Tag Archives: Brandon Scott Jones

ISN’T IT ROMANTIC (2019) – My rating: 5.5/10

Isn’t It Romantic is a satirical romantic comedy directed by Todd Strauss-chulson and written by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox, and Katie Silberman. Isn’t It Romantic follows a young woman who gets hit on the head and wakes up in a parallel world where everything around her plays out like a romantic comedy. The film has grossed over $47 million and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Wilson’s performance.

Isn’t It Romantic opens in Australia, during the early 1990s, with a young Natalie (Rebel Wilson) watching the romantic comedy, Pretty Woman.  Natalie’s mother (Jennifer Saunders) crushes her spirit and enthusiasm by telling her that women like them (heavy set and not drop dead gorgeous) don’t get happy endings in real life.

Fast forward twenty-five years; Natalie is working as an architect in New York City. She has low self-esteem and is treated as a pushover by her colleagues. To add insult to injury, at a key meeting where Natalie was to present her ideas to a  new handsome, billionaire, client named Blake (Liam Hemsworth), he mistakes her for an assistant and askes her to get him a cup of coffee.  Humiliated, she storms out of the meeting and catches her friend/assistant, Whitney (Betty Gilpin) watching “The Wedding Singer”. Natalie reprimands Whitney then starts spewing cynical rants about romantic comedies and their clichés. Hoping to boost Natalie’s spirit, Josh (Adam DeVine) invites her to a karaoke bar but she declines.

**** SOME SPOILERS BELOW ****

On her way home from the office, Natalie is accosted by a mugger on the subway. After a brief struggle in which she ultimately repels her attacker, she knocks herself unconscious by clumsily walking head-first into a steel girder. When Natalie wakes up, she finds herself in a hospital and is greeted by an attractive doctor, who immediately starts flirting with her. Unnerved and confused, Natalie leaves the hospital, walks outside and notices, New York now looks and smells much better than it usually does. Suddenly, she is almost hit by a limousine, which contains an apologetic, genial version of Blake, who is now speaking with an Australian accent. Blake drops her off at home, before leaving he writes his phone number on flower petals, which he then dumps haphazardly into her upturned hat.  Still confused, Natalie enters her apartment, she finds it to be much larger and nicer than before. Her previously-unruly dog is now well-groomed and obedient, her closet is stocked with a dazzling array of clothes and shoes.  So everything looks, smells, acts and appears better in a world that seems the same but is not.

Isn’t It Romantic is not a new concept but a very cute one with a message for those who are non-emphatic or bullies to others. This is a simple story and what I call a fill in when there’s nothing else available.  The movie runs 1 hour 29 minutes and is really a teenage fantasy masquerading as an adult comedy.  You probably can predict the rest of this story and be absolutely correct.  I think it’s a decent comedy for a young person, however I don’t recommend you actually spend money to see it, unless you’re renting it from Amazon or Netflix.  Isn’t It Romantic is not due to be released on DVD until  May 21, 2019.  Check It Out!

 

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (2018) – My rating: 9/10

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a biographical film directed by Marielle Heller.  The screenplay is by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, based on Lee Israel’s 2008 memoir of the same name. Can You Ever Forgive Me? tells the true story of a writer who has fallen on hard times and turns to illegal methods of making ends meet.   This movie has flown way under the radar, as it appears to have been looked on as the book Lee Israel wrote in the movie.  I’m so glad I got to see Can You Ever Forgive Me? it’s truly a block buster in it’s own right.

**** SOME SPOILERS ****

Following the critical and commercial failure of her biography of Estée Lauder, author Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) is struggling with financial troubles, writer’s block and alcoholism. Because her agent Marjorie (Jane Curtain), is unable to secure Lee with an advance for a new biography, she is forced to find another way to make money.  Lee lugs a ton of heavy books to a pawn shop for books but can only get $2.00 and some nasty attitude for all her effort.  Further, her beloved cat is sick and needs medication.  Lee decides to sell a personal letter she received from Katharine Hepburn to Anna (Dolly Wells), a local book dealer in order to cover her expenses.

While at the library conducting research about Fanny Brice, for a novel she’s planning to write, Lee happens upon an actual letter from Ms. Brice folded in the book. She swipes the letter and offers to sell it to Anna, who can’t give much due to the letter’s lack of interesting content. That’s when Lee begins to forge and sell letters by deceased writers, playwrights and actors, by embellishing them with juicy,  intimate details that command a higher price. Anna, who is a fan of Lee’s writing as an author, attempts to initiate a relationship with her. Lee being very private and unfriendly most of the time, rejects the relationship with Anna.

When one of Lee’s letters written by Noël Coward raises suspicion for its unguarded discussion of his sexuality, she is blacklisted by her buyers. Unable to sell the forgeries herself, she has her new best friend, Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant) sell the letters for her. While Lee was away attempting to enhance her forgery business, she trusted Jack to take care of her apartment and her cat. Upon her return, she ends their relationship after finding her apartment trashed and her cat dead.  Later Jack and Lee are served with a court summons by the FBI for forgery.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is based on a true story and presents a nice change and a nice rest from all the action movies.  There are times when you think Lee is going to do something predictable, then surprised when she does something totally opposite.  Although I’ve told much of the story, I’ve also left out much of the story.  Melissa McCarthy has given a fantastic performance if not her best performance.  She is completely believable and convincing as the writer, Lee Israel.  Richard E. Grant was absolutely brilliant as Jack Hock, a friendly gay man with a secret.  I  was thoroughly entertained and learned a thing or two about the world of authentic letter buying.  For me, this movie is what going to the movies is all about.  Excellent story — Brilliant acting — Check It Out!

[Can You Ever Forgive Me? is Oscar nominated for Best:  Actress, Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay]