Film Clips: Feb. 12
Based on a 1974 David Mamet stage play entitled Sexual Perversity in Chicago, this film also remakes the 1986 movie starring Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, James Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins. In this version the relationships examined belong to a pair of African American couples (Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant, Regina Hall and Kevin Hart). After one couple meets at a bar and engages in a one-night stand, they decide to attempt a long-term romance and are surprised by the many bumps and complications on the way to happily ever after. As for Mamet, he disavowed the first film, stating, “As a callow youth with hay sticking out of my ears…I sold both the play and the screenplay for about $12 and a mess of porridge....” (Lisa Miller)
Endless Love PG-13
Inspired by the 1979 novel and 1981 film of the same name, Endless Love focuses on a star-crossed romance between heiress Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde), and working class David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer). Hoping Jade will reevaluate her choice, her parents (Bruce Greenwood and Joely Richardson) hire an investigator to unearth David’s sordid past. When Jade insists she loves David despite the findings, Jade’s father tries to up the ante, prompting David to make a terrible mistake. Though a potential hit with starry-eyed teen girls, Endless Love seems a far cry from a Valentine’s Day date movie. (L.M.)
French Immersion Not Rated
In this amusing Canadian comedy, a small town in northern Quebec stakes its future and economic wellbeing on a “language camp.” The camp offers total immersion—not only in French language but also in Quebec culture. This means no access to English-language music or TV, and nothing to eat but traditional local cuisine (right, no pizza!). The campers are a motley bunch; among them are a New York entrepreneur opening a French bistro and a Canadian politician who needs to brush up on his language skills in this officially bi-lingual nation. The townsfolk are predictably wacky. (David Luhrssen)
7 p.m., Feb. 14-15 as part of the Festival of Films in French at the UW-Milwaukee Union Theatre. Admission is free.
Oscar Shorts 2014 Not Rated
The short films nominated by the Motion Picture Academy in the animation and live action categories generally get short shrift. They don’t factor highly in pre-Oscar buzz, are generally ignored by the media and are often awarded during commercial breaks. For the past nine years, the Short Movie Channel has tried to win back respect for the Oscar-nominated shorts with a theatrical release of the entire slate of nominees—after all, motion pictures began as shorts! This year’s lineup includes drama and comedy from around the world, with topics ranging from African child soldiers to haunted houses and a broomstick ride with a good witch and her cat. (D.L.)
Opens Friday, Feb. 14 at Oriental Landmark Theatre.
Winter’s Tale PG-13
Adapted from Mark Helprin’s lengthy 1983 novel, Winter’s Tale occurs in an alternative reality that spans the entire 20th century. While robbing her home, middle-aged burglar Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) meets and falls in love with young, dying heiress Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). Peter’s devotion to Beverly grants him special powers, and protection by a mysterious white horse named Athansor. Transported to different times in and around New York City, Lake sometimes loses his memory, but he never forgets his undying love for Beverly. This star-studded production also features Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly and William Hurt in supporting roles. Clearly, the whole world loves a love story. (L.M.)