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2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
New Moon Has Some Good: Jacob, the Soundtrack, 20 November 2009

I have a dirty little secret. I am 32 years old, and I have read the Twilight book series (all of them) and watched the movies. Now, I have a semi-excuse. I am a young adult librarian and service to teens is my first priority. This means I am supposed to know what teens enjoy so that I can use that knowledge to develop programs for them at the library. However, while this explains why I might have read a couple of the books, it doesn't explain why I chose to go see the New Moon movie at midnight this morning.

It was a last minute decision. I didn't have to work today so I thought, why not? Usually the big midnight releases are on Tuesday nights and I have to work in the morning. Plus I happen to live right down the street from a really cool community movie theater. It is quieter than the big cineplexes. I had no trouble getting a ticket at the last minute or finding a seat. They serve freshly popped popcorn, which yes, is a anomaly in the movie theater business.

So here's my reaction to the movie, and I'll attempt to do this without spoilers. Of course, it's pretty hard to spoil this movie when everyone knows the story for the most part.

The Good: The best parts of this movie are when Bella is alone or with Jacob. Their chemistry is real. And why wouldn't it be? Have you seen those abs? Little Jacob looks GOOD in this movie. The man-boy has a temperature of 140 degrees, and I am always cold. And when Bella is Edward-less, Kristen Stewart gives a fragile and sincere performance. I felt the wall she built around herself, and I felt it tumble as Jacob's warmth melts it away. I am on Team Jacob, but no one can deny that Bella and Jacob had a better connection in this movie. Maybe it's because Edward hardly shows up, but it's pretty obvious.

Okay, yes, there are some very cheesy parts in Taylor Lautner's Jacob performance. Couldn't they get him a better wig? But he did what this part required, he looked good (I read today that he had given up ice cream, poor guy) and he had a good combination of anger and brokenness to pull Jacob off. And he loses the wig halfway through.

I also have to say the soundtrack is outstanding. Some great songs, and maybe without the songs I wouldn't have enjoyed the movie so much. The right song can cover up many flaws in a film. I found links to the songs on youtube that were especially good. Hearing Damage by Thom Yorke played over a chase scene, and gave the moment an ethereal quality. The next one was Possibility by Lykke Li, which plays during a rather sad moment in the film. This singer reminds me so much of Julee Cruise (turn this one up, it has a great dance to it, too) who sang many of the tracks off of the Twin Peaks TV series soundtrack. Maybe not the exact sound or timbre, but just the feeling of despair you feel when listening to the songs.

The Bad: The vampires all look TERRIBLE in this movie. At the beginning scenes, Edward looks all right. But the vampires do not look good. I think in general, they have done a horrible job making these vampires look good. Most of the actors are attractive, but the makeup is so bad. They are all pale and frigid looking. The vampires are supposed to be alluring, but it didn't work out that way. When we first see Edward after a long absence, we are comparing him in our minds with the muscular, tan, warm person of Jacob. And Edward and Bella together have no chemistry. They had some in the first movie, but it's gone. Bella doesn't even seem to like Edward's company. And Edward looks constipated the whole time.

Go Team Jacob! I would say if you are a fan of these books and this concept, you should see the movie. If you have no interest in this series, the movies are not for you. What I want to know is, will it get better or worse? As a Jacob fan, I know I am going to hate the last movie, but the third one could be the best.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A Classic Ford, 28 October 2009

The Searchers isn't my favorite John Wayne movie, but it was certainly good. The setting is the obligatory open prairie. The music swells in all the appropriate places, and the characters do what needs to be done. The pacing skips back and forth between serious scenes where people are brutalized and then humorous scenes that, to me, got in the way.

There are also some very ingenious scenes. The scene leading up to the attack where the Comanche wipe out Wayne's family is foreboding in every way. The colors of the sky just look evil and without saying much at all, the characters demonstrate the sense of doom and dread they are feeling. The director here is John Ford, of course, and he uses all of the tricks that made him famous in the 1930s. Guess what? They still work in the 1950s and in the 2000s. Sometimes I think we were better off without all the special effects. Ford does certain things very well. 1. Landscape shots--There is nothing more beautiful than a Ford landscape complete with a fade from scene to scene. 2. Economy shots--Ford uses the camera well and uses one shot/take to do many things at once. At the beginning, he introduces all of the characters in just 3 takes. And few words are used. The woman Martha, Wayne's sister-in-law in this film, walks out of the house and watches Wayne approach. Then we see the rest of the family emerge onto the porch. Lastly, they all walk into the house. The only words spoken are "Ethan?", "That's your Uncle Ethan," and "Welcome home, Ethan." Yet we know several things: Ethan (Wayne) and Martha love one another romantically, Ethan has been gone for a long time, the kids are glad to see him, and the brother isn't sure how he feels. Ford does this all with his actors' faces. It's marvelous.

The basics of the plots are that Ethan comes home 3 years after the surrender of the Confederates to the Yankees. He plans to stay with his family until he can set up a place of his own. Then a tribe of Comanche Indians brutally burns his brother's house and kills the couple and possibly the son. The tribe also kidnaps both girls, one a teenager and the other about 8 years old. Ethan is determined to hunt down the tribe that killed his family and rescue the little girl. He is accompanied by his adopted nephew, a boy he doesn't trust because he is partially Cherokee and Ethan is a racist through and through. They search for the little girl FOR NINE YEARS. And when they find her . . . well you'll have to watch it to see. It's a great movie and is definitely worth a viewing.

District 9 (2009)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Science Fiction Evokes Strong Response, 7 September 2009

Peter Jackson's new protégé, Neill Bloomkamp, has created a film that takes the science fiction genre to a higher plain. On the surface, you think you are getting a typical science fiction evil alien story. That is certainly what my expectations were after watching the trailer, which is mighty misleading. But the story here is about the essence of humanity and what humans are capable of when they forget what the word "humane" means. It is sure to provoke a strong response in whomever watches it.

The film goes back and forth between a mockumentary format and a regular narrative film. Our setting is modern day Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years ago, a large spacecraft came and hovered above the city. When the local authorities finally get up the courage to break into the ship, they find a horde of aliens that are half-starved. They move the aliens to a "safe location" for them, which is really an internment, called District 9. The local government feels this is necessary to protect its human citizens, since the aliens began to exhibit violent tendencies.

Now in our current setting, the population of Johannesburg is unhappy with the alien presence. They want them gone. So the government decides to relocate the aliens to a new location through forced migration. We can see District 9 has become a slum, and we understand why the humans want them removed. They plunder the land, fighting over tires and trash. They own weapons that humans can't operate, and they eat cat food. But we can see why the aliens might live this way. First of all, if you are starving, you will eat anything, and if the only option is cat food, well, you eat cat food. Also, when you force a bunch of people into a tight spot, they are going to fight for ownership over the little land they have. The aliens act as any oppressed people group throughout history has. They begin to act like animals.

The way the humans decide to do this migration is silly indeed, and they are just asking for trouble. Unfortunately, most of the trouble lands on the heads of the aliens. The task force given the job is headed by Wikus Van De Merwe. Van De Merwe is a typical bureaucrat. He has his clipboard; he has his rules; and he'll write your name on the board if you get out of line. Hovering above at all times is the military in their helicopters, and if any aliens get out of line, they have no problem just shooting them on sight. The task force feels they are required to give the aliens 24 hours notice. They are supposed to get each alien to sign the clipboard, and if they won't, they threaten their kids or give them cat food--whatever it takes to get them to sign.

The crisis point that begins our story is when Van De Merwe finds a device that is hidden in the home of an alien that must be their resident scientist. He innocently plays with the device not realizing it has a potent fluid inside that, if not impeded, will turn Van De Merwe into an alien, or prawn. Van De Merwe accidentally sprays himself with the liquid, and he slowly begins to turn into a prawn. Van De Merwe now finds himself the hunted, where he was the hunter. The ones he oppressed are now the only ones that will take him in. The scientist prawn, who is named Christopher Johnson, tells Wilkus he can fix him and get back to his planet, if they can get the device back. But there are many forces blocking their path, and everyone will show their true colors by the end of the movie. This is not a hero's tale, but it's realistic and involving.

The story moves at a good pace. At no point does the action drag or waste time on meaningless or confusing plot lines. In addition, the director makes wise choices in how much violence to show. Since most of the violence in this film is done to aliens, there is that protective mask you can hide behind since the victim isn't a human, but these aliens do evoke feeling from us. Sure, they look like Jabba the Hut's ugly cousin, but they wear clothes, they talk, and they have kids. They cry for their friends, and they do feel pain, even if the most of the humans in this movie seem to forget that.

The actors all do a great job, although only a few humans actually have more than a minor speaking role. You won't recognize any of the faces here.

On a deeper level, we understand that we aren't really talking about aliens here. If you take away the spaceship and the alien bodies, any racial group that has faced oppression could be substituted for the aliens, and we would have the same story. The aliens have a few advantages: they are from another planet, so they have the option of escaping in a ship, and they have some technology that humans don't. Unfortunately, in the real stories where humans have been placed in internment camps and forced to leave their homes, their was no escape plan. The fact that this film is set in Johannesburg adds a deeper level, since many of its racial groups suffered similar fates as the alien prawns under the apartheid era.

I enjoyed the movie. It was intense, and difficult to watch sometimes, but it does what I want my movies to do: grab me with inventive, exciting storytelling, and evoke strong emotions.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
What's the Point?, 25 July 2009

I thought this movie should win the award for most depressing movie of the year. They could invent a new category with this film in mind. This movie is my worst nightmare come to life. Frank (Leo DiCaprio) and April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) play a married couple in the 1950s. We understand that they are perfect for one another, but their marriage is horrible. They tear each other down and say awful things to one another. They are two wounded people bumping up against one another. They don't talk about these problems and instead focus on the surface problems. They have bought into the lie that "this is as good as it gets." One day, April decides that good enough isn't good enough and she wants a change. She decides she can find that life in Paris. If they would only move to Paris, then they would be happy. Frank agrees and then later changes his mind. They don't move to Paris and fight even more. The movie is this couple fighting the entire movie. Instead of talking to one another, they decide to have affairs to numb the pain of their lives. They tear each other apart until there is nothing left.

Now don't get me wrong, this is a well-made and interesting movie. I was riveted the whole time, and my heart was beating fast the entire film. I'm not really sure why that was. Needless to say, it was intense. The acting was superb. Forget about The Reader, Kate should have received an award for her performance here. The same goes for Leo. I love Leonardo DiCaprio, and I always will. I have loved him since he was a little squirt on Growing Pains. Both of these actors can show the torment they are feeling with one look. Then, effortlessly, they cover it up to hide their pain.

That would be enough, having two lead actors work this kind of magic, but the supporting cast is perfect as well. John (Michael Shannon) is perfect as a tortured mathematician whose had shock treatments. He is like an oracle who can only speak the truth, even though no one wants to hear it. There is never a dull dinner party when John is invited. The next door neighbors say much more when they are not speaking.

All that being said, what is the point of this movie? I am trying to imagine someone trying to spin this to a studio . . .

Storyboard guy: Okay, Joe, so there's this married couple, you see? And their both young and beautiful. They meet, get married, and they're miserable.

Joe: Mmm-hmmm.

Storyboard: One day they decide to move to Paris, but the husband, see, he changes his mind, and they don't move to Paris.

Joe: Mmm-hmmm Storyboard: Then they are still miserable, you see? Joe: Mmm-hmmm, but it ends okay, right? Storyboard: No, it gets worse.

Joe: Mmm-hmm. Well, I'm sold.

It's not a movie that will make you cry. You just feel empty, and wonder what the heck just happened.

What do we learn? Don't get married? Is the moral really you should have moved to Paris. Let's just get real here. It wouldn't matter if they lived in Paris or not. Neither one of them could admit their fears to one another. They never helped each to grow or took the time to reach out to one another. And that's the trap they couldn't escape, not suburban America.

Has a Different Kind of Hope, 25 July 2009

Got a chance to see the Soloist the other night. It wasn't something I planned on watching. In greater Raleigh, there is still a $1.50 theater, one of those grand places where you can catch a cheap flick on the big screen. The group I was with picked The Soloist as the film to see, and I was fine with paying $1.50. I had heard some not-so-good reviews of the film. Some said it had no point. Some said the thought the movie had no hope at the end. I found that I enjoyed the film and totally "got it." I thought this film showed in a concrete way that you can't force someone to change unless they are ready.

This is based on a true story, and it's believable. Steve Lopez (Robert Downy, Jr in another great role) is a cynical journalist. He knows how to find the good story out of the most mundane circumstances. He isn't above interviewing anyone if it means he will get some readers to enjoy his column. He makes a personal bike accident sound thoughtful and provoking, as he rhapsodizes about the state of a neighborhood hospital.

One day he comes upon Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx) , who is homeless and rambles when he talks. Yet he tells Lopez that he used to attend Julliard. After checking out his story, Lopez takes a special interest in Ayers and decides he would make a good human interest piece. Lopez interviews him and listens to him play, but it's all word related---at first. Then he starts to get involved in Ayer's life, and he begins to take a genuine interest in Ayers. Lopez sees the talent in Ayers and he wants to see that talent get used. Here is where I think the movie flopped in most people's eyes.

We all love an underdog story. We want to see that homeless person defeat all of his monsters and settle down in a nice, normal life. Lopez wants him in an apartment, possibly giving concerts and sharing his music with the world. And if he (Lopez) gets some of the credit for bring this talent to light, well that's quite all right with him. In the traditional film, Ayers would have pulled himself up by his bootstraps and live happily ever after. We like that.

What happens instead is much more realistic and true. I won't spoil the ending for you, but we don't get the happily ever after ending. We do see hope in this film, and a life is changed, but I would argue that the life most changed is Lopez himself. He's the typical cynical, hardworking journalist. He's worked hard all of his life and managed to push all of his meaningful relationships away. Robert Downy, Jr. is the right combination of rugged, cynical, selfish, and flawed to play this role. Jamie Foxx gives a great performance as a mentally ill man with demons in his past and a child's heart. When he listens to music, his eyes shine and we want to feel what he is feeling.

Besides the acting, the most notable thing about this film is its portrait of the homeless community. Lopez tells Ayers if he wants to play the cello that a reader donated, he will have to play in the homeless shelter. Ayers is terrified to go down there. To get to the shelter, you have to dodge drug dealers, panhandlers, prostitutes, and more. The shelter itself is run by a kindly man (Nelsan Ellis) who sees through Lopez's "good deeds" to his conditional love for Ayers. There are some beautiful scenes that take place in this shelter where Ayers plays his cello for the homeless residents. And it's like a soothing balm.

I have been to feed the homeless events, and I saw the faces of the people I had fed as I watched this film. Sometimes it's hard for us to understand why many homeless don't take advantage of the services available to them. I think this film shows that it's not always easy to get to those places, first of all, and even when you arrive, there is often mental illness that stops people from getting the help they need.

I recommend this film. It's well worth a rental.

Brick (2005)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Brick is Loads of Fun, 25 July 2009

Just saw this really good movie called Brick. It's like a film noir (Think The Maltese Falcon or Chinatown) set in a modern California high school. It starts with a note dropped in a locker. The note leads to a pay phone, where our protagonist, Brendan, gets a phone call from his ex-girlfriend, Emily. She's scared, and she won't say why, only sobs out some words like bad brick . . .Tug . . .poor Frisco. . .the Pin. What do these words mean? Brendan goes back to school, where he hasn't shown up for months and talks to Brain, who is the eyes and ears of the school. He doesn't fit in with any clique, but he knows everyone and everything that goes down. Brendan is stand up guy. He doesn't want to get back together with Em, but she asked for his help so . . .

So starts a search for the truth that will have Twin Peaks fans and film noir fans drooling. To get to the truth, Brendan will have to use all of his connections, both positive and negative, to navigate this course. We meet school administrators, druggies, brainiacs, jocks, drama geeks, and drug lords that will all help solve the mystery. And of course, we meet the femme fatale who will maybe or maybe not end up being who she seems to be. You will be guessing until the end. The movie was loads of fun.

Knowing (2009)
13 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Knowing Will Generate Questions, 28 April 2009

John Koestler (Nicolas Cage), a professor at MIT, knows which side of the debate he falls on when he teaches his students about choices. Are they random or determined? Stuff just happens, he tells his class. He tries to live his life accordingly. When he's not teaching in class or taking care of his partially deaf son, Caleb (Chandler Canterbury), he drinks away his sorrows. He's unhappy that his wife passed away in an accident and has taken a passive seat on the life bus. Although like everyone, he wants desperately to know that life isn't a waste, his highest goal has become keeping his son "safe." If stuff just happens, he won't let anything happen to Caleb by keeping him home.

One day, something happens which challenges his beliefs to the core. His son's school is opening the time capsule a class buried in 1959, 50 year ago. Each student gets to open a letter from a student describing the future. Out of all the letters possible, Caleb gets the most disturbing one, a letter covered with seemingly random numbers. During one of his typical drunken stupors, John studies the numbers carefully and decides the same thing that Richard Dreyfuss did in Close Encounters: "This means something." Of course his confidantes all think he has lost his marbles, so John must seek out the truth in an alternate way. He finds a fitting colleague in the somewhat creepy, somewhat attractive Diana (Rose Byrne), who has a connection with the original creator of the letter Caleb opened from the time capsule.

This is a suspenseful story, part science fiction, part thriller, which will challenge viewers to decide what they believe in the aforementioned debate. And unlike the sensation we find in some suspense stories, viewers won't have to suspend much belief to go along for the ride. John's journey happens step be step, each event happening in perfectly logical order. Is John creating his own story or is he just following the steps laid out for him long ago? Much of the story is laid out in cold, muted tones. We see how cold John's life is through the lens of the director's camera. When the tone finally changes to warm and bright on the screen, and it is oh so glorious to behold, we understand that John finally knows what he needs to do and is able to do it with 100% of his heart.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Paranoid Park Shows an Honest Portrayal of a Teen Boy, 27 March 2009

If you helped commit a crime and never told the truth, would the guilt eat you alive? This is the quandary teenage skateboarder Alex finds himself in. Director Gus Van Sant gives this film a dreamlike quality. The truth of what happens that night unravels slowly piece by piece. By the time we know the truth, we are completely on Alex's side and are worried that he will be discovered. We know that Alex visited Paranoid Park with his friend Jared. We know that a security guard has been murdered. And we know that Alex almost called the cops and threw up. But we don't know until late into the movie what happened between visiting Paranoid Park and Alex throwing up. Alex has the look of a trauma victim. He doesn't respond to anything with emotion. He walks around in a daze, like he's not really there. To emphasize his displacement, Alex has conversations with people where their voices fade in and out or music plays over them. We know Alex isn't really having a conversation. He is merely in the room.

I found this story very intriguing. It was also very personal to me because I have a nephew about this boy's age who used to be quite passionate about skateboarding. It was difficult for me to watch this movie because I kept picturing Alex as my nephew. To be put into Alex's situation would be so difficult. Alex doesn't seem to feel like he can confide in anyone. He is afraid of the adults he should be able to trust. If my nephew were in this situation, could he trust me to support him? The actor who played Alex, Gave Nevins, played a realistic teenage boy. He would rather hang out with the skaters from the park than hang out with his pretty but shallow girlfriend. He feels pressure to do things from his friends. He is a good kid who is put into a bad situation.

This movie had the tone of a Hitchcockian suspense. The suspense comes because we don't want Alex to get in trouble but also we want him to be put out of the misery of having to carry this weight around.

Watchmen (2009)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Watchmen Explores the Soul and What it means to be a Hero, 17 March 2009

Split open the mind of a scientist, add in superhero strength and struggles, set it in a doomsday world, sprinkle with some saucy fan service, shake, and you get "The Watchmen, based on Alan Moore's mind-blowing graphic novel.

The plot is somewhat complex, but in fact, it matters little to this film. This movie is all about characters, culture, and the mood of the film. The story is set in an alternative United States history. It's 1985, and Richard Nixon has been elected to his third term in office.

The doomsday clock has been set for five minutes to midnight — midnight being the time when either Russia or the U.S. will launch a deadly atom bomb and the idea of world peace will forever be obliterated.

The Watchmen are a group of "superheroes," although none of them (with one exception) have superhuman abilities. The story is laid out in a non-linear fashion: We see the past, then the present, then the more distant past. We find out bits of the story through memories, conversations, and photos on walls.

The main conflict is that The Comedian, one of the former Watchmen, has been murdered. Rorschach, our narrator, is convinced that someone is targeting the Watchmen and picking them off, one by one. He sets out to discover who it is and to warn the rest of his former teammates.

As usual, the others either mock him or ignore him. While he is trying to solve this mystery, Dr. Manhattan gets accused of causing his former colleagues to get cancer. He chooses to separate himself from the human race and abandon Earth, which leaves the United States feeling defenseless against Russian attack.

The Watchmen pose a problem. They don't act or talk like superheroes, but that is the position they were given in society, at least for a time. Now, as retired superheroes, they live like a bunch of cast-off toys. The world has no use for them anymore. None of them seem happy, although a few tell themselves it's better this way.

The potential evil of a human soul is fully explored. We see different ones of the Watchmen cheating on spouses, murdering pregnant women, and shooting civilians as a way to calm them down. The most loathed act is done by the murdered Comedian, who tries to rape one of his fellow superhero friends. Are we supposed to like them? Is there a hero in this story at all? Or is the problem the world? In our modern world, with weapons that can cause so much destruction, is it even possible to be a hero? Do the Watchmen do horrible things because they are horrible people or because they live in a horrible world? These are the types of questions this movie presents as we watch the film.

The cinematography is a sight to behold. The camera gives equal love to both full-screen panoramic views, such as when Dr. Manhattan sets up his own city on Mars, and the tiniest detail, such as watching a drop of blood fall and spatter the yellow smiley face pin. Yes, the action scenes include lots of slow motion shots (Director Zack Snyder is well known for this after "300"). The tone is dark and beautiful. The soundtrack reflects the historical time periods shown, featuring artists such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Simon and Garfunkel, and Jimi Hendrix.

The acting is well done, not outstanding, with the exception of Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. He completely steals the show. He is our narrator, so we get to know him the best, and his character is one you won't soon forget. Whereas some of the Watchmen have gone slack or lost their passion for the work, he continues to live life with utter conviction. He never backs down, even up until the end. We might not agree with his actions, but we know what he stands for, which is more than I can say for most of the crew.

I would not recommend bringing children or even younger teens to this movie. It includes graphic violence, rape, sex, profanity, and disturbing images.

49 out of 69 people found the following review useful:
Becky Bloomwood's Alright with Me, 9 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have been a longtime fan of the Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic books, which feature the lovable but compulsive Becky Bloomwood. So I wasn't sure what to expect out of the movie version.

Rebecca Bloomwood is a lovely redheaded young woman who loooooves to shop. I am not talking about the reasonable kind of love where she goes monthly or even weekly to see what's new at her local boutique. I am talking about an addiction as powerful as any drug out there. When she walks past a store, the mannequins talk to her and convince her that this, only this, particular item has the power to make her feel better, more attractive, more alive. She shops using 12 credit cards, including her Gold Card, which is encased in a block of ice in the freezer in case of emergencies. The tone of the film is comic, so it's not a tragic type of addiction, but we understand that Becky has a problem and she needs some serious help.

Rebecca also has her own personal bill collector stalker type person following her around named Derek Smeath. All told, she owes Mr. Smeath some $16,000. After losing her job as a journalist, she decides to apply for her dream job: fashion correspondent for Alette magazine. For Becky, this would be equivalent to an alcoholic working in a brewery. The job gets filled before she can arrive, but a sister magazine from the same magazine group, Successful Saving, is hiring. The man at the front desk assures her that the magazine group is a family, and once you're in, you're in. The only problem is that the magazine that ends up hiring Becky is a financial advice magazine. Not exactly the type of place that suits Becky's lifestyle or assets.

Becky's boss is Luke Brandon, a handsome, wealthy man with lots of energy and a black sheep complex. He never feels he can please his parents and leads a life of stress. He's amused by Becky's antics and impressed by her candor. Becky's writing for the financial magazine is a surprise hit. She writes about financial restraint in such a way that the average layperson can relate, comparing it to shoes. It seems like everything's going swell with her new job and a surprise romance with Luke. Derek Smeath can't get a leg in since she's convinced her colleagues that he's an ex-boyfriend stalking her. But like any liar knows, Becky can't keep the truth from her friends and family for long.

I enjoyed this movie. It was fun and sincere. We like Becky because she is flawed. She doesn't have it all together, but her style and spirit charm everyone around her. Sure she's addicted to shopping, but we don't despise her for it. Instead, we relate, because what woman hasn't given in to the siren song of a signature scarf now and again. The pull of a good bargain is a powerful thing, and this film is bound to be a hit with the average female.

The acting is suitable for the film. Nothing revolutionary comes out of it, but Isla Fisher will likely be back in many a comic role. The pacing of the film keeps you involved, but there are enough heartfelt moments to keep us focused.

Some have said that the timing for this film couldn't be worse. With the world in an economic downturn, do we really want to smile and nod at Becky's need to buy, buy, buy? Well, I say this film is healing balm. The nation will recover from this mini-depression, but in the meantime, it's kind of nice to voyeuristically enjoy Becky's indulgences. I have had to natch my weekly Starbucks and batten down my bank account hatches, so I need a little reward, even if it's done through Becky's pocketbook. Also, anyone who watches the film will realize that Becky goes through her own hard time, and she finds a way to get through it. She comes up with her own entrepreneurial scheme to pay off her debt. This is what we all need to do during the difficult times. Find a way to get through. Becky is my hero.

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