Mike Kueber's Blog

June 3, 2014

Saturday Night at the Movies #117 – Philomena, Breaking Upwards, and Waitress

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 1:33 am

Breaking Upwards (2009) is a romance about two really nice kids (Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones) in NYC who, although they love and enjoy each other, decide to explore the possibility of a break-up because their relationship doesn’t have the sizzle that they want.  The break-up is further complicated because of her mother and his parents, who have considered the relationship to be permanent.  The movie was the ultimate indie – filmed for a mere $15k and premiered at SXSW in Austin.  The Rotten Tomato critics liked the movie at 61% and the audience agreed at 58%.  I like the story and the acting a lot more and give it three and a half stars out of four.

Philomena (2013) is an Oscar-nominated drama about an underemployed journalist in Ireland who, for lack of anything better to do, agrees to investigate and write a freelance magazine article about an old lady (Judi Dench) who 50 years earlier had been forced by Catholic nuns to give up her 3-year-old baby for adoption.  The cynical journalist (Steve Coogan) describes the story as “human interest,” which he says is a euphemism for stories about vulnerable, weak-minded, and ignorant people to be read by vulnerable, weak-minded, and ignorant people.  This fascinating story, which is almost as much about journalism and the Catholic Church as it is about the “human interest,”  is based on true events from a book titled The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.  The Rotten Tomato critics loved it at 92% and the audience at 90%.  I agree and give it three and a half stars out of four.

Waitress (2007) is a comedy-drama about a young woman (Keri Russell) working in a pie diner who finds herself in a miserable marriage with a needy, red-neck chauvinist (Jeremy Sisto).  Just as she finalizes her plans to extricate herself from the marriage, she gets knocked up, which results in her meeting a kind-hearted, weak young doctor (Nathan Fillion).  Andy Griffith plays a key role as the gruff owner of the diner who takes a shine to Russell.  Amazingly, the Rotten Tomato critics loved the movie at 89%, while the audience was a respectable 74%.  I love Keri Russell from her Felicity days, but she is totally wrong for a person who would be dumb enough to marry someone as ignorant as the Sisto character or hook-up with someone as weak as the Fillion character.  I give it only two stars out of four.


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