Film Round-Up: American Underdog, Marry Me and West Side Story
Kurt Warner looks to achieve his dream of becoming an NFL quarterback despite an incredible amount of obstacles in his way. This is a proper red meat biopic for the masses in the United States, and I say it’s just for Americans as while Warner is a household name over there, over here he’s less known than whoever’s on The Only Way Is Essex nowadays. It’s a star and stripes branded underdog movie where it’s all about pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and working hard so you can achieve their dream. It’s ably done and helped by a very honest performance by Zachary Levi who appears to be on the ‘I want to get an Academy Award now please’ part of his career. It is a bland film though and it doesn’t really do much to elevate itself over other films of its type. It’s decent, but not MVP level.
After finding out her fiancé cheated on her right before her live concert wedding, Kat decides to randomly marry Charlie, a single dad who was at the concert. So the surprise of this film that the despite the main stars Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson being one of the least unlikely couples, they do share a good chemistry and it becomes very easy to root for them as a couple. The problems remain in the trapping of its genre. The reason you don’t see many rom coms any more is because everyone got sick of the same clichés and the only glimpse of a revival we got was with some of Netflix’s attempts which deliberately skewed younger, essentially to grab the audience that weren’t familiar with the tropes. This goes back to the old ways and when it goes to the typical clichés of having a potential other suitor and doubts only there for the sake of the plot, it becomes an absolute slog. The script sadly lets down Lopez and Wilson who are doing their best.
West Side Story
Tony and Maria fall in love but they are on the opposite ends of a gang war, making their romance impossible. This is a beautiful film. Steven Spielberg’s first, and probably last musical, is something to behold. So much of this film is brilliant. The performances are great, the singing is great and I love how the cinematography and filter make this look like a movie from a completely different era. But the reason why so many will love it is why it feels out place and probably why about eight people went to see it. This is a remake of a film from the 1960s and while it’s wonderful to see something from that era today, it also feels outdated. You can tell it’s a musical from another era when there’s far more dancing than there is singing! So while you have the good of that era, you also have the bad of a slow pace and bits they kept despite aging poorly. And with In The Heights, which obviously gets a lot of inspiration from this movie, being released a few months prior which feels more up to date and modern, this film definitely feels from another age. However, that doesn’t stop the film from being great and it will find an audience that loves it dearly.