Analeigh Tipton

Two Night Stand duo

Relationships are hard, and they’re even harder when your well-meaning coupled-up friends are pushing you to get back out there again and try to join the world of the loving and living after a particularly harsh breakup. Such is the case with Megan (Analeigh Tipton) whose failed engagement a year prior has her imposing a self-isolation policy that consists of slouching around her apartment in her undies, much to the chagrin of her two roommates (Jessica Szohr and Kid Cudi), and lamenting about her former party and love-filled life. Since she’s “Benjamin Button-ing,” as she calls it, her roommate Faiza (Szohr) suggests that she returns to the swing of things with a good ol’ fashioned one-night stand. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or special, just join a dating site, bang a rando’ and get out of her funk so she can move on with her life. Thusly, Two Night Stand is born. Of course, since this is magical romantic comedy land, the first trailer for the film, which is directed by Max Nichols and written by Mark Hammer, has Megan wake up in the arms of a cutie pie named Alec (Miles Teller) instead of someone from the usual wretched hive of scum and villainy that 20-something women encounter on OKCupid and the like.

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Warm Bodies Trailer

Zombies don’t exactly lend themselves to teen romance stories as well as vampires do, what with their flesh being all gross and decaying, like a jack o’ lantern in November, rather than pale and smooth, like a porcelain doll. But that’s not going to stop the creators of Warm Bodies from capitalizing on the current zombie crazy by making a teen zombie romance anyway. Ridiculous idea or not, one has to admit that the zombie apocalypse genre can get pretty homogenous and predictable, and could use some sprucing up. It feels kind of refreshing to see a zombie movie where the walking dead have thoughts and emotions, but have trouble acting on them due to their newly unresponsive bodies and overpowering craving to consume living flesh. Not only does the conceit seem to make for good comedy, but there are hints in this new Warm Bodies trailer that it could make for an effective character moment or two as well; which kind of makes sense, because this one is being brought to us by Jonathan Levine, the director of the funny, yet affecting cancer drama 50/50.

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Kid Cudi

Generally people in the hip hop world like to be seen as more than just rappers, or DJs, or whatever. In order to make it big in the hip hop world you have to be seen as a triple, quadruple, or fivetuple threat. So seeing as he’s already branched out from making hip hop, to producing hip hop, to having a rock band, to acting in TV’s How to Make It in America, Kid Cudi (aka Scott Mescudi) should be well on his way to being the next big mogul, especially now that he’s taking his acting career further by seeking out film roles. The latest part he’s landed is in debut director Max Nichol’s upcoming romantic comedy Two Night Stand, which tells the story of two people who agree to have a sleazy one night stand finding themselves put in the awkward position of being snowed in and having to spend more time together. No, Cudi isn’t playing the lead—as a matter of fact his role as the boyfriend of the female protagonist’s best friend doesn’t sound like it will probably amount to much screen time at all—but there are a couple x-factors here that point to the fact that Two Night Stand might be the perfect vehicle for Cudi to dip his toe into the film world and show off what he has to offer as a comedic actor.

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Let us hope that this announcement ushers in a new wave of talented romantic comedy stars that people actually want to watch fall in love on screen. Variety reports that rising stars Analeigh Tipton (Damsels in Distress, Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole, Footloose, the upcoming The Spectacular Now) will star in Max Nichols‘ feature debut Two Night Stand. The film comes from Mark Hammer‘s 2011 Black List script of the same name, which centers on a pair of non-lovebirds trapped together by a sudden blizzard after an ill-advised one night stand. Back when the film appeared on the Black List, it came with the somewhat extended logline: “After an extremely regrettable one night stand, two strangers wake up to find themselves snowed in after sleeping through a blizzard that put all of Manhattan on ice. They’re now trapped together in a tiny apartment, forced to get to know each other way more than any one night stand should.”

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Writer/director Whit Stillman‘s name hasn’t graced the big screen since his slightly divisive The Last Days of Disco hit thirteen years ago. That’s quite a long time between features, but if it takes Stillman that amount of time to write the dialogue he’s regarded for, then the wait is more than worth any inconvenience. So, it’s with Damsels in Distress that the breakout filmmaker of the ’90s returns with his signature wit and style. Speaking with the self-depreciating Stillman, it was clear his process is never quick and easy. From going through screenwriting books to attending Robert McKee‘s course, the Damsels in Distress director knows there is no right way to tell a story. What he unquestionably knows is musical dialogue, which, as he tells it, informs his stories. Here’s what Whit Stillman had to say about being rejected by NYU, how the director is the only one allowed to be an ignoramus on set, and how your first ideas are always your worst:

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Within mere seconds, it’s obvious that writer-director-producer Whit Stillman’s first film in over a decade is going to have a spirit all of its own – after all, Damsels in Distress opens with a bright pink Sony Pictures Classic logo, a change-up from their classic blue. The message is clear – it’s the damsels’ world, we’re just living in it. Set at Seven Oaks College, a small liberal arts school somewhere on the East coast, Stillman’s film centers on the perpetually charming Greta Gerwig’s Violet and her three best pals as the foursome attempt to navigate the rough waters of friendship and romance in collegiate life. However, Stillman’s film twists around that bland and done-to-death premise with his most effervescent and light-hearted film yet, a fairy tale set in the real world and acted out by memorably off-beat and good-hearted characters.

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Whit Stillman was basically the king of the indies back in the 90s. The decade saw him release Metropolitan, Barcelona, and The Last Days of Disco, three movies about the young upper crust that got quite a bit of attention and earned him almost mythic status among the film nerd community. But the last time we saw a release from him was way back in 1998. I’m not going to do the math, but that was a long time ago. Does Stillman still got it? In a word, yes. I was fortunate enough to see Damsels in Distress last year at TIFF, and I have to say, it’s by far my favorite Stillman work yet. This movie once again deals mostly with college-aged, well-off white people, but it’s so much more whimsical and more fairy tale-like than anything Stillman has done before. Damsels in Distress takes place in a world that looks a lot like our own, but where things aren’t quite the same; they’re a little bit weirder, and a little bit more wonderful. This is the sort of world where a new kind of soap can save a life and a new dance craze can break out at any moment. Check out said whimsy in the film’s first trailer:

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Looks like we’re going to have to adjust our list of The 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012, knocking the number down to a significantly less exciting 51. Summit Entertainment has just announced that they are pushing the release of Warm Bodies from August 10 of this year allllllll the way to February 1 of next year. When I touted the film as part of our most anticipated list of plenty, I explained it as such: Jonathan Levine follows up his critical cancer comedy hit, 50/50, with an en vogue type of affair – a zombie love story based on a YA novel. But Isaac Marion’s source material shares considerably more with Romeo and Juliet than it does with The Walking Dead and that, along with its up-and-coming cast (Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Dave Franco, Rob Corddry, and no less than John Malkovich) recommend this original look at love at the end of the world. And that’s all still true, but now we have to wait six more months to catch it. I feel like a zombie just took a bite out of my heart. While I’m not the biggest fan of Marion’s novel, I think it’s a fun basis for a film, and I believe in both Levine and the solid cast he’s assembled for this outing.

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In Glenn Ficarra and John Requa‘s Crazy, Stupid, Love., we meet Cal and Emily, a long-standing couple in which only one half of them recognizes that the “standing” could in fact be traded out for “suffering.” Cal and Emily have some lovely kids and a nice house and what appear to be stable jobs, but there’s something missing. Within the film’s first ten minutes, Emily (Julianne Moore) has asked for a divorce (in the middle of a dinner out, no less) and revealed that she’s had an affair (with one her co-workers, played, of course by Kevin Bacon), leading Cal (Steve Carell) to purposely fall out of their car and announce to both their son and babysitter what has just transpired during the world’s worst date night (and Carell knows from bad date nights). And thus begins Cal and Emily’s halting journey to return to a state of normalcy, if not a state of reaffirmed union.

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Analeigh Tipton

It’s alright if you’ve never heard of Analeigh Tipton. That just means that you don’t watch America’s Next Top Model, and that’s perfectly acceptable. You may recognize her soon, as she’s joined the latest comedy project of two very talented directors.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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