This is how I remember it. The trouble with movies about high school is that they’re too often told from a remove, from the viewpoint of adults that look back either with a surplus of nostalgia or an overdose of sleaze. But The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt’s new teen drama (based on Tim Tharp’s novel), gets it exactly, positively right. I was in high school something like two decades ago, but there are scenes, moments, and dialogue in this film that ring so true that it all comes rushing back, a flood of memories and emotions and a little bit of pain. … Read More
Jennifer Jason Leigh
We’re almost there, you guys. We’re almost there. Soon the summer movie season — which this year seemed even louder, uglier, and dumber than ever, though that could just be me getting old — will draw to a close, and the fall will begin. Hollywood, with an eye on those little gold statues, will release movies with, oh, nuance and complexity and that sort of thing. But you don’t have to wait until September; the indies are getting a jump on the majors, countering Blockbuster Fatigue™ with some truly marvelous limited… Read More
As we move into Thanksgiving week, DVD players and cable networks across the land will be cuing up our favorite turkey day movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. One of its viewers may very well be Flavorwire favorite Emma Stone, who recently told Entertainment Weekly that Planes is the movie that made her want to be an actor — specifically, Steve Martin’s late-night motel “Chatty Cathy” tirade. Miss Stone explains, “You go from laughing hilariously at Steve Martin to your heart breaking for John Candy in that one scene, and that was, I think, the first time that I saw that you could do both.” Planes, Trains wasn’t the first movie to prove that you could “do both” — i.e., mesh the funny and the sad with equal effectiveness. But it’s one of the best, and after the jump, we’ll take a look at that and a few other very sad comedies. … Read More
We’ve been excited about For A Good Time, Call… since its Sundance premiere, and not just because it (like fellow Sundance film Bachelorette, on demand now and in theaters next month) indicates that the post-Bridesmaids female-heavy R-rated comedy surge is actually going to happen. More than that, For A Good Time is, quite simply, a very funny and exquisitely likable sex comedy, and there’s a shortage of those any way you slice it. There’s no shortage of sex comedies, of course — since the early ‘80s heyday of Porky’s and Hardbodies and their ilk, they’ve been all but ubiquitous. But have you ever tried going back and watching those iconic titles? Good heavens. They do not hold up well.
But a select few do. After the jump, we’ve assembled ten of our all-time favorite sex comedies (which we’re defining as movies where sex is the primary preoccupation/subject matter); add your own in the comments. … Read More