Like Crazy is a very well made and acted romance that is a narrative mess and could have used a script instead of just an outline to frame the film around. [Read more...]
The thing about romantic comedies is that they’re the safer bet when it comes to love stories. On Valentine’s Day the sappiest girl is not going to put in something that ends tragically, they are going to put in something where it is pretty much a guarantee that the two will end up together; the prince will save her, the best friends will realize that they loved each other all along, and all that jazz. Like Crazy has both additives that make up the genre’s title, but it is far from these films. It has romance, comedy, drama, and the only guarantee for this love story is that at some point while sitting in the theater you will have your heart broken. [Read more...]
The first feature film from the brilliant British duo Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais is a bit more of a dramatic affair but still serves as an excellent, if a tad conventional, portrait of an era with their excellent blend of humor, sadness, and reality.
The film follows three friends form a rundown section of England known as Cemetery Junction in the early 70’s. A blue collar town full of generations of families that never left, sons and daughters following in their parents foot steps; living a nice, quaint and humble existence. When one of the friends, Freddie, tries to move up and out in the world the trio embarks on a series of life lessons and local culture that may or may not lead them out of the Junction.
The latest from Stephen Frears starts off well enough, having fun and well spirited but by the end is a bit of a sappy, overly dramatic, melodrama that almost negates the good start.
Lea is a courtesan, one of the best at that, in France. She is so successful at what she does that she is even able to lives a lavish and expensive lifestyle even when she isn’t courting and entertaining a man. She owns her own place, has beautiful clothing, and in home service help. The only problem is that she got this being a courtesan and that does not bode well for her social life as no decent woman of her social stature will socialize with a know courtesan. So Lea is left to socialize with her peers, both retired and working, and while she didn’t particularly enjoy there company she was left with no other options. Madame Peloux was one of these women, since retired, but wealthy and in good living conditions as Lea she spends her time entertaining guests having dinners, tea, and social functions seemingly all the time. Peloux and Lea spend most of the time going back and forth trying to out class or out wit one another with who is leading a better life in what is ultimately a dick measuring contest between two women. Peloux’s son Chéri, a nickname derived by Lea, is a bored and socially exhausted nineteen year old. [Read more...]