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100 More Films Made By Women – Part 8 of 20

Here we have 5 more far from “girly” films at your disposal. Girls that can cut into a marriage bond, that can gyrate inappropriately at a children’s party, that can sit naked on a radio show horrors, that bring doom to their newlywed status. You get the picture. Or at least, you ought to. Read on..

Private Parts (1997) – Betty Thomas

Superbly directed by Betty Thomas, Howard Stern’s autobiographical film Private Parts is a masterclass in biopic storytelling. The film uses Annie Hall-type flashbacks to follow Stern’s journey from small town nobody to aspiring D.J. to eventual superstardom as the self-proclaimed “King of All Media”. Upon release in 1997 few people in the general public knew much about Stern’s personal life, especially the fact that he had a softer more human side, which the film explores wonderfully. It also shows how Stern put together his motley crew of sidekicks, who all played themselves in the film. Perhaps the best parts of the film though are the scenes where Stern spars with WNBC’s producer Kenny (Paul Giamatti), whom Stern affectionately calls “Pig Vomit”. Their ongoing battles are some of the supreme back-and-forths in all of comedic cinema history. – – – Tim J. Krieg @FiveStarFlicks


Honeymoon (2014) – Leigh Janiak

It’s a common ideology that couples marry and can somehow alter in themselves or the relationships they have lovingly embarked on. For Bea (Rose Leslie, Ygritte in Game of Thrones) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) in the eerie picture Honeymoon the newly-wed changes are of a very different nature altogether. First-time director Leigh Janiak appears to have no debut nerves here, crafting a familiar cabin-in-the-woods format horror, with human deterioration, psychological wonder, and body invasion aplenty. Knocking at the door of utter madness at times, the film deserves some credit for messing with your own nervous system as an audience member, and ultimately leaving you uncomfortable by the film’s ambiguous ending. – – – Robin Write @WriteoutofLA

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) – Elizabeth Banks

The Barden Bellas are back! After winning the college a capella championship in the first film, they have gone on tour, but end up embarrassing themselves. This causes them to lose their right to perform competitively. To get their rights to compete back, they decide to enter an international a capella competition. Though this one isn’t as good as the first Pitch Perfect, it’s still a funny and satisfying film. What makes it great is the great performances by Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and newcomer to the Bellas, Hailee Steinfeld. It’s extra satisfying that Elizabeth Banks did double time by having a small role in the film, and directing it herself. What Banks did in the end was help the Bellas to find their voice again, and to remember that they’re the best. – – – Al Robinson @AlRob_MN


Sleeping with Other People (2015) – Leslye Headland

Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, perky romantic comedy Sleeping With Other People punches above the weight of the standard rom-com being churned out these days. This is largely due to Leslye Headland, not only writing a screenplay with some accomplished, genuine relationship and sexual humor, and frank observations, but also for directing an adult comedy that never loses its edge or where it’s going. Jason Sudeikis, as Jake, and Alison Brie, as Lainey have an excellent screen presence, both timely in their wit and delivery, but also demonstrate a compelling, believable on-screen chemistry. – – –Robin Write @WriteoutofLA

Nobody Walks (2012) – Ry Russo-Young

Also at Sundance, director Ry Russo-Young scooped a special Jury Prize in 2012 for Nobody Walks. The film is a rather beguiling but grounded indie drama, focusing on family life at roots level, and inviting a potentially damaging element to disrupt the unity. John Krasinski and Rosemarie DeWitt are seemingly trouble-free in their marriage with two kids, that is until Martine (Olivia Thirlby, Juno‘s best friend), an art student in her early twenties comes to stay in their pool house to complete her project. Whether her agenda or not, as the father helps her with her art film and impresses on her some mellow flirtations, Martine eventually lures him into a brief sexual liaison that will have consequences extremely hard to come back from for all concerned. – – – Robin Write @WriteoutofLA

Originally published in June 2016.


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