Tag Archives: Tobey Maguire

Throwback Thursday- Pleasantville (1998)

Happy 2015. This will be my first Throwback Thursday blog post of the New Year.

The 1950’s can often be seen through rose colored glasses, especially when viewed through the family sitcoms of the era. Television programs like Father Knows Best and The Donna Reed Show presented the audience with a perfect Caucasian suburban family whose problems were easily solved within a 30 minute time span.

Flash forward to the 1990’s where television story lines and  characters were complex and problems were so easily solved within 30 minutes.

In 1998, Pleasantville,  two 1990’s teens into the world of the perfect 1950’s family sitcom. David, who has little to no social life (Tobey Maguire) is obsessed with the 1950’s television program Pleasantville. His sister, Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) has a very active social life and looks down on her brother’s obsession.  A strange looking remote transports them into the television program. As they spend more time in Pleasantville, things begin to change and the boat begins to rock.

I like this movie. What I like about this movie is that it brings color to a world that is black and white, literally and figuratively. The special effects are also a nice touch. They add to the movie as needed, without drawing attention away from the plot or the characters.

I recommend it.

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Labor Day-Tense and Suspenseful

Romantic dramas and coming of age stories usually fall into two categories: Sappy and predictable or suspenseful and unpredictable.

Labor Day, thankfully falls into the second category.

Based on the book of the same name by Joyce Maynard, Labor Day is a love story, but also a coming of age story.

Adele (Kate Winslet) is a divorced single mother who has become anxious and isolated since her husband Gerald (Clark Gregg) left her for another woman. Her son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith) tries to make up for his father’s absence, but is lacking. When a convict, Frank (Josh Brolin) uses them as a means to hide until he can escape from the police, he becomes the father Henry needs and provides the love that Adele needs. 

I enjoyed this movie. It sort of had a Wonder Years type of narrative. Toby Maguire narrates the story as an adult Henry, remembering those fateful 5 days.  It could have been sappy, cliched or predictable. But it wasn’t. I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin have electric chemistry, Gattlin Griffith plays his character as both a young boy on the edge of growing up, but also taking on the responsibility of being the man of the house.

I may just read the book.

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