Posts Tagged ‘Lily Collins’

Warren Beatty

Alden Ehrenreich, Warren Beatty

“RULES DON’T APPLY”  My rating: C

126 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

If “Rules Don’t Apply” is a comedy, why aren’t we laughing?

If it’s a romance, why don’t we feel something?

If it’s a tragedy, why don’t we care?

Warren Beatty’s latest feature as writer/director (his fifth, and the first since “Bullworth” in 1998) might be charitably described as a highly polished question mark.

It’s good looking,  competently acted and mildly affable. Basically it’s two hours of narrative  noodling that never scores an emotional or intellectual point.

Ostensibly the film provides an opportunity for Beatty to tackle the character of real-life  billionaire Howard Hughes — though Beatty doesn’t make an appearance as the nutjob recluse until nearly 40 minutes into the movie.

“Rules…” is, at its most basic level, a love triangle involving Hughes and two of his employees.

Marla (Lily Collins), a virginal Virginia beauty queen, has come to late-‘50s Los Angeles  after being signed to an acting contract by the mysterious Mr. Hughes.  (In addition to his oil and aviation interests, Hughes is a Hollywood producer.)

Lily is but one of two dozen aspiring actresses stashed by Hughes in posh digs all over LaLa Land. These stars of tomorrow — or harem members , if you will — are given a weekly stipend, acting and dance classes, and are ferried around town by a small army of limousine drivers whose behavior is strictly proscribed (no canoodling with the girls, no talking about Mr. Hughes’ business, etc.).

Marla and her driver, Frank (Alden Ehrenreich), have enough in common — including a shared religiosity — that Marla’s hovering mom (Annette Bening, aka Mrs. Warren Beatty) warns her daughter against any attraction to the handsome young chauffeur.  (more…)

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Lily Collins, Greg Kinnear

Lily Collins, Greg Kinnear

“STUCK IN LOVE” My rating: B (Opens wide on July 5)

97 minutes | MPAA rating: R

“Stuck in Love” isn’t wildly original, but for a writing-directing debut it hits its marks cleanly and effectively, gives a talented cast an exhilarating workout, and leaves its audience convinced that newcomer Josh Boone has great things in his future.

Boone‘s comedy-drama centers on the Borgens, a family of writers living along the Atlantic Coast in New England. And I don’t mean a few blocks from the Coast…I mean in a three-story beach house overlooking the dunes.

The place was purchased with money generated by the first several novels penned by William Borgens (Greg Kinnear). Alas, Bill is now in a slump.  His wife of 20 years, Erica (Jennifer Connelly), left him three years ago for another man, and lately the depressed Bill hasn’t written a word.

For excitement Bill hides in the bushes outside the house where Erica and her new husband live. He’s never happier than when he can eavesdrop on them fighting.

(Kinnear almost seems to be channelling a character he played a few years back in a similar romantic drama, “The Feast of Love.”  He’s good at these roles, but let’s have a bit more diversity, eh?)

Meanwhile Bill has his sexual needs met by a neighbor lady (Kristen Bell) who stops by on her morning run, services him in record time, and delivers unsentimental advice while tugging on her jogging outfit.


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