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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

my (short) week at the movies: ’27 Dresses,’ ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,’ ‘Taxi to the Dark Side,’ ‘The Business of Being Born’

Because there’s nothing worse than being a spinster. Oh, I expect it’ll be quite “romantic” and absolutely “hilarious” to watch Katherine Heigl trip over herself in matrimonial desperation as she’s a bridesmaid once more when what she really wants is to be the bride. If 27 Dresses [opens wide January 11] doesn’t make me want to slit my wrists, I’ll consider my outing to see it a success.

The Chicago Film Critics Association has already named 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [opens limited January 25] the Best Foreign Language Film of 2007, and it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes last spring. There were a few screenings I could have attended in the fall of this one, but I couldn’t squeeze it in until now… and it doesn’t open here till the end of this month anyway, so I’ll consider it a 2008 film. Set in Romania during the last days of communism, it’s a bitter tale (or so it sounds) of tough choices facing women in a time and place of limited opportunity. Movies about the real lives of women — and not the likes of 27 Dresses — are rare enough, so I’m looking forward to this one.
I had planned to see the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side [opens limited January 18] a few weeks ago, but the year-end crush got to be too much, and I put it off. I’ll see it now. Another entry from last spring’s Tribeca Film Festival that I’d hoped to see, the documentary The Business of Being Born [opens limited January 9], is landing in theaters now, too: this one’s about home birthing as an alternative to the industry that has taken over this most natural of events in hospitals.

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