Greg Kinnear plays the fumbling father, Jennifer Ehle plays Laura Linney and Paulina Garcia plays the more challenging role (thus, the cigarette smoking) of the dress store owner seeking to avoid eviction by the yuppie couple moving into the Brooklyn brownstone that houses her boutique. The core of Ira Sachs’s movie, though, is the sons, two 13-year-olds who are testing their families, each other, and themselves. Their relationship recalls the recent French film, Microbe and Gasoline, although the American version, surprisingly, is far more realistic. Nothing big here, but thoughtful.
This was a feature-length cartoon put on by, as Mad Magazine used to boast, “the usual gang of idiots” – in this case, Seth Rogen, Josh Hill, Bill Hader, James Franco, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, etc., etc. The conceit was cute, the jokes and language prurient, but there wasn’t much more here than in an episode, say, of South Park.
A well-made movie about real people just doing their jobs – how rare and how nice! And oh, I cried the whole time, so there was plenty of drama and heroism. All along the way Clint Eastwood interjected tertiary characters in a way that humanized the story even more and added a light, often comic touch into the mix. Tom Hanks does what he does best – exude decency, while his copilot, Aaron Eckhart, leavened the dough and was always more interesting to watch. The Laura Linney thread, the wife-at-home, was a bit heavyhanded for me, and the press mob was tiresome and unoriginal. The bigger issue is why the NTSB panel was so adversarial – the FAA claims this is a misrepresentation – but that little fiction is a small price to pay for having my heart warmed.
This film was doubly remarkable: 1) it based an adventure/crime thriller on an IPO; and 2) all the protagonists were women. Alysia Reiner was a more appealing Assistant U.S. Attorney than Anna Gunn’s investment banker, but both made more sense than Sarah Megan Thomas, whose role needed more filling out to be understandable. The men were all cads. The story gave me the bigger problem: who was really hurt by the insider trading scheme here? where was the crime? did I care? Or, as one character insisted, was it all a game? Props to Reiner and Thomas, who wrote and produced as well as starred.
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