Arts & Culture, Of the week

Of the Week

Movie: If you’re looking for your new favourite romantic comedy, look no further than The F Word(Or What If if you live in America.) Writer Elan Mastai and director Michael Dowse deliver on all levels. It’s sweet; it’s hilarious; it’s touching; and it’s truthful. Mastai has been quoted as saying “… everyone is an expert (on romantic comedies).” That acknowledgement and respect shows throughout the film: it’s your, my, his, hers, our romantic wins and failures up on screen, but funnier and with better hairdos. My only complaint is they could have pushed the “Annie Hall-ness” of it even further; but leave them wanting more, right? (Just go see it.) 

Trailer: There are SO many good trailers out right now. (Note to self: do a full post dedicated to trailers.) But if I’m only going to choose one, and this is a very difficult decision, I’m going to have to go with Dear White People. This is writer/director Justin Simien’s debut feature and it looks BRILLIANT. And you know what? Regardless of the quality of the film (which we have to wait until Fall to determine (but, let’s be honest, it’s gonna be good)), this trailer deserves multiple awards. It’s beautifully cut, showcases the film’s wicked cinematography, and tells you exactly what the story is going to be about without giving away too much of the plot. With further ado…

TV: It’s been awhile since I’ve done an “Of the Week” which is the only reason you have yet to hear me expound on Broad City‘s incomprehensible awesomeness. It’s everything I wanted Girls to be and so much more. I espouse this amazing show to anyone who will listen, and though most of never heard of it, as soon as I mention it’s produced by Amy Poehler, I have no more convincing to do. No one else has captured life as a twentysomething struggling in a big city better than Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. The heart of the show is the girls’ friendship, but what really takes it to the next level, beyond the relatability in even the smallest, most throwaway lines/plots (Think in Episode 8, “Destination Wedding” when Abbi’s date suggests they buy a dog together but then later can’t commit to going to a further away train station.), what makes this show INSANELY good is the directing and the endless pop culture/film references. More Spaced than CommunityBroad City sucks you in with dream sequences, endless nods to genre, and inventive cinematography. It’s not only the funniest show on television, in my opinion, it’s the overall very best.

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Song: Gotta give it up for B.C. up-and-comers Good for Grapes. Their song “Skipping Stone” lives comfortably in that beautiful genre of folk-rock-pop well-established by acts like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. These young musicians have been beating the road for years already, honing their craft and sound; it’s only a matter of time before they totally take over.

Check out their Facebook page here for info on tons of local shows.

Book: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Is it cheating if I post the movie trailer instead of a picture of the book? The trailer was what led me to read it after all. If nothing else, the casting of the film makes it worth seeing. (But this isn’t supposed to be about a movie…) I felt quite unsatisfied after reading This is Where I Leave You. I flew through it in one weekend and later realized that maybe I should have paced myself. I was disappointed and a little bit angry and, going through an already delicate couple of weeks, depressed. It wasn’t until a few days later that I begun to appreciate the story. While the film adaptation will likely end on an “up” note, the book didn’t feel that way for me. Why am I recommending it then? Because life isn’t always #YOLO and #100happydays; life is often shitty and disappointing and many people never achieve most of what they set out to do. I’m not saying that’s my, or anyone else’s future, but I think perspective and realism are things we don’t get enough of these social media-filled days.

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