Here are four average movies, two of which (The Family Stone and Mona Lisa Smile) are pretty screwed up, and two of which (Indian Summer and Unlikely Angel) are unpretentious and easy on the eye. Despite being pure fluff, I would rate the last two better than the first two.
The Family Stone - 2 Stars (Average)
A Manhattan couple comes home for Christmas to the groom-to-be's (Luke Wilson as Ben Stone) free-spirited parents and finds their proposed marriage in serious trouble as Meredith, the bride-to-be (Sarah Jessica Parker), cannot find acceptance.
The problem is The Family Stone does in fact not like Meredith, an uptight, conservative businesswoman who calls in her sister (Claire Danes) for moral support.
What happens next in this convoluted story considerably lowers the impact of The Family Stone. There are some comedic routines, but writer/director Thomas Bezucha really lowers his creation by mixing in enough language, drugs and illicit activity to cancel out any chance of this being a good film.
Adding all of the angst to the film mixes drama with comedy and this goes together about as well as oil and water. No wonder this film struggles to find acceptance.
Thomas Bezucha is not the only writer/director to bomb out. He joins an infamous cast of writer/directors in at least these three terrible films: Jared Hess for Napoleon Dynamite, Robert Rodriguez for Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Paul Thomas Anderson for Punch-Drunk Love. At least I gave Buzucha an average rating.
This going nowhere fast presentation of The Family Stone leaves you doubting if it will ever come together and work. It thankfully does work as the end draws near. You must hang in there with this movie; it does get somewhat better as it moves along.
Having said that, I would not watch it again on a bet. It is hardly worth a second view despite the fact that it picked up nominations for 4 Golden Globe awards: Sarah Jessica Parker for Best Actress in a Comedy, Craig T. Nelson as Best Supporting Actor, Diane Keaton as Best Supporting Actress and Rachel McAdams as Best Supporting Actress. None of them won.
The Family Stone mirrors the Golden Globe nominations, close but not able to get it done.
Mona Lisa Smile - 2 Stars (Average)
Mona Lisa Smile is the story of Katherine Ann Watson, an art history teacher at Wellesley College outside Boston during the 1950s. Watson (Julia Roberts) supposedly has more brains than breeding and manages to turn the conservative liberal arts college students upside down by teaching methods in thought power that inspires personal growth.
As a man watching this film, trust me when I say that not many guys would be watching this film a second time. I think there may have been only one guy in this film.
The cast includes Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal among others who were put through a finishing school for two weeks prior to filming.
Some of the outdoor scenes in Mona Lisa Smile were on the picturesque 500-acre campus at Wellesley. Wellesley is ranked by many as one of the top five liberal arts colleges in the country, and is the highest ranking women's college in this category.
Mona Lisa Smile (and Julia Roberts) could not sniff an award much less win one in this film, and that is what you call average.
Indian Summer - 2 Stars (Average)
Indian Summer is an easy-going, very slowly developing comedy about friends who reunite at a week-long summer camp that they used to attend as children. The camp is now threatened with closing down. Guess what happens.
The characters of Matt (Vincent Spano) and Brad (Kevin Pollak) are based on the two Michigan-born founders of the Canadian clothing company Roots. Matt and Brad attended Tamakwa, a camp in Ontario's Algonquin Park, as youngsters.
Indian Summer also has Alan Arkin, Matt Craven, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Perkins and Diane Lane in the cast. Lane turns out to be a real 40+ hottie in some other films down the road, notably Unfaithful (really hot) and Under the Tuscan Sun (hot enough).
Unlikely Angel - 2 Stars (Average)
Unlikely Angel is a made for TV movie starring (hang on) Dolly Parton, a country music performer who meets an untimely death and cannot enter heaven until she performs a good deed back on Earth. Heavy this is not.
This is an overworked story idea with not much to recommend it, but I did not find any pretense in Dolly Parton's effort. I thought Dolly Parton was being Dolly Parton and found her to be the best thing in this film.
I have seen a lot worse movies with bigger acting names than Dolly Parton.
Copyright (c) 2006 Ed Bagley
Artice Source: http://www.articlesphere.com
Related Articles in Movie Reviews
People interested in the above article are also interested in the related articles listed below:
A moviegoer has no way to find out if a movie is worth a watch or not. A movie trailer might give a feeling that it is an absolute must watch but once done, it might all seem as a waste of time as well as money given that the movie turns out to be an absolute crap.
Movie reviews have redefined themselves. Now celebrity gossip elements are now part of them. This article sheds light on the trend of celeb gossip expanding its horizons into the reviews section. We have all read movie reviews. They make an impact on the way we watch a movie in the theater. We accept it or not, the movie review that we read has a distinct effect on our mind. It gives you a preconceived set of ideas that you take to the movie hall with you. But those days have changed since.
From time to time, a movie character will come along that stands the test of time. Hardly any figure has been featured in motion pictures much more generally than the creature from the ocean, Godzilla. This massive monster was first featured in the 1954 Japanese film, Godzilla, with a closely edited edition introduced in the United States in 1956 know as Godzilla, King of the Monsters. The term Godzilla is really a combination of two Japanese words, gorira meaning gorilla and kujira meaning whale. His physical appearance has changed to some extent over time and yet his basic features have continued to be mostly identical.
in Movie Reviews