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Home » Comedy » Love and Other Disasters (2006)

Love and Other Disasters (2006)

 

 

Director: Alek Keshishian
Writer: Alek Keshishian
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: France, UK
Language: English
Duration: 90 min
Year: 2006

 

Stars: Brittany Murphy, Matthew Rhys, Catherine Tate

 

 

 

 

Da li je ovo gay film?

Naravno da jeste, on je tako sladak, zgodan, pametan i lijep… Šteta što ga ona ne voli i što je str8. E da i onaj njen gay prijatelj cimer je isto jako sladak, volio bih imati jednog takvog sanjara pored sebe. A onaj odvratni napuhani glumac  je stvarno najobičnija pederčina. Pa nije ni primjetio sa kakvim čovjekom je imao seks i spavao. Navikao da ima sve što poželi pa u svakome vidi samo komad mesa, pih što takve ne volim. Žao mi je jedino što prelijepi Paolo koji tako zaljubljeno gleda nije gay. O bože kako bi bilo divno da se na kraju filma vjenčao sa Piterom. I da završim sa opisom filma, i ja obožavam “Doručak kod Tifanija.”

Naravno, ovo je pravi gay film!

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For most of the history of film the romantic comedy has been one of the standard genres. It is one of the most formula driven of the possible types of film that that would appear to be acceptable to the movie going audiences since it remains one of the most popular formats around. There is not much in terms in variations available in this type of film but it has traditionally been a star making vehicle especially for handsome leading men and beautiful young actresses. Every actress that has been called ‘America’s Sweetheart’ has a string of romantic comedies in the early years of her resume. One of the latest in this long line of flicks is ‘Love and Other Disasters’. Like most installments of the genre it is predictable, formulaic and a light weight comedy. To be honest it is also entertaining. You have to go into a romantic comedy with different expectations from the cast and crew. The main purpose of a film like this is to make a good date movie that the ladies can enjoy and won’t bore the guys next to them to tears. This film achieves this with a very attractive leading lady who has a natural sense of comedy and a leading man that the ladies will love. One thing about the film that is normally a red flag is it had its theatrical release in Russia back in 2006. Usually when a film is not opened in the States it is a bad sign but this is quite possibly the exception that proves the rule. It will never be listed in as one of the top members of the genre but it does provide a reasonable evening of enjoyment.

This film was written, directed and produced by Alek Keshishian. It is also his first script for a feature length film and he does well within the constraints of the genre’s well established formula. Keshishian hits every single requirement demanded for the romantic comedy. As with many rom-coms some of the details of the format change to reflect the changes in the social climate of the time. In this case this is reflected with the mandatory character of the leading lady’s best friend. In the past it was always a less attractive young woman. In this flick the part is filled by a male roommate who is believed to be gay. Even this is not original since it has been done in films like ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’. The story revolves around a young woman, Emily Jackson (Brittany Murphy) known to her friends and co-workers simply as ‘Jacks’. Keshishian weaves several potential romantic encounters with Jacks in the center of the maelstrom of love. She works in the British edition of Vogue, which is a tad too close to another better made romantic comedy, ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. There are the prerequisite scenes of Murphy in nothing but a bra and panties walking around in front of a supposedly gay man turning him on. Now that has been done more times that I can remember. As mentioned the men in the audience have to have something to keep them from getting bored, this is it. Keshishian misses the mark in the set up here that reverberates through the rest of the flick. You don’t need a lot of rationalization to drive a rom-com but this film lacks plausibility too often to work as well as it could have.

 

As the director Keshishian gives a straightforward presentation to his story. Thankfully there are no attempts to be innovative with the camera work. He records the action without the bells and whistles that many directors try to impose on the audience. This kind of movie is supposed to be simple and direct and Keshishian manages that nicely. He has more experience in this field having directed the great little comedy ‘With Honors’ back in 1994, prior to that he directed music video type films for Madonna and Bobby Brown. This actually works in his favor with this film. He keeps the action moving along and there is a vignette feel to the movie. This helps to compartmentalize the story lines which make the film come off better than the script could manage. As long as the plot, what there is of it, moves along in this type of flick there is not much else that can be done.

The film opens with script directions such as fade in to opening credits. These directions also explain that although Jacks is technically British she speaks in a combination of British and American accents due to a childhood in the States. It most likely means that Ms. Murphy couldn’t manage a full on English accent. The film fades in to her in bed with James (Elliot Cowan). He is her ex-boyfriend but they continue a relationship of friends with benefits meaning they still have sex. She tells him he has to go since she is having friends over for brunch and then is surprised when she realizes that she is in his flat. Jacks drives over to the restaurant in her little mini cooper, driving up on the curb to park helping to establish she is a ditzy character. Jacks takes a parking ticket out of her purse and places it on her windshield to avoid other tickets. Okay, she is flaky but pragmatic. Inside the restaurant she meets up with her friend Talullah (Catherine Tate) who is an equally flighty woman who fashions herself a poetess. They are waiting on Peter (Matthew Rhys) her gay best friend and roommate. There is nothing that Jacks enjoys more than setting her friends up with people and hearing the details of the subsequent sexual encounters. She found someone for Talullah and is still working on finding Mister Right for Peter. He is not happy with her constant effort and is always telling her so. Peter is worried about his next interview subject; Martin Bernstein (Michael Lerner) who unlike his usually pieces is a man of merit in film. Jacks is even being uncharacteristically nice to her boss Daphine (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) who is in the middle of a brutal divorce. At a photo shoot for work Jacks meets Paolo (Santiago Cabrera), an Argentine photo assistant. Since she believes she has the best ‘gaydar’ in London she is certain he is the best match for Peter. The only problem is no one ever told Paulo he is gay; he is a straight man. There are scenes such as Jacks sitting in the kitchen read naked while Peter comes in. It turns out that James was taking a shower and she was waiting for her turn. Friends with benefits means they can have sex but apparently not shower together and for such a fashion maven as Jack’s is she apparently never heard of a dressing gown or bathrobe. In any case the sexual preference mismatch causes most of the conflict and disruption in the flick.

Ms Murphy has been trying to get into romantic comedies for awhile now with only limited success. She is bubby and funny with an innate sense of comedy so hopefully her talents will receive better vehicles than she has had so far. If you want to see her really act get ‘Girl, Interrupted’ and watch her true abilities. Her British accent is not very good at all resulting in the opening explanation for it. They should have just made her an American working in London instead. There is also a feeling of the sixties London ‘mod’ present that takes the film out of the moment and gives a period piece vibe to the flick. The film is presented to DVD by Image Entertainment, one of the most versatile distributors around. This is a light film for a casual data night evening.

 

Love and Other Disasters (2006)
  • Runtime:90 minutes
  • Actors:
    Emily Jackson-Jacks
    Brittany Murphy
    Peter Simon
    Matthew Rhys
    Tallulah Riggs-Wentworth
    Catherine Tate
    Paolo Sarmiento
    Santiago Cabrera
    James Wildstone
    Elliot Cowan
    Felicity Riggs-Wentworth
    Stephanie Beacham
    Finlay McMillian
    Jamie Sives
    David Williams
    Will Keen
    Marvin Bernstein
    Michael Lerner
    Therapist
    Dawn French
  • Plot: Emily Jackson lives a fast-paced life. Always on the go, able to talk around the clock, with a sensitive soul she loves playing matchmaker for her friends. It's Emily's gay roommate and frequent companion Peter, who becomes again the subject matchmaking skills when handsome new photographer assistant Paolo arrives at the Vogue offices, where Emily works. She makes it her mission to bring the two men together. Unfortunately for her, she is so busy arranging a love connection between Peter and Paolo that she remains completely blind to the one suitor who longs to provide her with the loving companionship that she so cheerfully arranges for others. And so it does make sense that Peter, a screenwriter in the making, starts telling the story from his own point of view. Written by kerrsmith2306
  • Also known as: Amor e Outros Desastres (Brazil – imdb display title), Amor e Outros Desastres (Portugal – imdb display title), Love (et ses petits désastres) (Canada – French title), Love (et ses petits désastres) (France), Amor y otros desastres (Spain – imdb display title), Amore e altri disastri (Italy), El amor y otros desastres (Argentina – cable TV title), I agapi [& ta alla deina] (Greece – DVD title), Love (and Other Disasters) (Australia – DVD box title), Milosc i inne nieszczescia (Poland), Rakkautta ja muita katastrofeja (Finland – imdb display title), Szerelem és egyéb katasztrófák (Hungary),
  • Rating: (8,142 votes)
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