July 25, 2013 |
Just two days into filming "The Way, Way Back," the delicate balance that first-time directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash had carefully planned was already crumbling. Rain had forced them to change the schedule, pushing up the shooting of an indoor scene that was one of the very few in the movie in which both of them also had to act at the same time. The two knew the moment would come but had hoped to have much more experience directing before having to call the shots while in character.
July 10, 2013 |
Readers flooded me with emails over the weekend; they couldn't say enough about the new indie "The Way, Way Back. " So I couldn't resist saying a bit more too. Don't miss one of this summer's pure pleasures. Written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the film is full of fun, family insights and just enough of a burn to keep things interesting. Its terrific acting ensemble includes Steve Carell, Toni Collette and a deliciously naughty Allison Janney. But go for the heart - Sam Rockwell as Owen, the cool dude who runs the local kid-magnet, a water park.
July 4, 2013 |
To begin talking about the new indie film "The Way, Way Back," I want to go way, way back. Praise for the movie's excellent cast, anchored by Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Allison Janney and teenage rock Liam James, will come later. As good as the actors are, we must begin with the originality of the screenplay by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. The writers, who also co-direct and have small roles in the film, take a fairly straightforward story of coming of age in a time of divorce, with all the frictions that arise as kids find themselves dealing with mom and dad's new loves, but they make it feel fresh.
November 16, 2011 |
There is a telling moment within the intimate family drama of "The Descendants" that has George Clooney running as if his life depended on it. As Matt King, he's an awkward sight pounding through his quiet neighborhood in flip-flops, Hawaiian shirt and shorts; laughable if that famous face were not so twisted by helplessness and hurt. You're not sure whether he is running from something or to something, or both. Just one scene, but powerfully reflective of the theme director Alexander Payne has coursing through this winning and warm-hearted film — that the hard truths of life are as impossible to escape as they are difficult to embrace.
December 3, 2010
The Groundlings ? that petri dish nurturing tomorrow's comedic superstars ? bring the seasonal cheer with their annual Holiday Show, one seeking to divert your attention from all the reasons you might be down this time of year, from family strife to feeling bloated like a whale on rich festive fare. Damon Jones directs; the cast includes Jillian Bell, Nat Faxon, Ryan Gaul, David Hoffman, Steve Little, Laird Macintosh, Charlotte Newhouse and Jim Rash. Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. Fridays, 8 and 10 p.m. Saturdays.
April 25, 2003 |
Mordant, up-to-the-minute wit fuels "City of the Future," scampering about the Groundlings Theater. This latest showcase from Los Angeles' celebrated comedy troupe is consistently twisted and often uproarious. One factor is director Patrick Bristow's swift deployment of his gonzo ensemble. These writer-performers (with alternates) scramble past the odd flat-footed bit or ad lib with patented ease. Their politically incorrect energy carries the evening, with an emphasis on grotesquerie.