Brian and Charles

“Brian and Charles” is a small, independent British film about a reclusive Welshman who serves as his town’s handyman. He is also an inventor of some very eccentric inventions. His latest is a robot with a washing machine for a body. The robot takes the name of Charles and the two of them form an odd friendship. Like I said this is a little film, but it is charming, clever, witty and fun. The relationship between Brian and the robot is similar to a father and son, with Charles being rebellious and naive. This film is perfect to watch at home. I really enjoyed it.

The Prom

“The Prom” is a movie musical with a message that was recently on Broadway. Meryl Streep and James Corden star as two narcissist Broadway stars who are looking for a publicity stunt to help revive their careers. They decide to help a high school girl in Indiana who wants to go to her prom with her girlfriend, but it is forbidden. Nicole Kidman as a chorus girl and Andrew Rannells as an out-of-work actor agree to go along. The plot is just an excuse for some outstanding production numbers. The stand out in the cast is Meryl Streep, playing a diva, sings incredibly. I knew she could sing, but not like this! And for a woman of of 71 she looks amazing. Andrew Rannells, who starred in “Book of Mormon”, is also quite good. Corden are Kidman are O.K., but not up to the other two. The Indiana teenagers are a bit cliche, but enjoyable in the production numbers. This is a likable piece of fluff. The production numbers are fun to watch and well produced. A nice way to spend an evening.

Last Christmas

I figured that “Last Christmas” was going to be one of those typical Christmas romantic comedies, the kind with attractive leads meeting cute and falling in love. You know what I mean, a Hallmark of Lifetime movie, but with better production values. The female lead is Emila Clarke, from “Game of Thrones”, and she is somewhat of a train wreck of a person. She’s from an immigrant family from Croatia (Emma Thompson with a thick accent), semi-homeless in London and has a nowhere job in a Christmas ornament shop run by an Asian dragon lady. She also recently had very serious health issues. Out of the blue, this handsome stranger appears and wins her over. He helps her find her way in life, because she was pretty much drifting. The difference between this movie and other Christmas themed films is that it has a major “Sixth Sense” twist and I did not see it coming. The film itself has giant reality holes, like how does the ornament store stay in business year round and why does the lead character wear an elf costume most of the time? But I really enjoyed this film. It ends on a happy/sad/hopeful note. The two leads, Clarke and Henry Golding from “Crazy Rich Asians” have a lot of chemistry. A nice holiday diversion.