The Pretty One (2013) - News Poster


‘The Big Sick’ Star Zoe Kazan Didn’t Want to Make Another Rom-Com, Until She Fell in Love With a Real-Life Romance

‘The Big Sick’ Star Zoe Kazan Didn’t Want to Make Another Rom-Com, Until She Fell in Love With a Real-Life Romance
In the thick of awards season, “The Big Sick” star Zoe Kazan maintained the kind of multi-tasking she’s known for. In this case, that meant stumping for the Michael Showalter comedy, while also preparing for the New York city premiere of her latest play, “After the Blast.” Kazan is no stranger to juggling projects, but the timing of these two very different obligations was still ambitious, considering that both projects resulted from years of work and personal investment.

A veteran of the film industry at just 34 – her film debut was the 2003 feature “Swordswallowers and Thin Men,” which she starred in two years before graduating Yale with a degree in theatre, and that’s to say nothing of her familial pedigree, which includes a pair of directors: mother Robin Swicord and grandfather Elia Kazan – Kazan is usually looking for something new. Her current slate speaks to that variety: she’s
See full article at Indiewire »

Film Review: ‘The Feels’

A weekend getaway in the country delivers the expected quotient of awkward revelations and relationship shifts for seven friends in “The Feels.” Jenée Lamarque’s sophomore feature (following 2013’s “The Pretty One”) is an even more sapphically tilted variation on “Big Chill”-type dramedy than “The Intervention” earlier this year, with a similar emphasis on shaggy humor over sometimes less well-tuned dramatics. Uneven but pleasing, this genial indie ensemble piece should accrue a following on the gay fest circuit that may translate into modest theatrical exposure.

The “bachelorette weekend” for soon-to-be-married Andi (Constance Wu) and Lu (Angela Trimbur) is a nearly all-female affair, with only the former’s lifelong friend Josh (Josh Fadem) representing the opposite sex. Lu’s late-arriving sister Nikki (Lamarque) joins him — eventually a little too physically — to hoist the heterosexual flag, along with recently single Vivien (Lauren Parks, who shares screenplay credit here but has given herself the least-defined role). Otherwise, all aboard are 30-ish lesbians, including a successful singer-songwriter named Karin (played by Karin Tatoyan, a Berlin-based musician) and a chef known as Regular Helen (Ever Mainard) who met Lu at culinary school.

Beyond being about the same age, these primarily L.A.-residing folk don’t necessarily have a lot in common, many of them meeting now for the first time. Filter-free dweeb Josh instantly gets off on the wrong foot with Nikki (before they both wildly overcompensate), and every time Helen’s mouth opens, a surreally out-there missive from Planet Butch drops out. Still, there’s no initial awkwardness that a little alcohol can’t fix. Exiting their short-term vacation rental house for a restaurant and then bar in town (the film was primarily shot in Northern California wine-country hamlet Healdsburg), all assembled accentuate the booze with the ecstasy someone has handily brought as a party favor. This induces some very relaxed behavior/talk for which there are morning-after consequences.

That includes the commingled amusement and shock when it emerges that ever-ready Josh and married-with-children Nikki wound up sleeping together — which isn’t exactly infidelity on her part, because (in another unpleasant surprise for Lu), Nikki and her seemingly ideal husband have separated. The biggest strain, however, arises from something Lu had unthinkingly blurted out at the bar: She admitted she’s never had an orgasm, a remark that rendered fraudulent her by-all-accounts explosive sex life with Andi.

This revelation causes the central duo to question whether their relationship is really ready for long-term commitment, and to what extent they’ve been truthful to each other at all. The ballasting dramatic weight Lamarque eventually reaches for here doesn’t quite come off, because the likable characters aren’t drawn with that kind of depth, and the conflict’s resolution comes about all too easily via a speech that feels as over-hasty and convenient as it is fairly clever.

But as a comedy, “The Feels” has considerable sprightly appeal, although it could have used slightly more assertive visual packaging. The dialogue and scene rhythms have a nice, loose, improvisational feel, and Steph Zenee Perez’s editing maintains a bright pace that sags just a bit during a few brief midsection lulls. Though their characters are variably detailed, the cast — apparently all the filmmakers’ friends — make an ingratiating ensemble. Its wild card is Mainard, whom one can spot a mile away as a practiced stage comedian, and who provides numerous moments of hilarity here. There’s a running device of the characters being “interviewed” (by whom? for what purpose?) about their formative sexual experiences and general insights re: the orgasm. While they provide some structural variety in the otherwise straightforward narrative, these sequences are sometimes flat — but totally worth it for “Regular Helen’s” bit, which is hysterically funny.

Related storiesFilm Review: 'Wallflower'Seattle International Film Festival: 'Sami Blood,' 'At the End of the Tunnel' Come Out on Top'Ex Machina' Actress Sonoya Mizuno Joins 'Crazy Rich Asians'
See full article at Variety - Film News »

“Win it All” is another strong pairing of Jake Johnson and Joe Swanberg

Joe Swanberg has had one of the more interesting career upswings of any independent filmmaker out there. After being one of the essential founders of the mumblecore indie movement, he made a right turn of sorts a few years back. Opting for bigger stars and similarly simple premises, he’s found more acclaim than ever before. Between Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas, and Digging for Fire, Swanberg is as exciting a writer/director as ever before. Most recently, Swanberg has teamed up again with frequent collaborator Jake Johnson for Win It All, a film that at once feels both different and similar than what he’s been up to lately. Above all else, it’s a great vehicle for Johnson, who does his best work when paired with Swanberg. The flick is a character study, centered on gambler Eddie Garrett (Johnson). He’s broke, but charming. A nice guy unable to resist a card game,
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Smurfs: The Lost Village movie review: how do you solve a problem like Smurfette?

MaryAnn’s quick take… An adventure crammed with junky slapstick and garish animation that seems to believe it is feminist, but only doubles down on Smurfily regressive notions of gender. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): hate the Smurfs

what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

The problem with the Smurfs — apart from the fiery rage they inspire to stomp them into blue goo, although perhaps that is not a problem per se — is Smurfette. (Typical: it’s always the woman who causes trouble.) Created by the evil wizard Gargamel out of clay — as opposed to whatever it is the Smurfs were created out of, and by whom — and sent into the Smurf village as a spy and to sow discord, she’s sort of the original sin of Smurfkind: it was only then, with a female suddenly among them, that the Smurfs realized they were male,
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

No Budget Film Fest Picks Jury (Exclusive Video)

No Budget Film Fest Picks Jury (Exclusive Video)
This year's No Budget Film Festival has chosen 25 innovative short films to play for one day only at historic Barnsdall Park in Los Feliz, California. The lineup will showcase world premieres and curated selections of low-to-no budget projects from top festivals around the world. The festival has rounded up a jury of indie stalwarts — including Daniel Myrick, who pretty much defined no-budget filmmaking with "The Blair Witch Project." This year's jurors, which we reveal exclusively, are: Alicia Lutes, Associate Editor at Nerdist Lee Jameson, Film Education Manager at Film Independent Daniel Myrick, Director (The Blair Witch Project) Dave Kneebone, Producer / Exec Producer (Absolutely Productions - "Tim and Eric", "Nathan For You") Lindsay Burdge, Actress (Digging For Fire, The Midnight Swim) Polly Morgan, Cinematographer (The Pretty One, The Truth About Emmanuel) Anna Hollingsworth, Animation Director (Netflix's "BoJack Horseman")...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

What to Watch This Week: 'Chef,' 'The Vampire Diaries,' 'In A World...'

  • Moviefone
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.

New on DVD and Blu-ray


Jon Favreau wrote and directed this delicious comedy about a chef named Carl Casper, who quits the biz to start a food truck with help from fellow chef Martin (John Leguizamo) and Carl's son Percy. Sofía Vergara plays Carl's ex-wife, with Dustin Hoffman as Carl's former boss, Scarlett Johansson as the hostess of the restaurant, and Oliver Platt as a food critic whose mean tweets kicked off this whole business.

"The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology"

This Blu-ray box set includes both the theatrical version and the extended director's cut of "The Exorcist," "Exorcist II: The Heretic," "The Exorcist III," and the two prequels, "Exorcist: The Beginning" and "Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist." Although this set doesn't boast a whole lot of extras,
See full article at Moviefone »

What If Review

Director: Michael Dowse

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Megan Park, Mackenzie Davis, Rafe Spall

Certificate: 15

Running time: 102 minutes

Synopsis: When Wallace (Radcliffe) meets Chantry (Kazan) at a party, they decide to be ‘just friends’. However, with their relatives and co-workers doubting whether that ever works between a man and woman, the pair do whatever they can to prove them wrong.

To me, Daniel Radcliffe will forever be Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived. However, with the years passing since his last brush with a wand and cloak, he’s starting to branch out and cement his star alongside his real name, not his infamous alter-ego. What If (originally titled The F Word), a romantic comedy focusing on exactly that question – what if he kisses Zoe Kazan? Will the world end? – certifies Radcliffe as a solid comedic actor, showing that he can dabble in humour and it isn’t awkward or wooden.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

what’s on Netflix UK, Amazon UK Instant Video, BBC iPlayer (from Jun 16)

What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.

new to stream

Upstream Color: a confounding intellectual mystery, an enigmatic philosophical science fantasy that’s like a cinematic Moebius strip; it must be experienced to be appreciated, even as it defies full understanding [my review] [at Netflix] The Frozen Ground: in a rote cat-and-mouse cop-and-serial-killer story, Vanessa Hudgens’ “victim” is far more compelling than either cop Nicolas Cage or killer John Cusack [my review] [at Netflix] Vacancy: Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale are trapped in the creepiest motel ever; the first Hollywood film from Nimród Antal [at Netflix]

recent movies new to streaming

Endless Love: shockingly not terrible, and says some things that need to be said more often, like how dads do not own their teenaged daughters [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video] The Pretty One: far too blithe and cheery, yet nowhere near madcap and comic enough, for its potentially powerful switched-twins
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Review Round-Up: Last Vegas & The Pretty One

Welcome to the latest entry in our brand-new feature here on Nerdly – the Review Round-Up – where we take a look at some of the weeks new releases in smaller, more succinct capsule reviews with a rating to let you know whether to Rent, Buy, or wait for Netflix and/or other streaming services…

Last Vegas

Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco | Written by Dan Fogelman | Directed by Jon Turteltaub

What starts out as a seemingly geriatric take on The Hangover, Last Vegas sees wealthy and wild bachelor Billy (Douglas), grouchy grump Paddy (De Niro), lovable family man Archie (Freeman) and ladies man Sam (Kline), who have been best friends since childhood, journey to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas with a plan to stop acting their age and to relive their glory days when Billy, the group’s young at heart ladies’ man,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

New VOD and Streaming Movies, Plus: How to Watch 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and '300: Rise of an Empire' at Home Before Disc

Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and own this week on the various streaming services such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods Lone Survivor (action; Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch; rated R) RoboCop (action remake; Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton; rated PG-13) The Pretty One (comedy; Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson; rated R) A Long Way Down (comedy; Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette; pretheatrical release premieres 6/5, rated R) Ping Pong Summer (comedy; Susan Sarandon, Joseph McCaughtry, Lea Thompson, Amy Sedaris; premieres 6/6 on Mod and in theaters...

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what’s on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video (from Jun 03)

What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.

streaming now, before it’s on dvd

The Grand Budapest Hotel: the most Wes Anderson-y film ever, a delightful concoction that’s like a pop-up storybook for grownups; Ralph Fiennes is a sublime comic marvel [at Amazon Instant Video] 300: Rise of an Empire: Eva Green stalks this movie with pride and honor, and is almost the only thing worth watching amidst frenetic CGI cartoon battle action and endless ancient carnage [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

new to stream

The Pretty One: far too blithe and cheery, yet nowhere near madcap and comic enough, for its potentially powerful switched-twins conceit [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]

new to Prime

Stories We Tell: totally gripping, very personal documentary from filmmaker Sarah Polley about how various members of her family react to the revelation of a secret [at Amazon Instant Video] The X-Files: the alien-hunting adventures of FBI agents Mulder and Scully
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Exclusive premiere: Julian Wass covers the 'Tootsie' theme for 'The Pretty One'

Exclusive premiere: Julian Wass covers the 'Tootsie' theme for 'The Pretty One'
I liked Fol Chen's album "The False Alarms," released last year. The band has a real sense of sequence, tempo and placement. They don't beat a chorus to death. (And "A Tourist Town" freaking rules.) All things that also help to make a good score and soundtrack. Julian Wass knows this. Maybe that's why the Fol Chen band member has already helmed a number of film sounds, his hands full with three scores in just a few scant months this summer. "The Pretty One" is the latest movie of these, with the film out on VOD tomorrow (June 3); Jenée Lamarque, Wass' wife, directed. For the film, Wass put together a cover of "It Might Be You," the theme from 1982's "Tootsie," an enchanting electronic re-imagining with singer Karryn on the mic. Speaking on the music for "The Pretty One," Wass said, “Around the same time as we started envisioning the score,
See full article at Hitfix »

what’s on Netflix UK, Amazon UK Instant Video, blinkbox, BBC iPlayer (from Jun 02)

What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.

new to stream

What Maisie Knew: utterly heartbreaking tale of a little girl used as a pawn in her parents’ battles, told, remarkably, from the child’s perspective [at Netflix] Odd Thomas: it feels smaller and more rushed — and less plausible — than it should, but Anton Yelchin is charming, and the snappy comic tone sometimes works [my review] [at Netflix] Winter of Discontent: enlightening but underpowered drama about life in Cairo during the Arab Spring [at Netflix]

streaming now, before it’s on dvd

The Invisible Woman: the story of Charles Dickens and his secret mistress is no romance, and no modest costume drama, either, but a tale of women being practical because they had to be [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video] Lone Survivor: true story of a failed Navy Seal mission acknowledges the powerful fraternity of soldiers without being jingoistic, and depicts
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

'The Pretty One' Clip with Jake Johnson and Zoe Kazan | Exclusive

'The Pretty One' Clip with Jake Johnson and Zoe Kazan | Exclusive
Written and directed by Jen&#233e Lamarque, the dark comedy The Pretty One features Zoe Kazan in a complex, balancing act of a performance as she plays identical twin sisters Laurel and Audrey. The two young women reunite for their birthday, and when tragedy strikes, Laurel, the sweet but painfully awkward sister, finds a chance to reinvent herself with all the confidence, style and independence that Audrey possesses. Check out our exclusive clip as the DVD and Digital HD debuts this week, featuring a confrontation between Jake Johnson and Ron Livingston as they come to blows on Audrey's porch over a misunderstanding.

Audrey (Zoe Kazan) has all of the qualities that her identical twin sister Laurel (Zoe Kazan) wishes she possessed: confidence, style, independence. Alternately, Laurel, sweet but painfully awkward, feels stuck in her life, still living at home, coddling their father and obsessed with the boy next door, for whom she used to babysit.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Exclusive: Listen To 2 Tracks From Julian Wass' Score For 'The Pretty One' Starring Zoe Kazan

Jenée Lamarque's "The Pretty One" is a film we were charmed by all the way back in 2013 when we first saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival. And of the many elements that caught our attention was the "gauzy, dreamy" score by Julian Wass. And the good news is, in addition to the film coming to VOD soon, the soundtrack will also be available shortly to spin at home too. Starring Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson, the film follows the shy, awkward Laurel, who gets the opportunity to step into her twin sister Audrey's much more confident personality and life when Audrey is tragically killed. It's a quirky concept on the page, but one that really works when put into action, and for Wass, it was a Disney movie that served as his entry point for working on "The Pretty One." “Around the same time as we started envisioning
See full article at The Playlist »

Project of the Day: 'The Tortoise and His Tail'

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments. "The Tortoise and His Tail" Tweetable Logline: A man with a dark past breaks parole on Halloween to go on an adventure with his eight-year old daughter.Elevator Pitch: As Halloween begins in a suburban desert neighborhood, police round up sex offenders and lock them in the courthouse. One man, Daniel, evades parole and bicycles into town.There, he finds an eight-year old girl, and promises to take her on an adventure she'll never forget. Production Team: Writer/Director: Jean Lee (AFI Directing Workshop for Women 2014, Film Independent Director's Lab 2014, Sundance Screenwriter's Intensive 2013, Berlin International Film Festival Offical Selection) Producer: Carolina Groppa ("The Pretty One"), Samantha Nell (Focus
See full article at Indiewire »

In Your Eyes review: the light, the heat…

Joss Whedon wrote and produced a sweet little supernatural romance for your geeky pleasure, and you don’t even have to pirate it: he released it instantly on Vimeo. I’m “biast” (pro): love Joss Whedon

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Joss Whedon has a new movie. You cannot see it in theaters… but you can rent it right now, online, at Vimeo, from anywhere on the planet, for the ridiculously low price of five American bucks. Is it worth five bucks? It sure is. It would be worth twice that to see it on a big screen, but this is one of those little indie-style dramedies that hardly ever end up on big screens anymore. It has no superheroes, and it has no space cowboys.

What it does have are two gently, identifiably screwed-up 30-ish folks in Rebecca
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Wamg Talks The Pretty One With Jenée Lamarque And Zoe Kazan

The all new comedy/drama The Pretty One is in theaters now, and in support of the movie I sat down with director Jenée Lamarque and star Zoe Kazan in a small round table discussion to talk about twins, the origin of the story, and the challenge of playing two different people who have similarities. Since I am an identical twin, I was curious about the research it took for Zoe to play both twins in a rather convincing way. Check it out below.

Written and directed by Jenée Lamarque, The Pretty One is a coming of age comedy about identity and loss and a wallflower who finally learns how to break out of her shell. In a balancing act of a performance, Zoe Kazan portrays twins Laurel and Audrey, most poignantly as a relationship blooms with her new neighbor (Jake Johnson). As Laurel begins to slip into the life
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Zoe Kazan Talks Twin Roles Of 'The Pretty One' & How 'In Your Eyes' Is "Like Joss Whedon Does Nicholas Sparks"

After winning the Best Actress Award at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for Bradley Rust Gray’s “The Exploding Girl,” Zoe Kazan added a big-budget rom-com (“It’s Complicated”) and more indie dramas (“Meek’s Cutoff”) to her resume, starred on Broadway (“A Behanding in Spokane”) with Christopher Walken, and wrote the charming (and underrated) screenplay for “Ruby Sparks,” in which she starred with her longtime partner Paul Dano. As if that’s not enough, the 29-year-old is back, this time playing identical twin sisters in “The Pretty One.” First-time writer/director Jenée Lamarque’s quirky film also stars Jake Johnson (“New Girl,” “Safety Not Guaranteed,” “Drinking Buddies”), Ron Livingston (“Office Space,” “Swingers”), and John Carroll Lynch (“Fargo”), but the film centers around Kazan’s layered performance as Laurel and Audrey, sisters whose similarity stops at genetics. Laurel is an eccentric wallflower who has never blossomed; she lives at home, cares
See full article at The Playlist »

Zoe Kazan Has a "Lot to Talk About Over a Beer" When It Comes to Love

  • Popsugar
Zoe Kazan Has a
In her new film The Pretty One, the talented Zoe Kazan plays not one but two characters. As identical twin sisters, Zoe had her work cut out for her on set. In her dual roles, Zoe also juggles a love interest played by New Girl star Jake Johnson. And single girls, listen up! Zoe's dishing out some real-life love advice as well. Click play to watch now!
See full article at Popsugar »
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