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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

MV5BODYwNDYxNDk1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTAwMTk2MDE@._V1_SX214_AL_Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine

Walter wants to date Cheryl but he can’t get up enough courage to ask her out. Life in his daydreams is so much more interesting than real life.

One day Walter gains enough courage to go on an amazing adventure, an adventure that rivals his daydreams. It may have started out in order to save his job, but it manages to save his life from going so very wrong, or simply going nowhere.

There are quite a few high points in this film – one is Wiig singing Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, another is a very cool downhill skate run in Iceland. Stiller is brilliant and Wiig is likewise – they are a great match and fit their characters perfectly. Also good to see Hahn with a bit part, she’s always a laugh.

I love this film – it’s funny, well paced, and charming. Possibly one of the best rom coms around.

 

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Carolina

MV5BMjE2MzAwMjU5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDM0MzMzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_Julia Stiles, Shirley MacLaine, Alessandro Nivola

Carolina (Stiles) and her sisters have been raised by their ‘do it her own way’ grandmother (MacLaine). The extended family includes an alcoholic father, prostitute aunt, pregnant sister, and countless colourful cousins. But Carolina makes her own life much more controlled and organised.

She and her best friend (romance writer, Albert) are yet to find their true loves. They date other people with little success until Carolina meets Heath. He is her ‘flawless man’ – an upper middle-class, educated, English, advertising executive and all round nice guy that could be her ‘one’. But she brings him to meet the crazy family and he runs a mile. When she turns to Albert, he has found a woman of his own. And when Albert reveals his true feelings for Carolina, she turns him away. Will they ever get it together or is it not meant to be between them?

This is a terrific film, albeit ten years old, it can still hold its own. There is a tear-jerking section where Stiles’ acting is superb. MacLaine holds the show together in a role that is very much her signature. The characters are explored beautifully and the film looks at them closely, letting the simple plot just do its thing. Good solid rom com film, particularly if you like Shirley MacLaine.

In Her Shoes

Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley Maclaine

Collette and Diaz play two sisters – Rose and Maggie. Rose is the successful one – mature, owns her own place, works as a lawyer, but is ultimately unhappy with a cupboard full of shoes she doesn’t wear and a truck load of self-esteem issues. Maggie is sexy, immature, irresponsible, (would love Rose’s cupboard full of shoes) and is unfulfilled. After a fight involving Rose’s boyfriend, Maggie, with nowhere else to go, decides to look up the grandmother she never knew they had and goes to live with her (Maclaine). The split between the sisters leaves them with a void, but it also enables them to start dealing with their own personal issues.

This is a terrific film with great performances from Diaz, Collette (of course, she can do no wrong) and Maclaine. They are quite typical roles for Diaz and for Maclaine, and they fit the characters perfectly. Not everyone finds romance in the end, but it is definitely a happy ending with lots of feeling good moments. One for the rom com collection.