Before I even begin this post, let me be the first to admit- I am no movie expert. I, along with several of my friends, work “in the industry” and I do tend to watch as many movies as I can get my hands on. That is where my expertise ends.
That being said- I would love to share with you my new favorite weekend activity: Solo Saturday Matinees. I head up to the Arclight theater in Hollywood or the Los Feliz 3 Cinema down my street for a discount matinee. I try to see the movies that are off the beaten path (or movies that my husband would probably have no interest in seeing). So far- It’s been a hit or two with a couple of misses mixed in. I know it’s difficult to really “judge” a movie because everyone has different tastes. What I think to be very hilarious might not make you laugh at all. So, take these reviews with a grain of salt. I WILL avoid spoilers, and hopefully give a broad overview that can help you decide whether or not to see them for yourselves.
Title: Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
Synopsis: Britain’s leading fishing expert (Ewan McGregor) is flown to the Yemen to create a fresh water fly fishing stream/lake in the desert in an effort to boost the country’s moral. The Prime-Minister’s press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) gets involved and sees it as a great PR opportunity and hires a consultant (Emily Blunt) to oversee the project. They face obstacles, they might be in love, Emily Blunt’s boyfriend (who was sent overseas to fight in the war) might be dead or he might be alive..so on and so forth.
I don’t really have much of an opinion on this one. It was just kind of…there. I laughed maybe once or twice, and I wasn’t really passionate about the story. I thought the acting was great (Emily Blunt is one of my favorites) but other than that, there isn’t much to say. It’s light-hearted and nice. That’s pretty much it.
Final Verdict: It’s a renter
Title: Jeff Who Lives At Home
Synopsis: Jeff (Jason Segel) is a late-twenties-something who lives at home in his mother’s (Susan Sarandon) basement. He is pretty lethargic and lazy, but is absolutely obsessed with signs, fate and finding his purpose in life. Coincidentally, he also smokes a lot of weed. His mom is pretty miserable and lonely at her job, etc. She sends him on a simple errand and from there, he crosses paths with his arrogant brother (Ed Helms). The stories start to intertwine as they all search for where they should be heading in life.
Pros- The acting was really great. Judy Greer is awesome as Ed Helms’ wife and speaking of Ed Helms- he plays a total jerk which was a nice change from his usual goofy characters. I thought the plot tied up nicely and overall, it was a charming movie. Again- it didn’t have a great impact on my day, but I enjoyed it. So far, this is my favorite “Solo Saturday Matinee” experience.
Final Verdict: Good for a matinee or a rental
Title: Damsels In Distress
Synopsis: A group of girls (Greta Gerwig, Megalyn Echikunwoke, and Carrie MacLemore) set out to improve the general standard of living at a grungy, typical American university. They take the new girl (Analeigh Tipton) under their wing as they set out to socialize with boys and counsel a group of deeply depressed/suicidal students. They all go through various relationships with guys at the university, and of course this causes jealousy and anger.
I really, really wanted to like this movie! Strong female leads, interesting director and the like. It is possible that I am just really dense, but I didn’t enjoy this movie. I think it was supposed to be some sort of social commentary, but I’m not sure. The jokes were off-balance and even though the acting was not bad, it just didn’t flow. Portions of the movie were heavily stylized, but then something else would creep in and throw it off again. The character’s dialogue seemed too perfect for me (like a lower-grade Aaron Sorkin script) and I just didn’t really care if any of them ended up happy. Again, maybe I am absolutely missing the point here, but I just didn’t identify. I do think it’s one of those movies that you either love or hate- so I am sure there will be several of you who love everything about it. I hope that is the case..if you HAVE seen it and want to share your thoughts, I would love to hear them. I felt like I was missing something. I HOPE I was missing something.
Final Verdict: No thanks
Title: The Five-Year Engagement
Synopsis: Violet (Emily Blunt- told you I am a fan) and Tom (Jason Segel- also round 2) are a newly engaged couple trying to figure out the best way to start their lives together. They both have blossoming careers, friends and family and they aren’t too sure how to fit all of those pieces into a marriage.
Pros – I thought Emily Blunt and Jason Segel were ultra-charming together. Alison Brie and Chris Pratt are also hilarious. Huge kudos to Alison Brie’s British accent as well- spot on. Overall, I really thought the casting was perfect. I had a friend with me on this outing, and we both laughed A LOT.
Cons – It was a bit too long. I think they could have cut 30 minutes out and it would have been perfect. I can’t give a romantic comedy 2+hours of my time unless it’s Notting Hill and then for some reason I am hooked from start to finish. I don’t know that I should be proud of my love for Notting Hill.
Final Verdict: Worth a watch!
There you have it! May is looking pretty promising as well.
Avengers, Dark Shadows, Moonrise Kingdom… Good month for movies!! Also, I feel a very strong pop culture breakdown post coming your way with the release of the sure-to-be Oscar bait: Miley Cyrus in LOL. If you haven’t seen this trailer… well, it’s a movie. That some studio paid millions of dollars for. I just… Yeah.
Go ahead- watch it here. Fave line from the trailer: “Every year it’s weird going back to school, but here we are just going with the flow. Trying to love, and laugh out loud. Which is nice ’cause my name is Lola, but everyone calls me Lol.”
Thanks for reading!