Thursday, February 22, 2007

Music & Lyrics

In a Nutshell: Very very sweet, and really quite funny. If you're an 80s music fan, you will enjoy it even more!

Quick Plot: A former hit 80s band member is asked by the hottest pop star in the world to write a new song, and she wants it in just a few days. There's just one problem: he doesn't "do" lyrics. But he accidentally discovers that his plant care girl does.

In Detail: We really really liked this movie, probably more than it deserves. When we saw the previews last month, we were just dying laughing and absolutely had to see it. It is a romantic comedy, and proud of the fact, done with style and class. It wasn't fall-in-the-floor funny as we thought it might be. It was a bit more subtle than that. And there wasn't any stupid or gross-out humor, which was very nice. And you have to pay attention to what is being said. Hugh Grant has some great zingers said in typical British-mumble fashion towards the very end of some scenes, but if you aren't listening, you'll miss it. (Like the girl sitting in front of us who was constantly leaning over to her significant other and asking "what did he say?" Drove me nuts!) The best part, though, was the music. The movie is plenty enjoyable on its own, but 80s music fans will be especially tickled with the music. It is such a fabulous homage to that era, very well done. And possibly the best compliment of all: DH and I both have been singing one of the songs constantly since we saw it! "I said I wasn't gonna lose my head, but then POP! goes my heart...." Oh, one more thing. VH1 fans should most definitely stay for the credits! They do a Pop-Up Video version of the video that is shown at the beginning of the film. Now THAT was fall in the floor funny! The stuff shown after the video is interesting, but not really important, so you don't have to stay. But the Pop-Up video thing is great and absolutely worth waiting for.

Will I Buy It? I don't know. I would say yes, there is a serious chance that we might. But I can tell you we will definitely be buying the soundtrack!

Shall We Dance

In a Nutshell: Not what you expect (not a traditional rom-com, or much of a rom-com for that matter), but still quite good. Needed more Stanley Tucci! Worth seeing.

Quick Plot: A bored lawyer signs up for ballroom dance lessons (without telling his wife) after spotting a beautiful instructor in the window on his way home.

In Detail: This is really not a romantic comedy at all. It has some romance, and it has some funny parts (some *very* funny parts), but it is primarily a drama. Going into it with that knowledge I think would have helped me with this movie; I kept getting tripped up by it not going where I thought it was going to go. I do think less blond chick (Bobbie) and more Stanley Tucci would have helped a lot (I adore Tucci in roles like this). I definitely think I need to see it again. I liked Gere okay, I thought Jennifer Lopez was quite good, the peripheral characters were fun. But to me, the master performance in this film is Susan Sarandon. She is always amazing, but this one was quite subtle and layered. She also gives one of the most powerful quotes about marriage I have ever heard. The whole film was worth that one line, and it is so powerful (to me, at least), that I will give it to you here: "We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet. I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things. All of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'." Amen. Worth seeing.

Will I Buy It? Not at this point. I definitely need to see it again with different expectations. Perhaps that will change my mind.


In a Nutshell: Blah and boring. Neither overly romantic nor comedic. Don't bother.

Quick Plot: An aging tennis pro and a young rising superstar strike up a romance prior to the international competition, much to the delight of his friends and the chagrin of her father.

In Detail: In the "tell us what you really think" department, there is very very little to tell. Not very funny. Not very romantic. Not much chemistry. Not much plot. Even the footage of the tournament wasn't compelling. Just totally blah. Seriously, don't waste your time.

Will I Buy It? Nope.


In a Nutshell: Sweet, good, but not great. The right style, but it lacked something I can't quite put my finger on.

Quick Plot: A well-born Victorian lady becomes so involved while playing cupid for her friends that she almost misses out on love herself.

In Detail: Not much detail to give, really. It was a quite good film, very sweet, very Victorian (Edwardian?), though I hear it does waver a bit from the source material (don't all films?). It was rather early in Gwyneth Paltrow's career, 2 years before Shakespeare in Love, I believe, and it shows. She certainly has blossomed. That British accent of hers has been perfection from the start, though (you *do* know she is American, right?). There is even a small appearance by Ewan McGregor, and he sings! Really needed to cut the hair, though. LOL I am not a big Toni Collette fan, though, and this film didn't help her any in my estimation. The surprise was seeing Alan Cumming in an essentially straight role. No creepy kiddie show host, no psychotic computer genius, no midnight blue makeup and tail; just a very understated performance. (Extra points if you can name those three films.) A very sweet film, worth seeing if you like this sort of genre.

Will I Buy It? I don't think so. There are too many other Victorian rom-coms out there that are much better.