You can probably guess the premise from the name and the photo to the left. Just in case I'm wrong there - here's the setup. Shlubby but nice guy meets ends up in bed with a beautiful, upwardly mobile woman. As you may also have guessed alcohol is involved. She ends up pregnant - they try to make the relationship work. Hilarity ensues. At least I think the last part is intended. I didn't find myself laughing hard with any real consistency. I like everyone in their role and even enjoyed Paul Rudd more than usual. But overall I'm thinking this is a pleasant rental but not a reason to base a night out on. Though if you're on a date (and it goes well) the film provides an object lesson on better communication early in a relationship that may pay for itself.
PS. Great as always to see folks from Freaks and Geeks continuing to work.
At some point in the film someone remarks that there many, many ways to get Iraq wrong and only a few ways to get it right. This movie seems to revel in showing us how the Bush administration seemed to optimize the process, seemingly able to always do the exact worst possible thing at the worst possible time. From what I recall the crowd in the White House came into power with a lot of talk of how their professional management expertise would allow them to run government like a business. And it's true, watching the way they operated does sound like some of the worst managers I've experienced over the years. If you've ever thought management quality doesn't make that much difference I guarantee this film will change your mind.
The film comes at explaining the recent history of Iraq with a clear message in mind - Bush and Co. screwed up. I certainly wouldn't have argued that point going in. But what really struck me is how much good advice they seemed determined to ignore. If you start from the premise that invasion made sense in the first place (please - suspend disbelief for a moment) then this film can leave you thinking that all that's happened post-invasion was far from inevitable. Which in some ways is the saddest part. There are tons of interviews with people (military, State Dept, Intelligence, etc.) who all seemed to be have been making solid suggestions that were completely ignored.
If you're not too familiar with the series of decisions that left Iraq in a state of anarchy this is probably a great film. It's not fun, completely devoid of of a chubby guy pulling off none too subtle stunts to make his point. Instead it takes a very direct, sledgehammer to the head approach. Unfortunately, if you've been more than casually following the news there's not a lot to really learn here. The film is very well shot with a lot of amazingly clear images that on the big screen make you feel like you're truly there. And, as I mentioned before it's often amazing to hear the people involved tell the story about how a few folks drove this process without taking any outside counsel. So if it sounds like something you'd like to see I doubt you'll be disappointed. But again, it's unlikely to teach you something you don't already know. I'm glad I saw it. But then again I didn't pay.
Anyway... I was there to see a movie...
You Kill Me is a black comedy - sort of a cross between Gross Pointe Blank and any Hollywood film about AA. It has it's moments of genius as when we're forced to consider if your drinking getting in the way of your work is really a negative when you kill for a living. There's a lot of veteran actors (Ben Kingsley, Dennis Farina, Bill Pullman) having fun with their roles and doing a better job of it than last year's hit man based Lucky Number Slevin. Kingsley is particularly good in this film. While enjoyable, You Kill Me doesn't quite rise completely to the level of great. Though I do appreciate being able to get through an entire movie featuring Buffalo without a Bills crack. The Sabres don't escape unscathed even if this former Buffalo resident was the only one laughing in the house. Apparently less Buffalo folks in the average Seattle theater than Jews. At least I hear other folks laughing with me at those in jokes. (3/5)
Continuing my SIFF catchup I decided to hit Once next. It was a toss-up between that and Knocked Up but the shorter running time won out. The film takes place over about a week and tells the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant who meet and make beautiful music together (sorry, couldn't resist). It looks like it's shot on video but manages to avoid the extra harsh look I associate with that in most scenes. The two leads are very likeable with Markéta Irglová likely being the most fetching woman ever to drag a vacuum through Dublin on-screen. It's a romantic movie at heart without being a romantic comedy. How you see the ending might divide up the audience in a way that Before Sunrise. Though without making you sit through two hours of Ethan Hawke.
This can easily be mistaken at times for a 1.5 hour video for the movie's CD Recording. Which I'm sure is well worth buying. Though - in an astounding rejection of my cynical nature I'd actually call it a musical instead. There is spoken dialogue - but not a lot (what's there worked for me). The spoken portion moves the story along, but much of the movie is really the characters singing about their lot in life. So I've decided this is a romantic musical - which means I can claim a second musical I've enjoyed (Avenue Q being the 1st) against a long line of experiences supporting my "I don't like Musicals" position.
I'd check it out even though the hype is a little overblown (4/5).
Theater watch: I'm starting to really enjoy the Bellevue Galleria theater. I used to absolutely hate this place due to pain in the butt parking combined with long ticket lines. However, loss of businesses in the mini-mall combined with the draw of nearby Lincoln Square Theaters (which are technically much nicer) seems to have completely killed the crowds. The theater appears to now be unaffiliated with any of the major chains. There still are some bizarrely strange customer service issues but the selection of films is become the strongest on the Eastside of Seattle. A good chunk of their films are things that would normally only make the Landmark chain. Say what you want about the Galleria but it's a lot more modern than any local Landmark. Which you should read as meaning there's more than one bathroom for the whole place.