Sweetheart is a charming coming of age story.

A socially awkward, environmentally conscious teenager named AJ is dragged to a coastal holiday park by her painfully ‘normal’ family, where she becomes unexpectedly captivated by a chlorine smelling, sun-loving lifeguard named Isla.

I really don’t have much to say about Sweetheart, it’s a very sweet little film (no pun intended) about trying to figure out who you are with some family dynamics. 

The performances are all quite great and really move the film at a satisfying pace, the direction is solid enough to the point where it captures plenty of heartfelt moments. The family dynamics in the film are quite interesting and really give the film the extra push it needs. 

Admittedly Sweetheart is very familiar in a lot of areas, if you have seen a lot of coming age films in the past you probably know what to expect. However I still can’t help but feel that the movie is still genuinely interesting. I’m not exactly sure why but I think it’s mainly due to the writing, which does actually feel like it captures how teenagers or everyday people talk.

Overall Sweetheart is a cute little movie that for the most part accomplished what it was sent out to do, it might not be one of the best coming of age stories. But it’s still a very satisfying little movie. 

Sweetheart is available on all VOD platforms. 

6/10 C+


One Fine Morning is investing and raw

A young single mother raising an 8-year-old daughter struggles to take care of her father, who’s been diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease. While trying to secure a decent nursing home, she runs into a married friend and they begin an affair.

Something that I’ve always appreciated about Mia Hansen-Løve’s films is she always captures the sorrows, beauty and much more in very grounded situations. The situations themselves tell the story through the character’s actions and the writing always does such a beautiful job describing of what’s been showing, that is the exact case for One Fine Morning. 

Léa Seydoux once again really hits it out of the park with another strong performance, she plays such a grounded role that has so many moments that really show her at her best as an actress. Mia Hansen-Løve goes all out in making the film work as much as possible, her very naturalistic approach of filmmaking truly works here especially when combined with the camera work that’s just so pleasing to look at. The acting from everyone else is truly fantastic especially Melvil Poupaud who takes on a role that is quite frankly very hard to pull off, playing a character that can be easily written off as “unlikable” but still manage to make the viewer believe him when he says he cares for Léa Seydoux’s character is quite the accomplishment. 

As far as writing and direction goes like I said before there’s this very naturalistic approach to it, Mia Hansen-Løve makes sure to take this approach and stay with it throughout the film. It gives the film a very grounded look and feel that immediately connects the viewer especially with the interactions between the characters. It’s a beautifully written film that should most definitely be seen! 

One Fine Morning is available in theaters. 

8/10 B+

Quick Reviews: At Midnight and Maybe I Do (2022)

Fate brings ambitious hotel manager Alejandro and movie star Sophie together when the shoot brings them to Alejandro’s hotel. Despite their radically different lives, Alejandro and Sophie begin to secretly meet at midnight.

At Midnight is directed by Jonah Feingold who’s previous film I actually really liked which was Dating & New York, so despite a not very good trailer I was hoping that I would actually like At Midnight…that did not happen. 

At Midnight is essentially a huge romantic comedy plot point checklist, it checks all of the key moments that need to happen and doesn’t bother to make itself standout among a very crowded genre. Monica Barbaro isn’t bad here but she isn’t enough to save the movie from being very forgettable, the writing is about what you expect it’s painfully dull and despite being 1 hour and 40 minutes it’s a complete chore to sit through.

It’s unfortunate because I do think with a far better script and much more focus this could have been a decent little romantic comedy, Diego Boneta and Monica Barbaro are honestly not bad here and do have a few moments of great chemistry. But unfortunately the rest of the movie is really holding that back from being even better. 

At Midnight is available on Paramount+

2/10 F

With their relationship at a crossroads, Michelle and Allen invite their parents to finally meet. As it turns out, their parents already know each other, maybe a little too well.

In hindsight I should have probably skipped this one after I saw the terrible reviews Maybe I Do was getting, but the cast was just too interesting to pass and I was very curious how they can screw up this bad with a great cast. 

The main issue with Maybe I Do is it presents itself as a comedy but lacks so much charm, there’s a few jokes that might get a chuckle out of you, but for the most part almost all of the jokes fall flat. The idea of the movie itself might be interesting at first, but it quickly becomes repetitive as it goes on. The movie doesn’t seem to know when to properly utilize it’s own idea and do something interesting with it. 

The lack charm also comes from the characters who are one dimensional, the performances are all forgettable. They aren’t necessarily anything I would call bad, but despite the cast being quite strong very little is done to show their talent. 

Maybe I Do is available on all VOD platforms. 

1/10 F

Somebody I Used To Know is a decent romantic comedy!

On a trip to her hometown, workaholic TV producer Ally reminisces with her ex Sean and starts to question everything about her life. Things only become more confusing when she learns Sean is getting married to Cassidy, who reminds her of the person she used to be.

Somebody I Used to Know is definitely a bit better than expected, while it is still very flawed the movie does manage to stay above the ground mainly due to a lot of factors. 

For starters the performances are all around pretty solid, the standout is Alison Brie by far who really does give a strong performance. She has a ton of moments where she shows even with a script that isn’t breaking any new ground, she can still make it a bit interesting especially during the third act. 

The direction from Dave Franco is a lot better this time around than it was in The Rental, there are times here like in The Rental where the movie does seem a bit lost in it’s direction. However that’s only during the first act, afterwards it’s smooth sailing from there. The writing while it does jump the shark a bit ends up surprisingly decently written, there’s some comedic bits that are eye rolling but the dramatic bits are actually pretty solid. 

Somebody I Used to Know isn’t going to break any new ground and there may not be a whole lot to it, but it is a decent enough movie that I recommend checking out if you really like romantic comedy films. 

Somebody I Used to Know is available on Amazon Prime Video. 

6/10 C+

Quick Review: Your Place Or Mine (2022)

Debbie and Peter are best friends and total opposites. She craves routine with her son in LA, but he thrives on change in NY. When they swap houses and lives for a week they discover what they think they want might not be what they really need.

What can I even say here? Your Place Or Mine is yet another bland and forgettable Netflix romantic comedy movie that adds nothing new to the genre at all. 

The biggest problem here is the chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher while their performances aren’t terrible, the chemistry is just not there. There’s so many moments that completely take you out of the movie due to how nonexistent the chemistry really is, the characters themselves aren’t well written either. They mainly serve as the usual romantic comedy characters that go through the usual arcs and that’s it, the writing has it’s moments where there are some display of Witherspoon’s and Kutcher’s talent and how strong they are as performers. But those are so far and few in between. 

Your Place or Mine is available on Netflix. 

3/10 D-

Meet Me in Paris interesting idea but lacking execution.

Love like in the movies. Three real women follow the script and write their own endings

Reality TV is a genre that of television that’s been around for awhile now and has grown in popularity, while I may not be a fan of it the genre has a very large following. Having that said Meet Me in Paris is quite awful. 

The idea of reality tv in a film format isn’t necessarily a bad idea, it definitely was a choice that was made but I don’t think it’s a terrible idea. What is terrible is the execution, the movie takes the most generic elements from any reality tv show you have seen and combines it with the forgettable romantic comedy elements. The authenticity is just not there at all, with some other reality tv shows I mean sure they can jump the shark a lot of the time. But at least some of them remain believable, the same can’t be said with Meet Me in Paris which is mainly due to it feeling very scripted.

Heck the acting doesn’t help either, everyone involved really tries their best but the movie trying to balance reality tv and film just leads to some very sloppy performances and writing. The one thing I will say they captured pretty well is the camera shots and music, it does at least look like something you would expect from reality tv. 

Meet Me in Paris was an attempt I can respect but unfortunately failed to hit the mark by a lot. 

Meet Me in Paris is available on Roku Channel 

2/10 F

You People is bad

A new couple and their families reckon with modern love amid culture clashes, societal expectations and generational differences.

Over the years I’ve been much more positive when it comes to bad movies especially in my reviews. I can recognize in a lot of cases there was at least some level of attempt to try and craft something interesting or good. You People is not one of those movies. 

The only positive I can give this movie is Eddie Murphy, Nia Long and Julia Louis Dreyfus who honestly try their hardest with such an embarrassing script that wastes such a great cast. There’s so many issues here that really played into how terrible You People ended up being but if we are going to talk about the worst it’s two major things, the writing and the horrendous comedic timing. 

I’ll start with the comedic timing mainly due to how flat out in your face it really is, something that you quickly notice about this movie is it builds a joke and doesn’t seem to know how to end it. So it continues the joke until the movie has no choice but to move on, there’s this one scene where Jonah Hill and Sam Jay are talking and they name drop Drake at least 9 to 11 times (yes I kept count) that whole joke was for one scene that ultimately didn’t add much to the plot. There’s so many other scenes like this that drag a joke on for far too long and each and every time it’s worse than the last. 

Then there’s the writing that is just abysmal, as I said before some of the actors try to make it work but it just doesn’t work at all, there’s a lot of celebrity name drops, attempts at cringe humor that just end up being completely embarrassing and a first act that is very fast paced for some reason. Which doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense because the movie is 1 hour and 58 minutes, so why was there a need to completely brush through the first act? We don’t get to see Jonah Hill and Lauren London bond very well at all, so how is the viewer supposed to buy in their relationship? 

You People is by far the worst movie I’ve seen so far this year, I know that’s not saying much since we are only a little bit in the year. But this just really baffled me to be quite honest. 

You People is available on Netflix 

1/10 F

Shotgun Wedding is a bare bones action comedy.

Darcy and Tom gather their families for a destination wedding, but the ceremony gets put on hold when gunmen take everyone hostage. Now, they must do everything they can to save their loved ones — if they don’t wind up killing each other first.

Shotgun Wedding was originally going to be released into theaters, in fact it was supposed to come out in June of last year. Amazon Studios bought the rights to the movie from Lionsgate in March 2022 and now here we are today as it released on Amazon Prime Video and it’s not exactly hard to see why. 

The positives come from Jennifer Coolidge who despite given not a whole lot to work with still manages to be pretty funny and still have some great comedic charming. Coolidge’s charm really works here and easily steals the show, Jennifer Lopez isn’t too bad here either although I would argue her performance is a step down from last year’s Marry Me. The rest of the cast isn’t too bad either, in fact all of them really try their hardest with such a lacking script that’s heavily restricting them from doing anything memorable. 

The major issue here is that Shotgun Wedding is about as dull as you can get with a action comedy, the action scenes are not memorable or aren’t very fun at all. The comedy is mostly restricted to Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel arguing over and over again, which while it might be funny for about 3 minutes it quickly gets very old. If anything the actual comedy comes from the side characters. There’s some genuinely funny bits from the side characters that actually work decently, the other major problem is the script. There’s just not a whole lot here to work with, if the goal was to make an action comedy movie well this sure is an action comedy but it’s missing quite a lot on what makes a good action comedy. 

Overall Shotgun Wedding is very forgettable and such a waste of potential with such a great cast. 

Shotgun Wedding is available on Amazon Prime Video. 

4/10 D+

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is a not very well planned wedding

After falling victim to a scam, a desperate man races against the clock as he attempts to plan a luxurious destination wedding for an important investor.

I’m going to start out by saying I had no idea that Disconnect: The Wedding Planner was a sequel, apparently the first movie came out in 2018 but I never saw it (shocking I know) heck I hadn’t even heard of it. So I went in thinking this was just another random Netflix original but I guess it’s a sequel. 

As for the movie itself…what is there exactly to say here? The cast at least seems like they are having fun which is great, but the characters themselves are just not very well written they range from being terrible to very forgettable. The plot goes exactly how you would expect it to…well almost the story takes a very puzzling turn that quite frankly does not fit the movie at all. It switches back and forth between a drama and a comedy, the characters make some very ridiculous decisions that honestly they have no rhyme or reason to make. I do think there is some level of great quality when it comes to showing off the Mombasa backdrop as there are some beautiful shots here, it’s just such a shame it’s in a very forgettable movie. 

Overall Disconnect: The Wedding Planner sort of exists, it’s by no means the worst Netflix original out there and at the very least the technical elements of the film are pretty decent, but that’s really about where the movie ends. 

Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is available on Netflix. 

3/10 D-

Decision To Leave is a unexpectedly romantic film.

A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains ends up meeting and developing feelings for the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.

Decision To Leave has been on my radar for awhile, I finally got around to watching it and it most certainly didn’t disappoint. This is Park Chan-wook’s first film since 2016 (Handmaiden), I’ve talked before how Oldboy (2003) is one of my favorite films of all time, part of why I love Chan-wook so much is how different his films are from one another. One moment he will create something truly brutal and quite disturbing and in another he will create something genuinely really sweet and charming. Decision To Leave is actually pretty romantic in ways you wouldn’t really expect, that’s mainly due to the performances from Tang Wei and Hae il Park who almost immediately have fantastic chemistry between one another, there’s so much emotion and power put into the performances that are just charming, the writing is very raw and allows the characters to understand each other and build their connection even further. Heck there’s even some dark humor that discusses death that is a little twisted but at the same time it really works, outside of performances and writing the film itself has this natural look to it. The filming is very well done with tons of shots that add depth to the characters and the current scene taking place, overall Decision To Leave is truly fantastic and is definitely one of the best films of 2022.

Decision To Leave is available on all VOD platforms.

10/10 A+