Hooray! Dear Frankie is finally — finally! — getting released. I saw this film ages ago, last summer, when it was slated to open last October, and then disappeared… I suspect because Miramax was waiting to capitalize on the presumed insanity that would surround The Phantom of the Opera, in which Frankie‘s Gerard Butler also stars. I don’t know how much Phantom‘s critical and box-
He is, in fact, extraordinary, which may come as a surprise if you’ve only had a chance to see him in crap like Phantom or Timeline. But he doesn’t come into the story for a while.
See, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer: Young Adam) is a woman constantly on the move with her son, nine-
The crashing down of the carefully protective web of lies that Lizzie has been weaving for years creates a heartbreaking kind of suspense that leaves you aching for everyone — Lizzie’s been lying out of love, but will Frankie understand that if he learns the truth? Do we even want his comforting illusion shattered? And it only gets more raw and more distressing when Lizzie, out of desperation, hires a Stranger (Butler), a friend of a friend, to impersonate “Davey” — we don’t trust this Stranger; he looks like a hard case who’ll abandon Frankie and his little-
I won’t tell you what happens — go see the film. It’s inexpressibly wonderful — director Shona Auerbach and writer Andrea Gibb have found all sorts of ways to depict tender moments of unspoken love and the wisdom and sweetness of children — and will require at least four hankies if you’re anything like me.
Take my wife
Another film concerned with lies and letter writing opens this week, though it’s waaay at the other end of the emotional spectrum. Mail Order Wife, a hilarious black comedy, is all about puncturing balloons of self-
Andrew is a documentary filmmaker following the romantic adventure of Adrian, a regular guy from Queens, New York, as he acquires a bride from Burma, a demure young lady named Lichi. Adrian is such a sad sack of a schmoe — in a letter to Lichi, he describes himself as being in “security and property management” (he’s a doorman) — and Andrew’s judgment is questionable, at best — he gives Adrian thousands of dollars to offset the expense of bringing Lichi to America — that if this were a real documentary you’d never forgive the film for being so, well, shady, and you’d be right to be suspicious. But it’s all fake: Andrew is cowriter and codirector (with Huck Botko) Andrew Gurland, Adrian is actor Adrian Martinez (Taxi), and Lichi is Charlotte Sometimes‘ Eugenia Yuan. No real mail-
And so we learn of Botko and Gurland’s real target: it’s not sad-