Since the Oscars, there hasn't been the same determined pace to watch as many movies as is humanly possible, but I haven't quit watching movies...
The Hottest State – Ethan Hawke wrote the book, adapted the screenplay and has a small role in this movie. Mark Webber plays an aspiring actor who moves from Texas to New York to make it in the movies. He meets a flaky, struggling singer/songwriter, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno. They have a 6-night stand in Mexico that we get to see and it borders on pornography. He falls totally in love and she does not. He spends most of the rest of the film trying to get her back, and displaying anger management issues of the nth degree, as well as immaturity. The dialogue is the usual Ethan Hawke fare – too wordy and redundant. He also wrote Before Sunrise and Before Sunset – both movies that I really didn’t like. To be fair – all three of these movies have a good story, but the dialogue – again - wordy and redundant. The actors have all this stuff to say, and try to act as if it is all spontaneous and natural, but it comes out sounding very forced and too much.
The Darjeeling Limited – Three estranged brothers travel through in India, looking for their mother and reconnecting. They bring with them lots of baggage – actual suitcases, as well as the emotional kind. It was kinda funny. Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman star as the brothers. Angelica Huston plays their mother. I liked it.
Ira and Abby – I loved the movie Kissing Jessica Stein. Jennifer Westfeldt, who wrote and starred in KJS, wrote and stars in this relationship movie (read chick flick) too, about a couple who meet and become engaged on the same day. Chris Messina plays Ira, who is a very neurotic guy. The in-laws are played by Judith Light, Robert Klein, Frances Conroy and Fred Willard. It was very good.
August Rush – This movie, starring Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers – with a little Robin Williams for spice and effect – is about a cellist and a rock star who have a one night stand and who go on separately with their lives. In another storyline, there is an orphan growing up believing that his mother is out there looking for him. It was cute.
Take the Lead – Antonio Banderas plays a guy who comes into an inner city school and tames the outcasts with ballroom dance lessons. It was good, but a renter.
Martian Child – See this movie…it is cute, cute cute!!! John Cusack plays a widower who decides to go forth with the plan he and his wife had prior to her death to adopt a child. He finds a little boy in a group home who is rather odd. Joan Cusack and Amanda Peet also star in this precious movie about acceptance.
No Reservations – A high-powered chef in a New York restaurant (Catherine Zeta-Jones) inherits her niece and has to deal with child-care and schools for the first time. Patricia Clarkson plays the owner of the restaurant, who has to find another chef (Aaron Eckhart) to fill in temporarily. It is an adaptation of Mostly Martha. I thought MM was a better movie, but this one is cute too.
Arranged – Two young women, an Orthodox Jew and a Syrian Muslim, meet at the school where they teach. They become friends. Each has reached the age of marriage, and each culture has their way of “arranging” for the marriage of their children…very good movie.
Nancy Drew – A cute little movie about the girl who solved those mysteries in all those books I read in second grade. It’s a good family picture, but definitely a renter.
Cowboy Del Amor – This documentary is about a man who takes other men down to Mexico to meet women to marry. It was amusing.
Don’t Move – When I first turned on this movie, in Italian with English subtitles, I thought – “That girl kinda looks like Penelope Cruz.” Um, it was Penelope Cruz – They tried to make her look a little homely, but you can’t mistake her eyes. Sergio Castellito, who was the male lead in Mostly Martha, wrote the screenplay (with the help of his wife, who authored the book by the same name), directed and starred in the film. This movie is about a surgeon whose daughter suffers a horrible accident. While in the waiting room not knowing if his kid is going to live or die, he remembers a relationship from long ago. It was good.