Showing posts with label Luke Wilson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luke Wilson. Show all posts

Friday, 7 September 2012

The Royal Tenenbaums

I first saw this film when I was about sixteen on one of my frequent trips to the cinema with friends. When one of them told me about it I thought it sounded awful. I was used to seeing action and comedy films on a Friday night and didn’t want to sit through a film about some family and an old man dying. In the end the film completely shocked me and helped to introduce me to the joys of cinema, seeing passed the Friday night popcorn movies to which I was accustomed. It was also the first of many Wes Anderson films that I fell in love with. I often site Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver as being the film which opened my eyes to cinema but thinking about it now, this film did the same thing, albeit to a lesser extent, two years earlier.

Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) is thrown out of his house by his wife (Anjelica Houston) before their three genius children (Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow) reach their teens. This has a far reaching impact on all of their lives and none of the three grow up to fully reach their potential. Playwrite Margot (Paltrow) stops writing, Tennis champion Richie (Wilson) retires ages twenty-six after a breakdown and business guru Chas (Stiller) becomes overly protective of his own children following the untimely death of his wife. After years of being out of the picture, Royal decides he wants to become reacquainted with his quirky children but ends up going about it in all the wrong ways.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

My Super-Ex Girlfriend

Starring Uma Thurman as an emotionally unstable Superheroine, 2006’s My Super-Ex Girlfriend was a pleasant surprise for me. Being let down so often by dull, unfunny romantic comedies, I found it to be a refreshing take on a tired formula.

The likable and affable Luke Wilson stars as the likable and affable Matt Saunders who meets a shy and seemingly uninterested Jenny Johnson, played by Uma Thurman on the Subway. When a man steals Johnson’s handbag, Matt pursues the thief and retrieves the bag. This act of heroism earns Matt a date. Several dates later, by which time Johnson has become increasingly neurotic and unbalanced, she lets Matt into her huge secret, that she is in fact G-Girl, a crime fighting Super Hero. When Johnson/G-Girl’s increasingly aggressive and jealous behaviour gets too much for Matt he decides to break off the relationship, a decision he could come to regret.

The film, while not incredibly funny is very enjoyable. I was watching with a smile on my face. Uma Thurman looks like she is really enjoying playing both characters and Luke Wilson is fine, though he is just playing Luke Wilson. A lot of the humour comes from Thurman’s wonderful portrayal of an emotionally unstable woman who becomes increasingly mentally unbalanced throughout the film. She is a joy to watch. Thurman and Wilson are joined by a strong cast which includes Anna Faris as Wilson’s co-worker and the fantastic Rainn Wilson (of The Office fame) as Matt’s best friend. Also joining the cast is English comedian Eddie Izzard who does a fairly convincing American accent but is not as convincing as a super villain.

Being both a Rom-Com and Superhero movie, there was only one place that the film could best set and that is in New York. The city looks fabulous but the CGI is sometimes shiny and unconvincing. A GCI shark looked about as real as a reality TV star’s face. I found it quite funny that G-Girl’s disguise is just a wig and glasses, but Superman gets by unnoticed with less.

While My Super Ex-Girlfriend is in no way a classic or even close to being great, it is a nice take on the romantic comedy genre with some funny moments and an excellent performance from Uma Thurman.