Straight Up a fun flick!

Good on ya James Sweeney, writer and director Of Straight Up available now on Netflix. This was the perfect movie to quench my cinematic thirst since I was getting a LIT-TLE angry that Hollywood/China is holding us movie fans hostage waiting for the miracle Covid19 cure….

Thank God for James Sweeney’s Straight Up (only his second feature film where he’s the head honcho) which employed romantic comedy mixed with sexual orientation confusion. Gen Xer’s will be able to relate and again, the movie made me forget momentarily about the news grabbers of that generation. According to this film, many aren’t focused on deconstruction and cancellation….some according to this movie are looking for good old fashioned joy and contentment, while loving each other despite differences and disagreements. Ah heavenly!

Katie Findlay plays the female half of the film who has the jaded ‘does it all have to be about sex?’ philosophy, a true Saposexual. While she was a tad cloying at times, equally cloying was the male half, lo and behold triple threat James Sweeney…that sneaky guy’s photo is not on IMDB hence did not know until just now! Anywho, James Sweeney (as Todd) was so cute as the guy who earnestly wants a successful relationship that he’ll do almost anything. The fact that they were both corny emotionally isn’t an insult, if anything their sentimentality gave their relationship its poignancy.

The minor characters were very well acted making the entire movie a joy: Tracie Thoms as James/Todd’s therapist, Betsy Brandt and Randall Park as James/Todd’s parents…all solid performances. Also good were Dana Drori as Todd’s shallow gal pal and James Scully as the male on the prowl.

My favorite nuanced scene was between James and his ‘dad’ Randall Park which communicates many emotions in once impactful scene.

Just gorgeous, innocent and funny with a clever fast paced script that anyone can appreciate.

Pure Joy: Palm Springs

Palm Springs is directed by the relative newbie Max Barbakow and written by the equally novice screenwriter Andy Siara. And they’ve got legs, in other words, they’re going places!

Starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, Palm Springs is the best romantic comedy I’ve seen since Long Shot (Rogen and Theron). I laughed out loud several times: for both genuinely funny moments and also quirky twists and turns the movie took. Part sci-fi, part slapstick, both actors gave equally charming performances making you believe in their chemistry and plight.

J.K. Simmons might just be the new John Goodman in simply taking over the screen even in minor roles. I was so excited to see him again, having loved an hated (due to his horrible cruel character) in Whiplash. The other minor character among an entire wedding guest set of actors was Conner O’Malley. With no more than five lines, he made an impression on my funny bone.

Palm Springs is definitely worth a Hulu visit.

You Can’t Handle “The Truth” (2019), especially if you like tight screenplays

I am really confused by “The Truth”. How can the same man (Hirokazu Koreeda) who wrote and directed the BRILLIANT “Shoplifters” move on to a follow up of circuitous drivel like The Truth?

My guess is he has the bank to surround himself with the best actors, so he thought, let’s do this, even if it’s not fantastic.

I mean who doesn’t adore Catherine Deneuve? Or Juliette Binoche? Or Ethan Hawke?

The story has promise addressing a damaged mother and daughter relationship, but never really probes deep enough for impact.

Instead, the drab script just crinkles and falls apart like the dried up autumn leaves shown at the beginning and end of the film.

A Confession of True Romance

I had better things to do in 1993, having had my precious son during that year, 27 years ago. And I was a Tarantino naysayer up until Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, his old stuff being too rough for my silky blood.

But now that I’m older and more jaded (and can mute and fast forward violent parts) I took a gander at True Romance who many a man I’ve encountered have claimed the movie as one of their favorites.

And I get it: buxom beautiful Patricia Arquette, charming Chrstian Slater, bad boys like Gary Oldman, James Gandolfini and Christopher Walken though the latter just makes me giggle. Best of all is Brad Pitt who might be the best stoner of all time (ditto in Once Upon a Time and Burn After Reading).

I enjoyed the steel drum music that served as background as the romantic music for Christian and Patricia…tell me they didn’t date with that chemistry. Confirmed, though he’s dated just about everyone.

The story’s implausible, but the mega talent mixing it up in vignettes make it all worthwhile and Tarantino iconic. And true to it’s true title, the movie opened up a portal in me, as I conjured up two romantic memories of my own.