After far too many inferior romantic comedies it’s exhilarating to encounter a bittersweet, romantic drama like Love and Other Drugs. With a fresh, provocative backdrop and an intriguingly vulnerable heroine, this is a sexy, adult piece of entertainment. Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway sink their teeth into a pair of meaty, satisfying roles that stretch their abilities.
In the old days of Saturday matinee serials, audiences faced with cliffhanger endings took comfort in knowing that the story would be resumed one week later. The same can’t be said for the latest Harry Potter picture, which offers much incident but no resolution: for that, we all have to wait until next year. If you’re a dedicated Potter fan, you’ll have to take what you can from this one—mainly, the pleasure of spending time with its leading characters and the young actors who play them. Following J.K. Rowling’s narrative, there are no scenes at Hogwarts’ Academy. This denies us the opportunity to revel in seeing the finest British actors alive in the vast Potter ensemble; we get only token appearances from Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane and a handful of others, while Maggie Smith, as Professor McGonagall, is absent altogether.
The movie starts out on the right foot, as Harry—now marked for death by the evil Lord Voldemort—is surrounded by his—
It would be enough to report that I’ve just seen a smart, funny independent feature, but Tiny Furniture heralds the arrival of a smart, funny new voice to the filmmaking scene—which is even better news. Writer-director Lena Dunham also stars in the film along with her mother and sister, playing, respectively, her mother (an artist who photographs miniatures) and sister (a high school student who’s just won a national poetry prize). It would be intimidating for anyone to compete, let alone coexist, with this duo.
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