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On Memorial Day, we honor those who gave “the last full measure of devotion” to protect freedom and democracy. Let us all keep their example in mind as we do our best to live up to the dreams they died for.

“Harlem Hostel” is an unpretentious little film about a group of friends who decide to turn a run-down brownstone into a youth hostel to make ends meet. At times the film looks as low-budget as its setting, but with an appealing cast and a better-than-average script with a touch of sweetness, this is worth a look.

Want to give it a try? The first four people to send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Harlem” in the subject line will win a DVD.

NOTE: DVDs provided by the studio; all opinions are my own.

Actor/director/emblem of a generation Dennis Hopper died today at age 74 after a career of extraordinary range that took him from roles in the iconic films Rebel Without a Cause, Easy Rider, Giant, and Apocalypse Now, to a stunning comeback as one of film history’s most disturbing villains in Blue Velvet and an American Enterprise commercial for baby boomers contemplating retirement.

My his rest be peaceful and may his memory be a blessing.

One of the best shows on television right now for teens and their families is MTV’s “When I Was 17.” It’s as simple as the title. Celebrities talk about what they were doing when they were 17 years old. Participants include Drake, Kevin Jonas, Katharine McPhee, Bret Michaels, Queen Latifah, and Lucacris. Whether the stories they tell are about big dreams and opportunities or big fears and failures or both, they are utterly engrossing and inspiring. And they are ideal lead-ins to important conversations about hard work, ambition, taking chances, and dealing with consequences.