Archives for category: movie reviews

Not everybody loves Drew Barrymore, but I’m quite fond of her. Meanwhile, Hugh Grant has done so many rom-coms he could make asking Alexa for the weather forecast sound like he’s about to pop the question. So why do Barrymore and Grant spend most of “Music and Lyrics” (2007) generating such little chemistry? The story of a washed-up pop star and a frustrated writer haphazardly thrown together to hurriedly dash off a song for a current pop star comes off as, well, haphazard, hurriedly thrown together and dashed off (their age difference doesn’t help). Rom-com conventions rescue the ending – barely.

Everyone knows the story of a boy and his dog is endearing. What about an old man and his dog? Better yet, old Italian men and their old Italian dogs? “The Truffle Hunters” (2021) is ostensibly a documentary about the quirky world of truffles – the prized tuber of haute cuisine. I still don’t know why they’re so expensive, but they’re dealt like drugs in back alleys at night, with buyers, sellers and middlemen all BS-ing each other. The emotional center of the story, however, is the hunter-dog bond. After, long, quiet interludes, we’re rewarded with priceless moments. Just like hunting.

When I was a kid, I thought Peter Sellers’ films with Inspector Jacques Clouseau were hilarious. By the time Steve Martin’s reboot of “The Pink Panther” came around in 2006, I was grown and physical comedy was – groan. I can’t say I loved all Martin’s slapstick mishaps and flaming mojitos. It’s just too much of a mediocre thing. The basic premise – Clouseau is a good cop despite his clumsiness and has a way of stumbling into success – actually gets treated well by Martin and fellow detective Jean Reno. There were probably more comedically clever ways to make that point, however.