FELINE FILMS | MAY 2013

That big box of Whopper was a mistake.  Mostly because it followed a big box Skittles.

That big box of Whopper was a mistake. Mostly because it followed a big box Skittles.

Spring has sprung which means it’s time for romance!  So why not review some romantic, date movies, right?  But you all know me.  We’re not going to talk about When Harry Met Sally.  We’re not talking Breakfast At Tiffany’s. We’re not talking about Twilight here.  I mean, why would I, a cougar watch the Twilight movies . . . . . Okay, so I’ve seen the first three.  So what?  I’m not ashamed!  Back off, man!  Maybe we should just go to the reviews.

I Hate Luv Storys (2010) – [Not Rated in the US but Rated PG in Ireland]

I know, you’re thinking, “Collin, spell check, dude!”  For once, this one isn’t on me.  That’s how the title is spelled.

I like to think that “serious” and “parody” are two points on the same circle.  There comes a point where satire becomes that which it parodies.  Perhaps that is the point of I Hate Luv Storys as well.  The story follows Jay (played by Imran Khan) who works for a film production company in India that makes Bollywood romance movies.  He runs into Simran (played by Sonam Kapoor) in a movie theater and tells her about how he hates love stories because he finds them completely ungrounded in reality.  Simran, of course, loves romantic films.  Obviously, these two are destined to be a couple.

Those of us (myself included) not entirely familiar with Bollywood movies may miss a few of the jokes / jabs but the movie still packs in a good number of chuckles.  The song and dance numbers were pretty elaborately staged and really fun to watch even if they drag on a little.  Khan and Kapoor may not give Oscar worthy performances but the are pretty to look at, as is the scenery.

As with most romantic comedies, the fun of watching them is seeing how the romance develops.  I Hate Luv Storys does not deviate from the pattern.  You know where the movie is going all along.  And I will grant you, it is a little overlong.  But let’s face it, sometimes, that’s just how courtship is.  Sometimes it’s annoying, repetitive and tedious to view from the outside.  Maybe it is only through perseverance that love can truly take hold.  Maybe that’s what the filmmakers were trying to get across.  Or maybe they could have cut one of the dance numbers.

Regardless, don’t let the length or the cheese factor get in your way of giving I Hate Luv Storys a chance.  It’s not perfect, but it is entertaining, funny, romantic, and it tries hard to win your heart.  Isn’t that ultimately what we all want out of love anyway?

6 Paws out of 10

Upside Down (2012) – [PG-13]

Rule number one in making a science fiction story.  No actor read prologues to explain things.  Of all of the missteps in John Carter, they at least got this right.  Write it down, aspiring directors!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s another. Upside Down is a silly love story.  Boy from the wrong side of the tracks meets girl from the right side of the tracks.  They fall in love.  A love that cannot be because they are from different worlds.  But their love can’t be denied!  Or can it?

That’s basically the idea behind the story and if that and the prologue were all I were reviewing this movie would get a 3.  The lovers are named Adam and Eden.  *sigh*  Lazy and way too obvious.  Sadly, the performances by Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst can be summed up the same way.  But screenwriter / director Juan Solanas spices things up with the world he sets his characters in.  I can think of few recent movies that I found as visually entertaining as Upside Down.  I’m sure there are a lot of computer generated sequences in there, but Solanas pulled a bunch of practical tricks out of his hat as well.

When Adam first walks onto the floor of his new office, he stops for a minute to admire the view.  Fortunately, Solanas does too.  There is something so stunning about how this movie is laid out visually that you almost forget about the gooey love story.  I won’t spoil too much for you, but just watch the trailer for a minute.  I found myself watching the movie, not because I cared about the characters, but because I cared about the environment they lived in.  It would almost have been a better movie if they had excised the love story and made it a tourism video about the world.

Doesn’t sound like a glowing review, does it?  It’s not.  The love story is tired.  The acting was poor.  They had a chance to make something interesting with the socioeconomic commentary but I guess we’ll have to wait for Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium for that.  And yet, there is something hauntingly beautiful about the visuals that make it strangely compelling.

5.5 Paws out of 10

Now that you’ve read my review, go outside!  Get some sun and exercise before the Texas summer gets here and melts your face off.

And if someone has the last two Twilight movies on DVD that I can borrow, let me know, but keep it on the DL.

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