I’ve still got a little catching up to do when it comes to these movie reviews. As you may or may not know, I made a promise to myself at the beginning of 2007 that I would review every movie that I saw on Beyond the Rhetoric. Seeing how that went reasonably well, the trend continued into 2008. In the interest of brevity, I’ve started to lump the movie reviews into small batches of no more than three.
In the past, we’ve looked at everything from Hard Candy to 21. This week, I present to you a couple of heartwarming comedies. Both are now available on DVD, so you don’t have to bother with lining up at the cineplex and getting overcharged for stale popcorn.
Lars and the Real Girl
Some guys get pretty lonely. Others just aren’t particularly social. You aren’t really told what’s wrong with Lars at the beginning of the movie, but you immediately get the sense that he is quite the strange boy (at the age of 27). Seeking some form of companionship, but avoiding the complications of a real human relationship, Lars decides to order a life-like sex doll from the Internet. He’s not interested in the sex, though. Instead, he treats “Bianca” as if she were a real girlfriend and for the sake of his sanity, the rest of the town plays along. In fact, you almost start to believe that she is a real person. Almost. This movie was quite endearing as you witness the maturation and growth of Lars. It’s definitely different and well worth a rental, but despite what others may have said, I still don’t think Lars is as good as Juno.
After seeing the delightful performance by Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine, I almost looked forward to this romantic comedy. Ryan Reynolds plays a political consultant (he works on the Clinton presidential campaign at one point) who has to explain his upcoming divorce to his 11-year-old daughter. As such, the vast majority of the movie is told in the form of one extended flashback, so we don’t really get to see much of Breslin. I wouldn’t say that Definitely, Maybe is a bad movie, but it’s running pretty much par for the course when it comes to rom-coms. I did enjoy Isla Fisher’s character, though. She served as a “fun” counterpart to Reynolds’ somewhat stiff performance.