Sunday, February 26, 2023

Free Skate: Movie Review

Slow and dark, a story of trauma, abuse and perseverance.
Left for dead on the side of a Finland highway after fleeing Russia, a young elite figure skater is trying to start a new life with her grandmother and a skating rink in Finland. That’s how Free Skate starts. It’s a slow, dark, trauma-filled exploration of life in the figure skating world, and that’s before we even get into the darker more trauma-filled story that the movie eventually tells.   2022

Directed by: Roope Olenius

Screenplay by: Veera W. Vilo

Starring: Veera W. Vilo

Friday, February 24, 2023

Who Are You People: Movie Review

A quietly powerful and compelling family drama.
A drama that sneaks up on you by balancing a story that looks familiar but becomes a very important and powerful tale about morality. Who Are You People starts with Alex (Ema Horvath), a snarky, lonely, rebellious teenager who writes stories for English class about how nobody understands her and how her parents hate her and then retreats into her self-loathing defense.   2023

Directed by: Ben Epstein

Screenplay by: Ben Epstein

Starring: Ema Horvath, Devon Sawa

Friday, February 17, 2023

Of an Age: Movie Review

Intimate and epic, heartbreaking and funny.
Of an Age starts frantically with a problem both amusing and concerning. Ebony (Hattie Hook) wakes up with disheveled clothes alone on a beach. She scrambles to find a payphone (it’s 1999) and she calls Kol (Elias Anton) to come get her. A few problems with that. Kol doesn’t have a car, she doesn’t know where she is, and they have a dance final in an hour. He has to find someone to drive, pick up her dance outfit, use deductive reasoning to guess where she is, and make sure her mother doesn’t find out.   2022

Directed by: Goran Stolevski

Screenplay by: Goran Stolevski

Starring: Elias Anton, Thom Green

Friday, February 10, 2023

Your Place or Mine: Movie Review

Exactly as expected, but the characters are funny and enjoyable.
Friends becomes more than friends romantic comedy. Your Place or Mine is nothing you haven’t seen before, but the characters are all cute and witty and not a bad way to spend two hours. It’s funny without being immature, centers on the lives of the characters rather than romance or plot. It’s lightweight, charming enough, even if it is a little staid and unfocused.   2023

Directed by: Aline Brosh McKenna

Screenplay by: Aline Brosh McKenna

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Ashton Kutcher

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Somebody I Used to Know: Movie Review

Limited character but a fun and flawed lead character.
What starts out as a typical and potentially boring rom-com turns into a devious little comedy with everybody on their worst behaviour, and then flips into a character study of a broken woman realizing all the wrong choices she has made and then has to tidy up her messes. If all of the other romantic comedies this February are for the couples, then this one is for the singles who hopefully are smart enough to not destroy their ex’s wedding.   2023

Directed by: Dave Franco

Screenplay by: Dave Franco, Alison Brie

Starring: Alison Brie, Jay Ellis, Kiersey Clemons, and Danny Pudi

Dear David: Movie Review

Dear David is an Indonesian romantic drama, with a really good primary plot that becomes frustrating at times but nails the ending. Laras (Shenina Cinnamon) is a top student, who’s shy and a loner, and retreats into a fantasy world where she writes erotic fiction about David, a boy at school that she has a crush on. When her private blog gets leaked, everybody’s worlds get turned upside down.   2023

Directed by: Lucky Kuswandi

Screenplay by: Winnie Benjamin, David Sumolang, and Muhammad Zaidy

Starring: Shenina Cinnamon, Emir Mahira

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

One Year Off: Movie Review

Overly dramatic, inconsistent nonsense.

We would all love to take a year off of our lives and go have a romantic fling on the island of Nevis, but for those of us who can’t do that, we would at least like to enjoy a movie about that. But no such luck. One Year Off is not enjoyable. The characters are so illogical, the plot (when the movie decides to have one) is nonsense, that looking at a beautiful beach for two hours just doesn’t cut it.   2023

Directed by: Philippe Martinez

Screenplay by: Stewart Thomson

Starring: Jeff Fahey, Nathalie Cox

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Wedding Hustler: Movie Review

Low budget quirkiness in wedding planning.
Chris and Hillary are getting married. Maybe. Eventually. They got engaged and then the pandemic pushed back their wedding, and then it pushed back their wedding again, and now Hillary’s parents are pressuring them to get married despite the fact they really don’t like Chris. He’s lazy and unemployed and their daughter can do better, but a wedding is better than no wedding.   2022

Directed by: Chris Soriano

Screenplay by: Chris Soriano

Starring: Chris Soriano, Christine S. Chang

Friday, February 3, 2023

Who Invited Charlie?: Movie Review

Lightweight and not too immature.
Who Invited Charlie? Is a lightweight comedy balancing the immaturity of Adam Pally’s Charlie and the drama of the early days of the pandemic in New York. It’s set in March 2020 and you have every type of reaction on display. Like the more successfully COVID-influenced movies, the pandemic certainly has a significant impact on the characters, but the plot can survive without it.   2022

Directed by: Xavier Manrique

Screenplay by: Nicholas Schutt

Starring: Adam Pally, Reid Scott

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Erin's Guide to Kissing Girls: Movie Review

Sweetly funny middle school rom-com.
Erin (Elliot Stocking) is the only gay kid in her eighth-grade class, and Liz (Jesyca Gu) is her only friend. The two tend to turn to comic books rather than enduring the antics of their bully classmates. Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls features all the expected personalities for a middle school class. Erin is quiet and awkward, Liz is quiet and shy, the bullies Chris and Derek just like to be loud and annoying, and the popular girls are all confident and conceited and blonde.   2022

Directed by: Julianna Notten

Screenplay by: Julianna Notten

Starring: Elliot Stocking, Jesyca Gu