HappyThankYouMorePlease

Multi-hyphenate Josh Radnor has had a real nice time at the Sundance Film Festival. His debut film, happythankyoumoreplease, premiered at the festival in 2010, and he just brought his second feature, Liberal Arts, to Park City this past January. Both films star Radnor as a shiftless twentysomething who is, for a variety of reasons, unhappy with his current lot in life. But whereas happythankyoumoreplease tended to feel too twee, too naval-gazey, too unformed, Liberal Arts showed a tremendous progression in Radnor’s talents and execution. And now you can see it, too! IFC will release the film just in time for back to school on September 14 of this year. The film also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, and Zac Efron, and should be the perfect way to ease back into fall drudgery after the fireworks of the summer season.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray, we adjust our own futures, laugh at grumpy gingers, take a business trip with Ed Helms and that guy who said “Sheeiiiitt” on The Wire, fight back for the Wimpy Kid, find love in movies with unmarketable titles, figure out who Liam Neeson really is, and watch Channing Tatum get dressed up like a Roman soldier and make a complete fool of himself. It’s not exactly a busy week, but there’s still plenty to talk about. The Adjustment Bureau In a week that saw its share of competition for Pick of the Week (it really didn’t), it seemed that a ginger comedian would eventually emerge as the winner. Then I popped The Adjustment Bureau into the ole’ Blu-ray player and 106-minutes later, I was sold. This incredibly stylish, meticulously crafted adaptation of work by Phillip K. Dick is well acted, creatively conceived and impressively ambitious. Matt Damon plays a politician who meets the girl of his dreams, then uncovers a secret group of “adjusters” who are tasked with keeping the world “on plan.” Unfortunately for him, that plan doesn’t include him dating this girl (Emily Blunt). Unfortunately for them, he’s Matt F&*king Damon, and he’ll fight for the girl he loves. It’s a stylish love-letter to New York, a taught thriller and a resonant love story all wrapped into one. The Blu gets extra points for its Interactive Map of New York City that plays around with some of the concepts and locations explored in the […]

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This Week in DVD

One of the best aspects of DVD/Blu-ray is the ability to catch up on movies and shows that you may have otherwise missed when they first hit theaters. The best of this week’s releases fall into that category as small films that never quite got the exposure they deserved. Movies like Ceremony and Happythankyoumoreplease are fantastic celebrations of love, laughs, and life and should not be missed on DVD like they were in theaters. And while this week’s Pick is well known to its fans and others who grew up in the nineties it’s new to me on DVD and one of my favorite releases of the week. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Rocko’s Modern Life: Season One Rocko is a wallaby who’s moved from Australia to the United States and along with an oddball group of friends, acquaintances, and strangers struggles to make it through life’s absurdities. This is one of Nickelodeon’s most beloved shows from the 1990s and it’s finally hitting DVD in an official, complete season format. I had never seen the show prior to this DVD release and seeing as I never understood the love for Ren & Stimpy or Spongebob Squarepants I expected a similar reaction here… but this show is hilarious. The writing is sharp, effortlessly moves between parody and scatology, and most impressively, it walks the fine line between writing for kids and writing for adults. Children will find much to love in […]

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Happythankyoumoreplease unfolds in familiarly quirky, coming-of-age indie territory. Yet, despite its propensity for clichés and occasionally sappy tone, as exemplified by the film’s tagline – “go get yourself loved” – there’s an uncomfortable honesty at the heart of writer-director-star Josh Radnor’s first behind-the-camera effort. Somehow, the manifold plot devices (alopecia, photography, a cute foster kid) never detract from the picture’s winning evocation of the peculiar status of life spent as a struggling twenty-something, barely afloat in New York City. Radnor’s script is well-attuned to the lonely disorientation of being young and less than wealthy in the increasingly gentrified, high-end Big Apple and the daunting soul-searching that comes with the realization that maybe you were never meant to make it.

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The Reject Report

Reject Reports. Adjustment Bureaus. A talking gecko. You’d think we were shilling for an insurance company this week. Not the case, and Johnny Depp as Rango is infinitely more adorable than the Geico lizard. That might have something to do with the latter’s Cockney accent. Also on board this week are Topher Grace making a move to top billing and a Beauty and the Beast for the Twilight crowd. Of course, a blind Neil Patrick Harris might be cuter than anything the other three films have to offer. Let’s see who’s in line to make some cash.

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There is a fine line to walk as an indie dramedy, and HappyThankYouMorePlease seems to walk right up to the line and then raise its eyebrow. On the optimistic front, Neil really loved it when he saw it at Sundance last year and talked it up as the natural next step in the evolution of romantic comedies signified by 500 Days of Summer. The comparison seems obvious even from just the trailer, but Josh Radnor (of How I Met Your Mother) seems to want to juggle more than one relationship here with his writing/directing/starring debut. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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Last night at a ceremony here in Park City, Utah, the winners of the annual awards were announced…

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Future filmmakers, if there’s one thing that your quirky indie comedy will need to have any shot at success beyond the snowy streets of Sundance, it is charm.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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