The Big Sick (2017)

The Big Sick Movie Review

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The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick is a 2017 romantic comedy drama film directed by Michael Showalter and starring Kumail Nanjiani. It is a hugely overrated movie.

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For your files. Your X-Files.

That’s your favorite show, huh?

The truth is out there!

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The Big Sick Movie Review

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In this world obsessed with political correctness, of course a movie about the relationship between a Pakistani man and an American woman is going to receive acclaim. But this was in concept basically ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, just less comedic and more dramatic in tone. So it isn’t particularly original and although I am honestly quite interested in this subject matter, it was unfortunately not well utilized at all. Let’s just say that this isn’t ‘Ali: Fear Eats the Soul’.

The Big Sick has its moving parts and it also has a pretty observational approach in dialogue and script as at times it really understands this issue and the speech that Kumail gives to his parents was spot-on. It is a delicate subject and it was mostly dealt with smartly and subtly.

However, the movie was a slog to sit through. It wasn’t dull per say, but it was unnecessarily long. Two hours was surely not needed for this very simple story. The movie should have been simpler in the plot, runtime and its number of characters.

Speaking of characters, Kumail Nanjiani is a pretty good actor, but I am just not a fan of him. I liked his character though and I have to say that he gave a pretty good performance. As for his girlfriend, really not a fan. I understand where she was coming from, but she still seemed like a bitch to me and was too cruel to Kumail. And the fact that she is in a coma for the majority of the movie certainly doesn’t help her matter.

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The Big Sick Movie Review

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Her parents were a bit too over-the-top, especially the mother. They were fine, but they took too much of the runtime without a doubt. Kumail’s parents were much more interesting, especially in the role reversal of mother and father in a way.

The Big Sick is definitely well acted and mostly well scripted with good dialogue, but it’s a film that never establishes a proper identity. Let me explain. By introducing darker themes such as parental disownment and girlfriend in a coma, it became way too dramatic/melodramatic and the tone was just never properly established. The film never, ever decided whether it’s a romantic comedy or a drama which was problematic to say the least.

The Big Sick is a solid, but highly troublesome movie. It is very well acted, sometimes quite observational and with a particularly strong dialogue and even the script. Some of the conversations were superb. However, the two-hour runtime was just unnecessary, Emily was very unlikable to me and the film never decided whether it wants to be a drama or a romantic comedy and thus the end result is one giant mish-mash affair.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Goodbye Girl (1977)

The Goodbye Girl  Movie Review

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

The Goodbye Girl is a 1977 romantic comedy film directed by Herbert Ross and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason and Quinn Cummings. It is a solid, charming flick.

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If you were a Broadway musical,

people would be humming your face

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

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As is almost always the case with most romantic comedies, this one is also extremely cliched and predictable in its storyline and from beginning to end. There is nothing original or interesting that happens here in terms of the plot points and that was certainly a problem the movie never overcame.

But still it is an enjoyable film because it does the first part of its genre name right – it gives us romance. The comedy is lacking and despite a couple of amusing moments, the film is rarely really funny and never hilarious. It is more dramatic than comedic, especially in the first half.

But the romance worked for me. I did not think that these characters were all that great, but the interactions between them were interesting and playful and I loved the romantic parts of the film. The ending is too cliched, but sweet, the dinner is lovely and the entire falling in love part is so well done and actually highly effervescent.

Richard Dreyfuss plays an especially likable, charming man and I really liked most of his actions and sentences. He really sold this movie. The character is great, but the actor did a great job himself and honestly his Oscar win is not all that surprising when you think about it. He is the sole reason to see this film.

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

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Especially because Marsha Mason isn’t all that great in her role which is definitely too unlikable for way too much of its running time. That is also what Ebert said and this is probably the first time that I entirely agree with his review. However, Quinn Cummings is much better and she deserved her Oscar nomination as she portrayed this memorable girl so well.

The Goodbye Girl is weakly made, very weakly. The direction is so mediocre as is the cinematography and the film looked too stagy. The editing is also weak and I have to say that the first act is very unappealing, not at all engaging and frankly even a bit annoying as the characters are frustrating and unlikable at first. Later the movie improved quite a bit, but eventually it settled into being just a solid rom com and nothing more than that. Its Best Picture nomination was thoroughly undeserved.

The technical aspects are nothing to write home about, the story is of course cliched and predictable and Marsha Mason is unlikable in The Goodbye Girl, but Richard Dreyfuss is great and very likable in such a charming role. And the movie itself is often very pleasant and sweetly romantic leading to a solid and better than average romantic comedy.

My Rating – 3.5

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a 2002 romantic comedy starring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. It is a typical genre film.

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I’ve never seen my sister this happy,

Ian. If you hurt her,

I’ll kill you and make it look like an accident

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..
It follows a young Greek woman who starts dating a non-Greek man much to the chagrin of her parents. Eventually the two marry through a series of traditional Greek rituals. First of all, this is an obviously stereotypical movie. Yes, comedies are supposed to exaggerate everything, but here Greeks were portrayed as overly xenophobic and traditional which just wasn’t realistic at all. Because of that, it is such a usual over-the-top Hollywood comedy.
Another problem is that My Big Fat Greek Wedding is beyond clichéd and predictable from beginning to end. That is why watching it wasn’t nearly as fun as it should have been. It is an amusing film, but I still knew every single thing that was going to happen and that was annoying. I know romantic comedy is the most clichéd of all genres, but I just cannot forgive such immense clichés no matter what.
The actors all did a nice job and I liked thay Nina Vardalos is Greek herself, that was great. She is likable here and most of her family members are memorably goofy and funny. But John Corbett was obviously typecast here and the role is boring as hell.

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..
Does it succeed as a romance and as a comedy is an important question. Well, to some degree, but only slightly and rarely does it reach greatness. For example, the scene where the two first meet is very romantic and charming, but everything after that was devoid of any genuine warmth and romance. The same goes for laughs. Some supporting characters are funny, but most aren’t. Some lines were pretty memorable and they made me laugh, but this is mostly not a particularly funny movie which is problematic as the premise and scenarios demand much more comedy. And I liked seeing some of Greek traditions (the score is great as is their family dynamic) and that was nice and very ehtnic, but unfortunately too over-the-top and just false.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding has some memorable characters, a couple of funny lines and it is sweet and harmless, but it is mostly too over-the-top in its portrayal of Greek people, the film isn’t funny or romantic enough and the story is awfully clichéd and predictable.

My Rating – 3

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Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone Movie Review

Romancing the Stone is a 1984 action adventure romantic comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. It is a pleasant, fun flick.

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Joanie, you are now a world-class hopeless romantic.

No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I really enjoyed this movie. It has everything the Indiana Jones franchise was supposed to have – romance, adventure, charm and a lot of heart. The story itself is pretty solid for this type of movie. Simplistic and typical, yet certainly well crafted and with some memorable plot points and details. The film is very interesting in terms of its tone and genres. It is mostly a fun adventure flick, but it also has action in it and it is definitely a romantic comedy with humor and romance both being very accentuated.

I liked the characters and they were all very likable. It is interesting that this is one of the rare movies where even Michael Douglas I found to be likable as he is usually annoying to me. But he was very good and sympathetic here. Kathleen Turner is excellent and very charming and cute. And of course, as a big Danny DeVito fan, I liked seeing him here a lot and he was quite funny in a couple of scenes.

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Romancing the Stone Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone is very memorable in its third act. Yes, the action there is certainly overwhelming, but better than it was in the middle of the film and some of the set pieces are quite interesting. I liked the use of crocodiles quite a bit and the hand chopping sequence is truly dark for a supposed family picture.

I would have gone without the Columbian stereotypes and really the people and especially its representation as a poor and wild country felt very unnerving and dated. But the romance worked in my opinion as some of the scenes between the two were quite charming and even though the ending was overly happy, it was still endearing and satisfying in a typical eighties fashion.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

It is too much a product of its time, but it also benefits from it as they shot in real locations, Mexico I believe, which led to one fine looking movie with great cinematography and a lot of memorable shots and imagery. The direction from Robert Zemeckis is strong and I think this is one of his earliest movies and he showed great talent and he did deliver with such a strong directorial career. The pacing is somewhat problematic and the movie isn’t always as entertaining as it should have been, but it is always endearing and wonderful to watch plus it is surprisingly well crafted and made for a blockbuster. I liked it a lot and it is one of the best blockbusters of its time and one fine adventurous entertainment.

Romancing the Stone has its flaws such as some stereotypes, sometimes overwhelming action and a somewhat typical and predictable story, but the film is so adventurous and charming with quite likable Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, endearing romance, some very memorable set pieces and shots and a genuinely well crafted, intriguing plot.

My Rating – 4

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Pretty in Pink (1986)

Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Pretty in Pink Movie Review

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 teen romantic comedy directed by Howard Deutch, written by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald. It is a really charming movie.

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I just want them to know that they didn’t break me.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Now, first I have to say that this is nowhere near the quality of ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles, two movies that I just adore. It is more in line with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ as the plot is fairly simple and clichéd, but the film does most with it anyway. Some parts of the film weren’t as great and some were even dated, but most were terrific and my favorite has to be the entire third act which was just beautiful to behold. So romantic, charming and it just brought a smile to my face. And the entire movie felt like a pleasant teen journey.

The characters are pretty good, but some parts felt false. The entire conflict that arose between Andie and Jack in that he was too rich for her was just ridiculous and not believable at all. They did the most they could do with it, but it was still somewhat silly. And I have to say that I didn’t care for him that much. Duckie was at first quite annoying and I didn’t know if he was supposed to be gay or nerd or in love with her and the last option came to fruition eventually. Even though the two were obviously better off as friends, I still wished that she chose him instead. But that ending with him telling her to go after him was both funny and endearing.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

The performances are really good as usual. Harry Dean Stanton is solid and Jon Cryer, though annoying, is quite good in his role. But as usual, Molly Ringwald stole the show as she portrayed such a wonderful character once again and her performance was expectedly great.

Certainly there is something missing in Pretty in Pink and that something is the direction. Howard Deutch is just not John Hughes and although he wrote the script, I wished that he directed the film too as it would have been much better that way.

The film is still competently made, don’t get me wrong. But it is just never as sophisticated as you would come to expect from Hughes’s movies. The script is the major problem as it just felt overly standard and typical. The execution is actually excellent and it thoroughly lifted the material, but I still wished for a couple of more clever lines of dialogue as well as a good conflict.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

But the humor made Pretty in Pink as enjoyable as it is. It is that kind of wonderful and endearing humor that seems realistic and charming instead of forced and I love that. There are some scenes here that were so heartwarming and funny at the same time that I smiled and laughed and was having such a great time. The silly clothes, the prom and of course the soundtrack all brought that very pleasant 80s tone to it and made it a very moving experience. It is far from a great movie or anything like that, but it is competent and lovable enough that I consider it very good and satisfying for the most part.

Pretty in Pink is lacking in comparison to ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’ as the script is fairly typical and the conflict rang false, but it is such a lovable movie that I enjoyed it a lot nevertheless. Molly Ringwald is as likable as ever, the third act was so wonderful and the movie is well acted and made while consistently being endearing in its humor and characters.

My Rating – 4

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Hello, My Name Is Doris (2016)

Hello, My Name Is Doris Movie Review…………………………………………………………

Hello, My Name Is Doris Movie Review

Hello, My Name Is Doris is a 2016 romantic comedy film directed by Michael Showalter and starring Sally Field and Max Greenfield. It is a pleasant indie surprise.

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You’re a baller, Doris. Straight up!

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Hello, My Name Is Doris Movie Review…………………………………………………………

It is about a woman in her sixties who tries to act on her attraction to a much younger co-worker. I really liked the story here as it actually has a lot going for it, not just the main romance. It was great watching a woman get infatuated with a much younger man as we rarely see that on film. But I admired that it was done tastefully and in a heartwarming instead of exploitative or ridiculous comedic manner.

I also really liked that it focused on other aspects of Doris’s life. She is such a well developed main character that you really get to know her in this movie and get to care for her. Her hoarding problem is so well explored here and it was great watching her deal with it and eventually beat it. But the film’s heart lies in the relationship with her best friend Roz. Those two had some of the most heartwarming moments together and watching Roz console her friend after she’s been rejected was just beautiful to behold. She may not have much that is worthwhile in her life, but her friendship with Roz is certainly something special and I loved how the film showcased the immense importance of such a friendship.

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Hello, My Name Is Doris Movie Review…………………………………………………………

I really liked John as well. He was a very likable, charming fellow and it was understandable that she got head over heels for him. He was also really well acted by Max Greenfield who is here more sympathetic than usual. But naturally this is Sally Field’s show and she shines in a very demanding role that could have been awkward, but she restrained it with subtlety and humanity. She gave one of the year’s finest female performances.

Hello, My Name Is Doris is far from a great film as it has a couple of overly ridiculous and theatrical sequences in its first third. That was too aggressive and just plain unfortunate as it really diminished the overall impact of the movie which was more realistic otherwise.

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Hello, My Name Is Doris Movie Review…………………………………………………………

But besides that, it doesn’t have all that many flaws and the humor is actually quite solid afterwards. A couple of sequences really made me laugh and its awkward, eccentric humor was quite pleasant. It mostly found the right balance between comical and dramatic/moving which is why it succeeds as both a drama and a comedy. It is quite well directed and also really well edited as there is not a single scene here that is wasted in my opinion. It truly is one of the best indies of the year.

Hello, My Name Is Doris is sometimes too eccentric and goofy, but it mostly found a right balance between comedic and dramatic, Sally Field is fantastic in the main role, her character is so likable and you care for her, the story is really well told and it has many really well done, impactful scenes. It is one of the year’s finest indies.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Seven Year Itch (1955)

The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The Seven Year Itch Movie Review

The Seven Year Itch is a 1955 romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. It is one of the director’s weakest works.

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When it gets hot like this, you know what I do?

I keep my undies in the icebox!

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

It follows a man who is away from his wife and is experiencing the titular psychological term. He meets a beautiful woman and the two hang out and talk for days. The director himself stated that this was “a nothing film” because he couldn’t film it as he should have those days – with a lot of sex and infidelity. But as I usually dislike those, I found this approach satisfying and I really liked that he didn’t cheat on his wife and how the girl actually told him some wise words near the end. I liked that he realized what a fool he was and hurried back to his wife, I liked that their relationship was mostly a fun friendship.

What I didn’t like here is the film’s approach in terms of storytelling. This is one of those movies that is lost potential, it gets half of the scenes right and half very wrong. I was frustrated watching its obvious bad choices unfold in front of my eyes. I am of course talking about the film’s structure and humor.

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The film uses way too many imagination scenes and although they are quite funny and amusing at first, they become annoying as the movie progresses. The same can be said about the protagonist. Richard Sherman is the kind of character that is at first sympathetic and even likable, but he is best used in small doses and here he is at the center of the entire movie and that was just too much and he very quickly got on my nerves. I wished for more Monroe as she was much more sympathetic and memorable.

The other problem, again concerning the structure, is the film’s unwillingness to go into theatrical territory. It should have focused entirely on these two characters and it should have revolved around one room. It is that kind of story and that talkative and narrow approach would have worked wonders here. But unfortunately they put in many other supporting characters and all of them are forgettable and they hurt the movie a lot.

Tom Ewell gives a good performance, but is annoying as a comedian. Marilyn Monroe is as childish and foolish as ever, but it was fascinating watching her give a couple of really smart lines too and she was as amusing and as pretty as ever.

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The comedy in The Seven Year Itch is troublesome. Some of the moments and lines made me laugh and the sexual humor is very funny, but the film is more often than not annoying instead of funny with an excessive use of the protagonist and his dated humor. In fact, the entire film is very dated when you think about it and its age can be seen from the get-go. The pacing is problematic, but the film looks good and the Cinemascope suits it really well and suits its star wonderfully. I liked this film and it was solid, but it was more disappointing than satisfying unfortunately.

The Seven Year Itch is one of those movies that were very contemporary for its time, but are now obviously immensely dated. The film features good performances, a solid relationship between the two stars and is quite funny and charming at times, but it is more annoying than funny with a protagonist that becomes more and more annoying as the film progresses. The movie also should have focused entirely on the two, it should have had a theatrical approach in its production with less characters and the imagination sequences were overly abundant. It is in the end solid and amusing, but a giant mess nonetheless.

My Rating – 3.5

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