Catch Me If You Can – Ingenious deception (2002)

Spielberg’s supremely amusing tale of self-invention in the land of opportunity tells the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., a teenager from Rochelle, New York. Spielberg grasped that unique history and turned it into a superbly charming pursuit story precisely set in the sights and sounds of Abagnale’s 1960’s era. The film’s approach is cheerful and fun but maintains firm attention towards the dark side of characters pain and suffering.

Frank Abagnale Jr. was only 16 when he became one of the 1960’s most legendary con artists. The film opens with his home life; everything seems perfect for the teenager, whose parents are seemingly madly in love. But everything changes when Frank Sr. is investigated by the IRS and his dear mother files for divorce only to wed one of her husband’s closest friends. In hope of avoiding the confusion Frank Jr. runs away and begins a three year crime spree in which he successfully impersonates an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer and several other professions, and tricks various establishments out of $2.5 million before he is caught and condemned to serve 12 years in prison.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the young Abagnale with an effortless charm, and we never fail to forget that his character is still a teenager distressed for approval from his father. Tom Hanks is also fantastic as FBI agent Carl Hanratty. The guy is passionate, ambitious and strongly devoted to his profession. Christopher Walken is great as Frank’s father. You really believe the genuine bond between the two characters. Martin Sheen appears as the impending father-in-law for Frank and his reactions to Frank’s giant stories are priceless. Jennifer Garner draws one of the biggest laughs in the movie when she tries to fraud the con man.

Steven Spielberg is a leading storyteller who has a delightful sense of visual design. Though very visually appealing and entertaining, Catch Me If You Can establishes a cheap grace because the soft ending to the movie seems to excuse Frank’s adolescent behavior. The movie, therefore, values love, compassion and sympathy above repentance and responsibility.

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Romantics Anonymous ~ An Odd Twist On True Love (2012)

Romantics Anonymous is a bittersweet tale of true love between two pathologically shy chocolate makers. I was pleasantly surprised by the genuine affection and charming humor displayed from the quirky characters throughout the film. Award winning director Jean-Pierre Améris plays with terrifying emotions, misfits and good old-fashioned romance to create this perky retake on everlasting love.

Angélique, a saucy-eyed beauty with a halo of curls, is a gifted chocolatier who is so meek that the merest compliment makes her faint. To build up her confidence she regularly attends 12-step meetings for people who struggle with anxiety disorders. Her male counterpart, Jean-René, is the middle-aged owner of a chocolate shop drowning in debt. Jean-René is afraid to answer his telephone, listens to encouraging tapes at night and regularly visits a therapist. The desirous pair meets when he hires Angélique as a sales representative. The pair embark on a series of failed dates, misread signals and anxiety attacks.

The acting quality is superb. Isabelle Carré is perfect as the wide-eyed Angélique, determined to overcome her insecurities. Benoît Poelvoorde is a refreshing twist on prince charming, a creative character who reveals his charming flaws throughout the film.

The cinematography by Gérard Simon has the palette of a chocolate box; it’s a combination of dark hues and silver highlights that make the real-world location of hotels, factories and streets look like a studio fantasy – rich and beautiful. The films upbeat sense of potential seems earned and its style, seductive.

Romantics Anonymous is an artistic romance with outstanding production, creative cinematography and brilliant actors. Romance blossoms in an unusual way and the unique humour is ironically amusing. If you embrace Romantics Anonymous for what it is, you are sure to enjoy the film, particularly if you admire French romantic comedies.

500 Days of Summer – The Charming Summer Romance (2009)

(500) Days of Summer is a quirky American romance that designates a sweet yet realistic view of relationships that’s both refreshing and logical. Director Marc Webb plays with time and memories, much as the mind does when recalling the moments that make or break a relationship. (500) Days of Summer is the kind of film that will make believers have faith again – both in Hollywood and in love.

The plot is rather unusual and creative. Rather than simply recounting how boy meets girl and succeeding the stereotypical storyline, it attempts to answer some challenging questions about love. The film initiates on Day 1 when Tom meets his Boss’s new assistant Summer and falls for her instantly; but Day 488, a scene on a park bench which may specify the end of their flourishing relationship. The film remains in what appears as a backwards and forwards skipping pattern in the 500 day history of a wrecked love affair. These are Tom’s personal memories, and one’s memory can play dreadful tricks.

Director Marc Webb envisioned a romantic movie with an unsentimental collection of characters and events. Michael Weber’s perky, imaginatively structured screenplay is given supreme glamour with a clever split screen to show his expectation vs. reality when Tom tries to win Summer back. This delightful comedy floats between the intricacy of love, faith and true happiness.

With his crooked smile, thin physique and unbelievably deep voice Joseph Gordon-Levitt conceals his inner charm as introverted and love-sick Tom Hansen. Zooey Deschanel uses her slightly dreamy, somewhat miserable appearance to mirror her internal charisma as Summer Finn. Their characters seem so ideally matched that it’s a bit of a shock when things don’t work out between them.

(500) Days of Summer presents the perfect resemblance for itself, a greeting card writer who hopelessly falls in love. This film is a heartfelt dose of something wonderful midst a rollercoaster of unpredictably deceiving emotions, tied together with a bit of cinematic charm to capture the most magical moments. Here is a rare film that begins by telling us how it will end.