Entries Tagged 'Comedy' ↓

mitsuko delivers

“First things first, let’s take a nap” says heroine Mitsuko. This is some advice we can really get behind. Whenever situations get to manic in this   Mitsuko, who is a force to be reckoned with, shares this gem. Mitsko Delivers, a Japanese magic realism comedy (yes there is such a thing), debuted at the 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival . Broke and heavily pregnant by a foreigner (African American no less) and alone, Mitsuko returns to the slum she spent some of her childhood in, and meets her first love. While many might turn to wallowing in their own problems, Mitsuko takes it upon herself to solve everyone else’s instead, to great result. The last 10 minutes of this film might be a bit much for those who are not fans of farce, the previous 80 minutes are a delight, especially to hear Mitsuko deliver her signature line. [japan, 2011]

my big fat greek wedding

Maybe it’s the samba soundtrack. Maybe it’s the melancholic sweetness of its lead character. Either way, it’s a nice “alone at home without a date movie” (silly Mafia subplot notwithstanding). A single twentysomething woman’s over-zealous mother places a personal ad in the paper for her daughter Erin. Erin, who is smart, well read and emotionally balanced, winds up dating a string of losers. She corrects their misquotes and blows holes in their vapid philosophies until she meets…ah go on, rent it and find out. [us, 1998]

never been kissed

It’s hard not to like Drew Barrymore. Her Boticelli roundness and girlish charm are a welcome reprieve from Ally McBeal’s wafer thin flakiness. And she ably inhabits her character as a high school misfit in this goofy comedy about teen humiliation. But in true Hollywood style, she rises above it all, develops poise, and falls for her teacher in a groan-inducing finale. Call it a guilty pleasure. [us, 1999]

the good girl

If you’re inclined to miss this film because it stars Jennifer Aniston, don’t! After the first 20 minutes you’ll completely forget her celebrity life and that guilty-pleasure sitcom. Aniston turns in a fabulous performance as a small-town working at a dead-end job at a Walmart rip-off and married to a stoner-house painter husband. Escape appears by the way of “Holden”, a broody coworker with whom Justine embarks on an affair, simply to ease her bordem. While at times veering towards maudlin, the film works because the cast is so strong and the camera’s eye is unflinching. Painfully funny and just plain painful—if you’ve ever wondered just how you ended up in the life you’re living, see it. [us 2002]

kissing jessica stein

Think “Sex in The City” meets Woody Allen. Here Jessica, a neurotic, bookish New York Jew, looks for love in all the wrong places, until she responds to a personal ad from Helen, a voracious man-eater. Superficially, the film explores the notion of a sexual continuum. After all both Helen and Jessica are “straight”. Or are they? In the end, it doesn’t really matter. There are plenty of laughs as Jessica avoids telling anyone about her new love, and grapples with the idea of S-E-X. Full of sharp dialogue, and an assortment of witty and amusing characters, including a standout Jewish mother that I dare you to say “No” to. [us, 2002]

state & main

Rebecca Pidgeon (AKA Mrs David Mamet) makes the already amusing send-up of a sleazy Hollywood crew filming in small town Vermont that much funnier. As the town’s eccentric used bookstore owner and local theatre whizkid, the brainy, practical, and unfettered Annie is always three steps ahead of the game. Confident and slightly kooky, she provides the film’s moral center and saves at least one soul from Hollywood purgatory when she steers a desperately confused screenwriter towards the second chance he so richly needs. [us, 2000]

next stop wonderland

Maybe it’s the samba soundtrack. Maybe it’s the melancholic sweetness of its lead character. Either way, it’s a nice “alone at home without a date movie” (silly Mafia subplot notwithstanding). A single twentysomething woman’s over-zealous mother places a personal ad in the paper for her daughter Erin. Erin, who is smart, well read and emotionally balanced, winds up dating a string of losers. She corrects their misquotes and blows holes in their vapid philosophies until she meets…ah go on, rent it and find out. [us, 1998]

life is sweet

An early film by Mike Leigh, champion of working-class British life, this often hilarious portrait of a slightly off-beat family. Dad’s dream, much to the chagrin of his family, is to own a chip wagon. The teenage twin daughters can’t stand each other. One twin who refers to everyone as “fascist” is also a border-line anorexic. Jane Horrocks [Little Voice, Career Girls] is perfect as the fascism obsessed teen. Believe it or not, this is a wonderfully uplifting film, and true to it’s title, life is sweet. [uk, 1990]

citizen ruth

Laura Dern is all jangled nerves, boozy chatter and bad girl intoxication as Ruth, a pregnant glue-sniffer who gets caught in the cross-fire between the pro-life and pro-choice movements. Jabs are taken at all sides as Ruth finally works the game her way. A provocative and hilarious satire that offers no easy answers. [us, 1996]

clockwatchers

Amid greenish-hued cubicles and syncopated musak four office temps try to break out of the office-caste system and become “full-time.” However, in this acme-inspired company being a temp means you’re unreliable, untrustworthy, and mostly dispensable. Indie queen Parker Posey teeters on the edge of insanity as the “veteran temp.” If you’re working at a McJob, this film might just be the impetus to get out while you can. [us, 1997]