Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
Critics tend to find movies about movies endearing — but not this time. Greg is a cinephile and self-absorbed high-schooler who winds up befriending Rachel — a girl dying of leukemia. Through the power of friendship and film (and a push from his buddy Earl), Greg ends up learning about himself (and making a mini-movie-within-a-movie, while he’s at it). Yes, the film is packed with artsy camera angles and clever movie references, with blossoms of genuine emotion sprinkled throughout. But all of the plots and characters exist only to facilitate Greg’s development from selfish guy to less-selfish guy. It feels exploitative, and it takes away from what would have otherwise been a touching film.
Opens July 1 at Kahala Theatre
It’s strange to think of a movie that features a penis size showdown (yes, really) as conservative. But The Overnight — a raunchy sex comedy about insecurity and, specifically, hipster insecurity — kind of is. The humdrum Alex and Emily meet the vivacious and outrageous Kurt and Charlotte when their sons become friends. After the boys go to bed and the wine starts flowing, things get uncomfortably revealing (and sexual and so, so awkward). Jason Schwartzman steals the show as the manic Kurt, and Adam Scott plays off him well. But the film, busy as it is pushing the boundaries of good taste, doesn’t utilize its edgy humor toward any harder, deeper (heh) meaning.
Opens July 3 at Kahala Theatre
DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL
There was a time, in the middle of the last century, when Western pop music came to Cambodia and flourished. How that fusion of East and West might have evolved given time, however, is lost to the ages because the Khmer Rouge came and obliterated it, murdering its stars and silencing the music. John Pirozzi’s documentary attempts to stitch together a narrative of those lost years, tracking down the few living survivors and archival footage to shed new light on this dark moment in history. His fascinating tapestry weaves politics and culture deftly, and even its storytelling gaps are a reminder of all the songs that were never heard.
Plays at 1 p.m. July 1, and 1 and 7:30 p.m. July 2 and 3 at Doris Duke Theatre