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Flash Movie Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

WE WERE SITTING IN A CIRCLE with each of us prepared to read what we had wrote the past week. There was one student in the writing group who consistently wrote violent action into his stories. If he mentioned a car crash he could not just leave it at that, letting the listener use their imagination. He had to describe in detail every broken bone, laceration or bloody death associated with the crash, fight, murder or accident. The rest of us in class had a difficult time paying attention to his stories because the scenes he created were uncomfortable to hear spoken. There was another student who already had a book published about his time in the military during a major conflict. His stories continued the same theme; there was always a military presence in his stories. When it was my turn to read, I had my typed pages neatly stacked on my lap; so, it was easy for me to handle the length of time we were allowed to talk. After reading my story out loud a fellow student said my writing style was similar to Vladimir Nabokov. I was stunned; mainly because he was one of my top favorite writers, along with Charles Dickens, Yukio Mishima and Herman Melville.      WHAT AN HONOR FOR A PEER to say such a thing to me. I would never compare myself to Nabokov, but I must tell you I was flying high the rest of the day. It started me thinking about the times I compared someone I knew to a famous or well-known celebrity. To the best of my recollection I only did it when it would be compliment. I mean really, how rude would it be to tell a friend they are acting just like so and so, who did a similar thing that got them arrested. Think about all the times sportscasters compare an athlete to a former one; it really must be an honor for an athlete to hear such a thing I would imagine. There is that proverb that states: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” For the most part I would agree with this, but I do have an issue with it when someone is doing it without putting in any effort or thought. There was an employee I taught with who never took the time to learn the reasons and mechanics behind weight training. All they wanted to do was go to other instructors’ classes and see what exercises they were doing. Once memorized this person would do the same ones in their classes. I did not think that was right, just as I thought the author in this film festival nominated biography was not right for what she did.      WHEN HER CELEBRITY BIOGRAPHIES FELL OUT of favor the only way author Lee Israel, played by Melissa McCarty (Life of the Party, The Boss) thought she could earn money was to add her words to the letters of famous deceased celebrities. It turned into a lucrative business. With Richard E. Grant (Penelope, Gosford Park) as Jack Hock, Dolly Wells (45 Years, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Anna and Jane Curtin (I Love You, Man; Third Rock from the Sun-TV) as Marjorie; this comedic crime film was based on Lee Israel’s memoir. The story came alive due to Melissa and Richard; they were so good together and I must say this was a smart move for Melissa after her recent dreadful movie, The Happytime Murders. She was wonderful in this role, assisted by the beautiful direction and script. The story slowly unfolded as Lee sinks to a desperate state and yet, she remains a somewhat sympathetic character. I really enjoyed watching this unbelievable story and might not be far out on a limb to say Melissa may earn a nomination this award season.

 

3 ½ stars

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Flash Movie Review: The Heat

The concept of opposites attracting was something I first learned from my science class in elementary school. It was not until I started dating where I learned how the laws of attraction applied to life. In one of my early relationships the two of us saw things completely opposite. From a room being hot or cold to a restaurant’s meal being awful or great; we rarely agreed on the same thing and I have to tell you it was hard. However, it was not until later that I learned a valuable lesson; to be able to look at something from the other person’s perspective. It was one of the best gifts I gained from that relationship and I still appreciate it to this day. The law of opposites attracting was used for comedic results in this funny movie. Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side, The Proposal) played uptight FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn. On assignment in Boston; Sarah encountered the territorial, foul-mouthed Boston cop Shannon Mullins, played by Melissa McCarthy (Identity Thief, Bridesmaids). By not being able to see through the other person’s eyes, the two women had a good chance of never solving the case. The story was not original in the least; however, it might have been due to the focus on the actors’ comic abilities. I have always said Melissa has impeccable comedic timing and she used it in full force for this film. Keep in mind the language is extremely foul and abundant. Sandra made a valiant effort to keep up with Melissa, but it fell slightly short. I wished the writers would have given more to Jane Curtin (Coneheads, Kate & Allie-TV) as Mrs. Mullins; she was completely underutilized. The main force of this movie was the comedy. I laughed out loud several times, even when the scenes were somewhat inappropriate. As a side note I am a stickler about movie trailers, since they are a form of advertising. A couple of scenes from the trailers were not the same as the movie. This film was light entertainment for a refresher course on the laws of attraction. Strong language was used throughout the film.

 

2 2/3 stars

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