Girls Trip

girlstrip_animatedgif_753x278The Flossy Posse, 4 college besties, reunite for a wild weekend in New Orleans after years of not seeing each other. There are plenty of laughs in this comedy, but the high point is the exploration of friendship. These friends have plenty of conflict (historical and new), but nonetheless provide each other with unwavering support and humor.

Box Office Bottom Line: I enjoyed this funny and heart-warming film about female friendship.

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Atomic Blonde

atomic-blondeThis cold war spy film takes place in Berlin in the days leading up to the Wall coming down in November 1989. Everyone is trying to get a hold of a microfilm list of spies that includes a double agent. Charlize Theron plays a British spy sent to Berlin to retrieve the list. What’s unique about this spy thriller is how brutal and honest the hand-to-hand combat is amongst the spies. There isn’t much artful fighting; it’s all gritty and painful – you see the bruises and wounds and how tired the spies become as their fight endures. Theron’s character has to fight so hard and smart to best the larger and stronger male spies. Her perserverance and will to live are incredible.

Box Office Bottom Line: I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Who is the double agent? Who will get the list? Who will survive? Riveting acting and directing.

Little Hours

little hoursThis awkwardly funny indie comedy has just the right amount of quirk and ribaldry. Loosely based on a few stories in the medieval Italian work, The Decameron, this film retains the medieval setting, but uses modern (often foul) language to tell a tale of young nuns bristling in a convent and the handsome young handyman they lustily pursue and harass, in turn. John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon are a surprisingly sweet delight as the priest and mother superior.

Box Office Bottom Line: I thoroughly enjoyed this film!

The Big Sick

Kumail Nanjiani wrote this film with his wife, Emily Gordon, based on their unusual courtship. [Spoiler alert] Boy meets girl. Girl breaks up with boy because he won’t tell his family about her because of religious/ethnic differences. Girl goes into a medically induced coma for a long time. Boy stays by her bedside the whole time, wins over her parents, and wants to get back together. Girl eventually agrees. What sets this rom-com apart from the field is the inter-racial/religious aspect and the near-death illness that brings them back together. Their story is sweet and funny (since Nanjiani is a comedian), and it is refreshing to have a non-white male lead, especially one that is Muslim-American – finally a depiction where a brown person is a normal guy and not a terrorist. The disappointing aspect is that while Nanjiani is portrayed as a regular American, the representations of Pakistani-American women are pure stereotype – culturally conservative and marriage-obsessed.

Box Office Bottom Line: Overall, a very endearing romantic comedy.

Rough Night

Rough Night Movie PosterThis is a bachelorette party gone horribly wrong. The movie has some high points, such as the juxtaposition of the raucous bachelorette party with booze, drugs, and strippers against the sophisticated wine-tasting of the bachelor party, where the most wild the groom and his groomsmen get is drinking red wine – chilled (gasp!). However, you could rename this film “Rough Middle”. The film sets up hilariously and ends delightfully, but the middle is quite cringe-worthy with the occasional witty zinger. I was glad I stuck it out to the end and sat through all the credits, because the final vignette really ties the move up wonderfully.

Box Office Bottom Line: This is a feminist comedy, and I appreciated the humor from the female point of view. I just wish the middle didn’t get so morbidly uncomfortable. I recommend with caution.

Wonder Woman

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Wonder Woman is a romping good time! This film provides her origin story – where she’s from, what motivates her, who she is, and how she becomes Wonder Woman. Not overly violent, with just a hint of romance, this is a surprisingly character-driven action movie. We understand why she chooses to save humanity, and we thank her for it!!

Box Office Bottom Line: One of the best comic book hero movie adaptions. See this entertaining film!

20th Century Women

20th_century_womanIt’s 1979, and Annette Bening (who should have been nominated for an Oscar for the depth & emotional complexity she brings to this character) plays a single mom to a teenage boy. She enlists her son’s best friend, exquisitely and heart-breakingly played by Elle Fanning, and her quirky boarder (played by quirky Greta Gerwig) to help teach her son how to be a man. Beautiful, poignant, funny drama ensues. Writer-Director Mike Mills is as successful here (telling a story inspired by his mother) as he was with Beginners (a story inspired by his father).

Box Office Bottom Line: I loved this film. Its quirky drama is entertaining and affecting. Highly recommended!