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Friday, July 1, 2005
Short Takes: July 1, 2005
This is the story of a single mom (Emily Mortimer) on the run from her abusive husband with her deaf 9-year-old son Frankie (Jack McElhone) and her own chain-smoking mother in tow. Frankie has been told that his father is a merchant seaman on a ship called the Accra. When he learns that the real Accra has docked in Glasgow, his mom has to hire a stranger (Gerard Butler) to play the part of Frankie's dad. He and Frankie hit it off and the mother finds herself drawn to the reticent man who seems to understand everything without being told. The film suffers from too many plot contrivances but tugs at the heartstrings all the same. (Kaori Shoji)
Kim Basinger plays Harmony Jones, a cosmetics sales rep whose fate seems linked to Elvis. On her way to a Las Vegas convention in her pink Cadillac convertible, she encounters a couple of Elvis impersonators . . . and accidentally ends up killing them. When she later falls in love with a man whom she mistakenly assumes is also an Elvis freak, she flees just as the relationship starts heating up. Look for cameos by Tom Hanks and the director, who also helmed the indie blockbuster "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," as King wannabes.
Imagine going on a first date with the same person over and over again. That's what serial playboy Henry Roth (Adam Sandler), a marine biologist living on Hawaii, has to do when he falls for Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore). The fact that Lucy suffers from a brain disorder and cannot remember beyond the last 24 hours does not discourage him, and each day he dreams up a new way to charm her. Think "Groundhog Day" in a tropical setting with plenty of Sandler-style goofiness, including walrus vomit and much falling over. This is Sandler and Barrymore's second onscreen pairing, the first being 1998's "The Wedding Singer."
Childhood friends Sang Min and Boeun get hitched to fulfill their grandfathers' wish to make them in-laws, but the marriage is doomed: Sang Min is a college playboy and Boeun is a high-school girl in love with a senior jock. The newlyweds try to hide their dysfunctional relationship, but things get complicated when Sang Min begins his training as a teacher at Boeun's school. With one of the teachers hitting on Sang Min and Boeun's crush blossoming into a real romance, their days as husband and wife are numbered.
A naive villager, Lai Fu, comes to Mongkok -- the heart of Hong Kong's Kowloon area and one of the world's most densely populated areas -- to carry out a hit ordered by a gangster. His real motive, however, is to find his fiancee, who went to Mongkok to look after his grandmother but ended up becoming a prostitute. Meanwhile, fearing that the assassination will start a gang war, the police are in pursuit of Lai Fu. After he saves a young streetwalker from a violent client, she becomes his guide to Mongkok.