Great eras are often marked by a famous adage. McConaughey recited those three words in his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards for winning Best Actor.
Of course, the origin of the easy-going phrase predates the McConaissance, going back even before the McConaughey rom-com epoch. McConaughey said director Richard Linklater brought him in for a last-minute shoot — the scene was at Top Notch, the fictional hamburger joint in the film, on a Friday night. Three out of four.
The last one, a girl he sees in the distance, is the missing fourth. By , the sight of an aggressively un-PC Little League coach Billy Bob Thornton encouraging outrageous behavior in his young team seemed less subversive than sad. When truth is stranger than fiction, why turn it into fiction? An impressive cast Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Cranston is ill-served in this stagy drama about weary Vietnam vets reuniting to reflect on their lives. Earnest, but underwhelming. Plotless, but hardly pointless. A boys-will-be-boys lark, in which a bunch of mostly-likeable unknowns play collegiate baseball stars circa A love it-or-hate it experience that will depend largely on your tolerance for being locked in a single room, in real time, with grandstanding frenemies Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard.
Fans of Maria Semple's bestselling novel may find this adaptation a regrettably streamlined affair, heavily reliant on Cate Blanchett's star power to replace the literary stylings Linklater leaves behind. But those who arrive without any preconceptions will appreciate the assets of a modestly engaging and gently touching dramedy. Parker Posey, Steve Zahn and Giovanni Ribisi are among the disillusioned twentysomethings with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
This trippy adaptation of a Philip K. Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr. Best watched in a college dorm room, late at night. This layered dark comedy provides an ideal showcase for Jack Black, as a beloved Texas mortician who shocks everyone by befriending an unpopular small-town widow Shirley MacLaine.
A still-hidden gem, and well worth discovering. If only all family films were actually this much fun for the whole family. A decisively specific time capsule that still feels insightful, original and utterly relevant. But will you also have the patience and courage to revive it once it fades? Each was shot nine years after the last. It would be easy for a formally experimental filmmaker to prioritize style over substance.
But Linklater succeeds on all fronts here, having filmed his cast over the course of a remarkable 12 years to capture the titular experience.
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