Wednesday, May 9, 2007

May 9th Log

2007, Susannah Grant, United States
1st Viewing, DVD

Catch and Release is a film that tries to portray reality and for the most part is effective. However, the film is driven by its plot which is ultimately a little unbelievable and contrived. When centered around the characters the film is much more enjoyable. Jennifer Garner plays the lead (a young widow recovering from the death of her finance just days before their wedding). Garner isn’t bad but she a bit dull. The films charm almost entirely comes from the performance of Kevin Smith (yes director Kevin Smith!). He did not direct or write, but he absolutely steals every scene he is in. Smith is a funny guy but there is also something genuine about him that makes him so likeable (here as the wisecracking friend and roommate). The film always centers around the existence of the departed yet it never fully captures his existence (even as a backdrop). Catch and Release is not a bad film at all, but it is flawed. Susannah Grant has written some screenplays (In Her Shoes, Erin Brockovich), and this marks her directorial debut. The think the problems develop in the script, and while the film is somewhat dull it remains watchable.

2007, Michael Lehmann, United States

1st Viewing, DVD

Thank you for turning me into a societal cliche” This moment of dialogue seems to just about sum up the film, which at almost ever turn resorts the characters into social and culture clichés. It gets to a point that becomes irritating and even downright disrespectful to borderline racist in some instances. A sense of humor is one thing, but cultural stereotypes is simply not funny, it is embarrassing. Ironically Because I Said So opens with a sweet montage of various cultures over generations. The most unfortunate aspect of the film is that Mandy Moore gives a strong performance. I have always like her as an actress and here she give another fine performance, but you only wish it was for a better film. Hopefully she will start selecting her roles more wisely in the future because films like this are wasting her talent. The same could be said about Diane Keaton, who posses strong chemistry alongside Moore, but her character is so overplayed it comes across more sad then it does charming.


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