Newest Reviews:

New Movies -  

The Tunnel


The Tall Man

Mama Africa





Brownian Movement

Last Ride

[Rec]³: Genesis

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Indie Game: The Movie

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Old Movies -

Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena

Drums Along the Mohawk

The Chase

The Heiress

Show People

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry



Miracle Mile

The Great Flamarion

Dark Habits

Archives -

Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012

All reviews alphabetically

All reviews by star rating

All reviews by release year


Screening Log



E-mail me



Love and Other Disasters (Alek Keshishian, 2006)


 As chic as Alek Keshishian’s Love and Other Disasters strives to be, you’d wish it managed more bounce. An aggressively modern romantic comedy, it calls out the clichés of its genre only to end up willingly indulging in them more often than not. There are chance encounters, implausible misunderstandings, and quirky best friends here, each of which is treated without any sense of irony. Worse yet, the film largely lacks either class or a romantic view of the world. Perhaps the nadir on these fronts comes during a long, repulsive monologue from a therapist that chronicles the ebb and flow of relationships by graphically comparing them to bodily functions. It’s patently obvious that Love wants to be a modern day Breakfast at Tiffanys, restoring the gay co-protagonist from Capote’s short novel to accompany its freewheeling London socialite heroine, but at this low level of sophistication, it can’t even compare favorably with TV’s “Sex and the City”. Just as indebted to that pop-culture milestone, Love adopts the sitcom’s obsession with fashion, its bitchy repartee, and its promiscuous cast. Before long, it seems patently obvious that the target audience here isn’t women so much as it’s gay men.

Indeed, gay men, or at least men presumed to be gay, make up the vast majority of the male cast here. Jacks (Brittany Murphy), the heroine, prides herself on having “the best gaydar in London”, yet inevitably falls for a guy she’s convinced can’t be interested in her due to his sexual orientation. It’s a labored set-up, and the movie frantically tries to sustain it throughout the bulk of its run time, leading to unlikely character motivations and goofy coincidences. As things trudge on, there are desperate lapses into fantasy, meaningless pop culture references, and no small amount of narrative plate-spinning. Several scenes end lamely with punch lines in which characters end up naked and embarrassed.  Throughout it all, it remains a chatty, unaware little movie, so obsessed with its setting of the London fashion and art worlds that it never pauses for more than cursory self-examination. After a while, things grow grating. Britney Murphy is a likeable, unusually fearless performer, but here she’s desperately channeling Hepburn’s Holly Golightly to no end. She can’t redeem something so thinly conceived. Love and Other Disasters is content to snipe at shallow people while not offering much in the way of substance itself. In a typical bit of faux wisdom about the genre, one of its oversexed characters states at midway through that “life is nothing like movies.” Judging by this, he’s certainly right.


Jeremy Heilman