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Archives for : Romance

Rapid Review: “Fresh” is a Deliciously Good Time


Mimi Caves directorial debut serves a familiar dish, but with a “fresh”, new taste. 

I hate to spoil anything about Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “Fresh”, so I’m going to keep it brief. 

The film follows, Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman whose tirelessly looking for love through dating apps. The opening scene of the movie is an awkward, horrible first date. Noa is left feeling hopeless, and thinking that she’ll ever find a good guy. Her best friend, Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) is always by her side to console her and tell her she doesn’t need a man, but Noa still hopes for that special someone. 

On a random evening at the grocery store, a handsome, charming man named Steve (Sebastian Stan) hits on Noa by the produce section. Sparks fly and they begin to date. They seem to have a true romantic connection. After a few dates, Steve suggests taking Noa away for the weekend. Unfortunately, this dream vacation quickly turns into an unthinkable nightmare.  

Cave’s debut feature goes from rom-com to a dark, provocative horror. Audiences may think they’ve seen this story before, but it hasn’t been told quite like this. For starters, the film features a Grade-A cast. Stan’s character is unlike anything he’s played before. Between this film and “Pam and Tommy”, he’s proving his incredible versatility as an actor. And Edgar-Jones gives an unforgettable performance, as she brings a whole new level to the “damsel turns badass” story arc. 

Screenwriter, Lauryn Kahn carves out a sharp, witty, and thrilling script. Caves brilliantly brings Kahn’s words to life with her directing. The film’s images range from picturesque to beautifully grotesque. “Fresh” delivers the whole package. It’s a deliciously, twisted horror/comedy that leaves you craving more. 

“Fresh” is available to stream on Hulu on March 4, 2022.

Rating: A

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Movie Review: “Marry Me” Plays a Great Beat, but Fails to Make a Hit

As a rom-com lover I am so torn on my feelings for Universal Picture’s new film, “Marry Me”. I wanted this movie to give me the same feels that Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant created in “Notting Hill”. Sure, it wasn’t the most realistic plot, but their chemistry sold it. Sadly, the only spark in this film is ignited through the music.

I would like to preface this by saying, I think both Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson have done wonderful in other romantic comedies (i.e., “The Wedding Planner” & “Wedding Crashers”). Unfortunately, they just aren’t a great match.

In “Marry Me”, Kat Valdez (Lopez), a pop superstar is set to wed a sexy singer named Bastian (played by Colombian sensation Maluma) live on TV for millions of people to see. Just before the nuptials, news breaks out that her fiancé cheated on her with her assistant. She is shocked, embarrassed, and at a loss. As she stares at her adoring crowd, she spots single dad, Charlie (Wilson), holding a “Marry Me” sign. She brings him on stage for an unexpected exchange of “I do”. What follows is the most cliché rom-com formula. They give the marriage a chance for appearances and fall in love during the process. But of course, their relationship isn’t easy. Kat is more than just a famous singer. She also markets products, and is constantly being filmed for social media. Charlie doesn’t even own a smartphone, and leads a simple life as a math teacher and father.

I don’t mind that the film is predictable. Every rom-com pretty much is, and there’s great comfort in that genre because of it. However, in order to keep these movies fresh, at the very least there needs to be a sliver of a spark between the couple we’re supposed to root for. I honestly would have been fine if Kat just ended up single making hit pop songs. She seemed more passionate about that than her relationship with Charlie. And sadly, the script did not do the cast any favors. There was not enough humor, excitement, or intrigue.

Despite all the negatives I’m saying about the film, there was still some bright spots. The diverse cast at the school gave representation of all kinds of children and teachers. Sarah Silverman playing Charlie’s coworker and friend produced multiple laughs. The music was fantastic! I’ve already ordered my soundtrack (Yes, it’s that catchy). And the brightest light of them all is the charismatic JLo. She may not have sold me on her love for Owen, but she sold me on her love for herself. As a producer on the movie, Lopez also portrays a character much like the real her; divorced three times, a pop sensation, a badass dancer, and her life is constantly on display for the world. You can’t help but admire her ability to poke fun at herself, but also show her strength.

“Marry Me” may not have had me swooning over the “romance”. However, the film made me care more for Jennifer Lopez as an artist and human being. So, not quite the Valentine’s Day movie you’re hoping for, but might satisfy the JLo fans.

Rating: C

“Marry Me” opens in theaters and streams on Peacock February 11, 2022

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Movie Review: “Licorice Pizza” & “Hawkeye”

Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in ‘Licorice Pizza’.

“Licorice Pizza” is Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest, lighthearted romance and “Hawkeye” is Marvel’s newest mini-series. I reviewed both! Find out if they should be on your “must watch” holiday list.

“Licorice Pizza” opens on December 25, 2021

“Hawkeye” is currently streaming on Disney Plus

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“Love is Love is Love” Interview with Eleanor Coppola

“The latest feature film from award-winning director Eleanor Coppola (Paris Can Wait, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse), LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE tells three stories that explore love, commitment, and loyalty between couples and friends.  In the film’s first story TWO FOR DINNER, a married couple (Joanne Whalley and Chris Messina) find an unconventional way to transcend long distance through technology, but discover they were farther apart than they knew.  In SAILING LESSON, a long-married couple (Kathy Baker and Marshall Bell) tries to reignite their honeymoon-phase heat through a spontaneous sailing trip… and unexpected events arise.  And in LATE LUNCH, a young woman (Maya Kazan) who recently lost her mother gathers together a group of her mother’s friends (including Cybill Shepherd, Rosanna Arquette, and Rita Wilson) to share memories.  Surprising revelations ensue.”

I spoke with director Eleanor Coppola about the film, her inspiration behind the stories, how the movie speaks to underserved audience, and much more.

Blue Fox Entertainment will release LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, November 12 and on VOD Tuesday, December 14.

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“Love is Love is Love” Interview with Eleanor Coppola

Never Have I Ever Season 2 Interview w/ Cast

Mindy Kaling’s hit Netflix, comedy series is back! Season 2 of “Never Have I Ever” offers more laughs and romance than the first. The show is inspired by Kailing’s own childhood. It follows the complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenager. I spoke with the cast of the show to discuss whose voice would calm them down when feeling stressed, characters they saw themselves in when growing up and more.

“Never Have I Ever” season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER | Dallas Virtual Screening

Register to get access to the virtual advance screening of Netflix’s “The Last Letter from Your Lover”. To watch the film from home and attend the screening on July 21st RSVP HERE by Tuesday, July 13th. Please note the screening doesn’t require a Netflix subscription to view.

THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER

A pair of interwoven stories set in the present and past, THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER follows Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones), an ambitious journalist who discovers a trove of secret love letters from 1965 and becomes determined to solve the mystery of the forbidden affair at their center. As she uncovers the story behind Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley), the wife of a wealthy industrialist, and Anthony O’Hare (Callum Turner) the financial journalist assigned to cover him, a love story of Ellie’s own begins to unfold with the assistance of an earnest and endearing archivist (Nabhaan Rizwan) who helps her track down more letters. Based on the novel by JoJo Moyes and directed by Augustine Frizell.

THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER Releases on Netflix on July 23rd

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“Finding You” Interview w/ Brian Baugh, Rose Reid, & Jedidiah Goodacre

“Finding You” is based on the best selling novel, “There You’ll Find Me” by Jenny B. Jones. The film follows Finley (Rose Reid), an aspiring violinist, who meets Beckett (Jedidiah Goodacre), a famous movie star, on the way to her semester abroad program in Ireland. An unexpected romance grows during this journey of self-discovery. I spoke with writer/director Brian Baugh and the stars of the film, Rose Reid & Jedidiah Goodacre to talk about the film. We discussed people who most impacted their lives, which celebrity they would like to meet for the first time during a flight to Ireland, and more!

“Finding You” opens in theater May 14, 2021.

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“Finding You” Early Virtual Screening!

Want to take a trip to Ireland on the evening on May 12, at 7:00pm, well here is your chance!  Join Roadside Attractions to watch the new release of “Finding You.”  Be the first to see this delightful film and tell your friends and family about your fun journey… before it hits theatres on May 14! 

You can RSVP now and the first 100 RSVPs will receive a confirmation to view the film on May 12, at 7:00pm.

RSVPs are now being taken FOR THE VIRTUAL SCREENING on May 12 at 7:00pm at   https://watch.eventive.org/findingyou/play/606f780897f06600a1eb8c7b

Use this code to login—-   Code:  25EZXT

You will receive a confirmation email once you have RSVP’d.

FINDING YOU is an inspirational romantic drama full of heart and humor about finding the strength to be true to oneself. After an ill-fated audition at a prestigious New York music conservatory, violinist Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) travels to an Irish coastal village to begin her semester studying abroad. At the B&B run by her host family, she encounters gregarious and persistent heartthrob movie star Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre), who is there to film another installment of his medieval fantasy-adventure franchise. As romance sparks between the unlikely pair, Beckett ignites a journey of discovery for Finley that transforms her heart, her music, and her outlook on life. In turn, Finley emboldens Beckett to reach beyond his teen-idol image and pursue his true passion. But when forces surrounding Beckett’s stardom threaten to crush their dreams, Finley must decide what she is willing to risk for love.

Runtime 115 minutes

Rating PG

Based on the Book “There You’ll Find Me” by Jenny B. Jones

Cast – Rose Reid, Jedodiah Goodacre, Katherine McNamara, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Patrick Bergin, Tom Evertt Scott, Vanessa Redgrave

This film opens wide in Theaters on May 14th, 2021

Enjoy the trip!

“Long Weekend” Interview with Zoe Chao

Bart (Finn Wittrock) with Vienna (Zoe Chao) in Sony Pictures’ LONG WEEKEND.

“Long Weekend” is a refreshing romantic drama/comedy about man who’s down on his luck until he unexpectedly meets the woman of his dreams. The film stars Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story) and Zoe Chao (Love Life). I chatted with Zoe to discuss the film, what it means to see yourself represented in the media, the current attacks on Asian-Americans and much more in this in-depth interview.

“Long Weekend” is currently playing in select theaters.

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“Finding You” Trailer

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, Roadside Attractions invites you to watch the new trailer for their upcoming exclusive theatrical release, FINDING YOU.

The film tells the story of Finley (Rose Reid), an accomplished young musician studying abroad in Ireland who meets heartthrob movie star Beckett (Jedidiah Goodacre) shooting his latest medieval fantasy blockbuster.  Sparks fly between the unlikely couple who inspire each other to find the strength to be true to oneself. But when forces surrounding Beckett’s stardom threaten to crush their dreams, Finley must decide what she is willing to risk for love.

Filmed in Ireland, FINDING YOU is written and directed by Brian Baugh and stars up-and-comers Rose Reid, Jedidiah Goodacre, Katherine McNamara and Saoirse-Monica Jackson alongside seasoned vets Patrick Bergin, Tom Everett Scott and Vanessa Redgrave.