A Simple Favor

A stylized comedy mystery thriller, what could be better to take your mind off a stressful week! Directed by Paul Feig, with Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, it’s a winning combination that puts women in the drivers seat. Semi predictable the direction, music and costumes keep you entranced. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are masters of their own domain who almost have chemistry together. It’s like watching the first few minutes of friends in the making but not quite getting past that. You get to linger in those delicious first few minutes but don’t necessarily need to go beyond, like a sequel. Yes to date night worthy, might even have some fun while watching, wink wink.

Juliet, Naked

It seems this sweet little film came and went with little fan-fair in 2018 which is a shame as it’s charming. Yes that’s the word for it! Nicely directed by Jesse Peretz you know that with Judd Apatow as one of the producers, you’re in for some witty fun. Ethan Hawke, well, have to say, fell in love with him as a washed up musician. Rose Byrne does her fair share in holding her own between Ethan and hilarious Chris O’Dowd. Azhy Robertson plays Ethan’s adorable son. It’s about choosing life and second chances. Great to see with a glass of wine and snuggle buddy making it a stay at home date night worthy movie.

See You Tomorrow

Stefan Bristol directs what on the surface looks like it wants to be a Disney film that pokes fun at the 80’s and includes a nod to Michael J. Fox. For some reason, Goonies even comes to mind. But Spike Lee is the producer so you know it won’t be light and fluffy, serious issues need to be tackled like his standards – racial discrimination and neighborhood issues. Beyond that, there’s grief and a strong black female lead, Eden Duncan-Smith looking for hope. Astro, the young man who plays Calvin, her brother, has a moment in the film in which he has such strong intensity, it encapsulates the entire feeling and message of the film. No neatly tied bow at the end of this film as director has faith in his audiences intelligence. As for the rest, sets feel like a Spike Lee film, music is good – didn’t really notice it, cinematography ok. You’ll need a small tissue box. A little too heavy for kids. Not sure I’d say date night worthy or a must see but an interesting watch.

Berlin, I Love You

A thinking persons movie. Apparently this is the latest installment from the “Cities of Love” franchise. And, it’s meant to focus on the possibility of love – something that seems to have been lost. This film is comprised of a series of shorts with a small thread to string most of them. Reminds me of movies in the 90’s. Interestingly some of the shorts have celebrities but all are character driven making them more intriguing. Mickey Rourke in particular was caught my attention despite being, well unrecognizable (what did he do to himself?!). Current topics are touched without being overt – like self driving cars, immigration or Weinstein. At the base it seems to me to be more about rebuilding/rebirth than love. Found it interesting but not everyone’s cup of tea therefore, date night only if you are looking to have interesting conversation after.

Murder Mystery

They say Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler make a great pair. Well, that may be true but not in this one. Aniston acts her way through most of it and inappropriately maintains her beauty – doesn’t fit the part. In fact, it sort of angers me that she’s too professional. Sandler is goofy as usual. At times the two intersect but for the most part, they seem to be stars in their own movies. Support cast is great. Story is a throw back to old style murder mystery and reminded me of the game Clue. It’s an entertaining night, probably best as a drinking game! Having said all that, can be a fun date night especially since you can watch it in the comfort of your own home!

I Am Mother

Yes you’ve seen a variety of movies in which technology takes over the world but, this one goes a bit beyond and adds heart. Trust is a delicate topic as is perfection and ones relationship with a parent, all explored. The day after I was left still thinking about the movie and its parallels throughout history and cinematography. (Odd timing given I’d just watched a documentary on the Nuremberg trials!) Rose Byrne provides a great soothing voice for Mother. Clara Ruggard is able to hold her own and Luke Hawker, with the aid of special effects is fantastic as Mother (the robot). Hillary Swank fell short as she acted her way through, trying too hard. Good direction. While it felt slow it was good and it sticks with you. Not sure I’d say date night but definitely intelligent night and discuss after worthy.

Then Came You

Looking for something bittersweet with a different type of love story? This one may fit the bill for you. Cancer, life, death, purpose, it’s all here and handled very nicely by the talented Asa Butterfield and Maisie Williams. They have great chemistry and are fun to watch. While the other players were good, they truly played supporting roles. Nina Dobrev makes a nice departure from her anxty teenage role into a more mature woman. She does a fine job but, her legs overshadow her talent, wonder if that was the directors intention! Music and direction worked. It’s just…sweet. As such, probably more of a chick flick that date night worthy.