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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Catch a Couple Films Before They Leave

Good news - Please Give has been brought back by the Avalon. I believe this is a better film than the more heralded The Kids Are All Right. The dialogue just rings truer. Daily showtines are 1:15 and 6:15. I've seen some of the best films upstairs at the Avalon including Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 and the recent Let It Rain. Reminds me of the old Janus in Dupont but without that huge column in the middle.

I remember reading that the key to farce - on stage or in a film - is that the characters really need whatever it is they're after. Thus Noises Off, which is currently at the Church Street Theater in Dupont, works because a play has to be put on and the characters and director need it to work (or need to carry out their own desires). In the same way, Get Me to the Greek, still playing at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, works incredibly well because of the desperate nature of the two lead characters. Jonah Hill has to grow up, succeed in getting his musical hero, Alduous Snow (the incredible Russell Brand), to the Greek Theatre for his comeback concert, and make his relationship work - because he has a girlfriend that he should appreciate. Thus whatever happens on the way from London to Los Angeles is believable. It has been said that the greatest achievement of this Judd Apatow team of people - Nichloas Stoller and Jason Segel co-wrote this one - is that they have made romantic leads out of Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen. Hard to argue with that. Oh, Sean Combs almost steals this film. Hopefully, we'll see him in more films.

On stage, Woolly Mammoth Theater will be premiering Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play - fresh from Broadway - with PWYC performances Aug. 23 and 24. This got great reviews in New York but it's just so hard for a straight play to make it on Broadway.

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