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Newly graduated psychiatrist Sam and his fiancee Alex move to Los Angeles for Sam's residency and into Sam's mother's house in upscale Laurel Canyon. Only problem is, Sam's mother is still there, supposedly finishing up a record that she's producing for the band of her new boy toy, Ian. She seems more interested in smoking pot and drinking than actually working though. Alex doesn't mind but Sam is quite upset. Alex starts off focused on her work (finishing a dissertation on genomics), but is soon distracted by the rock-'n-roll lifestyle going on around her. Meanwhile, Sam is equally distracted by beautiful Israeli intern Sara. Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
But I just didn't. Perhaps I'd read one too many okay reviews, but I had such high hopes for this after High Art, that I found it a little, well, disappointing.
Fascinating, but disappointing.
I'm the biggest Fraces McDormand fan out there, she's ALWAYS great in
everything she does, and she pretty much held my attention here as well. If the story had been more hers, it would've really set sail, but there's a plot about her son (Christian Bale, American Pyscho and Little Women) and his fiance (Kate
Beckinsdale, Pearl Harbor) that just doesn't work. Perhaps it's all the odd
accents- Bale is a brit doing a 'new yawk' accent, Beckinsdale is a brit doing a 'standard American', Natasha McElhone (Truman Show) is a brit doing an
indecipherable middle eastern accent, and Allesandra Nivola (Face Off) is an
American doing a British accent. Phew.
If you sense something a little 'odd' during this movie, it's that every sentence feels inauthentic, because there are certain words that all the actors doing
accents simply can't pronounce that well. It seems picky, but it has the
cumulative effect of feeling like you're watching a school play, and it takes you out of the story.
The story, by the way, has a great premise in it. The straight up tight son coming to stay with his promiscuous liberal mother- who seduces his fiance. Very
Greek. I just wish it had delved a little deeper, and that Bale and Beckinsdale were either more fully developed characters, or in the film less.
But I have to say, it was worth seeing for Frances McDormand alone. She really lights up a screen whenever she's given a chance.
I'd give this a 6 out of 10.
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