Posts Tagged ‘romance film’

We should be in a hostel someplace with dreadlocked, Austrian girls!

Year Released : 2014

Director : Mark Raso

Cast : Gethan Anthony, Frederikke Dahl Hansen and Sebastian Armesto

So I’ve gone from pretty much never reviewing films with a romantic theme to two in the space of a few days as I prepare to look into “Copenhagen”, which appeared on Netflix a few weeks back and has been on my list since.

The trailer isn’t very good, but the rating on IMDB is an excellent 7.2/10, a rarity for films that I review on this site as most fall below six. Infact I think that I’ve only ever reviewed five or six films that were above six on IMDB. That’s not to say that that is a guarantee that it will be good as a lot I tend to like some of the films with poor ratings, whilst finding those with good ratings somewhat dull.

But anyway, we’ll see.

Plot

William (Anthony) goes on a European backpacking holiday with two friends, but they soon become tired of his immature antics and leave him in Copenhagen. This is exactly where he wants to be however as he is searching for his grandfather, whom he believes lives in the city. William is struggling to find the address but soon meets Effy (Hansen), a young girl working in a cafe.

She helps him to the address on the letter, where he discovers from his great uncle that his grandfather was infact a Nazi.

Whilst trying to process the information, William finds himself falling in love with Effy, but he is horrified when it turns out that she is only 14 years old. He initially wants nothing to do with her but then finds himself being drawn back into her. Even the return of his friend Jeremy (Armesto) from London and calling him a paedophile doesn’t stop him from falling for Effy to a dangerous level.

 

So is it good?

I’ve never been someone who finds romance films that entertaining, so I sat there expecting to be bored for nearly 100 minutes, and the quite frankly awful trailer really didn’t really help that, but come the end of the film I was pleasantly surprised that I genuinely enjoyed a film from this genre.

What helps the level of surprise was that William and Effy actually seem to have a genuine connection, even if it isn’t obvious at first. The performances of Anthony and Hansen aid this as you can picture them being a couple off screen. Their dialogue flowed without being ridiculously obviously scripted, and it didn’t overwhelm you with cliches either. Everything about them felt natural and realistic, and that’s something that you can’t really teach. It was quite refreshing.

Once such example of the relationship building in a natural way is quite a funny scene where William asks Effy to teach him how to ask what someone’s name is in Danish, and she instead teaches him how to ask if they want to be his “sex buddy”. It actually made me laugh out loud and then again when he actually uses the line towards the end of the film.

There isn’t really a lot to say about “Copenhagen” to be honest. It’s a nice story about an immature man that falls in love with a girl who helps him grow up, only to discover that she is not grown up herself and dealing with his emotions afterwards. It’s quite an interesting dynamic in the sense that ultimately William is a paedophile as later on the film he and Effy do have a romantic encounter, but the film builds it so it doesn’t feel like that.

Long time readers will know that I often have trouble talking about films that I liked, so I hope that explains why this review is shorter than normal, but “Copenhagen” is the first film I’ve reviewed in a while where I never doubted whether I’d still like it by the end.

Summary

“Copenhagen” is a smooth and charismatic look at falling in love in another country. It isn’t stated, the length is about right at just shy of 100 minutes and it doesn’t feel into the usual cliches of two people falling in love.

The moral confliction that you feel when you realise that William has fallen in love with a 14 year old is quite unique. You don’t really feel like there is a good reason that they shouldn’t be together other than her age and that is because the build of their relationship is very natural and feels very genuine.

I’d definitely recommend “Copenhagen”, one of the easier approved stamps I’ve been able to give for a while.

I’m not leaving until I find out something about you I don’t like. Right now you are pretty perfect

Year Released : 2015honeyglueposter
Director : James Bird
Cast : Adriana Mather, Zach Villa, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jessica Tuck, Booboo Stewart and Fernanda Romero

Those of you that have been following the site for a while will know that I have a Youtube playlist of films that I have been looking forward to for some time and want to watch, probably to review for this site (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL99qrMvtP4f7Kx2ZhIMEWayaaBOI861ta). One of the longest serving films on that list (which will be gone by the time you read this), the third longest to be precise, was a film called “Honeyglue”.

There are a few reasons why I haven’t been actively looking to watch it, even though it was on the aforementioned list, and one of them is that it looks remarkably formulaic, what with a girl that is dying and then suddenly find love. Infact, before I even start this list I think that I can predict what is going to happen.

You may also notice that I have filed this into the “romance” category, and I don’t tend to enjoy those sorts of films, even though one is currently in my top five for 2016, but largely it’s not a genre that I actively try to watch, if ever.

Plot

Morgan (Mather), suffering from an inoperable brain tumour, lies to her parents to celebrate her last birthday clubbing. There she meets the cross-dressing Jordan (Villa) and the two share a few intimate moments before she leaves, giving him a false number. Unbeknownst to Morgan, Jordan has stolen her purse to help settle a debt with room-mate Misty (Romero), but he has a last minute change of heart and instead decides to return it by going to the address on her driving licence.

His cross-dressing nature is met with generally mixed reactions and confusion by Morgan’s family, her father Dennis (Heyerdahl), mother Janet (Tuck) and brother Bailey (Stewart), with Dennis in particular not keen on the idea of the two of them being friends, or more.

Upon hearing the news that she only has months to live, Morgan tells Jordan about the tumour and the family leave for Houston for further medical care. Jordan’s relationship with Misty falls apart in the meantime, and he is left homeless. Morgan eventually decides that she wants to spend her final months at home, something which Jordan jumps upon, and the next stage of the relationship shocks everyone in the family.

honeyglue2

As predictable as I thought it would be?

It’s hard not to call a film like this predictable because ultimately you that chances are the character with a tumour is going to die by the end of the film, especially when it is made clear that nothing can be done to help them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film of this nature in which the character hasn’t died by the end of the film, so in that sense yes, it was very predictable.

That being said, I only had one issue with the entire film and I’m going to get it out of the way now. My one and only issue is that a subplot develops in the first half of the movie in which Jordan owes money to Misty, and she eventually has two men beat Jordan up and threaten him with two days to get the aforementioned money, but the subplot is neither referenced nor in any way part of the film thereafter. It is simply dropped. It would have made a more interesting and fuller close to the film if that subplot was finalised, but it is pretty much completely dropped.

Other than that I have no issues with any part of this film and I genuinely loved it. I first added the trailer to the aforementioned list at some point early last year and I never thought I’d get the chance as it never seemed to have a release date, but I’m glad that I eventually got the chance to watch it, and more importantly that it was what I had hoped.

honeyglue

Whilst a little rushed in parts, the relationship between Jordan and Morgan does seem to flow fairly naturally, and this is aided by the occasional interruption from the live action film with a cartoon version of a story that Jordan is making about the love between a bee and a dragonfly, and in many ways it is a very summation of the relationship between the two up until that point in the film. That mini-story is easy to follow and fun to listen to.

I felt a deep connection to the characters and they weren’t stereotypes in the slightest, even the family. Whilst the acting from the members of Morgan’s family is a little suspect, they do seem to have a fairly natural feeling bond between them and this is refreshing to see.

For me Jordan is the stand out character and it’s great that the filmmakers found an actor that can pass quite comfortably for female when in make up. It’d have been easy for them to cast a very generically handsome twenty-something and simply drag them up, but they have seemingly gone with an actor that would suit the look. The character has a lot of depth and Villa’s portrayal is excellent.

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Summary

“Honeyglue” is a generally decent film and whilst it does drag in places, it is largely a very enjoyable film and it gets my approval stamp. If you can ignore the disappearing subplot then I think you’d have a great time with a film that will more than likely stay approvedunknown and largely unheard of for many, many, many years.

The acting from the two main characters is excellent, and even though the portrayal of the family members doesn’t quite match it, everyone does an all-round decent job and this allows you to connect to each of the characters.

Don’t go in expecting brilliance, but if you do go into in then I think you’ll enjoy what you’re going to watch.