Romance

Romance

The Reception

Darien Sills-Evans in The Reception

    The Reception is a film that seems to be heading gloriously in one direction, only to actually be heading disastrously in another. It tells the surely thorny enough story of Jeannette, a rich French-American woman (Pamela Holden Stewart) and her African-American lover Martin (Wayne Lamont Sims), who live in bucolic splendour in upstate …

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Life and Lyrics

Ashley Walters in Life and Lyrics

  Ashley Walters first became well known as Asher D in the London garage/grime outfit So Solid Crew. Since it was a gigantic collective of competing egos two things were on the cards – the band was unlikely to produce enough revenue to support all 19+ members, or it was going to fall apart spectacularly. …

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The Spectacular Now

Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now

    Feeling, looking, sounding like a very dark John Hughes film (Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller period), The Spectacular Now also has in Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley exactly the sort of actors Hughes might have cast – not the prettiest, but the most personable, the most “relatable” as we now say.   It’s Teller’s first …

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Two Night Stand

Analeigh Tipton and Miles Teller in Two Night Stand

      Two Night Stand takes the boy wins girl/boy loses girl formula, gives it a millennial spin and then lets its stars, Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton charm the pants off us as they rip the pants off each other.   Genuinely fresh and cute, refreshingly forthright and even sexy – most sex …

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Down in the Valley

Evan Rachel Wood enjoys the beach while Ed Norton enjoys her

  Ed Norton continues on his quest to become the new Sean Penn with this very unusual and initially brilliant examination of the cowboy myth and its survival into the modern world. This represents itself in a Bonnie and Clyde love story between Harlan, an itinerant cowpuncher cum gas station attendant (Norton) who immediately quits …

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My Bollywood Bride

Kashmira Shah and Jason Lewis in My Bollywood Bride

    Rom-coms are all about the journey and not the destination, so they say. If that’s true, then mark My Bollywood Bride down as a trip in an overheated vehicle, with terrible scenery outside and fellow passengers you’d kill yourself to be away from. The boy-meets-girl plot sees Sex and the City’s Jason Lewis …

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The Holiday

Jude Law and Cameron Diaz in The Holiday

  The rom-com has traditionally featured an alpha couple and a beta couple. This allowed the alpha couple do the serious mooning about, while the beta couple handled the comedy and dispensed sound, often snarky, advice. However, since Richard Curtis’s successful if frequently painful Love, Actually, there’s been an attempt to get more people in …

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Candy

Abbie Cornish and Heath Ledger in Candy

    Though there’s plenty of people who take drugs for entirely recreational purposes and never go to hell in any sort of handcart, there’s not much drama to be had from making movies about them. So instead drugs movies tend to be about people hitting the buffers. Candy does at least do it with a …

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Starter for 10

Alice Eve, James McAvoy and Rebecca Hall in Starter for 10

    Write what you know, they say, and David Nicholls certainly does that here. An adaptation of his 2003 best-seller about a 1980s working class kid going to university, written by a 1980s working class kid who went to university, this comedy is full of period flavour and has the tang of authentic experience. …

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A Good Year

Marion Cotillard and Russell Crowe in A Good Year

  In 1989 former adman Peter Mayle wrote a book about how he left the rat race behind and started a new life in France. A Year in Provence was its name and this humorous memoir set the tone for the TV series that followed, starring John Thaw as the escapee to the good life. …

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