Thursday, September 28, 2006

[Nokia Starlight Cinema] Just Like Heaven

So Who's Loving Who?

The line which cracked me up was "... alcohol as a social lubricant. To make men brave, and to make women loose".

This romance movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo actually premiered here last year, but I didn't feel compelled to watch it. So winning a pair of tickets to Nokia Starlight Cinema, which enabled me to choose any movie I wanted to watch, presented an opportunity, given that my friend and I had watched all of the other movies on offering. More on the Starlight Cinema in a while.

Resse Witherspoon stars as Elizabeth Masterson, a workaholic doctor with zero life outside the hospital, having devoted her life to her career. Mark Ruffalo is David Abbott, down and out and nursing a broken heart from a previous relationship. These two issues I can grapple with, given my own experiences, past and present. So perhaps the characters appeal to me in a different and more personal manner, never mind the material.

They meet by accident, well actually, more like him meeting her spirit in her house which he has just leased, and tries his very best to try and evict her out with help from priests and the "joy luck club", and a little hoodoo-connection stuff from Darryl (Jon Heder), but to no avail. As all romance movies go, the two leads will inevitably fall in love, never mind the implausibility of one falling in love with the ghost of another. However as the story progresses, it adds a little mystery to it all through the characters wondering how that could have happened, and why David is the only person who can see and feel her.

It's all bittersweet and fluffy, and the story made engaging through the chemistry between Witherspoon and Ruffalo as their characters try to decipher Elizabeth's largely forgotten past - it didn't help that she was a sort of recluse. Some parts were genuinely funny, but these were few and far between. What also worked was the movie didn't try to make itself sound too intelligent, playing to just milk its worth from the couples out there, so now I know how it topped the charts during its run here.

However, certain plot elements did get a little bit tiring, especially with the usual one making talking to the spirit stunt - yes we know to the outside world David might look crazy, but he's actually talking to Elizabeth. The ending too looked too rushed and as if it's a result of some changes made after feedback from test audiences (I'm not saying that it did. Probably? But it sure felt that way).

So did the movie work? Sure, it's a definite crowd pleaser, in true blue Hollywood fashion. Highly suitable as a date movie this one is.

No Starlight But There's Moonlight

Today's Starlight Cinema event was one of the Ladies Night theme, i.e. the lady (or her partner) gets to go in for free. And I swear that Richard and I are the ONLY two guy erm partners to have gone and watched this movie. Kinda weird as the sea of people around you were either couples or groups of people on a date, evenly paired up of course, or groups of females for obvious reasons that this movie is a chick flick.


Anyway that didn't deter us (we're true blue cinephiles lol) from trying to enjoy this movie while sitting on a mat in the Padang. There's a huge groundsheet laid by the organizers, so mats are optional. We were seated close to the projector, and here's a pic

The Twin Projectors

and I guess we were thrilled while waiting for the 1st reel to end and witness the transition being done, very flawlessly.

The Goodies - One Fan, One Sample Cream, Survey/Lucky Draw Form, Some Stickers

If there is one gripe, then it's the sound system. Not that it wasn't audible, but while the advertisements played ok, the sound during the movie made us, and probably everyone, cringe, with its echoing off the Cricket/Recreation Club building, so you actually hear doubles, echos, and when the characters raise their voices, it made things all the more worse.

More Couples

Just so you know, the movie didn't start on time as touted at 8pm. More like 815pm by the time every sponsor had their commercial aired, with Nokia having multiple advertisements given that they're the chief sponsors.

All in all, the event's pretty enjoyable, but if you'd ask me to fork out S$15 for a ticket, it's a bit too steep. Now am just crossing my fingers on that Nokia lucky draw to upgrade my phone LOL.

Thanks for the Memories

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