If ever you needed proof that I have eclectic taste in movies, may I present this post as Exhibit A right through to Z.
In just three movies, you have a rom-com – likely garden variety but warmly sweet and uplifting, anyway – a kids animated feature (hello Christmas outing with the nieces and nephews) and a serious indie drama that explores ISSUES, all of them ready to fill a niche or a moment.
That’s the glorious part of cinema – there’s pretty much anything to suit anybody, and if you’re like me, and you like LOTS of things, then you’ll never be short of things to watch.
In fact, it might be better to move into the cinema, put your house on the market and just have the popcorn machine in easy reach …
After an unexpected breakup, a travel executive (Rachael Leigh Cook) accepts an assignment to go undercover and learn about the tourist industry in Vietnam. Along the way she finds adventure and romance with her Vietnamese expat tour guide (Scott Ly) when they decide to reroute the tour bus in order to explore life and love off the beaten path. A Tourist’s Guide to Love is directed by the American director Steven K. Tsuchida, mainly a TV director making his first feature film; he has directed episodes of Inside Amy Schumer, The Jim Gaffigan Show, On My Block, Younger, In the Dark, Dear White People, Cobra Kai, and Welcome to Flatch previously. The screenplay is written by Eirene Tran Donohue. It’s produced by Rachael Leigh Cook and Joel S. Rice for Muse Entertainment. (courtesy First Showing)
A Tourist’s Guide to Love releases 21 April on Netflix.
After two movies of true friendship and relentless flirting, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are now officially, finally, a couple (#broppy)! As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch has a secret past. He was once part of her favorite boyband phenomenon, BroZone, with his four brothers: Floyd (Golden Globe nominated electropop sensation Troye Sivan), John Dory (Eric André; Sing 2), Spruce (Grammy winner Daveed Diggs; Hamilton) and Clay (Grammy winner Kid Cudi). BroZone disbanded when Branch was still a baby, as did the family, and Branch hasn’t seen his brothers since. But when Branch’s bro Floyd is kidnapped for his amazing musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains—Velvet (Emmy winner Amy Schumer; Trainwreck) & Veneer (Grammy winner and Tony nominee Andrew Rannells; The Book of Mormon)—Branch and Poppy must embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue Floyd from a fate even worse than pop-culture obscurity.
Trolls Band Together, also known as Trolls 3, is directed by American animation filmmaker Walt Dohrn, co-director on the first Trolls and director of Trolls 2: World Tour previously, originally from SpongeBob SquarePants before this. Co-directed by Tim Heitz (head of story on Trolls World Tour). The screenplay credits have not been finalized yet. Produced by Gina Shay. (courtesy First Showing)
Trolls Band Together releases 17 November in USA and 26 December in Australia.
The film follows Narvel Roth (Joel Edgerton), the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate, to pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill (Sigourney Weaver). When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell) as an apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that soon threaten them all. Master Gardener is both written and directed by acclaimed American filmmaker Paul Schrader, director of the films Blue Collar, Hardcore, American Gigolo, Cat People, Light of Day, The Comfort of Strangers, Light Sleeper, Forever Mine, Auto Focus, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, The Walker, Adam Resurrected, The Canyons, The Dying of the Light, Dog Eat Dog, First Reformed, and The Card Counter previously. (courtesy First Showing)
Master Gardener releases 19 May 2023 in USA; Australian dates TBC.