Grace and Frankie Season 3 is the Best Yet

Grace and Frankie season 3 is the best yet. It fine tunes relationships and how they work – or don’t work. It’s hilarious, it’s heartfelt, and it’s true to life. Continue reading “Grace and Frankie Season 3 is the Best Yet”

Review: Tallulah

Tallulah is a fascinating character study of broken people and how they deal with their responsibilities and relationships. It features a neglected baby, a homeless woman, and a lonely writer. Continue reading “Review: Tallulah”

Watch This: Trailer for The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train stars Emily Blunt in a tale based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel by the same name. I fell in love with Emily Blunt way back in Sunshine Cleaning in that exact moment when she climbed up a wobbly wooden train trestle as a train thundered overhead. I haven’t found any reason to lessen my admiration for her acting since then, and here she mucking about with a train again. It’s a beautiful thing, I tell you. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for The Girl on the Train”

Watch This: New Trailer for Spy

Spy starring Melissa McCarthy and a rasher of other tasty comedy stars has a new trailer.

Those other funny folks include Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Morena Baccarin, Jude Law, Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale, and Miranda Hart.

The film was received very well at SXSW. From the trailer it looks like there may be too many fat jokes and too many sexist jokes for me to get enthusiastic about it.

Not that I won’t watch it just to make sure. It is Melissa McCarthy, after all. I laughed myself silly at the fart jokes in Bridesmaids and the disgusting uneaten sandwich in the fridge in The Heat, so who am I to judge the political correctness of Melissa McCarthy jokes?

Spy is set for a June 5 release. Paul Feig is writer and director. He worked with McCarthy before on Bridesmaids and The Heat.

Watch This: Red Band Trailer for Spy

In Spy, Melissa McCarthy teams up again with writer and director Paul Feig in a comedy featuring McCarthy as a CIA Analyst. She works with agents played by Jude Law and Jason Statham.

Miranda Hart
Miranda Hart image from BBC

I’m more than a little excited to see that McCarthy is working with British comic Miranda Hart in Spy. These two should be fabulous together.

Here’s the G-rated version of the trailer, followed by the Red Band trailer.

Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson also star in the Fox release, which opens in theaters May 22.

Spy image © 20th Century Fox

Review: Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts is a charming indie written and directed by Josh Radnor. It looks like a straightforward love story in the trailer below, but it’s not exactly that. It’s a love story, but there’s no sex, hardly any kissing, and lots of moral choice involved in deciding who to love. Liberal Arts is also a story about where we belong in life, what we are meant to do, how to find happiness, and – most importantly – which books are best to read in every situation.

Josh Radner plays Jesse Fisher, an admissions officer in a college, but not the college in the story. Also in the film are Elizabeth Olsen as Zibby, the young coed you see charming Jesse in the preview. Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney are professors at the college in the tale. The parts Jenkins and Janney have are small but nuanced and add sub themes to the story about life and its meaning. Elizabeth Reaser as Ana isn’t shown in the preview, but you know from the first moment you see her in her bookstore that she’ll be an important part of the story, and indeed, she is.

I want to call out Zac Efron for his loopy portrayal of Nat – another small part that brings richness to Jesse’s quest to find purpose and love. Efron really shines as Nat, a character so unusual that Jesse asks him at one point, “Are you real?”

This film is full of seemingly small parts that add up to an elegant total. It’s one of the most fascinating features of the film: interesting actors in small parts that ultimately have an impact on how Jesse’s journey concludes.

The film was released in 2012. It’s currently available on Netflix. I absolutely recommend it.

Watch This: Another Trailer for Tammy

The preview made me laugh so much, I cannot wait for Tammy! And, if Melissa McCarthy wasn’t enough to make you love this movie, it also has Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates.

Also listed in the cast for this film, but not shown in the trailer, are Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Toni Collette, Nat Faxon, and Dan Aykroyd. Everybody in Hollywood wants to be in a movie with Melissa McCarthy, and for good reason!

You don’t need to watch fireworks on July 4. You need to watch Tammy.

Watch This: Teaser Trailer for Tammy

Melissa McCarthy is coming our way again in July in Tammy. The teaser trailer is here now. Not only is McCarthy the star, she’s the writer.

Also starring in this extravaganza of funny are Susan Sarandon, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd and Kathy Bates. What a cast!

Ben Falcone directs. He’s Melissa McCarthy’s husband.

What do you think? I think it looks fabulous!

The Way, Way Back is Way, Way Good

The Way, Way Back opens on the miserable face of Liam James as 14-year-old Duncan, sitting in the way, way back seat of a vintage woodie Buick station wagon. Driving this aging monster is Trent (Steve Corell), his mom’s boyfriend. His mom is Pam, (Toni Collette) and his possible future step-sister filling the middle seat with all her teen-age horribleness is Steph (Zoe Levin). They are on their way to Trent’s beach house to spend the summer.

way way back poster

Rounding out the star-studded cast we have Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb (remember how wonderful she was in Bridge to Terabithia? She’s even better now.), Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, and Amanda Peet. It speaks to the quality of the writing and the story that so many accomplished actors were willing to take part in this production.

The trailer shows them in action.

The story revolves around Duncan. This teen has issues. His parents are recently divorced. His mom’s new boyfriend is an asshole. His dad has a new younger girlfriend and “now isn’t a good time to visit.” He doesn’t know how to talk to people. His mom is bending herself into someone else to fit into the new boyfriend’s life. He has to go everywhere on a pink girl’s bike which is as dated as Trent’s Buick.

When they arrive in the beach town, Duncan is befriended by Owen, the manager of a water park (Sam Rockwell), who teaches him how to laugh, how to assert himself, and how to take chances. As improbable a plot point as it is to imagine a grown man befriending young Duncan for purely selfless reasons, there’s a scene to somewhat explain how they connect. When the Buick pulls into town, with Duncan staring morosely out the back window, they stop in traffic. The car behind them is driven by Owen, who makes eye contact with Duncan and they share a moment while waiting for the traffic to move.

Duncan manages to find his way while all around him the significant adults in his life are drinking themselves silly, smoking pot, and damaging their own children in countless ways. Young River Alexander as Peter pronounces his mom the worst parent, but there are several candidates for that prize in this tale.

With such a stellar cast, even the smallest of characters in this busy relationship drama turn in full-blown performances. There’s a romance of sorts between Sam Rockwell and Maya Rudolph’s characters. There’s cheating going on – I won’t spoil it by telling you who – and there’s a first kiss for Duncan before it’s over.

Duncan’s awakening spurs his mom to gather up her strength, too. The movie closes on a heartwarming note.

Heartwarming is probably the best description of The Way, Way Back. There are real people with real life problems and a hopeful ending. A perfectly heartwarming movie.

Have you see it? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?