ABC Film Challenge – Romance – Y – You Again (2010)

Director: Andy Fickman

Writer: Moe Jelline (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Annable, Victor Garber, Betty White, James Wolk

 

Plot: When a young woman realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school, she sets out to expose the fiancée’s true colors.


Tagline – What doesn’t kill you… is going to marry your brother.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funny Comedy

 

Story: You Again starts when former bullied high school student, turned PR superstar Marni (Bell) is returning home for her brother’s wedding, she learns that the woman Will (Wolk) is marrying is the woman who bullied her Joanna (Annable).

When Marni returns she is put through the nightmare memories of high school, while Joanna is a complete different woman, things only become worse, when Marni’s mum Gail (Curtis) was best friends with Joanna’s successful Aunt Ramona (Weaver) even if things ended badly at school. Can the two women put their pasts behind them before the wedding or will their feelings cause problems for Will’s big day.

 

Thoughts on You Again

 

Characters – Marni was bullied through the high school, even with her sports star brother helped her focus on her future. Marni would go onto become a big success in the PR world, just getting a new promotion. When she returns home for brother’s wedding she comes face to face with the bully from high school who is marrying her brother. She is trying to get a simple apology, but when she can’t get that she wants to get one over on Joanna. Joanna is the woman Will is marrying, she was the popular girl at high school that bullied Marni, after high school she went through a change become a nursing giving back to the community. She does hint that she knows who Marni is from her past, but also plays dumb on knowing too. Gail is Marni’s mother who is excited to see her son get married, her daughter getting a promotion, but when an old rival turns out to be related to Joanna, she gets just as held back in the past as Marni. Ramona is the Aunt of Joanna’s that has risen to become one of most successful women in the world.

PerformancesKristen Bell in the leading role is great fun, she has the look that can fit both sides of her character along with the comic timing needed. Odette Annable is great too because she uses the beauty behind her character to be the now innocent feeling girl. Seeing two of the biggest icons in female cinema in Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis going to battle is great to see to because they have always felt like they could have gone back and forth.

StoryThe story shows how one woman who turned her life around after years of high school bullying, must return to face her bully before she marries her brother. This story does show us how high school action will always be ones that can affect people for the rest of their lives, it is something you can never change which ever side you are on it. It also shows how once you have learnt to overcome you can be a success even if part of you wants to get back at the person that made you suffer. The bully themselves has to live with the fact that they were awful in high school and that they should learn from their action in life, needing to change who they were. This is handled well because both the characters have the problems with what happened at high school. Add in the generation before having the same issues, we get to see how it will continue through affect people in their lives. The important side of this does show how you can turn things around and put things back on track.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy comes mostly in the things that happen to Marni as she tries to get her revenge, it does make you laugh and Bell’s timing does help make it better. The romance does take the backburner as it is about the bully being in love the brother.

SettingsThe film does the bring the person back to their home town settings, each one brings back a memory, a moment of importance, which does also come through to make it relatable for the audience.


Scene of the Movie –
The dinner.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Everyone does seem to have upper class jobs.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun rom com, it deals with the issues high school can offer, while getting laughs along the way.

 

Overall: Comedy that shines.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – T – The Tempest (2010)

Director: Julie Taymor

Writer: Julie Taymor (Screenplay) William Shakespeare (Play)

Starring: Felicity Jones, Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou, David Strathairn, Alan Cumming, Chris Cooper, Ben Whishaw

 

Plot: Shakespeare’s epic play is translated from page to screen, with the gender of the main character, Prospero, changed from male to female.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not Enjoyable

 

Story: The Tempest starts as Prospera (Mirren) sees her island visited by outsiders, the island she lives alone with her daughter Miranda (Jones) with their slave Caliban (Hounsou) a man that did once wrong them. With the strangers on the island Miranda gets to meet her first man outside of Caliban in Prince Ferdinand (Carney) to whom she falls in love with.

Prince Ferdinand isn’t the only visitor to the island as the rest of the crew including King Alonso (Strathairn) search for help with the spirit of the island haunting them as a chance to escape Prospera’s spell.

 

Thoughts on The Tempest

 

Characters – Prospera is the witch living on the remote island, she has been controlling people with spells which keep her daughter safe, until her chance of escape arrives. Miranda is the daughter of Prospera who can’t leave the island and has only ever see one man in her life, when she meets Prince Ferdinand she instantly falls in love with him wanting to leave the island with him. Caliban is the slave that lives on the island, he has done wrong in the past which leaves him being forced into the slavery role, with the visitors he believes he could become free. When it comes to the people that visit the island we get a group of different ranks through a royalty position, each has their own moments in the film.

PerformancesHelen Mirren is the best performer in the film, she has been working with this material before and shows she is one of the best for it. Felicity Jones gets one of her early roles where we get to see how much talent is there even with a restricted role. We have a very talented supporting cast who get to show their own abilities while Russell Brand is there too.

StoryThe story is a new version of the Shakespeare classic of the same name, it is one that I do remember enjoying reading while at school when we studied his work, the problem for me comes from the fact this didn’t connect because it was so outside the box of what to expect from the ideas behind everything, we do get plenty of random scenes which just miss for the most part which disappoints. The honest opinion is that we have just too much going on that never connects back to everything else. The themes for Shakespeare plays have always been a mixed bag because the time they were written you can understand them, but not all have aged to the modern era of life.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceThe comedy in the film is completely random, certain moments click really well others miss completely, the fantasy world feels messy for what it should be too, while the romance is just a side story with everything going on.

SettingsThe film is set on the island where Prospera lives, it has different elements of magic to make it full of peril for the visitors.


Scene of the Movie –
The Spells.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The spirit is annoying animated through the film.

Final Thoughts This is a Shakespeare story that didn’t work for me, I don’t blame the actors, it is how the story is presented that fails it.

 

Overall: Disappoint Shakespeare play.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – S – Submarine (2010)

Director: Richard Ayoade

Writer: Richard Ayoade (Screenplay) Joe Dunthorne (Novel)

Starring: Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine, Noah Taylor, Yasmin Paige, Darren Evans

 

Plot: 15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.


Tagline – A comedy that doesn’t let principles stand in the way of progress.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Styled

 

Story: Submarine starts with school boy Oliver Tate (Roberts) telling his life story, well how he sees life, he lives a normal life, mostly an outsider, but not bullied anymore, his parents Lloyd (Taylor) and Jill (Hawkins) are in a loveless marriage, while he is trying to win the heart of Jordana (Paige).

Oliver’s life becomes more complicated when he starts to believe his mother is having an affair with her ex-lover Graham (Considine) and he sets put to stop this happening.

 

Thoughts on Submarine

 

Characters – Oliver Tate is the school kid who is an outsider narrating this story explaining how he sees and copes with life, he starts seeing Jordana who helps change him to become more open, while he tries to stop his mother having an affair with a former lover. Jill is Oliver’s mother that has become distant from her husband and starts hanging around her former lover, Lloyd is the father and is become isolated from the world unaware with hi wife’s affair. Graham is the motivational speaker that’s flair is starting to win Jill over once again.

PerformancesCraig Roberts in the leading role is good as we understand his mindset through everything that he is going through, he makes his character standout as odd for the most part which is what is required. Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor and Paddy Considine bring the experience to their roles and it shows in their performances.

StoryThe story follows a school boy and his couple of months in life, which sees him get his first girlfriend and try to stop his family from falling apart. This story is told in three chapters which focuses on each moment Oliver is trying to change for the better, as he must learn that not everything in life was meant to be perfect in his eyes. The idea that a school kid is trying to make each moment in his life, how he envisioned it comes off strange because it shows us just how one view could be perfect, while the other view could see things as strange. The idea he doesn’t understand everything does help make this film feel more interesting because one day he will see that people needing to make their own decisions are important in life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from moments that are quirky, even if they don’t hit every time, it is the romance side of the film which shows how young love can make teenagers go crazy.

SettingsThe film is set in a small Welsh village which shows how together the people are and how easy the popularity of the pupils in the school can rise and fall.


Scene of the Movie –
Close your eyes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Graham character is way over the top for the rest of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those quirky comedies I like to talk about, it has moments that will make you chuckle, while showing us what young love is really about.

 

Overall: Quirky romantic comedy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – K – All Good Things (2010) Movie Review

We are under K because of the star Kirsten Dunst.

Director: Andrew Jarecki

Writer: Marcus Hinchey, Marc Smerling (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, Lily Rabe, Philip Baker Hall, Michael Esper, Diane Venora, Nick Offerman

Plot: Mr. David Marks was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Katie who disappeared in 1982, but the truth is eventually revealed.


Tagline – The Perfect Love Story. Until It Became The Perfect Crime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lacks Focus

Story: All Good Things starts as we see David Marks (Gosling) the son of a property tycoon Sanford (Langella) who meets Katie (Dunst) who eventually becomes his wife, only for the perfect marriage to take a turn when Katie learns David doesn’t want to have kids.

The marriage continues to spiral out of control after Katie gets pregnant, with her disappearance being the reason why David sees his own life come under the spotlight, with people believing her murdered her and he doesn’t help his case.

Thoughts on All Good Things

Characters – David Marks comes from a property tycoon family who could have walked into any job for his father, he decides to go away from this lifestyle, dating a woman before marrying her, which shows a darker side to his nature, or is he just cold, he are never let into see if he is a calculated person or just somebody dealing with the issues bought on from his mother’s suicide. Katie is the woman David marries, she does give up her career and after learning of his own life decision, spirals out of control with drinks and drugs, before disappearing without a trace. Sanford is the father of David who wants him to remain in the wealthy lifestyle following in his footsteps over anything else. We do see many other people who are involved in the lives who have been involved in the lives even if the names have been changed.

PerformancesWe have a brilliant cast on paper here with Ryan Gosling in the leading role, where he really doesn’t show his skills, Kirsten Dunst does the most with her character, only it seems we don’t get the right outlet for the character, where we also seem to waste Frank Langella too.

StoryThe story follows a heir to a successful business that marries a women his family don’t approve of, only for her to go missing, with him being the prime suspect in the disappearance. The problems mount up quickly in this story because we do spend way too much time focusing on the early relationship and not enough time on the investigation to what might have happened, this is clearly the more interesting side of the story that we need to get watching before needing to care that much about their relationship as a hole.

Crime/Mystery/RomanceThe crime is more about if, buts or maybes, with no concrete evidence to what might have happened, which shows in the mystery not being solved in the film, while the romance starts strong before showing why it might not have worked out.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of settings which shows us the luxury lakeside house the couple have, while showing how they interact with people on a social occasion in the big parties.


Scene of the Movie – Strange new friendship.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough focus on the disappearance investigation.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like a film that gets caught up following the wrong part too easily, we don’t seem to get any clues to what did actually happen, just following the man’s life for large parts both before and after the disappearance.

Overall: Disappointing mystery.

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – B – The Bounty Hunter (2010)

Director: Andy Tennant

Writer: Sarah Thorp (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerald Butler, Jennifer Aniston, Gio Perez, Joel Marsh Garland, Jason Kolotouros, Matt Malloy, Jason Sudeikis, Adam Rose

 

Plot: A bounty hunter learns that his next target is his ex-wife, a reporter working on a murder cover-up. Soon after their reunion, the always-at-odds duo find themselves on a run-for-their-lives adventure.


Tagline – It’s a Job. It Isn’t Personal. Well, Maybe a Little 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Rom Com 101

 

Story: The Bounty Hunter starts when bounty hunter Milo Boyd (Butler) is in need of money gets given a chance for a new bounty, his ex-wife reporter Nicole (Aniston) who has skipped bail for an assault charge.

Once Milo catches up with Nicole, he goes through the difficult task of getting her across country, while her creepy work colleague Stewart (Sudeikis) tracks them and the story Nicole is investigating has people trying to clean it up before it gets released.

 

Thoughts on The Bounty Hunter

 

Characters – Milo Boyd is an alcoholic bounty hunter and former cop that gets his latest assignment, his ex-wife, his gambling and drinking problems cause problems along the way as the relationship between the two only takes them off guard. Nicole is a reporter that is looking into a suicide that doesn’t add up, she has gotten herself in trouble over an assault charge and by not attending court a bounty is placed on her head, she is determined to uncover the truth in her story even with her ex-husband tracking her down to put her back in jail. Stewart is co-worker that believes he is in a relationship with Nicole sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. The rest of the characters are the people involved in the case.

PerformancesGerald Butler and Jennifer Aniston were two of the biggest rom com stars at the time of release, they are both good through the film without doing anything great. The supporting cast add the laughs where needed without any of the character being too quirky for the film.

StoryThe story follows an ex-married couple who are thrown together as the husband must bring in the wife who skipped bail to investigate a story for her paper. We get the typical bickering between the couple which gets laughs when needed, we have a side story about what is being investigated which could have been give a lot more spotlight than it gets. We also deal with people trying to track down both of the couple for other reasons and by the end it all ties together to be watchable for the audience. It would be fair to say we have one too many side stories going on and the bickering gets old quickly showing us why they should never be a couple in the first place. we also miss out of learning more about what drove Milo to bounty hunting over his police job which he is clearly very good at.

Action/Comedy/RomanceThe action is a mix of chases and accidental gun fights which is fine we don’t need the action to be too intense in this film. the comedy comes from the romance side of the story which shows us just how difficult the couple can be at times.

SettingsThe film takes place in different American cities, none of them do feel that iconic with most just becoming generic city number one then two etc.


Scene of the Movie –
Strip club.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many side stories going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a watchable rom com, it does the basics well uses the star power well and will entertain without being the best of the year.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable.

Rating