Val is 23 years old and full of dreams. She travels to New York to become an actress. She is lonely in a strange country, in a strange city, with little money and no friends. In her path, ... See full summary »
Tom Crick, a high school history teacher, is having trouble connecting - with his class, with his wife. He ventures into telling his class stories about his young adulthood in the Fens ... See full summary »
Life is good for Jack, Carter and Harlan, three inept ne'r-do-wells who help run master dope-grower Malcoms flourishing marijuana plantation somewhere in northern California. But then ... See full summary »
Billy Bob Thornton,
Martha Horgan, a naive woman with an intellectual impairment who lives with her aunt Frances in a small town, is known for always telling the truth. She works at a dry cleaner, where her ... See full summary »
Avinash alias Avi and his partner Satish are Manhattan-based Security guards, hired in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York. They have now been assigned to ensure the protection of a visiting Indian General, Ganjee. While Avi is a flirt, and of a cheerful disposition, Satish is quite grouchy, wrestling with personal and family problems. During their time together Avi will confess to Satish of his having sex with another woman and the consequences he must face. Emme Keeler caters to the rich and wealthy by making cakes and desserts, she must face up to facts especially when her closest competitor, Safarah Polsky, is on the verge of suicide; Judy Hillerman lives a routine and mundane life with her husband, Henry, and does feel like throttling him and tossing him over their 10th floor balcony; David and Burbage and his wife, Allison, must now accept that their overweight son, David, does have issues that need to be addressed, that is if they ever find time ... Written by
Blisteringly bleak, despite a fine cast and powerful themes, don't be fooled by the happy cover
In Manhattan, after 9-11, several families are struggling with a bevy of issues. Alison (Judy Greer) and Davie (Thomas McCarthy) have an only child, an elementary aged son, who has frequent behavioral issues, at home and at school. They are remarkably patient but, sometimes have difficulty coping when the lad starts fights on the playground and throws tantrums. There are frequent meetings with the school principal (Stephen Colbert). Emme (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is married to a handsome guy (Will Arnett) and runs a top of the line cake baking business but constantly feels overly competitive. Meanwhile, Sandie (Jim Gaffigan), a longtime employee at a downtown firm, has been ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluations with a shrink, Dr. Trabulous (Tony Shaloub). His company thinks Sandie has hidden anger issues and Dr. Trab doesn't make therapy easy, firing very provocative questions at the businessman. Finally, Judy (Olympia Dukakis), a senior lady, feels very unfilled with her husband, who watches television all day and forgets where things are. A chance encounter with a longtime but hardly seen male friend makes her detest her life even more. All the while, as these people travel in and around the Big Apple, a band of Russian emigrants watch over the city as security guards, looking for terrorists. Will any of these folks find happiness? This is a blisteringly bleak film which, naturally, has an upbeat title and smiling faces on the cover. Be warned here that it has very few optimistic moments. Yes, the large cast is truly fine and the NYC setting has lovely venues. Most will find the costumes well-chosen and the photography quite nice. However, the sad, controversial story and the equally provocative direction make for a film few will be comfortable watching. Those who have a challenging child or trouble at work might benefit from a showing. But, to the casual movie fan, this reviewer says stay far away from this one.
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