Amanda's Picks

May 17, 2024 at 9:27 a.m.



The Fall Guy

As you know, your Amanda is not so much a fan of action movies. However, several people who know me well insisted I would enjoy The Fall Guy (PG-13) because of the romantic element. Do I remember the plot of Mr. and Mrs. Smith or The Mask of Zorro? Not as much as I remember the love story and the chemistry of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. 

The Fall Guy’s central romance doesn’t quite live up to those films, but it’s definitely the best thing about the movie. Stuntman Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) is at the top of his game when an accident on set jeopardizes his career and derails his relationship with aspiring filmmaker Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt). He’s at rock bottom when producer Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham) begs him to come back to work on Metalstorm, Jody’s first feature as a director. Despite a wrenching back injury (that miraculously heals), he gets on a plane to Australia. Soon Colt is involved in an unbelievable, Screenplay 101 murder cover-up as he attempts to save his career and Jody’s movie. 

The Fall Guy succeeds as an insider’s look at the lives of stunt people and what goes into producing the action scenes that contribute so much to the success of blockbuster franchises like Mission Impossible and Fast and Furious. This makes sense as director David Leitch is a former stuntman who doubled for Brad Pitt in Fight Club. I found the set-up of these scenes fascinating, especially with the majestic Sydney Opera House in the background. 

Ryan Gosling earns mega movie star points with an off-the-charts charismatic performance. He and Blunt have terrific chemistry even when the story lets them down, which is unfortunately often. All your favorite cliches are here: bad guys who can’t shoot, good guys who develop superhuman fighting and driving skills, the very obvious villain, dogs who only understand French (OK maybe that’s not a cliche).

Ultimately, The Fall Guy won me over with its stars, wit, stunts, and love story, and is definitely best enjoyed on the big screen with a large popcorn.

The Fall Guy: 3 out of 5 Stars



The Idea of You

Want romance without the stunts, fights and murder? The Idea of You (Rated R on Amazon Prime) is your movie. Solène Marchand (Anne Hathaway) is extra fetching as a single mom to 17-year-old Izzie, and art gallery manager who is hesitant to re-enter the dating pool after a bitter divorce. Said cheating husband (Reid Scott) begs Solène to take over as chaperone for Izzie’s birthday trip to Coachella. There, Solène cute-meets Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), a member of popular boy band August Moon. They hit it off, flirt and kiss, but Solène has a big problem with the 16-year age difference. Fling averted. 

Hayes, it seems, has no such problem and pursues Solène. But, really who wouldn’t? Hathaway is not your average 40-year-old and her fear of wearing a bikini in front of Hayes and his 20-something pals is a sham as we see her in a bikini earlier in the movie. And we hate her! 

After buying literally all the art in her gallery, Hayes convinces her to visit him in Europe when he’s on tour and Izzie is working at a summer camp. Hayes may be young but he’s a wiz at wooing. As the two get more involved, they experience additional relationship challenges, Internet bullies, paparazzi, etc. Will it be too much or will love conquer a generation gap and rabid boy band fans? 

The Idea of You is based on the book of the same name by Robinne Lee and it’s definitely more rom than com. It’s light, sexy fun and a perfect vehicle for Hathaway. Director Michael Showalter (The Big Sick and The Eyes of Tammy Faye) keeps things light and sweet and relies on his stars to sell the romance. Kudos also to giving us a nice, teenage girl who loves her mom and throws zero tantrums. You also won’t get wacky best friends, sabotaging exes or epic misunderstandings. The Idea of You is all romance and I love it. 

The Idea of You: 4 out of 5 Stars