Hip talk-radio host and journalist Mingus (Chris Rock) and his French photographer girlfriend, Marion (Julie Delpy), live cozily in a New York apartment with their cat and two young children from previous relationships. But when Marion’s jolly father (played by Delpy’s real-life dad, Albert Delpy), her oversexed sister, and her sister’s outrageous boyfriend unceremoniously descend upon them for an overseas visit, it initiates two unforgettable days of family mayhem. How will the couple fare… when the French come to New York?
Controversial Japanese director Takashi Miike creates this unnerving horror film about a widowed TV producer auditioning prospective wives. In his search, one candidate particularly stands out, a lovely ex-ballerina dressed in white. The widower cannot believe his good fortune, until he starts looking more closely at his potential bride-to-be: her autobiographical details don’t quite check out, she has a number of ugly scars on her legs, and he learns that people in her life have a habit of disappearing. When he discovers a man trussed up in her living room with his tongue and feet lopped off, he concludes that she is perhaps not the woman of his dreams.
The plot concerns Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a successful bisexual mystery writer who may also be a ruthless murderer. Everyone close to Catherine dies, and troubled policeman Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) must find out why. In the process, Nick becomes sexually involved with both Catherine and police psychiatrist Beth Gardner (Jeanne Tripplehorn), while the bodies begin piling up and Catherine turns the cat-and-mouse game around on Nick.
Ang Lee’s adaptation of E. Annie Proulx’s story Brokeback Mountain stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as young cowboys named Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar. Each of them is hired to corral sheep on the title location and they soon bond very closely. Their platonic relationship explodes into a physical one, but eventually the two are separated when their job comes to an end. Although the two follow different life paths — one becoming a father of two and the other marrying into a successful business — they have a reunion years later. Each is affected profoundly by the rekindling of their old feelings for each other. Those feelings lead each to consider what continuing their hidden relationship would cost them.
A man sets out to find the son he didn’t know he had and winds up getting answers to some questions he never asked in this comedy drama from director Jim Jarmusch. Don Johnston (Bill Murray) is an emotionally blank middle-aged man who has never married and lives a quiet, comfortable life thanks to shrewd investments in computers (though he doesn’t use one himself). After being given his walking papers by his latest girlfriend, Sherry (Julie Delpy), Don receives an anonymous letter informing him he fathered a son 19 years ago, and that the boy wants to find his dad. Not sure what to do, Don shows the note to Winston (Jeffrey Wright), a neighbor who fancies himself an amateur detective. With Winston’s help, Don narrows the list of possible mothers down to four women, and with a mixture of reluctance and resigned determination he sets out to find them. Armed with a CD of traveling music from Winston, Don pays unannounced visits to Laura (Sharon Stone), an oversexed widow with a libidinous teenage daughter (Alexis Dziena); Dora (Frances Conroy), a stuffy real estate agent; Penny (Tilda Swinton), an aging biker with no happy memories of Don; and Carmen (Jessica Lange), a self-styled analyst for pets whose outward eccentricity disguises a firm inner stability.
After a pair of films about hipster slackers, the work of writer-director Kevin Smith matured and gained critical respect with this low budget, independent comedy-drama about love, sex and the fine line between the two. Ben Affleck stars as Holden McNeil, a New Jersey comic book writer who is roommates with his best friend and professional partner, artist Banky Edwards (Jason Lee). Their hit comic book series, “Bluntman and Chronic,” is loosely patterned after a pair of acquaintances, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (played by Smith), two characters already familiar as supporting players in several Smith films. Into Holden’s life comes Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams), a lesbian and fellow comic book creator who quickly becomes a close friend, although Holden is powerfully attracted to her. Eventually, Alyssa realizes that she is attracted to Holden as well and they begin a physical relationship, much to the consternation of Banky, whose ire over losing his best friend to a lesbian seems to border on romantic jealousy. After he learns something about Alyssa’s sexual past, however, Holden’s immature response to his new knowledge destroys both his romance with Alyssa and his friendship with Banky. Chasing Amy (1997) was the third film in what Smith referred to as his “New Jersey series,” films set at least partly in the Garden State and featuring the Jay and Silent Bob characters.
The second feature from director Michel Gondry (Human Nature) finds the filmmaker reteaming with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for this off-the-wall romantic comedy. Jim Carrey stars as Joel Barish, a man who is informed that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had her memories of their relationship erased from her brain via an experimental procedure performed by Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson). Not to be outdone, Joel decides to have the same procedure done to himself. As Mierzwiak’s bumbling underlings Stan (Mark Ruffalo) and Patrick (Elijah Wood) perform the operation on Joel — over the course of an evening, in his apartment — Joel struggles in his own mind to save the memories of Clementine from being deleted. Kirsten Dunst, David Cross, and Jane Adams also star.
A deliciously nasty black comedy, Heathers is set at a cliquish high school in Ohio. The most exclusive of those cliques is the Heathers, comprised of the prettiest and most popular girls in town. The group’s leader is the manipulative Kim Walker, who orchestrates the humiliation of anyone who fails to meet her standards. Eventually, Heathers member Winona Ryder begins to exhibit a conscience; together with her hardcase boyfriend Christian Slater, Ryder plots to avenge all the unfortunate victims of the group. Before long, Heather (Kim Walker) ends up dead along with Kurt and Ram, with poignant suicide notes posted near their bodies.
A relationship is charted from its promising beginning to its sad collapse in this independent drama from Derek Cianfrance. Dean (Ryan Gosling) meets Cindy (Michelle Williams) when they’re in their late teens; he’s working for a moving company, she’s a college student visiting her elderly grandmother at a home for the elderly. Cindy is dating Bobby (Mike Vogel), her boyfriend from high school, but as she gets to know Dean better, a mutual attraction grows between them. Years later, Dean and Cindy are married and have a daughter, Frankie (Faith Wladyka), but they’re clearly not as happy as they once were; Dean loves his daughter but feels distant from his wife, they have to look after an elderly relative (John Doman), and when Cindy bumps into Bobby while running errands, it’s clear he still holds a grudge against her. Dean and Cindy go away for a weekend together at a hotel, but it doesn’t take long for them to realize that the magic isn’t coming back.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding co-stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett re-team for this romantic comedy about a carefree florist who falls for a charming restaurateur. Genevieve (Vardalos) loves romance, though she lives by a strict “five dates” rule. At the end of the fifth date, Genevieve typically calls the relationship off. So far, this method has worked like a charm, but when Genevieve meets Greg (Corbett) everything changes. At the end of their fifth date, Genevieve wants more. If she could only break from tradition long enough to realize she’s fallen in love, perhaps she’ll find out that some guys are worth keeping around.
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