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Marnie (1964)
7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A rare misfire from the Master, 30 April 2006

Marnie is truly the rarest of Hitchcock thrillers... a complete and total misfire. Released in 1964, Marnie marks the Master's unfortunate cooling after an incredible hot streak in the late 50s and early 60s, which saw Hitch at the top of his game for classics like Vertigo, Rear Window, and Psycho. That's not to say that Marnie is not an ambitious film for 1964. Few filmmakers from that period would dare tell stories of child abuse or sexual obsession, and at times, Hitchcock is remarkably frank. Yet some of the same things that must have made Marnie seem risky for its time period make it seem incredibly dated today. The film makes some rather bold and ham-handed assumptions regarding criminal behavior and psychology. Even mainstream audiences today know enough about popular psychology to see that the enormous stretches in the logic of the story. For example, the entire film rests on the contrivance that a single childhood trauma has trapped an otherwise innocent, good-hearted young woman into a state of compulsive kleptomania. Sean Connery plays the man who loves her, and he suspects that if he can simply identify the trauma she is suppressing, she will be freed from her trance-like state of criminal behavior. The film is smart enough to recognize the connections between traumas of childhood and their manifestations in adulthood, and yet it is somehow dumb enough to suggest that there are simple answers to deep-rooted psychological problems. It's interesting to note that, for all its aspiration, there is surprisingly little danger in Marnie. There is always the potential for suspense, especially in the earlier scenes of the film as Marnie seeks employment from somebody who has already identified her as a kleptomaniac. Yet this suspense never amounts to anything more than the vague threat that Marnie might be in a little trouble with the police ,if they were to somehow learn of her past crimes- and these past crimes never fully come back to haunt her. In some ways, the film works as a less-interesting companion piece to Vertigo. Both films deal with a man obsessing over a distant, haunted woman, while simultaneously trying to cure her of her ills and control her romantically. Yet somehow Vertigo works on every level, emerging as Hitchcock's true masterpiece, whereas time has not been nearly as kind to Marnie.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Touching, fitfully amusing independent film about love and sex., 15 December 2003

"Everything for a Reason" is classic Boy Meets Girl stuff. This is a sweetheart of an indie romantic-comedy, guaranteed to make you smile, even if it all seems vaguely familiar.. Manny is a young Greek-American writer, still living at home and pursuing Eve, a virgin who has just broken it off with Jake (who's been cheating with Donna). Manny's friend Teddy is trying desperately to win back Jenny, and enlists Mike's help to trick her into giving him another chance. Mike is dating Joanne, who happens to be Eve's sister. Every character in the film is defined mainly by their romantic situation, whether it be boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, or ex. The overlapping storylines are handled deftly by writer/director Vlas Parlapanides, who uses the lead character Manny as his autobiographical stake in this romantic puzzle. There's an awful lot of single young people having dialogues about love and sex, many scenes refrencing genre classics like "Swingers," "Moonstruck," "When Harry Met Sally..."

As the story unfolds, Parlapanides shifts the tone from funny and playful to sweet. While it's not hard to see where the action is heading, the film makes a fine case for sticking out the rough world of dating.