Halloween is fast approaching, and while you’re all frantically coming up with seven different costumes for Halloweek, Ivy Film Festival and the Brown University Film Forum (BUFF) are preparing to screen a MIDNIGHT MOVIE to get in the Halloween spirit. The movie will be shown on Friday, October 25th at midnight in Lower Salomon, and it’s up to you to decide which movie will be screened!
We’ve teamed up with IFF and BUFF to get your input about the movie you want to see. While we regret to inform you that Halloweentown is not an option, please vote to see your favorite one of the following Halloween classics (check out movie options and our poll after the jump): Continue Reading
It is very active decision on my part not to include the trailer for Enough Said in this post. Like too many a trailer these days, it reveals too much of the plot, ruins too many jokes, and leaves little to the imagination of the viewer. (Having said all that, it is cut to “German Love” by STRFKR, which is a commendable cutesy-indie soundtrack choice.) The film stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Eva, a divorced massage-therapist with a daughter soon to be leaving for college, and James Gandolfini, also divorced with a college-bound daughter, both hoping to find a better love the second time around. With that in mind, it’s pretty easy to conclude that Enough Said follows a predictable romantic trajectory—or at least, the new predictable rom-com trajectory. It’s full of those uncomfortable moments, idiosyncratic characters, and cringe-worthy statements that fill the current independent romantic film genre, a comment that I’m aware I made about last week’s In a World… But Louis-Dreyfus is as great a comedian as ever, and the film is certainly funny, if wildly uncomfortable. There is more to the film than pure comedy; in a more tender moment, Eva tells Albert, “I’m tired of being funny,” and we feel the emotional exhaustion of a woman hiding behind humor.
Enough Said focuses on a fairly untapped demographic in the rom-com genre: middle-aged, not-so-good-looking people. Let me clarify: I’d never call Louis-Dreyfus unattractive, but surely we can agree that the late Gandolfini, whatever his other talents may be, did not get by on his looks. He’s big and hairy and losing his hair, and Louis-Dreyfus declares at the party at which she meets him that she is not attracted to a single person present. And while we have become adjusted to the independent film industry making romantic comedies about less glamourous people—Demitri Martin of In a World…, for example, is no Brad Pitt —it does still seem highly irregular to have an older, actively un-sexy man assume the romantic lead. The boys on Girls may not be heartthrobs by any stretch of the imagination, but they’re still in their 20s and thin, and thus the idea of them having sex seems much less bizarre than watching Gandolfini clumsily fondle Louis-Dreyfus. Continue Reading
After making some controversial arguments about When Harry Met Sally and Love Actually, it was time to tone back RomCom Thursday, at least for one week. Enter Submarine, a small British coming-of-age romcom released in 2010. It stars a bunch of people you’ve never heard of (unless you’re into highbrow British film, in which case you probably know Sally Hawkins, who plays the protagonist’s mom), and is directed by that guy who didn’t really make sense on The Watch poster.
In our BlogDH staff meeting last Sunday, David pitched that he’d be writing his RomCom Thursday post on Love Actually. The majority of our staff lit up with excitement, but Ana was skeptical, especially after having read David’s piece on When Harry Met Sally last week and vocally disagreeing with his concerns with the rom-com. As Ana expected, David went on to explain that he hated Love Actually. The two decided to duke it out and go head-to-head over Love Actually on the site for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.
David:Any proper post-2009 discussion of Love Actually must begin by mentioning Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, the American offspring of the UK box office success. These films, though perhaps less beloved, are peers to Love Actually in box office success (actually, V-Day doubly more successful than the other two). And of course, the American movies ripped their entire structure and premise from Love Actually. But are they all that discernibly worse?
Certainly, I am not qualified to answer the question—I’ve seen neither Valentine’s Day nor New Year’s Eve. But I’m inclined to respond with another question—is it possible they could be that much worse? Because Love Actually is a slog. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus for Valentine’s Day—“Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine’s Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches”—could easily swap in “Love Actually” for “Valentine’s Day” and read just as well.
If you have a chance before Friday, you should actually attempt to catch a showing of In a World… at the Avon. The film won Best Screenplay at Sundance this year, and tells a sweet coming-of-age (in your 30s) story of a woman desperate to break into the voiceover industry, in which her father is already a huge star. Lake Bell starred in, wrote, and directed the film, whose title stems from the commonly used phrase in movie trailers. Bell’s directorial debut, In a World… has a pretty fantastic balance of cutesy-realistic love story, eccentric but well-written family dynamic, and feel-good female empowerment moments. You could call the film formulaic, but regardless, when you get the elements of the formula down so well, you end up with a great result.
Bell has a familiar face. She has made appearances in many a mediocre romantic comedy during the last few years (the awkward girl in No Strings Attached, the crazy second wife in It’s Complicated, the best friend in What Happens inVegas), but perhaps most importantly, she was the love interest/female lead in HBO’s short-lived but criticallyacclaimed How to Make it in America.
Every week this year, my roommate Reid and I plan to watch a romantic comedy. We do this partly because we like to sit on a bed together and snuggle, but mostly because romantic comedies are fun and remind us that maybe some day we will sensuously and soberly kiss a girl and feel good about it. Each week, I’ll report back to you on the quality of the movie, using a highly sophisticated algorithm to gauge its worth. Let’s begin.
This week: When Harry Met Sally
It seemed fitting to begin this beautiful new weekly tradition with perhaps the staple of the genre, When Harry Met Sally. The film has all the ingredients for success: post-Princess Bride/pre-Rumor Has It… Rob Reiner; pre-Botox Billy Crystal; super-realistic fake orgasms… like I said, all the fucking ingredients. Roommate Reid had never seen it, and I hadn’t seen it in a long enough time that I felt it was permissible to rewatch, so we popped it on the ol’ YouTube (full version’s on there free, go figure), and pressed play.
We first meet Harry and Sally as they leave on a road trip from UChicago to New York. It’s not super clear what either of them is doing there, but it seems that maybe they are both students and maybe they just graduated. Sally is Harry’s girlfriend’s friend. They start driving, and they hate each other. Or at least Sally hates Harry. She drops him off in New York, they bid each other a good life, and they walk away, never to meet again. Ha! Yeah right. [Semi-spoilers in the next paragraph.]
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