Category: Romantic Comedies
It ooesn’t get better than this.
The movie A Shorty History Of Decay tells the story of Nathan Fisher, a thirty-something Brooklyn “hipster” (Bryan Greenberg) whose writing career is stalled, much to the chagrin of his ambitious live-in girlfriend, Erika (Emmanuelle Chriqui).
When she unceremoniously dumps him, Nathan retreats into a depressive funk, not knowing where to turn– finish the novel? work on the play?– when he gets a call from his brother in Florida telling him his father has been hospitalized. Racing down to “snowbird” central, Nathan finds his father (Harris Yulin) on the mend (albeit grumpy), and his normally addled mother (Linda Lavin) a bit hazier than usual.
His quick visit turns into an extended stay during which he discovers that his aging parents are actually in much better control of their lives than he is. He also meets a woman (Kathleen Rose Perkins)–his mother’s manicurist, no less– who is the polar opposite of Erika, but who may just be exactly what Nathan needs.
A Short History of Decay is an American comedy film written and directed by Michael Maren. It stars Bryan Greenberg, Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Benjamin King and Kathleen Rose Perkins. Though its title is taken from the work of philosophy by Emil Cioran, it is not an adaptation of the book.
The film was shot in October and November 2012 in Wilmington, North Carolina, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and New York City. It premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 12, 2013 and it opened theatrically at the Village East Cinema on May 16, 2014.
A Short History of Decay
Directed by: Michael Maren
Starring: Emmanuelle Chriqui, Bryan Greenberg, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin, Rebecca Dayan, Barbara Weetman
Screenplay by: Michael Maren
Production Design by: Matthew Petersen
Cinematography by: Nancy Schreiber
Film Editing by: Timothy Snell
Costume Design by: Hayley Swinson
Art Direction by: Harrison Colby
MPAA Rating: R for language including sexual references.
Release Date: May 16, 2014
In the movie Just A Sigh, actress Alix (Emmanuelle Devos) meets a mysterious Irishman (Gabriel Byrne) on the train to Paris, where she is headed for an audition. Immediately drawn to him from this chance encounter, she follows him, and falls in love with him, before facing what could be a new life.
Alix and Doug were not supposed to meet, but they did. Alix was on a train bound for Paris where she was going to audition for a film, having just left Calais where she had performed in an Ibsen play. Doug, a literature professor, had left England for Paris, where he was to attend the funeral of a dear friend.
They were not supposed to meet and yet they did. They did because Alix, whose relationship with her boyfriend was at a crossroads, fancied this handsome serious-looking gentleman on the Paris-bound train. They did because Doug, although not in the mood for love, quickly fell for her. They were not supposed to meet but their brief encounter would prove to be overwhelming.
Film Review: Just a Sigh
A tonally heterogeneous but emotionally coherent dramedy centered around a beautifully modulated turn by Emmanuelle Devos
Cut off from the daily grind by a dead phone battery and overdrawn credit card, a Gallic actress decides to follow her own whims for a day in “Just a Sigh,” a tonally heterogeneous but emotionally coherent dramedy from Jerome Bonnell (“Queen of Clubs”). This is the young helmer’s fifth and most mature work, frequently using long takes to showcase a beautifully modulated turn from Emmanuelle Devos in something approaching real time. Though tough to pigeonhole genre-wise, the Tribeca competition title should interest upscale arthouse buyers, with the presence of co-star Gabriel Byrne an added marketing bonus.
A striking single take opens the film as it follows Paris-based thesp Alix (Devos) from making a personal phone call backstage to waiting in the wings of a provincial theater before leaping onstage for a performance of Ibsen’s “The Lady From the Sea.” As in that play — never properly excerpted, a classy move that suggests Bonnell isn’t unnecessarily transfixed by intertextuality — the female protag has to choose between the man she shares her life with and a traveling stranger who arouses an inexplicable passion in her.
Alix — whose b.f., Antoine (voiced by Denis Menichot), remains offscreen — meets the mystery man the next day on the early morning train back to Paris, where she has an audition before having to travel back to Calais for an evening performance. They catch each other’s eye, and the man, who turns out to be an English speaker (Byrne), finally makes conversation with her as they arrive, asking for directions to the Basilica of St. Clotilde.
Drowsy, too shy, not entirely at ease in English and perhaps somewhat nervous and absent-minded because of her upcoming tryout, Alix leaves the enigmatic man be when another passenger steps in to give him more precise directions. But after her somewhat humiliating yet extraordinary audition — a simple, one-sided telephone conversation, impressively played in two entirely different registers — Alix’s thoughts drift back to the stranger on the train. Perhaps subconsciously encouraged by the fact that she can’t get hold of Antoine because of her cell-phone issues, she finds herself taking the subway to the church the stranger asked about, where she sees him taking part in a funeral procession.
This is only the film’s setup; less than 30 minutes have passed by the time Alix finds the man, whose name turns out to be Douglas. While it’s always clear what Alix is thinking and going through, Bonnell and Devos have little need for explanatory dialogue; indeed, Alix either is on her own or keeps to herself before tentatively making contact with Douglas, at which point she’s asked to tag along to a bar by another memorial-service attendee, Rodolphe (Gilles Privat).
After its quietly observational but always fully comprehensible character-drama setup, the film eases into whispery romance as Alix and Douglas try to see where their initial spark takes them. A revelation about Alix’s unexpected new role in her relationship with Antoine further puts this unexpected encounter into perspective.
But the film also contains unexpected bursts of humor, starting with Rodolphe’s chuckle-inducing maladroitness, and culminating in a terrific scene that combines high drama and lowbrow comedy when Alix hits up her sister (Aurelia Petit) for cash. Though the lack of access to phones or funds often feels contrived in films, Bonnell uses it here to illustrate character — Alix is insouciant about money and not interested in technology — and, at the same time, to suggest that for one day, she’s a fish out of the water in her hometown, leading her to do things she wouldn’t normally do.
The tonal shifts are all handled smoothly; Devos can switch gears mid-scene like nobody’s business, but Bonnell also keeps things coherent with long takes that let humor, drama and introspection coexist side by side, just like in real life. The use of classical works on the soundtrack by composers such as Vivaldi tries, perhaps a tad too self-consciously, to infuse the film with gravitas, though they’re nicely offset by the different varieties of live music Alix and Douglas encounter as they amble through Paris on what turns out to be World Music Day.
Just a Sigh
Directed by: Jérôme Bonnell
Starring: Emmanuelle Devos, Gabriel Byrne, Gilles Privat, Aurélia Petit, Laurent Capelluto, Denis Ménochet, Sébastien Pouderoux
Screenplay by: Jérôme Bonnell
Production Design by: Anne Bachala
Cinematography by: Pascal Lagriffoul
Film Editing by: Julie Dupré
Costume Design by: Carole Gérard
Music by: Raf Keunen
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Distrib Films
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Taglines: One guy can ruin the perfect relationship.
At 29, the most long-term relationship Sasha (Leighton Meester) and Paige (Gillian Jacobs) have ever been in is with each other, using their co-dependent friendship as an excuse not to venture out into the dating world alone. But when Paige meets nerdy Tim (Adam Brody) and starts to get serious for the first time, the nature of their friendship begins to shift. Fearing she’s being cast aside, Sasha tries to keep their relationship the same, but does growing up also mean growing apart?
Life Partners is an American comedy film directed by Susanna Fogel and co-written with Joni Lefkowitz. It is Fogel’s feature film directorial debut. The film stars Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody, Greer Grammer, Gabourey Sidibe, and Julie White. The film premiered on April 18, 2014 at the Tribeca Film Festival in the Spotlight section. The film was released on November 6, 2014 on demand platforms, and in select theaters on December 5, 2014.
Set in Minneapolis, Minnesota, principal photography began in April 2013 and lasted 19 days. The film was primarily shot in Glendale, California and Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. Some scenes were shot at Griffith Park and at Long Beach, California during the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride. Other scenes were also filmed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minneapolis skyline and a few Minneapolis landmarks are also shown in the film.
We’ve all had a best friend. Especially for women, this relationship is as intense as any romantic partnership we will ever have. She’s the person we share our innermost fears with, the person who drives us to the emergency room, the person we bring as our date to weddings. Particularly nowadays, when people are encouraged to take their time in committing romantically, these quasi-marital friendships can last well into our 20s if not 30s, and are a huge part of the Zeitgeist.
It’s surprising, then, how rarely these friendships are accurately portrayed in American films. In mainstream romantic comedies, we’re treated to the “comic relief sidekick” friend who is unflaggingly supportive of the movie’s protagonist (and overly interested in her love life). And we’ve seen the onscreen frenemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage her “best friend” through broad set pieces that sometimes literally involve hair-pulling. But what about that person you love more than anyone in the world…but still talk about behind her back and find yourself subtly one-upping when you’re feeling insecure?
That person you love so much that it kills you to see her making mistakes and why doesn’t she just listen to you when you tell her how to fix her life? That person who drives you so crazy with her passive-aggressive crap that when you complain about it to the guy you’re dating, he can’t help but ask why you’re still friends with her because he just doesn’t get it? It’s that friendship my cowriter Joni and I set out to study with this film, in the tradition of films like Nicole Holofcener’s Walking and Talking that are unparalleled in their realism about female friendship and its absurd amazingness.
Just as we believe there’s a dearth of honest films about female friendships, we also feel a need for films about gays and lesbians having relatable experiences in a diverse world. Joni and I identify differently (she’s gay, I’m straight) and we wanted to represent her community without focusing a narrative on “coming out” or emphasizing the politics of her sexuality in a way that would make the film niche. On the contrary, we wanted to universalize it. Not only did we want to show a platonic gay-straight friendship where neither character is romantically interested in the other, but in executing the script as a director, I strived for accessibility.
In casting, I sought actresses who were widely known and broadly appealing to play lesbians, like Leighton Meester who lends so much credibility, nuance and heart to a role that could not be further from her role on GOSSIP GIRL. As for her straight counterpart, I tried to avoid the plight of the generic romantic comedy heroine by casting Gillian Jacobs, an actress known for her quirky personality and cult comedy fanbase.
As far as my aesthetic approach to directing this film, I aimed for a combination of real and slightly elevated. I’ve always admired directors like Cameron Crowe who combine naturalistic writing and performances with a real sense of style that lends an element of wish fulfillment, fun and entertainment. With this in mind, I tried to encourage moments of spontaneity and raw emotion, while still delivering the scripted comedy and avoiding an overly improvisational or haphazard feel. I approached production design, costume and music with this same philosophy in mind, always aiming for a combination of real and slightly elevated.
With all that said, my hope with LIFE PARTNERS is to deliver a female friendship comedy that resonates and entertains, hitting that sweet spot between a “film” and a “movie” as it explores the universal theme of friendship…along with some related themes (sexuality, women at the center of their own narrative, to name two) that deserve more of a spotlight.
“Leighton especially was really fun to transform from this gossip girl to someone who was representative of the lesbian community and who wasn’t passing as a lipstick lesbian. She doesn’t have a lot of money, she is thrift shopping her stuff or is inheriting it from different people or had it since college and I think making that evident was incredibly important, so we did that. Everything she wears is from a thrift shop or borrowed – it was a beg borrow and steal kind of movie.”
“Your mid to late 20s are such a hard time to dress yourself because you don’t have the money to be the professional you want to be but you need to look professional and that’s something PAIGE has really nailed that SASHA hasn’t figured out. PAIGE is really reveling in being this young lawyer on a career path, and even in her casual wear, you see that.”
The rest of the team came together quickly but efficiently and in April 2013, the 19-day shoot began. Set in Minneapolis, LIFE PARTNERS was shot entirely on the east side of LA, primarily in Glendale and Eagle Rock.
The strong relationship between Leftowitz, Fogel and Mollick extended to their cast and crew, their relaxed professionalism creating a sense of ease and comfort for anyone on set. Fogel’s supportive and good-natured attitude as a director proved incredibly impactful. Meester elaborates, “She’s really ahead of what a lot of people are capable of at her age and especially for somebody who is directing their first feature, I’ve never seen someone be so humble and confident, creative, in tune, and collaborative.” Jacobs adds, “It’s one of the calmest sets I’ve ever been on and for a first time director, that’s really an accomplishment. Everyone seems happy to be at work every day and everything went smoothly. I’ve worked on a lot of movies this size where that is not the case and I think Susanna sets the tone, so it’s been really great.”
Even when Meester & Jacobs had an evening shoot in an unheated pool, playful shrieking and humming the Super Mario Brothers theme took the place of any potential complaining. Their immediate bond didn’t go unnoticed.
“With this the friendship connection between the girls is so important, you’re kind of just taking a gamble,” says Fogel. “You have meetings with each one and if you feel like they would like each other, you just roll the dice on that, but we’re glad they ended up really clicking and becoming friends.” Lefkowitz continues, “I’m sure by the last day they were speaking another language. On day one, everyone was a little nervous and tense but seriously, by day two, they were humping each other before every take, we were like ‘WHAT is happening?’ – we’re just so lucky we found two people with such an odd sense of humor, like Gillian would come to set in a tree costume and they would make crazy videos, they just thought the same weird things were funny and made the same weird voices when they would rehearse their scenes. They related to each other in that weird way and that’s just luck that they were both the same brand of abnormal.”
Jacobs adds, “This movie is all about our friendship and you don’t really know when you meet each other what you’re actually like and turns out she’s a freak like me, so it’s been awesome…we both realized we were goofy weirdoes early on. It’s fun to have someone like that, where you can be as weird as you want to be. The whole crew was kind of like that on this film so it was a fun, silly environment for us.”
The last day of shooting, which took place at Griffith Park, production bought a food truck for the crew and Brody brought in more cupcakes from his favorite bakery than a small independent film crew could possibly eat. It is worth noting not a cast or crew member was absent at the wrap party where karaoke was involved and shirts featuring an inside joke from set printed on the front were disseminated among the group.
Heading towards the film’s festival run, Fogel & Lefkowitz ruminate on how far they have come. “There’s so much that we reflect on and write about that comes from our friendship and how much we’ve changed over the years,” says Fogel. “We always mine our own lives and experiences for stories, but when we met we were both so different. Joni wasn’t out of the closet yet and I was a weird insecure pretentious indie rock person. We evolved into grownups together and we will continue to do that over the next few decades. Having met right after college and now being in our 30s and making this big leap to this next phase of our careers is exciting to do together.”
Directed by: Susanna Fogel
Starring: Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs. Adam Brody, Mark Feuerstein, Julie White, Abby Elliot, Greer Grammer, Kate McKinnon, Beth Dover, Gabourey Sidibe
Screenplay by: Susanna Fogel, Joni Lefkowitz
Production Design by: Matt Luem
Cinematography by: Brian Burgoyne
Film Editing by: Kiran Pallegadda
Costume Design by: Courtney Hoffman
Set Decoration by: Danielle Laubach
Art Direction by: Nicolas Kelley
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content.
Studio; Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: December 5, 2014
Andre Allen is a comedian turned film star who, despite the expectations of his millions of fans, is determined to reinvent himself as a “serious” actor. Although his latest pretentiously historical film project is tanking, his upcoming television wedding to pretty, popular reality star, Erica Long, is the biggest media event of the year. In the midst of all the frenzy leading up to his televised nuptials, Andre agrees to be interviewed for the New Yorker by Chelsea Brown, a gorgeous but no-frills young woman with a sharp intelligence that matches his own. It’s a feisty, funny, no-holds-barred interaction that may well change the course of both their lives.
Top Five is an American comedy film written and directed by Chris Rock. The film, which stars Rock, Rosario Dawson, and Gabrielle Union, was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie follows New York City comedian and film star Andre Allen (Rock), who has to confront his past and comedic career after doing an interview with journalist Chelsea Brown (Dawson). The film was released on December 12, 2014, by Paramount Pictures.
Directed by: Chris Rock
Btarring: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Hayley Marie Norman, Rachel Feinstein, Dan Naturman, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Hart, Ice Aysun Leidl, Olga Merediz
Screenplay by: Chris Rock
Production Design by: Richard Hoover
Cinematography by: Manuel Alberto Claro
Film Editing by: Anne McCabe
Costume Design by: Amy Roth
Set Decoration by: Stephanie Q. Bowen
Art Direction by: Victoria Ruskin
Music by: Ludwig Göransson
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language throughout and some drug use.
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: December 12, 2014
Taglines: Love thy neighbor.
St. Vincent is an American comedy-drama film written and directed by Theodore Melfi, making his feature film debut. The film stars Bill Murray as the title character with Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, and Naomi Watts. The film had its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival where it won 2nd runner up as “People’s Choice Award for Best Film”. It was released theatrically on October 24, 2014.
Filming began the first week of July 2013, with scenes filmed in Brooklyn, New York and at Belmont Park in Elmont, Long Island, New York. On December 26, 2013, Theodore Shapiro was hired to score the film. Sony Classical Records released the soundtrack album on October 27, 2014.
Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murray) is a Vietnam War veteran and retiree living in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, who is the son of Irish immigrants. He is a grumpy alcoholic who smokes and gambles regularly. His wife, Sandy (Donna Mitchell), developed Alzheimer’s Disease years ago and can no longer recognize him, but he still does her laundry for her at the nursing home where she lives and visits her every week, posing as a doctor. Otherwise, Vincent’s only other close friends are a pregnant Russian prostitute named Daka (Naomi Watts) and his cat, Felix, as he owes many people money. Despite leading a quiet and boring existence, Vincent has many acquaintances who like and respect him.
One day, after Vincent’s 30-year-old Chrysler Lebaron gets damaged by a tree branch resulting from his new neighbors moving in, Maggie Bronstein (Melissa McCarthy) and her 12-year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), meet Vincent. Maggie is a single mother fighting for custody after her husband had several affairs. Despite this, she is doing her best to provide for Oliver, who is ostracised and bullied at his Catholic school, but is nonetheless knowledgeable and friendly. On his first day at his school, Oliver’s phone and house keys are stolen from his gym locker. Oliver asks Vincent if he can stay at his home until his mother comes home from work. Maggie is late and she pays Vincent for babysitting.
Now that Vincent has money coming in, Vincent starts babysitting Oliver every day after school because Maggie often has to work late hours. Vincent’s ideas of after-school activities involve visits to racetracks and bars, but eventually the mismatched pair begin to help each other mature. Vincent teaches Oliver how to fight, and he breaks his bully’s nose, but the two soon become best friends. Vincent and Oliver quickly become good friends and a lucky bet at the racetracks help Vincent to pay off some of his debts. But things do not get any easier for Vincent, as he gambles away the rest of his money, hoping to make more to keep Sandy in her nursing home, as he is behind on payments. Vincent is also interrogated in his home by his loan sharks Zucko (Terrence Howard) and Antwan (James Andrew O’Connor), who both attempt to take Sandy’s jewelry.
Directed by: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard, Kimberly Quinn, Ann Dowd
Screenplay by: Theodore Melfi
Production Design by: Inbal Weinberg
Cinematography by: John Lindley
Film Editing by: Sarah Flack, Peter Teschner
Costume Design by: Kasia Walicka-Maimone
Set Decoration by: Jasmine E. Ballou, Graham Wichman
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language.
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Taglines: They just can’t themselves together.
Love, Rosie is a 2014 British-German romantic comedy-drama film directed by Christian Ditter and written by Juliette Towhidi, based on the 2004 novel Where Rainbows End by Irish author Cecelia Ahern. The film stars Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone and Lily Laight.
Alex and Rosie have been best friends for almost as long as they can remember. After depicting their time together as children, the movie jumps to Rosie making a speech at what appears to be a wedding, while staring at Alex, implying it may be his wedding but not hers. The movie switches to 12 years earlier, where Rosie is upset because of getting drunk during her 18th birthday. Alex comes over to discuss the previous night’s events but pauses when Rosie tells him how she wished it never happened.
The pair later go to the beach together to attend a party where ‘the fittest guy in [their]grade’ asks Rosie to the school dance, which she rejects saying she is going with Alex. Alex later tells her that an attractive and ‘out of his league’ girl named Bethany wants to go with him. After a fight between the two, Alex and Bethany go to the dance along with Greg and Rosie. After some dancing, Bethany and Alex share a passionate kiss and Greg and Rosie get a private room. The two then have sex but due to Greg’s inexperience, the condom comes off and gets stuck inside Rosie. She immediately calls Alex who gets her to a hospital then takes her home.
Later, Rosie receives a letter telling her that she has been accepted into Boston University for the hotel management course that she wants to do. After running over to tell Alex, she overhears him and Bethany having sex and vomits into a handbag. She leaves without seeing Alex and goes to a pharmacist, saying she has been feeling nauseous lately.
The woman behind the counter, Ruby, gives her a pregnancy test which turns out to be positive despite her taking the morning after pill. Rosie decides against telling Alex after he tells her that he has been accepted by Harvard, not wanting him to stay for her. Rosie says goodbye to Alex at an airport as he heads to his university, saying she will be just behind him. Rosie gives birth to a baby girl, whom she names Katie, and decides not to give her up for adoption despite prior plans. Rosie raises Katie as a single mother.
A few months later, Rosie, with baby Katie, bumps into Bethany in the street. Bethany tells Alex, who immediately comes back to England from America to visit Rosie. The two become friends again and Alex becomes the godfather of baby Katie.
Back in America, Alex meets a girl in a bar and they soon move in together. Five years later, after Alex convinces Rosie to visit, Rosie discovers that Alex’s girlfriend is incredibly posh and snobby, taking them to an art gallery of a man named Herb. Upon telling Alex that she didn’t see them as a good couple, they fight and Rosie goes back to England. During the trip she also finds out that Alex’s girlfriend is pregnant.
Greg (who earlier moved to another country after hearing of Rosie’s pregnancy) visits Rosie at work having received her letter and a drawing by Katie. After some arguing, Rosie decides that Greg can see Katie. The three become a family and Alex then receives an invitation to Rosie’s wedding to Greg. Rosie marries Greg but notices Alex’s absence from the event. Rosie’s parents go on a trip and Rosie soon receives a call from her mother saying that Rosie’s father has died. At the funeral, Alex visits and the two reconcile. Greg is also present but noticeably drunk and rude to Alex and Rosie.
Directed by: Christian Ditter
Starring: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone, Christian Cooke, Art Parkinson
Screenplay by; Juliette Towhidi
Production Design by: Matthew Davies
Film Editing by: Tony Cranstoun
Costume Design by: Leonie Prendergast
Set Decoration by: Judy Farr
Music by: Ralf Wengenmayr
Studio: Arcade Films
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Taglines: A comedy about acting your age and other adult decisions.
Having spent her twenties comfortably inert, 28 year old Megan (Keira Knightley) reaches a crisis when she finds herself squarely in adulthood with no career prospects, no particular motivation to pursue any and no one to relate to, including her high school boyfriend (Mark Webber). When he proposes, Megan panics and given an opportunity to escape – at least temporarily – she hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Annika’s world-weary single dad (Sam Rockwell).
Laggies (released in the United Kingdom as Say When) is a 2014 American romantic comedy film directed by Lynn Shelton and written by Andrea Seigel. The film stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Ellie Kemper, Mark Webber, and Kaitlyn Dever. The film had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 2014.
About the Story
When 28-year-old Megan visits her 11-year high school reunion, she realizes that very little has changed in her life. She still lives with her high school boyfriend Anthony, and works as a sign flipper for her father’s accounting company. When her boyfriend proposes, she panics and crosses paths with 16-year-old Annika, who convinces her to buy her and her friends alcohol and she hangs out with them for the rest of the night. Afterwards, she realizes that she needs to take a week off from her life and lies to her boyfriend, saying that she is going to a business seminar, but instead she goes to Annika’s house and spends time there and also with Annika’s attractive, single father Craig.
Directed by: Lynn Shelton
Starring: Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Kaitlyn Dever, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, Mark Webber, Daniel Zovatto
Screenplay by: Andrea Seigel
Production Design by: John Lavin
Cinematography by: Benjamin Kasulke
Film Editing by: Nat Sanders
Costume Design by: Ronald Leamon
Set Decoration by: Tania Kupczak
Music by: Benjamin Gibbard
MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual material and teen partying.
Studio: A24 Films
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Taglines: Discover how little you know about the people you know.
Men, Women and Children follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the internet. As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose – some tragic, some hopeful – as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.
Men, Women & Children is an American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman co-written with Erin Cressida Wilson, based on a novel of the same name written by Chad Kultgen. Featuring an ensemble cast, with Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort, and Kaitlyn Dever, the film screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2014. The film opened in limited release on October 1, and expanded on October 10, and had a wide release on October 17.
About the Story
The Voyager Space Probe flies past the planets in our solar system. The narrator explains that the Voyager has gold records filled with international music, pictures and greetings from Earth.
Don and Helen Truby are a married couple stuck in a rut, their attempts at sex leaving them unsatisfied. Their son Chris is the quarterback of the high school’s football team and a porn addict so accustomed to extreme forms of sex that the prospect of normal sex doesn’t excite him. Helen seeks an extra-marital affair through the website Ashley Madison, while Don finds an escort service while looking at porn. Chris has been trying to have sex with cheerleader Hannah Clint, but their first attempt ends in failure when Chris can’t maintain an erection.
Hannah nevertheless tells everyone at school they had sex to save face. Both Don and Helen continue their extra-marital liaisons until Don discovers Helen’s Ashley Madison profile. He follows her to a hotel bar where she’s having one of her dates and orders a drink in front of her to let her know he’s aware of her activities. The following morning, Helen comes home to try and explain herself to Don, who’s trying to make breakfast for her. Don tells her he’s made the same mistakes as her and would rather make her breakfast than discuss the details of their activities.
In addition to cheerleading Hannah is an aspiring actress who maintains a website of provocative photoshoots of herself with the help of her mother Joan, a failed actress determined to help her daughter achieve the life she never had. A reality show comes to their local mall to do auditions for aspiring young starlets and Hannah and Joan jump at the opportunity to sign up.
Hannah gives them headshots and demo reels of her acting, but Joan receives a call from the show’s producers that, despite being impressed with Hannah’s material, they won’t be accepting her due to the provocative photoshoots she’s done which can draw the wrong kind of attention. Joan decides to delete the website and tells Hannah they will pursue an acting career through other means, but Hannah becomes upset and runs away.
Allison Doss is a fellow cheerleader who is on a website that helps with extreme dieting. She becomes attracted to Brandon Lender and has sex with with him one afternoon. Someday later, she collapses on the bathroom floor at school and is rushed to the hospital, where the doctor tells her and her parents that she had an ectopic pregnancy and suffered a miscarriage due to her malnourishment. She tells Brandon about the incident, who tells her not to tell anyone and asks her to come over to his house after the championship game. She goes over to his house only to throw a rock through his window and leave.
Tim Mooney is a former football star who quit the team in the wake of his mother leaving him and his dad Kent to go to California with her new boyfriend. Tim has since become a pariah at school and spends most of his time playing an MMORPG named “Guild Wars”, while having adopted philosophies of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot and the insignificance of human life in the universe. Tim comes across photos of her mom getting engaged to her boyfriend on Facebook, but when he tells other users on the game, they make lewd comments toward her.
Tim’s mom notices him looking at the photos and blocks him from seeing them. Tim gets into a fight at school with another classmate and is sent to a counselor, who prescribes him anti-depressant medication after hearing Tim’s feelings about human life. Kent, in the meantime, starts a relationship with Joan, but asks to take it slow after she tells him about what she’s done with Hannah. Kent sees the comments on Tim’s game about his mom and promptly cancels his game account and the credit card payments, saying he will rejoin the team next year.
Men, Women and Children
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Emma Thompson, Olivia Crocicchia, Kaitlyn Dever, Katherine C. Hughes, Elena Kampouris
Screenplay by: Chad Kultgen, Jason Reitman, Erin Cressida Wilson
Production Design by: Bruce Curtis
Cinematography by: Eric Steelberg
Film Editing by: Dana E. Glauberman
Costume Design by: Leah Katznelson
Set Decoration by: Brana Rosenfeld
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content including graphic dialogue throughout-some involving teens, and for language.
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Taglines: Before love. After sex.
A no-strings-attached, online hook-up turns into a morning-after disaster for twenty-something New Yorkers Megan (Analeigh Tipton) and Alec (Miles Teller). When a paralyzing blizzard hits the city trapping them in Alec’s cramped Brooklyn apartment, they are forced to get to know each other far beyond the confines of a typical one-night stand. Marking the directorial debut of Max Nichols, Two Night Stand is a sexy, romantic comedy about finding love in the digital age.
Months after graduating from college Megan is unemployed, unattached and unable to get off the couch. Heartbroken by the collapse of her wedding engagement, she considers internet romance with limited interest. But following a chance encounter with her ex (Josh Salatin) and his new girlfriend (Kellyn Lindsay) – and egged on by her roommate Faiza (Jessica Szohr) and her boyfriend Cedric (Scott Mescudi, aka Kid Cudi) – Megan boldly propositions Alec, a cute and funny guy she meets online, inviting herself to his apartment for her first ever one-night-stand. After a calamitously unromantic morning after, she tries to make a discreet exit only to discover that the city has been pulverized by a record-breaking snowfall that shows no sign of letting up.
Unable to leave the building, she sheepishly takes shelter with an equally mortified Alec. Forced to spend another day and night together, Megan and Alec’s first real face-to-face conversation veers from banter to bickering and back, as the provocative chemistry that lit up their online introduction quickly reignites. While rating each other’s erotic IQs, they realize they have a unique opportunity for a hands-on learning experience that inevitably leads them to a very adult snow day.
Two Night Stand is a romantic comedy film directed by Max Nichols and written by Mark Hammer. The film stars Miles Teller, Analeigh Tipton, Jessica Szohr, Leven Rambin and Scott Mescudi. On November 10, 2013 it was announced that there were two offers for the rights of the film in the US. Entertainment One acquired the rights to distribute the film in the US on November 21, 2013, for a release in 2014.
About the Story
Megan is unemployed and single, and one day she joins a dating website. After a bouncer refuses to let her into a club on the grounds that she is too young, she meets her ex, Chris, and decides to have a one night stand with one of the men she saw on the website, Alec. The next morning, they are less than cordial to each other, but Megan can’t leave because of a blizzard. Forced to spend more time together, the two end up telling each other what they did wrong the previous night, convinced that they will never see each other again, and Megan suggests that they “try again”.
Afterwards, Megan discovers a closet full of women’s clothes, and pictures of Alec with a girl. She finds out that Alec’s girlfriend, Daisy, had written a note to him, saying that she wanted to break up, but hadn’t given it to him, but he had found it accidentally. Alec wanted to have something to rub in her face when she broke up with him, and so he had joined the dating website. Angry, Megan leaves. When Daisy returns, she finds a note that Megan had scribbled, and she and Alec exchange the notes that they had found, and they break up.
At a New Year’s Eve party, Megan is arrested because the same note was found in Alec’s neighbor’s apartment, which the two had broken into earlier. Alec pays bail, but Megan refuses to see him or even leave the holding cell. Later, when her roommate comes to pay bail, Alec apologizes, saying that he didn’t know her last name and that this was the only way he thought he could see her again.
The film follows two people who meet online and are forced to extend their one-night stand because of a snowstorm. Perhaps surprisingly the plot would eventually mirror a natural disaster the production faced once it became time to shoot.
“The script was one out of a hundred where I thought, ‘I have to do this movie,’” said Nichols, a veteran director of music videos and son of Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols and novelist Annabel Davis-Goff. “I was intrigued from the very premise. The characters are smart and funny, but the story digs much deeper…It reminded me of coming-of-age stories from my youth.”
Nichols read the script, which appeared on the Blacklist in December, 2011, and pitched his vision of the story to producers Beau Flynn, Ruben Fleischer and Adam Yoelin. “I was shooting a Willie Nelson video in Austin, TX in May 2012 and got a call that I [was on board],” said Nichols. “We immediately started casting the film and were lucky to have a lot of talented actors and actresses who were interested, but there was something about Analeigh [Tipton’s] ‘Megan’ that caught my attention.”
Nichols said it was “essential” that her character’s ‘date’ Alec understand that “he’s never met a girl like her and can’t let her go.” Miles Teller joined the cast soon afterward as Alec and the rest of casting was completed in late summer.
About Analeigh Tipton
Watch for the brunette who drops robe in a room decorated with kitten posters in the trailer for Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s new dysfunctional relationship comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. She’s 22-year-old newcomer Analeigh Tipton, a luminous screwball presence in the star-crossed ensemble cast that includes Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, and Kevin Bacon who plays a gangly teenage babysitter awkwardly enamored with Carell’s character while also being the object of his 13-year-old son’s affections.
Growing up, Tipton was a competitive figure skater, and spent much of her youth shuttling between her family’s home inFolsom, California, and various training facilities out west, including the Olympic center in Salt Lake City, but her pairs dreams were quickly dashed when she shot up to five feet nine inches tall at the age of 16. Nevertheless, another path to international fame opened up when she was spotted on MySpace by a scout for America’s Next Top Model.
She appeared on 2008’s Cycle 11 of the reality-competition show for aspiring CoverGirls, where she may have learned a thing or two about outsize personalities during her time spent “smizing” (that’s smiling with your eyes) while suspended in couture from a ship’s rigging before she was eliminated after flubbing a commercial try.
Ford signed Tipton anyway, but her fledgling career didn’t exactly begin with a bang. “The life of a working model in L.A. kind of sucks,” she says. “I was doing a lot of Internet T-shirt modeling—chin down–type things for hours on end.” But after scoring a walk-on role opposite Seth Rogen—as a character originally dubbed “Hot Girl”—in Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet, Tipton landed her spot in Crazy, Stupid, Love.
She will also star this fall in talky cult satirist of East Coast ennui Whit Stillman’s upcoming Violet Wister’s Damsels In Distress, the director’s first feature film since 1998’s The Last Days Of Disco, in which she plays a transfer student who is taken under the wing of a type-A coed (played by Greta Gerwig) who believes that Diorissimo perfume and intellectual conversation will empower young women against the epidemic of male stupidity. Tipton and Gerwig, who is five years older, graduated from the same single-sex Catholic high school in Sacramento County. Unsurprisingly, the women had to memorize pages and pages of very precise dialogue. “Whit would stop the camera, if I added so much as an ‘um,’ ” Tipton says. Not bad for a girl who once failed to deliver an “easy, breezy, beautiful” line correctly.
Two Night Stand
Directed by: Max Nichols
Starring: Miles Teller, Analeigh Tipton, Jessica Szohr, Leven Rambin, Scott Mescudi, Kellyn Lindsay, Josh Salatin
Screenplay by: Mark Hammer
Production Design by: Molly Hughes
Cinematography by; Bobby Bukowski
Film Editing by: Matt Garner
Costume Design by: Amy Roth
Set Decoration by: Michael B. Lewis
Art Direction by: Nicole Eckenroad
Music by: Matthew de Luca
MPAA Rating: R for sexual material, language and some drug use.
Studio: eOne Entertainment
Release Dat: September 26, 2014
Taglines: Welcome home. Get uncomfortable.
When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide— driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.
This Is Where I Leave You is an American comedy-drama film directed by Shawn Levy. It is based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Tropper, who also wrote the film’s screenplay. The film was released on September 19, 2014.
About the Story
Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) works at a radio station for popular host Wade Beaufort (Dax Shepard). After work, Judd gets a cake for his wife Quinn’s (Abigail Spencer) birthday, only to come home and find her having sex in his bed with Wade. Judd asks how long this has been going on, and Quinn says a year. This is where Judd leaves her. Judd stays in another place, growing a sad beard and ignoring Quinn’s phone calls. His sister Wendy (Tina Fey) calls him to tell him that their father Mort has just died.
She is in the hospital room with their mother Hillary (Jane Fonda), who is trying to remove the tubing from her dead husband. The Altmans gather together for the funeral. There, Judd sees Wendy’s husband Barry (Aaron Lazar), who is too busy on his phone to notice the world around him. Judd also reunites with his older brother Paul (Corey Stoll) and his wife Annie (Kathryn Hahn). The Altmans’ childhood friend Charles Grodner (Ben Schwartz), AKA Boner is the rabbi speaking at the funeral. In the middle of his eulogy, the youngest Altman, Phillip (Adam Driver), rides in blasting a DMX song and running into the service loudly to hug his mom and siblings.
Hillary tells her four children that their father wanted them to sit shiva, meaning they must stay for a whole week with each other. Phillip gets a phone call and goes outside to bring a woman inside. Her name is Tracy (Connie Britton), and she is his therapist. She is a fan of Hillary, as Hillary is known for writing a tell-all book called “Cradle and All”, which overshares a lot of the siblings’ childhood, like Wendy being sexually active and Paul masturbating. Guests come over and the Altmans tell everybody what they’ve been doing since then.
Paul and Annie have been trying to conceive for a while, and it’s revealed that Annie used to be Judd’s girlfriend in high school. Also, only Wendy knows about Judd’s divorce, though he keeps telling people she’s not there because she has a bulging disk. Judd drives to his family’s sporting goods store. There, he finds Horry Callen (Timothy Olyphant), an ex-boyfriend of Wendy’s that suffered a brain injury, forcing him to stay home with his mother Linda (Debra Monk). Judd also reunites with Penny Moore (Rose Byrne), a girl that used to have a crush on him. Judd drives Horry home.
The next morning, Judd wakes up to hear Paul and Phillip arguing over the sharing of the sporting goods store. Paul has the majority of the store but Phillip wants to combine the remaining siblings shares and enter the business as well. The two of them get into a physical fight that pushes Judd into a glass cabinet, leaving him with some glass in his head. The family later has dinner and shares their favorite stories of Mort. Wendy tells one of when she first got her period. Judd cannot think of a single memory to share. Shiva time then comes and Wendy drunkenly keeps bugging Judd to tell the truth about Quinn. They argue until one lady asks Judd about Quinn, and he loudly admits that she cheated and that he’s divorcing her. Also, Tracy notices Phillip talking to a younger ex-girlfriend, making her feel challenged.
The siblings continue to bond rather reluctantly, between going to drinks and joining with Penny, and having to sit shiva. Phillip drives Judd around in his car and laments being seen as the family screw-up. He drives recklessly, making Judd nervous. Phillip abandons him at the skating center where Penny works and goes to sleep with his ex-girlfriend. Meanwhile Penny and Judd listen to Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”.
Judd is surprised when Quinn shows up since he won’t answer her calls. She starts to feel sick and goes to throw up. She admits that she’s pregnant and that Judd is the father. She knows it’s not Wade because he is sterile. They are concerned because Quinn has already had one miscarriage. Phillip finds out about the pregnancy as well. Judd later goes to Penny’s house to talk and ends up sleeping with her. Phillip reveals the pregnancy over breakfast, to Judd’s displeasure. Annie angrily breaks several dishes, upset over still not having kids.
The family goes to temple for a service. Judd and Phillip sneak out to smoke joints Judd finds in his father’s suit jacket. Paul later joins them. Together, the brothers finally spend time and laugh together without fighting. Then the sprinklers go off and they get soaked. Boner scolds the brothers for this, but they just make fun of him. Annie goes downstairs to find Judd so that he can try and get her pregnant. He refuses. He goes outside and walks past Wendy and Barry arguing. At night, she joins Judd on the roof of the house to express her remorse over causing the accident that caused Horry’s brain injury and that she’ll never love Barry the way she loved Horry.
During another shiva sitting, the family hears the baby monitor kicking in to the sound of Paul and Annie having sex. Phillip lets it keep playing until Linda takes out the backup battery. Judd goes on a date with Penny and gets a phone call from Quinn, who says she is bleeding. This forces Judd to admit to Penny that Quinn is pregnant. She lets him go to her, but she is upset. Judd gets to the hospital to be with Quinn, only for Wade to show up moments later.
The nurse is able to find the baby’s heartbeat. Outside in the waiting room, Judd confronts Wade about Quinn sleeping with him, leading to them nearly physically fighting. The security guards pull them apart until Wendy comes in and settles everything. She even punches Wade in the face. Outside, Judd sees Wade’s car and gets a group of frat boys to push the car upside down after he says that Wade slept with his wife. Wade goes outside and sees the car. He admits that Judd was one of his few friends, even though Judd didn’t see him as a friend and he’s abandoning Quinn.
This Is Where I Leave You
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk
Screenplay by: Jonathan Tropper, Jonathan Tropper
MPAA Rating: R for language, sexual content and some drug use.
Production Design by: Ford Wheeler
Cinematography by: Terry Stacey
Film Editing by: Dean Zimmerman
Costume Design by: Susan Lyall
Set Decoration by: Chryss Hionis
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: September 19, 2014