I reviewed Mistress America for CineVue.
It’s a fizzy, hilarious and forcefully upbeat cavalcade of incidents. Baumbach’s script, which he co-wrote with Gerwig, zings with effervescence, witticisms and sharp dialogue; the characters talking speedily at one another in a manner that’s equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. Gerwig is a whirlwind of exuberance as Brooke, a multi-hyphenate with an opinion on everything.
Continue reading “Review: Mistress America (2015)”
2013 was a fantastic year for film. It’s as simple as that. Technological boundaries were broken, Disney made a triumphant comeback with not one but two wonderful animated releases, Noah Baumbach proved what could happen when you make a film on a shoestring budget and in black-and-white, and Steven Soderbergh bid a fond farewell to the cinematic world with the fantastic one-two punch of pharmaceutical drama Side Effects and outlandish Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra. Continue reading “2013 In Review: Top Ten Films”
Noah Baumbach and rising indie star Greta Gerwig combine their talented forces once more after the well-received Greenberg for Frances Ha, a thoughtful, witty and nostalgic portrait of twenty-something discontent. Filmed in black and white at the directors discretion and blending the old with the new, Frances Ha emerges as a true winner and Baumbach’s best in years. Continue reading “EIFF 2013 Review: Frances Ha (2012)”
Three students – Violet (Greta Gerwig), Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and Heather (Carrie MacLemore) – at Seven Oaks University College strive to eradicate the low standards and suicidal tendencies of their peers with a treatment course that includes doughnuts and impromptu dance numbers. When the trio welcome sophomore transfer Lily (Analeigh Tipton) into the fold, they must step up their efforts to ensure their new recruit doesn’t fall foul to the trials Continue reading “Review: Damsels In Distress (2011)”
Veteren comedy director Ivan Reitman returns with No Strings Attached, a rom-com that asks the question of whether or not friends with benefits can still be best friends without letting their emotions overrule their unattached “relationship”.
Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher), after years of failed relationships, make a pact to use each other for sex. But when Adam starts seeing their relationship as something more, Emma instinctively wants to run the other way.
No Strings Attached – while it may be too long for its own good, is overly predictable and relies too heavily on crass humour – delivers feasibly well on all levels under the trained direction of Reitman and a competent script by Elizabeth Meriwether.
Ashton Kutcher, reprising the role he’s played in every other rom-com, is likeable and entertaining enough. Natalie Portman, in a role that is vastly different to her award-nominated performance in Black Swan, often feels uncomfortable in a genre that’s clearly not suited to her talents, but undeniably manages to deliver a relatively natural, appealing and sexy performance.
The supporting cast, including standout performances from Lake Bell and Greta Gerwig, notably aid the two leads, often stealing the film and creating an enjoyable diversion to the weak and predictable central storyline.
No Strings Attached is ultimately a fairly enjoyable rom-com that’s made watchable by an above-average script, credible direction and the best intentions of the entire cast.