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Some-one Marry Barry

MV5BMTk1NjczNDg1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjI5NzQzMjE@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_Lucy Punch, Tyler Labine, Damon Wayans Jr, Hayes MacArthur, Thomas Middleditch

Everyone has a ‘Barry’ amongst their group of friends – that person who is socially inappropriate and embarrassing. Des, Rafe and Kurt have a Barry in their gang, and his name is Barry Burke. When Barry’s inappropriate behaviour finally becomes intolerable, the friends organise something extreme to get him out of their lives. They want to get Barry married.

But when Barry meets Melanie Miller all by himself, he finds that she is his female equivalent. He may not need his friends’ help after all.

I rented this movie with trepidation, expecting the crude, rude, infantile and penis-centred approach to comedy that usually surrounds these rom coms that are loaded up with too many male protagonists. Too many dudes! Where are all the women?

Although it was definitely in there, the crude and rude were bearable. This, I put down, to Lucy Punch, who I think is fabulous. She’s a comedic gem of the rom com screen (see the Wedding Video (particularly the Wedding Video), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, A Little Bit of Heaven). Punch seems to soften out the tasteless edges.

So, all in all this film is actually not too bad. The script, although light weight, is smooth and gets to where it’s supposed to be going. It’s quite funny, not overly clever, but generally entertaining. One of the better rom coms of 2014 (surprisingly).

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The Wedding Video

MV5BMTEyODgzMDU4NDleQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDg1OTA3MTg@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Lucy Punch, Harriet Walter, Robert Webb, Rufus Hound, Michelle Gomez, Matt Berry

Tim and Saskia are soon to be married. Tim’s brother, Raif, is the best man as well as maker of the very unofficial wedding video. He is aiming for an independent filmmaking style, capturing behind-the-scenes images and the ‘warts and all’ of the whole wedding – the tension, the personal and private moments.

Mother-of-the-bride, Alex, is trying to outdo every other Cheshire mother in organising the biggest, the best, the most extreme wedding of the season. The pressure finally gets to Saskia, who turns to Raif for a bit of fun and stress relief.  Tim isn’t happy with Saskia bunking off, adding to the tension already surrounding the couple. Will they make it to the church on time? And will the camera have to stop rolling?

I have been waiting for Lucy Punch to have her own leading role, and I wasn’t disappointed in her. This film is terrific. There hasn’t been a lot of films in the last couple of years that have made me laugh like this! 

The script is excellent. Usually wedding rom coms tick off a check list of over-the-top and stereotypical characters: the scary father-in-law; the controlling mother of the bride; the rebellious sister; the idiot best man; and the gay wedding planner all in a tither. But, thankfully, this film doesn’t stick to the formula and you don’t see any of these characters.

Punch is just tremendous; Michelle Gomez as the wedding planner is hilarious; and Rufus Hound is extremely likeable. The dialogue is fluid, the pace is just right, the relationships are realistic, and the comedy is subtle and smooth. I really like this film and will watch it again. One of the best (if not the best) romantic comedy film of 2012.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

MV5BMTkzOTI3MTE0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTg3NDI3Mw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts, Lucy Punch, Freido Pinto, Pauline Collins, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas

Alfie (Hopkins) decides to leave his wife Helena (Jones) because he doesn’t want to be old. Helena seeks emotional help from a fortune teller called Cristal. Alfie seeks out a much younger woman and marries her. Their daughter, Sally, has problems with her own marriage to Roy. He’s a frustrated writer who’s waiting to hear from publishers about his new book. She’s a frustrated woman wanting more from her husband than he can give. Roy looks to another woman, Sally develops feelings for her boss. Not everyone gets what they want. In fact, it could be argued that they get what they deserve.

I saw a comment on a film review website in which the reviewer asked “how many times do you want to watch the same Woody Allen movie?” I agree that it’s not a stand out film for Allen, but I actually enjoy the familiar elements that come out in every one of his movies. I look forward to seeing what different actors can do with an average script – the acting in this film was better than the script.

Lucy Punch plays Charmaine, Alfie’s new young wife, and she is excellent, her dialogue faultless.  Let’s see some more of her in leading roles. Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones’ mother in the BJ Diary films) is devine and is the essential, pivotal, neurotic character. Watts also gives a good performance as Sally. Brolin is an odd choice, but Anthony Hopkins definitely works as Alfie.  A ‘must see’ movie for Woody Allen fans, and a ‘don’t knock yourself out’ for everyone else.

A Little Bit of Heaven

Kate Hudson, Gael Garcia Bernal, Lucy Punch

Hudson plays Marley, a fast-paced advertising executive who uses humour to avoid anything serious. When she’s feeling unwell, she goes to the doctor thinking she’s stressed from work. It turns out she has cancer. She gets three wishes from ‘god’ – two come true, but what is the third? Could it be love?

Good performance from Hudson; Garcia Bernal seems to be a new actor to rom coms; and I love Lucy Punch as a goody instead of a baddy.

However, this wasn’t a romantic comedy. It was a romance drama. There’s a big difference and that difference is that you cry instead of laugh – all the way through the film! Too sad, much too sad for me – quick, hand me a new rom com! Or an old one, any old rom com will do!