It’s not too surprising that in recession-era Hollywood, where only the surefire box-office earners are getting made, a rom-com with the name Meryl Streep in the top billing was one of January’s big releases. When you add director Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give) to the mix, it was virtually a written guarantee to fans of the genre that you’re in for an enjoyable 90 minutes. And with Meyers’ generally sharp and incisive writing, it might even be a cut above your average brainless rom-com. It’s Complicated certainly delivers on the first count, but whether it does on the second is debatable.
Enter Up in the Air, the latest romance-comedy-drama from Juno director Jason Reitman, and starring perhaps the most universally idolised and desired movie star of our generation, George ‘Smooth As Silk’ Clooney. The prospect of such a dream team was always going to be a hotly anticipated one, and we’re pleased to report that this is one of those few wondrous instances of a film living up to its press.
In these troubling times of global warming, financial crises and that nice Tiger Woods cheating on his wife, it’s comforting to know that one man alone remains staid and unchangeable: Hugh Grant. Yes, he’s pretty much played the same character for the past 20 years, but goddammit, the man does it well. His latest frothy outing with toast-of-New-York Sarah Jessica Parker is no exception – this time, a posh man is heading into the wilds of the American midwest after he and his estranged wife witness a murder.
It’s always refreshing when a thinking person’s rom-com comes around. An Education is not only beautifully constructed, but with wonderful performances, a tight script and questions of love that are difficult to wriggle out of, it’s a film that really grips its audience. Charming, sleek and funny, it’s hard not to be won over by this twisted romance. Just be careful, if we’ve learnt anything, its the danger of the power of seduction.
Once you find what it is you’re good at then just go with that, right? There’s no need to try your hand at anything else. Take the warblers and crooners for example; mainly the ones that sing about love, relationships and all that romantic crap. They should just stick to their day jobs. There’s absolutely no need for them to attempt a career in acting because quite frankly, it’s embarrassing for everyone.
We’re pleased to report that Up in the Air lives up to its press. This romance-comedy-drama from Juno director Jason Reitman is intelligent, soulful, keeps you laughing, keeps you guessing, and leaves you with that lump-in-your-throat feeling that you’ve experienced a truly lovely moment in cinema. Clooney’s emotionally detached jetsetter is perfectly (and surprisingly) matched by Twilight newcomer Anna Kendrick, and Reitman’s narrative expertly weaves witty comedy into beautiful moments of poignancy. If you only see one film this month, make it this one.
Take a romatically challenged, cynical workaholic and cross her with a victim of heartbreak who thinks with what’s in his pants. What do you get? True love apparently. Boy meets girl. Girl hates boy. Boy wins girl over. It’s nothing we’ve never seen before – The Ugly Truth is your typical boring battle of the sexes ‘romantic comedy’. Yet another sickly film to leave us with a floating outlook on relationships. And that’s the ugly truth.
We at Best For Film are probably in the majority if we say we’ve never seen Meryl Streep in a bad movie, so it’s not surprising that in safe, recession-era Hollywood, a rom-com with her name in top billing is one of January’s big releases. Add director Nancy Meyers of Something’s Gotta Give fame to the mix and you should have a surefire hit. But despite having all the hallmarks of a Meyers film, this fluffy romp still falls a little flat.
In these troubling times of global warming, financial crises and that nice Tiger Woods cheating on his wife, it’s comforting to know that one man alone remains staid and unchangeable: Hugh Grant. Luckily, his latest frothy outing, with toast of New York Sarah Jessica Parker, is no exception to his usual bumbling-posh-man charms – this time, he’s heading into the wilds of the American midwest after he and his estranged wife witness a murder and must be relocated into a protection scheme. There’s just as many laughs, albeit predictable ones, as always, so if you’re a Hugh fan, get ready for a fun-filled 90 minnutes spent chuckling into your popcorn.