romance

Nine (2009)

Nine (2009)

nine

Musical, drama, romance – Italy, USA – 118 min

Written by Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella

Directed by Rob Marshall

 

How many women does it take to make a movie?

Nine is a cinematographic take on a Broadway musical with the same title. Taking place in Italy in the 60’s, it depicts a famous director Guido Contini who struggles with his new movie and his life, or rather, his life with women in it. As he is fighting in despair his inability to write a script and trying to get through diverse relationships with the gentle sex, we get to see and hear the musical parts.

A whole constellation of stars has been involved in the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis playing the main part, Marion Cotillard being his wife, Penelope Cruz – his mistress and Sophia Loren herself with the role of mother, just to mention a few big names.

For me, the movie’s a sweet candy with no filling. Though Rob Marshall brought us Chicago (2002), this one sadly does not live up to the heels. The women are beautiful, the choreography and costumes are beautiful, the cinematography is great, too. But that’s about it. Most of the songs are not performed as good as to be remembered, with the exception of those sung by Fergie and Cotillard (2nd one). The plot seems to be lacking something. It leads me to the feeling of incompleteness of the story, as it is not whole.  And the fake Italian accent of Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t make it better.

This is a movie about passion and if you seek emotions, romance and drama even more, you’ll certainly find much in it.

I give it 6/10.

P.S. Will do for Valentine’s Day!

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ME BEFORE YOU (2016)

Me Before You (2016)

Drama, Romance, Comedy (?) – UK, USA – 1 h 50 min

Written by Jojo Moyes (also the author of the novel)

Directed by Thea Sharrock

 

Me before seeing the movie: yay! Let’s watch this! Both the poster and the trailer look so promising! ;D

Me after seeing the movie: Meh.

 

The man: a good-looking, rich, in his early thirties, living a life full of extreme sports. Then, an accident happens (What a surprise! Wow! Who would ever expect this?) that lefts him paralyzed, practically friendless and stuck in his parents’ castle.

The woman: a good-looking, freshly fired from her waitress post, twenty-something wearing clothes either of a grandma or a fifth-grader, who is desperate to help her family financially (quote: We need that money!). She decides to go for an interview for the post of a companion/carer of a paralyzed man, the man. And, oh, she gets the job, despite her zero qualifications and none experience.

It was so unexpected that they won’t get on well at the beginning but fall in love later. Except for it wasn’t.

I was amazed how much cliche is that movie. I know that drama-romance films usually follow well-known schemes but really I was certainly not prepared for this.

It was funny or ridiculous in moments probably not intended to be. Take Mother of the Dragons’, erm, Emilia Clarke’s unbelievable eyebrow dance and forehead’s skin movements. It surely has a lot of comedy potential. However, it didn’t fit in the movie’s theme in my opinion. Instead, that features would be terrific in John Bean-like sketches.

I find it hard to believe how many wrongs are included in the plot and portrays of the characters. The main heroine seems to be retarded for, like, a half of the movie. Turns out she isn’t. The paralyzed man going for the wedding of his former best friend and his former girlfriend? That’s absurd and unreal! The strangest for me is, however, the conclusion.

The lesson taught by this  movie is as follows: be a poor but attractive woman -> fall in love (unwillingly!) with a rich man ->  spend some wonderful time on exotic trips with him -> get money from him and live happily despite tragical past of your love. The end.

I haven’t read the book but now I am definitely not going to read either.

Anyone has anything good to say about the movie? Please, do cause I only liked the appearance of one dress and the marvellous scenery of an exotic island.

 

My rating: 3/10

Down with Love (2003)

Down with Love (2003)

down with love

USA – comedy, romance – 101 min

Written by Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake

Directed by Peyton Reed

Women vs. men. Men vs. women. This war lasts quite a few years. Or centuries. Or millennia.  ‘Women are so…’ in the eyes and mouths of men, while ‘Men are just too… and not enough…’ according to women. The movie makers take on this seemingly risky, but oh so entertaining and engaging subject. Also, quite widely used.

The female army in the movie is lead by Barbara Novak (Rene Zellweger – flawless), an author of the best-selling advice book Down with love, in which she calls for women to be strong, career-oriented and independent, not those falling for the opposite sex with their hearts open wide and fully devoting themselves to men. (Yes, Barbara has had her heart broken.)

On the other side of the conflict here we’ve got a playboy journalist Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor who fit just right in the role). No, not a typo – they really named the character like that! Note the hidden meaning! Needless to say, they fight, irritate each other but are they really down with love? We sure Know (inside joke for those who have seen the film) that Block’s friend is not and he desperately tries to get something going with Novak’s friend and no. 2 in the female army.

Down with Love is a funny reflection on the whole thing of the war of the sexes. It tries to find a suitable, harmonic agreement between the two ‘enemies’ at least a few times. However, it seems as if the film makers have run out of ideas and finally leave the matter unsolved. Or, have they…?

The movie is above all the ideological features a nod to the 60’s and a parody of its ridiculous style and characteristic way of film-making. It’s so pleasant to watch it just to spot all the details, starting with iconic room decoration, clothes and hairdos, ending with the studied poses of the actors and the ludicrous behaviour of the characters. Well done!

If you miss the 60’s, want to watch something light, amusing but also thought-provoking – there’s no better choice than this piece of cinematography. Prepare for plot twists!

My rate: 8/10

P.S. Are you down with love?

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

sl

USA – Drama, Psychological, Comedy, Romance – 122 min

Directed by David O. Russell

Written by Matthew Quick (novel), David O. Russell (screenplay)

Will someone be there for you when you have a breakdown? Or when you’ll be recovering from one?

This movie will make you question the binar system of judging people – ‘normal’ vs. ‘nuts’. What is a normality? How much of it does one have to have to be marked as ‘normal’? Finally – is normality a real thing at all?!

The plot centers around Pat Solitano (ladies and gents, splendid Bradley Cooper!) who just left a mental institution after 8 months of stay. Diagnosis: bipolar disorder. A maniac episode burst when he witnessed his wife cheating on him and led him to beat his wife’s lover nearly to death. As he returns home, he desperately tries to reunite with his beloved (and untrustworthy, I guess?) spouse, which is extremely difficult due to the restraining order. His mom and dad (undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder, gambling addiction; played by the master, Robert De Niro) are doing their best to help him recover. It is not easy, partly beacuse they, especially father, struggle with their own problems.

His life seems to get even more complicated when meets a young widow – Tiffany (in this role Jennifer Lawrence, bravo!). Diagnose: depression and prolly sex addiction. She proposes him an interesting deal – Pat’s letter will be delivered to his wife if he participates with Tiffany in a dance contest. Do I need to reveal what happens next?

This bittersweet movie may be considered a miniature of a modern society and its perception of a mental illness. Although there are millions of people worldwide suffering from various psychiatric conditions, there still is a stigmatization of such citizens. Humans like you get sick, whether it is cancer, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis or schizophrenia. Get over it!

It also takes on other difficult topics. Fatherhood. Accepting yourself. Trying too hard to get back something that is no longer yours. Finally, it makes you realize how fragile and weak we all are deep inside. And we need someone to help us.

Thanks to Silver Linings Playbook I learned something about myself, too. Therefore, I recommend this fresh piece of cinematography wholeheartedly for everyone and anyone.

Peace out!

My rank: 9/10

Whatever Works (2009)

Whatever Works (2009)

whatever

USA – 92 min – Comedy

Directed and written by Woody Allen

 

Woody Allen takes on the topic of love again. This time, it is not only a funny movie, but philosophical as well.

There’s a neurotic, old guy (Woody Allen, is that you? No, not this time. It’s Larry David.), a physicist whose way of perceiving life and world is sarcastic and pessimistic, to say the least. There’s a young, naive girl with many hopes but with few IQ points. Then, there’s her ultra conservative mother, her father, a handsome guy (or even two of them), neurotic guy’s friends.

Finally, there’s love.

Whatever Works shows us some of the million faces of love and how unpredicted and unexpected it can be. Though it seems like a cliché, this movie isn’t one to follow hackneyed path of a typical romantic comedy.

Apart from the main theme of l’amour between two or more people we’ll find there reflections on the human nature. On the one side, an old, surly man, who’s tired of life and who failed to commit a suicide. On the other, a young woman, who starts her adulthood full of hopes, dreams and without any specific plans. The confrontation of these two characters resemble how much a person changes throughout his/her life and how hard it may be to communicate between the two phases of existence or two generations.

The movie sure is full of hilarious dialogues, monologues and surprising plot twists.

I recommend for a romantic evening for those of you, who’d like to watch a real comedy with elements of romance.

 

My rate: 8/10

Valentine’s Day: 14 very different movies for 14th February

As everyone is unique, we all have distinct taste in cinematography and various esthetical needs to be satisfied by a film.
Here you can find the movie list I’ve made with a view to this diversity.

Whether you celebrate it with your beloved one, or on your own – have a happy Valentine’s Day and enjoy your film(s)!

1. For those who are fond of unusual and creative stories (not to say: ‘strange’), despite the difficulties the characters must struggle with, I recommend Rumba (2008).
2. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) – not exactly the most romantic movie, but hey, who said there must be flowers, kisses and flying hearts in every scene?
If your man is fed up with all romantic comedy stuff that follow the common scheme, make this day special and watch together some action!
3. However, supposing you feel like getting some of motion pictures that burst with drama and true love, watch The Vow (2012). So sweet!
4. Yearning for a good Bollywood love story, but you’ve already seen Kal Ho Naa Ho and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham? Vivah (2006) is the answer!
5. Drama, romance, drama, romance… Urgh! To laugh out of the Valentine’s Day, choose Date Movie (2006) – a hysterical parody of well-known romantic movies.
6. The followers of carpe diem philosophy who are keen on drama movies should be satisfied with Now is Good (2012). If you liked A Walk to Remember (2002), you’ll be delighted!
7. Got your heart broken again? Here, let me explain you that He’s Just Not That Into You (2009). He may be into that film, though.
8. Byôsoku 5 senchimêtoru /5 Centimeters Per Second /(2007) is my suggestion for the fans of animated masterpieces. This beautiful story with breath-taking graphics deserves to be your must-watch!
9. In case that you’d rather have goosebumps than a tear of emotion in your eye and you’d still like to follow Valentine’s Day theme, the movie for you is The Loved Ones (2009). Suits for Halloween as well.
10. Splendid costumes, outstanding music, admirable scenography and exceptional actors that sing as good as act – all this creates a theatrical, marvelous world of Moulin Rouge! (2001). Dear musical lovers and those who like to feed their eyes with glamour – 127 minutes of heaven awaits! Dear other people – watch as well, you certainly won’t waste your time!
11. Looking for a light, French romance-comedy? Seek and you shall find! 20 ans d’ecart (2013) is perfect for having a good time.
12. Neither life, nor love is easy. A movie doesn’t always have to entertain, characters may not lead a successful, happy existence. Gegen die Wand/Head-On/ (2004) tells a bitter, uneasy story that may be shocking or touching at times, but definitely worth watching.
13. At a certain point, some people engaged in long lasting relationships wonder if the love is gone. Romantic comedy-drama Hope Springs (2012) takes on this hard topic. Excellent plot, excellent actors (Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell), excellent movie!
14. And for the last – Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986) to add some sensuality and spice to the list. Oh boy’ it’s going to be hot! Therefore, perfect for a cold winter’s evening.

If you liked the list, please let me know. In case you didn’t, please do so as well.

And do not hesitate to put your own ideas in comments!