A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
The Marks family is a tightly-knit quartet of women. Jane is the affluent matriarch whose 3 daughters seem to have nothing in common except for a peculiar sort of idealism. Setting the tone of vanity and insecurity, Jane is undergoing cosmetic surgery to alter her figure, but serious complications put her health in real danger. Former homecoming queen Michelle, the eldest daughter, has one daughter of her own and an alienated, unsupportive husband. Elizabeth, the middle sister, has an acting career that is beginning to take off, but is timid and insecure, and habitually relieves her trepidation by taking in stray dogs. Only the youngest sister, Annie, an adopted African American 8-year-old, stands a chance of avoiding the family legacy of anxious self-absorption. If only her intelligence and curiosity will see her through what promises to be a confusing adolescence. Each of the women seeks redemption in her own haphazard way. Written by
When Michelle first sees Annie in McDonald's, she does not have a drink on her tray. When she walks closer to Annie she has a drink on her tray . See more »
[entering photo store]
Hey, Splooge! Splooge! The pictures ready yet? You probably splooged all over them, didn't you? You like the one of Jennifer topless, don't you?
Yeah, was that before or after her boob job?
Oh! Real perceptive for "cock boy."
Oh! One hour photo boy said "fuck you!"
Yeah, well some of us have to work, dickwad!
Other Teenage Boy:
Work? Does that include splooging all over pictures of my girlfriend?
I didn't look at them. I didn't splooge on them. I hate you.
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Few directors have a firm grip on creating comic works which while making us laugh or smile, also move us deeply. Chaplin's genius was founded on this blend of emotions. When Time magazine's cover labeled Wood Allen "comic genius" it was this same principle they were commending, though his films over the past 20 years would largely disprove this assumption.
Nicole Holofcener's small output prevents making any kind of assumption as yet, but in "Lovely and Amazing" she displays remarkable ability in dealing with the pain people (mostly female) experience in grappling with the issue of self esteem. Throughout the movie and without any lapse, she reveals the comic side of human frailty. We laugh at the characters with compassion rather than derision. It's a feat of great skill and much promise.
Holofcener clearly works well with actors, Brenda Blethyn, Catherine Keener, Dermot Mulroney, Emily Mortimer and Jake Gyllenhaal, all are spot on with their characters. She also elicits a lovely underplayed performance from inexperienced child actor Raven Goodwin.
Holofcener has produced a genuinely lovely film; one that portends amazing things yet to come.
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