Romantic comedies depend on the sympathies of an audience, but in this scruffy movie actor-filmmaker Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) plays a character so relentlessly naive and self-absorbed that it's impossible to root for him. This also makes it difficult to laugh at his goofy antics, because he's more pathetic than funny. Viewers looking for something offbeat and a bit dorky may find the film somewhat charming, but it feels oddly under-developed.
Helberg plays Quinn, a 28-year-old hypochondriac who works as a florist, afraid to pursue his desired career as a jazz musician. He's only ever had one girlfriend, Devon (Melanie Lynskey), and after 10 years together feels like it's time to propose. But this thought sparks a doubt in his mind, which is fanned into a flame when his sexy work colleague Kelsey (Maggie Grace) confesses that she has a crush on him. Quinn's best pal Jameson (Zachary Quinto) isn't much help, and soon Devon has had enough with Quinn's sudden distance. So she moves to Paris to stay with family friends and get some perspective. In a state of confusion, Quinn follows her there and is shocked to discover that she has already struck up a perhaps too-close friendship with handsome violinist Guillaume (Ebon Moss-Bachrach).
Right from the start it's clear that Helberg's stammering nerd Quinn is only with Lynskey's witty-thoughtful Devon because they've known each other so long. There isn't a moment in this film when they feel even remotely suited to each other. And when Grace's slutty Kelsey throws herself at Quinn, the movie takes on a Woody Allen-style leeriness, as a geeky filmmaker makes a movie in which gorgeous women throw themselves at him. Helberg has some innate charm, but Quinn is so socially inept that it's obvious to everyone but him that he needs to go off and become a mature human being before getting into any sort of relationship.
Continue reading: We'll Never Have Paris Review
Melanie Lynskey - SAG Awards Arrivals Los Angeles California United States Sunday 27th January 2013
Melanie Lynskey, star of Two And A Half Men, has announced her divorce from her Always Sunny In Philadelphia acting husband Jimmi Simpson, according to a report by TMZ. The news was reported last week by the gossip website, with the couple apparently citing irreconcilable differences behind the split. The papers were filed on September 25, 2012, bringing to a formal end to a marriage that began in 2007. The pair had been separated since April of this year, so the news comes as no great shock, but does seem a shame given the apparently amicable parting of the two. Both have apparently waived their right to receive spousal support.
A quick look at Lynskey's Twitter shows that she's been quiet on the subject of the divorce, instead focusing her attentions on the Canadian music group who she saw play over the weekend. " music lovers" she wrote. "If you're not going to see @teganandsara tonight at Staples Centre you're missing out! They sounded AMAZING last night." There was no mention on her Twitter about the divorce on the day that the papers were filed either, on September 25th.
The divorce puts a sour note on an otherwise good year for Lynskey, with the star appearing in three movies this year including the recently released The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.
Spikier than the average coming-of-age movie, this astute comedy-drama is packed with memorable characters and resonant situations. It's also strikingly intelligent, refusing to accept Hollywood's fake moralising as it grapples with big issues from mental health to bullying. And even better, it's funny and sexy.
Set in the early 1990s, it's the story of the painfully shy Charlie (Lerman), who plans to blend into the background as he starts high school. Scarred by an emotional event in his past, the only new friend he makes is his English teacher (Rudd). Then his sharp wit is spotted by the colourful Patrick (Miller), an anarchic gay teen who doesn't care what people think. Patrick also has a sexy stepsister, Sam (Watson), who takes a liking to Charlie as well, and soon they become inseparable friends. Well, until Charlie loses his nerve to ask Sam out and ends up in a relationship with her friend Mary Elizabeth (Whitman) instead.
After some less-than-thrilling lead roles (such as Percy Jackson or last year's Three Musketeers remake), Lerman finally comes into his own here with a sensitive, intelligent performance that's nicely underplayed. He also has terrific chemistry with Watson and Miller, whose feisty, hilarious love of life fills every scene they're in. They make such a strong trio that we are deeply moved by each rocky shift in their friendship. And Whitman brings a sparky energy to her scenes as the Buddhist punk with a bracingly honest approach to whatever happens.
Continue reading: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Review
Charlie is a 15-year-old high school freshman with no friends since his best friend Michael committed suicide. He is determined to turn his average life around and become someone people notice. He succeeds, at least, in making friends with two seniors; Sam and her extremely effeminate stepbrother Patrick; who let him into their lives and try to show him a good time. He also warms to his English teacher, Bill, who regularly lends him literary texts to read and absorb. Soon, his relationship with Sam gets stronger and Charlie begins to develop feelings for her that he's never before experienced. His new found friends stand by him through high school as he comes to terms with the death of his friend, his mental illness and with who he is as a person.
Continue: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Trailer
With an apocalyptic asteroid strike due in three weeks, Dodge (Carell) wonders why he's still going to work at his dull insurance firm. Then he runs into Penny (Knightley), distraught because she's broken up with her boyfriend (Brody). Dodge wants to revisit his childhood sweetheart, while Penny wants to see her parents in Britain. And Dodge knows someone with a plane, so they team up. Along the road, they get help from a trucker (Peterson) and Penny's survivalist ex (Luke). But with the world ending, their priorities begin to shift.
Continue reading: Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World Review
At high school, Scott Murphy was the star football player. He was also popular and had a pretty girlfriend to boot. One year, Scott takes his team all the way to the finals, which they win. However, the win came at a price for Scott; as he made the final touchdown, an opposing player crashed into him, causing Scott a knee injury that ensures he will never play football again.
Continue: Touchback Trailer
This is in essence what happened to The New Republic magazine in 1998 when a writer of theirs named Stephen Glass fabricated a story about a computer hacker to such an extent that nothing in it was true including - sorry to say - the allegation that the hacker left his mark with an appealingly humorous alliterative caption: "THE BIG BAD BIONIC BOY HAS BEEN HERE BABY." (This of course has been overshadowed by the recent Jayson Blair/New York Times scandal, which shook out nearly identically but with much greater fanfare earlier this year.)
Continue reading: Shattered Glass Review
Despite the remarkable assemblage of talent, Cacoyannis' Cherry Orchard feels self-aware of adapting a renowned classic from stage to screen. The cinematography is handsome and stately, but more appropriate to the colorful orchards and vast family estate, the 1900 costumes, the theatrical entrances and exits, than to the intimacy of Chekhov's vivid characters. (It almost makes one long for the hand-held documentary treatment of Louis Malle's seminal Vanya on 42nd Street.) The stylistic choices here take a while to get used to, especially during a drawn-out prologue, absent in the original text, as Madame Lyubov and her buoyant teenage daughter Anna (Tushka Bergen) make elaborate preparations to return to their Russian estate after a self-imposed exile. Some may be exhausted by this Masterpiece Theater treatment (lingering over every piece of luggage) before Chekhov's social entanglements kick in -- which happens shortly after the dozen major characters have assembled at their estate.
Continue reading: The Cherry Orchard Review
It's 1993. Some Hollywood bigshot reads an article in GQ magazine about a nutty bar called the Coyote Ugly in Manhattan. They only have women bartenders, see, and they, like, dance on the bar with fire and stuff! And they don't serve water. If someone orders water they hose down the crowd! Holy mackerel, what a nutty place!
Continue reading: Coyote Ugly Review
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