I have been ignoring the list of films that I wanted to see this year and instead I’ve watched some random movies on cable and the theater. Here are a couple of them.
The Other Boleyn Girl, directed by Justin Chadwick, is the story of Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary Boleyn and their affairs with Henry VIII. Some of this ground has been covered in Anne of the Thousand Days, which I’ve seen, but I don’t remember Mary being involved in that movie.
What I liked: The costuming was beautiful, if a little silly on the men. I’m sure it’s period specific and, if the painting of Anne Boleyn is any indication, accurate to what they know of the time. The three leads are all beautiful people, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana, and they glamor-it-up in this one. It’s very “old Hollywood” that way, which has it’s appeal.
What I didn’t like: I didn’t care about anyone in this film and found their stories to be laden with melodrama. The three leads are all good actors but they die in these roles, and it’s not for lack of effort. The story is probably an interesting one but it feels like it was written by a committee, and that is the death of film if you ask me. The more I think about it the less I like it.
I Think I Love My Wife, directed by and starring Chris Rock, is the story of a married man who harmlessly fantasizes about other women. When a former friend’s ex-girlfriend shows up all that harmless fantasizing turns bad and his marriage in in trouble.
What I liked: The movie has some good laughs, which is important for a comedy.
What I didn’t like: The biggest problem for this film is that Chris Rock has trouble carrying a movie. He’s funny, hilarious in his stand-up, but I don’t believe him as a romantic lead. Combine that with a mannered performance by Kerry Washington and a directing sensibility that leans too heavily on tricks to cover performance, and you have a failure. I really wanted to like this.