Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Book Club, George Clooney, and Heartbreak

The Jane Austen Book Club (PG-13) 105 minutes B
Reading is Sexy

Starring Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Amy Brenneman, Kathy Baker, Hugh Dancy, Marc Blucas, Chris Burket, and Lynn Redgrave

I don't like using the term "chick flick" to describe a film. The term automatically detours a certain demographic (mostly men) from seeing these films. But what other way can you describe a film titled "The Jane Austen Book Club".

Watching "chick flicks" is like reading Cosmo, it's all about the women but there's still plenty of eye candy for men... not to mention a little insight into the female intellect (granted, Cosmo does not represent all women).

Six Jane Austen novels, six months, and six members (5 women, 1 man) in varies stages of relationship turmoil. The novels imitate life, heals wounded hearts, and brings these six people together.

The film is wrapped up a little too pretty and unrealistically, but I found this Book Club to be highly enjoyable, extremely cozy, and a nice ode to literature .

Michael Clayton (R) 119 minutes C+
The man with one black suit sulks, but gets the job done

Starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sean Cullen, Michael O'Keefe, and Sydney Pollack

Perhaps it was the delicious chicken parmesan I ate before seeing Michael Clayton that effected my concentration. But despite it being an entertaining and intriguing film, I was wondering what? and why? for a good portion of this legal thriller.

Clooney was good, and I liked the dark nature of his character and the film. But ultimately I was a little underwhelmed and I kept waiting for something more dramatic to be unveiled. Interestingly enough, I felt the same way after seeing another legal thriller back in 1993, The Firm. In both cases I think that I fell victim to my own expectations.

The Heartbreak Kid (R) 115 minutes C+
The right girl at the wrong time (you know bitches be crazy!)

Starring Ben Stiller, Malin Akerman, Rob Corddry, Michelle Monaghan, Carlos Mencia, and Jerry Stiller

A lot of film critics hated this film. I understand some of their reasoning, but I enjoyed this updated version of the 1972 film starring Charles Grodin.

Some have claimed that the film is mean spirited, but it's the Farrelly Brothers... what do you expect? I admit that some of the comedy feels forced, and that whole sequence of Eddie (Ben Stiller) trying to cross the border is just weird and out of place. But a lot of guys can relate to this film on a certain level, and I greatly appreciate the underlying darkness of the film. The tone of the film reminded me of 1996's The Cable Guy, directed by Ben Stiller.

The story here is simple, a 4o year old Eddie is single and never married. He has reached that point where he's a freak because he's never been married, so after 6 short weeks of courtship and a little pressure he decides to take the plunge with Lila (Malin Akerman), a beautiful blond with legs for days and David Bowie panties. Eddie is vulnerable, and when your vulnerable it's easy to confuse the "honeymoon" stage of the relationship with love.

Eddie and Lila get married, and then Eddie realizes some things about Lila that he wasn't aware of. This is a big flaw in the film; they have dated for 6 weeks, never had sex within that time, yet he didn't know some pretty elementary things about his bride...?

Well, of course Eddie meets another women during their honey moon, they fall in love and the adventure begins. I want to recommend his movie but it's probably best to wait for it on DVD.
It's not for everyone, but fans of Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers might enjoy this "prick flick".

1 comment:

RW said...

I have to say I really liked "the jane austen book club," and not to beat a dead horse but I need to say that Maria Bello (age 40) and Amy Brenneman (age 43) are supposed to be 50 in this movie! Ha! they already both look fabulous for their age (meaning they look like they are in their 30's) and we are supposed to be believe they are 50-something?