Nora Ephron used to say that there are two romantic comedy traditions, the Jewish and the Christian. In the Christian tradition, the leads face obstacles that keep them apart. In the Jewish tradition, the obstacles are the leads themselves.
So this is Martin Bonner (Paul Eenhoorn), a quiet, unassuming Australian immigrant who’s been living in the U.S. for decades. In the movie that bears his name, he’s recently transplanted to Reno, Nev., for his first real job in three years.
Rant: It’s been three months since we suffered through Gilles Bourdos’ Renoir. Now we’re served Fernando Trueba’s The Artist and the Model. Let’s end the suspense: They’re the same movie, but awful for different reasons.
Don’t be fooled by all the praise for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, writer-director David Lowery’s tone piece and homage to similar tone pieces. This tale of doomed criminals in love set in early 1970s Texas is devoid of new ideas, themes or a story.
The Spectacular Now has been compared to John Hughes’ coming-of-age stories from the 1980s, but Hughes’ drama never went this deep, even at his best. Plus, the cast, especially leads Miles Teller (as Sutter) and Shailene Woodley (as Aimee), is better than any ensemble Hughes assembled.
Sometimes so-so Woody Allen is so much better than everything else out there that I almost want to give him a pass when he doesn’t quite measure up. Take Midnight in Paris, a charming sort of trifle that, for this critic, was almost sunk by its singular and nasty misogyny (think of the Rachel McAdams character).