When it was time for me to go to college, I had to go to a weekend orientation prior to the start of school. During that time I had my first contact with fraternity guys. It took only 2 days to realize I was not cut out to be part of a fraternity. Not that I had anything bad to say; it just was not my thing. I am more comfortable with individuality instead of trying to be part of a group mentality. I wondered if this would be a hindrance for me to review this movie about college life. It was not, for this film had a strong quirky style to it with offbeat characters. A group of girls ran a suicide prevention center to help their fellow students with depression and suicide. The leader of the group was Violet, played by Greta Gerwig (Greenberg, No Strings Attached), who believed tap dancing and musical numbers would be the cure. Transfer student Lily, played by Analeigh Tipton (The Green Hornet; Crazy, Stupid Love) was taken under the girls’ wings as they navigated their way through campus life. There was a darkness to this movie, that was kept in check with some great lines. I found the humor off the wall; not to a laugh out loud level, but certainly chuckles and smirks. However, the inconsistent script was all over the place. At times clear and focused, other times muddled and slow. Though there was an independent flair to this comedy, I don’t think you would get a detention for cutting this showing.
2 1/4 stars
I hope I never lose touch with the little kid inside of me. Harking back to the older, classic animated movies from my youth; this film shined like a well done piece of art. With a beautiful palette of colors, I enjoyed the vibrant scenes that led me through the story. Blu, a domesticated blue colored macaw voiced by Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Zombieland), was one of only two such birds left in the world. With the hope of becoming mates, Blu and his owner were flown down to Rio de Janeiro to meet Jewel, voiced by Anne Hathaway (Get Smart, The Devil Wears Prada). The two actors were perfect choices to voice their characters. Jesse with his distinctive way of delivering his lines and Anne’s ability to project sweetness or irritation with her voice, along with her wonderful singing, made Blu and Jewel come to life. This movie had everything: there was plenty of thrilling action when the two birds were kidnapped, a smattering of musical numbers and amusing humor throughout; I had a great time watching this fun, exciting film. All that was missing was my little table and chair from when I was a child, so I could have had my glass of chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookie.
3 1/4 stars — DVD