Romantic comedies depend on the sympathies of an audience, but in this scruffy movie actor-filmmaker Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) plays a character so relentlessly naive and self-absorbed that it's impossible to root for him. This also makes it difficult to laugh at his goofy antics, because he's more pathetic than funny. Viewers looking for something offbeat and a bit dorky may find the film somewhat charming, but it feels oddly under-developed.
Helberg plays Quinn, a 28-year-old hypochondriac who works as a florist, afraid to pursue his desired career as a jazz musician. He's only ever had one girlfriend, Devon (Melanie Lynskey), and after 10 years together feels like it's time to propose. But this thought sparks a doubt in his mind, which is fanned into a flame when his sexy work colleague Kelsey (Maggie Grace) confesses that she has a crush on him. Quinn's best pal Jameson (Zachary Quinto) isn't much help, and soon Devon has had enough with Quinn's sudden distance. So she moves to Paris to stay with family friends and get some perspective. In a state of confusion, Quinn follows her there and is shocked to discover that she has already struck up a perhaps too-close friendship with handsome violinist Guillaume (Ebon Moss-Bachrach).
Right from the start it's clear that Helberg's stammering nerd Quinn is only with Lynskey's witty-thoughtful Devon because they've known each other so long. There isn't a moment in this film when they feel even remotely suited to each other. And when Grace's slutty Kelsey throws herself at Quinn, the movie takes on a Woody Allen-style leeriness, as a geeky filmmaker makes a movie in which gorgeous women throw themselves at him. Helberg has some innate charm, but Quinn is so socially inept that it's obvious to everyone but him that he needs to go off and become a mature human being before getting into any sort of relationship.
Continue reading: We'll Never Have Paris Review
Tyler Ritter, Jason Ritter, Carly Ritter, Maya Juanita Garcetti and Lisa Vanderpump - A variety of Celebrities attended the 30th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, California, United States - Sunday 12th October 2014
A riff on the 1983 classic The Big Chill, this ensemble drama's reunion of old friends differs because Alex's suicide fails this time. It's also, of course, filtered through a very different cultural landscape, with characters born at about the time the earlier film was released. This is a strikingly warm exploration of friendship, with light comedy and very dark emotions along the way. And even if it sometimes feels a little sloppy about its big themes, it has a lot to say.
After Alex (Jason Ritter) attempts suicide, his best pal Ben (Nate Parker) calls the old gang and asks them to come to Upstate New York and offer some support. Ben brings his girlfriend Siri (Maggie Grace), who's also part of the group. But they're grappling with some big issues in their relationship, since he's a blocked writer and she has just had a job offer in Los Angeles. The cynical Josh (Max Greenfield) arrives at the same time as the charmer Sarah (Aubrey Plaza), and they can barely conceal the waves of loathing and lust between them. Finally, Isaac (Max Minghella) brings his younger girlfriend Kate (Jane Levy). As these people reconnect, the awkwardness is made even more intense by the question of how they can help Alex.
It's intriguing to see a movie made about 30-ish characters by 28-year-old Jesse Zwick, son of filmmaker Edward, who made the seminal TV series Thirtysomething. The film refreshingly avoids stereotypes, populating scenes with realistic people who are still hung up on the same issues they faced while in university, including quite a lot of soapy "he likes her but she likes him" melodrama. But as the weekend progresses, the thoughtful conversations lead to revelations and confessions, spurred on by some pot-smoking, game-playing, dancing and noisy sex. All of which gives the actors plenty to play with.
Continue reading: About Alex Review
Michael Fassbender was among the cast of historical biopic '12 Years A Slave' who attended the New York Film Festival premiere of the flick. He was joined by director Steve McQueen and main star Chiwetel Ejiofor.
'The First Wives Club' star Goldie Hawn, 'Bride Wars' actress Kate Hudson, Wilmer Valderrama from 'That 70s Show' and 'Gravity Falls' star Jason Ritter are all seen at the Clinton Global Initiative event in New York City.
Despite a bunch of cold characters and a deeply contrived plot, this film is so infused with hot topicality that we are held in its grip all the way through. The issue is corporate irresponsibility and grass-roots activism, both of which feel ripped straight from the headlines to give the movie an edgy, almost documentary urgency. On the other hand, it's nearly impossible to get involved in the story's inter-personal dramas.
Director Batmanglij is reteaming with Sound of My Voice actress-cowriter Marling, who this time plays Jane, a corporate-security spy assigned by her shark-like boss (Clarkson) to infiltrate the eco-terrorism group The East. The goal is to prevent them from attacking any of her clients. It takes Jane awhile to worm her way into the anarchists' inner sanctum, where she immediately finds an affinity with leader Benji (Skarsgard), medically trained Doc (Kebbell) and flamboyant Luca (Fernandez). It takes longer to warm to the prickly Izzy (Page), but eventually Jane finds herself part of the core team, invited to participate in a series of jams in which The East gives company bosses a taste of their own toxic medicine.
In the cast of a pharmaceutical giant, this is quite literally the case: they infect the executive (Ormond) with the dangerous drug she's selling to the developing world. And the gang also stages assaults on oil companies in ways that are eerily easy for us to identify with, because the activists are making an important point. Indeed, we never really doubt where the filmmakers' sympathies lie: even if their actions are illegal and rather nasty, these "terrorists" are the good guys. At least this moral complexity gives the film a brainy kick.
Continue reading: The East Review
Among the biggest stars at the 2013 Fox Upfront Presentation in New York City's Woolman Rink were 'The X Factor USA' judges Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell, who seemed to be enjoying each other's company outside of work with Demi making a bunny ears sign above Si-Co's head; 'New Girl' actress Zooey Deschanel, who was positively beaming as she posed in a black sequined jacket and sticky-out skirt; and Alexis Bledel from 'Gilmore Girls' accompanied by 'Parenthood' star Jason Ritter.
Is new Fox sitcom going to be lost in translation?
We’re already grimacing at the prospect of an American remake of The Inbetweeners, but us Brits should perhaps be more worried that the US is also making what is effectively a Stateside version of one of our most British of comedies, Gavin & Stacey.
The trailer for Us And Them has been revealed and we’re really not sure about it, even though it does star Alexis Bledel and Jason Ritter. Ok, so the American Office ended up being a surprise success, and we have to hand it to them for pulling it off, but an American Inbetweeners? Gavin & Stacey? They go too far. As usual it looks like the comedy is going to lose all its subtlety with everything glammed up somewhat in what in the UK was traditionally a pretty humble, sweet natured comedy even as it made stars of Matt Horne and James Corden.
Continue reading: America's Remake of Gavin And Stacey, 'Us And Them' Previews Trailer
Lovelorn singer-songwriter Alex (O'Nan) is struggling to survive in New York after the departure of his latest musical partner (Ritter). And when he loses his day job, he decides to head back across country to stay with his older brother (McCarthy). Before he leaves, he has an encounter with crazed stalker-fan Jim (Weston), who proposes that they become a double-act and take a cross-country tour to an L.A. battle of the bands. He reluctantly goes along with this, and is even more nervous about letting the rather aggressive Cassidy (Kebbel) join them.
Continue reading: The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best Review
Strangely, however, Durst's career has been hit with a severe case of chronological fatigue. Last year, Durst directed Ice Cube in the lethargic teen-football weepie The Longshots, which would make him a filmmaker only in so much as he knew how to turn on a camera. That was his second film, however. His first film, The Education of Charlie Banks, premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival to mostly favorable reviews but didn't receive U.S. distribution. That is, until earlier this year, when Anchor Bay picked up the tab.
Continue reading: The Education of Charlie Banks Review
Loren Dean (Enemy of the State, Apollo 13) does a decent job as Dr. Mumford, the most popular psychologist in the small town to which he just moved. Listening attentively to the tormented visitors of the treatment couch, his apparent peace of mind and even temper become infectious. Ubiquitously available and sounding less like a shrink than a wise uncle who gives just enough advice at just the right time, it's no wonder Dr. Mumford is everyone's favorite confidant. But will those he's helped to see through their own faults be just as understanding if they find out the truth of his past?
Continue reading: Mumford Review