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Remember when Amy Heckerling's Clueless came out in 1995, with its Californian mall-rat heroine Cher, interfering in the lives of friends and schoolteachers?How fresh it seemed, how sharp and rinsed its dialogue, how cleverly based on Austen's Emma.
But cool and thoughtful and responsible grown-ups don't just come off as fresh and interesting — they pull complexity out of the teen characters as well.
And Hailee Steinfeld stars as Nadine, a misanthropic, flannel-wearing high school junior who is annoyed with everyone, even when she doesn't want to be. ) Her father, whom she worshiped, died too young, and her mother (Kyra Sedgwick) has been struggling to go on ever since, dating men she shouldn't be dating and mostly leaving her kids to their own devices.
The responsibility of keeping the peace at home rests, as it so often does, on the shoulders of the oldest kid: Nadine's athletic, popular, and handsome older brother Darian (Blake Jenner). He is, it seems, not just her confidant but her only friend.
So when Nadine's one friend in the world, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), starts dating Darian, Nadine's world comes apart. Bruner (Woody Harrelson), which is the point at which most of your alarm bells probably go off, but stick with me. Things keep getting worse for Nadine, especially because she's vocally obsessed with a good-looking classmate, to whom she accidentally (and graphically) expresses her overweening desire for him.
(Whether she's had sex before isn't said and isn't really relevant.) Meanwhile, one of her own classmates, Erwin (Hayden Szeto, destined for greatness), is into her.
Stone got her official stamp of approval as a “serious actress” last year with a supporting Oscar nod for her work as Michael Keaton’s bristling daughter in “Birdman” — earned principally with a hot hairdryer blast of a monologue directed against her father, detailing his manifold failings with merciless economy.
It was good, gutsy stuff, but those who thought it a step up for her had perhaps undervalued the detail and layering of her earlier comic work.
Don and Janna's relationship has been on the verge of collapse since the death of their daughter, and they're trying to reconnect with each other through role playing, so each evening they pretend they're meeting for the first time on a blind date after discovering one another through personal ads.
Sometimes they assume characters that are openly confrontational, while other times they try to bring a sweetness and intimacy back into their lives, but more often than not their struggle to reclaim the love they knew ends in confusion and frustration.
Gosling and Stone have something of that easy, teasy energy between them.
In “La La Land” — a more complex, compromised love story than either of their previous team-ups — the dynamic between them deepens and diverges somewhat.
Blind Date was adapted by Tucci and screenwriter David Schechter from Theo Van Gogh's 1996 film of the same name; it was the second in a series of remakes of Van Gogh's films (following Steve Buscemi's Interview) created in response to Van Gogh's assassination by political extremists in 2004.