DUBBY’S DVDISCUSSION: Three ‘and’ movies

Kathmandu:

Music And Lyrics, Breaking And Entering and Catch And Release are three movies with varying degrees of watch-ability.

Music And Lyrics has Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore trying to write a pop song for reigning diva Cora, who has a Buddha thing and is a contemporary flower child.

Says critic AT Hurley, “Music and Lyrics is frothy and sweet, like the top of a perfect cappuccino shared a deux. Hugh Grant is a self-professed ‘happy has-been’, playing his befuddled, adorable persona more spot-on than he has since Four Weddings and a Funeral. As Alex, former member of an ‘80s pop band who years later is playing at water parks and high school reunions, he’s settled into a life of lesser expectations. Drew Barrymore, quietly radiant, is Sophie, the underachieving girl Friday, who arrives to water — -make that overwater — Alex’s plants — and to explode him out of that comfy rut. If the plot’s a bit farfetched, it matters not, since the two lead characters are so likable — and make such beautiful music together.”

Movies like Crash and Traffic had different stratas of Western society colliding with each other with surprising results.

Writes Donald Liebenson, “The atmospheric and erotically charged Breaking and Entering reunites director Anthony Minghella with Jude Law and the haunting Juliette Binoche. Law fully invests himself as pre-occupied landscape architect Will Francis, who with his partner (Martin Freeman from the original British version of The Office), is heading a gentrification project in London’s seedy, crime-plagued King’s Cross neighbourhood. At home, he and Liv (Robin Penn Wright), his morose Swedish-American girlfriend of 10 years, are increasingly estranged over the demands of his job and of caring for Liv’s autistic daughter, a 13-year-old aspiring gymnast. Will, hiding his identity, begins an affair with Amira (Binoche), the mother of a youth who has twice ransacked Will’s office. Amira is a Bosnian refugee with a fierce survival streak that is not above blackmail when she learns who Will is. An art-house film with an A-list cast and wrenching performances, Breaking and Entering couldn’t get arrested in theatres, but it is a fine addition to Crash and other liberal-minded ‘them and us’ dramas.”

Watch for Vera Farmiga as a whore with a heart of philosophy.

Catch And Release is a slice-of-life movie with the cut happening after the death of Jennifer Garner’s character’s fiancé. Friends played by Sam Jaeger and Kevin Smith try and comfort her.

Over to Premiere critic Ethan Alter who writes, “Adding to her woes is her discovery that Grady was hiding some big secrets, most notably the fact that he had fathered a son with a flighty massage therapist (Juliette Lewis) who subsequently blows into town when her monthly support cheques stop showing up. In the wake of these revelations, Gray falls out of love with her former fiancé and falls in love with his best friend Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), a guy she’d previously written off as an overgrown child.

For his part, Fritz seems remarkably comfortable with the knowledge that he’s bunking up with his dead buddy’s girl. Naturally, a series of misunderstandings threatens to keep these two crazy kids from walking off into the sunset together, but don’t worry, the happy ending is never really in doubt.”

Adds critic Bret Fetzer, “Catch and Release lacks the clear story structure that most romantic comedies are built on, but trades it for a richer sense of the ambiguities of human relationships.”