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Archives for : romantic movie

Movie Review: “Which Brings Me to You”

Sometimes you can get lucky at a wedding and sometimes you can get lucky in love. For Jane (Lucy Hale) and Will (Nat Wolff), the jury is still out. The two have an immediate spark at a friend’s wedding and almost hook up in a coat closet. Instead of jumping straight to bed with each other, they decide to pump the brakes and open up about their past relationships. Recipe for disaster? Once everything is revealed, it’s certainly doesn’t come without its challenges for the potentially new couple.

“Which Brings Me to You” starts out in a cliche boy meets girl manner. And though, the film never really goes anywhere that original, Lucy Hale and Nat Wolff’s chemistry revives a tired formula.

Hale and Wolff’s onscreen presence pulls you in. It’s clear they both have something dark in their past and you’re intrigued as to why they are both still single. The two bring an authentic portrayal to their characters. Neither one is over the top unrealistic. Will is not some extra, douche bag player type, whose changing his ways for the good girl. And Jane isn’t really the “good girl”. Both are flawed in understandable ways, but they have been trying to change their ways even before they met. They are not trying to become better people for each other, they are becoming better people for themselves. This is a much-needed narrative in the romance genre.

Notice I said “romance” genre and not “romantic comedy”. That’s because this is not a comedy. It lacks humor and it’s not advertised as a comedy. But I could see how one may expect laughs given the premise and trailer clips. “Which Brings Me to You” is more of a thoughtful conversation and character study of two people who are still healing from their past scars.

The film’s biggest weak spot is failing to flesh out their protagonists and their former lovers. Certain flashbacks of their previous romances are rushed, and their exes end up feeling more like props than humans. This creates too many unanswered questions, and ultimately, that holds back the film’s full potential.

“Which Brings Me to You” won’t stand out among other romances, but it tells a sweet enough story that’s enhanced through the effortless performances by Lucy Hale and Nat Wolff.

Rating: B-

“Which Brings Me to You” opens in theaters January 19, 2024.

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Movie Review: “The Other Zoey” is a Feel-Good Rom-Com

As the leaves start to fall and the weather gets cooler, a wave of heavy dramas begins to preoccupy the box office. That’s right, it’s awards season! Us critics, usually get excited as this is equivalent to our football season. But it’s nice to get a break from all those intense storylines and be treated to a heartwarming romantic comedy. Especially, one with a charming cast and enchanting love triangle.

Director Sara Zandieh brings us this sweet story that follows Zoey Miller (Josephine Langford), a smart and somewhat cynical college student who believes finding “the one” involves science, not love. She thinks rom-coms like “Notting Hill” and “Say Anything” are idiotic and unrealistic. She even created an app that will statistically find your perfect match. But when the school’s soccer stud, Zach (Drew Starkey) gets amnesia and mistakes Zoey as his girlfriend, she unexpectedly gets caught in a love triangle between Zach and his cousin, Miles (Archie Renaux). Zoey and Miles share similar interests, but do Zoey and Zach share more chemistry?

“The Other Zoey” is almost nostalgic, referencing classic romantic comedies, while also bringing back that comfort and joy we’d feel from watching 90’s movies like “While You Were Sleeping”. It’s also nice to see stars like Andie MacDowell and Heather Graham in the rom-com setting again. The real gem is the spark that forms between Langford and Starkey. It’s hard to imagine her with anyone other than Hero Fiennes Tiffin (from the “After” series), but it’s nice to see her involved in a more wholesome relationship, even if she’s juggling two different guys.

From a distance this appears to be to be another well produced love story that could stream on Netflix, but if you take a deeper look, you will find the talented leads and quirky plot is worthy of a relaxing and fun trip to the theaters. Best of all, Zandieh provides a message about love that everyone can relate to. If we’ve only grown up around broken relationships, it’s hard not to think so critically about love. As a way to protect ourselves from heartache, we try to be logical and remove the romance part of a relationship when looking for our person. However, if you can let go of that control and lead with your heart, instead of your head, you’re more likely to FALL in love rather than FIND it.

“The Other Zoey” is a familiar but cute and entertaining tale of how opposites attract. Highly recommend everyone go see this delightful romantic comedy.

Rating: B+

THE OTHER ZOEY

Opens in Theaters October 20 & On Demand November 10.

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Movie Review: “Ticket to Paradise” is a Decent Trip w/ Scenic Sights

It’s kind of hard to say no to anything with George Clooney or Julia Roberts. But when they team up for a rom-com, I’m sold! 

“Ticket to Paradise” tells a predictable story about a divorced couple, David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts), who can barely tolerate sitting next to each other at their daughter’s law school graduation. But, when their daughter, Lily (played by Kaitlyn Dever) goes on what was supposed to be a summer trip to Bali and falls in love/gets engaged to a native named Gede (Maxime Bouttier); David and Georgia put their differences aside to stop the wedding.

Like most romantic comedies, I’m sure you see where this story is going. When it comes to rom-coms, it’s not the predictability that is the issue, it’s whether or not we are served a fresh perspective and/or a handful of laughs. “Ticket to Paradise” offers nothing new story wise and, sadly, not a whole lot of laughs.

The film’s runtime is around an hour and 40 minutes, but the pacing is a lot slower compared to other films in that genre. This is due to the lack of comedy. The best moments are when Clooney and Roberts are at each other’s throats. Their disdain for each other is funny, and the audience will crave more bitter banter as the two have wonderful comedic chemistry. I’m just shocked they didn’t utilize their humor more. We have seen Roberts go much bigger in past rom-coms, and it’s always a joy to see. That being said, it seems that, Director/Writer, OI Parker’s intentions with this film were to have more serious conversations with subtle humor verses the typical slapstick comedy tropes. I absolutely respect this choice, but also seems like a missed opportunity with these two stars.

What “Ticket to Paradise” does offer, is a stunning setting that’s its own character, and a charming, talented cast you can’t help but fall for. Dever and Billie Lourd team up again since “Booksmart” and continue to shine on-screen. Bouttier and the rest of the actors playing island natives are also a joy to watch. And of course, the whole purpose of this movie– George Clooney and Julia Roberts are magnetizing. I think we’d be entertained watching these two have a conversation about drywall.

There’s nothing wrong with the film, but in a year where there have been some fresh romantic comedies like, “Bros” or “I Want You Back”, it’s hard to get excited about this one.

However, with such a lovable cast, and beautiful location, “Ticket to Paradise” can be an enjoyable, lighthearted comedy to escape all the madness in our lives.

Rating: B-

Movie Review: “Bros” is the Funniest Film of the Year!

Bros. CR: Universal

It’s crazy to think that “Bros” is the first romantic comedy about two men falling in love to be produced by a mainstream studio. It’s long overdue. But, if we had to wait this long, I’m glad we put it in the hands of Billy Eichner (Co-Writer) and Nick Stoller (Director/Co-Writer) to be the first ones to make it.

The film centers on Bobby (Eichner), a popular podcast host and LGBTQ+ historian who prides himself on being guarded and non-committal when it comes to relationships. He seems perfectly satisfied with his one-night stands and Grindr hook ups even though all the people in his life are in serious relationships. But everything changes when Bobby meets Aaron (Luke MacFarlane) at a night club. The two are total opposites. Aaron gives off meathead vibes, Ken doll looks, and a bro-like personality. However, the two are insanely drawn to each other. What starts off as a no-strings attached kind of fling, quickly turns into something much deeper. But like any romcom, the couple face some obstacles that will challenge their newfound romance.

In addition to the film’s historic romantic storyline, the movie also features and entirely LGBTQ+ cast. And it’s entertaining to watch some of those characters poke fun at their own current identity politics. “Bros” goes beyond the surface level romcom with its conversation about the importance of LGBTQ+ historical figures. It will likely spark a debate about what age children should learn about these figures, but the way the film handles this topic is one of my favorite parts of the movie.

“Bros” does follow the typical romcom formula with many familiar tropes, which are well done and nice to see in theaters again. What’s also great to see is the chemistry between Eichner and MacFarlane. The banter between the two of them is exciting foreplay, and the romance it leads to actually brought back the butterflies I use to feel from 90’s romcom classics. Not to mention, the two of them are fantastic actors. MacFarlane throws a nod to his “Hallmark” movies resume, but proves he deserves to be on the big screen. And Eichner is more than a supporting role or “Billy on the Street”, he’s a damn good leading man!

I should add, the film is produced by the one and only, Judd Apatow. Meaning, yes, it holds all the same magic that his previous, successful romcoms had, like “Knocked Up” and “Trainwreck”. “Bros” is just as raunchy, original, and HILARIOUS! The laugh out loud moments are greatly due to the witty screenplay.

“Bros” is an important watch for many reasons, but it’s also an incredibly fun one. I highly encourage moviegoers see this one in theaters and spread the word! Also, can we get started on a “Bros 2”?

Rating: A+

Check out my interview w/ the stars, Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane in the video below!

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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.

“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!

Interview: Jeff Rosenberg & Laura Jacqmin talk “We Broke Up”

“Lori (Aya Cash) and Doug (William Jackson Harper), a longtime couple who break up just days before Lori’s little sister Bea’s wedding to Jayson. In order to not disrupt the fun, the couple decides to pretend they’re still together until the weekend is over. “

I spoke with Director/Co-writer Jeff Rosenberg and Co-writer Laura Jacqmin to discuss long term relationship break ups, the key to a good wedding speech, which celebrity couple they hope never breaks up and much more!

Listen to the full interview below!

“We Broke Up” opens on April 16, 2021

(Left) Laura Jacqmin & (Middle) Jeff Rosenberg
“We Broke Up” Interview with Director/Co-Writer Jeff Rosenberg & Co-Writer Laura Jacqmin
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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.

Movie Review: “Bliss”

Amazon Studios new sci-fi thriller, “Bliss” is a mind-bending headscratcher. The film follows Greg (Owen Wilson) who, after losing his job and recent divorce, discovers he’s been living a computer simulated world. Susan Stephens shares her thoughts on the film along with suggestions of two romances to watch during this Valentine’s Day weekend.

“Bliss” is available to stream on Amazon Prime February 5, 2021.

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Interview: Michiel Huisman discusses “The Age of Adaline”

I sat down with Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) to discuss his new film, The Age of Adaline. We talked about the blessing of growing old with someone you love, which decade he would have enjoyed living in, and the importance of banter in a relationship.  Click the link below to see the full interview with the star.  

The Age of Adaline opens in theaters on April 24.

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