The film is written and directed by Richard Curtis.

As I watched the film’s trailer, I started wondering which moments in my life I wanted to relive and here are the top three that come to mind.

1. The first time I scuba-dived
My road to getting an Open Water Diving License started off a little bumpy. I couldn’t get used to breathing with an oxygen tank, and struggled in my first few practical lessons. In fact, I wanted to give up and go home. Thankfully, my friends persuaded me to persevere and it was one of the best decisions ever. When I first descended into the tranquil quiet of the ocean and took in the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, it was as if I was entering a whole new world. I still get that feeling whenever I dive, but nothing beats the experience of your very first dive.

2. The moment when my cousin got proposed to
Growing up, my cousin (who’s three years older) and I were very close. I idolised her, followed her wherever she went and tried to emulate everything she did or said. Needless to say, I was thrilled when she got into a relationship. She and her then-boyfriend/now-husband were together for a full 10 years when he popped the question in front of family and friends. I was over the moon! That overwhelming feeling of joy and excitement is one I would happily relive over and over again.

3. That moment when you find out your crush has feelings for you too
I’m sure everybody can relate, especially if you and your paramour have been doing that whole “Does he or doesn’t he?” dance for a long time. When he finally makes his true feelings and intentions known – no matter how awkward the delivery – it’s like you just wanna run out and do cartwheels and high-five everybody.

What about you? What are some moments in your life you’ll like to relive?

We have five pairs of tickets to the About Time premiere to give away!

material world singapore-about time

Here’s what you need to do to win:

1. In the Comments section, complete this sentence : “About Time is written and directed by Richard Curtis, who also wrote 4 Weddings and A Funeral, Notting Hill and _____________.”

2. Share this story with your Facebook friends by clicking the Facebook button at the bottom.

3. Tag Material World in your post.

4. Then Private Message us on Material World’s Facebook Page with your details (Name, Age, NRIC No, Occupation, Email Address). State “About Time” in your message.

Contest ends September 20, 2013. Only followers of Material World’s Facebook Page qualify for this giveaway. Please like our page here.

The premiere for About Time (NC-16: Some nudity) will be held on October 1, 2013 (Tuesday), 7.15pm at Lido Hall 1.

About Time (© Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved) opens in cinemas on October 10.