February 13, 2013 |
NICHOLAS Sparks has a formula for his success. The best-selling author behind The Notebook , A Walk to Remember and Safe Haven - the most recent of Sparks' books to get the film treatment, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel - spilled his secret during a recent stop in Philly: "Here's a hint: There's going to be two people, and they're going to fall in love. It's going to be [in] North Carolina. It's going to be a small town. " Voilà! A hit. OK, so there's more to crafting a signature Sparks romantic tragedy than that.
January 14, 2013
Pop Yo La Tengo Fade (Matador ***1/2) Yo La Tengo's continued relevance 27 years into their career is remarkable. The Hoboken trio of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew have yet to release a bad album, and they've made a handful of great ones. Fade is one of them. With producer John McEntire of post-rock experimenters Tortoise, they've created an album that is intimate and thoughtful, urgent and fun. The band hasn't reinvented itself. No need, since Yo La Tengo's expertise in catchy, jangly rock, gentle acoustic folk-pop, and noisy feedback excursions allows endless room for triangulation.
January 10, 2013 |
Likely to be nominated for multiple Oscars on Thursday, Silver Linings Playbook offers an affectionate, true portrait of Philadelphia and the suburbs. It's arguably the best film ever made about our region. Silver Linings captures that affecting mix of grit and polish with tremendous warmth, the working-class roots and exceptional pride that are a hallmark of many neighborhoods where homes, no matter how cramped or nouveau grand, are tended like mansions. That specific sense of community extends throughout parts of the city and traverses both sides of the Delaware.
December 21, 2012 |
MARION COTILLARD has been working as an actress since she was a teenager, but it was her Oscar-winning performance as Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" that brought her to the attention of American audiences - and Hollywood filmmakers. Since then she's worked with directors such as Michael Mann ("Public Enemies"), Woody Allen ("Midnight in Paris"), Steven Soderbergh ("Contagion") and Christopher Nolan ("Inception," "The Dark Knight Rises"). In "Rust and Bone," she returns to France for an intimate relationship movie about a whale trainer and the fighter who sort of nurses her back to health after an accident at the Sea World-like water show where she works.
November 18, 2012
This is a sweet story about a kind and outgoing Temple University freshman whose friend-winning smile resembled a walking ray of sunshine. It is also an uplifting story about a black boy from a devout Baptist family in North Philadelphia who beat the odds and won a scholarship to St. Joseph's Prep, where he excelled as a scholar-athlete. And it's a sad story about Haitian immigrant parents who fled the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere only to have their second son drown after being pulled out to sea while walking in knee-deep surf at a wealthy beach resort in South Jersey - the 19-year-old had never learned how to swim.
October 11, 2012 |
The increased popularity of cooking shows has paved the way for adventurous theaters to put on plays that experiment with food prep as live entertainment. Cooking serves as the way of life in Cooking with the Calamari Sisters , a comedically chaotic "live broadcast" of a cooking show at the Society Hill Playhouse. And a young couple in love bonds while making linguine on stage in a new musical adaptation of Love Story at the Walnut Street Theatre. If juggling love is one thing, juggling lyrics, melodies, and pasta ingredients in a live performance is quite another.
September 24, 2012 |
Memo: to Mitt. Subject: Redistribution - also known as one way that millions of Americans, including many you've labeled "the 47 percent," manage to get by on less each year than it cost your guests for dinner at that Boca Raton mansion. Before we cue some scary music for a word you hope to cast as the boogeyman of American politics, let's get serious. You could well win the White House come November. Now that you've released your 2011 tax return - high-five for paying more than 14 percent!
September 15, 2012
A review of Love Story at the Walnut Street Theatre in Friday's Weekend section attributed the musical to the wrong writers. The book and lyrics are by Stephen Clark and the music is by Howard Goodall. Also, a middle initial was incorrect for one of the actors. He is Paul L. Nolan. A preview for a concert by Bon Iver and Anaïs Mitchell gave incorrect information. They play at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. The Inquirer wants its news report to be fair and correct in every respect, and regrets when it is not. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, contact assistant managing editor David Sullivan (215-854-2357)
September 15, 2012 |
I now write in defense of beautifully staged, meticulously lighted, handsomely dressed, genuinely acted, and shrewdly contrived soppiness. I make no apologies. You'll either detest the new musical Love Story , which has all that and more at the Walnut Street Theatre, or you'll give yourself over to stunning manipulation. You may regret it later - you've been played like a soulful cello by a cast of Yo-Yo Mas - but while you're being sucked in you'll be fully in the moment. That's what happened to me. In retrospect, it happened against all odds, in a show that has so much kissing, I wonder about the production's ChapStick bill; that's a stretch at 100 intermissionless minutes; that offers stereotyped characters cut from cardboard; that - like the book it came from - is a jarring mixture of glib repartee, lovey mush, and, finally, overwhelming sadness.
June 29, 2012 |
"I'LL HAVE what she's having. " That line is one of the most iconic in film history, and it's delivered in "When Harry Met Sally," right after Meg Ryan's Sally demonstrates that, yes, women do, in fact, fake orgasms. It's spoken by director Rob Reiner's mother, Estelle, and it was written by Nora Ephron, who passed away on Tuesday from acute myeloid leukemia. Pound for pound, "When Harry Met Sally" is one of the best romantic comedies of all time, complete with a meet-cute, a will-they-or-won't-they and an epic speech at end as Billy Crystal's Harry declares his love for his best friend, Sally (Ryan)