The Tower and The Wall (Movie Thoughts: Under The Eiffel Tower/Berlin I Love You )

under-the-eiffel-tower-movie-posterThere are bad movies that you know are going to be bad, and there are some that are just so disappointing.  I did not know much about Archie Border’s ‘Under The Eiffel Tower’ except for its premise – a man proposes under the Eiffel Tower, and wouldn’t you agree that the idea just seems so romantic? But that plot point is used so ridiculously in this film, and the rest of it is even worse. I never believed in any of the story, specifically the love story between the two main characters. Matt Walsh and Judith Godreche try but the script is dead on arrival, and you can’t unbury the dead. I checked out of the story fairly early on and never got back in. Sure, the film is on the short side, but I probably could have better used my time napping.

0_cOR3jtwPN-PrbDloFrom France we go now to Germany, specifically Berlin. The city is host to the newest film of the “Cities of Love” series, and while it is an odd choice (Do you think romantic when you think of the Berlin Wall and Holocaust Memorial?) I can play teh game. The film consists of ten short films, all kind of connected by one story line of two people meeting cute , a street angel and a street musician. There are some interesting people contributing here – Neil LaBute writes one of them – but it’s all so disjointed that a nice little short about a trans woman (played by Diego Luna) and a teenager gets lost in all the other noise. I mildly liked most of it, except for one storyline (the LaBute one, starring Mickey Rourke, natch) that was kind of creepy. And my Gerald Nolan Funk is here, dancing, so it can’t bee too bad.

What About Romance (Movie Thoughts: Isn’t It Romantic)

romanticpos1The big question that begs to be answered: is ‘Isn’t it Romantic’, well, romantic? Well, the short answer is, no, it isn’t. As a romantic comedy, the film falters, but that doesn’t mean it could be worth your time. It’s a story of a young woman, Natlie, played by Rebel Wilson, who, after hitting her head, gets caught in a world of romantic comedy, and even as she tries to resist it, gets embroiled in one. The film has a mixed message – romantic comedies are bad, but hello, you are in one so let’s be one – so as an audience, we are confused as to what to think. But the film has Wilson up its sleeve, and though I am still conflicted about how I feel about her – she carries the film on her back and mostly succeeds in lifting it. She doesn’t really give the film a character, just a string of finely-tuned one liners, and to be frank, her style is a little bit too in the “look at me, I’m funny” vein, but I can tolerate her more than the old Melisa McCarthy shtick. The film has some great musical scenes (I can’t diss anything that uses Swing Out Sister’s ‘Breakout’) and the choreography by Christopher Gattelli is, as the kids say, on-point. I enjoyed the film a little more than the differences I had with it, and I bet most people will enjoy it more.

One Man’s Trash (Perfume Thoughts: I Am Trash, Les Fleurs du Dechet, Etat Libre d’Orange)

375x500.50009I haven’t bought a new scent in a year.  I think it’s because my collection isn’t situated yet. I have most of it in my apartment, but they are still packed. I think a part of me feels bad for them so I don’t want to get a new brother or sister for them just yet. But i was at Scent Bar’s pre-Valentine’s event and I was bewitched by ‘I Am Trash,’ from Etat Libe d’Orange and sometimes you just fall in love, and you want to take them home.

I was fascinated by the story of the scent – inspired by trash – and I thought I was going to get a weird odor-y scent. But ‘I Am Trash’ is a floral – it’s alternate name is ‘Les Fleurs du Dechet,’ which loosely tranlates to The Flowers of Decay. I do get a rose here mixed with lily of the valley. But I also get fruit – apple and orange, based on apple and orange peels that you find in the garbage. And guess what – this scent is surprisingly fresh and clean, and will be perfect for nice Spring Days. But right now, on a cold winter day, it gives me just the right amount of sunshine. It’s somehow what I cling to nowadays, and I am in love with it. Who says I don’t have a Valentine?

Tremendously Taraji (Movie Thoughts: What Men Want)

wwwI never saw the original ‘What Women Want’ movie because I pride myself in not seeing Mel Gibson movies. I knew way back when that he is a homophobe so I just refuse to give him back support. I knew the movie’s premise and I know that in ‘What Men Want,’ now directed by Adam Shankman, the gender has changed on the story and now Taraji P Henson now stars as Ali, a young woman who can hear men’s thoughts. This helps her as she tries to navigate her way into the world of sports management, as she gets being passed as a partner in the film. The film weaves the character in and out of sticky and funny situations, and for me, the conceits only worked half of the time. But Henson is funny, is game, and gives her all here that you can’t help but just give her a big sparkling A. I wish The film was as good as she was, but it’s fine enough for a Saturday afternoon matinee for me. I don’t know if I would recommend this, but if you are a Taraji fan, then I would say you will have a fine time.

Alone Together (Movie Thoughts: Untogether)

untogetherNothing really much happens in Emma Forrest’s ‘Untogether,’ so I was set to think that this is one of those character-driven movies. Only, I wish the characters were more interesting. We have Nick (Jamie Dornan) a writer who write a best selling memoir about his tour in Gaza, and there’s Andrea, an author experiencing writer’s block. They connect, but have trouble defining what they have. I mean, welcome to today. There are two other characters – Andrea’s sister and her musician husband, and we have Billy Crystal as a rabbi. There’s too much here, but seemingly not enough for something. And with about twenty minutes left in the movie, we get a bombshell turn of events, which is supposed to be shocking, but because the character is mostly unpleasant anyway, you don’t care much. Everyone is fine here, and I guess I should mention Dornan because his looks was the only thing that kept me watching. Everything else in the movie made Los Angeles look dull and dreary.

Body Dusting (Movie Thoughts: To Dust)

To-Dust-1It seemed a good idea at the time – seeing this film. But ten minutes into it, I knew it wasn’t for me.  Geza Rohrig plays a man who has just lost his wife to cancer – and he gets obsessed with finding out what happens to her body after she is buried. With the aid of a Science Professor, played by Matthew Broderick, they play a variation of an odd coupe who sets out how a body decomposes. I am squeamish about these things, and spent a good amount of time covering my eyes. So I really did not enjoy this film because of that.

Who You Love (Film Thoughts: Giant Little Ones)

1549491425_poster-large‘Giant Little Ones’ now has the distinction of being the first movie for 2019 that has made me cry. Yes, yes I know that it is kind of easy to do that, but to be the first to make me ‘ugly cry’ is  a good thing. I love coming-of-age stories, and this one is not necessarily a gay coming of age one – its message is more for fluidity. But nonetheless, it packs a lot of emotions in a touching story.

Frank (Josh Wiggins) has been best friends with Ballas (Darren Mann) until one night that somethign happens between them. It drives Ballas away, and complicates their friendship. But Franky isn’t necessarily gay – he is also attracted to Natasha, Ballas’ sister. Or maybe he is too young to really get the nuances of sexual attraction. It doesn’t matter, as the film teaches tolerance for young people to explore what is in their hearts. Wiggins is great, echoing a young Matt Damon with his floppy hair. We see his character very cool with their father – it turns out that he left their mother for another man (Kyle McLachlan and Maria Bello play his parents) and of course that makes matters more complicated. Sure there are a lot of politics and messages here that can be interpreted in very different ways, but I am not interested in that. This is a warm story that made my heart melt, and for me that is always worth more than anything else.