Monday, August 01, 2005

WCBE 90.5 FM "Must Love Dogs," "Happy Endings," "Apres Vous"

It's Movie Time
Co-hosts, writers & producers: John DeSando & Clay Lowe
For WCBE 90.5 FM

Reviews: “Must Love Dogs,” “Happy Endings,” ”Apres Vous”
Taped: 2:00 pm, July 27, 2005
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, July 29, 2005
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:

“Must Love Dogs” is a fluffy romancer from the creator of Spin City and Family Ties . . .

"Happy Endings" has some loose ends. . .

"Apres Vous” is about two Frenchmen and the woman who’s the object of their love . . .


Richelle Antczak
"It's Movie Time" in Central-Ohio with John DeSando and Clay Lowe . . .


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Clay Lowe

John (“Must Love Dogs”)
Clay, What does a filmmaker do to enrich a clichéd story about a beautiful middle-aged woman who has turned to internet dating to find a man? Well, in Must Love Dogs, Gary David Goldberg simply writes some witty lines about contemporary sexual politics and directs an able cast headed by John Cusack and Diane Lane as the aging sweetheart wannabees.

The film is a veritable dictionary of stereotypes and genre staples: For example, the colorful family, the handsome womanizer, the gay best friend, meeting cute and doing cute (Although speeding around town looking for condoms is both cute and original). But there is a freshness I haven't seen since the older couple, Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, danced around in Something's Gotta Give 2 years ago.

The director is a TV person, so I need to allow him time to expunge glossy game-show lighting and sitcom set ups. Yet, Must Love Dogs is light and airy for the dog days of summer.

Clay (“Must Love Dogs”)
Folks, you DO have to watch out for old TV persons, but GARY David Goldberg, who once wrote for both Mash and Lou Grant, proves he still hasn’t lost that mass audience touch. Sure. Must Love Dogs is chock full of stock characters and predictable situations. But like TV’s Mash and Lou Grant, Must Love Dogs is PEOPLED with an extremely talented cast.

Dianne Lane, from Under the Tuscan Sun and Walk on the Moon, plays the role of an abandoned lover with her usual radiant charm. And John Cusack, her equally forsaken paramour, rises to the occasion on the wings of his romanticism and wit. Best of all, you’ll never see Dr. Zhivago again in quite the same light.

Light weight stuff, John, to be sure. But after a summer zombies, superheros, and invasions from Mars, Must Love Dogs is a welcome relief from the heat.

But, for further relief, how about a preview of the soon to arrive Happy Endings?

John (“Happy Endings”)
Clay--The film Happy Endings fulfills its titular promise and therein lies my criticism: This sometimes wise, other times didactic amalgam of 10 stories, essentially preaches honesty to oneself and to others.

Director Dan Roos (writer of Bounce) blends stories as different as an abortion-clinic woman being blackmailed about the daughter she gave up for adoption and a story about best friends-- gay and lesbian couples-- all in common with happy endings that stretch believability.

When a character claims she is not pro-life, a male avers, "Who is, once you start paying attention?" Well, pay attention because this is a challenging film with an excellent performance by Steve Coogan as a recently turned gay man in a nowhere situation. About him someone says, "Charley is gay now. Who isn't?"

The songs that bookend the film, Honesty and I love you just the way you are, are emblematic of the film's sunny and unrealistic attitude.

Clay ("Apres Vous")
Folks, the new French film in town, “Apres Vous” has taken over two years to get here and there just might be a reason why. Finding an audience for a film about two middle-aged, weak-willed French men, just might not be the easiest thing to do. Even though one of those men is played by our favorite French actor, John, Daniel Auteuil. (Oh toy) from Girl on the Bridge.

The setting certainly should attract our fans from Splendid Table: the Chez Jean in Paris is replete with white table cloths and a resident wine steward, who has been expertly taught how to sell the restaurant’s most expensive bouquets.

But Auteuil’s (Oh toys) role as a waiter, who doesn’t know when to stop giving, and his overly dependent protégé, who keeps asking for more, will soon be boring you with their incessant inability's to ease off.

Not even their provocative dual relationship with the angular flower girl Blanche is going to save what should have been a Gaelic charmer.

But enough of wine, canines, and happy endings, John, because it’s grading time.


"Must Love Dogs" earns a "B" because even though the romantic comedy genre is a dog, you must love this film . . .

"Must Love Dogs" gets an “A” because my AFFECTION for the movie’s fine ACTING overcomes my AVERSION to fluff . . .

"Happy Endings" earns a "B" for its happy meal attitude and split ends structure . . .

"Apres Vous" gets a tepid “C” because the food and wine, though good, ARE far too intense for my palette . . .

Clay, now I know how you connect with so many young women! You're using the internet! I never had to! I'm outta here.

John, I prefer social intercourse as a way to meet new people and that’s why I hang out at MACS CAFE, where everyone, for better or worse, knows my name.

I'm outta here. too

See you at the movies, folks.


The Award Winning "It's Movie Time" with John DeSando and Clay Lowe is written and produced by John DeSando and Clay Lowe in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus and 106.7 FM in Newark.


© 2005 John DeSando and Clay Lowe