The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

by -

Tired of paying full price for your favorite products? Learn about a locally-based startup that finds you discounted dupes recommended by a community of shoppers nationwide.

Brandefy finds dupes to brand name products to help save you money.

Cincy Chic: What is Brandefy? 
Carolyn Kochard, COO at Brandefy: Brandefy is a platform that finds product dupes to save shoppers time and money. For instance, you are out of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara but you want to see if there is a similar, less expensive product just like it. Open our app, search for the Too Faced Mascara you love, and see that L’Oreal makes a mascara that is extremely similar, and save $16 by getting the dupe instead.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Kochard: Our founder and CEO, Meg Pryde, worked in private label manufacturing and knows that sometimes the high-end product is made in the same factory as the drugstore or generic brand. Shoppers have no way of knowing when the cheaper product is the same and when they should pay up for the prestige brand.  We want to be your pocket detective, finding the best products at the best price. We do this using ingredient panel analysis, and direct, side-by-side comparison either using a panel or someone well-versed in the products they are testing.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Kochard: Meg Pryde (CEO), Carolyn Kochard (COO), James Graham (CTO) and a dedicated group of panelists and review captains. Meg uses her industry expertise to steer the ship, James develops app updates to offer new features to our users, and Carolyn manages reviews and generates content.

Cincy Chic: How does Brandefy work?
Kochard: We take the top requested product comparisons (e.g. Target’s private label, up & up, and the name brand counterparts) and test the products side-by-side. Our team of panelists or review captains takes it from there- scoring the two products on their similarity.  They rate based on a list of attributes and share their opinions on whether or not shoppers should switch to the less expensive product dupe to save. Brandefy takes these ratings, calculates ingredient similarity scores, and generates a nifty overall similarity score. All our users have to do is find product reviews in the app and start saving!

The team behind Brandefy: Meg Pryde (CEO), Carolyn Kochard (COO), James Graham (CTO)

Cincy Chic: What makes Brandefy unique?
Kochard: There are several product review companies on the market, but they don’t focus on side-by-side comparisons of copycat products.  We compare their ingredient panels and review the two products based on a thorough list of attributes, and make the information easy to access.

Cincy Chic: How can readers use Brandefy?
Kochard: iPhone users can download the app, or anyone can find reviews online here. They can search by product or category and see direct comparisons of some of their favorite name brand products. Once they see the reviews, they can purchase the best products for them, saving time and money.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the company?
Kochard: We’re adding new products every month! This month, we’re adding more makeup dupes as well as reviewing generic baby products. You’ll also be able to save products to your favorites list.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Kochard: Check us out online:, or follow us on Instagram.

by -

Mingle with some of the city’s most go-getting gals and support an important local cause at this upcoming event that’ll heat up your winter.

Kindervelt 50 will host its Cabin Fever event at MadTree Brewery on February 22.

Winter got ya feeling stuck? That’s how the four local friends behind Kindervelt 50 were feeling during the cold, wintry months and that’s why they decided to launch Cabin Fever.

“Cabin Fever is a fun event that raises funds and supporting the Psychiatric Emergency Assessment Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital,” explains Kindervelt 50 President Macy Hansen.

Winter can leave you feeling like you’re trapped inside with no where to go. The cold also means that there’s less time to spend with friends unless you’re willing to venture out into the cold to do so.

Spending time with friends to unwind and being cozy in the cold is what inspired Cabin Fever.

This year’s Cabin Fever event is being held on Friday, February 22 at 7:00 pm at Madtree Brewery. Hansen says that the theme is Aspen Chic, and the team, comprised of chair-women including Jennifer Herzog, Jen Bahl, Allison Thornton, and Candace Cioffi, is super excited to bring the mountains to Cincinnati.

Guests can expect to cozy up next to the fire and enjoy an evening of open bar and dinner with good friends, participate in bar games, bid on silent auction items, try their luck in a raffle, and dance the night away to music by The Sly Band.

VIP tickets for the event are an option and will give attendees access to the VIP Apres Ski Party from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am, where guests will enjoy late night bites, open bar, and music by DJ Etrayn.

Typically, Kindervelt 50 hosts two events throughout the year to support their mission, so Hansen says this is the first year they’ve done one large event, and the excitement surrounding it has been encouraging.

“We are excited to continue to support the mental health demands at Cincinnati Children’s,” adds Hansen.

To learn more about Cabin Fever, click here.

by -

After launching a successful skin care company, learn about the local lady on a mission to make skin healthy and glowing from the inside out.

Cincy Chic: For our readers who don’t know, what is Arkadiance Integrated Skin Care?
Ami Kulkarni, Founder of Arkadiance Integrated Skin Care: Arkadiance is a wellness-based skin care line which focuses on healing from the inside to reveal outer radiance. The products are derived from natural ingredients with high impact formulas. The brand launched in 2016 with a range of natural products — some used internally and others externally — such as a facial cleanser, face cream, Omega 3 capsules, teas and more with the idea of creating health and beauty from the inside out.

Cincy Chic: What’s new with Arkadiance since we last spoke? Do you have any new products?
Kulkarni: YES! We’ve started bundling our best sellers with a 15-20% discount when bought together. Whether you are looking for hydration, purification, or immunity boosting – we’ve got a bundle that will deliver noticeable results based on your skin needs.

Cincy Chic: Do you have any special promotions going on right now that readers can take advantage of?
Kulkarni: We’re currently running a Galentine’s Giveaway for our Transformation Duo and we always offer 10% off the first purchase with the code “New10” for new clients.

Cincy Chic: What is the brand looking forward to most in 2019?
Kulkarni: We are thrilled to be reaching more clients and making it easier to understand the science behind products. Our followers can look forward to more education about why natural, holistic products can be transforming to their mental and physical health.

Cincy Chic: What makes Arkadiance unique? 
Kulkarni: Arkadiance is unique in many ways but our brands pillars stand us apart:

I believe in Use Less, Do More. The line is incredibly simple and we have no skin types. Less products, less steps, no jargon. My clients are change-agents who don’t have time for complicated routines that pile on unneeded products.

I only make a product if it can be significantly better than what is on the market today. That’s why we don’t have a scrub – there are plenty of great scrubs available. I also don’t make a Vitamin D capsule or a B-complex because what is available today is pretty darn good. However my 3 step skin care and the 3 core supplements are each significantly superior to any competitors in benefits delivered and the usage experience.

I built the brand around being sustainable and natural first. Our ingredients are renewable and following sustainable farming practices. Every product is recyclable we use mostly glass and aluminum, not plastic. We do not test on animals and are ultra-natural, being 93% plant-based in our skin care products.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Kulkarni: The best way to stay connected is to join our email newsletter at for bi-weekly natural healing newsletters and promotions and follow us on Instagram and Facebook. I would be glad to answer specific skin and health questions at I also refer my clients to local health care experts like Dr. Kara Shah (Kenwood Dermatology) or Doctor of Naturopathy, Sharmilee Jayachandran, ND to make sure questions are answered.

Watch this review of Arkadiance from our Editor-in-Chic:

by -

There’s a new healthy eating option in town. Click here for the details about these fun “smoothie bowls.”

Frutta Bowls is a smoothie restaurant offering healthy options.

Launched just over two years ago in New Jersey by 25-year-old Brooke Gagliano, Futta Bowls has made its way to the Tri-State – Mason to be exact.

“We are a superior, healthy, and delicious ‘smoothie bowl’ restaurant offering acai bowls, kale, pitaya-based bowls, smoothies, artisan toast, organic coffee, kambucha, in-house made protein bites, and more,” explains Mason franchise owner Sandy Trebour. “We have a beautiful interior with an awesome, relaxed vibe.”

Trebour says that Gagliano was inspired to launch her business after visiting friends in California and tasting acai bowls they had on the West Coast.

“She decided that the east coast, and the rest of the country, needed to have these,” says Trebour.

The Trebours visited Frutta Bowls at the first location and when the opportunity came up to launch a franchise location, they seized the moment. In fact, the family is friends with Gagliano and moved to Cincinnati from New Jersey a few years ago.

While juicing and healthy fruit bowls are having a moment in the health world, Frutta Bowls is different. First, the location is owner-operated, so the restaurant can provide high-quality customer service.

“Our beautiful decor and greeting our customers by name makes it a very warm and welcoming environment,” adds Trebour.

Second, Frutta Bowls offers fresh food. “If you come in once, you are hooked, and you come back,” she says.

Trebour says that Frutta Bowls will be offering nutritional information and new menu items in the next couple of months. Additionally, Frutta Bowls will be featuring avocado smoothies, bee pollen topping, and much more.

Frutta Bowls is located in the Deerfield Town Center, a few doors down from Whole Foods. To learn more about Frutta Bowls, visit You can also follow along on Facebook<> for updates on the Mason location.

by -

A new type of fertility treatment offers high success rates and a lower price tag. Learn more about it and the well-known doctor bringing it to the Tri-State.

Dr. Chin

Cincy Chic: What is The Fertility Wellness Institute?
Dr. NeeOo Chin, Founder of The Fertility Wellness Institute: Founded by NeeOo W. Chin, MD, in 1987, the Institute has helped to conceive more than 10,000 babies. In 2018, Dr. Chin was again named as one of America’s Best Doctors. Doctors are selected based on nominations by their peers, a survey of over 230,000 of the nation’s leading medical specialists, department chairs, residency program directors, vice presidents of medical affairs and presidents of the nation’s leading medical centers and specialty hospitals. Dr. Chin was instrumental in the first successful gorilla IVF procedure in the world.

Cincy Chic: Can you tell us about the new INVOcell treatment you’re offering?
Chin: INVOcell is a patented medical device used in the treatment of infertility that enables egg fertilization and early embryo development to take place in the woman’s body, in vivo. The INVO Solution allows women to incubate their own gametes, providing a psychological benefit while reducing the risk of wrong embryo transfer. Utilizing a mild stimulation protocol, it decreases the number of oocytes required, which may reduce the risk of severe ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS), reduce the risk of multiple births, and/or reduce the need for embryo cryopreservation and storage. As a lower cost option to traditional IVF, INVOcell expands access to patients who otherwise cannot afford the traditional method or would prefer a more natural, cultural, or religious appropriate choice. The Fertility Wellness Institute is the first center in the state of Ohio to offer INVOcell to its patients.

Cincy Chic: What makes this treatment unique?
Chin: INVOcell represents a new and exciting approach to fertility. INVOcell’s ability to offer a cost-effective solution with strong success rates was a key factor in my decision to open The Fertility Wellness Institute. I look forward to offering this innovative alternative to families in southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and the southeast Indiana region.

Cincy Chic: Where is the practice located?
Chin: The Institute is located at 7671 Tyler’s Place Boulevard in West Chester.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Chin: For more information, please visit:

by -

Read more about a local interior designer who’s giving visitors the chance to stay in her well-designed luxury Mt. Adams homes. 

Red Whale Rentals offers luxury design for those staying in Mt. Adams. Photo: Brooke Genn

Michele Campbell is the founder of Red Whale Rentals, a collection of luxury spaces in the heart of Mt. Adams.

Ideal for corporate travelers, bespoke events, photo shoots, staycations, and more, Red Whale Rentals offers the proximity of the city, the nightlife, and the attractions without the hotel feel.

Campbell is a Cincinnatian and is a renowned local designer with more than 30 years experience in the design industry. She saw a need for spaces in the city that could be rented out to travelers that felt like home – not just another hotel.

“She started with the use of her own personal home, which in the past few years since the birth of Red Whale, has grown to nine variants of accommodations, and the collection is growing,” explains Red Whale Rentals’ Marketing Manager.

Currently, the properties owned by Red Whale Rentals are located within Mt. Adams, although Campbell is considering growing the collection into other sought-after neighborhoods in the city.

Today’s collection includes:

  • The Overlook
  • The Overlook Studio
  • The Overlook Totale
  • The Gregory One
  • The Gregory Two
  • The Gregory Totale
  • The Celestial One
  • The Celestial Two
  • The Celestial Totale

Red Whale Rentals has more to offer than just a quaint place to stay in the city. The marketing manager says that what really makes Red whale Rentals stand out is the interiors and the level of service.

The spaces, she says, are inviting, serene, and offer a calming, sanctuary-like feel with unique, regional design styles. “It’s almost impossible to find spaces like this in the city that evoke the same ambiance that Michele’s unique design style attains,” the marketing manager adds.

There’s also the experience that Red Whale offers its guests. “The Red Whale experience is extremely curated with an intuitive and intentional style of service,” says the marketing manager. “Red whale has become the go-to for Hollywood A-listers staying in town for movie shoots, visiting executives, and a lengthy roster of professional athletes making our properties their temporary home-away-from-homes during season.”

There are optional amenities available for those who stay at Red Whale Rentals including grocery delivery, childcare arrangements, private chef services, in-home personal trainers, massage therapists, yoga instructors, and more for guests looking for the highest level of convenience and service.

There are several local business partnerships in the works with Red Whale Rentals to help elevate the level of service and experience for the guests who stay in the homes.

“We will soon be offering staycations and retreats by The Yoga Bar for ‘getaways’ without the hassle of actually getting away,” according to the marketing manager.

In addition to the homes it has to offer guests, Red Whale Rentals also has its first commercial, non-overnight event space called The Cottage.

“It is located in the heart of Mt. Adam’s square, on the corner of St. Gregory and Pavilion and features a wet bar, chic seating, stunning natural light, an open and flowing layout, and private outdoor terrace,” the marketing manager explains. “It is perfect for a host looking for a beautiful venue that still preserves the coziness and warmth of hosting in a private home, without any of the hassle. Also, this space, in addition to the other spaces, are perfect for photo shoots and day-of use for bridal suites. Several notable brands such as P&G, Fabulous Furs, and Downlite have done product shoots throughout Red Whale’s spaces.”

To learn more about Red Whale Rentals, visit or check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

by -

Two sisters took a leap of faith and started their own greeting card business, inspired by their parents’ random notes of encouragement.

PesPress is a sister-owned business selling greeting cards.

Cincy Chic: What is PesPress?
Kirstin Pesola McEachern and Kara Pesola, Owners of PesPress: PesPress is a sister-owned greeting card company that encompasses different card lines to address different sentiments, such as happy birthday or thanks, but each card is simply designed and carries the signature poppy logo, a symbol of the owners’ late father, Tom Pesola, whose grandkids called him “Poppy” and whose friends called him “Pes.”

The company’s ambitions are simple: to bring back print mail and emphasize connection, from our most random thoughts to our most heartfelt feelings. Essentially, we are creating cards that we want to send to people, but we haven’t been able to find.

We are a small business whose cards are available via etsy and soon to be at local shops.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
McEachern and Pesola: The idea to start a greeting card company was inspired by our parents, who used to leave notes under our pillows and send greeting cards to our college campus mailboxes. These fond memories contribute to our love of old-fashioned, in-your-mailbox-from-the-post-office mail. Getting a card from a friend or family member, especially for no particular reason, makes our day.

Individual card lines were inspired by various passions. For example, our empathy line is inspired by the loss of our dad. He died suddenly when he was only 59. Very few people knew what to say, both at the time, and on anniversaries of his death. Learning from the experience of our dad’s death, we aim to create thoughtful empathy cards and notes to honor many types of tough anniversaries – anniversary of a divorce or a disease diagnosis, for instance.

We are also committed to social justice, so we have a line that of cards that represent our hopes for a more just world.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
McEachern and Pesola: Kirstin Pesola McEachern and Kara Pesola are the co-owning sisters. We describe ourselves on our website as follows:

After dropping ridiculous amounts on greeting cards over the years and still not finding quite what she wanted, Kirstin shared the idea of starting a card business with her sister, Kara, who had been thinking the same thing. When she is not dropping weekly cards in the mail, Kirstin is reading or running. She lives in Cincinnati.

Kara is a card lover who lives in Salem, Massachusetts.  As a child with no money, she would walk the card aisle at CVS and steal ideas to make for her family at home. As an adult she is still searching card aisles, but now she pays for them! Kara loves finding the perfect card and hopes you will find one with PesPress.

Scott Booth is our resident card designer, graphic artist, and photographer. When he’s not working on something creative, he’s probably hanging out with his dog Porter. If you want to get in touch with Scott, check out his website

Cincy Chic: What types of products do you offer?
McEachern and Pesola: Right now, just greeting cards – cards that are slightly smaller than your typical ones so as not to intimidate people and make them feel they have to write too much inside.

As we are just starting out, we’re excited to see how the business grows!

Cincy Chic: What makes PesPress unique?
McEachern and Pesola: In our digital age, we think our company is unique in its mission to bring back printed mail and help people feel more connected. Our company story as inspired daughters and sisters is one we haven’t heard before, either. We are not graphic designers or people who work in the creative industry. By day, Kirstin is a school administrator at a PreK-12 school in Cincinnati, and Kara is a nurse practitioner in Salem, Massachusetts. This company, and the cards we create, is a labor of love and a way for us to stay connected as sisters with a common purpose, despite now living 1,000 miles away from each other (Kirstin moved to Cincinnati in 2015).

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for PesPress?
McEachern and Pesola: We are just about to launch our social justice line, and our empathy cards are right on its heels. After those are launched, we are expanding our offerings. So far, we’ve just printed our top 4 cards (based on feedback from various groups), but we have SOOO many more waiting in the wings that we can’t wait to put in a mailbox near you!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
McEachern and Pesola: Readers can visit our website and Etsy shop, but we also have a facebook page where we regularly reach out to people and get feedback on card ideas:

We are also happy to offer 10% off to your readers, valid through 5/31. They can use the coupon code CINCYCHIC at checkout.

by -

A Venezuelan transplant living in the Tri-State is offering customers bakery treats that taste as good as they look. Keep reading for the delicious details.

Lulu’s Sweet Bites is based out of Rosanna Ruwe’s home in West Chester.

Rosanna Ruwe is a mom of two who has a passion for baking. The Venezuelan native says her passion for baking sparked at age 10, when she would spend countless hours in the family’s tiny kitchen baking sugar cookies and other pastries.

She took her baking skills, and her love for the craft, and started creating eye-catching desserts through her business Lulu’s Sweet Bites, a home-based bakery in West Chester, in spring 2017.

“We offer gourmet cupcakes, french macarons, and custom decorated cakes and cookies,” says Ruwe.

At Lulu’s Sweet Bites, customers are the top priority, and that means giving them what they want.

“We love helping our customers celebrate their special occasions by bringing their ideas to life,” adds Ruwe.

All of the desserts from Lulu’s Sweet Bites are made from scratch using quality ingredients. Ruwe says that she pays extra attention to detail.

“Our mission is to offer products that taste as good as they look,” says Ruwe.

Ruwe says that thanks to her customers, Lulu’s Sweet Bites continues to grow – even faster than she can keep up with. Thanks to the growth, she hopes to open up a storefront in the next year to be able to continue providing high-quality service to her customers.

To learn more about Lulu’s Sweet Bites, visit You can also check them out on Instagram and Facebook.

by -

A local chef wants to give you the ultimate dining experience - at home. Click to devour all the delectable details.

Ken Durbin is the owner of The At Home Chef.

Cincy Chic: What is the At Home Chef?
Ken Durbin, Founder of the At Home Chef: As the At Home Chef, I curate intimate, one-of-a-kind fine dining experiences in the comfort of your home that create memories to last a lifetime. When you hire me as your private chef, I work with you to design a custom menu specifically tailored to your occasion, source local, organic food, and provide a table setting to ignite the atmosphere you envisioned. All the cooking, serving, plating, clearing—it’s all taken care of–as you just enjoy spending time with your guests.

After the meal’s done, you can linger with your loved ones a little longer—at night’s end, you’ll be left with a sparkling-clean kitchen and memories that will last a lifetime. What’s best is that once I’m hired, I’m not just your private chef for the evening, I’ve now become your personal resource for all things epicurean—whether it be recommending a fine dining establishment or helping you source a rare food.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Durbin: It was my grandmother’s tiny kitchen in Pennsylvania where I learned to appreciate the process of cooking and the love of enjoying a meal, but it was never just about the food. I didn’t always remember what we ate, but when my family came together around that table—it was magic. And that’s the magic I recreate when you hire the At Home Chef.

When families celebrate an occasion, they go out to eat for dinner. They do so with the intention of creating a memory, but oftentimes between making the reservation, finding parking, getting seated in a crowded, loud restaurant, figuring out what to order, etc., it ends up being just a dinner. While there are many fine dining establishments here in Cincinnati, there’s just no comparison to the warmth and comfort of gathering in your own home, building that memory in your own environment.

The At Home Chef brings a luxury dining experience to your home.

I’ve always drawn inspiration from other chefs who believe in the feeling of food, not just the substance of food. The Food Network’s Alex Guarnaschelli, one chef who’s been a confidante and professional mentor to me throughout my career, is really good at articulating the emotion behind food. So that’s the spirit I try to emulate in the dinners I create.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Durbin: As Ken Durbin, my metamorphosis into “Chef Ken” was not something that I expected, even into my late 30s as I was advancing through the ranks at Fidelity Investments. While the money was good, I spent a lot of time daydreaming of another life, struggling with the nagging question: “Who could I be if I wasn’t sitting in this cubicle?” So one day, I just did it. I quit my job and followed my passion into cooking school. I learned from the best working with the Chef Sean Kagy and many of the highly-trained chef instructors at Summit at the Midwest Culinary School. After I graduated, I was working as a chef for the University Club when a patron remarked that he’d love if someone could prepare a meal of the same quality as he was served in the restaurant for a dinner party in his own home. And it was then, I just knew I could build something like that.

Cincy Chic: What types of meals do you cook for clients?
Durbin: Every meal I create is a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure, custom-built for the client and their guests. I work with each client one-on-one to design a menu specifically tailored to your occasion, dietary needs, and culinary preferences, which are often high-end, gourmet but could be anything you want. I do source the food locally—it’s all fresh and organic.

Cincy Chic: What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
Durbin: Where I get my enjoyment is in seeing the food help deliver a message. When family or friends or business associates gather in your home, it’s not just a celebration, and sometimes it’s not even about celebrating. Sometimes it’s about strengthening a family bond, sometimes it’s about letting loose and partying with the girls, sometimes it’s about expressing gratitude and appreciation for the service of your top employees, sometimes it’s just about showing off your new gourmet kitchen. And occasionally it’s about goodbye. It’s about mourning. It’s about healing. And it’s during those dinners— like one I just had last week where the news of a sudden death in the family cast a different light on the occasion than had been originally anticipated—that I appreciate the transformative power that food has over people. Ever when a celebration is replaced by a loss, even when there’s a noticeably empty seat at the table, the magic of food around a table binds us and helps us get through it. No matter what the occasion, there’s nothing that can’t be enhanced by good food that’s artfully prepared.

Cincy Chic: Why should people choose the At Home Chef?
Durbin: I want to make memories that meet or exceed the best meal you’ve ever had. I don’t repeat menus or prepare meals ahead of time the way a caterer would. Everything is cooked on-site in your kitchen, so it’s just as fresh as you’d get in a fine dining restaurant. I strive to exceed the best meal you’ve ever eaten, because as the At Home Chef, I’m not just feeding your bellies, but feeding your souls.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the At Home Chef?
Durbin: I’m currently building a spin-off company, The At Home Chef Supply Company, which will offer many of the hard-to-find products that I use for my dinners, as well as some high-end apparel that reflects the epicurean spirit that the company embodies.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Durbin: My website is There you can learn more about the pricing structure, capabilities, and how to contact me to discuss your event. My Instagram ( @chefken ) is also a great resource to follow, as you can see many of my previous dinners there.

by -

M. Night Shyamalan delivers his twist on superheroes and villains. See what our critic has to say.


“Man … I think someone has paid ‘Dance, Dance Revolution’ a little bit TOO much …” Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) watches in awe as one of the many personalities of Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) dances with his newfound friend in a scene from the final (?) installment in M. Night Shyamalan’s heavy comic book-influenced thriller GLASS. Credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Universal Pictures © 2019 Universal Pictures. All rights reserved.





KEY CAST MEMBERS: James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard and Adam David Thompson

DIRECTOR(S): M. Night Shyamalan 

THE BACK STORY: The culmination of the events of his previous films Unbreakable and Split, Glass stars Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), a psychologist who has been brought in to a Philadelphia-area mental hospital. It is there where she is working to relieve three men of their delusions of being superheroes: Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), better known by his nicknames of “The Horde” in reference to his two dozen personalities ranging from 9 year-old Hedwig to stern British headmistress Patricia and “The Beast,” named for his deadliest, serial-killing personality. Only one woman, Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) has escaped The Beast and lived to tell about it … And now she is fixated on the him in potentially unhealthy ways. 

Next up is David Dunn, a.k.a. The Overseer, a green poncho-wearing seemingly unbreakable (sorry – couldn’t resist!) man who was the only survivor of a train accident 19 years ago. Now, with the aid of his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark), works as a vigilante around the City of Brotherly Love … As long as he doesn’t get wet. Last but certainly not least? Elijah Price, better known to law enforcement as first name Mister, last name Glass – a criminal mastermind with a very severe case of brittle bone disease that did not stop him from orchestrating the train accident that revealed David’s gift (or is that caused his delusion?) all those years ago. His mother (Charlayne Woodard) loves her son and just can’t seem to look past his murderous ways …

Now tasked with curing the men, Dr. Staple has her work cut out for her … Especially if their delusions of grandeur aren’t.

THE REVIEW: Much like his beloved comic books, M. Night Shyamalan’s movies are often the source of great debate about which ones are really good and which ones are just, well, awful. And after taking a much-deserved beating afters several hate-it-or-love-it features, the captain of the twist pulled a Dark Knight and redeemed himself with 2015’s quirky The Visit and then 2016’s Split, which featured one of the greatest (I know what I said!) performances in recent history by McAvoy as the Dissociative Identity Disorder-suffering Crumb. Then it was revealed (spoiler alert – you’ve had enough time) that the film was connected to the world Unbreakable created way back in 2000 and the hype that Glass would be his penultimate work became very real among his longstanding fans.

Well, guess what? Glass – while not perfect – delivers a super (enough) payoff for all your years of patience.

Glass has story holes in it – I mean, how else to explain one of the character’s actions given that everything that happened to that character should likely make them act in the EXACT opposite way they do. Likewise, if you’ve been paying attention to Shyamalan for any significant period of time, you’ll likely figure out there is something amiss before it is revealed even if you don’t figure out everything.

Those two things notwithstanding, Glass benefits from its best elements well: Shyamlan’s true exploration of comic book dynamics (as opposed to pure good vs. evil fights) and the performances of McAvoy and Jackson. Seriously, Glass isn’t the type of film that will ever get someone nominated, but McAvoy really deserves some type of recognition for making his role work so well while Jackson really pulls off that whole “evil mastermind despite his limitations” character phenomenally well. Be happy Mr. Glass isn’t real, folks …

The last point is made because in this golden age of superheroes movies, Shyamalan’s film is much more of an intellectual comic book movie moreso than what audiences have come to expect from the Marvel Universe (and usually pray DC Comics/Warner Bros. can try to emulate with their various properties). Thus, if you really enjoyed Unbreakable and Split, you’ll likely like Glass. If you are expecting something like Aquaman or Avengers: Infinity War‘s big blowout action sequences, you’re in the wrong place. This is more Scream for the superhero movie … If instead of parodies and murder you just had Jamie Kennedy’s Randy character moving the story forward. This is more a tale of connected lives, destinies and of course, the unique ways people with extraordinary abilities in comic books function.

Given the glut of superhero movies these days, the fact Glass challenges you to explore them in a way rarely seen these days is quite a twist, indeed.