Honey

Have you ever seen a good movie made from a really poor script and conventional plot? Honey-from-the block is not a well-written movie, but I enjoyed every minute of it. (Think thoughts of Jennifer Lopez’ story growing up in the Bronx – even to the choice of Castle Hill Avenue for a dance studio … which is not even close to Hunt’s Point or the South Bronx!)

It’s Save the Last Dance, and a little Dirty Dancing rolled into one. Great moves by Jessica Alba and the kids she teaches at the Center in Hunt’s Point (South Bronx) as she strives to maintain her principles and dignity when she gets involved in the music video business. A little romance, cultural diversity and awesome dancing.

This is a nice film that addresses poverty, drugs, cast off children, working parents, family, friends, and community. Some parents won’t get the urban milieu or appreciate the dancing, but if they would give it a chance… A movie with lots of heart.

And only 90 minutes long!!!!

Something’s Gotta Give

Writer-Director Nancy Meyers has made a fun and very funny movie about the Ashton – Demi celebrity syndrome and its reverse in Something’s Gotta Give. There is a complexity of relationships (but nothing as poorly executed as Love Actually) to be explored and sometimes it’s laugh out loud. Yes, there are implied affairs and some skin (mostly Jack Nicholson’s unimpressive rear) but remember: the play’s the thing. Diane Keaton is Erica, a divorced writer of successful Broadway plays and Keanu Reeves the doctor who takes care of Harry (Jack) when he has a heart attack while trying to make out with Erica’s daughter played by Amanda Peet. Erica ends up taking care of Harry for a week.

It’s grown-up fare. However, it’s nice to see people grow and change in credible ways – and middle aged people as real live human beings in mainstream media. Harry’s life changes after the heart attack which is real, symptomatic and symbolic at the same time. (Towards the end, Harry does a “Schmidt” thing and goes on a journey where he learns as he brings “closure” to the hundred(s) of sexual – not loving – relationships he had with women for over a 40 year time span. Thankfully, we don’t have to watch but a sample of women now rejecting him.)

Something’s Gotta Give is a tiny bit too long, but worth it. Although the film starts off about the unconventional, guess how it ends? This isn’t edgy movie making, but sometimes you just want – need – a good laugh. (And Keanu isn’t too bad either.)

Here’s one more movie that does the Casablanca thing: “We’ll always have Paris”.

OK. That works.