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Mamma Mia! (2008)
not horrible, but wait for the DVD
First off, I am a Broadway musical lover. I can't think of one that I disliked. Secondly, I have not seen the stage production of this show.
Having said those two things, I was disappointed in this film version of the musical. After 1/2 hour, I was ready to go home and would have if I had been by myself. Thankfully, the theater was only charging $5 that day so I didn't feel like I wasted my money, only my time. I think they should have re-written some of the script so that there was more dialog and not just moving the story along with one song after another.
I was looking forward to seeing many of my favorite screen & stage stars doing this, but frankly, they need to re-consider doing musical theater. For most of them, it's just not their cup of tea.
I did think Seyfried and Cooper were excellent though--very cute! I'm looking forward to seeing more of them.
Maybe I'll see the stage production someday and will enjoy it more.
Friday Night Lights (2006)
If you're not watching this show you should
I too am surprised at the number of negative reviews of this show. There are far too few quality dramas for teens & families--this fills a niche. The camera work doesn't bother me--it gives it a documentary quality. The acting is great--realistic, you forget that they are acting! I fully intend to watch season 2. I hope it finds its audience. Lots of teens love this show, my daughter & her friends included.
Someone said something about the high school football being unrealistic. I think it is for most parts of the country, but I've heard that high school football in Texas takes precedence over all else. So that may be why it seems unrealistic. Maybe someone from Texas has commented on this.
The Break-Up (2006)
Not such a horrible film
First of all, I want to say that the acting in this movie is really good by all characters, central and supporting. This is a very well cast movie, no misses at all.
Having said that, I am glad I did not pay to see this movie in the theater. This movie was promoted as a romantic comedy and a good date movie. In my mind, it was not a romantic comedy--really a relationship drama with some comedic elements. As far as being a date movie, I would hope that you have been dating your chosen one for awhile, otherwise this movie could be a bit of a downer.
I thought the best part was played by Jon Favreau--he plays Gary's friend who owns or works in a bar. He is somewhat of a bartender/psychoanalyst and provides the most comic relief--not rolling on the floor funny, but fairly clever humor. Gary's brothers were also amusing in their own way. I do not mean this to be insulting, but all three show the more yucky side of men that women do not see for the most part (references to genitalia, getting laid, ear cleaning--you know, guy stuff). Vince Vaughn plays the part of Gary very very well--this may be the best role I've seen him in. He clearly revealed a man who is deeply hurt, but has a nonchalant attitude about it until the end, when of course it's too late.
Jennifer Aniston did an excellent job of portraying Brooke, a woman who is perhaps seeking a fantasy of a man. The scene after the concert that Gary agreed to attend, but then "forgot" where she is literally sobbing in her bedroom is one of the most heartbreaking I've seen, maybe because we've all been there at least once in our lives. At the beginning of the breakup, Brooke wants someone who basically can pick up her clues about what she wants. This is a problem between men and women I think--as women, we send out clues and hints whereas, our male partners more often than not need us to just tell them what we want directly.
I think this movie did cover a breakup very well, but very quickly--and that most people would not be so stubborn that they would insist on continuing to live in the same house. Both characters were a bit immature in their expectations and attitudes, but seem to come around by the end.
Some people hated the ending of this movie--I thought it was great! These are two people who have forgiven each other, can remain amicable and maybe can pick up where they left off someday or maybe not. We don't know and this is a part of what makes the movie work--you can talk about it afterward and make up a whole future for Brooke and Gary.
I gave this a 6 only because of the absolutely HORRIBLE misrepresentation by whoever promoted this movie. If you want a romantic comedy, see something like "You Got Mail" or "Must Love Dogs." But for a decent study of a relationship on a downward spiral, this is pretty darn good.