Maura and Jane have a lot of differences; Maura has a high-flying job at a hospital, though is recovering from a divorce and a little nervous when it comes to meeting other men, while Jane is, well, not. They're nonetheless the best sisters you could imagine and always bring out the best in each other. However, when they're parents call them back to their childhood home, they discover that it's been sold and they have to clean out the room they had as girls. Going through their old stuff brings back a lot of memories though, and Jane decides to encourage Maura to throw a huge neighborhood party before they have to leave. It's a time where they can re-connect to their teenage selves, hook up with some cute guys and get totally drunk. This is going to be messy.
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Some people are far more important than you might think. For one lowly cobbler, things are about to change. After a lifetime of fixing other people's shoes, the cobbler, Max Simkin (Adam Sandler) one day dares to try on a pair, discovering that if he walks in a man (or woman)'s shoes, he will become that person. After becoming the wrong person and coming into some money that doesn't belong to him, Simkin must do whatever he can to make it through, and maybe go back to helping other people instead of himself.
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Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a middle-aged married couple struggling to keep up with their quickly ageing bodies and still feeling like they're in their twenties. They're tired of pretending to be grown up and the thought of having children becomes an evermore difficult decision. Filmmaker Josh soon meets a 25-year-old couple named Darby (Amanda Seyfried) and Jamie (Adam Driver); a couple that still have their whole lives ahead of them and bathe Josh and Cornelia in a comforting wave of nostalgia. Cornelia has reservations about spending their time with people so much younger than them, but it soon becomes clear that their presence has given Josh a new lease of life and made them realise that they don't have act the age they're expected to act, and they are free to let go to; that is, at least, until Josh is diagnosed with arthritis.
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Vincent is living a life of hedonism in his retirement from the army. An avid smoker and drinker with few friends save for nightclub dancer Daka, he's hardly what you'd call a friendly neighbour. Nonetheless, a recently divorced Maggie has moved in nearby with her impressionable young son Oliver and she is desperate for a babysitter. Never one to judge a book by its cover, she enlists Vincent to take care of him while she's at work, and while he's not cut out to deal with children realistically, he could really do with the cash. Oliver learns a lot from Vincent, who pays him to cut his lawn and who helps him overcome his bulllies at his new school, while Vincent also learns a little from his new friend, who unwittingly shows him that there's a lot more left in life for him to enjoy.
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St. Vincent de Van Nuys is a broke former soldier with a serious alcohol and gambling habit. He has few friends apart from nightclub dancer Daka, but that's all about to change when some new neighbours arrive. Maggie and her young son Oliver have moved in, with the latter feeling a little alienated as one of the only Jewish kids at school as well as being smaller than everyone else. Vincent decides to take him under his wing in a bid to earn a little more cash as a babysitter, and Oliver soon warms to him despite his hedonistic life and generally poor childminding skills. Maggie is unhappy that Vincent is introducing him to strip clubs, dingy bars and the racetrack, but it soon becomes clear that Oliver is exactly what Vincent needs to finally get his life on track.
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Gentle and very smart, this low-key comedy gets under the skin as it follows a smart young kid into the adult world. Without quite becoming either a frat-house comedy or coming-of-age odyssey, the film knowingly avoids cliches while telling a hugely engaging story with so much charm that it's virtually impossible to stop smiling.
The kid is 13-year-old frizzy-haired genius Eli (Wolff), who longs to attend Harvard but is instead stuck with 27-best choice Whittman College. His first friend there is the oldest freshman, 30-something Leo (Fraser), who is trying to reinvent himself and introduces Eli to the campus' party lifestyle. Then after a run-in with three Harvard snobs, Eli decides to teach his desired university a lesson: he joins Whittman's Mastermind team (alongside Bergman, Lee and de Jesus) and swiftly starts turning their losing streak around as they climb through the ranks and head to a showdown with Harvard at the national finals.
While the competition plot follows a fairly standard trajectory, writer Wierzbianski and director Kent refuse to indulge in trite formulaic melodramatics. Even the way Eli falls for a teen (Garner) from the local town feels fresh and unexpected. And while the humour is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, the smiles are earned because they are grounded in the characters rather than cheap jokes. It also helps that each character is a vivid bundle of complex energy and emotion, nicely played by an up-for-it cast.
Continue reading: Hair Brained Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
Maura and Jane have a lot of differences; Maura has a high-flying job at a...
Some people are far more important than you might think. For one lowly cobbler, things...
Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a middle-aged married couple struggling to keep...
Vincent is living a life of hedonism in his retirement from the army. An avid...
Gentle and very smart, this low-key comedy gets under the skin as it follows a...