Some Kind Of Beautiful (2014)

Pierce Brosnan

Salma Hayek

Jessica Alba and

Malcolm McDowell in a single movie but I bet you haven’t heard of it.  After seeing this, I am sure each of them are quite glad this has slipped you by.  With such a beautiful cast, this romantic comedy had so much potential.

We have Mr Brosnan, playing Richard the Cambridge literary professor who teaches the classic romantics, following in his fathers footsteps Mr McDowell.   Both would be considered womanizers – don’t think twice about hopping in the sack with their students.

Enter Ms. Alba, playing Kate, the American-in-Britain-studying student who beds Richard and they finally make a long term relationship (6 months!) resulting in Kate getting pregnant.  Oops.

Arranging to meet Kate’s father in a London hotel, he bumps into Ms Hayek, Olivia, who he flirts with at the bar, but turns out to be Kate’s half sister.  Oops number 2.

So they move to America and the setup of course, that eventually Kate falls out of love with the older man and instead sets up shop with a co-worker that eventually move in together, leaving Richard to live in the guest house so they can bring up their son together.

Olivia enters the fray again, this time kindling stirrings in each other that results in them dancing around one another until the dead is done and they are in love. Except now he gets deported, for messing up his green card application.


There are some moments of humor, the odd line, the odd setup, but they are so few and far between it isn’t worth waiting for.   There is a rather comical scene that shows off the excellent (20 year old) body of Hayek, who was 49 at the time of making this movie.  Which brings me onto the casting of this story – it is all over the place.

We have Brosnan, who is 62.  Alba who is 34, Hayek at 49, and McDowell who is 72.  It just doesn’t make sense, not even numerically but on screen it looks out of whack.  McDowell is putting on an awful Yorkshire accent to make him look more crusty than he is, and doesn’t fit the Cambridge professor archetype at all (excusing the fact playing a dad to a son only 10 years his junior!).

The trailer, if I am honest, didn’t scream ‘oh what have i missed’, so I was already underwhelmed before going into this one.  But forever the optimist I had high hopes they were holding back saving the best bits for the actual movie.  Nope.


Viewing Date
Wednesday, 14th October 2015


IMDB YouTubeTrailer

Standby (2014)

This is a no effort-required Irish romantic comedy about a man who, finds himself working with his mother for the Irish tourist board at the information desk at Dublin airport.  A girl from his 8 years past, arrives at the airport stranded for the night, waiting the next flight to the USA (hence the title reference she is on standby).

Naturally this could have been the one that got away, but he didn’t have the courage to go and chase her down.  So this is his second chance.

I did expect a lot more from this outing.  I was excited when it was recommended to me from a few other movies in the same genre.  I had not heard of it before, and while it may not have hit the mainstream, sometimes you discover a real gem that has been locked away waiting to be viewed.

The lead is played by

Brian Gleeson, who I didn’t click at the time, is the son of my favourite Irish actor

Brendan Gleeson (The Guard) and the younger brother of 

Domhnall Gleeson (About Time).   Now I know, I can see the strong family resemblance.   Feel a bit dumb not joining those dots as I am usually quite good at finding the connections.

The female lead, the love interest, is carried by

Jessica Paré of Mad Men fame.  It has to be said, she is not your classic beauty here in this movie, not even eliciting a sexy girl’next’door look.  She was far more sensual as Don Drapers squeeze.

They bump through the usual will-they-or-won’t-they scenario’s of the usual rom-com journey, with the natural outcome that we are rewarded with for sitting through it all.

It isn’t an offensive comedy, it has some funny lines (as Mark Kermode would say, passes the 6 laugh test) and it doesn’t spend too long in any given scene where you would normally be saying get on with it.

It is no Notting Hill so Richard Curtis, the master of the under stated romantic comedy, can rest easy.

If you want to watch something that couldn’t quite gain mainstream popularity then you won’t go too far wrong.  Just lower your expectations and you’ll have an enjoyable evening.

Viewing Date
Wednesday, 9th September 2015


IMDB YouTubeTrailer