Monday, July 27, 2009

My Gay, Jewish Summer of Love

Well, after that previous post full of bah and humbuggery and the exasperation with which I am anticipating Avatar, I figure I should balance the scale with a post full of what I am looking forward to with much glee.

As you can see on the sidebar, I saw (500) Days of Summer over the weekend. And besides realizing that Joseph Gordon-Levitt singing "Here Comes Your Man" directly to me is a Top 5 romantic fantasy of mine and somehow always has been, I got a pretty good snapshot of every movie I'm looking forward to in the next few months, via the trailers.

So, okay there were Adam and Julie & Julie, both of which I will likely see (the latter before the former, I'm guessing), but which are more honorable mentions than anything else.

Whip-It, however, has me super psyched, in a way that kind of surprises me. You'd think "Drew Barrymore's directorial debut" would give me more pause, particularly since my one defense for liking her -- "she's oddly likeable" -- doesn't make much difference from behind the camera. But I really love how much of a girls' movie this is -- even moreso than Juno was, when you consider that Michael Cera isn't lurking off in the corner somewhere, waiting to add this flick to his hoodie-laden oeuvre. And Ellen Page doesn't even need to get knocked up to be interesting in this one! Not to get all feminist-by-proxy or anything about the roller derby subject matter, but a movie about a team of girls being totally badass where the object isn't to measure up to the boys, it's just to be totally badass -- I like that.

And that cast! Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, Ari Graynor, Juliette Lewis, Alia Shawkat, Marcia Gay Harden, Drew Barrymore, and Eve. That shot of Ari going "Looking good, Barbie" at Ellen Page already tells me I'm going to love her. And it makes me wish Fringe would quit fucking around and give her character something to be awesome with, because clearly the lady works wonders with whatever little you give her.

(Also, the Weezer song in the trailer is wonderfully employed:)

Taking Woodstock I'm anticipating for reasons more auteur-based (even when Ang Lee fails, he fails interestingly; more often he wildly succeeds) and also prurient. Because seriously, this movie is just gay, Jewish nirvana, is it not? About a dozen vaguely Jewish actors playing vaguely gay characters and all looking grubby and hot and impressionable. Hello, Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, Liev Schrieber, Paul Dano, Daniel Eric Gold, and the guy who played Meadow's fiance in The Sopranos! And that's all before Jonath Groff strides into the screen like a pixie made of sexual rebellion and weed. I've actually gasped every time the trailer gets to that part.

And then there's the odd case of Paper Heart, which arrived at Sundance pretty much pre-loaded for backlash, what with the Michael Cera hoodie count reaching critical mass and the premise -- a documentary-or-is-it where Charlene Yi and Michael Cera play Charlene Yi and Michael Cera trying to make a movie about love or some such -- seeming almost too precious for critics to emerge with their dignity intact. But I don't know, you guys. I saw the trailer and it seems ... sweet. And funny. And relaxed, and charming, kind of delightful. It's only a trailer, sure, but considering most of the people writing this off are doing so off this same preview footage. But count me tentatively in the Paper camp right now.


Vance said...

Adam was pretty good actually. I liked it far more than I thought I would.

DuchessKitty said...

I saw Paper Heart at the Seattle Film Festival last month and while it was a little too precious and "in" on its own hipster joke, I can't say I didn't enjoy it.
I'm seeing Adam tonight actually. I haven't seen any trailers or really heard that much about it so I don't have any expectations.
And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gasps and smiles during the Taking Woodstock trailer when Jonath Groff comes on screen. Be still my heart, and I usually don't go for the "hippie" thing.