Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
This film has multiple personality disorder. There are some genius
moments and scenes, but they are drowned out by extreme, crass,
predictable, over-the-top scenes full of stale gags. Many honest,
well-written, amazing conversations and lines just float ungrounded in
the wacky framework, or is the wackiness ungrounded in the dramedy
framework??? . . . the honesty and closeness of the main relationship
becomes unbelievable and subsequently the "realness" base of the film
loses all credibility.
In spite of not enjoying the move overall that much, I think Wiig is a genius on screen and I hope to see her in something great with a different writing/directing/producing team.
Lastly, I cannot believe Paul Feig directed this! Almost all of what he has directed and produced demonstrates his mastery of comedy with depth and nuance, so intelligent and insidious it surprises and wins you over. Freaks and Geeks is one of the BEST TV shows ever.
This is a rare and amazing example of how beautiful, courageous film storytelling can be used to touch people to say things that really make us think, really make us feel. These characters are totally captivating. The dialogue is genuinely unique. Nothing about this film is pat or predictable. I thought Colin Farrell was very good in both The New World and Pride and Glory (great films), but I developed an idea of what he is like, what he is capable of as an actor. His performance in this film showed me that he may be capable of ANYTHING. I was shocked that he could play this character and so wonderfully - totally amazing. I am won over.
The truly great thing about this film is that it contributes to our
understanding the truth that courage is not formulaic and glamorous,
but arduous and humble. The characters are not clearly good or bad,
right or wrong, tough or vulnerable - they are complex. While the key
conflict does center on a moral quandary, the characters have to
wrangle their way imperfectly through it.
I felt completely drawn into the world of this story due to the realistic, layered, complex characters and their relationships, flawlessly performed by all the key actors. Cinematography enhanced the bare, raw, truth of things . . . everyone looked like real people (when do you see that, esp. women??).
One of the characters going through cancer was portrayed more accurately and honestly than is generally done in film/TV.
Friends With Money refreshingly looks at money and friendship. The rare
films that do this are generally timid, sort of "showing" us the
differences, the issues. Here, refreshingly, these get discussed. We
get to hear things that some of us want to say when we are watching
similar films about the self-made LA moneyed, which don't face down any
of the inequities or awkward elements between the characters relating
to their money.
It seems Anniston is sort of playing her Good Girl character, Justine, again but is so good I enjoyed her nearly as much. Keener, who I adore, doesn't really wow here, recycling what she brought to Lovely and Amazing. Cusack is unique and great, while McDormand show us all once again why she is the QUEEN of getting it exactly right. I disagree with some critics re the unimportance of the male characters, whom I found well-scripted, well-acted and very relevant to the film.
In response to some earlier comments, as a woman the age of these women, I found the McDormand character's plight quite believable, inclusive of the explanation which IS offered toward the end of the film.
Lastly, I am mainly familiar with Holofcener's writing in Lovely and Amazing, which is a must-see. I would say the commonality between that and this is the richness of her characters, intended as part of the story itself. She wants to make sure we develop a sense of who they might not want us to know they are, of the holes in their interiors even as they stitch them up and try to go on right in front of us. Her dialog is smart and bold.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had no expectations when I rented this for my daughter, but am
admittedly a Stiles fan. I got hooked, I think because Stiles and Mably
are collectively captivating actors - they really connected - and
because the filmmakers went to great lengths to make this movie
visually lush. The attempt to flesh out the fantasy a little more
realistically also made it more interesting - what IF x really happened
. . . then what WOULD she do? how WOULD people respond, and so on,
instead of just sacrificing interesting smaller detail for shallow
formulaic sequences like most of these movies do.
Spoiler Warning (next two paragraphs) - only references to (not excerpts from) maker's commentaries/interviews: The special collector's edition's special features includes being able to watch the whole film again with the director's comments and so much of what she has to say enhances the film. She makes me proud of women's filmmaker's efforts, especially in the production of popular films, with female central characters, aimed at younger viewers. I hope people hear what she has to say and let their children see this and draw their own conclusions. The makers also illustrate what incredible obstacles have to be constantly overcome to make a film both in the U.S. and overseas.
I have great respect for the comments by Danes & other Europeans about this film - those should rise to the top. American cultural hegemony and the havoc it wreaks just has to be gradually torn asunder . . . American artists portraying non-American's should solicit active and significant participation from those in the group being portrayed - this would go a long way toward having a broader and more accurate lense. It should be added that the filmmakers DID at least go to the effort to film a lot of the film in Europe, to learn about European royalty, to respect Architectural traditions . . . it sounds like they could have done a much more accurate job in terms of Danish society, royalty and government, but I think this effort was a step in the right direction toward a somewhat less Ameri-centric American-made popular film.
This movie's makers should get credit mostly for making something earnestly charismatic that is also an important "baby step" in more socially valuable mainstream film.