Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Movie Reviews

Okay, so I've spent the afternoon on the couch watching movies. And since I don't have much else to do, I'm going to review them here.

Let's start with Then She Found Me. The cover of this DVD is SO misleading!

A fine, unpredictable comedy! - The New Yorker
Smart, engaging, and funny! - Entertainment Tonight
Extremely funny! - Joe Leydon, Variety

I don't believe I saw the same movie those critics did. This movie was so depressing and convoluted. Helen Hunt plays a 39-year-old teacher, newly married, who is desperate to have a child. But her boy-man (thus the baseball cap) husband, Matthew Broderick, decides he'd rather go home to his mommy than uphold his marriage vows. So, Helen's character takes up with the father of one of her students (Colin Firth), her adoptive mother passes away, and her biological mother (Bette Midler) forces herself into her life. Then Helen's character discovers she's pregnant by her boy-man, and now absent husband; miscarries, screws up her relationship with her new boyfriend (who is emotionally damaged anyway), and decides her bio-mother should pay for fertility treatments. But Bette would rather she adopt a Chinese baby. In the end, the fertility treatments must not have worked because there is an adorable Asian baby one assumes is Helen's by adoption, and she has reunited with her boyfriend.

This movie was exhausting, and I found it very difficult to feel a connection to any of the characters. Nobody was happy with their life. Helen Hunt looked like she was passing a kidney stone the entire movie. She is so thin that she looks unhealthy and older than her years. Bette Midler's character seemed out of place, and Colin Firth and Matthew Broderick were just annoying.

Save your rental fee and rent Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day instead.

This was really charming and truly funny! Set in London just before WWII, Miss Pettigrew is a down-on-her-luck nanny. In desperation, she steals an opportunity to become a social secretary to an up-and-coming actress whose love life is out of control with three suitors in play. I really enjoyed the sweetness of this film and the way the main characters found love and redemption in the end. The costumes and the sets were delightful, and the soundtrack was great - especially if you like big band music.

Have you seen either of these movies? Am I way off here, or what?


Michelle said...

I think it's funny that you are posting movie reviews. Sitting around waiting to heal pretty boring! I haven't seen either of those movies, but I might pick up the second one. I am skipping the first one because I had heard she adopts from China at the end and I have not been in the mood to see movies where that happens. Hope you are feeling much better! Do you get one more day off recover, or do you have to go back already?

Joe Leydon said...

Yes, you are way off. Well, way off about Then She Found Me. Actually, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is pretty darn good.

But Michelle: What the heck is this supposed to mean: "I am skipping the first one because I had heard she adopts from China at the end and I have not been in the mood to see movies where that happens." You, er, have trouble with Westerners adotping Asians? Why?

Joannah said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

If you were a regular reader, you would know that I have walked some of the path to adopting from China – as have most of my readers. It is an arduous journey. What most of us thought would take about a year has increased to a several year wait. I actually forfeited my adoption to marry – I couldn’t do both. Now, I’m struggling with infertility, and most of my readers have done so as well. It is hard for us to watch media that oversimplifies the journeys that infertility and/or international adoption are. I actually cried at the end when I saw that beautiful Chinese girl, and most of my readers would, too. We are advocates for international adoption, but we know that if that movie had accurately depicted Helen’s adoption journey it would be a series of sequels until she received her referral.

I’m glad you agreed with my assessment of Miss Pettigrew. That was a fun movie!

Joe Leydon said...

Sorry, didn't know about the earlier postings. I must admit to a certain sensitivity regarding international adoptions: My wife and I adopted our Korean-born son in 1987. At the time, by the way, the process was much quicker than what you describe as the norm these days.

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

I have not seen the first movie that you reviewed (although I came close to picking it up this weekend) ~ So thank you for the review. As far as Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, thought it was so cute!!!

Hope you are doing well with your recovery.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more!! British films rock- there that's my not so eloquent review :0)

Did you see The Women?

Michelle said...

That's kind of cool that the movie critic stopped by. I think sometimes I forget that other people read the comments. I can see how that comment could have come across as anti-adoption. I knew that you would totally get it, with no explanation needed. I love that I have friends like that, who understand where I am coming from without having to explain it all of the time.

Thanks for explaining the situation far more eloquently than I ever could. It would upset me if people thought I was somehow against international adoption, when in fact quite the opposite is true.

I hope you are feeling almost back to normal and relatively pain free today!

Paula said...

I'm actually reading the comments and forgot what your post was about...oh yea, the movies. Thanks for the tips.
I'm glad your on the mend. That is a terrific prognosis from the doc. You'll be a mom next year for sure!

Sara said...

It is funny that you posted about both of those movies, because I just watched both of them back-to-back on my flight home from Rome on Sunday! I agree with you on both fronts. I want to watch Miss Pettigrew again because it was hard to see and hear on the plane. As for the Helen Hunt film, I have never been through the adoption process but I agree that international adoptions are so often portrayed in films, etc. as a piece of cake and they most certainly are not. And I also agree that Helen looks too thin and that makes her look old.

Hope you're feeling better today! URIs are the pits!