Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week of August 29 to Sept. 4 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Comedies Dominate Tropic Cinema Screens --
Romantic. Thoughtful, and Dark

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

From a guffaw to a twinkle in the eye, you’ll find something to smile about in all the films showing this week at the Tropic.

Daniel Radcliffe hopes to work a little Harry Potter magic with his new rom-com, a sweet little trifle called “What If.” Paired with bubbly Zoe Kazan, he’s a guy trying to get beyond the dreaded Friend Zone in their relationship. It might be easier if she didn’t already have a boyfriend. Time Out says, “For a kid who grew up in public and is worth an estimated 60 million, Daniel Radcliffe does a convincing job of playing a normal guy.” And CinemaBlend.com opines, “'What If' is 'When Harry Met Sally...' for the current generation.”

“Wish I Was Here” is another funny-yet-thoughtful outing by Zach Bradd (he gave us “Garden State”), this one a look at a family man who decides to home school his kids. You guessed it: He might just learn something himself. Tri-City Herald says, “This is deep, wonderful stuff and is the year’s best feel-good movie.” And Bullz-Eye.com sees it as “a confident, funny and heartfelt tragicomedy that, although not without its blemishes, proves Braff is more than just a one-hit wonder.”

“Calvary” isn’t exactly a whodunit … more of a who’s-going-to-do-it … as an Irish priest (Brendan Gleeson) finds his life threatened for the sins of others. But a black comedy to be sure. Tampa Bay Times calls it “a lurid Agatha Christie yarn with something important to say about the church and Ireland.” And East Bay Express calls it “food for the soul.”

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” pits a raucous Indian family against sedate French snobbery. Papa (Om Puri) is determined to open Maison Mumbai across the street from the restaurant owned by Madam Mallory (Helen Mirren). The Virginian-Pilot notes, “It's curry vs. crepes in this culture-clash romantic comedy set in small-town France. We know where the plot is headed; the joy is in watching it play out.” And Richard Roeper calls it, “Food porn with a sweet albeit predictable menu.”

Woody Allen pulls his latest rabbit out of the hat with “Magic in the Moonlight,” a charming tale about a magician (Colin Firth) attempting to expose a too-good-to-be-true clairvoyant (Emma Stone). You can guess how this rom-com turns out. Jackiekcooper.com says, “Woody Allen shows he still has the ‘magic’ with this delightfully romantic comedy.” And Mountain Xpress calls it, “A sparkling champagne cocktail of a romantic comedy only Woody Allen could make.”

So ask your doctor. He’ll tell you laughter is the best medicine.


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