Cherien Dabis’s May in the Summer (Dabis is the writer, director, and star of the film, as well as a co-producer) follows May and her sisters – who all grew up in the U.S. — on a visit to Amman, Jordan to prepare for May’s wedding. The wedding is the central plot device of the film, and in some ways is also its central flaw. May’s devoutly Christian mother (Hiam Abbass) disapproves of her Palestinian Muslim fiancé Ziad (Alexander Siddig in almost no screen time whatsoever), who is a high-profile scholar in the U.S. Additionally, May and Ziad are trying to hide their cold feet from Ziad’s mother who is deliriously into wedding planning, while May juggles the dramas of [...]
Based on Lois Lowry’s novel, as a film The Giver manages to be unsatisfying as entertainment while also, somehow, being emotionally effective. If you’re not already familiar with Lowry’s novel, the plot takes place in a centrally planned society that has eliminated difference, conflict, and emotion. The Giver is the story of Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), who is training to be the one person allowed cultural memory and emotion in his society, referred to as The Community. While Jonas is supposed to keep his learning secret, he is ebullient at discoveries like music, dance, and colors. He stops taking his government mandated medication that suppresses emotion, and shares these items with his family and with his two wary best friends, drone [...]
If you are looking for a traditional romance where boy meets girl and, after a bunch of mishaps, eventually gets girl, Begin Again is absolutely, positively not your movie. But if you’re looking for a deeply romantic story about collaboration and friendship with a side-dish on the consequences of fame, Begin Again is a delightful mishmash of genres even if its heroine is underwritten and the script doesn’t ultimately deliver on the initial promise of its structure. Visiting New York City from the U.K. as her musician boyfriend Dave (a perfectly cast Adam Levine) gets his big break, Greta (the always charming Keira Knightly) winds up sleeping on her friend Steve’s (James Corden) couch when Dave has an affair with [...]
It’s always tricky to convert a beloved book into a film. Thankfully, The Fault in Our Stars doesn’t disappoint—mostly due to the casting of Hazel and Gus. From the first glimpse of Hazel (Shailene Woodley from Divergent), you know she is perfect for the part. Although she’s not take-your-breath-away beautiful, you love her more for that. She’s tough yet sensitive; sarcastic, yet vulnerable; nonchalant, yet scared to show her true emotions. Enter Gus (Ansel Elgort, also from Divergent): the whole theater swooned when he came into the frame, but at first I was disappointed. Gus didn’t match my image of a really hot Gus. But as the movie progressed my opinion quickly changed. Ansel charmed me with his ability to give [...]
This weekend I was looking for a movie to watch and stumbled upon the 2011 Romantic Comedy Friends With Kids starring Jennifer Westfeldt (Julie) and Adam Scott (Jason) as two friends who decide to have a child together without being in a romantic relationship. The supporting cast is made up of Maya Rudolph (Leslie) and Chris O’Dowd (Alex) as a couple living with two kids in Brooklyn and Kristen Wiig (Missy) and Jon Hamm (Ben) as a couple who begin to hate each other after the birth of their first child. Seeing what’s happened to their married friends post-children, Julie and Jason think they’re going to beat the system with their arrangement. And they do–for a while. image from www.teaser-trailer.com [...]
Happy Saturday! I hope you’re enjoying the weekend. You’ll enjoy it even more once you watch this trailer for a sweet new romantic comedy called Le Week-End. It’s about a British couple who “return to Paris many years after their honeymoon there in an attempt to rejuvenate their marriage.” Starring Jim Broadbent and Lindsey Duncan, it’s a story about falling in love again. I’m a total sucker for films about second chances at love a la It’s Complicated and this looks like it will be a good one. In limited release in the USA in March 2014.