HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
Holiday
Lovin' Molly
Manhunt in the City
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer
Teen Witch
Devil's Brigade, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  She's Funny That Way Squirrel to the nutsBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Imogen Poots, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Will Forte, Rhys Ifans, Illeana Douglas, Richard Lewis, Cybill Shepherd, Debi Mazar, Austin Pendleton, George Morfogen, Tovah Feldshuh, Ahna O'Reilly, Kathryn Hahn, Jake Lucas, Sydney Lucas, Nora Jobling
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Isabel (Imogen Poots), a call girl, spends the night with a man she does not know is really famed theater director Arnold Albertson (Owen Wilson). Taken by her charm and sincerity Arnold gives her thirty-thousand dollars to quit prostitution and pursue her dream of becoming an actress. An act of generosity that bites Arnold in the ass some time later when Isabel auditions for a lead role in his latest production. One that happens to co-star his suspicious wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) and her scheming former lover, film star Seth Gilbert (Rhys Ifans). Having seen Isabel leaving Arnold's bedroom that fateful night, Seth is only too eager to expose him. Meanwhile the author of the play, Joshua Fleet (Will Forte) is very taken with Isabel, unaware that his girlfriend Jane Claremont (Jennifer Aniston) happens to be her therapist. Before long a hapless Isabel finds herself the centre of a very tangled web of romantic complications that also involve a besotted judge, a private eye and her own bickering parents. On top of that it turns out Isabel is not the first recipient of Arnold's generosity towards call girls.

Of all the superstar auteurs of the Seventies Peter Bogdanovich has arguably had the hardest time adjusting to the twenty-first century. Unlike the Movie Brat peers in whose ranks he is often inaccurately lumped with, he had no interest in blockbusters and struggled working as a hired hand for the big studios (even Robert Altman was better at playing the studio game). At the same time, unlike say Martin Scorsese, he has never infused his classical leanings with sensibilities progressive enough to engage the indie crowd. Though Bogdanovich made his bones with the uncompromising drama of The Last Picture Show (1971) his comfort zone has always been screwball farce. The sort mastered by some of his filmmaking idols: Leo McCary, Ernst Lubitsch, George Cukor and especially the great Howard Hawks. Some of whom he was lucky enough to befriend and routinely interview in his early career as a movie critic. Bogdanovich revived screwball farce in the Seventies and the genre provided him both triumph (What's Up, Doc? (1972)), unmitigated disaster (At Long Last Love (1975), Illegally Yours (1988)) and underrated work (Nickelodeon (1976), Noises Off (1992)).

Co-written with his then-wife Louise Stratten, as a means of alleviating the stress of their attempts to buy back the rights to their earlier troubled romantic farce They All Laughed (1981), She's Funny That Way is a return to familiar territory for Bogdanovich: a love triangle, caricatured theater types, romantic misunderstands, 'comical' infidelity. Accompanied by a soundtrack of old favourites (Cole Porter, Irving Berlin), allusions to classic Hollywood (Arnold is fond of quoting a key line from Lubitsch's last completed film Cluny Brown (1946)) and fun cameos from seasoned Bogdanovich players: Austin Pendelton as the judge, Cybill Shepherd as Isabel's mom, Tatum O'Neal as a waitress, Colleen Camp (also credited as associate producer) as a store manager, among many others (strangely enough, Michael Shannon also has a bit-part as a security guard).

Alas, She's Funny That Way has misfortune to arrive at a point in time when a new generation of cineastes are in the midst of harshly reassessing the style of film to which it obviously aspires. Viewed in a contemporary context the film can't help but seem out of step with the social mores and gender politics of our age. If not downright alien. It does not help that the film strains for levels of pep and wit that the meandering, insubstantial script simply cannot sustain despite the efforts of a game cast clearly enjoying themselves. Perhaps the best that could be said of She's Funny That Way is that it is Woody Allen-lite. Which given Allen himself is something of a tricky prospect might not be saying much.

Both script and cast go out of their way to make these shrill, self-obsessed upper class New Yorkers sympathetic yet the characters still come across as some kind of nebulous Seventies re-imagining of a Forties archetype. Upholding a streak of impressive performances Imogen Poots is genuinely beguiling while Will Forte's innate sweetness illuminates an otherwise obtuse character. On the other hand the film fatally misuses the hitherto perennially watchable Jennifer Aniston as a therapist with zero empathy for her patients: a character funny in concept yet grating in execution. Although suffused in a love of old-fashioned romance and the belief dreams really can come true (something Imogen Poots really sells in her wraparound scenes with skeptical interviewer Illeana Douglas) it is hard to discern whether Bogdanovich is aiming for sincerity or satire. Indeed underneath its frothy feel-good surface, the film is alarmingly cynical painting all its male characters as deceitful, feckless horn-dogs and the women as neurotic and self-deluding. Throughout all the creaky contrivances of a hackneyed plot Imogen Poots works hard to remind us Isabel is a vulnerable, empathetic human being with a wholehearted belief in miracles whom we do not want to see hurt. If the plot does not reach a climax so much as simply exhaust itself at least the celebrity cameo punchline proves worth it.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 104 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: