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No Hard Feelings For This Film

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It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen an uproarious comedy hit the theatres. The genre was a staple in the 2000s but lost its steam in the 2010s after being dominated by blockbusters like Hangover, 21 Jump Street, and Easy A. That is until Marc Provissiero and Naomi Odenkirk, producers of the upcoming comedy flick, stumbled upon a Craigslist ad looking for a couple to date their son. The ad served as the inspiration for the film, which boasts a hilarious script filled with surprisingly deep characters.

The plot follows Maddie, a 32-year-old woman who’s about to lose her childhood home and is forced to take up driving for Uber to make ends meet. There’s just one catch – Maddie’s car was repossessed, leaving her stranded. That is until she comes across an unusual Craigslist job post, asking for someone to date Percy – a shy, 19-year-old boy – before he heads off to college. His parents believe that dating will help him come out of his shell and live a little.

The role of Maddie was a no-brainer for director Gene Stupnitsky – only Jennifer Lawrence could fit the bill. After reading the script, Lawrence was determined to bring comedy back to the big screen, instead of the digital streaming platforms that have become so popular in recent years. One of the film’s other stars, Andrew Barth Feldman, had to make a tough decision to turn down an offer from Harvard University to star alongside Lawrence.

No Hard Feelings [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

While the film is packed with stars, Lawrence and Feldman steal the show. They bring their characters to life in a way that will leave you laughing and slight bit emotional all at once. The film’s message is also an important one, highlighting the different types of privileges we all have in life, whether it’s financial or pretty privilege. It shows us that how we deal with the hardships we face is up to us.

If you’re looking for a good laugh, this film will not disappoint. While it misses out on the comedic era by having no blooper reel at the end credits. The trailer for this film was slightly longer and with multiple viewing from cinema trips and social media it gave away couple of the punchlines.

For the best experience, skip the trailer altogether and go in blind – you’ll undoubtedly laugh more than those who have seen them multiple times on social media. This film is meant to be enjoyed with a big crowd, so gather up your friends and get ready to laugh until your sides hurt.

FILM RATING

Currently, a freelance writer and a entertainment news reporter for Coastal House Media. Bubbling with energy to watch variety of movies and share my thoughts with you!

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‘Sometimes I Think About Dying’ Review | A Poignant Portrait On Internal Struggles

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Based on the 2013 play Killers by Armento and a 2019 short, Sometimes I Think About Dying, director Rachel Lambert’s film “Sometimes I Think About Dying,” starring and produced by Daisy Ridley, offers a poignant and introspective exploration of social anxiety, isolation, and suicidal impulses. The film delicately unfolds in a small Oregon coastal town, with Ridley’s character, Fran, navigating the background of life as she grapples with daydreams of her death. Ridley delivers a captivating performance, showcasing her range outside of her iconic role in the Star Wars saga. 

Lost on the dreary Oregon coast, Fran (Daisy Ridley) finds solace in her cubicle, listening to the constant hum of officemates and occasionally daydreaming to pass the time. She is ghosting through life, unable to pop her bubble of isolation, however when a friendly new coworker, Robert (Dave Merheje) persistently tries to connect with her. Though it goes against every fibre of her being, she may have to give this guy a chance. 

Fran likes to think about dying. It brings sensation to her quiet life. When she makes the new guy at work laugh, it leads to more: a date, a slice of pie, a conversation, a spark. The only thing standing in their way is Fran herself. 

Photograph: Vertigo Releasing

Working as an office administrator, it’s a role she quietly excels at, the film masterfully captures the awkwardness of Fran’s interactions with her co-workers, highlighting her struggles to speak up and navigate social situations. Lambert’s direction immersed me in Fran’s perspective, creating a sense of intimacy and empathy for her internal struggles with introversion and loneliness. The portrayal of social anxiety and awkwardness feels authentic and relatable, resonating with the complexities of human connection in a world filled with loneliness. Lambert chose to tell this story, identifying as I did with Isolation and how a person can feel when they struggle to find a connection in the world that surrounds them. Fran ultimately is a person who wants to feel love, and joy and communicate with others but that path throughout the film plays mysteriously and is often out of reach for her. So for comfort like many others, Fran retreats into her mind, creating a landscape of forest floors and oceans. The mind is where you can imagine all sorts of things for delight and often stimulation. Sometimes they are images that allow her to fathom the ultimate escape from life. These ideations, while allowing her to feel the extremity of sensation, can only deepen her feelings of being too ‘different’ or ‘strange.’ Thus, a chasm between her public and private self grows. Until that is, she meets Robert, who disrupts her patterns of orderly disassociation.

There’s a lot of loneliness in the world today, and this film captures that realistically, slowly revealing each of the two main characters. Fran and Robert meet and awkwardly start a relationship. As they embark on this awkward relationship, the film beautifully balances moments of melancholy with glimpses of hope and humour. Lambert skillfully restricts dialogue, allowing visual storytelling to take centre stage and evoke emotional depth. The film’s blend of influences, from deadpan humour to human drama, results in a captivating and thought-provoking narrative that raises awareness about mental health issues. If you are introverted like me, the arrival of new friends tends to disrupt patterns. However, she is embraced instead of being shunned by Robert at her most vulnerable. She is seen. And her pain appears to dissolve. Fran is a woman who channels so much of the anxiety, fear, and dread that plagues her body in this moment, and, yet, she remains determined to find meaning. She is unwearying, messy, hilarious and, also, in some pain. I found it rather consoling to see that portrayed honestly. 

Photograph: Vertigo Releasing

“Sometimes I Think About Dying” serves as a quiet yet profound examination of social anxiety, depression, and the challenges of putting oneself out there. The film’s beautiful score and tone enhance its portrayal of an introverted love story, offering a tender and sensitive look at the complexities of the human experience. When thinking about death one is worrying about living. I get so worked up about living, and living rightly that I overthink in my head so I end up taking up residence there. That’s what Fran does. With Robert now in the picture, Lambert allows Fran’s story to step out into the day which allows Fran to see what’s right in front of her. And risk loving it all for the sake of being alive. Fran is not interested in hurting herself, that’s not her goal.  What I felt whilst watching is that pain, for her, has to do more with figuring out how to be a person in the world, and to be comfortable with all that entails. Ridley’s standout performance, coupled with Lambert’s nuanced direction, makes this film a compelling and emotionally resonant cinematic experience that offers an artful portrayal of shyness.

This independent feature truly showcases the highest level of craftsmanship in filmmaking. The static lensing and composed shots, thanks to cinematographer Dustin Lane, guide the audience to notice tiny, delicate details ultimately finding beauty and emotional resonance in everyday moments. Director Fran’s subtle approach allows us to dig deeper into the story, with lead actress Ridley’s remarkable ability to convey emotions through subtle gestures adding a layer of depth to the film. The score by composer Dabney Morris brings such a melancholic feel to the film, which is the perfect accompaniment to writers Kevin Armento, Stefanie Abel Horowitz and Katy Wright-Mead’s screenplay.

Photograph: Vertigo Releasing

Alongside a subtle sense of melancholy, as we’ve mentioned, the film also offers moments of hope and joy in the protagonist’s simple pleasures. From Fran excelling at her job to enjoying cottage cheese and wine in her apartment, the film embraces the beauty in life’s small moments. The inclusion of black humour adds an unexpected twist, such as during a murder-mystery game where Fran’s fascination with death serves her well. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

In conclusion, “Sometimes I Think About Dying” is a moving and thought-provoking exploration of mental health and human connection, brought to life through stellar performances and visually rich storytelling. Lambert’s directorial vision and Ridley’s compelling portrayal make this film a must-watch for those seeking a deeper understanding of social anxiety and the complexities of the human psyche. I found it rather cathartic and sincere.

FILM RATING
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First Look at Maggie Gyllenhaal’s ‘The Bride’

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Maggie Gyllenhaal/Niko Tavernise/Instagram

We have our first look at ‘The Bride.’ New images released by director Maggie Gyllenhaal show Christian Bale as Frankenstein’s monster. Gyllenhaal, who is teaming up Warner Bros. Pictures shared the first images from a camera test to her Instagram account. The all-star cast opposite of Christian Bale and Jessie Buckley are Penélope Cruz, Peter Sarsgaard and Annette Bening. The film will also have “Joker” cinematographer Lawrence Sher.

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A Must-See Satanic Panic Horror – Late Night With the Devil

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Written and directed by Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes, Late Night With the Devil follows a late night TV host Jack Delroy, fighting the plummeting viewership of his show by welcoming in people from the occult in order to change that, but of course, everything doesn’t go as smooth as planned.

David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy Late Night With the Devil (2023)

David Dastmalchian has appeared in a lot of films however always in smaller roles including The Dark Knight, Prisoners and more recently The Suicide Squad. This film allows Dastmalchian to take on the lead role of Jack Delroy, the host of the late night show at the centre of this film, and he genuinely does a great job. There’s a real range of emotions which his character goes through during the course of this film and he depicts them so well.

If you’re a fan of the horror genre, you’re going to really appreciate the use of practical effects in this. There’s plenty of stretchy and gooey gore for all of the horror fanatics that will have you shouting at the screen. 

From left to right: Laura Gordon, Ingrid Torelli, David Dastmalchian, Ian Bliss

If you want to hear my full thoughts, check out my review over on YouTube and let me know your opinions in the comments.

Late Night With the Devil will be released in cinemas from 22nd March and on Shudder on 19th April.

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