Carrie Pilby (2016)

Carrie Pilby
Director: Susan Johnson
Writer: Kara Holden
Based on: Caren Lissner‘s novel
Cast: Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Vanessa Bayer, Colin O’Donoghue, Jason Ritter, William Moseley, Desmin Borges
Seen on: 19.3.2020

Plot:
Carrie (Bel Powley) was a child prodigy. Having graduated Harvard at 18, she is now in New York and pretty much at a loss. She resents her father (Gabriel Byrne) for having sent her away when she was so young and doesn’t really know how to adjust to life outside of education. Her therapist (Nathan Lane) tries to get her to live a little instead of just reading books. When he gives her a list of tasks to fulfill – like going on a date or doing something she liked doing as a child – and at the same time, her father gets her a job as a copyeditor for a law firm, Carrie starts to make new experiences.

Carrie Pilby is a sweet, fun film with a complex female character at its center. It balances humor and serious issues nicely, making it absolutely enjoyable.

The film poster showing a drawing of Carrie's face, looking widely upwards.
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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Director: Susan Johnson
Writer: Sofia Alvarez
Based on: Jenny Han’s novel
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, John Corbett, Israel Broussard, Andrew Bachelor, Trezzo Mahoro, Madeleine Arthur, Emilija Baranac, Kelcey Mawema
Seen on: 4.1.2019
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Plot:
Lara Jean (Lana Condor) lives with her two sisters Margot (Janel Parrish) and Kitty (Anna Cathcart) and their father (John Corbett). Margot is about to leave for college in Scotland and therefore she breaks up with her boyfriend of many years, Josh (Israel Broussard), their next-door-neighbor. After Margot leaves, this brings up old feelings in Lara Jean who used to have a crush on him. She writes her feelings down in the continuation of a letter she wrote to him many years ago – as she has written a letter to all the boys she fell in love with at some point, without ever sending them. But then Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), the most popular guy in school, approaches her asking about the letter she wrote to him and Lara Jean realizes all of her letters were mailed out. When Josh asks her about this, Lara Jean tells him a panic that she is dating Peter, completing the confusion.

After finishing the book in like two days, I was so taken by it, that I watched the adaptation basically immediately. And fortunately the film version did not disappoint at all: it’s pure, lovely sugar.

The film poster showing Lara Jean (Lana Condor) with a letter in her hand.
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