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‘Preggoland’ is more rom-com than satire

Ruth Huxley (Sonja Bennett) is 35 years old grocery clerk with little ambitions, a perchant for heavy drinking and a collection of friends that are drifting away after they have children. To make matters worse Ruth scorches the earth at a baby shower with her drunken shenanigans, alienating all of her old high-school friends, who turn her into a pariah. Ruth is considered a disappointment by everyone in her life, and with this latest outburst, she’s thisclose to being written off completely.

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‘Man Up’ Movie Review – Fails to Woman Up

At 34, Nancy (Londoner-accented Lake Bell) is a flakey journalist on the reluctant look for love at the pestering of friends and family. Through a case of mistaken identity hinging on a self-help book, she winds up on a date turned epic day with Jack (Simon Pegg), an online marketing manager. Charming, right? It’s this on-the-nose “charm” which will divide audiences into lovers and haters (with this viewer falling more towards the latter). In spite of a stellar cast, Man Up falls flat on its promising premise of being a rom-com for nonbelievers.

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‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ hired too many cooks

There are hints of understated charm and elegance sprinkled throughout The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Moments when two people, battered and bruised by life, share some genuine insight about the human condition. Unfortunately, those moments are lost amid a frenzy of unnecessary storylines and cartoonish complications. It’s a treat to see these veteran actors playing off each other, but you’re better off staying at a different hotel.

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‘Top Five’ delivers raunchy, heartfelt laughs

Top Five Written & Directed by Chris Rock USA, 2014   Chris Rock’s new tour de force, Top Five, is so cleverly written that you don’t even realize it’s a romantic-comedy until the deed is nearly done.  By that point, even the coldest, most cynical man is powerless to resist its charms.  Smart, nasty and …

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‘What If’ is an observant little charmer

What If Written by Elan Mastai Directed by Michael Dowse Ireland/Canada, 2013 While the new indie rom-com, What If, has a serious aversion to conflict, it’s also inescapably charming.  A strong cast delivers enough laughs and cheeky irreverence to elevate this otherwise breezy tale to more delightfully cynical heights.  You probably won’t remember it in …

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‘Begin Again’ is pure pop perfection

Begin Again Written and directed by John Carney 2013, USA Movies that make you feel good on their own terms are a rare breed.  John Carney’s latest film, Begin Again, doesn’t need to pander or lobotomize itself to entertain you.  It doesn’t need villains twirling their mustache or hysterical spouses throwing plates against the wall …

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(500) Days of Summer

(500) Days of Summer Directed by Marc Webb (500) Days of Summer begs you to love it. Its marketing campaign has been so tirelessly micromanaged, its leads are so adorable, its namechecks of generic pseudo-outré touchstones (Belle and Sebastian, The Smiths, The Seventh Seal, turn-of-the-century architecture) so artfully placed, that its many gimmicks actually wind …

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