Daydream Nation is a Canadian drama that was released in 2010. It stars Kat Dennings and was written and directed by Michael Goldbach. The movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to positive reviews.
I saw the film first on Netflix, in 2012, and it quickly became a favorite movie of mine.
Daydream Nation (2010)
Written and directed by Michael Goldbach
Movie of the Day
“People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world’s about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don’t need to last forever to be perfect.” – Caroline
A quirky town shadowed with a darkness that is reminiscent of a Stephen King novel “town”, or maybe a darker Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls), or a little lighter/a little less weird Twin Peaks. The town boasts a white-suited serial killer legend and an industrial fire that endlessly burns. Caroline (Kat Dennings), the sarcastic, well-read, whipsmart protagonist has just moved to this town and informs us at the start that this is the year where everything happened.
Caroline played brilliantly by Kat Dennings (sarcastic, well-read and whipsmart is so Kat Dennings jam) is bored, lonely and more than a little lost when she decides to shake things up in her life. She instigates an affair with her young-ish, attractive-ish English teacher (why is it always the English teacher? Played by Josh Lucas), while the resident “misfit boy” (Reece Thompson) in town pines away for her, and tries clumsily to win her heart.
I know, I know, the summary does come off as a bit contrived, and perhaps it is, but the writing, dialogue, and execution is refreshingly realistic, well-written and witty. The teacher/student affair has been done ad-nauseum (including it always being an English teacher), but in this case, we see the teacher’s side of things, what issues are going on with him that fuel an inappropriate relationship, and how both sides of the dysfunction really play out. The “lost boy”, too, is more than he seems, as is his family, especially his single-mom, who teeters on the line of a desperately lonely woman and an aggressively protective mother. Andie MacDowell is fantastic and heartbreaking, as is her “lost boy” son, Thurston, played by Reece Thompson. When Caroline genuinely falls for Thurston, it is not a moment of predictability, it is a real moment of “YES” because you see why it happens, and as a viewer, you are feeling it, too.
The last act of the movie has the most “happenings” (Caroline is right, this is the year when everything happens), and at times is slightly dizzying. It works, though, as the chaos, like everything else in the movie, is believable, and you feel like you are running through it all with the characters. The ending had me teary-eyed and wanting, desperately wanting, for the story to continue; to me, that is the best kind of ending.
Other Kat Dennings films I love: Defendor, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Thor and Charlie Bartlett.
Musically speaking (and with me, the music matters), Daydream Nation has a great soundtrack (something else I have always loved about indie movies). The soundtrack includes songs from some of my favorite artists, Emily Haines, Stars, Devendra Banhart, and Sebadoh.
“Telethon” by Emily Haines and the Soft Skeletons
Chasing Amy is a rom-com dramedy indie gem written and directed by Kevin Smith. It was released in 1997 and is the third film in Smith’s View Askewniverse series. The movie stars Joey Lauren Adams (who the movie is partly inspired by), Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and of course Jason Mewes (Jay) and Kevin Smith (Silent Bob).
The film won two awards at the 1998 Independent Spirit Awards (Best Screenplay for Smith and Best Supporting Actor for Lee). (from Wikipedia)
Chasing Amy (1997)
Written and Directed by Kevin Smith
Movie of the Day
“Since most of these people are cheering for the home team, I’m going to root for the visitors. I’m a big visitors fan. Especially the kind that make coffee in the morning before they leave!” – Alyssa Jones
I’ve always loved Alyssa (the film’s “Amy”), her spirit, her fluidity, her sense of self, her persona, her humor, and her heart. When I first saw Chasing Amy in the ’90s I remember wishing I could be like her, seeing her as brave and bold in ways, and about things, that I was shy and insecure about.
I feel closer to her now, and was once in a relationship much like the one she is in with Holden, and have had to defend my past before, too – I think she’s such an important female character (is she the first bisexual female film character?) – cheers to Kevin Smith for writing her, and for Joey Lauren Adams portrayal (and part inspiration) of her.
Alyssa is on my list of fictional characters I relate to the most. Not that I share all her experiences (some, but not all), but her way of living and loving, her take on things, and her reactions, I feel completely. This is, and always will be, my favorite Kevin Smith film, one that makes me laugh, cry and feel (a lot).
There is something about this scene, the vulnerability in it, and that moment where you know that what is being opened up will change everything. It could have been terribly cheesy, but it is not, not even at all. To me it is believable, relatable, and painful in that way that when I first saw it I watched it through my fingers, with my hands covering my eyes, dreading what the outcome would be.
I think there is this universal feeling to it. That feeling of falling into an impossible situation, and having it burn you so deeply that you feel there is no way you can keep your feelings inside any longer, and that risk, that utter and complete risk, of telling someone you are in love with them in the face of rejection.
Beyond this scene, there are so many other things I love about Chasing Amy. Alyssa is one of those characters that I relate to on an under the skin level, one of a few that I feel in a visceral way. I love how complex they wrote her friendship with Holden, and her own self-actualized journey, and reality. I love the friendship between Holden and Banky, as well, and the wit and pop culture peppered into a very real love story.
Like most of Kevin Smith’s films, the movie is hilarious, but also heartfelt. He has a knack for making you laugh until you fall over, and also FEEL in big capital letters.
Drinking Buddies was written and directed by Joe Swanberg, and was released in 2013. It stars Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston, and centers around two co-workers at a craft brewery in Chicago. The movie delves into the complexities of love and friendship, and the complications that can arise in both.
The movie premiered at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival. It also screened at the Maryland Film Festival that same year. (from Wikipedia)
Drinking Buddies (2013)
Written and Directed by Joe Swanberg
Movie of the Day
“That’s the problem with heartbreak, to you it’s like an atomic bomb and to the world it’s just really cliche, because in the end we all have the same experience.” – Kate
My best friend told me about this movie, recommending I see it, and she has never steered me toward a movie I didn’t end up loving. Drinking Buddies was no exception.
Seriously, if she tells you to watch a movie be prepared to add it to your “favorite movie” list immediately.
My first watch of this film hit me hard on so many levels, and in a very personal way. It is a very honest look at relationships and friendships, but also it is about finding yourself and knowing yourself, and understanding where you belong. Those are hard “knowings and understandings” to get to in life. Perhaps the hardest things we will ever do (if we choose to, at all).
There are no easy answers in the film (or in life, really). There is no actual closure, or any “everything is tied up” at the end. To be honest, I am okay with that because that’s how life is, and it makes the film even more relatable and real.
Even if sometimes I’d like it to be easy, that I’d like closure everywhere it’s needed, and want everything tied up in a pretty bow at the end (and in the middle, too), I know that isn’t reality and its comforting to have that kind of discomfort in this film. It ultimately makes me feel less alone, I think.
m rewatching the movie today and am curious how it will affect me this time around.
The cast in Drinking Buddies is incredible, and are some of my favorites – especially Olivia Wilde and Jack Johnson. I wish there were more films with both of them, especially more films of the real life/indie variety like Drinking Buddies.
Side note: Drinking Buddies is available to stream, and on DVD, through Netflix. It is also available to rent on Amazon and YouTube.
Kodachrome is a Netflix Original Movie which was released in 2017. The Film stars Ed Harris, Elizabeth Olsen, and Jason Sudeikis. The story is set during the final days of a well-renowned and admired photo development system known as “Kodachrome”. A father and son hit the road in order to reach the Kansas photo lab before it closes its doors for good in order to develop rolls of Kodachrome film that the father, Ben (Ed Harris) has in his possession.
The key here is that father and son are deeply estranged, and the father, a well-renowned and admired photographer, is dying of Cancer. Time is running out on all counts, for Kodachrome, for the father/photographer’s life, and for forgiveness.
Written by Jonathan Tropper (Screenplay)
Based on an article by A.G. Sulzberger
Directed by Mark Raso
Movie of the Day
“No matter how good something looks, you can’t beat the real thing.” – Ben
I’ve been itching for a road trip something fierce lately, so revisiting a recent favorite road trip movie seems in order.
I love road trip movies. They are one of my favorite genres (or sub-genres) of film. I was discussing the appeal of road trip stories in movies and I came up with one of the main reasons I love them so. A typical movie is only an hour and a half to two hours in length, which is not a lot of time for real character development. But, put your characters in a car, somewhat isolated from anyone else sans a roadside gas station attendant, bartender, or waitress/waiter, and you are allowed some space and time to explore characters, personalities, nuances, and relationships. It also makes it all the more believable when bonding happens, or attraction, or even healing.
Also, admittedly I love a good road trip movie because I love a good (or even mediocre) road trip. Since life and responsibilities limit the amount of time I can hit the road for anything other than the daily commute, road trip movies let my gypsy soul live vicariously.
Kodachrome is almost completely a road trip story, from start to finish, which is one of the reasons I love it so much.
It is also a movie about redemption and forgiveness, and the consequences of the “artist’s life”. Questions of family, of truth, of authenticity, of self, and of letting go of the past are all themes that weave throughout the story. And although the film centers on photography, music plays a significant role, as well.
Matt Ryder (Jason Sudeikis) is a record exec on the almost-outs. His character, at the start, reminds me a bit of Dan (Mark Ruffalo) in another one of my favorite films, Begin Again. They are both about to lose their jobs, they both love music and have an ear for it, and they are both lost internally, and to some degree externally, due to break-ups, and a past that has a hard hold on them. Matt seems to even teeter on that drinking problem that Dan (Begin Again) personifies, it just never takes full center stage in Kodachrome.
The “music business” is not the only way that music plays a part in Kodachrome, though. Mark’s record collection in his aunt and uncle’s home (Mark’s home since his mother died when he was an adolescent) sparks both memories that Mark shared with his father, as well as sparks a conversation, and connection, between Mark, and his father’s nurse, Zooey (Elizabeth Olsen).
A connection that starts to grow as the movie, and the road, unfold.
My one complaint lies with the character of Zooey. I wish they’d developed her as an individual more, instead of just affixing damage to her, and hinting at issues.
Too much of the time she felt like a plot device to both Matt, and his father, and it didn’t have to be that way. Elizabeth Olsen is a fantastic actor (one of my favorites), and quite capable of nuance and complexity of character. And, it was there. You could see it. I just wanted it unpacked more.
Zooey is important to everyone in this story. I wish they’d let her be important to herself in the film, as well.
Ben and Matt’s relationship is the real core of Kodachrome. There are moments when I hate Ben as much as Matt does for the obvious abandonment and neglect he gifted Matt as his father.
Other times, I feel for Ben deeply and want him to find redemption, and want Matt to forgive him. Ben and Matt’s story tugged on me because of my own abandonment issues with my absent father. I couldn’t help but root for them to heal before it was too late.
Overall, I really enjoyed Kodachrome. I loved the road trip setting, the subtext of art and the “artist’s life”, and the story of a child and estranged parent having a chance at a connection, and redemption. I loved the way Music was used and enjoyed the soundtrack, both Agatha Kaspar’s score and songs by Pearl Jam, Galaxie 500, The Indians, Graham Nash, and others.
Oh, and Live…
I even enjoyed the burgeoning, maybe love story that unfolds between Matt and Zooey, even if I wanted more of Zooey beyond her relationships with Ben and Matt. I was still rooting for them, as a “them”, somewhere down the “road”.
Side note: Kodachrome is a Netflix Original, and available to stream, and on DVD, through Netflix.
The Shape of Water (2017)
Written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
“If I told you about her, what would I say? That they lived happily ever after? I believe they did. That they were in love? That they remained in love? I’m sure that’s true. But when I think of her – of Elisa – the only thing that comes to mind is a poem, whispered by someone in love, hundreds of years ago: “Unable to perceive the shape of You, I find You all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with Your love, It humbles my heart, For You are everywhere.”
What did I know when I sat down to watch Guillermo del Toro‘s new Film, “The Shape of Water”? I knew there was an unconventional love story. I knew there was a creature. I knew there was a mute heroine. I knew that it was complicated and magical. I knew I might cry. I knew that I’d probably love it because I’m a huge fan of Guillermo del Toro’s work.
What I didn’t know (without spoilers, I promise). I didn’t know that Sally Hawkins was such an incredible actor and that she would steal my heart and literally shine off the screen. I didn’t know that the film was as much about friendship then it is about love. I didn’t realize what a commentary about humanity and society it would be, and how applicable it would be to right now. I didn’t realize how beautiful it would be.
Oh, and the Music. Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack is whimsical, emotional, beautiful, heartbreaking, and beautiful – just like the Film is.
“The Silence of Love” by Alexandre Desplat
I mentioned Hawkins performance, which is radiant and spectacular. There’s more though. Richard Jenkins, one of my all-time favorites, takes us through this world, and story, with humility, with vulnerability, with his heart on his sleeve, and with enormous humanity. Octavia Spencer, who is always amazing, is just that in this. She is strong and unwavering, full of love, and seems to be almost impervious to the racial inequality of the time (I say almost because her eyes show more pain than she lets on).
I love the way that del Toro writes women, and how he presents their sexuality. I love how human and vulnerable, beautiful, and appealing both del Toro and Doug Jones make the “creature”. I admire the unique story, the strong characters, the way everything has a green and grey sheen to it except in very significant moments when bold reds and blues appear. I love that we never know everything. And, I love Elisa and the family she has built, the courage she has, her beauty and heart, and how she doesn’t need to speak to say so much.
I love that the misfits are the heroes, have the most heart and humanity, and love big. And that they become family to each other.
Michael Shannon is tremendous in this, even if I despised his character and shuddered at so many things he did. He really did portray the perfect villain without being vaudeville “boo hiss”, or stereotypical in his performance, and characterization. Michael Stuhlbarg, who I don’t think I’ve seen before, gave a great performance, too. A quiet heroism that was so heartbreaking.
I’m going to end this here because if I write any more I will give away things that I think you should experience yourself, so no spoilers. I will just say go see this. Don’t wait to watch it at home, go take it in on a big screen, lose yourself in it, be a part of this world for two hours and three minutes. You won’t regret it.
The Shape Of Water Trailer
Written by Anne Fontaine and Christopher Hampton
Directed by Anne Fontaine
“It was just important for us to know it hadn’t gone away. That it was still alive. Christ, I felt like I would suffocate if I didn’t have it.“
Where do the boundaries lie between family, friends, and lovers? Does age factor into love? Do familial ties that are not actually family factor in? What happens when lines are crossed? Can anything ever go back to the start?
These are questions that initially came to me while watching the Film Adore, that I am going to delve into further here for Monday Movies.
I came into this film not knowing the premise at all beyond two friends growing up together and raising their songs somewhat together. That is certainly the start. Roz (Robin Wright) and Lil (Naomi Watts) have been best friends since they were young girls. They live nearly next door to one another, even as they are now married adults with young sons. The film opens with a visual introduction to Roz and Lil as children, then leads up to the present day, where we see Lil and her son Ian at a funeral for Lil’s husband/Ian’s father.
They live nearly next door to one another, even as they are now married adults with young sons. The film opens with a visual introduction to Roz and Lil as children, then leads up to the present day, where we see Lil and her son Ian at a funeral for Lil’s husband/Ian’s father.
Lil and Ian continue to live next door to Roz and her husband and their son Tom. The boys become best friends and we watch as they grow into young men.
Lines are crossed when Ian develops feelings for Roz and Roz for Ian. To be honest, Roz and Ian are the only romance in this I believed. Well, that and Roz and Lil, who I think had a lifelong love that transcended all the other relationships at play.
Without giving too much of the plot away, Lil and Tom get involved. Roz and Ian continue to be involved. And yes, complications ensue. There was an uncomfortable element to all of it that played at taboos and incest (though there was no actual incest here), but I do think that it is the societal morality that made for the moments of uncomfortableness. If you can push past that, there is an interesting and thought-provoking story at play here.
All that said, though, I do wish we had a little more individual character development, especially for Lil and Tom. I felt like I knew Roz and Ian so much better, but then again maybe that was due to me liking the two of them so much better. I’m not sure.
The Film never seemed gratuitous to me. There was never a moment where it felt scintillating just to be such, nor was this a tale of a so-called Cougar and her young lover, or in this case plural. It was more complex, and complicated than that, though it could have very well slipped into the paperback romance zone. I believed in these characters, and felt for them, even when I was watching between half-covered eyes because I knew disaster was bound to happen.
There is a lot of questions in this about intimacy and connection, of morality, of boundaries and limits, and love. I have some theories on what transpires between these four people, and some hows and whys that seem to ring true to me, but they are only from my perspective and interpretation, and not based on anything that is actually revealed in the film. Again, I am hesitant at revealing too much story here, but I do think the closeness and intimacy between Roz and Lil is a huge part of what fuels the love affairs that go on between the two women and each other’s sons.
I think gender plays a huge role here, too. If Lil and Roz had been men, and Ian and Tom young women, I don’t think the perceived uncomfortableness and secretiveness would have been so heavy. Or, it may not have happened at all, which raises another set of societal morality to question and consider.
This is also seen through what has been called the “Female Gaze”, which also begs to ask the question would it be described as “troubling” “complicated” “challenging” (all words nicked from movie reviews) if the older women had been men, and the younger guys been girls. Would it have been considered “provocative” (another nicked adjective) to see half-naked young women, as it seems to be ere to see half-naked young men?
There really is so much to consider here.
This is not an easy film to watch, but I think it’s worth the challenge it takes to really open up your mind and take it all in. It requires some thinking, some unpacking, and some feeling of what you get out of it – and it definitely requires a setting aside of norms of society, especially in terms of age, boundaries, and relationships.
Last Night (2010)
Written & Directed by Massy Tadjedin
“In the middle of most nights, when I can’t sleep I still replay you.” ~ Joanna
Movies that happen over the course of one night (or one day) are a favorite of mine, as I mentioned in a recent post where I listed my 10 favorites. Also, I am quite a big fan of Keira Knightley, and many (if not all) of the roles that she’s played. So, when I stumbled on the movie, “Last Night”, while searching through movies in one day/one night, I realized Keira is in it, and that I’ve never seen it before.
I’m also a fan of unrequited love, chance encounters, and unpredictable love stories. All that said, I’m not sure that this was any of those, not completely. I could argue that there was unrequited love between Joanna and Alex, but it was definitely not the theme of the film, or what the unfolding of the story was meant to be – at least not from my perspective.
I was severely split on the characters in this film, and the storylines. I would have been perfectly happy to have never met Michael, or had any time spent on his storyline with both Joanna, and Laura. It was Joanna’s story that interested me, and no, not just because Keira played her, but because she seemed more flushed out, more complex, and definitively more interesting. She had a complicated relationship with herself, as a writer, a wife, and an individual. She wasn’t any one thing at all, which is refreshing in a female cinematic character, and made me pause to think…oh, well of course, this is written and directed by a woman.
Alex was also interesting, even though we only really saw him through the eyes of Joanna, and his friend/agent (I think), Truman (yay, Griffin Dunne, please be in more films). Alex was the quintessential one that got away, but he was more than just that past fantasy that we all (or most of us) have, we got to see a bit of his side of it, and that Joanna, too, was his one that got away – maybe in a much bigger, deeper way than he was to her.
There is a moment on the train, towards the end of the film, where I think we really see how Alex feels – and its done silently, through expressions on his face, as he clicks through photographs of Joanna, and flashes on memories he has. There is also a moment with Joanna, as she sits in a window sill quietly crying, that says volumes about her, and how she is feeling about not just Alex, but about her life.
I wanted more of her, and honestly think her husband Michael, and his encounter with his coworker, could have been left out. We still could have understood the conflict and confusion, and doubt, Joanna had about her marriage without meeting him. Also, his story, and his dalliance with his coworker, were too surface and stereotype. There were no surprises there, or complexities (except a glimpse at complexity with Laura, and her being a widow, which I wanted more of), to these characters. They felt predictable, and throw away.
It made me feel that the writer’s heart was really invested in Joanna, and in Alex, and even Alex’s friends, and that flushing out a story with Michael and Laura was just an afterthought.
All criticisms aside, the movie was worth seeing for Joanna and Alex. For them, I would recommend it.
Points for a haunting, romantic, moody soundtrack, too. One I think I may need to own.
Daniel :: Bat For Lashes
Pillow Talking :: Clint Mansell
It Follows (2014)
Written & Directed by David Robert Mitchell
“When I was a little girl my parents would not allow me to go south of 8th mile. And I did not even know what that meant until I got a little older. And I started realizing that. That was where the city started and the suburbs ended. And I used to think about how shitty and weird was that. I mean I had to ask permission to go to the state fair with my best friend and her parents only because it was a few blocks past the border.” ~ Yara
I love horror movies. All kinds of horror movies – good ones, bad ones, cheesy ones, classic ones, but I most especially love ones that go beyond the surface of scare, and make me think. “It Follows” is one of those kinds of horror movies.
At first glance, I found my self thinking late 70’s/80’s John Carpenter. The movie opens on a neighborhood that is very “Halloween”. Long shots and very muted music, subtle and subdued, but effective. The story pulls you in immediately, but not in a jarring way. No, the tone is softer than that, almost lulling, but haunting, all at once.
At times I was reminded of Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides” in the style and the pace of the film. Something, too, in the beauty of it. The story unfolds slowly, and in close up proximity. It almost feels, at times, like the viewer is eavesdropping on these teenagers private moments – some big, some small.
The movie does not rely on jump scares, gratuitous gore or nudity, or manipulative music to make the viewer feel. You feel because of the story, because of the acting, because of the emotions, and because there is something so off-kilter and unusual going on. This isn’t about a STD haunting, but instead, it feels like a kind of coming-of-age, and coming to grips with the reality of growing-up, and one’s own mortality – but wrapped up in a horror package.
This isn’t a cautionary tale on sex, or the old trope that only the virgin lives. Our final girl wasn’t a virgin at the start, and she has other final friends who make it to the end (though it is arguable that they have survived anything permanently). I read a comparison somewhere to “My So-Called Life” and it made me laugh a little, but also kind of agree. There is a realism to these characters, to teenage life, as well as a timelessness to it (if it wasn’t for the presence of cellphones, I’d almost think this was set in the late 80’s/early 90’s).
Don’t get me wrong, the movie terrified me. And it left me looking behind my own shoulder the next day…just because…
If you enjoy horror with some thinking involved (and nothing wrong with horror that is mindless either – love those, too), then I highly recommend this one. It is definitely making it to my favorite horror movie list.
Written and Directed by Sam Esmail
About the Movie: Comet is a 2014 American comedy drama film directed and written by Sam Esmail. The film stars Emmy Rossum and Justin Long. The movie had its world premiere at Los Angeles Film Festival on June 13, 2014. The film went on to screen at the Twin Cities Film Fest on October 22, 2014. On October 28, 2014, it was announced IFC Films had acquired all distribution rights to the film. The film was released on December 5, 2014, in a limited release and through video on demand. The film stars Justin Long and Emmy Rossum.
Brief Synopsis: After meeting by chance at meteor shower, pessimist Dell (Justin Long) and insightful Kimberly (Emmy Rossum) begin a 6 year journey through an on-again/off-again relationship that blooms and fades over time. The movie takes you out of order in flashbacks of their timeline showing you the progression and depression of their intricate relationship, and asks the question of what is real, what is a dream, and what, if any of it, is an alternate universe.
Dell and Kimberly are star-crossed lovers whose relationship starts as an almost love at first sight moment, blossoming quickly, and then slowly unraveling during the course of six years. A chance encounter brings the two together, and sets the course for a tempestuous love affair that unfolds like a puzzle, and is told intentionally out of order. As the film zigzags back and forth in time, from their first meeting at a meteor shower in Los Angeles (at the Hollywood Forever cemetery), to a Paris hotel room where the couple is met to attend a wedding (and possibly become engaged), to a fateful long-distance phone call, an unforgettable portrait of their relationship emerges.
Why I chose it: An unconventional. uniquely told love story that may, or may not, involve alternate realities? Yeah, I’m so there. Also, I love Justin Long and Emmy Rossum. Also, I love stories set in Los Angeles.
My thoughts in three sentences: There is something beyond words, something hard to define, about this film that touched me in a very deep, emotional way; at times. I found myself in tears that were a mix of both melancholy and joy, because this movie struck a chord with me that felt so relevant and real, and beautiful. It reminded me a lot of a relationship I once had in my life, its starts and stops, and the way that I have never been the same since.
Best: The writing and directing, the cinematography, the pacing, the style, the acting (Justin and Emmy were amazing, and the complex emotionally charged story told. Also, Sam Esmail is an amazing writer and director who also wrote/directed my favorite current television series, Mr. Robot.
Worst: Nothing, absolutely nothing. This is already a part of my list of all-time favorite movies.
Rating (out of 5): 5+++
Lunch & a Movie Series :: Enough Said (2013)
Written and Directed by Nicole Holofcener
About the Movie: Enough Said is a 2013 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Nicole Holofcenter. The film stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Galdolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette and Ben Falcone. Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva, a divorced masseuse who begins a relationship with Albert (Gandolfini), only to discover that he is the ex-husband of her client and friend Marianne (Keener).
Brief Synopsis: Eva (Louis-Dreyfus), a masseuse and the divorced mother of a teenage girl, attends a party in Pacific Palisades with her friends, married couple Will (Ben Falcone) and Sarah (Toni Collette). There she meets a poet, Marianne (Catherine Keener), and Will introduces Eva to one of his friends, Albert (James Galdolfini). After the party, Albert asks Will for Eva’s number and, although hesitant since she is not physically attracted to him, Eva agrees to go on a dinner date with Albert, which goes well. Marianne contacts Eva for a massage, and after taking an immediate liking to one another they become friends.
Eva finds herself growing fonder of Albert and they have lunch with his teenage daughter, Tess (Eve Hewson), who, like Eva’s daughter Ellen (Tracey Fairaway), is graduating from high school and moving away to attend college. A few days later, Eva goes to her massage appointment with Marianne and realizes that Albert is Marianne’s ex-husband after Marianne tells a story about how he eats guacamole—the same story Albert had told Eva. Tess then arrives at the house and Eva’s suspicions are confirmed. Marianne tries to introduce Eva to Tess, but Eva hides behind a tree to avoid the meeting. Eva continues seeing Albert, keeping her friendship with Marianne a secret; likewise, she does not tell Marianne that she is seeing him.
Eva encourages Marianne to voice her complaints about Albert so she can identify potential problems in her relationship with him. At the encouragement of Eva, Sarah and Will invite her and Albert to a dinner party, which ends badly after Eva nitpicks over Albert’s faults, which upsets him. At another appointment with Marianne, Eva is exposed when Albert arrives to drop Tess off. He is angry that Eva kept her friendship with Marianne a secret, and breaks up with her.
Where the two of them go from here, dealing with the realities of what happened, the coincidences and the impact on things said and not said, are spoilers that I’m not going to reveal. It is thought provoking, though, to think how you would handle the scenario from Eva’s perspective, and from Albert’s.
Why I chose it: A few weeks back I was having dinner with a close friend of mine and this movie was playing in the background. We talked about it a little and she mentioned how much she loved it. I’d always meant to see it, but never gotten around to it, so after that night I went looking for it. I also chose it because I love James Galdolfini and Catherine Keener.
My thoughts in three sentences: It was so refreshing to watch a romantic comedy genre film featuring older adults, and not just fresh-faced early twenty-somethings, not that I don’t enjoy those as well, but nice to see a story about adults my age. I loved this film, even when it was painful to watch. There was a moment when James Galdolfini made me cry just because I missed the actor, and this movie made me actually like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, which is a first for me (no, I was not a Seinfeld fan – sorry).
Best: Eva, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ portrayal of her. I felt for her so deeply, related in some ways to her, cringed when she was making mistakes, and cheered for her all the way to the end. Her relationships in this, every one, was so realistic and flushed-out and relatable. I also loved Albert in this, fell for him the way Eva did, and James Galdolfini, he is so missed as an actor.
Worst: Nothing. I mean, unless I were to say the character of Marianne, but she was supposed to be unlikable, and boy was she ever. Catherine Keener played her perfectly, I just could not stomach her character.
Rating (out of 5): 5