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Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Last Kiss

The Last Kiss (2006)
Dir: Tony Goldwyn
Starring: Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson, Blythe Danner, Tom Wilkinson

I had wanted to see this film for months. It was one of those films that comea long every so often where I am desperate to see it and I watch the trailer about 50 times and find out every single thing about it and feel thoroughly irritated that I don't live in America so I could watch it sooner. Other examples are Mean Girls and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Luckily, these films didn't disappoint me and are now two of my favourite movies. But back to The Last Kiss...

I can't decide what I thought of it. I really can't. I certainly liked it, but I can't decide how much.
While I figure out what I actually thought of it, I'll tell you the plot. Michael (Braff) is 29 and in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend Jenna (Barrett) who has recently become pregnant. However, like all commitment phobic guys, this thoroughly freaks him out. He's not entirely sure he wants to settle down and have a family and a house and a boring middle-class lifestyle. But can't tell his girlfriend of course, because she's, well, pregnant and it's probably not the best time to bring up stuff like that. Anyway, he has three best friends who each have their own storylines: Izzy (which I always thought was a girl's name, but whatever) has recently broken up with his girlfriend and wants her back, but she's not having it and so he decides to take a road trip to South America. Good for him. He drags along Kenny, who has been having a time time having a wild affair with a girl he meets at a certain wedding (more about that later) until she wants him to meet her parents and he freaks out. God, these men are such scaredy cats. Lastly is Chris, who is married and has a baby son but whose wife is constantly yelling at him and telling him off and he an't stand it anymore, so he leaves her. Selfish bastard. Actually, everyone in it is pretty self-obsessed.

Oh yeah, at the same time, Jenna's parents are having a crisis but nothing really happens with that. OK, well, at a friend's wedding (mentioned earlier) Michael meets a pretty young college student named Kim (Bilson) whom he is rather entrances by and kind of arranges to see her again. They... do some stuff.... and Jenna finds out and you can guess where it goes.

Zach Braff is very good. Not a noticeably amazing performance but very believable. That's one thing about this film, it's very believable. At least I thought so anyway. My favourite character was Jenna, and I thought Jacinda Barrett gave the best performance as well. She is very good at screaming and yelling hysterically, which Jenna, poor thing, does a lot. The only other ting I've seen her in was Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and she doesn't have a very big part in that. But I will look out for other stuff she's done.

Rachel Bilson is also very good. Her character is a wicked little minx! She like, seduces Michael even though he has a girlfriend and totally leads him on. She's not actually evil, but we don't like her as mich as we like Jenna, OK, because she causes all these problems. The character is a bit like Summer from The OC, but as I said, a wicked little minx.

The three guys (Kenny, Izzy and Chris) are all good, Casey Affleck (related to Ben?) as Chris gave probably the best performance of the three. Jenna's parents, Anna and Stephen (played by Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson) were excellent, in that established-very-famous-older-actor way.

One thing that kind of annoyed me was that none of the stories are ever really resolved. I mean, Kenny and Izzy keep talking about South America, but we never find out if they actually get there. And Michael and Jenna's story is left pretty open-ended, but I think you're meant to assume something (I won't give it away).

It's not quite up to the standard of Garden State (well, it wasn't written or directed by Zach Braff) but it's solid and extremely interesting. About 70% depressing and 30% uplifting. Depressing because it's basically about five different relationships breaking up. I thought it was very realistic though, and well-made. Do I want to see it again? Yes. Do I want to own the DVD? Um, probably. Will it be one of my favourite films? Um, probably not. But maybe. Who knows?



(There are two quotes I like from this film. Neither are funny, but I'll post them anyway!)

Stephen: What you feel only matters to you. It's what you do to the people you say you love... that's what matters. That's the only thing that counts.

Kim: The world is moving so fast now that we start freaking long before our parents did. Because we don't ever stop to breathe anymore.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

(I love the poster for this film. It's very modern and glossy but very simple. Unfortunately the pictures aren't working, AGAIN. So have look at it here:

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Dir: David Frankel
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt.

The Devil Wears Prada is a comedy drama about young, fresh-faced Andrea Sachs who wants to be a big-shot journalist and gets a job as 2nd assistant to Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of Runway magazine and queen of the New York fashion scene. Miranda is cold, ruthless and cynical, and is based on legendary editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour. Anyway, Andy is completely out of her depth, knowing extremely little about fashion and utterly unprepared for the demands of her new boss. But somehow she gets caught-up into the glamorous and cut-throat world of fashion, losing a boyfriend and gaining a chic new look on the way.

The film is in some ways a typical romcom (although actually it's not a romcom since there's not much romance in it) but is also very sleek, modern and witty. The writing is brilliant and is extremely funny, as well as moral without being preachy. The editing, especially in the opening sequence, is excellent and the cinematography makes everything look extremely 21st century (yes, I know that's because it IS the 21st century, but you get what I mean.). There are also great shots of New York and Paris. The film moves along at a pretty speedy pace, which stops it from getting tedious.

The performances are superb. Meryl Streep is, of course, brilliant. There is a reason why she's practically the most respected actress in Hollywood. She makes the character of Miranda very human and quite believable, without compromising any of her coldness. Anne Hathaway is a very talented actress and is just right for the role. Stanley Tucci is lovable and funny as always. he best performance, I thought, was from Emily Blunt, who plays Miranda's other assistant Emily. She is hilariously funny but also very uptight and hostile, and can make the audience crack up with just a look or hand gesture. She steals practically every scene she's in.

The whole film was very well-made, and provides a fascinating look inside the fashion industry. It is true, most guys probably wouldn't be very interested in seeing it, but everyone else should. It's worth it.


Talliestar xxx

Andy: You look so... thin.
Emily: Really? Thanks. I'm on a new diet for Paris. I don't eat aything at all and then when I feel like I'm about to faint I eat a cube of cheese... I'm only one stomach flu away from my goal weight.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door (2004)
Dir: Luke Greenfield
Starring: Elisha Cuthbert, Emile Hirsch

This film was recommended to me by Livvie, who told me it wasn't as crude as it looks and is actually really sweet, but to not watch it with your parents. That was very good advice, and it saved me from what would have been some extremely embarrassing moments.

The Girl Next Door is about a charming young man called Matthew Kidman (played by Emile Hirsch, my new celebrity crush) who is class president and headed for a good college and whatnot, who is about to graduate high school, and feels he should be doing more crazy stuff than he is. He has two best friends, the pervy, sex-obsessed, but very funny Eli, and the geeky, anxious Klitz (played by Paul Dano of The Ballad of Jack and Rose and Little Miss Sunshine. I have also found out that he was in The King, which I have also seen and hated. All my friends think he is hot but I find him really creepy-looking. ). Anyway, one day Matthew meets Danielle, a beautiful girl who has temporarily moved in next door. The two fall in love, but then Matthew finds out she is a porn star and everything goes haywire. He now has to save her from a life of sleazy movie-making, so they can live happily ever after. However, her producer Kelly doesn't like this plan and there is a whole fiasco involving money and penis-shaped trophies, leading to Matthew and his friends having to produce a little porn themselves. Basically, the film is a high school comedy about the porn industry. I know, original, huh?

Livvie was right. It is sweet. Matthew and Danielle make a really cute couple and it's all very romantic. Good performances from them both. Eli and Klitz make very funny, oddball sidekicks. The plot is very original with plenty of twists you don't see coming (very rare in a movie of this genre).

Reading the quotes page on IMDb, I've realised how much they swear in this movie. It is a LOT. Also, there are topless lap dancers and several clips of porno movies, so do not, under any circumstances, watch it with your parents.

I noticed Autumn Reeser (Taylor from The OC) in a small role in it, alongside Olivia Wilde (Alex in The OC)! Isn't that cool? And they didn't know that they would both guest star on the same TV series. Ah. Yeah, I know, only I would get excited by something like that.

Not much else to say about it really. I couldn't find any obvious flaws in it but it's not absolutely amazing either. It is a sweet, slightly adult, teen comedy with an imaginative plot. And who doesn't like that?



Ferrari: I know I lost my virginity at prom. How about you? When did you lose your virginity?
April: When I was ten.
Ferrari: Okay, moving on...