Charles Shyer

Charles Shyer

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Irreconcilable Differences Review


Very Good
Back in the "glory days" of the mid-1990s, Irreconcilable Differences was a cable television mainstay. It played at least once every week and often ran two or three times on weekends. For whatever reason I watched it over and over again, and in the process, sort of fell in love with this totally imperfect yet sneakily lovable movie.

Over a decade after it vanished from the cable TV lazy weekend repertoire, the film is finally getting a DVD release -- fittingly, as part of a series called "The Lost Collection." After revisiting the movie, it sure is a far-fetched, silly trifle of a fairy tale, but it's still charming, and still believable in its own way. Irreconcilable Differences carries with it the same charisma that most Nancy Meyers-Charles Shyer comedies (Private Benjamin, Baby Boom, Father of the Bride) possess; these films are comfort food with a few sharp-edged nutrients added to the mix, stories about likable people who veer wildly off course but eventually find their way back to the Yellow Brick Road.

Continue reading: Irreconcilable Differences Review

The Parent Trap (1998) Review


Good
Quaint remake of the original Trap, featuring the oh-so-cute Lohan as separated twins trying to reunite their parents. Amazing work for a kid her age, I must admit. Way too long, though.

Alfie Review


Weak
With his insatiable appetite for the opposite sex, his cockney British chirp and his healthy confidence in his own good looks, Jude Law's modern-day Romeo romping through Alfie is a smoother-talking Austin Powers without the adolescent giggles.

How much is too much when it comes to Law? Before the female readers answer, consider this: The handsome Brit has his well-manicured hands in three current projects and will release three more films between now and year's end. Needless to say, your tolerance for Law's antics will determine how much you'll enjoy Alfie. Director Charles Shyer's mixed bag of tricks includes a continuous conversation through the imaginary fourth wall and a camera lens that's terrified to let Law wander too far out of frame.

Continue reading: Alfie Review

The Affair Of The Necklace Review


OK
There are inherent risks in making a costume drama -- giving everything too much weight, and not getting the mood just right. The opportunity for grandiose accents, overly lavish wardrobe, and stagy, oh-so-clever performances are there for the suffering, and many such films deliver snickers rather than oohs and aahs (I still believe Elizabeth to be one of those). The Affair of the Necklace falls right into that category as well, dealing with the French aristocracy with a heavy hand and far too much giggling.

Perhaps the problem is director Charles Shyer, a guy known for his comedic streak, both as the man behind the Father of the Bride movies, and as a writer working with wife Nancy Meyers (The Parent Trap, Baby Boom). With Shyer's swing over to drama, it's tough to tell if parts of The Affair of the Necklace are supposed to be funny.

Continue reading: The Affair Of The Necklace Review

Father Of The Bride Review


Good
It's really hard to feel too terribly sorry for the uptight George Banks (Steve Martin) when he bitches and moans about the ever-rising costs of his daughter's wedding in Father of the Bride. After all, he lives in overstuffed opulence in a Pasadena mini-mansion, runs his own company, drives an antique sports car, has a perfect and gainfully employed wife (Diane Keaton), and two perfect kids (Kimberly Williams and Kieran Culkin). Is the wedding cake outrageously expensive? Get over it, George.

In fact, that's what wife Nina (Keaton) spends most of the movie saying. And that's what you'll be saying, too, as George whines about having to buy a tuxedo, mopes about the disruption to the house, disapproves of the perfect young man (George Newbern) who has deflowered his daughter, and gets all frantic about meeting his future in-laws (who are even richer than he is). What's really happening, of course, is that George simply doesn't want his daughter to grow up, and his way of raging against life's forward progression is to get cranky about the upcoming wedding day. How do we know? Because George tells us in his self-pitying narration. This is the kind of movie that has plenty of both show and tell.

Continue reading: Father Of The Bride Review

Charles Shyer

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Charles Shyer Movies

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Alfie Movie Review

Alfie Movie Review

With his insatiable appetite for the opposite sex, his cockney British chirp and his healthy...

The Affair of the Necklace Movie Review

The Affair of the Necklace Movie Review

There are inherent risks in making a costume drama -- giving everything too much weight,...

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