Angst is the theme of this week’s column. Begin Again has an unhappy music executive bonding with a young singer-songwriter, Palo Alto revolves around a group of teenagers who have a knack for finding trouble and Hateship Loveship has a teenager trying to play matchmaker with her troubled father’s love life. All three movies demonstrate a certain modicum of anguish, but also the road to redemption and letting go. In addition, all have some serious Hollywood star power behind them, which means the seats won’t be empty on their premiere dates in local theaters. Some hardship befalls everyone, even in movies, which reminds moviegoers that even people in movies aren’t perfect. The trials and tribulations faced in these movies will fascinate moviegoers as the characters go on their separate journeys to find themselves and find their own places in the world.
Begin Again is a romantic comedy starring Keira Knightley, Adam Levine and Mark Ruffalo. Knightley’s character, Greta, is a songwriter, whose longtime boyfriend, Dave (Levine,) who is also a songwriter, hits hit it big and strays leaving Greta on her own. She meets Ruffalo’s character, Dan, a shamed music executive and they form a bond. The trailer shows two lonely souls, hurt by life, finding and healing each other. Co-starring Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld, Mos Def and CeeLo Green, Begin Again shows that you can be kicked down by life, but there’s always someone out there that can help you rise up again and be even better than you were before. It opens in theaters on Friday, July 4.
Palo Alto is a dark drama based on James Franco’s short story collection of the same name. Set to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, it stars Franco, Emma Roberts and Val Kilmer. The plot chronicles a group of unruly teens and their experiences with sex, drugs, alcohol and violence in an urban setting. Every teen goes through that awkward period of trying to fit in, attempting to find love and their place in the great scheme of things. This movie takes those notions to the absolute extreme as evidenced by the trailer, which shows the teens getting into dangerous situations all with the ultimate goal of trying to be more “adult.” This movie definitely accomplishes that. It opens in theaters on Friday, August 29.
Hateship Loveship is a dramedy based on the 2011 short story Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro. Starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Hailee Steinfeld, Nick Nolte, Christine Lahti and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the movie shows that you can find love again, even in the most unexpected place. Wiig plays a housekeeper/caretaker named Joanna, who is unknowingly fixed up with a relative of the man she’s caring for, who is a lonely widower. The trailer shows Wiig’s character coming to care for an ailing Nolte and his granddaughter. The granddaughter and her best friend then decide to play matchmaker between Wiig’s character and the granddaughter’s father, a widower played by Pearce. It’s a heartwarming tale about being on the outside of life, but getting a second chance to do it right. The role is a drastic departure for Wiig, who came to fame through her role in the 2011 romantic comedy Bridesmaids. It opens in theaters on Friday, April 11.