Weekend Update – Golden Globes 2011 Live Blog!

15 01 2012

4:00 P.M.  E! has already started their Golden Globe coverage, so I guess it’s time for me to begin as well!  Time for the best of Hollywood (and television) to come out and get rewarded (or robbed).  Predictions will slowly trickle in as the stars grace the red carpet, but I’ll be writing from the arrivals to the awards to Ricky Gervais’ harsh quips.  With recaps, opinions, and insights, make “Marshall and the Movies” your companion for the Golden Globes!

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F.I.L.M. of the Week (December 17, 2010)

17 12 2010

There’s no place like home for the holidays … unless its the home of your boyfriend’s overbearing family.

Such is Christmas for Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker) in the “F.I.L.M. of the Week,” Thomas Bezucha’s “The Family Stone,” a winter dramedy with a perfect balance between the two genres.  It’s enjoyable to watch at any time of the year, but it has a particularly warm and loving embrace around the holiday season.  With a fantastic ensemble and pitch-perfect writing, this movie has been a favorite of mine ever since it hit theaters five years ago today.  (And yes, I was there to see it on its first showtime that day.)

It’s always tough meeting the potential in-laws, and the uptight Meredith doesn’t leave the best first impression as she tries to simultaneously be herself and be charming.  The odds are against stacked against the potential new addition to the Stone family as Amy (Rachel McAdams) has it in for her after a dinner in New York didn’t exactly endear her to the incessantly blabbering throat-clearer Meredith.  The tension is only heightened by matriarch Sybill (Diane Keaton), determined not to give her mother’s wedding ring to Everett (Dermot Mulroney) for him to put on Meredith’s finger.

Yet not everyone is determined to see her demise: the fun-loving prodigal son Ben (Luke Wilson) does his best to bring out the welcome wagon, and the ever-reasonable father Kelly (Craig T. Nelson) is determined to give her a chance.  But after a day, Meredith mixes with the Stone family like oil mixes with water, and things go haywire as the holiday spirit combines with mean spirits.  The result is a hilariously potent comedy about the importance of family, both the ones we are born into and the ones we create.

I’d be remiss, though, if I didn’t mention the heavier side of the movie.  Much of what happens in “The Family Stone” is due to an unpleasant truth about the future of a member of the Stone family, and it had been quietly kept secret until Meredith arrives.  The movie is not only a comedy but also a deeply touching and heartfelt look at our families and how much we value each member of them.  Around the holidays, there’s simply nothing better than a movie that can make you laugh and cry with the people you love the most.





F.I.L.M. of the Week (August 27, 2010)

27 08 2010

Comedy Week kicks off here on the “F.I.L.M. of the Week” series with a look at “Shopgirl,” an inspiredly funny adaptation of Steve Martin’s novella that is also tinged with a fair amount of melancholic reflection.  The movie takes a look at an unassuming girl entering the urban jungle of Los Angeles to find herself confronted with a choice between two very different relationships with two polar opposite men.

Mirabelle (Claire Danes) didn’t expect much when she moved from Vermont to LA and began working the glove counter at Saks.  Yet suddenly, she is faced with some very big problems, namely love.  Unsure of what it is, how to find it, or how to recognize it, she sits back passively waiting for it to come to her.

Sure enough it does come, although in two very different forms.  First, she meets Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman).  He’s a bumbling fool with no set of social skills, but he does have the best of intentions and all of his heart to offer Mirabelle.

Second, she meets Ray Porter (Steve Martin).  Unlike Jeremy, he’s a smooth operator who always does things with class.  Despite being music older than Mirabelle, they both find themselves falling for each other.  He’s a very wealthy entrepreneur with all of his wallet to share with her, buying her first fitted dress.  Yet he often feels a little too distant, hiding away parts of himself.

“Shopgirl” is everything a romantic comedy should be, scorning formula to provide a thought-provoking rumination on love in the modern world.  In the context of these two relationships, Mirabelle is searching for love although unsure of what shape or form it will take.  The movie doesn’t hold back and is willing to delve deep into the psychological ruin of not finding love.  But it’s precisely because it goes there that there’s just an irresistible charm about this movie.  Even when the going gets rough for Mirabelle, we still feel light as a feather.