Why do we all hate Anne Hathaway again? I forget. Anyway, here we have her latest work alongside the master of acting, Robert De Niro. In this uncommon feature we have Anne Hathaway playing an annoying 30-something who has established her own online clothing website and tackles balancing her business life with her personal life. We’ve seen this trope before, however, the spin on is that the company Anne Hathaway started decided to do a Senior Internship initiative, this is where Robert De Niro enters.
On the surface, this film could be mistaken for a chic-flick or yet another story about the struggles of being a woman but they deliberately use the cliché to mock it, sort of. They use that premise to discuss men, for a change. This kind of marketing shoots itself in the foot, the audience this film will draw is women but the audience who need to see it are men.
We’ve discussed loads about diversity in films here on Third Act. This film offers a counter argument to the current discussion. That discussion being empowering women; with women being told to be empowered where does that lead men? Boo hoo I may hear you cry, but it’s a valid conversation to have. What does it mean to be a man these days? Have men gone the wrong path or are men creating something new? I commend this film for bringing a discussion like this up, which is surprising not covered that much in film in recent years; are men being forgotten?
Less about men, more about the movie. Another highlight of this sweet film is the music. The music is glorious. They use either string quartet or piano music throughout and it only adds to the already established charm created by Robert De Niro.
Robert De Niro is the king. He has yet again proven why he will always be in the discussion as to who is the best actor of all time. He has such a huge repertoire of different films. Many great actors can do particular roles perfectly, De Niro is the chameleon, he is the shape-shifter, the greatest liar, the magician of behaviour, the painter of physical emotion, the don of acting (okay, calm down James). The super-heavy weight champion of acting however does show quite clearly the level of talent of the rest of the cast. The role De Niro plays seems easy, whilst everyone else is trying their very best to keep up.
This film is about Robert De Niro, slightly about Anne Hathaway and that’s about it. However, De Niro can only do so much. Pacing goes off a bit towards the end and certain scenes feel out-of-place. There’s a peculiar heist sequence in the third quarter which doesn’t fit or achieve anything for example. The film could have done with more emotional scenes or deeper discussion on the topic of men and women’s roles in today’s society. The scenes that were intended to send an emotional punch at the audience fell short and felt more like an abstruse pat on the ear (yes, you heard me right).
The ending of the film drops the quality of the film by a reasonable margin. Nothing is actually resolved, no answers given. In fact, in a seemingly happy story all the characters end up worse off then how they began. Normally I love this type of thing, I love unexpected and unhappy endings. However, the film doesn’t present it as so. They expect the audience to believe all the characters are ending up better off.
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