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My Mom's New Boyfriend (2008)
Meg is charming, Antonio is eye-candy, and Colin is adorable!
If you love Meg Ryan, there are many things to enjoy and appreciate about this film: seeing Meg at the beginning in a very realistic fat-suit -- so funny! She plays it very well, and we are all so happy to see her slender again after she 'loses' it all and becomes her real svelte self for the rest of the story. Her son's reaction to his 'new' mom, after not having seen her for a long time, including her new 'hip' outlook on life is a riot. It's fun (after the romantic roles Meg and Tom have shared) to see Tom Hanks's talented son, Colin, playing Meg's on-screen son, too! - Okay, on to Antonio Banderas: he's never been more handsome or sexier than he is now, and he pairs perfectly with Meg. - There are some very funny comedic moments, with conservative Colin as the straight guy, too. -- One negative thing, however comical it was meant to be, though, was the merciless teasing and sexual innuendo directed toward Colin's character when his FBI job forces him to conduct surveillance on his own mother, even while she was becoming romantically involved with Antonio's character; suggested incestuous feelings just don't sit right with me, and many others, I would imagine, so that type of humor is lost on me. But the film is worth it all for the great acting, including Selma Blair as Colin's fiancée.
All About Steve (2009)
How Did This Script Ever Get Produced?
I love Sandra Bullock, in almost every movie she has ever made, but I can't understand why she chose to act in this one. I agree with other reviews here about the unbelievable characterization of her role, but: POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT (ON ONE SCENE): The BIGGEST and most glaring incongruity in this storyline was the fact that the rescuers, who went down into the well to bring out the deaf kids who had fallen in there, had left one little girl from the group of kids in the well, and no one noticed; HOW can that happen?!? WHO and WHERE were the teachers/adults/parents in the story who had brought them there?? Don't they ALWAYS know how many children are with them, and when they took stock, wouldn't they realize one was missing? The other children also would have communicated with the adults (even though these children were supposed to be deaf and therefore 'dumb' also), that one of their friends and classmates was not among them, wouldn't they?? Too unbelievable for me; I understand that the storyline required the little girl to still be down there for Sandra's character to interact with her, but if I had written this script, I would first have acknowledged that the adults realized there was one more child to rescue, THEN have Sandra fall into the well too -- MUCH more realistic!
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007)
Gloriously Entertaining, Smart, Sleek, Sophisticated, Fun!!
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is a wonderful, eye-candy treat -- beautifully staged and filmed, full of snappy dialogue, an intriguing round-about plot with unexpected twists and turns, and tongue-in-cheek humor (such as a spoken reference to the London wax museum images of Amitji and Ashji --his real-life father and wife -- by Abhishek). Lots of action, but no guns, no slaps, no fights, no gore -- finally!! - Amitabh has a great recurring performance in this film, beautifully and memorably decked out as a composite Willie Nelson/vagabond/gypsy/hippie guitar player in his fringy coat-of-many-colors, complete with jewelry and feathers, entertaining the travelers at the train station while making musical observations on the romantic plot evolving between Abhishek and Preity, in two of their best performances to date. Lara and Bobby were also great in their supporting roles, playing polar opposite characters from the first to last half of the film. The musical numbers and dancing were also superb. If you love Indian cinema, you don't want to miss this one; it's worthy of many viewings! A+++!
An Indian Mythological Epoch and a Visual Feast!
The story line is written in Indian mythology, about a long-ago kingdom, when wise sages advised rulers and the gods were accessible through personal penance, and arrogant kings had lots to learn about humility. But the story line here isn't the only reason to see it.
This production is lavishly done, seemingly with no expense spared for the gorgeous, elaborate costumes and special effects. If you loved watching the Mahabharata epoch on DVD, you will love Vishwamitra even more; whereas the Mahabharata seemed to be all gold and red (the traditional colors and jewels worn by the gods in Indian art), Vishwammitra is pure eye-candy with its wealth of multicolored pastel jewels and the rainbow-hued, silken fabrics on the royal personages. I found myself "pausing" the dvds very often just to take it all in, including the elaborate sets! The music is also hauntingly beautiful and enhances the mystical quality of the filming, as well as the story line. The actors are wonderfully-talented, and the English subtitles are well-done, too. If you are a Bollywood fan and also like to delve into Indian tradition and cultural mythology, you will be enlightened and entertained by this excellent production.
Fool's Gold (2008)
Not up to par.....
...for the great cast! I must agree with the disappointment of others who commented here. After seeing Kate and Matt in "How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days," expectations were high for them being wonderful together again; but their scenes in this film were mostly lackluster, and you find yourself wanting them to: be more intense? More physical? Have more closeups? Better directing or editing? The 'villains' were too cookie-cutter absurd, that's for sure (and almost all African-American, which reeked of racism, even if they were supposed to be in the Bahamas). Donald Sutherland, usually a great actor, was so miscast in this film (or perhaps his role was just lame). The subplot of getting close to his estranged daughter again felt very artificial, although I must admit I liked the perkiness and energy of the actress playing Gemma, and thought she did well with this inferior part (including the awful 'sword between the legs' scene). -- Kate and Matt, please come back again with a winner (and get Karan Johar or Gurinder Chadha to direct, too!).
Great use of special effects and lovely stars, excellent songs
This film was beautifully-done. It's very unique and unexpected to see dazzling special effects used in a romantic film (when they are usually only seen in action/violent ones). - Salman, Preity and Akshay were gorgeous and wonderfully entertaining, as was another favorite of mine, Anupam Kher (he was perfect in "Bride and Prejudice") -- although the attempt to make Anupam look like a 'little person' in his main role here didn't ring true and seemed unnecessary to the plot, and was not really humorous. - I liked the incorporation of the classic Cyrano de Bergerac device, having Salman feeding lines to Akshay to woo Preity (even though he loved her himself), and also the 'camera obscura' spying technique borrowed from the US film "Addicted to Love." One minor criticism I have is the use of British actors in the bit parts (with a line or two) who are supposedly Americans in New York; why was this done? Even if these scenes were filmed in Mumbai, surely a few real Americans could have been found for authenticity's sake. But do see it, if you love Hindi films as much as I do!
Possibly the best Hindi romantic movie ever made!
One would have to be very jaded indeed not to be swept up into this gem of a film (and I've seen hundreds of Hindi and Bollywood movies, too). The actors, the beautiful settings, locations, and surroundings, the deep emotions portrayed, the sweet songs (especially the singing voice of Udit Narayan, my favorite) -- everything was just lovely. The human (imperfect) element was also woven in, to create some drama and drive the plot, as well as allowing a heartfelt resolution. Alok Nath is such a terrific actor, so open with the emotions of the characters he portrays, he almost steals the show from the young stars. I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves true romances -- ones that go beyond superficial beauty to real love -- as one of the best films out there, Hindi or otherwise!
Love and Forgiveness Triumph Over Human Foibles and Imperfections
Sangeet is a sweet story about human love, imperfection, selflessness, and forgiveness. Setho (Jackie) is a peasant folk singer who comes to Mumbai to perform. When "Madam" (Madhuri as the middle-aged patron of the arts) finds him camped out in a deserted building she owns, she hears him singing and invites him to come sing at her anniversary party. Setho delights her there, but his folk music is not for everyone. Madam's husband is a cad, shunning her for associating with such "low-lifes," and there is little happiness in their marriage. Meanwhile, Madam encourages Setho in his music. - Setho stumbles into a 'dance hall' one day where he sees a beautiful young woman (Madhuri) performing suggestive dances for a crowd of lustful men, and becomes indignant enough to storm onto the stage and shame the young woman and her mother (as well as the men in the audience). He befriends the young woman and her mother, as he discovers that the young woman is blind and her mother knew of no other way to provide for them. Eventually, a web of secrets unfolds among them, which includes a charming 'flashback' to Madam's young love for her musical neighbor, the handsome Nitish Bharadwaj (in a special appearance). The love that develops between Madam, the young dancer, and Setho is sweet and uplifting, and the movie comes to a happy climax. A real gem of a film! Madhuri's dual role is flawless and very convincing. Don't miss it!
Prem Shakti (1994)
True Love Triumphs Over Destiny and Lifetimes
Govinda and Karisma are very charming in this romantic tale. With their charts against them, the young lovers (Govinda and Karisma) are not permitted to marry. But they will not accept this fate. They run off into the night, finding themselves at the den of an evil sage who is trying to coerce the handsome Lord of the Snakes (Nitish Bharadwaj, more recently known for his mega-series roles as Krishna in Mahabharata and Vishnu in VishnuPuran)into giving him a gem he needs to make the nectar which will give him immortality. The rub: it can only happen on this one night of the full moon -- which comes only once ever 25 years -- and the arrival of the young lovers and their defense of the Lord of the Snakes (NagRaj -resplendent in a black sequined body suit when in human form) has angered the sage, who then turns Karisma to stone for 25 years and causes the demise of Govinda. NagRaj saves the day by proclaiming that Govinda will be reborn, still with love in his heart for Karisma, and 25 years hence they will find each other again -- and only in his presence will she be able to speak and move (but not mention his former existence). Will the lovers ever be together? Will Karisma become a real woman again? Will the evil sage get his due? Don't miss this great tale!
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001)
A beautiful film about bringing families together
This film shines from start to finish, and runs the gamut of emotions. The cinematography, sets, and costumes are brilliant. The sparkling performances of six of India's leading actors alone makes the movie worth seeing, even if some might not feel comfortable with the deep sentimentality displayed by the leading men (women are fine with this; American men sometimes find it unnerving). Hrithik Roshan is pure eye candy for women of all ages, somehow oozing sweetness and innocent sexuality at the same time. The catchy song and dance number he performs with the lovely Kareena Kapoor at their 'prom,' "You Are My Soniya," has gotten regular replays in this household for weeks (even by my 79-year old mother, who will say, "I need a Soniya fix" - it really cheers her up!). The other musical numbers are very enjoyable, too, and never seem out of place or at odds with the flow of the film. Shahrukh Khan is adorable, as always, as the favorite son, and can hold his own in the dance numbers, too. Kajol gets to show her comic side, and was great at it! And knowing that the 'parents,' Amitabh and Jaya are a married couple in 'real life' just makes their interactions in the film that much better. Don't miss this wonderful movie! If you see just one Hindi movie, make it this one! (I am adding this question, for anyone who knows the answer: I wanted to find out what actor played Rohan at about age 12; the cast list shows three names for "Fattie" but no further details for any of these actors. If you happen to know the answer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!)