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5 Reasons You Need to See 'The Great Gatsby'

It's likely the most talked about movie since The Hunger Games--at least it is in the FITNESS office. And one of the perks of working here is getting the chance to see movies before they hit theaters. So on Tuesday night I made my way to the Ziegfeld theater in NYC, popped on my 3-D shades and was transported into one of the most beloved stories in American literature. If that's not reason enough for you to go see The Great Gatsby, here are five more:

(Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers)


1. Leonardo Dicaprio. The man has been making our hearts flutter since Romeo + Juliet, and we swear he just gets better (acting-wise and come on, looks-wise) with age. If you didn't know, Baz Luhrmann, the director of Gatsby, worked with Leo way back then on R+J. Once we watched him on screen, we saw exactly why Luhrmann wanted to collaborate with the actor again: love or hate him, Leo was the perfect guy to play the complicated role of Jay Gatsby. The love, confidence and desperation of his character all seep through, and he had us chastising Daisy Buchanan for her crazy amounts of indecision.

2. Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway) and Leonardo Dicaprio (Jay Gatsby)'s bromance. It's real, both on and off-screen. We can't get enough of it.

3. The fashion. This period wasn't called the Roaring 20s for nothing. It was the tip of the iceberg for women exploring new dress lengths (short, short, short!), hairstyles and lots of sparkle—and you know we love sparkle. Fun fact: costume designer Catherine Martin worked with Brooks Brothers for many of the male costumes—think 2,000 garments + 200 tuxedos—who actually sold clothing to Fitzgerald back in the day.

4. Isla Fisher and Carey Mulligan. Our May cover girl plays Myrtle, Tom Buchanan's mistress who lives in the Valley of Ashes and wants the glamorous life. Although her role is small, Fisher knows how to make a big impact. Mulligan takes on the iconic role of Daisy Buchanan, and delivers flawlessly. The woman knows how to be alluring, and we love that she isn't afraid to speak her mind. What we don't love: Daisy's inability to make a decision and stick with it. Just watch the movie and you'll see what we mean.

5. The music. Just as he did in R+J, Luhrmann took Gatsby, a very classic story, and blended it with contemporary music. Now we'll admit, this is the part we were most skeptical about. Sure, we love blasting Jay-Z, Florence + The Machine and Lana Del Rey during our workouts, but would it work in a movie set in the 20s? Surprisingly, it does. In fact, we say it's what makes the movie that much better. Bringing contemporary beats to the party scenes helped us make a connection with all of the characters and the fun they were having. Think about it: if you were ready to get your dance on tonight, would you blast music from the 20s and feel jazzed; ready to rock? We didn't think so. This blend of eras made the story more relatable so we could really be immersed in the story. Smart move, Luhrmann. Smart move.

(Photo courtesy of St. Martins Press)


If you just can't get enough of F. Scott Fitzgerald, we recommend picking up Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. The recently released book delves into the world the Fitzgerald's created for themselves, told from the viewpoint of Scott's wife, Zelda. The 20s were a time of change for women, and Zelda was at the forefront with all of her bold decision-making. From leaving her tiny town in Alabama to marry Scott and create a fabulous life in New York City, to globetrotting wherever her husband desires while creating her own works of art, Zelda is a woman we'd definitely want to hang out with. Fowler lets us see the more distraught days of the Fitzgerald's marriage as well, and after reading this, you may have not-so-loving words for Ernest Hemingway. All we'll say: it's always interesting what happens behind closed doors, especially for those of the rich and famous. Now you tell us: Are you going to see The Great Gatsby?


Samantha Lefave

Samantha is a writer who is living, eating and sweating her way through NYC. You can find her running half-marathons like it's her job, Instagramming her favorite food and fitness finds or, let's be honest, eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

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