PLAYING IT COOL | DVD REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

I learned from this movie that Captain America actually does more acting than just being Captain America, oh yeah, how could I forget SNOWPIERCER!! This time Chris Evans plays a writer, a hopeless, unable to love writer, who wants to write action movies and can have one, if he can write a romcom. Joining Evans in PLAYING IT COOL (aka A MANY SPLINTERED THING) is the delightful Michelle Monaghan and a whopping support cast. I do not think PLAYING IT COOL got a cinema release, but it is out now on DVD in Australia thanks to the awesome folks at TRANSMISSION FILMS who have given us 6x copies on DVD for you to win. See below my review to find out how. All the best………….JK.

 

PLAYING IT COOL AUSTRALIAN DVD COVER IMAGE
PLAYING IT COOL | SALTY POPCORN DVD REVIEW & GIVEAWAY | AUSTRALIAN DVD COVER IMAGE

 

Chris Evans plays “Narrator” – surprisingly I do not think the two lead actors actually have names in this movie, I do believe Michelle Monaghan is even labelled “Her” on IMDB. Narrator has to write his romcom but has no idea at all how to do it due to having no knowledge of love. His heart is actually charerterised in the movie as another version of himself who always sits in the corner looking very film noir, chain-smoking and constantly passing judgement. And being a writer Narrator also visualises every story ever told to him as though he is one of the characters, this makes for some hysterical costumes for him, let me just say Captain America also looks pretty fine as a woman.

What makes for a good romcom? A well written screenplay, good characters, good laughs and most of all, the only thing that really makes or breaks, chemistry between the leads. So based on those four items this movie passes, I enjoyed it, I laughed and I love Monaghan.

 

PLAYING IT COOL MOVIE IMAGE
PLAYING IT COOL | SALTY POPCORN DVD REVIEW & GIVEAWAY | NARRATOR (CHRIS EVANS) IN FRONT OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

 

It has a passable screenplay by writing duo Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair but it could have had more fleshing out, the concept was brilliant, complain about a soppy cliched driven love story and how you hate it to death and would never write a screenplay like that and then have your life go that way. Basically life imitating art, grasping all the cliches and try to make fun of them. The problem was it didn’t embrace them enough. It has some incredible dialogue but mostly from underutilised support cast. For me Aubrey Plaza and Topher Grace, who form part of his motley crew of writer friends, stole the show but they just weren’t used enough – having Grace as a gay walking love-movie cliche was gold and Aubrey’s in your face batshit mental feminism was at times hysterical – the baby scene was  insane! The screenplay for this movie actually made the Black List – a yearly survey of the “most liked” screenplays not yet produced. Other famous graduates of this Black List were SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE KING’S SPEACH, ARGO and AMERICAN HUSTEL. Although, sadly, this movie is nowhere near this league of recent greats.

The leads have incredible chemistry – you will buy their love, Monaghan is made for romcoms – you will fall in love with her BUT as individuals they have issues. Her being engaged in the movie while starting an affair makes her character not as awesome as you think – was disappointed in this – it just wasn’t necessary for her to have the boyfriend, known as “Stuffy”. And as an actor I thought Evans was miscast. He can act well and the chemistry was great but I think he has been Captain America too long, I was having issue with him being a normal actor with flaws and unshaved – he is probably elated to be able to let loose and have some more fun but it was hard for me to see him as this character.

 

PLAYING IT COOL MOVIE IMAGE
PLAYING IT COOL | SALTY POPCORN DVD REVIEW & GIVEAWAY | NARRATOR (CHRIS EVANS) AND HER (MICHELLE MONAGHAN) IN A “DREAM” SEQUENCE

 

The movie has some great visuals, some great imagination and a loveable cast, notable other supporting actors were Philip Baker Hall, Ioan Gruffud (his Mr Fantastic to Evans’ Flame), Anthony Mackie (his Falcon to Evans’ Captain America) plays a funny over the top agent with a penchant for Malaysian women, Patrick Warburton and my two faves that cracked me up – cameos from Ashley Tisdale and Matthew Morrison.

The movie works and I would probably say the best romcom I have seen in a few years, but at the same time first time director, Justin Reardon, delivered a decent movie but not an exceptional one. I would love a movie on Topher Grace’s character – or even a TV show :).

You could do much much worse – and as they say – “still a better love story than Twilight.”

 

3 Pops

 

With special thanks to Transmission Films to win one the 6X DVDs of PLAYING IT COOL you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage), you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following questions:

Who is your favourite romcom and why? Mine is a toss up – PRETTY WOMAN, GROUNDHOG DAY or can we classify ROMANCING THE STONE as a romcom? Hmm

If you do not have social media then get with the times – you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent after FEB 15th! Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.

 

 

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