Tag: Wallace Shawn


Book Club

May 8th, 2018 — 7:56pm

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Book Club-sp

It is a rare phenomena that we will see four outstanding veteran actresses star in a film with each of them having roles portraying an in-depth character who has an arc of development and change.

Screen writer and first time director Bill Holderman teamed up with Erin Simms to co-write and co-produce this movie. They won over Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen to come together in this movie about relationships, love and sex in women of a certain age. The well-known male actors who joined this romantic film were Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, Ed Begley Jr. and Wallace Shawn. In case you are curious about the name of the book the “Book Club” was reading, it was “Fifty Shades of Grey” although the film was not R rated.

We predict that in addition to being a big hit with the older demographics, word will get around that this film will have great appeal to romantics of all generations and it will be a great success. (2018)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Romance

Clueless

August 7th, 2015 — 12:25am

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Clueless

For this Netflix viewing experience, we decided to go back 20 years to the classic 1995 Clueless which we had never seen before. The film was the brainchild of Amy Heckerling who directed the film and wrote the screenplay loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma. Heckerling, who grew up in the Bronx, set the movie in Los Angeles where she introduces the viewers to the crowd at Beverly Hills High School. The star of the film is 19-year-old Alicia Silverstone who plays 16-year-old Cher Horowitz, a wealthy Los Angeles girl whose mother died of liposuction complications and whose father is a 500-dollar an hour attorney played by Dan Hedaya. Her best friend is Dionne (Stacy Dash) and Tai (Brittany Murphy) is a new girl at the high school. There is also an important role for a young Paul Rudd as Josh, step brother. The cast also includes veteran actor, Wallace Shawn as one of the teachers.

The movie is supposed to be a satiric look at rich kids who are living a superficial lifestyle at this wealthy high school. Underneath it all, we see the emergence of admirable caring feelings. We are reminded of the days gone by 20 years ago, not only by the 1990s cars with no GPS and people actually using map books but by the presence of portable phones that have an antenna sticking out from them and nobody is texting.

It may seem that the slang used in the movie such as, “Whatever”…”as if”…”you are the bomb”…”audi”, captured the speech of the day. However, it turns out that much of this language was created by Miss Heckerling, the writer, and then subsequently was incorporated into young people’s speech in the mid-1990s because of the success of the movie.

This film which was produced by Scott Rudin grossed more than $50 million dollars and stands as one of the iconic films of the 1990s. In its 20th anniversary, it should still have great appeal to the young people of today as well as those who came of age at the time of the movie. Even those of us movie buffs from an earlier generation appreciate how well this film was put together and enjoy the entire package as well as the behind-the-scenes bonus DVD, which was originally offered in cassette format (1995)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Comedy

Admission

March 21st, 2013 — 5:02pm

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Admission –sp   When a movie starts with Tina Fey playing an Assistant Dean of Admissions at Princeton  and Paul Rudd as a teacher bent on getting one of his students accepted who has poor grades but near perfect scores on all the tests, you might imagine we are going to see a great comedy and satire of the whole admissions process. And that it was. Who among you is not familiar with dance of students, their parents and their counselors as they try to present the applicant in his or her best light whether it be some special kindergarten class, school or class for “ the gifted”, most private schools and “ the best college” possible.  When it is a Princeton multiply the frenzy by at least ten. Add to this mix the unforgettable character actor Wallace Shawn as the Dean of Admissions and Lily Tomlin playing the feminist mother of Tina Fey’s character with a tattoo on her arm saying “ Bella” (Abzug we presume). But actually the film was much more than a satiric comedy. It very poignantly dealt with issues of children out of wedlock , wanted and unwanted. It examined how people establish relationships, fall in and out of love and how parents sometimes have to choose a path which may be best for themselves or their child.

One of us writes a blog on psychiatry and mental health topics. The most popular piece by far in regard to readership in the past three years was one on the topic of unknown family members. It discussed the need to find a biological parent and how people respond when they meet a previously unknown parent or child. This topic has been the subject of other films in the recent past and was one of the central themes of this movie. Director and Producer Paul Weitz who is an  unlisted script contributor, along with Karen Croner who  wrote the screen play,  very skillfully and successfully weaved comedy and satire at the same time that they presented a very sensitive study of these real human conflicts.(2013)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Comedy, Romance

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