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I remember when the name Lone Scherfig was on my short list of Most Promising Directors.

But Italian for Beginners was a long time ago.

In this case, it looks like an insufferable trailer may have pointed to an insufferable movie.

I've never much liked Hathaway, but I have reached my burnout point with her. She'll have to really surprise me to keep from spoiling The Dark Knight Rises.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Anyone seen this? I'm obviously attracted to it for the reason of Scherfig alone.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Anyone seen this? I'm obviously attracted to it for the reason of Scherfig alone.

I haven't seen it, but I read the book and despised it.

I'm conflicted about the film, however, because I, too, am rooting for this director.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I haven't seen it, but I read the book and despised it.

Even my wife's book club hated this book. I can see the material working out in a Wilbur sort of way as long as the script doesn't follow the book super closely.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Anyone seen this? I'm obviously attracted to it for the reason of Scherfig alone.

Yeah, I saw it but got distracted by personal issues and wasn't able to write a review.

My take going in: I was muted about Italian For Beginners but thought An Education was one of the best film's of its year.

I thought this film was a near-miss. I liked some of the stylistic touches that Scherfig brought but

I never bought (or bought into) the central relationship. It's one of those movies that needs to have a verbalized coda near the end--"She made you better/you made her happy"--that is soooo annoying because the film has been telling you that but you never actually see it. Also, he's a bit of a shallow cad, so you don't ever necessarily want to see them get together, the kiss of death for a romance. (I actually end up sympathizing more with the other people that they are with while just missing each other emotionally.) It doesn't know how to end (about five climactic scenes). Finally, going all the way back to The Truth about Cats and Dogs, I just have a pet peeve about Hollywood beauties playing women who are supposed to be have inferiority complexes about their looks and believe they can never, ever be attractive to a man. You can put Ann Hathaway in a bad, frizzy perm and make her wear a cheesy Mexican-restaurant uniform, but it's still a beauty dressing down, not a story about how the little/plain people never get the glamorous mate. That said, I did like the interplay between the guy and his dad, which seemed the best thing in the movie, even including a wasted Patricia Clarkson doing a stereotyped wasting-away-with-cancer cliche that hit a little too close to home for me to be dispassionate about. Even here, though, these relationships [him and his mom and dad] are mostly present to set up verbal deliveries of codas that make you go either "yeah, I got that about 20 minutes ago" or "if you say so, I haven't seen it."

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Anyone seen this? I'm obviously attracted to it for the reason of Scherfig alone.

Yeah, I saw it but got distracted by personal issues and wasn't able to write a review.

My take going in: I was muted about Italian For Beginners but thought An Education was one of the best film's of its year.

I thought this film was a near-miss. I liked some of the stylistic touches that Scherfig brought but

I never bought (or bought into) the central relationship. It's one of those movies that needs to have a verbalized coda near the end--"She made you better/you made her happy"--that is soooo annoying because the film has been telling you that but you never actually see it. Also, he's a bit of a shallow cad, so you don't ever necessarily want to see them get together, the kiss of death for a romance. (I actually end up sympathizing more with the other people that they are with while just missing each other emotionally.) It doesn't know how to end (about five climactic scenes). Finally, going all the way back to The Truth about Cats and Dogs, I just have a pet peeve about Hollywood beauties playing women who are supposed to be have inferiority complexes about their looks and believe they can never, ever be attractive to a man. You can put Ann Hathaway in a bad, frizzy perm and make her wear a cheesy Mexican-restaurant uniform, but it's still a beauty dressing down, not a story about how the little/plain people never get the glamorous mate. That said, I did like the interplay between the guy and his dad, which seemed the best thing in the movie, even including a wasted Patricia Clarkson doing a stereotyped wasting-away-with-cancer cliche that hit a little too close to home for me to be dispassionate about. Even here, though, these relationships [him and his mom and dad] are mostly present to set up verbal deliveries of codas that make you go either "yeah, I got that about 20 minutes ago" or "if you say so, I haven't seen it."

Ken, I remember caring about only one character in the book: the guy (Ian?) who loves the girl, but who isn't loved in return. That stretch of the book had more real emotion in it than did the central relationship. Or maybe I just identify with those who are rejected. :) Anyway, did that character/relationship stand out at all in the film?


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Ken, I remember caring about only one character in the book: the guy (Ian?) who loves the girl, but who isn't loved in return. That stretch of the book had more real emotion in it than did the central relationship. Or maybe I just identify with those who are rejected. :) Anyway, did that character/relationship stand out at all in the film?

It was a major relationship in the film, and I mentioned in the spoiler comments that I had more sympathy to the significant others than the principles. The reason there was less emotion for me in this character is that

they make him such an economic, emotional leech that you don't really blame her for dumping him. Although, there is a scene at the end where we see his kids and the woman he ends up marrying and she is....of non-Hollywood girth and looks...so his character ends up (I think unintentionally) undermining--or maybe deconstructing--the position the film wants you to have of sympathy for Hathaway as the "plain" chick who is pining after the guy who only cares about looks. I THINK we are supposed to get that in her case she really is "the one" and her love can't see it because he is blinded by only wanting looks/superficial things while in Ian's case we are supposed to believe that she really tries but can't make herself fall in love with someone she isn't really in love with. I think for this to really work there has to be an element, a strain at least, of believing she treated Ian a little shabbily, but like most movies, it fears the audience won't be able to handle a hero/ine who can even occasionally be selfish or inconsistent, and so hedges its bets by making Ian enough of a lump that a true, loving relationship is never a serious possibility irrespective of the other guy. Even within that, there is (or should be) an implied criticism of staying with someone you don't really love for a long time just because its easier than breaking up with them and letting them get on with their lives, but the film is a bit evasive about this relationship because any specifics would threaten the idealization and idolizing of Hathaway's character.

Edited by kenmorefield

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I ended up seeing Fright Night instead, ha. I don't think we'll have a thread on that one, and really, it doesn't deserve one. :)


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Persona wrote:

: I ended up seeing Fright Night instead, ha. I don't think we'll have a thread on that one, and really, it doesn't deserve one. :)

Hey now, just because you haven't posted in that thread yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist. :)


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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FWIW, kenmorefield, I think you've nailed it here. I like to think that if I'd taken the time to think about it beyond a "it's not as bad as the trailer led me to expect", then I might have come to some of the same conclusions as you.

It's funny, but I find Sturgess and Hathaway so likeable in general that it really took me a while to accept how off-putting Sturgess's CHARACTER is here, and how I really didn't think Hathaway should end up with him (which, as you note, is kind of fatal in a romantic comedy); and, following through on one of your other ideas, I guess I could have found the Hathaway character off-putting too, but I didn't, partly because the film keeps the Ian character cryptic enough that we never really have any inclination to "take sides" between the two of them when they break up. Even the one scene where Ian might come across as pretty rotten is mitigated by the fact that, A, he's been dumped, and B, his drinking is nothing compared to Dexter's, and, C, after reading Emma's secret writings, it is he himself who encourages her to fulfill her dream by getting her stories published.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Anthony Lane:

Stuff happens—a marriage here, a child there—yet Scherfig has no option but to choose sequence over consequence, and the movie soon subsides into a desolate prairie of uneventfulness. Though the years rattle past, there’s a load of them to get through, and, by the end, the title feels like an accurate measurement of the time we have spent in the cinema. The conceit, of course, is that Dex and Em (as I fear we must call them), in their eagerness to remain good friends, spend so long not being together that they fail to realize that they ought to be together; if that is your idea of romantic jousting, however, you would do better to watch “When Harry Met Sally,” with its properly whetted wits, for the fourteenth time. The best joke in “One Day” is that, thanks to a crankiness in the casting, the two leads don’t actually make a very convincing couple, and other relationships follow suit


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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