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I was lucky enough to see the world primer of "Her minor Thing" at the
Seattle International Film Festival. The director, writers, producers,
and the two main actors (Christian Kane and Estella Warren) were also
attending. After a introduction be the SIFF coordinator and a short
film called "Hello" the film begin.
I won't walk you through every single scene of the film, but I will give you my overall impressions. Charles Matthau, as always, directed the project brilliantly: the editing, sound, and camera angles were all used to exploit a reaction from the audience along with the actors' performances. I went to the film with mixed feelings about seeing yet another "romantic comedy", a term that is almost used as a curse word nowadays, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
Unlike most comedies were the girl is sobbing on the couch after her so-called true love did something completely horrid and uncaring, Warren's character was a girl who wasn't afraid to take matters into her own hands without proceeding into the "b***h" territory. Warren really brought her character away from the bright, bubbly, damsel in distress area and made this girl her own. Some of the events were slightly obvious and contrived, like as soon as we saw Kane's character we knew he would end up with Warren's, and the meetings between these characters seemed to be unrealistic, but hey, it's a low-budget comedy, give credit were it's due.
Other than that issue, I really couldn't find anything else to dislike about the film. Christian Kane's character wasn't the perfect man, he had issue that he had to deal with just like a real person. The supporting cast, such as Rachel Dratch, Flex Alexander, Kathy Griffin, and David Fine stole many of the scenes in which they were in or even just standing in the background (watch out for Charles Matthau's cameo with the fork scene). The performance were all very well done, Christian Kane proved why he had such a strong fan base and Estella Warren showed that she can stand toe to toe with any well known leading man or lady and still give as good as she gets.
The main thing I really appreciated about this film was there was no "fall down" humor. All the humor was from real life situations (having to get directions to the airport), the actors' reactions (look for Kane's "is this girl nuts" look), the actual dialogue (midget porn), and just through the characters themselves (the petty fight for the basketball). No one tripped or got hit by a door, which is a nice change of pace from the current romantic "comedy".
All in all, this film is good. It's not "Love Actually", but it can certainly hold it's own next to it. If there is a wide release of "Her Minor Thing" be sure to catch it in theatres, you won't be disappointed.
I saw this movie at its debut at SIFF. I was very interested in seeing this independently produced movie. It was OK. There were some parts that had you laughing out loud. It's the type of movie that you may want to watch on TV for free on a rainy day. The cinematography and production value were good for an independent but the plot was disjointed, the characters a bit 2-dimensional and the story unconvincing. Also there was something about the pace of editing that felt rushed, like scenes slapped together rather than a story being told. I normally don't even notice that type of thing. I understand that a romantic comedy is supposed to be light and take you away, but I believe the best ones make you feel a real connection between yourself and the characters to make it all believable and enjoyable. It wasn't there for me. The acting on the part of the female lead was mediocre and not terribly convincing--does she love either of these men? Is she disappointed or actually hurt by any of the situations which were supposed to be affecting her? For me there were just too many times that the movie lost a personal connection due to acting or pacing and took me out of just enjoying the story. The character acting for Rachel Dratch and Michael Weatherly stole the show. They were both excellent. All in all...just OK. Perhaps not the movie that would appeal largely to the film festival crowd-so perhaps I am not the market for this.
I thought the story line was original and refreshing. Casting was excellent! The actors were perfectly matched to their parts. They were funny and believable. Much of the humor was subtle and required actors to use body language rather than verbiage to get the points across. It was fun to see the Sacramento landscape used to it's best advantage. Estella's apartment was charming and I loved the scenery at the wedding where Christian was the photographer. I felt that the humor was adult humor and I probably would not take a teenager to it, although teenagers today seem to be exposed to racier themes than this on TV sitcoms. Actually it might be a springboard for discussion between parents and youth on this important subject. It was refreshing that the main character actually valued her virginity. I laughed at the clever lines and really enjoyed the humor. Two thumbs up in my opinion!
Two of my friends and I watched Her Minor Thing together, and this will
be our combined review. We are three college age students: one virgin,
one lesbian, and one thirty-something...to get a drift of our different
We all classified this as our new favorite 'chick flick'. Although HMT does follow the "romantic comedy formula", it's way different and more stronger than what we've seen from other films. We laughed, we clapped, we cried and got angry all in the span of two hours. HMT gives many emotions, and the music to match is fantastic. Most 'romantic comedies' don't give you the anger or stronger emotions, and HMT does the emotional roller-coaster seamlessly.
Warren makes the role her own by portraying a soft yet strong woman; Weatherly brings in what the three of us pegged as a 'puppet-type shallowness, yet knows true romantic lines - we'll swoon for Tom anyway'. Griffin and Dratch fit into their roles like slipping on a pair of well-worn gloves; Kane seems footloose-and-fancy free.
Rachel Dratch & Michael Weatherly stole the show is our impression, and MADE their roles; the responses in scenes got the exact fabulous facial expressions to go with them, their body language even. Some of our favorite laughs were what Caroline would say, or the look on Tom's face in reaction to the scenes.
The location was also great - it felt like a bigger city, but not the biggest city. Also fabulous to note was the props in the scenes for each location from photographs, posters and what the characters wore all made the film seem more real, and completed the characters background and feelings about their life.
All of us loved the movie for different reasons at the end - from how the portrayals were (lesbians, firefighters, romantics) to the roller-coaster-ride of the emotions you feel when someone betrays you, to the reactions of many different people in knowing your a virgin.
All in all, wonderful performances by the cast and a talented and emotional script by the Meyers. We are looking forward to more projects by the Meyers and Charles Matthau!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK, the cartooned opening and later captions are catchy and fun. There
are a few laugh-out-loud moments in the film, a great feel for
"hometown Sacramento," terrific performances by Christian Kane and
Michael Weatherly, and on any day Estella Warren isn't hard to
watch.... but I found the film sadly disappointing beyond these points.
Even a light romantic comedy needs a bit of conflict to shore up viewers' interest, but the conflict offered here is strictly ho-hum, who cares. If this were a novel, I would hope it would be three drafts short of the finished product -- the story just didn't hold my interest, nor the interest of those I was with. The last 20 minutes (well, excluding the concluding scenes which were, umm, worth the price of the ticket) completely fell apart -- because the structure just wasn't there to hold the end together. There were details missed, unclear plot points, predictable turns and murky transitions -- along with some hackneyed, silly clichés.
I wouldn't recommend this film, and I'll be surprised if it gets picked up for national distribution.
Most people have covered the great aspects of this film, but I will add
my two cents into the mix and say that I picked this film up on a whim
from the video store. This funny, sweet film covers a basic idea: be
true to yourself, believe in love, and it will come to you.
The actors, especially the highly underrated Christian Kane, really drive this film home. He acts with his eyes, and can convey a host of emotions with a glance, a nod, or a tilt of his head. Michael Weatherly's smarmy character is a fresh change from his usual heroic ones, and wow, a Maxim cover model, Estella Warren, who is more than a pretty face. I love it when I don't expect much and I get pleasantly surprised. It, unfortunately, doesn't happen that often. With this film, and with this cast, I was pleased.
What I also like is that, even though it is a newer film, the director didn't do the jostle the camera, zoom in and out crap that is so popular now. I watched fifteen minutes of "I Am Sam" and was 'car sick' from the multitude of angles, jostling, bouncing and zooming. I never have watched it all.
The Special Features part notes that the film is Independent, and low budget. This is proof positive that spending millions on the special effects and the big name actors doesn't net you a winner. I haven't seen anything in a long time I enjoyed so much.
One more thing: Note the Jeana character's favorite actor is Walter Matthau, the father of this film's director.
I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to watch this movie.
Perhaps, that Estella Warren would do a good job, and perhaps this
would be a good flick to watch. Wow - was I wrong or what!
NOTHING in this movie is worth watching. The camera work is sub standard even for a low budget movie (which I assume this is). The script is VERY weak, and seems to be based on some teenager's fear of intimacy. The acting is weak and completely free from any kind of credibility. The directing...well, I'm not sure if anyone actually directed this film. It's as if every scene only got one take, and they used what they got from it - which most often is garbage.
Avoid this movie if you can.
Jeana (the lovely Estella Warren) has been dating a dashing television newsman, Tom (Michael Weatherley) for awhile. But, wonder of wonders, they have not become intimately involved. This is because 20-something Jeana is still a virgin and wants their first lovemaking session to be very special. They are planning a cruise vacation to that end. One day, Tom lets it slip on his show that his girlfriend is still as pure as the driven snow. This sets a series of events in motion for Jeana, as the media and a growing number of hopeful men arrive on her doorstep, hoping to be the "first". Beautiful Jeana is ticked off at Tom and the couple, once on the verge of matrimony, is having serious problems. One big trouble is that their cruise tickets are non-refundable, as explained by a travel agent (the funny Victoria Jackson). By happenstance, Jeana meets another attractive gentleman who doesn't appear to be putting the moves on her but wants a nice friendship first. What will Jeana do? This is a very minor film in the grand scheme of cinema. It has an interesting premise but ends up going nowhere fast. The lovely Warren is the best reason to see the film, as she is not only gorgeous but brings intelligence and sweetness to her role. Weatherly is quite handsome, too, and succeeds in making his character appropriately annoying. The rest of the cast is fine, with Jackson an absolute stitch as the agent. Yes, the film looks nice, with good costumes, sets, and amenities. But, the script and direction are, well, mostly boring and pointless, with little imagination. If you are a fan of Warren's, you will want to take a chance on this one. After all, you can always turn down the sound. Most romcom fans might give it a whirl, too, since a new movie in this genre is almost always welcome. But, everyone else should skip the flick, as you will be twiddling your thumbs before 15 minutes has passed.
I may be alone in this, but I think the point of this movie is the
emotional growth of a tough and impressive but vulnerable young woman.
The way Jeana (Estella Warren) is presented at the beginning of this
film she comes across as very naive and idealistic. She has been
wounded in love, but thinks she has found Mr. Right in Tom (Michael
Weatherly) a shallow self-centered TV news reporter who seems to think
or talk about little besides himself.
Tom wants to have sex with Jeana but she keeps holding him off. When she explains why she is holding back Tom is so self involved that he can't see this as an interesting aspect of a complex woman, but instead seems to treat it as a weird quirk. He ends up blabbing out Jeana's secret to his cameraman Paul (Christian Kane) over a live feed broadcast to the entire city.
The rest of the film examines the consequences of Tom's lack of discretion on his relationship with Jeana. At first Jeana is very understanding and forgiving, but over time Tom's lack of sensitivity and his ceaseless self-involvement begin to wear on their relationship. Jeana still tries to love Tom, but he seems to care more about sex than he does about her, which may not be what she really wants.
I realize that many viewers of this film have criticized Estella Warren's performance, but to me they have missed the point. Jeana comes off as a young woman who has a pretty good sense of herself, but is weak when it comes to men. Estella Warren seems to wear her beauty more lightly than any other actress. She is a powerful physical presence, but she also comes off as intelligent and self aware. She does not do the histrionics that lead most people to think a person can "act", so she is considered to be a flat or indifferent actress. To me she is more like a female Jeff Bridges or Henry Fonda, an actor who underplays their emotions and seems self-contained.
The last few scenes that Jeana has with Tom are very powerful but they are not blatant or obvious. Some have questioned whether Jeana loves any of the men in this film. I think the answer is obvious, but she has to learn to identify love and distinguish the real thing from her fantasies. By the end of this film it is obvious that Jeana has grown considerably as a woman through her experience and that Tom may never understand what he did wrong, although it should be obvious to anyone who pays attention. Both Weatherly and Warren effectively reveal their characters in these sequences: the depth of Jeana and the shallowness of Tom.
I know this film did not get a wide release but I would rather see this film 100 times than ever see another of the widely released films starring some combination of Ashton Kutcher, Matthew McConaghey, Kate Hudson, Brittany Murphy, Jason Biggs, Sandra Bullock, etc. In Her Minor Thing you get to see a couple of interesting characters actually grow and mature. As a result, this film had one of the most satisfying endings I have ever seen in a romantic comedy.
Her Minor Thing played at the Kansas International Film Festival Sept
18, 2006 in Kansas City. I found it a marvelous little independent
film. I think the Romantic Comedy is my favorite type of movie and this
movie really fills the bill. I'm hard pressed to think of a movie with
a prettier cast, with Supermodel Estella Warren, Michael Weatherly (of
NCIS) and Ivana Milicevic (from the Reese Witherspoon flick, Just Like
The basic setup is Estella is a computer programmer for the fire department who is also 26 virgin dating Michael Weatherly. Michael is a TV reporter who shares the fact Estalla is a virgin during an accidental live newscast. Estalla's life is turned upside down and everyone wants to know the why. Mix in a couple of $6,000 cruise tickets to Rio and all of the pervy voice messages she gets throughout the movie and you really get something.
Estella Warren is one of the most beautiful supermodels in the world and she can actually act (especially in a bikini!). The movie covers some pretty important themes (love isn't sex, stand up for yourself without hurting other people and you can't have true love without honesty). Michael Weatherly plays someone very pretty with a nice smile, knows it and really isn't very bright.
The movie was filmed on location in Sacramento, California and it was really nice to see something different than the standard Los Angles locations we've all seen a thousand times before.
All in All an excellent independent film without foul language or violence. Not really any villains in the movie, just people acting according to the nature. And it is twisted to leave the guy sobbing on the couch instead of the girl. Check it out (and the midget porn line is the funniest thing in the movie).
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