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Where the romantic comedy A Case of You, starring Justin Long and Evan
Rachel Wood, succeeds is ultimately where it missteps. Directed Kat
Coiro assembles a terrific cast including the underutilized Sam
Rockwell and extremely memorable Peter Dinklage, however, the
screenplay that is co-written by Long along with brother Christian and
Keir O'Donnell doesn't have a true sense of identity. Tells the story
of a young man who thinks he's met the girl of his dreams and attempts
to court her by all interests and statuses from her Facebook page.
In an era where social media is prevalent and dating becomes the new norm via a tweet or a poke, the story rings true in many ways. However, the misguided title and evolution of events don't exactly scream fresh and unique. Coiro manages some very funny moments and gets some decent outcomes from some of the cast particularly Evan Rachel Wood and Peter Dinklage. In its short running time, the film doesn't exactly feel smooth and polished in the way a comedy needs to be.
With all the obvious flaws, A Case of You is still very entertaining and enjoyable. Sam Rockwell is memorable in his few moments on-screen along with Vince Vaughn and Brendan Fraser. Check it out when you can.
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In the age of social media, dating has become infinitely more
complicated, and the ability to pore over your loved one's Facebook
profile or Twitter feed to find those little idiosyncracies that make
them unique is something we've probably all experienced. But what
happens when you start taking it a bit too far?
Written by Justin Long (who also stars), A Case of You follows struggling writer Sam, whose daily trips to a local coffee shop have left him infatuated with the free-spirited Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood). Unfortunately, Birdie loses her job before Sam works up the nerve to ask her out, but never fear - with a little bit of Facebook stalking, Sam can not only find out where she'll be next, he can also begin molding himself into her ideal match.
Yes, it sounds more than a little creepy, but Long is charming and charismatic enough to keep us interested, and Sam's willingness to put himself into incredibly awkward situations in order to impress Birdie result in some humorous exchanges. There are also a few laugh-out-loud moments that come courtesy of Keir O'Donnell as Sam's roommate and Peter Dinklage as a flamboyantly sassy barista.
While amusing at times, A Case of You doesn't stray far from the typical romantic comedy template: boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy learns important life lesson and tries to win girl back. The chemistry between Long and Wood is believable, and watching them together is far from boring, but the film never aspires to be more than a paint-by-numbers affair. It's a decent first effort for screenwriter Long, but certainly nothing that reinvents the genre.
-- Brent Hankins, www.nerdrep.com
"You could become the man of her dreams if you wanted to." Sam (Long) is a struggling writer who has a crush on Birdie (Wood), the barista at the coffee place he frequents. He has no idea how to approach her until his friend brings up the idea of looking at her Facebook profile. Sam studies what he sees and becomes everything she is looking for. When she begins to fall for him Sam rethinks his choices. I am really becoming a Justin Long fan. In every movie he is in he is very easy to like and very funny. After the amazing Best Man Down movie I was looking forward to seeing this. While this wasn't as good as that one this was still very enjoyable. What could have been a generic cookie cutter romantic comedy was changed just enough to make it interesting and fun to watch. The best part was that it wasn't 100% predictable, more like 90% but still... The movie is more or less about a non-creepy (not totally at least) stalker who gets the girl by not being himself. It had the possibility of being totally creepy and borderline scary but the performances and the writing made it sweet and funny. I did like this quite a bit and recommend it. Overall, the sweetest and least creepy stalker movie I have ever seen. I give this a B+.
"A Case of You" is worth singling out if some great flicks like "Ruby
Sparks" made you dig for more. Though, this movie is sort of reliving
the dumb formula from the comparison. Okay, an honest opinion is that
viewers will be fractured by the plot's predictability, but I'm buying.
That doesn't prevent me from saying that the film is one of the sweet
romantic comedies bolstered with energy from its young cast ensemble of
bright comedians. I dunno, but call me crazy.
Sam (Justin Long) is a well-known author that suffers a block to his next book. An inspiration is what he totally needs, suffice to say. Until she meets the cute blondie coffee gal named Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood), he develops a quirky obsession. As soon as Sam learns that she was fired for frequent tardiness at work, he decided to stalk her Facebook account and decisively scan her likes, interests, and routines. Sam is the ideal manly stalker. And one by one he tries to learn what she likes to do: Play the guitar, read Darwinian, and rock climbing. This is in no doubt a rudimentary principle of we follow in order to woo our special someone, and I admire the film for having the guts to deliver it regardless of being stereotyped.
The chemistry between Long and Wood feels cheesy but endearing. Though, their kismet might be unfairly familiar but at least it's sugar-coated with their funny moment and both make it work. We also get the most of Keir O'Donnell as Sam's buddy roommate Eliot especially from his late- bloomer taboo jokes therein. And the same goes to Peter Dinklage as a gay barista and Brendan Fraser as Birdie's ex Tony. Too bad Dinklage and Fraser is alarmingly hilarious they deserve more time frame than Busy Philips and Vince Vaughn (although he's too substantial) who are both fruitless here. Also adding Sam Rockwell to the mix as the guitar lesson instructor, it gets ticklish funny.
The credits for the screenplay goes to Justin, his brother Christian, and O'Donnell themselves. Kudos to them. They keep me howling in some of their one-liners and made me attracted to their persona. However, like I said their notion for the narrative may disappoint for its jaded impression. This explains why major distributors refused to finance the film for trust issues and let IFC do it anyway. Nevertheless, this made me look forward for Justin for his next screenplay pitch and see what he could bring new to the table other than acting well in this film. He's proved to be an actor and auteur.
The film doesn't just focus on the love story per se. As we delve into Sam's motivational ease, we're starting to care for whether what he's potent feelings towards Birdie is ideal to be in his own writing or not. The message is too simple to guess, but heck we all have our Sams within us. If Sam don't end up winning Birdie's heart, at least she ends up helping him close the chapter.
"A Case of You" is essentially sweet quirky rom-com that kept me howling with hilarity straight up. If you're a fan of Ruby Sparks, this touching gem is worth singling out.
Remember when indie rom-coms - films made on a shoestring budget - were
quirky, odd and refreshingly different from their Hollywood brethren?
Those days, it seems, are long past. Truthfully, you'd be hard-pressed
to find anything beyond the conventional in A Case Of You, a slight,
sweet romance that's passably entertaining but never fully engages on
an emotional level.
In this day and age of social media stalking, struggling writer Sam (Justin Long) decides to study up on just about anything and everything his sun-kissed barista Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood) has liked on Facebook. He's unwilling to really show the world who he is, you see, so he busies himself with guitar lessons, cooking classes and books he's never heard of. But, when things start to get serious, Sam freaks out, realising that Birdie has no idea who he really is as a person.
Scripted by Long, his brother Christian and Keir O'Donnell, A Case Of You is earnest and well-intentioned - for the most part, it even manages to steer clear of making Sam's studying of Birdie's Facebook page as creepy as it could be. It even adds a couple of nice moments when Sam lets his guard down and tells Birdie more about himself, which does lend some genuine credibility to their relationship.
But it's all too predictable. As Sam blunders his way through classes, picking up approximately no new demonstrable skills and writing a brooding novel about his exploits (much creepier than Facebook- stalking), the film coasts along with hardly any narrative tension. It's tough also because Birdie, despite Wood's best efforts, comes across as your standard Manic Pixie Dream Girl: that stereotypically kooky sweetheart of a love interest who will melt and win even the hardest of hearts.
It's a shame because this is Long's best work yet as an actor. He keeps Sam grounded, real and annoying at just the right moments. When Sam's painstakingly constructed illusion of happiness shatters before him, Long folds a lot of heartbreak into the tears shining in his eyes. He shares a fun chemistry with Wood, who might not be able to break free of the script but does at least get to show off her pipes in one of the film's better scenes.
What's more telling is the fact that the most memorable bits of A Case Of You largely don't involve the two main characters. Instead, it's the cameos by a host of actors - no doubt pulled up from Long's own Facebook page - that provide the most laughs. Peter Dinklage, for one, is having the time of his life as Gerard, Birdie's oddball coffee-shop boss. The same goes for Sam Rockwell in the role of Sam's drug-addled guitar teacher.
Over 15 years ago, You've Got Mail re-invented the romantic comedy in the wake of technological advancements such as e-mail and modem dial- ups. It's quaint now, of course, but it sparkles with a wit and romance that's largely missing from A Case Of You. The latter film may be timely, folding Facebook and its myriad pros and cons into a modern love story. But it's far from timeless - a fact most unfortunately underscored by its failure to secure the rights to the classic Joni Mitchell song after which it's named.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This another in a long line of films that begins with the rather absurd
situation of a good looking guy or gal who can't get a date.
In this case, when a young author, with self esteem issues, finally sees someone he likes, instead of just asking his soul mate out he devises a plan to assure her they have things in common via her Facebook profile.
The guy played by the usually likable Justin Long, (will he ever top Zack and Miri?)who is so preoccupied with living the lie he created, then writing a book about it, he never really seems to be connected to his girl Evan Rachel Wood. He's too worried about the deception to really connect wih her.
She, on the other hand, plays the role of woman falling for Justin...but you can't understand why. It's almost as if she's in the wrong movie. There's no chemistry between them.
This could have been a fun film had the script, oddly wriitten by Long, had been more of a straight forward romance.
Reading the review of this film, you believe it is going to be the
typical 'guy likes girl, so guy tries to trick girl into liking him,
which causes all kinds of drama' movie.
You wouldn't be wrong, but that is not quite what 'A Case of you' is about. This movie, written by Christopher and Justin Long; Kier O'Donnell, is hard to place critically.
It's not the type of movie you would pin on three men to put together. It's neither a 'romance' in the traditional sense; though it is funny, it would be hard to call it a comedy, as the obvious intent isn't purely to make you laugh.
The story is paced out well, and Justin Long plays the underdog character believably in every movie (he takes on that position); he is a great comedic actor: verbally and physically. But! The description of this movie is misleading.
Sam (Justin Long) has a crush on Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood) a barista at his coffee shop. He wants to change his life, he is longing for a real relationship and his job: a hack writer who turns popular movies into books, is eating his soul.
He is shy, trapped, and doesn't know how to open himself up and take the risk of being judged and judged as 'not good enough'.
When Birdie gets fired, he realizes that he missed his chance and after finding her full name, begins to study her online, liking what she likes, in hopes of showing her how great a match they could be.
The story is about what happens after that point, the effort people put into making others like them instead of just being themselves. Maybe that is, simply, the point and message of this movie.
I've spent a while thinking about this movie and remembered the Joni Mitchell song 'A case of you' and thought that might be the answer. It could be, as that song is about love, but I am not sure.
My cynical side wants to make 'assumptions' but the truth is, Justin and Christopher and Kiev produced this movie (with others) and it is obvious it was important to them.
The acting was great, the flow of the movie never became too drawn out. It was directed in a purist way, which should always be the goal: the directing shouldn't steal from the acting and dialogue.
It was a little Cliché at times, but dang boys and girls, you really can't make a romance comedy, boy meets girl type of movie without being Cliché. Love is Cliché, that's really the only we know how to describe it without getting all philosophic and busting out quotes from the Symposium, talking' 'bout double-humans with weird bodies getting split up by the gods. Shout out to Aristophones.
The end was a little anti-climatic, but quite realistic to me. When you have a movie with a good script, acting, directing, you really can't complain.
My only problem was, in 'A case of you' they had Peter Dinklage and Sam Rockwell in the mix, two alpha level actors who could almost make a movie with three or four scenes. My favorite parts of this flick were their appearances, but if I had the script, they would have been heavily featured as counter thoughts to the current feelings of Sam and Birdie.
With that said, I enjoyed this movie and if I had watched it with a girl, I probably would have liked it more, because it would have stirred up some loving emotions.
This film felt like a short-story made into an Indie film. It had a great cast of actors, a good plot, it had its moments, both funny, sad, and telling, but then it never took off. A simple boy meets girl setting evolved to a strange place not so different from the pretenses that people put on to catch a love interests attention, but then the voice of reason is slow. Not so different in concept from a film like Along Came Polly, but this film was 1-dimensional, almost all of the film was first person perspective, a lot more telling than showing of the characters actions. And while individual parts of the film worked, there was never that 1 moment when all of the central and extended characters materialized in a single climatic scene.
Sam (Long), a modern-day writer, is introduced to the viewer as a shy and timid guy who finds himself in the dilemma of not finding his "Inspiration" in life. This immediately gives the viewer a sort of compassion for the desperate man who is in a sort of life-crisis... We are later introduced to a beautiful and down to earth girl, Birdie (Wood), the barista at the coffee bar where Sam frequently goes to. He finds himself beginning to like this girl but not knowing how to engage a conversation or a mere chance of getting to know her apart from the small chit chat that takes place while waiting for his coffee to be served. After a days work he goes back to his house and talks to Eliot (O'Donnell), his roommate, who tells him to look her up on Facebook so that he could get to find out something about this unknown barista and become her ideal man. Sam finally gets the opportunity to date Birdie but finds that he is becoming someone who he really isn't and becomes panic-struck with what is happening...... Personally I feel that many can connect with that lost and helpless feeling that Sam undergoes throughout the film until finally making it out and finding that, that makes one happy. The movie is not out of this world and could be considered another monotonous love story by many but, if you have some free time on your hands, give it a watch! You wont disappointed.
As I've stated before, there's nothing worse in life than (a) a wasted
talent and (b) a wasted opportunity on film and, unfortunately, A Case
of You is a misstep in what could've resulted in a film with a strong
commentary on our over-connected society. Its issue right off the bat
is it takes an idea that isn't really romantic and makes it the subject
of a romantic comedy. The idea of a man using a woman's social
networking profile (a woman he just met, mind you) to make an attempt
to model himself after a man who likes the same music as she does, the
same books, and the same activities so he can come to have a chance
This movie shows qualities of a man I'm sure few women appreciate: disingenuous behavior, dishonesty, possible invasion of privacy, etc. Not exactly the traits you'd want to find in your significant other. Let me offer a question to the girls that enjoyed this film, what if you current or future significant other did the same thing that the lead male character in A Case of You to you? Would you still find his qualities ones to relish and his character worthy enough to date? The man in question is Sam (Justin Long), an ambitious writer confined to the uninspired job of penning the novelizations to hit movies (confession: I collected those like antique comics as a child). The female he falls for is Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood), a barista he meets one day who is subsequently fired the following day. Sam then asks the flirtatious, presumably homosexual dwarf who works there (Peter Dinklage in the kind of role he should avoid if he wants to try and break any stereotypes) about her to which he provides her last name, leaving Sam's option to go from socializing to social-networking.
Both Long and Wood give adequate performances because their charisma as actors rarely allows them to do otherwise. Since both actors have started, each have taken a wide-variety of roles, Wood especially, whose riveting performance in Catherine Hardwicke's Thirteen as a delinquent teen I'll never forget. However, it is Long's character who is unlikable in the picture, one of the only movies next to his film Taking Chances a few years back that I recall not being fond of his character. Long's character, for starters, is one of the writer-types that likes to write three to five sentence before deleting them in disgust. Furthermore, he's also the kind of person in a romantic comedy that has the gall to get angry at the girl for liking the person he pretends to be rather than the person he really is.
This is where my optimism and likability for Long's character went out the window. Here's a guy who fakes his entire personality for this woman and convinces her everything she likes and dislikes mirrors his personal likes and dislikes before getting mad at her for not having anything else to talk about besides her specific tastes. To put that in some perspective, that'd be like if I was a filmmaker and mentioned a movie not my own that I really loved and enjoyed to my girlfriend. Say we talked about it for a long while. Trying to follow the abrupt change in emotions portrayed in A Case of You, it'd be like after fifteen minutes of discussing the film I got mad at my girlfriend for not mentioning my movie.
Cameos are littered in the movie, including Sam's pest of a boss played by Vince Vaughn, Brendan Fraser in questionably necessary role, and Sam Rockwell as a guitar teacher who is called by Sam once he learns Birdie finds nothing sexier than a man who can play guitar. It's depressing to note that Rockwell's performance here is shockingly unfunny and so over-the-top and out of place in the film that it's a blessing he's only in one scene. Never again do I want to say such a thing about Rockwell.
The film wants to make a case for the unhealthy qualities that arouse when there is a bias or larger focus on one person in a relationship, but by the third act, when the problem is recognized, it's hard to have any sympathy for the lead character since he brought it all upon himself. The only sympathy one can have is for Wood's character, who is just sucked into this mess by an insincere man wearing sincere clothing. Director Kat Coiro seems to understand human relationships, given her tract record of short films and feature-length films concerning love, personal struggles, and dating, but Coiro seems to make A Case of You into a case for background checks and further research on people's life partners.
Starring: Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Vince Vaughn, Sam Rockwell, Brendan Fraser, and Peter Dinklage. Directed by: Kat Coiro.
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