Tag Archives: Mary Kay Place

Downsizing

WE ARE MEANT FOR SOMETHING BIGGER.  In the near future, scientists find a way to shrink people down to five inches; this ”downsizing” becomes an environmentally friendly, even luxurious, option for a married couple in Omaha (Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig). Alexander Payne worked on this idea for many years before it finally became a movie, … Continue reading Downsizing

The Hollars

Graphic novelist John Hollar (John Krasinski) leaves New York City to visit his mother (Margo Martindale) who’s in hospital with a tumor, but he’s instantly drawn into the problems of his whole family. Krasinski’s second film as a director has everything you expect from a typical indie comedy-drama, down to the predictable guitar arrangements. Martindale … Continue reading The Hollars

The Intern

EXPERIENCE NEVER GETS OLD. 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) is hired as an intern at a fresh New York City company that sells clothes online, but its founder (Anne Hathaway) is less than thrilled… One of Nancy Meyers’s least satisfying comedies is an attempt to bridge generations. Its two stars deserve kudos for … Continue reading The Intern

Big Love: Utah Crime Family

Big Love was the little show that could. When the first episode aired immediately after the premiere of the sixth season of The Sopranos, it didn’t look like much. The first season was acknowledged as interesting and well-crafted but nowhere near as compelling as the celebrated mob show. Big Love was never a favorite among … Continue reading Big Love: Utah Crime Family

It’s Complicated

FIRST COMES MARRIAGE. THEN COMES DIVORCE. AND THEN… Jane Adler (Meryl Streep) becomes attracted to an architect (Steve Martin), but a night of drunken passion with her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) makes her consider the options. Director Nancy Meyers is a reliable supplier of romantic comedies for an older, most likely female audience. This is one … Continue reading It’s Complicated

Shrek Forever After

IT AIN’T OGRE… TIL IT’S OGRE. Shrek is going through a midlife crisis and becomes an easy victim for Rumpelstiltskin and his wicked plan. The fourth film in the series is in widescreen and 3D, but nothing else has changed. Much like Shrek the Third (2007), the filmmakers take us down our favorite ogre’s path to maturity and … Continue reading Shrek Forever After

Citizen Ruth

LIFE, LIBERTY, MONEY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT. Ruth Stoops (Laura Dern), a glue sniffer, finds herself pregnant; suddenly, both pro-life and pro-choice groups make her the center of attention. Director Alexander Payne’s first film tackles the red-hot abortion issue but refuses to take sides. Viewers are supposed to identify with … Continue reading Citizen Ruth

Terms of Endearment: Fighting Back the Tears

COME TO LAUGH. COME TO CRY. COME TO CARE. COME TO TERMS. It never fails. I’ve seen this film, director-producer James L. Brooks’s first, four or five times and it always leaves me choked up. When I see it with other people I fight back the tears (like any other 30-year-old man…), but not when … Continue reading Terms of Endearment: Fighting Back the Tears

Silver City

VOTE EARLY. VOTE OFTEN. Private eye Danny O’Brien (Danny Huston) is hired by gubernatorial candidate Dickie Pilager’s (Chris Cooper) people to find the connection between his enemies and a dead body. The U.S. presidential campaign of 2000 inspired John Sayles to make this movie; the result is a Bush-bashing drama that warns us of powerful … Continue reading Silver City

Sweet Home Alabama

SOMETIMES WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS RIGHT WHERE YOU LEFT IT. New York fashion designer Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon) is getting married to the mayor’s son, but first she needs to go home to Alabama and have her current marriage annulled. Here’s a comedy that illustrates the differences between red and blue states; it tries … Continue reading Sweet Home Alabama