Dean, a BBQ type of film=well done!

Continuing with my kookie summer time references is the BBQ review title of Demetri Martin’s well done film Dean.

A new feature of this review will be a “This review is sponsored by…” ad whenever some kind person pays for my movie going experience. My way of acknowledging nice folks.

So this review is brought to by Dan Coughlin, journalist, former Wall Streeter, and man looking for fellow documentarians with whom to build projects.

NOTE TO Demetri Martin: shield your eyes to this next sentence. Dan didn’t think I’d blog about Dean with a veiled reference of it being unimportant cinema.

Au contraire! But here’s where my razor sharp Masters In Counseling ‘see all sides’ mediation comes in: Sure this film might be akin to a lazy river water park ride. However, the script and story were totally relatable (won a Jury Prize at Tribeca) and VERY important in portraying how we each experience grief in different ways. Dean, played by writer/director Demetri Martin, chooses the run away/flight model of grief denial. Kevin Kline (always marvelous, really-wish I could see him on Broadway in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter , but alas it ends July 2nd) portrays Dean’s dad, who takes public intellectualizing regarding his wife’s death with private therapy.

Can’t tell you a lot about what I enjoyed due to my no spoiler vow, but will say that I am happy to see a movie with some ends still loose, instead of an unreal, ‘look at this 100% happy ending’, which is partly why I threw out the hard copy of my novel Jokers to the Right because I hated my false feeling joy! joy! ending.

I can tell you stylistically what I enjoyed about Dean: the split screen frames where Demetri and his dad are seemingly in similar poses. Similarly or perhaps, narcissistically, I think of my Dad and I like this, on any given weeknight, separately alone, tv remote in hand looking for TCM, or some other movie channel, to take the edge of loneliness.

I also really liked the well drawn minor characters, even the minor minor characters filled out to reality. Four deserve mention: Dean’s love interest, Gillian Jacobs, a woman confused emotionally, her best friend Ginger Gonzaga, an icy Rochesterian type of gal, Dean’s good L.A. friend, Rory Scovel (who should be chosen for a Beach Boys bio pic and may have amassed being on the most tv series ever) who shows why men are pigs and also simultaneously in need of a hug, and last (deep breath) his quirky roommate Luka Jones (will look out for him in an upcoming I Love Dick episode.)

Ashamedly for the movie business, Dean’s gone already after a whopping week in Sarasota. In its place is sheer crap (no other way to call it, unless feces makes you feel better. At any rate, if you’re in a major metropolitan area, give Dean a chance. If not, hope Red Box picks it up.

My Old Crush is in “My Old Lady”

I try hard not to read reviews before I go see a film, but I confess I took a sneak peak to Rotten Tomatoes before heading out to Pittsford Cinema in Rochester, New York to view “My Old Lady”. A trusted friend had told me it was good, but I wanted a professional’s opinion. A review suggested that the movie was claustrophobic in its setting. My response to that, is two-fold:1. Originally a play of which the screenplay was written by the playwright, ipso facto and 2. ‘The apartment’, aka lavish house, wasn’t the problem, it was the characters constant milling about within the space that was bothersome. I wanted to scream out as my mother use to, “Light somewhere!” as you would tell a bothersome fly, swatter in hand.

But hey, I’m in my glory this fall, two of my old crushes are back in the movies-Bill Murray (St. Vincent) and Kevin Kline (thought he was incredibly sexy in that big lug type of way “A Fish Called Wanda”) in this film.

Much like Marissa Tomei, Kristin Scott Thomas is another one of my favorite female actresses, her portrayal of the raunchy mother in Only God Forgives was the movie’s only redeeming feature. And I was rightfully envious of her love scenes with Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient. Here she’s a tad on the drab side, but that’s her character, not her. She’s gorgeous even with little makeup.

And speaking of cosmetics, while Kevin Kline has lost his upper lip, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers. He’s mega talented and multi lingual. He’s comedic, he’s Shakespearean and he can sing.

Maggie Smith is really great and as I perused her IMDB photo gallery, I chose this photo to add, feeling sorry for the lady who always seem (as of the last decade or so) to be put in roles where she has no color, as if all old women must look absolutely gray in complexion to be believable.

This film is worthy, though not super. I didn’t buy the character’s reactions to his parents marital affairs, not in this day and age, especially if his dad was a cad to begin with, but hey ‘it’s only a movie’, or is it?:) No, it was a play first:)