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Silver Linings Playbook

MV5BMTM2MTI5NzA3MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODExNTc0OA@@._V1_SX214_Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles

After 8 months in a psych ward, Pat Solatano (Cooper), is discharged to return home to live with his parents (De Niro and Weaver).  Finally after a lifetime, he is formally diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and is now set to rebuild his life. He wants to win back his wife by being positive, by finding the ‘silver linings’ in all things.

Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence) who is also trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. Tiffany’s demons relate to her sexual promiscuity and how she relates to men. Pat provides her with emotional support, agreeing to be her dance partner in a competition. It ends up that the competition helps Pat with his issues and with his relationship with his dad, as much as it helps Tiffany. It also ends up that Pat might not want to get back with his wife after all – maybe Tiffany is his silver lining.

I very much enjoyed this film. The relationships between all the characters are complicated and messy, but the script runs smoothly and the performances by Lawrence and Cooper are excellent. It’s not all bright and sunny in this flick, there aren’t a lot of ‘ha ha’ moments, but it is a pretty solid rom com with a touch of the dramatic and very much worth a watch.

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Hit and Run

MV5BMjExNTgzMTAzMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDA0ODkxOA@@._V1_SX214_Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Tom Arnold, Kristin Chenoweth, Bradley Cooper

Charlie Bronson is in a witness protection program in a small out-of-the-way town after being involved in a number of bank robberies and informing on his cohorts.

He decides to support his girlfriend in her career and travel with her to California. Leaving the witness protection program is a great risk, but he’s willing to take that risk for Annie (Kristen Bell). Along the way, Annie’s jealous ex-boyfriend informs on Charlie, and his old crew come after him. Annie discovers Charlie’s real identity and past criminal actions – is this the same man she fell in love with? But she has little time to think about it as she is kidnapped by Charlie’s old gang.

Hit and Run is a romance, comedy, and action movie. There was quite a long, dragged-out car chase in the middle that I just couldn’t sit through (had to use the fast forward button). But apart from that, this movie has a lot of spark.

Bell was fabulous (loved her a long time ago in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, see also When in Rome, and You Again). Points go to Bradley Cooper as Alex, one of the crims sporting dreadlocks. It was quite a different role for him and he was pretty amusing. I wouldn’t normally be a huge fan of Dax Shepard, especially in anything romantic, but he did pull it off and was a terrific match for Bell.

Great movie to watch with some-one who doesn’t like rom coms!

Failure to Launch

Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew McConaughey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Kathy Bates

Tripp (McConaughey) is the classic romantic comedy bad boy in this flick – attracted to very short term relationships, playing it cool, hanging with his mates, avoiding emotion, and still living with his mum and dad at the ripe old age of 35!

As Tripp’s parents want their nest emptied, they hire Paula (SJP), a professional interventionist. Her plan is to sweep Tripp off his feet, make him fall in love with her, which will then make him feel more independent and therefore move out of home. The plan goes along nicely for a while, until cupid rears his ugly head. As we often find out in the classic rom com, apparently the bad boy does have feelings!

When we were watching this film we realised we had seen it before, some years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t think a second viewing enabled it to get into the Better the Second Time Around category. Not a bad job done by both SJP and McConaughey. But great effort by Deschanel who plays the obligatory dark-haired best friend/room-mate to Paula. Stock-standed rom com, pretty enjoyable, and I’m sure you’ll catch it on TV from time to time.

Valentine’s Day

too many stars to mention, here are a few…Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift etc etc

This film is a little bit like He’s Just Not That Into You – with all the star parts, all the relationships, all the friends, and all the story lines that coincide nicely together as the film moves along.

So it’s Valentine’s Day and everyone is looking for love, looking for commitment, looking for friendship. Some get what they want, and some don’t. And as this is a rom com, it’s all good in the end. Not everyone gets love – if you’ve been bad you get a dose of justice! And there’s a couple of surprising twists to upset the rom com predictability.

I liked this film much better the second time around, but if you’re an incurable romantic, you’ll like it on the first viewing.

He’s just not that into you

Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long

All the relationships between all the people in this movie more or less revolve around Gigi, played by Ginnifer Goodwin. She is gorgeous, but somewhat desperate, and sick to death of dating dipshits. She gets dating help from Alex who understands why men do what they do, and is willing to share that information with her so she can find love.

Drew Barrymore plays the adorable and vulnerable, Mary who is looking for love in all the wrong places. Jen Aniston has actually been cast in a refreshingly different role for her, playing the stylish and mature, Beth, who already has love. Scarlett Johannson plays the beautiful and etherial Anna, who is deluded about love and attracts the wrong men.

This film is about dating, loving, insecurity and expectations. All the stories fit together perfectly and culminate in Gigi finding true love. Not everyone ends up happy though, but it all gets wrapped up in the end.

All About Steve

Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper

Mary wants to be Steve’s girlfriend but they’re clearly not suited. Because she’s working through a few personal issues with her life, she doesn’t see that he is trying to shake her off. She follows him across the country, meets people along the way, and has some meaningful experiences with them, culminating in a meaningful experience with Steve himself. It doesn’t end with the usual smooch. If it did, it would be absurd because there is no way you can have Steve falling for Mary and make it work.

What a shame. I do love Sandra Bullock. I remember seeing The Net years ago and loving the fact that she wore the same outfit the entire film – she was just so natural, and her character was more important than her clothes. I also liked her in 28 Days when she plays an ancoholic going into rehab.

But this movie doesn’t work for her. Her character, Mary, is absurd – she’s a little mad, she’s smart and eccentric, and she’s a little too loud.  And so are her clothes. Her outfits don’t suit her and neither does her character. Some-one else should have had this role. Bradley Cooper as Steve is okay, but he’s overshadowed by the ridiculousness of Mary.

I wouldn’t bother watching this film twice.  In fact, not sure if you should bother watching it once.  If you find it on your kitchen table and there’s nothing else to do on a rainy Sunday, give it a shot, otherwise…

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