Defending Your Life (1991)
Directed by: Albert Brooks Written by: Albert Brooks
Starring: Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn
This will be short but sweet, because I don’t quite know what more I can say than the following, and not because it isn’t an entertaining flick, but more because it can be defined as a specifically likeable film pretty easily. My thoughts: great combo, greater dialogue, simple story, simpler plot, basic costuming and cinematography, funny supporting performances, really content and relaxing watch.
My rating: 3/5
Postcards from the Edge (1990)
Directed by: Mike Nichols Written by: Carrie Fisher (book and screenplay)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Gene Hackman, Dennis Quaid, Robin Bartlett
I wish I could bottle the amazing-ness of how Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine play off each other, even though they only get a few good scenes of dialogue. While the thought of Meryl Streep as a drug addict is totally unbelievable, her character’s use of drugs and alcohol is, and I guess that’s the point to acting in movies, ehh? There isn’t much plot to be had here, but the exchanges, and the dialogue make up for that and are well worth it. You can see how Mike Nichols’s love of dialogue transformed into his later films. Dennis Quaid barely has a role, but it’s funny to see him playing the asshole-like player, and not a family man. I don’t know whether the films portrayal of Hollywood at this time was accurate or not, but I’m guessing it is, and it was almost like watching a movie length female driven version of Entourage. You see the ins and outs of an actress trying to make her own way in the film industry, whilst battling her addiction, and trying to get away from the large shadow her more successful actress mother, casts over her. My favorite moment hands down wasn’t a Meryl moment however, but Shirley MacLaine, singing “I’m Still Here”…it was beyond magnificent.
My rating: 3.5/5
Funny as Hell
Enchanted April (1992)
Directed by: Mike Newell Written by: Elizabeth von Arnim (novel), Peter Barnes (screenplay)
Starring: Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, Polly Walker
Quiet. Relaxing. Thought provoking, and about as subtle as you can get, with the exception of the eccentricities of the characters every now and then. This film is, in its simplicity, just about getting away from the cold drab qualities of England and spending some time in Italy to do…well…nothing. This lends the viewer to be able to really focus on the actors capabilities at handling very quiet roles. This is not a love letter or homage to Italy. It acts as its background, as it should, and the purpose for which all these different people are drawn together. Each character is different from the next, but you find at the end of the film that they’re very similar to you in the way that we all question what we’re doing, and if we’re even happy.
My rating: 4/5
"You know you’re on the path to truth when you smell shit, isn’t that what they say?" // Three Kings (1999)
“A forbidden love. An unthinkable attraction. The ultimate price.” // Lolita (1997)
"There’s a tiny door in my office, Maxine. It’s a portal and it takes you inside John Malkovich. You see the world through John Malkovich’s eyes… and then after about 15 minutes, you’re spit out… into a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike." // Being John Malkovich (1999)
"When you wake up in a different place at a different time, can you wake up as a different person?" // Fight Club (1999)