Friday, June 01, 2007

Movie Recommendations

As you know, because I've hammered you over the head with it so many times, I review movies as well as books over on Families.com. Being a family-oriented site, I only review G and PG-rated films. But what if I've seen a couple of really good PG-13's lately and want to tell someone about them?

I'll tell you!

The first one is "Stranger Than Fiction." It stars Emma Thompson as a bestselling novelist and Will Farrell as her main character. One day he starts hearing her voice in his head, narrating everything he does. He's the only one who can hear it, and it's driving him crazy and even encouraging him to do things that aren't in his nature to do. When he finally figures out that he's a novelist's character, he manages to track her down (with the help of Dustin Hoffman) and together they solve the problem. I had expected this movie to be 100% comedy, but it was a think piece as well, and I found it deeply moving as well as hysterical.

The other is "Music and Lyrics," with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Hugh is one half of an old 80's pop music duo and is considered a has-been who now performs at places like Knottsberry Farm. Drew is a plant girl who comes in to take care of his plants, but she's just filling in for a friend and can't tell the difference between real and silk plants. When Hugh is hired by a teenage singer to write her a hit song, he discovers that Drew has talent with lyrics and he asks her to write the words for the song. But when the singer decides to ruin the song with her own "special additions," they have to find a balance between fame and artistic integrity. The dialogue in this film is fabulous. I would recommend renting it and then fast-forwarding all the parts when the young singer performs -- she's the element that makes it a PG-13 and it's much more enjoyable without her.

7 comments:

Karlene said...

My girls just two minutes before I read this post called from the video store and asked if I wanted to see Stranger Than Fiction. Funny. They'll be home with it in a bit.

I saw Music and Lyrics too. I liked Hugh Grant (who doesn't?) and thought he did really well. I just about died when they showed the music video from his old hit song. We watched that over and over.

This was one of those movies that I think was great in concept and script, but one of the main actors didn't carry their share of the weight. And since I've already said I like Hugh, you can guess that I was kind of disappointed in Drew Barrymore. I didn't fully believe that they were in love, mostly because of her acting. And now that I think about it, the only two of her movies that I've really liked were ET and Never Been Kissed.

But overall, I liked the movie okay. She didn't ruin it for me.

Tristi Pinkston said...

You know, I didn't really care for Never Been Kissed. I didn't feel that the teacher had enough time to know her as an adult to develop feelings for her. I liked Fever Pitch, though.

Leigh said...

I actually thought Stranger Than Fiction was kind of weird, but enjoyable. As for Drew Barrymore I really liked her performance in Ever After as well as the other two already mentioned.

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

Loved them both! I even asked for Music & Lyrics for Mother's Day! I loved Never Been Kissed as well, but I think it's because I felt just like that nerdy Drew in high school myself.

Janette Rallison said...

I loved Stranger than Fiction--but I think a lot of that love stemmed from being a writer. I'm not sure how I would have liked it if I'd been a fireman or something. I did think it was funny that they portrayed Emma Thompson as being rich and eccentric--isn't that how all writers are?

Karen Hoover said...

LOVED both movies as well, so much so that they've been added to my collection. Great recommendations, Tristi.

Framed said...

I really liked "Stranger than Fiction." Such lovely weird twists. I think Emma Thompson is fantastic. And, of course, Hugh Grant is always great to watch. I will buy "Music and Lyrics" just to watch his music video. I just don't understand why everyone else in the theater was laughing as loud as I was.

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