Tag Archives: film review

‘Isn’t It Romantic’ – Film Review


I’ve been promising myself that I would revive my regular blog posting and then promptly breaking that promise.

Sorry blog, it’s not you, it’s me.

So, I am easing my way back into my blog’s favour with a straightforward film review.

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When I saw the ad for Isn’t it Romantic I was afraid that it would turn out to be a one joke film with only enough laughs to fill a trailer nevertheless I remained intrigued. I was both wrong and right on both counts.

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The trend of parodying well-worn comedy tropes is not a new concept. On television you may have seen it executed in the latter stages of the slick and always funny 30 Rock, more recently (and still being done) in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the genre hopping Community parodied sit-coms and almost every variety of film plot types it could lay it’s hands on, and, to a certain degree, the art of the comedy parody has ‘died and gone to heaven’ in elements of The Good Place.

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But this is the first romantic comedy parody film I have watched.  Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a frustrated, put upon architect and outspoken a romantic comedy cynic, gets a bump on the head and wakes from her humdrum existence finding her life has turned into a Romantic Comedy hell, where with her as the unwilling centre of interest.

Wilson is charmingly brash and carries the lead effortlessly, Adam Devine, (as Josh, Natalie’s best friend) seems to be channeling a Jack Lemon/Jason Bateman crossover, which works perfectly in the parameters of the parody,  Liam Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra pull off their easy roles as the narcissistic and beautiful vying suitors.

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With heavy references to Pretty Woman and other classics of the genre, the plot demands to be very obvious and because of the nature of the parody this works to a point but does becomes tired before the end.  Nonetheless, for me, the aspect that helps the one joke film from exhausting itself completely is the charming attention to detail the writers and production have put into the transformation not just of the personalities in Natalie’s life but into the sets of her home, her office, her New York suburbs, down to the different styles of direction for the film’s extra actors. This amount of effort put into the makeover of Natalie’s world was just enough to get me to the end and, yet, it still manages to become a parody of itself.

While this film isn’t aimed at a 48 year old single Irish male, still, it was a fun 70 minutes or so and has a nice message about self-worth that my impressionable teenage persona could have done with. One for staunch fans of romantic comedies as you may imagine.

6/10 

Follow me on twitter @Beanmimo

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A Thousand Times Goodnight – Film Review


Preview courtesy of Eclipse Pictures and Arrow Films

Rebecca, a world class War Photographer, finds that the risk that comes with her job creates tension between herself and her family.

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A Thousand Times Goodnight was shot mostly where it set. The action movies from a striking opening section in Kabul to a slower pace in the Irish home of the Rebecca’s family. We see the effects of her stress filled job spill over the lives of her husband and two children. Norwegian Director Erik Poppe and ex- war photographer himself does seem more at home with the scenes of armed conflict than he is with domestic engagements.

Juilette Binoche gives an inwardly emotional performance as she copes with her own hangover from the warzone and slowly realises that it is tearing her family apart. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau delivers an equally subdued performance as her long suffering-in-silence- until now husband Marcus. Amber’s Lauryn Canny plays the older of the two children. She gives a fine performance. We believe that her mother’s job is having a profound effect on her life. The tense relationships between the characters were realistic to a point. In particular the Binoche and Canny’s Mother-daughter relationship felt authentic.

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But the film is not without its faults. The slower domestic aspect of the plot was always going to be difficult to balance the erratic warzone scenes but it was hampered further by an uncomfortable combination of flat dialogue and uneven acting in quite a few places. Even the casting of two obviously Irish children did not seem plausible to me as their parents are Norwegian and French. Perhaps I am being a little harsh because as the story unfolded I was swept up and did enjoy the rest of the film.

Maria Doyle Kennedy and Larry Mullen Jnr. provide an understated support to the two main cast leads.

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Despite the bumps I encountered while watching this I still came away moved and also I felt I learned had learned what motivates someone to be a war photographer and the impact it has on their family while being disappointed that the domestic portion did not get as much professional attention as the emotionally charged conflict scenes.

6/10

A Thousand Times Good Night opens in Ireland on May 16th

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