Some movies go straight into the "pretty" file, where they are forever shielded from logic and rational adult thought. This one is silly and grating and somehow both over- and under-written, but it's very pretty. Meg Ryan's wardrobe is clean and comfy (lots of bright white T-shirts and long cotton skirts and coats in soft neutrals). She has a fun party planning job and endless resources, she's married to Adam Arkin and is tightly wound and bad actor-y but happy in that specific Meg Ryan way, and the house! Oh, the house. One of those Southern California white stucco Spanish villa numbers with tile floors and wide hallways, flung-open windows and cool, shaded interiors done in mossy greens, ochre, and pumpkin. I'm such a sucker for autumnal color schemes, I can't even tell you. I have no idea if anybody actually lives like this in Southern California, but if they do you can expect to see me there one day.
The Astronaut's Wife
Johnny Depp is the astronaut who turns sort of alien after a bad outerspace experience, and Charlize Theron is his hugely pregnant wife. They rip a lot from Rosemary's Baby, starting with Charlize's smart pixie haircut, and fill in the blanks with ominous rado static, angry sex, and scary trips to FAO Schwarz. Although, really, when isn't a trip to the toy store a horrifying experience? Plus Donna Murphy cries a lot and then fries herself in the shower. Mildly creepy without being at all scary.
Someone Like You
Ashley Judd gets dicked around by Greg Kinnear and shares an enormous Meatpacking District loft with coworker/hearthrob/slob Hugh Jackman, then writes magazine columns under the guise of a fictional sex therapist who equates men's behavior with that of unfaithful, smelly old bulls. Is that news to anybody? A chick flick based on chick lit (Animal Husbandry)—what guiltier pleasure is there? I don't feel so guilty about it, though. I could be out dealing drugs or kicking old ladies or something.
Based on this and Something's Gotta Give, Nancy Meyers is like the grand dominatrix of cinematic lifestyle porn. Kate Winslet lives in a postcard-perfect cottage somewhere leafy in England, and Cameron Diaz runs her own film trailer company from her spectacular Hollywood mansion. Of course they're both miserable because of boys. So they get to swap locales and wear lots of fabulous clothes, and lucky Cameron gets to fall in love with Jude Law in the snow while poor Kate does boring, cheesy things with Jack Black in LA. The Ed Burns cameo at the beginning didn't hurt me, either.
Who the hell hired John Huston to direct a musical comedy about a little orange-haired orphan girl and her scrappy dog, then decided to cast Albert Finney as Big Daddy Warbucks? Then expected him to sing? Makes no sense at all. Why do I love it? Not a clue. Sometimes the heart does things the head simply cannot understand.