September 21, 2010
September 14, 2010
Diablo Cody's breakout screenplay, Juno, about twee teen pregnancy starring Ellen Page is a refreshingly non-judgmental and non-preachy movie about growing up and making mistakes. While some reviewers found the language precious and the pop culture references tedious and verging on obnoxious, but being of the Gilmore Girls generation when it was released, I appreciate the quick, witty banter. There are a lot of interesting relationships in this movie: Juno and Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), Juno and her dad and step-mom (J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney), Juno and the adoptive parents (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), and last and pretty much least, Juno and Leah (Olivia Thirlby). From Tic-Tac fueled fornication to tearful post-push snuggle, Juno and Bleeker seem to share a very innocent and naive love, and I like that they seem able to move on with their youth relatively unscathed after the trauma of pregnancy and birth.
September 12, 2010
September 06, 2010
The Princess Diaries is the story of Mia Thermopolis, a painfully shy and awkward 15-year-old who discovers she is heir to the Genovian throne. Anne Hathaway stars, with Julie Andrews. After discovering the truth of her heritage, Mia undergoes a makeover to look "like a princess" - all it takes are contacts and newly tamed tresses to transform her into teen royalty, and remove her cloak of uncool invisibility. Revealing this new look to her best friend Lilly Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo) results in shock and awe, and not the good kind. As supportive as Lilly is up to this point, she is threatened by her friends' transformation. Lilly attacks Mia, accusing her of joining the conformist ranks of Lana (Mandy Moore) and her cronies. Naturally, the secret gets out and Mia is on the receiving end of some suspect attention from the popular kids which results in some negative press and a terrible first kiss. Mia misses an appearance on Lilly's local cable show, and when reprimanded by her grandmother, the Queen of Genovia, she decides not to accept her title. And then she changes her mind, and shows up at the ball looking like a wet rat and manages not to throw up when she gives her speech.
August 15, 2010
Balkans and ready to blog again! This week's movie is Confessions of a Shopaholic, based on the novel by Sophie Kinsella. It's pretty typical chick-lit, making a predictable chick flick. Our leading actress, Isla Fisher, is a great physical actress - while some of the gags are just obnoxious, many are rather endearing, and a good distraction from the shallow, materialistic, addictive behavior of Rebecca Bloomwood. Her lack of professionalism, from lying in her interview to blowing off work for a sample sale, is truly atrocious, and seriously unrealistic. What's more, she gets a boyfriend out of all this nonsense - it wouldn't be a chick flick without some sort of romance story arc. Rebecca does encounter some inner conflicts surrounding her compulsive shopping and the problems that causes outside of her credit card debt, and eventually overcomes that addiction, repairing her friendship with Suze and getting an offer from Alette, the fashion magazine she initially wanted to write for. The release of this movie was untimely, in the midst of the financial crisis. And while there are some relevant lessons on personal finance, the way Rebecca and the other characters consume luxury goods would have been much more appropriate and almost prescient if it had been released sooner.
July 04, 2010
June 27, 2010
Beauty and the Briefcase, an ABC Family TV movie starring Hilary Duff. Based on the novel Diary of a Working Girl by Daniella Brodsky, this movie is the very worst kind of chick flick - an unapologetic story of a young woman in search of a man. Our main character is striving for a career at Cosmopolitan, and her best friend and roommate Joanne (Amanda Walsh) is a freelance fashion photographer who gets her in the door at Cosmo. Lane doesn't do well in her pitch meeting, until she starts griping about her state of manlessness (ugh!) to the editor who is also currently single. The two act as though this is the most horrible thing in the world, and this inspires an undercover story for Lane to take on, an unlikely opportunity for an unproven freelance style writer. Her mission: infiltrate the "business world" and date only "men in suits". So, she outright lies on her resume, fakes her way through an interview and sabotages the electrical system in order to get into an investment banking firm.