By: Jessica Goddard Yesterday offers a fun hypothetical situation, and if you don’t overthink it, you’ll enjoy this movie as a tribute to the Beatles’ legacy. Spattered with modern Beatles covers and commentary on the ways the music industry has transformed since those songs were written, the film explores what might happen if one struggling singer-songwriter were suddenly the only person to remember the work of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
By: Jessica Goddard Could a beautiful, successful, Type A presidential hopeful like Charlize Theron’s Charlotte fall in love with a slovenly, jobless, political cynic like Seth Rogen’s Fred? Long Shot is wholly predictable in both its conclusion to this question, and in how it gets us there. From the standard drug-fuelled escapade we’ve come to anticipate once per Seth Rogen film, to the “maybe if one day he shows up in nicer clothes she’ll start…
New Yorker Nina is a stand-up comic with a blunt repertoire. Her material is R-rated in a competitive way; as if she’s trying to out-disgust other comedians at the open mic. The truth, however, is her jokes are stale. They’re not worthless, but Nina’s routine is on autopilot. However, it’s what she has to do to survive in a world dominated by daunting masculinity and crass jokes.
Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is too slight and trivial even by teen movie standards, but I’m hoping it will make its young viewers talk to each other more. So many misunderstandings and rumours in Sofia Alvarez’s stalled screenplay would’ve been squashed if people had stopped their worrying and had simple conversations with other characters.
Fleeting moments of marital bliss is the subject of Rebecca Addelman’s Paper Year, a film that explores the tumultuous first year of marriage between two millennials living precariously in Los Angeles. Although largely sympathetic to its central couple, Paper Year often feels like it would have more potential as a cautionary tale for young lovers trying to make it big in the entertainment industry. Though, perhaps it is the balance between sympathy and cautionary that…
Maya (22 Jump Street’s Amber Stevens West) is left scrambling when she finds her fiancé “fooling around” with another girl. Having met the man of her dreams while visiting Africa, she returns home with a lie that will convince her parents that she still has her life on track. A kind stranger named Malcolm (Shamier Anderson) meets Maya during his own panic as a greedy former friend (Tyrell played by Lyriq Bent) chases him down….
Happy Anniversary is a rom-com with erratic behaviour. Jumpy storytelling and unlikable characters make this movie hard to warm up to, but some solid laughs makes this pill easier to swallow.
By: Jessica Goddard Home Again is for Hollywood, by Hollywood, about Hollywood. If you can deal with that, you might enjoy this safe and well-meaning romantic comedy. Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s Home Again (a title which never ends up making any sense) is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s often endearing in a snort-and-smile kind of way.
I’ve criticized romantic comedies for being too quirky, too plucky, and too light. However, it’s been because these over-saturated films have also tried to sell audiences phoney sentimentality while peddling hammy humour – it’s an uneven combo. Bakery in Brooklyn picks one side and sticks with it, which is why it’s receiving a hearty recommendation.
After a string of disheartening rom-coms, I really thought Better Off Single was going to cheer me up. It had a few good laughs out of the gate, and it was neat to see what Aaron Tveit could do with a sadsack role after wowing audiences in FOX’s Grease LIVE! as T-Bird Danny Zuko. Unfortunately, writer/director Benjamin Cox provides an excitable energy that becomes the film’s worst enemy.