Audrey Wells

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The Game Plan Review


OK
Sure, it's maudlin and manipulative, about as realistic towards professional sports as it is in its insights regarding human relationships. And yes, its wit borders on the buffoonish, with slapstick so regressive that the late Three Stooges are scoffing at its simplicity. True, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Roselyn Sanchez make an attractive onscreen couple, and little Madison Pettis is a fine Shirley Temple substitute, yet as a trio, they don't inspire much box office confidence. So why is it that Disney's family-meets-football fantasy The Game Plan is so effective? Even the most suspicious of cinephiles may find themselves welling up over the story of an egotistical pro quarterback and the darling dumpling of a daughter he never knew.

As a member of the fictional Boston Rebels, Joe Kingman (Johnson) is fixated on two things - winning and Elvis. His swanky Beantown bachelor pad is laden with memorabilia -- both his own and the King's -- and he loves his millionaire athlete lifestyle. One day, there's a knock on the door. It's a young girl named Peyton (Pettis), and she claims that Joe is her dad. Taken aback, the QB contacts his agent, Stella Peck (Kyra Sedgwick), and begs her to straighten out this mess. A little backwards glancing confirms paternity -- at least for the time being -- and Joe finds himself juggling the demands of the playoffs, the ribbing of his teammates, and the needs of his sudden offspring. When she expresses an interest in studying ballet, Joe sends the child to Monique Vasquez's (Sanchez) elite school. Yet newfound fatherhood is taking its toll, and just Joe's luck, the championship game is coming up.

Continue reading: The Game Plan Review

Runaway Bride Review


Very Good
Julia Roberts has made a career out of being one of Hollywood's most irresistible glamour dolls. Dress her up in any role and she'll flash that wide smile, deliver her awkward laugh, and expose a peculiar giddiness, which gives her a sense of vulnerability that fans have come to adore. Ever since the Cinderella story Pretty Woman ten years ago that catapulted her career to mega-stardom, her roles have all been typecast around her good looks and charismatic personality (Steel Magnolias and My Best Friend's Wedding). Runaway Bride is no exception to the rule. However, as the old saying goes; if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Runaway Bride brings writer Garry Marshall back together with Roberts, Richard Gere, and memorable Pretty Woman costar Hector Elizondo for another unlikely love story.

Continue reading: Runaway Bride Review

The Kid (2000) Review


Excellent
Remorse is a dangerous thing in the mind of a man. It can hold a person down, quell his dreams, suffocate innocence, and convert people into intolerable beasts. People often think that if they could go back in time and reverse the wrongs done to them, a great weight would be somehow lifted from their shoulders. Beat up that bully that destroyed your self-esteem, kiss the girl you were in love with, stand up to the father that used you for a whipping post. These memories haunt the minds of individuals all around us like the ghosts of the Winchester Mansion.

What if you really had the chance to change all of that? What if you could talk to yourself when you were only eight years old and explain how to take a stand for yourself, give the younger you understanding of why dad is so angry at the world, and give yourself hope for retaining individuality in a sea of conformity. In the new Disney film The Kid Russ Duritz gets that once in a lifetime chance.

Continue reading: The Kid (2000) Review

Shall We Dance? (2004) Review


Bad
In Shall We Dance?, Richard Gere plays a man in the throes of a mid-life crisis. This is new territory for the 55-year-old actor who's always found himself opposite considerably younger leading ladies. Here, he actually plays a man his age, and is married to someone a bit more believable. Has Gere finally grown up? Of course not! He decides taking ballroom dance lessons from a woman 20 years his junior will help out of his funk.

Gere plays Chicago lawyer John Clark, a man in a rut. Day after depressing day, it's the same routine of drawing up a few wills, running a couple miles on the treadmill, and returning home to apathetic wife Beverly (Susan Sarandon) and their two teenage children. The only highlight of his day is the fleeting moment when the "L" train passes by the beautiful but solemn looking woman in the window of Miss Mitzi's Dance School. Drawn to her, John impulsively jumps off the train and into the dance studio where he's confident that lessons will bring happiness back to his life.

Continue reading: Shall We Dance? (2004) Review

The Truth About Cats & Dogs Review


Very Good
What happens if you meet someone with whom you have almost everything in common, you find yourself falling for them, but the sparks of romance just don't seem to fly on a physical level? Maybe you need an extra body, and you can just play Cyrano in the background until that fateful moment when everything is revealed with hilarious results.

Such is the case in The Truth About Cats & Dogs, a pleasantly funny romance that takes another twist on the Cyrano tale, by taking two very different women (Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman) and pitching them at one guy (English actor Ben Chaplin).

Continue reading: The Truth About Cats & Dogs Review

Guinevere Review


Very Good
A curious May-December romance involving a bohemian San Francisco photographer (Rea) who builds a kind of teacher-lover-father-figure relationship with the far-younger Harper (Polley), whom he dubs Guinevere. Think of it as The Professional without all the killing. Turns out our shutterbug has a history of Guineveres, and soon his teeth are falling out and he's dying, and suffice it to say this is where the movie turns bizarre. Poetic, if not altogether meaningful. Jean Smart is particularly apt as Harper's prissy and snobbish mother.

Under The Tuscan Sun Review


OK
I would have never thought Diane Lane's performance as an adulterous wife in Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful would have earned her an Oscar nomination, let alone become the role that vaulted her career. Before Unfaithful, Lane played predominately background roles; now, she is a sexy Hollywood leading lady. Under the Tuscan Sun is carried almost exclusively by Lane, and while the signs clearly indicate she has the gift for such an undertaking, she's never given a chance to explore that potential in this film.

Lane plays San Francisco book critic and writer Frances Mayes (a real person who looks nothing like Diane Lane), whose recent divorce has sent her life into a tailspin. Recognizing that a change in scenery may be just the thing Frances needs, her newly pregnant best friend Patti (Sandra Oh) gives her a 10-day vacation in Tuscany, Italy. While on her tour, Frances impulsively buys a dilapidated villa called Bramasole, with the hopes of eventually turning it into a place where her own life can flourish once again. With the help of a friendly local real estate agent Señor Martini (Vincent Riotta), Frances secures a Polish construction crew to assist in the renovation of her new home.

Continue reading: Under The Tuscan Sun Review

Audrey Wells

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Steve McQueen Becomes Youngest Recipient Of BFI Fellowship

Steve McQueen Becomes Youngest Recipient Of BFI Fellowship

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'Mulholland Drive' Named By Critics As Greatest Movie Of The 21st Century

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Green Man 2016 - Live Review

Green Man 2016 - Live Review

Green Man has become a festival season highlight.

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Audrey Wells Movies

The Game Plan Movie Review

The Game Plan Movie Review

Sure, it's maudlin and manipulative, about as realistic towards professional sports as it is in...

Runaway Bride Movie Review

Runaway Bride Movie Review

Julia Roberts has made a career out of being one of Hollywood's most irresistible glamour...

The Kid (2000) Movie Review

The Kid (2000) Movie Review

Remorse is a dangerous thing in the mind of a man. It can hold...

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Shall We Dance? (2004) Movie Review

Shall We Dance? (2004) Movie Review

In Shall We Dance?, Richard Gere plays a man in the throes of a mid-life...

The Truth About Cats & Dogs Movie Review

The Truth About Cats & Dogs Movie Review

What happens if you meet someone with whom you have almost everything in common, you...

Under the Tuscan Sun Movie Review

Under the Tuscan Sun Movie Review

I would have never thought Diane Lane's performance as an adulterous wife in Adrian Lyne's...

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