Double crosses, adultery, murder, mistaken identity, and revenge ensue when a mysterious power player and his sultry wife hire a disgraced Los Angeles property broker to discreetly market and sell their Malibu villa.
Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.
Newly graduated psychiatrist Sam and his fiancee Alex move to Los Angeles for Sam's residency and into Sam's mother's house in upscale Laurel Canyon. Only problem is, Sam's mother is still there, supposedly finishing up a record that she's producing for the band of her new boy toy, Ian. She seems more interested in smoking pot and drinking than actually working though. Alex doesn't mind but Sam is quite upset. Alex starts off focused on her work (finishing a dissertation on genomics), but is soon distracted by the rock-'n-roll lifestyle going on around her. Meanwhile, Sam is equally distracted by beautiful Israeli intern Sara.Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
An enjoyable clash of cultures, families and sexual orientations
There's a clash of cultures, families and sexual orientations in "Laurel Canyon", and I enjoyed all of it. Sam (Christian Bale) and Alex (Kate Beckinsale) are an uptight, New York couple in complete control of their lives, until they move in with Sam's mother Jane (Frances McDormand) who is a loose hippie (in all senses of the words). Jane also has a slew of rock-and-roll men living in her house, most notably, Ian (Alessandro Nivola), her primary boyfriend with an irresistible accent - but then again Jane and Ian don't really label anything, especially relationships.
As Sam grows increasingly frustrated by his mother's lifestyle, Alex grows increasingly intrigued by it. Sam's need to control everything can get annoying, but Bale plays well off of Beckinsale's quiet energy. The sexual tension between Beckinsale, Nivola and McDormand is electric and is able to keep driving the film forward.
The dialogue is funny enough and the actors are all very good that they make up for the slightly predictable plot. At the Independent Spirit Awards, Frances McDormand was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Alessandro Nivola for Best Supporting Actor. Well deserved nominations and quite possibly the best performances of their careers. Be prepared for sexual energy in every direction, but I recommend "Laurel Canyon".
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