Posts Tagged ‘Anne Hathaway’

‘One Day’ feels oh-so-much longer

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess in "One Day" The relationship between Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) changes over time in “One Day.”

Maybe it was all more resonant, more poignant on the page: the many highs and lows and major life shifts that occur during the decades-spanning friendship/romance between Emma and Dexter in “One Day.”

But here they feel so cursory and rushed, it’s as if we’re watching a filmed version of the CliffsNotes of David Nicholls’ best-seller. Nicholls himself adapted his novel into the screenplay, and the amount of material he tries to cram in suggests he didn’t know how or when to let go of his baby.

It’s a handsome misfire, though, with its tasteful production design and impeccable costumes — all very British. And it’s all the more curious coming from Danish director Lone Scherfig, whose last film was the excellent “An Education” (2009), which was nominated for three Academy Awards including best picture. That film had a piercing insight about it, a startling honesty beneath its glamorous exterior. Nothing of the sort is to be found here.

The central conceit is this: Em (Anne Hathaway) and Dex (Jim Sturgess) meet after a long night of post-college graduation partying on July 15, 1988. She’s self-consciously middle-class, he’s breezily posh. They jump into bed but decide to remain just friends — but we all know where that’s headed.

“One Day” keeps coming back to that one day, year after year, and checks in with them as they date other people, forge careers, share awkward dinners and basically wait around until the eventual July 15 when they’ll be together. (Read more…)

Cute ‘Rio’ undercut by cliches, stereotypes

Saturday, April 16th, 2011
Linda and Blu from "Rio" Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann) teaches Blu the bird (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) to brush his beak in the 3-D animated comedy “Rio.”

“Rio” presents a blandly generic story pumped full of life by bright and crisp animation — despite being dimmed by 3-D glasses — plus a bouncy musical score equipped with a few serviceable but forgettable original songs.

The script runs the gamut from sassy, humorous dialogue to a disappointing dependence on kid movie clichés. (Do we really need more tired advice like “Be yourself” or more sight gags of males hurting themselves where it really hurts?)

At least “Rio” boasts strong voice talents, so even the silliest of nonsensical sentences — such as Raphael the toucan’s advice, “Flying isn’t what you think up here, but what you feel in here!” — sound almost like wisdom.

At the start of “Rio,” poachers in Brazil birdnap a blue baby macaw that hasn’t even learned to fly, then whisk him off to market in the United States. His cage falls out of a truck while traveling through snowy Minnesota.

That’s where a little girl named Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann) discovers him, names him Blu and takes him home to be her best friend for many years.

Inexplicably, a comically overenthusiastic Brazilian bird specialist named Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) somehow locates the now adult Linda and tells her she must bring Blu back to the rain forest. (Read more…)

Hathaway, Gyllenhaal make drama, not just another ‘Love’ story

Sunday, November 28th, 2010
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in "Love and Other Drugs" Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) falls for Maggie (Anne Hathaway) in “Love and Other Drugs.”

Edward Zwick’s romantic drama “Love and Other Drugs” comes in three main parts: a torrid love affair, the explosive 1996 success of a new drug called Viagra, and a man’s search for a cure to his lover’s degenerative disease.

These disparate segments feel as if they’ve been rudely shoehorned into a single movie, and it falls to the magnetic performances of Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway to make it all click, and click it does.

Zwick dumps Hollywood’s false and pretentious boudoir modesty where steamed-up stars keep the sheets around their necks (for females) and stomachs (for males).

Instead, Zwick opts for plenty of bold, yet tasteful nudity, so much of it that it might be jarring at first because it violates our chaste Hollywood expectations.

Give it time. Soon, the nudity becomes part of the romantic landscape, as it is, usually, in real life.

Based on James Reidy’s book “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman,” Zwick’s movie follows the relationship between a shallow, fast-talking and inept pharmaceutical salesman named Jamie Randall (Gyllenhaal) and an attractive, independent woman named Maggie Murdock (Hathaway).

He pretends to be an assistant to a potential customer, Dr. Knight (Hank Azaria), so he can sneak a peek at her breast during an exam.

She figures out the deception and clobbers Jamie with her bag. Ah, love at first fight. (Read more…)

Tim Burton’s ‘Alice’ drains the wonder out of ‘Wonderland’

Thursday, March 4th, 2010
Mia Wasikowska in "Alice in Wonderland" Young Alice (Mia Wasikowska) observes the magic of Wonderland in Tim Burton’s rendition of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Tim Burton’s re-imagined 3-D “Alice in Wonderland” is a crushing disappointment.

Not a terrible movie. Far from it. But a disappointment nonetheless.

Burton, the goth bad boy of fantastical cinema, treats Lewis Carroll’s classic story as a sort of digitalized Frankenstein’s monster, pieced together from parts of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Golden Compass” and even his own “Beetlejuice” and “Sleepy Hollow.”

The result is a movie that sucks the awe out of awesome and drains the wonder out of Wonderland.

A necessary sense of magic and mystery is missing here, leaving Burton’s marvelous eye for computer-animated special effects to carry the narrative.

Of these, the Red Queen (played by a delightfully demented Helena Bonham Carter) rules as the film’s supreme character creation with her huge, bulbous noggin resting atop a tiny body crowned by a cute, heart-shaped coif.

Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter, however, looks like Bozo the Clown with an eye infection.

Burton, working from a promising concept by screenwriter Linda Woolverton, reimagines Alice as a 19-year-old woman (played by the pale and charismatic Mia Wasikowska).

Just as the drippy Hamish (Leo Bill) asks Alice to marry him at a highly public party, Alice spots a white rabbit (voiced by Michael Sheen) with a coat and a watch.

“I need a moment,” she says as if she’s in a Twix commercial. Off she goes, and her adventure begins. (Read more…)

Cupid misses bigtime on ‘Valentine’s Day’

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
Jennifer Garner and Ashton Kutcher in "Valentine's Day" Julia (Jennifer Garner) whispers sweet nothings to Reed (Ashton Kutcher) in the romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day.”

“Valentine’s Day” – strategically released just before the title’s namesake holiday – presents 20 main characters or so in a constant, high-speed rotation on the silver screen.

All scramble to find romance, flowers, food and chocolates on Cupid’s busiest day of the year.

It’s just like a Quentin Tarantino movie, but without the time-shifted sequences, interesting characters, riveting dialogue and well-wrought action scenes.

Five things tell us that sitcom guru and Northwestern University grad Garry Marshall directed this film.

1. A camera lingers on a man’s sweatshirt bearing a “Northwestern” logo.

2. Hector Elizondo, whom Marshall considers his “good luck” charm, co-stars.

3. Floral explosions erupt on the screen (although none tops the one in Marshall’s 1991 “Frankie and Johnny”).

4. Marshall makes a Hitchcockian cameo as one of three string musicians.

5. “Valentine’s Day” is a mishmash of cutesy poo-ness, boring Hollywood clichés, semi-warm fuzzies, ham-handed song choices and a lot of squandered talent.

Sure, a few of the intertwined subplots are a hoot.

Singer Taylor Swift is the biggest surprise as a shallow, valley high school girl in love with a biceps-obsessed jock. (Read more…)