Dinner in America (2020)

Dinner in America
Director: Adam Rehmeier
Writer: Adam Rehmeier
Cast: Kyle Gallner, Emily Skeggs, Pat Healy, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Prediger
Part of: surprise movie at the SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2020
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Content Note: ableist and homomisic slurs

Plot:
Patty’s (Emily Skeggs) life is pretty much stuck. She lives with her parents who still treat her like a child, works at a pet store, and whenever she runs into the local high school boys, they bully her. Her only escape is the music of a local punk band and her fantasies about the singer who always wears a mask. When she runs into Simon (Kyle Gallner), a punk who is constantly in conflict with pretty much everyone around him, the two connect quickly and soon realize that life may be better together.

Dinner in America is an absolute gift of a film, even though the slurs get a bit out of hand. But at its core it’s a beautiful, romantic story about self-acceptance and love that is so much more wholesome than it appears at first. I really adored it.

The film poster showing Simon (Kyle Gallner) and Patty (Emily Skeggs).
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Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018)

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser
Director: Ian Samuels
Writer: Lindsey Beer
Cast: Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth, RJ Cyler, Noah Centineo, Loretta Devine, Lea Thompson, Alan Ruck, Mary Pat Gleason
Seen on: 9.2.2020

Content Note: ableism, transmisia, sexualized violence

Plot:
Sierra (Shannon Purser) is far from a popular girl. Not like Veronica (Kristine Froseth) who hates Sierra and has boys flocking to her. Boys like Jamey (Noah Centineo) who gets up his courage to ask for her number. But Veronica isn’t interested in someone she sees as a loser – and instead gives Jamey Sierra’s phone number. Jamey and Sierra start texting and get along great, but Sierra doesn’t dare tell Jamey who she really is – and isn’t. But Veronica, too, has boy trouble: she really wants to impress the college guy she dates with her knowledge – and for that, she needs Sierra’s help.

When Sierra Burgess came out, I remember there being a lot of criticism of it, but that memory had – unfortunately – faded to a point where I thought, I’d give the film a chance. I shouldn’t have. The criticism was right, this film is a very hot mess.

The film poster showing the four main characters of the film.

[SPOILERS]

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Little Women (2018)

Little Women
Director: Clare Niederpruem
Writer: Clare Niederpruem, Kristi Shimek
Based on: Louisa May Alcott’s novel
Cast: Sarah Davenport, Allie Jennings, Melanie Stone, Elise Jones, Taylor Murphy, Lea Thompson, Lucas Grabeel, Ian Bohen, Bart Johnson, Barta Heiner, Stuart Edge, Michael Flynn
Seen on: 10.8.2019
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[Here’s my review of the 1994 film.]

Plot:
Meg (Melanie Stone), Jo (Sarah Davenport), Beth (Allie Jennings) and Amy (Elise Jones) are sisters, living with their mother Marmee (Lea Thompson) as their father is off fighting in the war. Their lives are spent working or studying and trying to help the even poorer people in the neighborhood. In their sparetime, they like to play creatively. When their neighbor Mr. Lawrence’s (Michael Flynn) grandson Laurie (Lucas Grabeel) moves in with his grandfather, he quickly finds himself included with the girls. Together, they navigate life’s ups and downs.

This take on Little Women is a modernized version of the story, set in the present time. And for the most part, the modernization works perfectly. Other things, not so much. In the end, it’s cute but not quite as good as either the book or the 1994 version.

The film poster showing the four Marsh girls (Sarah Davenport, Allie Jennings, Melanie Stone, Elise Jones) and their mother (Lea Thompson).
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J. Edgar (2011)

J. Edgar
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Dustin Lance Black
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Judi Dench, Naomi Watts, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Lucas, Zach Grenier, Jeffrey Donovan, Lea Thompson, Ed Westwick, Stephen Root

Plot:
John Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) dreams of a bureau of invesitgations that is based on scientific principles and used against the bolshevik threat he sees for the country. He gets his chance to start such a bureau and with the help of his trusted secretary Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts) and his soon to be second in command/love of his life Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer) he is soon very successful. But once risen to power, Edgar clings to it desperately, not caring much for concerns like legality.

I really liked this movie very much and nobody is as surprised about it as I am. I mean, a Clint Eastwood movie that’s not boring? How did that happen?

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