Picoreview #1: “New Year’s Eve”: Like every other American attempt at “Love Actually”, it utterly lacks the grace and effortlessness of its progenitor. On the other hand, I went to see it sheerly to get out of the house and have time that was entirely to myself, and had such low expectations that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
It actually took several minutes to even recognize Michelle Pfeiffer (the opening scene with her I was genuinely going “Why are we following this woman? Who is she? She doesn’t even look familiar…”), and frankly, I’d have taken Zac Effron’s role just for the last bit. And I don’t mean I’d have taken it if I was Zac Effron, I mean I’d have taken it if I was *me*. The Jessica Biel storyline, which started out by-far the most cringeworthy and embarrassing to watch, ended on an unexpected grace note that redeemed it really nicely. I still basically find Katherine Heigl to be so uncharismatic that I think there would be more chemistry if the person playing across from her was actually playing to an empty screen. That said, since in this case Jon Bon Jovi playing across from her (in the far-stretch role of a rock star, at which he was pleasantly adequate), and I’m happy to watch JBJ do more or less anything, I could live with it. There were several moments in the film that made me laugh aloud, and several that were facepalm-with-disbelief, so overall, while I cannot in good conscience *recommend* the film, at least I enjoyed it.
Picoreview #2: “Puss in Boots”: We were trying to go see “The Darkest Hour”, except it turned out to be playing 20 minutes earlier than I thought, and since they don’t play ads at Sunday morning films, that meant we were actually much too late to get in at the start of the movie. So after some dithering we went to see “Puss in Boots”, which we had heard was quite charming.
It was quite charming. :) And really that’s all I’ve got on that one, it doesn’t seem to want any more commentary from me. :)
(x-posted from the essential kit)