Jill Clayburgh

Jill Clayburgh

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Bridesmaids Review


Excellent

Kristen Wiig finally gets her chance to shine in a lead role with this hilarious comedy. The film veers a bit wildly between silly playfulness and extreme rudeness, but it keeps us hooked by maintaining believable characters.

Despite some heavy setbacks, Annie (Wiig) is happy in her life with a casual partner (Hamm) and a low-pressure job. Then her best pal Lillian (Rudolph) gets engaged, and even though Annie's the maid of honour, every wedding decision is a battle with seemingly perfect bridesmaids Helen (Byrne), while other attendants (McCarthy, McLendon-Covey and Kemper) have issues of their own.
Meanwhile, Annie's encounters with a local Milwaukee cop (O'Dowd) are a confusing mixture of attraction and reticence. Then as Helen seizes control of Lillian's wedding, Annie's life seems to fall apart around her.

Every character in this film is a bundle of insecurity, sometimes very well hidden, and watching them all interact is hilariously entertaining. This is due to an unusually smart, lively script and razor-sharp performances. Even the story's annoying characters have some complexity to them, so as the rom-com structure unfurls, we go along with it simply because we are interested in these people and want to see where they end up.

Wiig is terrific at the centre, generating warm camaraderie with Rudolph and spiky rivalry with Byrne. And her chemistry with O'Dowd is enjoyably funny and cute. Meanwhile, scene-stealers like McCarthy, Clayburgh (as Annie's mum) and Lucas (as Annie's flatmate) bubble around the edges. There isn't a scene in the film that doesn't generate a solid laugh, often of the gut-wrenching variety.
And while a few gross-out gags go over the top, they at least stay essentially good-natured.

Even so, the film is far too long for a comedy; at least a half hour could have been trimmed away. It's not that the material isn't entertaining (we're never bored at all), but some tightening would have made the overall plot that much stronger, even if that meant losing some of the rambling improvisational riffs.
They may be hysterically funny, but they dilute the overall impact of the story and would be just as amusing as DVD extras. On the other hand, the mid-credits sequence is priceless.

Bridesmaids Trailer


When Annie's best friend Lillian tells her that she's getting married, she's more than obliged to act as maid of honour. There's certain duties any maid of honour must fulfil and Annie is about to learn the hard way.

Continue: Bridesmaids Trailer

Love & Other Drugs Review


Excellent
This engaging film blends a true story with fiction, morphing from a rom-com into a moving drama as it goes along. In addition, it's a sharply well-aimed jab at the pharmaceutical world. Although it also has a tendency to be cute and fluffy, even when the plot turns serious.

In 1996, Jamie (Gyllenhaal) has discovered his gift as a salesman, mainly peddling his own charms to every young woman he meets. In need of a higher-paying job, he trains as a Pfizer pharmaceutical rep in the Ohio River Valley. It takes awhile to learn the ropes, and sales are tough due to a fierce rival (Macht). But when Pfizer introduces Viagra, his numbers improve dramatically, to say the least. Meanwhile, he meets Maggie (Hathaway), a feisty young woman with early-stage Parkinson's who challenges his view of himself.

Continue reading: Love & Other Drugs Review

Love And Other Drugs Trailer


Jamie is the kind of guy who doesn't like commitment, sex and fun are the main things he looks for from the opposite sex and he enjoys his current way of life. A pharmaceutical salesman by trade, his job is another hugely important part of his life, when his company begin to sell a new male performance enhancing drug on the market, he feel it's a brilliant way of making money.

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The Public Theater's Annual Gala featuring a performance of 'The Merchant of Venice' at Shakespeare in the Park - Arrivals

Jill Clayburgh Monday 21st June 2010 The Public Theater's Annual Gala featuring a performance of 'The Merchant of Venice' at Shakespeare in the Park - Arrivals New York City, USA

Jill Clayburgh

The opening night of the Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway production of 'Everyday Rapture' at the American Airlines Theatre.

Jill Clayburgh Thursday 29th April 2010 The opening night of the Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway production of 'Everyday Rapture' at the American Airlines Theatre. New York City, USA

Jill Clayburgh

Opening night of the Manhattan Theatre Club production of 'Collected Stories' at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Jill Clayburgh and Lily Rabe - Jill Clayburgh and Lily Rabe New York City, USA - Opening night of the Manhattan Theatre Club production of 'Collected Stories' at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Wednesday 28th April 2010

Jill Clayburgh and Lily Rabe

Opening night after party for the Broadway play 'Exit The King' at the Barrymore Theatre - Arrivals

Jill Clayburgh and her daughter Lily Rabe - Jill Clayburgh and her daughter Lily Rabe New York City, USA - Opening night after party for the Broadway play 'Exit The King' at the Barrymore Theatre - Arrivals Thursday 26th March 2009

Jill Clayburgh and her daughter Lily Rabe

Running with Scissors Review


Weak
In a game effort to deflect the immediate suspicions of most viewers likely to be mistrustful of its all-too-convenient cast of wildly entertaining eccentrics, the young boy narrating Running with Scissors acknowledges, somewhat ruefully, early on that "nobody's going to believe me anyway." It's a smart maneuver, given what follows in this overly energetic adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' bestselling 2002 memoir about growing up in the 1970s with a mentally damaged mother who sent him off to be raised by her psychiatrist in his house of David Lynch-ian strangeness. As it stands, Running with Scissors is best taken as a literary memoir and not judged on its complete veracity but whether it works as a story of flawed people in an environment that seems to cater to all their worst impulses. It almost does.

The film opens in 1972, showing a young Augusten as an audience of one for his mother Deirdre's in-home poetry reading, microphone and all. The bilious, self-aggrandizing manner with which Deirdre (Annette Bening) gives her reading tells you pretty much all you need to know about the opinion she holds as to her place in the world and any who may disagree. Any remaining questions about her fitfulness as a mother are answered when the film jumps to its primary setting in the late '70s, where Deirdre has become a whirling dervish of arrogant fury and spite. Her obsessive belief that she is an important poet being kept from her rightful place at the center of the literary firmament drives away first Augusten's father (Alec Baldwin, lightly soused) and then Augusten, whom she decides would be better off living with her exceedingly unorthodox psychiatrist, Dr. Finch (Brian Cox). A devout and at least partially mad Freudian of the most unrecondite sort, Finch keeps a special room next to his doctor's office which he calls The Masturbatorium and divines the future from the shape of his bowel movements. Seemingly he's not much of a father figure.

Continue reading: Running with Scissors Review

Running with Scissors Review


Weak
In a game effort to deflect the immediate suspicions of most viewers likely to be mistrustful of its all-too-convenient cast of wildly entertaining eccentrics, the young boy narrating Running with Scissors acknowledges, somewhat ruefully, early on that "nobody's going to believe me anyway." It's a smart maneuver, given what follows in this overly energetic adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' bestselling 2002 memoir about growing up in the 1970s with a mentally damaged mother who sent him off to be raised by her psychiatrist in his house of David Lynch-ian strangeness. As it stands, Running with Scissors is best taken as a literary memoir and not judged on its complete veracity but whether it works as a story of flawed people in an environment that seems to cater to all their worst impulses. It almost does.The film opens in 1972, showing a young Augusten as an audience of one for his mother Deirdre's in-home poetry reading, microphone and all. The bilious, self-aggrandizing manner with which Deirdre (Annette Bening) gives her reading tells you pretty much all you need to know about the opinion she holds as to her place in the world and any who may disagree. Any remaining questions about her fitfulness as a mother are answered when the film jumps to its primary setting in the late '70s, where Deirdre has become a whirling dervish of arrogant fury and spite. Her obsessive belief that she is an important poet being kept from her rightful place at the center of the literary firmament drives away first Augusten's father (Alec Baldwin, lightly soused) and then Augusten, whom she decides would be better off living with her exceedingly unorthodox psychiatrist, Dr. Finch (Brian Cox). A devout and at least partially mad Freudian of the most unrecondite sort, Finch keeps a special room next to his doctor's office which he calls The Masturbatorium and divines the future from the shape of his bowel movements. Seemingly he's not much of a father figure.Once it deposits the relatively colorless Augusten (Joseph Cross) in the house, the film throws an abundance of vivid characters at us, from Finch's pet-food-eating wife Agnes (Jill Clayburgh) to his daughters -- best described as the slutty one (Evan Rachel Wood) and the religious one (Gwyneth Paltrow) -- and the definitely insane son (Joseph Fiennes, uncomfortably bad) who starts an affair with the far-too-young Augusten. But the film is unable to make them much more than cartoon characters in Finch's filthy, falling-down house of oddities where dead cats receive full burials and pharmaceuticals are handed out like Pez.Writer/director Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck) knows that the material in his hands has the potential for humor, that queasy kind of if-you-don't-laugh-you'll-cry sort of funny which Burroughs uses as a coping device in his writing. What works in the book, however, comes off on film as shallow and mocking; we're laughing at these damaged people. Murphy scores too many scenes with well-worn and not terribly appropriate '70s pop chestnuts, playing it all for the easy punchline, making the film too often a shallow exercise in retro camp.There are, nevertheless, two reasons to see Running with Scissors, and they are Bening and Cox. Bening could well be accused of shamelessly going for the Oscar with her full-throttle and stage-clearing performance, but given the fearsomely focused pathos that results, it's hard to complain. Cox is as always the consummate professional who underplays as everyone else overplays, finding the sly humor and magisterial authority at the heart of his unapologetically crude patriarch. Although playing self-absorbed narcissists of the worst kind, given the half-formed caricatures flitting around them, Bening and Cox make their characters by far the film's most endearing; not a good sign for everyone else involved.And take your plate to the kitchen, too.

Never Again Review


Grim
From American Pie to Porky's, most sex comedies entice audiences with gorgeous juveniles, raging hormones, dirty humor, and lots of gratuitous nudity. Never Again twists the genre and buries the juvenile clich├ęs...but, unfortunately, it isn't a pleasant change. All the sex stays, but the film replaces the juveniles with wrinkly senior citizens. I never thought I'd say this, but I'd much rather watch teens poking their genitals into fruit pies!

Indeed, it is truly as disgusting as it sounds: a sex comedy with old people. Yuk! The movie, on the other hand, argues that young people aren't the only sexually active people in society. That's true; I'm sure old people have sex all the time. Heck, they can screw three times a day for all I care. But please, for the love of God, keep it off the silver screen!

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Going All the Way Review


OK
Jeremy Davies doesn't really make for a credible ladykiller, nor does he even pass for a G.I. straight outta WWII. Going All the Way's bevy of beauties (dig the cast list) can't make much more out of Mark Pellington's coming of age flick, but an early Ben Affleck proves that, well, Affleck will always be Affleck. Ultimately it's goofy and a little bit confusing, but a few of its insights are worthwhile, if far from unique in this genre.

Naked in New York Review


Excellent
Earnest and cute, this essential '90s rom-com has Eric Stoltz going gaga over an enchanting Mary-Louise Parker, here in perhaps the least cynical role of her career. The story borders on irrelevance: They're New Yorkers who dabble in the theater, quickly hook up, then question whether they are truly meant for each other. It's all told in flashback as Stoltz drives his car en route to... where? Like I said, very cute, but some may find it cloying.

I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can Review


OK
Four years earlier she was An Unmarried Woman, now Jill Clayburgh returns to the screen in another oddly familiar role that would become synonymous with her career, as a woman struggling with the perils of modern life.

Here Clayburgh plays real-life TV producer Barbara Gordon, who was also a Valium addict. A spur of the moment decision leads her to quit, and after jitters and siezures she finally ends up near death, drying out in a rehab clinic. (If nothing else, Dancing enumerates exactly how awful Valium withdrawal can be -- as bad as heroin, so the film says.)

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Jill Clayburgh

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