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August 19, 2011

One Day

One Day tells the story of two friends through accounts of where they are on the same day each year. It is based on a book by David Nichols, which is usually a good sign. However, this film was not at all what I expected. It has two actors who I love that acted well, but I was not impressed with the plot or the writing. It is fair to say that I was quite disappointed.

The previews for this film make it seem like a whirlwind romance between two people who are destined to be together. This is somewhat true in the film, but it all kind of gets lost in the shuffle. We don't get much background story since we only see the characters on one day out of the year. There is almost no attempt to fill the audience in on what has happened the rest of the year. There was no build up to make it feel as though these two were meant for each other. There was no climactic, romantic scene when they make an advancement in this relationship. It was just all flat. Then out of no where one thing changes the whole path of the film. After this everything becomes depressing, but then the plot finally gets a bit romantic in the last few scenes of the film. It was all just a mess.

I do love Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess who both did a good acting job. But the writing was awkward and choppy. The plot didn't really flow because we didn't get any hints into what happened during the days of the year we weren't seeing. The biggest problem, though, was it was very slow. I have not been bored in a movie in a loooooooong time! I kept talking to my friends sitting next to me, because most of the movie was not keeping my attention. If I had watched this movie at home, I definitely would have fallen asleep.

Overall, I like the concept of this film and the actors could make it great. But we did not get enough information to feel anything for the characters or fully understand their relationship. There was a little bit of romance towards the end of the film, but this just didn't measure up to expectations.

It's hard to say don't see it, but don't be sad if you miss it.

August 10, 2011

The Help

The Help is the story of a young female journalist in Mississippi in the 60s who decides to write a book about stories told by "the help," mainly the black maids and caregivers of white families. This, of course, is an emotional and strong subject which is felt greatly in this film. But The Help has some amazing acting, great writing, and an overall perfect portrayal of the struggles faced by many during this time period.

This movie was serious and emotional, but it was also hilarious!!! I have not been to many movies where an entire audience bursts into laughter multiple times during one film. The "sassy" oneliners from a couple of prominent characters and the karma that comes back to bite some asses creates so many funny moments!! This is one of its strongest characteristics. We can only take so much intensity. The break-up of comedy gives this movie a great dynamic.

The acting was excellent! Emma Stone, who plays the young journalist, once again is kind of broadening her repertoire. She portrays this strong-will girl who doesn't quite measure up to the usual beauty queens of the south.  She has the look, the acting ability, and the subtle comedy to support the other great actors in this film. I was really impressed with Octavia Spencer, who plays one of the maids. She had an amazing character written for her, but she could not have acted better! Her character was the source of the majority of the humor and she executed it all perfectly! Throughout the movie I was continually impressed by her performance. The rest of the cast was great. They set the scene and created the characters wonderfully, but I was most impressed with Spencer and Stone.

The biggest pull of a film like this is it gives us a peek into the past. This was such a volatile time in history and has been represented in a variety of medias. But The Help shows a more personal perspective. It puts you in the homes and lives of people living during this time and people trying to challenge the current system. Emma Stone's character's mother at one point says,  "Courage sometimes skips a generation." This referred to her feelings about her daughter trying to challenge these negatives systems in society when she was unable to. I just wondered how many parents at this time felt the same way. The idea that my great-grandparents or others living during this time could have thought that way makes the depth of the film intensify.

Overall, this was a moving, emotional, and funny movie. It shows a great picture of the struggles of inequality during the 1960s, but it's not just about a societal issue or history. It is so much more than that. Plus it was really fun to watch. You feel connected to the characters, because you watch their emotion and struggles play out. The majority of the audience tonight was women and older couples. I think it will resonate most with this audience most, but I would recommend this film to everyone!


August 5, 2011

The Change-Up

The Change-Up is a cookie cutter comedy about two friends who magically switch bodies, a new version of Freaky Friday. It stars Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds who both found their niche in this genre! It was very funny, but included a lot of what I would call "guy humor." I didn't realize it was R rated, so the nudity surprised me! Overall, it is a typical comedy, nothing too unique, but it was funny!

The best part of this movie was the acting! I love Jason Bateman. He can do no wrong in my book, but he is perfectly suited for this type of movie. He plays a workaholic lawyer with three kids who sped through life to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as possible. Ryan Reynolds plays his life-long best friend who is the exact opposite. He is the slacker ladies man who never finishes anything, cusses incessantly, and spends his time with "quite a few lovely ladies." Reynolds has not always been the strongest actor, but this role really suited him. He played the lazy bachelor well and was believable as the slacker trying to act like a business man. I think these two were perfect together!

The movie was very funny, which is what you expect from a comedy. The plot is very predictable. Everybody realized that what they have is really great and the people close to them reveal telling information that makes them want to better their lives. The plot will not shock or surprise you, but it will make you laugh! As I mentioned a lot of the humor is "guy humor:" poop jokes and babies playing in the kitchen (which was giving me a heart-attack). It was funny, but some of the humor was immature or male-oriented. This plus the boob-action leads me to believe the execs were shooting for a male audience.

Overall, this was a funny comedy. Again, no one is going to be getting a call during award season, but I don't think that's what they were aiming for. It's a cookie cutter format that works (the theater was full!). It is funny. It has a bit of a twist to make it slightly different than similar movies. It's a fun movie and even throws in a little romance! It'll make you laugh and hopefully reflect on how great your life really is. I don't think you need to run out and see it right away, but it's worth a dollar!

Redbox/Netflix It!