Culture » Film



Beauty & the Briefcase (NR)

Image Entertainment

Women have done everything humanly possible to gain the same rights as men in the workplace. From equal pay to freedom from sexual harassment, it's been an uphill battle that, as much as we don't want to believe it, is still being waged today. And all that hard work manages to be urinated on heartily in the made-for-ABC Family movie Beauty & the Briefcase starring, of course, Hilary Duff, who I'm sure just doesn't know better. She's a vapid "writer" whose dream is to work for Cosmo. She's also unlucky in love, mostly because she lives by a checklist that is impossible for any man to live up to. Surmising that the best bachelors are in the business world, she goes undercover as a sexy corporate assistant. Instead of realizing she's more than a fashion plate, she chooses to make sassy comments about men's asses. You've come a long way, baby. — Louis Fowler


The Romantics (PG-13)

Four of a Kind Productions

It's dicey for an author to adapt and direct the screen version of his or her own novel, since you can't blame talentless hack filmmakers for compromising your vision when you're the talentless hack. Galt Niederhoffer has been a prolific producer of unwatchable indie shit for years, but she's completely lost with the paint-by-numbers The Romantics. Katie Holmes plays a tart intellectual who reconnects with her romantically incestuous college clique at the wedding of her best friend (Anna Paquin), yet can't shake her feelings for the groom (Josh Duhamel). The sexual hijinks lead to the expected post-adolescent self-analysis, culminating in the expected life lessons set to the expected twee-pop soundtrack. It may have worked if we regarded the characters as humans. Holmes is particularly wooden, clutching a beer bottle as though it were an envelope of anthrax. — Daniel Barnes


Ronald Reagan: An American Journey (NR)

Image Entertainment

My generation was too busy watching Fraggle Rock in the '80s to fully pay attention to Ronald Reagan. But everyone's got an opinion on him now. Perhaps most often, with any utterance of the word "Reagan," a Manchurian Candidate switch is flipped and the hate-all-things-conservative mode moves in full force, with 30-somethings posting as many angry Tweets as possible about their neverending revulsion. So no matter what I say about Robert D. Kline's documentary, it won't really make a difference. Those who like him will already have it in their Netflix queue, meaning I'll be preaching to the choir. And those who hate him? They'll hate me for recommending it, thinking I'm part of a right-wing Tea Party machine. The best I can do? I guess it'd be to let you know that the film is out now and that I liked it. — Louis Fowler

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