All Good Things (2010)

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Surely, the name of this film just lends itself to bad reviews. Like ‘All Good Things – apart from the acting, story, directing and just about everything else’ or ‘All Good Things… All bad things, more like?’ or something equally as terrible. As it happens, it is not a great film, so unleash the terrible lines.

David Marks (Ryan Gosling) is the son of real estate tycoon Sanford Marks (Frank Langella). But he doesn’t want to follow his father’s footsteps. He and his beautiful young wife, Katie (Kirsten Dunst) move to Vermont and open a health food store called All Good Things. Life is great, but then David is pressured to return to New York and follow his father’s footsteps. He’s acting pretty weird, and then his wife disappears, then suddenly it’s 20 years later, David is dressing as a woman and his best mate dies, and the spotlight is put on him for both cases.

It is based on the true story of Robert Durst and his wife Kathleen McCormack who disappeared in 1982. It’s a pretty compelling story, yet not a compelling film. This despite the strong acting, especially from Kirsten Dunst in one of the best performances I’ve seen from her. The key problem was the structure and the script – it felt as though a lot of time was put into the set up of the relationship between David and Katie, but then the disappearance and all of the acts after this seem rushed, and given how exciting this part of the story is, it’s just a waste.

Bridesmaids (2011) Film Review

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There’s nothing I like more than being in a full cinema that is roaring with laughter. That’s what seeing Bridesmaids was like a few years ago; me, a bunch of my mates and a lot of laughing. Critics and the media were raving about how marvelous it was to have women being funny.

If you don’t know, the story is that Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and appoints her best friend Annie (Kristen Wiig) as her maid-of-honour. However, Annie is post-break-up, has recently had her cupcake business go under and is pretty much a mess, and between her own craziness and jealousy of Lillian’s new friend Helen (Rose Byrne), Annie makes a mess of all of the pre-wedding events.

So why was it that I dreaded watching it again? It was really two scenes from the film that kept popping up in my mind; the speeches at the engagement party and the food poisoning/dress fitting. These extremely over-the-top scenes were all I could remember, and I hated them. The grossness of the food poisoning scene was just totally unnecessary and on a second watch, it really brings little to the film. Although, I suppose, it got people talking. As for the one-upmanship between Annie and Helen during the engagement speech, it just felt unrealistic and annoying.

Finally, I decided to push through and just watch it and I was delighted to find that these two scenes felt very out-of-place. There was a lot of over-the-top craziness, but there was also a lot of heart. I liked it a lot more than I expected to. I especially liked the friendship between Annie and Lillian, which felt very genuine.

It was awesome to see so many strong female actors in the film, even if some were playing very over-the-top caricatures. I expect that I’ll see whatever is touted as the next Bridesmaids, but I hope it doesn’t force the comedy so much as this did.