Entries Tagged 'Romance' ↓

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]

an education

Don’t be turned off by the “older man/ingenue” plot. Carey Mulligan, as lead character Jenny Mellor is far to clever to get lead down the wrong path, at least for two long. Whip smart, but bored by her teachers and friends at high school, Jenny falls in with a playboy twice her age when she should be focusing on getting into Oxford. The appeal of this grifter, his friends, champagne, and London is too much and Jenny starts cutting class and even hoodwinking her parents into letting her go to Paris with her new beau. Snappy writing by Nick Hornby and a sparkling performance by Carey Mulligan make this film an extremely watchable coming of age story. [UK, 2009]

moscow does not believe in tears

Long before Sex & the City, three young women were drawn to the big onion to seek their fortunes. Set in Soviet Russia, this Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film (1980), follows the friends over the course of 20 years and asks the eternal question of whether a woman can have it all. Katerina, works in a factory, but dreams of becoming an engineer. Her best friend Lyudmilla has her sights set on bagging a prosperous husband and suggests they pose as daughters of a privileged professor to attract just the right sort of man. It works, but the men are not as they first appear, and Katya ends up alone and pregnant. Fast forward 20 years and Katya has not only survived but succeeded and is the Director of that same factory where she dreamed, but of course she is alone. A chance meeting on a train introduces her to Gosha who has become the gold standard for Russian men: tough but sensitive, a craftsman and an outdoorsman. Is there happily ever after in the Soviet Union? [russia, 1979]

bossa nova

Like a sweating pitcher of Sangria on a sun-baked day, this romance is refreshing but not too sweet. Starring Amy Irving, and produced by her husband as a love letter to her, the film centers on an English teacher in Brazil whose students and casual acquaintances fall in love (often with her). Any romance worth its salt doesn’t run smoothly and this one is full of missed meetings and mistaken identities. Recommended summer, fun bopping along to a syncopated beat. [us/brazil, 2000]

crossing delancey

Amy Irving stars as Izzy, an intellectual-worshipping bookstore clerk who’s Bubby attempts to play matchmaker for her. Despite her protests that matchmaking is not part of her hip Manhattan lifestyle, Izzy agrees to meet the match, who turns out to be the charming and gentle pickle-salesman from across Delancy street. The crux of this sweet little movie is whether Izzy will finally come to her senses and recognize the difference between pompous posers and true love… [us, 1998]

the incredibly true story of two girls in love

A quirky, light-hearted tale of first love — only here it’s between two young girls. In a nice stereotype switch, Randi is a wrong-side-of-the-tracks white girl who lives with her granola-eating aunts while the graceful Evie is a wealthy black girl who lives in a manicured neighbourhood and is enroute to Harvard. The film moves fast, and Go Fish director Maria Maggenti, ably depicts the goofy excessiveness of teen love without getting political. [us, 1995]

when the cat’s away

When the solitary Chole loses her adored cat, she is forced to get to know her Parisian neighbourhood. During her search (the beginning of her personal awakening), she meets a self-centered drummer; a dim-witted man who devotes himself to the search; a network of eccentric, gossipy old ladies full of life despite rapidly changing storefronts and threats of eviction; and finally the prospect of love. Slight, charming and unusually ordinary. [france, 1997]

chocolat

Take the stunning Juliette Binoche and surround her with the finest Belgian chocolate, and you get this sweet confection of a film. In a familiar story, Binoche plays Vianne who breezes into a conservative and pious French town with her daughter Anouk. Vianne shocks the self-righteous mayor by opening a chocolatiere during Lent and by flaunting Anouk’s lack of a father, but soon her chocolaty treats are raising the passions of the townspeople. A beautifully shot fairytale. Delicious! [usa, 2000]

kissed

For obvious reasons, necrophilia is usually thought to be the domain of disturbed men. In the taboo-busting Kissed, however, a young woman loves the dead more than the living. Molly Parker’s luminous portrayal of Sandra makes her blissful rapture with corpses seem more like a spiritual calling than a twisted perversity. [canada, 1996]

emma

Gwyneth Paltrow is note-perfect as the delightful, scheming heroine of this frothy Victorian era classic penned by Jane Austen. Emma’s life consists of cheerily orchestrating the amorous dalliances of her small circle of friends until her own heart is eventually captured by the most handsome cousin on the block. It’s a whole lot of airy chit chat and fluffy romantic intrigue, a comedy of manners about nothing much at all… charming wouldn’t you say? [us/uk, 1996]