6.2/10
543
10 user 31 critic

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009)

Trailer
1:16 | Trailer
After connecting with the shy Madeline, a jazz trumpeter embarks on a quest for a more gregarious paramour, but through a series of twists and turns punctuated by an original score, the two lovers seem destined to be together.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
1,695 ( 1,415)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Whiplash (2013)
Short | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A ferocious, bullying music teacher teaches a dedicated student.

Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Johnny Simmons, Nate Lang, J.K. Simmons
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Twenty-four hours in the tentative relationship of two young San Franciscans also dealing with the conundrum of being a minority in a rapidly gentrifying city.

Director: Barry Jenkins
Stars: Wyatt Cenac, Tracey Heggins, Elizabeth Acker
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young girl separated from her lover by war faces a life-altering decision.

Director: Jacques Demy
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon
Moonlight I (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Director: Barry Jenkins
Stars: Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson
La La Land I (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt
Jackie V (2016)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

Director: Pablo Larraín
Stars: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Jason Palmer ...
Guy
Desiree Garcia ...
Madeline
...
Elena
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karen Adelman ...
Karen
Suzanne Bouffard ...
Dancer at Summer Shack
Kelly Burk ...
Dancer at Summer Shack
...
Laura
Bernard Chazelle ...
Paul
Gonzalo Digenio ...
John
Frank Garvin ...
Frank
Eli Gerstenlauer ...
Eli
Carolyn Glicklich ...
Dancer at Summer Shack
Greg ...
Greg Duncan
Keith Gross-Hill ...
Keith
Kevin Harris ...
Kevin
Edit

Storyline

After connecting with the shy Madeline, a jazz trumpeter embarks on a quest for a more gregarious paramour, but through a series of twists and turns punctuated by an original score, the two lovers seem destined to be together.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

July 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Guy y Madeline en un banco del parque  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,233 (USA) (5 November 2010)

Gross:

$33,793 (USA) (27 May 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut feature film of director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz, who also worked together on Whiplash and La La Land. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.16 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Boy in the Park
Music by Justin Hurwitz
Lyrics by Damien Chazelle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An exercise in style first and foremost
13 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Who would've thought director Damien Chazelle, following his low-key, festival-success with Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, would go on to be something of a hot commodity in the film world just five years later with the release of his sophomore effort Whiplash, meriting several Oscar nominations and wins and a whirlwind of positive buzz? To say Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench is a different film from Whiplash is an understatement. While I obviously did not go into this film expecting to see a film similar in style or quality to Whiplash, judging simply by the plot and the poster, I think it's worth noting that I'm not particularly sure both of these films exist in the same universe together. I highly doubt there's anything resembling a Terence Fletcher in the whimsical world of Guy and Madeline.

The film takes place in Boston, centering on the titular characters (Jason Palmer and Desiree Garcia, respectively), who've been dating for about three months. Guy is a jazz trumpeter, obtaining whatever work he can get in jazz clubs or underground subways, just to make end's meet, and Madeline is an introverted soul who can't seem to find any kind of work. The immediate shock of meeting one another and falling in love has faded for both of them, to say the least, as Guy is now pursuing the likes of Elena (Sandha Khin), a more adventurous soul with a more outgoing personality. This leaves Madeline out tremendously, to which she responds by trying to get her own life on track with a new boyfriend whilst Guy continues to play his nightclubs and make a living as a jazz musician.

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench is like a cross between contemporary mumblecore filmmaking and the classic, Hollywood musicals of the 1950's, which featured enough whimsy and warmth for an entire franchise. Chazelle employs the directorial style of shooting close to the subjects, using extreme close ups or traditional close ups in order to presumably conjure intimacy within its subjects. Combine this with the grainy black and white cinematography and method of shooting and you have a film that's more enjoyable as an exercise in style than anything else. The aforementioned qualities that seem to be extracted from 1950's Hollywood musicals, however, poses a nice change in pace for the mumblecore style, rather than the traditional band of twentysomethings talking and rambling about their existence and their lives in closed, tight-knit settings like lofts and apartments.

It seems whenever the genre of mumblecore - and by "mumblecore," I mean the cinematic subgenre/style of shooting with lower budgets, low-quality cameras, amateur actors, and an emphasis on naturalistic writing and acting, traditionally by way of improvisation - decides to increase its playing field by pursuing genres such as musicals and horror films that they're mostly enjoyable as stylistic exercises and little else. Mumblecore is such a difficult subject to explain, and, more often, recommend, because its ability to be likable starts and ends with the focus it puts on its characters and the qualities of their personalities. If you have a film of the genre with lackluster characters that don't do much else other than lackadaisically converse and don't exchange anything of noteworthy insight or ideas, than you have a film that's fairly stagnant in its likability.

That's more or less what happens with Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench; the actors here are uniformly capable and Chazelle's close ups along with self-executed cinematography make for a film that takes on a new life all its own in terms of look, feel, and mood. However, in the process, there's little to no character or philosophical development for the film's titular characters, leaving them lost in the shuffle while the environment and the film's own atmosphere engulf them entirely. What we have here, again, is another mumblecore film that is much more intriguing to speak about and discuss rather than actually view.

Starring: Jordan Palmer, Desiree Garcia, and Sandha Khin. Directed by: Damien Chazelle.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Do NOT even waste your money!!! tudazwoman-3
Looks amazing... Melvin_Butler
Best part about this movie ghtx
Very Cool princethomas
Discuss Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?