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Entries Tagged 'Romantic Comedy' ↓

Julie & Julia

I‘m a little behind in seeing this, but I was given the heads-up that it makes you very hungry.  I was pressed for time so I had to eat dinner that night at Applebee’s before seeing the film.  Within the first couple shots of the movie you automatically feel like whatever you just ate is inadequate and lacked in flavor by a landslide to what’s being made on the screen…in my case it was made even worse by my dinner choice.  “Julie & Julia” is based on two books, two true stories and mushed together because it probably looked great on paper to do that.  In my opinion, it wasn’t.  I actually would’ve been very interested in a movie that was just about Julia Child (Meryl Streep).  I consider myself a “foodie” but besides that she led a very interesting life, was a pioneer and an inspiration for women who want to bust through glass ceiling.  The story of Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is not interesting at all.  She’s a woman who was lost in her own life so she started a blog where she wrote about trying to cook all 500+ receipts from Julia Child’s famous “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” book in a year.  According to her, Julia Child and this project saved her life, her marriage and her sanity.  Unfortunately you don’t see any of that in the film.  It’s never fully explained how doing this made her see her life and marriage in a totally new light.  Although I love Adams as an actress, she shows us one side of the character and never gives it an arch at all.  To me it seemed that the Producers wanted to do a movie on Julia Child and thought no one would see it unless it had something else to it.  That might be true for most, but adding the Julie Powell story just made it longer.  Not to say that it’s boring or painful to watch.  It’s not!  It’s cute and light and silly.  But the movie becomes interesting again when it’s back to 1950s France with Julia and her husband Paul.  Now Paul is played by the awesome, Stanley Tucci.  It’s interesting to see the trailers beforehand full of the forthcoming romantic-comedies that star your usual Sandra Bullocks, Sarah Jessica Parkers, and Matthew McConaugheys because none of those actors share chemistry the way that Streep and Tucci do in this.  There are scenes in the movie between them that director Nora Ephron capture in one continuous shot because they glide through dialogue in a way that’s so natural that you honestly believe these people are in love…of course it helps when you were a couple that was as devoted as The Childs were to each other.  This movie has many good parts and is enjoyable to see.  Streep has earned another Oscar nomination as far as I’m concerned and so far is the leading contender.  But it feels like a meal prepared by Julie Powell and not Julia Child…not nearly as good as it should or could be, but still pretty damn tasty.
Julie & Julia (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: B

(500) Days of Summer

It’s rare that a movie comes along that has it all.  Usually the acting and the directing is great but the screenplay was a little off.  Other times the script is almost perfect and the actors perform to their fullest but the director is uncreative and boring.  And occasionally the director does a masterpiece with a flawless script but Julia Roberts is in it.  That’s not the case with this film; everything lined up perfectly.  Director, Marc Webb, has knocked it out of the park with visuals that weren’t shoehorned in for no reason but didn’t chicken out with generic over-the-shoulder shots either.  Not too bad considering this is his first movie and the last thing he did was a Jesse McCartney music video.  The acting from stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was perfection as they spun a web of chemistry that seemed like genuine love.  Not too bad considering she did “The Happening” and he’s the kid from “3rd Rock from the Sun.”  Too top it all off the script was written by two guys who made a romance movie that was funny, heartbreaking, and surreal yet painfully real.  Not too bad considering that they also wrote “Pink Panther 2.”  It’s as if fate wanted all these non-impressive people to come together to create this perfect romantic comedy…ironic given the plot of the movie.  What makes me love this film so much was that it didn’t set up the unreachable expectations that every other romance movie does.  There aren’t the sweeping romantic scenes on a hilltop or under a waterfall.  There’s no passionate kissing in the rain.  There isn’t even the impossibly romantic chance meetings or elaborate dates.  It’s two people and what happens to them in this relationship…in all its painfully plain highs and lows.  It’s so refreshing to see a romantic film that speaks to us instead of at us.  Think about it.  Most romance movies make you think “wouldn’t that be SO romantic” or “I wish someone would do that to me” or “they’re so lucky.”  Now imagine watching a romantic movie that makes you think “that’s happened to me” and “I know EXACTLY how that feels.”  And while you’re thinking that you bounce back and forth from having your gut shake with laughter and your eyes well with tears.  I know it’s a little early in the season and it’s rare that movies like this pull it out, but I would say that this should be a serious contender for the Oscar for “Best Picture.”  If “Annie Hall” could do it, then I see no reason this couldn’t.  At the very least it deserves an award for being the first film to perfectly capture what it feels like to have sex with the biggest crush of your life for the first time.  I know that’s not an Oscar category but I’m sure it’s an MTV Movie Award one, right?
(500) Days of Summer (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: A+