In 2007, a little coming of age-high school comedy, with a very modest budget of $20 million took the coming of age, modern high-school comedy canon by storm, and has yet to be trumped in over a decade. That little movie that could was Superbad, a film that was written by real-life best friend Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who, went on to becoming two of the most successful and prominent comedy writers of our generation. Generating real-life stories based on what happened to them, including the infamous period-blood dance scene, the cocaine-karaoke scene and other incredibly funny scenarios that we thought could ever happen in a million years, the two writers have a knack of garnering insatiable laughs with well-received, cortically and commercially successful films. Luckily for us, Superbad was a film that starred two breakout stars in Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, who would go on to becoming staples in the comedy world as well as the Seth Rogen’s comedy empire. But like all good things in this world, change is upon us. With the recent influx of female voices being heard and stories being told, we fast forward twelve years, and finally have our very own, female-centric Superbad with Booksmart. And as if destiny would have it, ironically enough, this kick-ass female story of missed opportunities and revelations delivers endless laughs, sometimes cries and funny enough, stars Jonah Hill’s little sister Beanie Feldstein. How’s that for a coincidence?
From the moment the screen fills with light, and we come face-to-face with Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), his eyes are desolate while his voice is filled with love as he recites the poetically romantic words of Loretta’s letter to her husband of fifty years, Chris. Theodore works for BeautifullyHandwrittenLetters.com, a company established sometime in the near future where people are either too lazy or just mentally incapable of writing their own letters to their loved ones. The irony of her begins (as do so many other films) with someone else’s love story. The trials and tribulations of Theodore’s love story not only mirrors the love we share with others but also portrays our uncontrollable and inexplicable dependence or ‘love’ for technology. In that sense, her becomes part science fiction love story/part docudrama, with a message that is both a parable of the direction human behaviour is headed and a misunderstood, timeless love story for the ages. Either way, her is the most captivating and responsive film of the year, demanding attention with a grueling look at our ability to love and be loved.Continue reading
Loud, proud, and relentless in its portrayal of sport rivals, Ron Howard’s Rush is another entry into his formulaic and conventional directing resume. Like any well oiled machine, Howard is an expert of giving audiences a fundamentally linear narrative with striking and beautiful aesthetic choices, even if the narrative follows the rivalry between two Formula One drivers whose careers and competition is anything but straight-cut.Continue reading