Monthly Archives: July 2011

CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a comedy and something more. Cal (Steve Carrell) has lost his wife (Julianne Moore) to an affair with her co-worker (Kevin Bacon). Despondent, Cal goes out drinking several nights in a row and catches the eye of handsome high-end barroom lothario Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who will take home anything in a skirt. Feeling sympathy or empathy or something, Jacob begins coaching Cal in how to win back his manhood (including seducing a middle aged school teacher played to the hilarious hilt by Marisa Tomei). Cal’s odyssey is juxtaposed with two other lovelorn tales – the first being that of his son Robbie, smitten with babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton); the other being that of law school graduate Hannah (Emma Stone), who finds herself begrudgingly seduced by Cal’s new friend Jacob, resulting in a dilemma for the king of the one-night-stand. All of this could sound like a sitcom, and the climax genuinely surprises while simultaneously coming dangerously close to devolving into pure slapstick, but directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (writers of Bad Santa in their sophomore helming effort following last year’s I Love You, Phillip Morris) know how to keep an “out-there” comedy resolutely grounded in reality and they are aided by an earnest and delightful screenplay by Dan Fogelman. By the end, you feel like you’ve gotten to know and become invested in the lives of these characters – more than any sitcom.

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DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)

Upon its release, much was made of the explosive racial tensions in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989), but little attention was paid to the symbols of divisiveness the film used as catalysts for its many moments of racial disharmony. Throughout the film, Lee utilizes a motif of symbolism in order to differentiate between sides in the various disagreements that the film takes as its narrative structure – ultimately, complex characters boil down to what they represent. Continue reading

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TABLOID

Errol Morris’ Tabloid examines the “Manacled Mormon” story and finds humor and even pathos in its absurdity. Former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney may be stark raving mad but she was likely driven that way somewhere along the line as she now recalls for Morris’ Interrotron (an invented documentary camera device and filming method) how scandal sullied her self-proclaimed love story with accusations of kidnapping, false imprisonment and forced sex on her part.

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