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|Index||11 reviews in total|
I have always been an avid fan of Edward Burns' movies because of the sharp and authentic narratives he constructs in his films, all based in New York. Sure sometimes it feels he is a disciple of Woody Allen; but in my opinion, never a carbon copy of Woody but more of a homage for the legendary spectacled writer-director that is W.A. So yes, there are some that are burned out on Burns' incessant telling of character-oriented movies based in New York; but why should he charter other narrative waters when his work has been so solid as a writer-director. So once again I was engaged to a Burns film. This time being his latest Burns' offering "Newlyweds". The movie stars Burns and Caitlin Fitzgerald as newlywed (ya!) New York couple Buzzy and Katie. They are both entrepreneurs, Buzzy owns a gym and Katie a restaurant. They both failed at marriage the first time around with other people, but this time decide to "walk the aisle" a little differently. Their matrimonial philosophy is not to be around one another too much; their work schedules help with that game plan as Buzzy works days and Katie works night. Katie's older sister Marsha despises Buzzy and that is more than the buzz. Marsha is longtime married to egotistical Max, who at times becomes a Mad Max due to Marsha's constant whining; o that Marsha Marsha Marsha. And another Max Factor why Max wants to get out of the marriage is that he wants to have sex with a younger woman. What rocks the boat in Buzzy and Katie's novice matrimony is the arrival of Buzzy's younger sister Linda, a slacker-type in her early 20's who travels from L.A. to New York so she can reunite with a past boyfriend that she unceremoniously dumped a few months before. Even though Linda is quite "linda", she still stirs up the pot in several ways due to her reckless behavior and puts a stop to the "forever hold your peace" part of Buzzy and Katie's marriage. Burns is a master of independent filmmaking as he astonishingly shot "Newlyweds" for just $9000; I think Paris Hilton's Chihuahua cost that much. Burns once again wrote a strong script that many can relate with the characters' dilemmas. None of the acting performances were in the "standout" category, but I would not exactly file for a thespian annulment with the cast of "Newlyweds". My favorites were Max Baker as Max and to a certain extent Kerry Bishe as Linda even though Kerry was a bit over-the-top at times. Burns was thespian Burnlike with his performance as Buzzy, and Caitlin Fitzgerald was more adorable than believable as Katie. This newlywed cinematic game might not be for everyone; but if you are into character-oriented independent movies, than I feel you will get a big "whoopee" with a "Newlywed" viewing. ***** Excellent
Despite treading in those dangerous waters of 'a newly married couple's
love and trust being put to the test' Newlyweds is a surprisingly
comfortable film to watch.
Edward Burns is the Writer/Director/Actor/Tea & Sandwich Maker & etc. playing genial Buzzy. With his reedy voice and understated charm Burns reminds me of Gene Kelly - who he physically resembles but for an extra twelve inches in height. He's a regular guy working as a trainer at a gym. He has a prim, young and well-to-do wife, Katie (Caitlin Fitzgerald). We're informed early on that despite the fact they don't see much of each other the relationship thrives on this. We have to be told the fact because we don't actually see it in the 90 minute span of the film. Still, you have to bear it in mind as one of the questions the film poses is rather like that old joke: Should a married couple be Frank and Earnest? ("No, one of them should be a girl!" is the answer they give in Utah). For despite being newlyweds they are safe and contented. Their personalities and personal situations don't seem to allow for doubt and jealousy, drama and, perhaps, passion. And as neither is particularly big on self-analysis or inveterately curious about the other much has been left untouched and undiscovered. There is a lot of talk about 'telling the truth' and being 'honest' while wordlessly asking the question 'about what?' The major catalyst comes in the shape of Buzzy's sister Linda who has come to New York from the west coast to get an old boyfriend back (played by Kerry Bishé who wins a gold star on her resume for a terrifically deft portrayal of a girl who's immature, unstable, provocative, self absorbed, heartbroken and a dozen more things I can't think of the words for). Throw in Katie's ex husband and her bickering sister and spouse and you have a tight ensemble cast who seem to be having a lot of fun with their characters and manage to present them in a way that allows us to criticize them but never come near to hating them.
Something I love about the film: Burns has developed the Annie Hall faux documentary interviews to a new level that follow relevant scenes to behave rather like the person's conscience speaking. I know Kurt Vonnegut had a gripe about writers telling us what a person thinks but I've never had a problem with it (if a writer can tell us what underwear someone is wearing they can sure as hell tell us what they're thinking). But how do you do it in film? Having every character doing voice-overs would be dumb. So while we might wonder what the real motives of characters are in some of the emotional exchanges the 'interviews' act as a clarifying narrative. OK, I'm assuming they are telling the truth as far as they see it. I'm assuming a lot. That's the way it came across to me. And this has an intriguing effect on the way you feel (I felt) about the outcome. You may not be sure how all of the plot lines are going to unfold but you don't dread a negative outcome due to these personality building blocks that give it all a sense of karma.
This is the most accomplished of Burns' films that I've seen. It has a grace and polish that makes me disbelieve stories of how quickly it was made. Surely there was a lot of workshop rehearsal work before shooting? Good film making just can't be this easy.
Though I've spent much of my life enjoying and at times worshiping
Woody Allen I've never actually related to his film's characters. But I
did relate to the people in this film by Ed Burns. I enjoyed the drama
and laughed my ass off at the realities of it all. And the low budget,
shot on a shoestring, added to the charm.
The film has a simple premise, a newlywed couple spend a couple of days of drama with the wacky in-laws and then must come to terms with their own relationship and it's newly discovered quirks.
I love the in camera, documentary-style confessions of the characters. It allows for added depth and contrast to what the audience sees. And the performances are dead on. No wooden acting. Very fresh and real dialog with a quick moving story.
The last Ed Burns' film I saw was She's The One, and then after seeing Confidence I kinda lost track of him. I am glad I saw this film, just to know that he's still doing quality stories. Now I gotta go back and see what I've missed.
Highly recommended to those who miss the character and heart in the current big budget crap coming out of Hollywood. Kudos to Ed Burns and crew.
If you are looking for a mind-numbing action film, this one is NOT it! But if you are looking for quirky humour, biting wit, some sweetness and real connection to a story, (oops almost forgot....and you also love New York City, even though it was shot in T.O. I think) take the time and enjoy this film experience. This picture is in the school of Woody Allen's New York "relationship" films. Its an interior bristling with irony, conflict and resolution, and fun. Edward Burns writing is seamless, suspenseful, mature and real. Skillfully acted, beautifully on the edge, I cared about these people. Burns has written and produced an Everyfolk picture here....thank you thank you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There wasn't one single thing about this movie that I didn't like - and
like a lot. Well... there was sister Marsha, who's pain-in-the-ass
character was a big part of what made the film so good.
Buzzy and Katie have it all figured out - now that they've learned from bad first marriages, don't have to spend too much time together, tell each other everything, and have great sex. What could possibly screw up this ideal new marriage? All together now, we that have been there - FAMILY. Enter Buzzy's wayward, heartbroken, irresponsible, and unexpected sister Linda. Then throw in the marriage death throes of Katie's sister Marsha and husband Max who haven't had sex in 15 years. Suddenly secrets sneak in, sex is withheld, loyalties are tugged in opposite directions, and bath towels are enough to cause a wonderfully realistic meltdown.
When I saw, after watching, that Edward Burns had written, directed, cast, and made this spot-on life-as-it-really-is movie for under $10,000, I was awe stuck. Thanks, sir. I loved it.
The opening scene of "Newlyweds" looks like it could have come out of
any Woody Allen movie (or "Husbands and Wives" to be more specific).
Two couples are sitting in a restaurant discussing the various ins and
outs of married life. And then they turn to the camera and start saying
what they really think. The editing from typical romantic
dramedy-styled scenes to documentary-styled scenes is where the comedy
It's a smart comedy where the humour is born from the characters and the dialogue. Buzzy (Edward Burns) and Katie (Caitlin Fitzgerald) are in their first year of marriage and are trying to be down-to-Earth and realistic about it. Communication and not spending much time with each other is key. On the converse, Buzzy's best friend Max and Katie's sister Marsha are in their eighteenth year of marriage and they are disgusted by Buzzy and Katie's attitude. Marsha can't stand Buzzy and that's what it all comes down to.
I was originally a little put-off by the documentary-styled revelations and worried that an entire movie about the differences between two couples would become irritating quickly. But that's exactly when a new wrench was thrown into the mix in the form of Linda (Kerry Bishé), Buzzy's sister. In the beginning we had husband versus sister-in-law where somehow the sister managed to keep herself on the side of "right", but now we have wife versus sister-in-law and nobody is going to get out of that catfight unscathed.
I was constantly delighted with how each character would respond to Linda's antics which involves a lot of guy-obsessed drunken behaviour. Their passive-aggressive covers devolved into semi-aggressive acts. And just like in "Carnage", it still remains funny.
I wouldn't be surprised if some people take offense to the writing of the female characters in this film as they were all despicable in their own way. Edward Burns' Buzzy was the only one written so "cool" that he remained likable and sympathetic throughout, or at least to me.
I've been an Edward Burns fan since "The Brothers McMullen" (1995) and it's impressive how he keeps letting his writing shine through. Made for only $9,000 "Newlyweds" is on the skimp side of settings and shot set-ups, but as this proves you really only need a handful of characters who come to life to make a good film.
I like indie movies like this on small budgets. Minus his voice(kidding), I like, Edward Burns, his writer/director roles. This movie shows that one doesn't need big budgets and high priced music scores to invoke emotion. I felt for the couple who has to have their respective sisters' stay with them. The dialogue was real, authentic, so were situations some of us can relate to. It was a everyday sort of film then a Hollywood romantic comedy, or even a NY style comedy - you know the ones that are made in NY, with the characters live in expensive dwellings, five steps up from the pavement, have high paying jobs(in advertising), finds the girl/guy of their dreams(who is poor maybe),walk around a lot with music, throw in some unrealistic drama for good measure, and happy ending. This is not one of those movies. This is a story about a husband and wife on their second marriage and their respective sisters, and what happens over a period of a week. How they deal with their marriage. Sound boring. It isn't. I didn't like the documentary style interviews in between, but it seems to work here just right. The entire caste was great, job well done. Another thing I like was there was no drawn out scenes on landscape, nature, water etc, to set the mood for whats to come, or (piano) music to invoke emotion. The were no dull or boring moments of the camera panning or lingering. The ending was great. Happy or sad, how one takes it, but I loved it. All with US$9000 and a Canon SLR camera.
Newlyweds was a perfectly made film. I was in awe at the simpleness of the cast and script. Ed Burns made this film short, sweet and to the point. Bravo to Ed and to the cast of this film. He did everything right in my eyes and I have not been able to say this in a long time, but it was worth every penny I spent to watch this film. I said the same thing when Nice guy Johnny came out. I really hope Ed has other projects for this cast. I could not believe the budget for this film was $9,000. Ed is making great films on a bologna and cheese budget, he is a true role model for up and coming screenwriters his films keep me writing everyday, it is refreshing to me when I watch a film like this. I was compelled to write a review about this film just to let people know there are good films being made out there. It is not all garbage.
What the f##k! This f##king movie uses the word "FUCK" so f##king much
it's clear that the author is a f##king idiot with no f##king
vocabulary. Well, "Shit" seems to be a close second in this f##king
Writer shows a complete lack of class by continuing the Hollywood trend to write scripts with the filthiest language repeated as many times as the screenwriter can us these words rather than showing any talent to use the written word for meaningful dialog.
Next time try to actually use the entire English language to write the screenplay and you might actually have an interesting and entertaining movie not a movie your mother would be ashamed to go see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The dread begins with "A Film By Edward Burns," the auteur who long ago
lost his boyish charm and hasn't offered an original idea since the
mediocre "The Brothers McMullen."
Plainly, "Newlyweds" is awful -another nail in the coffin of independent film. Made cheaply in digital, it's a groan-inducing faux documentary that looks a lot like "Husbands and Wives" minus Woody's insight and wit. Yeah, that's it! Let's make "Husbands and Wives Too." Grab a Prosumer camcorder. Hire some really bad actors. ACTION!!! Then add lots and lots of ar ty ju mp-cut s.
It's crude for crude's sake: as if a naughty ten year old just learned the words 'fuck' and 'blowjob' and gets a thrill at the shock of constantly saying them.
Here, Burns is again a working class Peter Pan, incessantly navel gazing... wait. Who cares? There's no one in this no-name (except for Burns), untalented (including Burns) cast who lands anywhere near the Universe of endearing. They instead warp straight to Nasty.
You'll enjoy this film if you're a masochist who derives jollies from an alleged comedy inhabited by characters kvetching about trivia.
Please, please, I beg of you. Promise you'll stay away. Please. (Reviewers with positive comments are either insane, plants or cast members.)
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