Lovely & Amazing

Director: Nicole Holofcener
Year Released: 2001
Rating: 2.0

"Be thankful for what you've got," says Holofcener to her estrogen-enriched target audience, and then uses a blunt object to repeat that statement over and over again through a series of vignettes disguised as a movie. Unfortunately, all her male characters are slugs and her female ones 'neurotics,' and some of the people I saw the film with complained that there was no one to identify with. I found something likeable in Catherine Keener's character, which has to be one of her best roles (she tones down her typically bitchy attitude a few notches and, in turn, becomes more human), and Jake Gyllenhaal, who is given little to work with (he's not popular, he likes punk) but seems genuinely enamored with his new symbolic mother (Oedipal crises are back in vogue I take it). Something in the back of my head tells me it's a little more than racist - the handling of the little black girl 'subplot' is questionable, seeming less insightful and more malevolent and obvious - but I'll pretend I didn't notice.