8:00 PM, 23rd April, 2010
As a follow-up to Fantasia – animation set to classical music – Disney attempted the same sort of thing but with contemporary pop music of the day and a zippier, pared-back animation style. This cartoon was the result, with Disney animators imbuing life to inanimate objects – something they did better than anyone else – in the story of a romance between two hats.
Print Courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive
8:08 PM, 23rd April, 2010
“Written and Directed by Nancy Meyers”. That phrase alone on any film poster practically guarantees that what you’re about to sit down and see is a romantic comedy of the highest calibre. And Meyers doesn’t disappoint one bit with her latest effort in It’s Complicated, the tale of a divorcee (Streep) who suddenly finds herself the ‘other woman’ when she begins an affair with her ex-husband (Baldwin). Add to that an architect (Martin) who has fallen for Streep’s character and you’ve got yourself a pretty unorthodox love triangle.
Baldwin, riding high on a tidal wave of accolades for his role on TV’s hilarious “30 Rock”, is the highlight of the film, playing a character that, at age 50, has finally found happiness and, perhaps for the first time in his life, love. The performance is absolutely fearless and admirable, demonstrating that he’s come along way from the pretty-boy roles he was usually picked for earlier in his career. And playing beautifully off him is Streep, making a screen couple that I’d very much like to see work together again in the future.
It’s Complicated is a first-class romantic comedy with a brilliant cast that manages to be both romantic and comedic – something that so many ‘rom-coms’ today fail to achieve. Meyers – the creative force behind What Women Want and Something’s Gotta Give – delivers in spades once again. So, no, it’s not complicated at all. In fact, it’s pretty simple: come and see this film.
10:23 PM, 23rd April, 2010
Couples Retreat follows four couples embarking on a journey to a tropical island resort. Three of them think they’re reasonably happy, but their friends Jason (Bateman) and Cynthia (Bell) beg them to join them for a week at a resort devoted to healing relationships (if four couples go, it’s half price).
Jason and Cynthia are anguished because they haven’t had a child. The other couples are Dave (Vaughn) and Ronnie (Akerman); Joey (Jon Favreau) and Lucy (Kristin Davis); and Shane (Faizon Love) and Trudy (Kali Hawk).
Their troubles: (1) Parenting duties that distract from romance; (2) Joey’s wandering eye; (3) Shane being split from wife and now dating a 20-year-old bimbo. What follows is a hilarious look at real world problems that are faced by all couples.
Everything about this movie seems right – the entertaining cast, the to-die-for location shots, a fresh concept from Vaughn and Favreau and a solid message; that everyone has problems, but it is the act of working through them that pulls couples closer together. Couples Retreat does provide a few laughs (and a few cringes thanks to the Fabio-inspired gyrating ‘couples yoga’ instructor), so if an easy watch is what you’re after, this will do the trick.