Friday, October 4, 2013

Week of Oct. 4 to Oct. 10 (Rhoades)

Tropic Cinema Offers an International Smorgasbord

This week the Tropic dishes out laughs from around the world.

If you were a big fan of TV’s “Seinfeld” and miss all those dysfunctional friends, you’ll want to catch “Enough Said,” a romantic comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a later-day Elaine. Here we have a single mom named Eva who meets a guy (James Gandolfini) that she kinda likes until she encounters his ex-wife (Catherine Keener) and starts parroting his faults. Detroit News says, “The easy chemistry between Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini is wonderfully charming - you're rooting for them even as the falsehoods pile up and the poison begins to flow.” The Austin Chronicle sees it as “a funny, tender, impactful story of two divorcées, authentically in their early 50s, struggling to trust and love again.” And Access Hollywood says “Julia Louis-Dreyfus is such a revelation that it feels like we're watching her talents unfold for the very first time.”

A different sort of rom-com is “Populaire,” a French entry about a woman (Déborah François) who has a talent for typing fast. An ambitious insurance agent (Romain Duris) decides to coach her to a world championship, but discovers that love and speed typing are not necessarily compatible. Reeling Reviews says, “Director Régis Roinsard makes his feature debut with this utterly adorable romantic comedy which feels like something right out of the 1950's.” The Washington Post calls it “cheesy, cornball sentiment.” And gushes, “It's a gorgeous picture that's highly amusing, allowing viewers to lose themselves in the fantasy of love, rivalry, and typing. Yes, typing.”

Another French comedy is “Haute Cuisine,” starring Catherine Frot as a chef hired by the president of the Republic as his personal cook to the chagrin of his kitchen staff. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls it “an epicurean dream where the dishes conjured up by the characters are as essential to the experience as the characters themselves.” And the Seattle Times says, “it has abundant charm and it leaves you hungry, which is all we ask of a food movie.”

“We’re the Millers” is a very American comedy with Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, and Will Poulter as a fake family trying to smuggled an RV-load of marijuana into the states from Mexico. ViewLondon describes it as an “enjoyable road-trip comedy with likeable characters, strong comic performances and a decent number of laughs.” The Daily Mail calls it “a fine collection of cheap and sleazy jokes, well-told.” And Flic Capacitor says it’s “funnier and more enjoyable than you're probably expecting.”

If you prefer British humour (sic) try “The World’s End,” an apocalyptic comedy about … well, the world’s end. It takes place on the night five old chums are trying to repeat their historic pub-crawl. Quad City Times says, “You might want to have a beer after you see 'The World's End,' the latest from the creative team of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright.” And Response observes, “Instead of giving us characters who find happiness by rediscovering their youth, they show us the folly of resisting adulthood.”

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” offers an intimate look at America’s Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of a White House butler (Forest Whitaker). The Denver Post calls it “A history lesson in violence and endurance. A sentimental journey. A tribute.” New Yorker sees it as “a high-minded, didactic, but irresistible entertainment.” And ReelViews says, “Forest Whitaker imbues his part with immense dignity.”

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