They take a very specific couple and make them universal. It could be a primer on what couple's therapy is about, how it works and how the results won't always be life-changing breakthroughs -- at least not right away.
If, in fact, her personal life somehow hurts her standing with her young fans -- if the fans can no longer look up to her as a role model because she's a 22-year-old who got tired of one man and was tempted by another -- well, I'd say it's the best thing that could happen to her.
Both are about intense relationships between young adults that end -- and yet go on. Both are stories of love that has grown one-sided. And both ache with the unavoidable self-pity that goes along with that kind of situation -- while finding the laughs in that same circumstance.
This is the least of Hollywood's worries, for my money. The major studios have a bigger problem -- such as the fact that they so seldom make movies with serious themes or content. And they never address actual political issues if they can avoid it.
In a summer of movies made of bombastic special effects and obvious action, Killer Joe still has the ability to surprise by keeping it down and dirty -- though you'll need a strong stomach to make it to the end.
Unlike negative reactions to my review of The Dark Knight Rises this week, actual news happened last night in the form of a tragedy, when someone walked into a suburban Denver multiplex and killed at least a dozen people.
The Kings of Cool picks up the story of the Savages trio -- the weed-dealing Ben, Chon and Ophelia -- a few years before Savages. Prequel? Not exactly -- at least writer Don Winslow doesn't look at it that way.
The first time, it was about creating a concert. This time, say Neil Young and Jonathan Demme, it was about capturing one. And doing it as faithfully -- both visually and, more important, aurally -- as possible.
Woody Allen's To Rome With Love is a valentine to that city, rendered through a series of semi-connected stories set in the Italian hub. It's light and frothy, mixing silliness, romance, magic realism and absurdity.
Kirby Dick's shocking documentary, The Invisible War, details a small part of what seems like an epidemic -- not just of sexual assault in the military but of the closed-ranks mentality that keeps the outrage from bubbling into public view.
How can I enjoy this movie -- when I have such disdain for so much of its music? And yet I did. I had a lot more fun watching Rock of Ages than I expected to; I also resented how much I enjoyed it, as a light, funny spoof of a bygone era.
I settled in for the screening of Marina Abramovic -- The Artist is Present, with the same skepticism I'd had when I went to see her retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, which the film documents.
Nominated for the Oscar as best animated feature (which went to the visually brilliant but drastically unfunny Rango), A Cat in Paris is a slight but entertaining tale, most noteworthy for going old-school, with hand-drawn animation.