Posts Tagged ‘Zooey Deschanel’

Rudd’s charm drives ‘Our Idiot Brother’

Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Paul Rudd in "Our Idiot Brother" Ned is “Our Idiot Brother,” a pleasant and innocuous little comedy with a low-key charm from Paul Rudd.

“Our Idiot Brother” is a pleasant, innocuous little comedy given extra bounce and life by Paul Rudd’s charming and fluid performance as an idealistic man whose heart exceeds the size of his brain.

The first scene tells us everything we need to know about Jesse Peretz’s leisurely directing style.

A uniformed cop comes to an organic farm stand and asks a hippie-looking dude named Ned (Rudd) for some illicit weed.

Ned denies he has any. But after the cop practically begs for a dimebag (he’s had a really bad week, he says), Ned reluctantly gives him some grass. Then, the cop keeps insisting he wants to pay for it, until Ned finally gives in and quotes him a price.

“You’re under arrest!” the cop says.

“You’re kidding!” Ned replies.

Instead of instantly cutting to a shot of Ned in prison — a punchy visual requiring our brains to fill in the gaps — Peretz has Ned continue to talk to the cop until the officer finally convinces him that he’s seriously under arrest.

Not punchy. (Read more…)

Inventive, brutally honest romantic comedy ranks among year’s best

Friday, July 17th, 2009
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in "(The 500) Days of Summer" Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls for a pretty woman (Zooey Deschanel) who isn’t so sure in “(The 500) Days of Summer.”

“(500) Days of Summer” traces a greeting card writer’s romance that lasts exactly 500 days from the moment that Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) lays eyes on the beguiling Summer (Zooey Deschanel) at his office.

OK, I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. It’s directed by Marc Webb, a noted music video maker, and noted music video makers tend to make erratic features that look snazzy, but can’t carry a plot or support the characters beyond a pithy opening comment or two.

So, I was surprised when “(500) Days of Summer” turned out to be one of the freshest, most inventively rendered romantic comedies I have seen at least in the last 10 years.

It’s filled with crackling wit, excellent performances, and two complex, contradictory main characters who act like they’ve been snatched from real life, instead of being dragged from a screenwriter’s stock character warehouse. (Read more…)