Blog Directory CineVerse: Luck be a lady tonight

Luck be a lady tonight

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Over the last 20 years, Toni Collette has proven herself to be an actress of the first order, as evidenced by her finely honed performances in several films, including "The Sixth Sense," "Muriel's Wedding," "Little Miss Sunshine," "Japanese Story," and "Hereditary." And she certainly doesn't fail to impress in "Lucky Them," a clever and comedic romantic drama from 2013 that invokes the spirit of "High Fidelity." We decided to spin this record last night at CineVerse; here are our takeaways:

What was different, surprising, satisfying, or even curious about “Lucky Them,” beyond what you expected?

  • Ellie isn’t the stereotypical female lead you often see in a romcom. She doesn’t appear emotionally needy, and she seems to be sexually satisfied on her own terms. She’s a 40-something woman without children or a boyfriend/spouse, making for an interesting character study.
    • Reviewer John Fink wrote: “Ellie is not an easy character to like, or even love — far from the manic pixie dream girl, she’s a whiskey-drinking, one-night stand-having woman who is comfortable in this lifestyle. She’s not on the verge of self-destruction because she’s been at it for so long and has made a career and lifestyle of it.”
  • This is a different type of road movie, one in which there is a quest – Ellie finding and writing about her old boyfriend – but one in which the destination is less important than the journey and the characters who tag along. There are also alternate routes taken and forks in the road that the audience may not necessarily expect.
  • The setting – Seattle – serves as a kind of character in itself. We are shown an overcast, dank environment, not a warm and sunny locale; this seems to mirror the emotional frame of mind and disposition of Ellie.
  • This is a picture less reliant on plot and story than on proper casting, quality performances, and sharp writing and dialogue.
  • Lucky Them also explores the mysteries of attraction, especially from the point of view of women. Consider that Ellie has three possible love interests, each of whom is sharply contrasted from the other: Charlie, a wealthy and eccentric documentarian; Lucas, a rags to riches musician; and Matthew, her enigmatic white whale of a former boyfriend/artist.

Themes built into Lucky Them

  • Finding closure and resolution in an unresolved relationship
  • The dangers of living in the past and being emotionally frozen in time
  • The benefits of age, wisdom, and maturity in navigating romantic relationships
  • The pros and cons of maneuvering through middle-age while unmarried and childless
  • Luck, chance, and seemingly small incidental events and situations can significantly change the course of your life.
  • The extent to which someone can survive and thrive on their own without romantic love. Consider the film’s title, “Lucky Them”; later in the movie, we hear an explanation about a small African primate, that they” don’t want love – they just want to be left alone.” Ellie thinks she’s one of these creatures, too; but it’s more likely that she needs love and companionship—more than she thinks she does.

Similar films that spring to mind

  • High Fidelity
  • Almost Famous
  • Singles
  • Safety Not Guaranteed
  • The Third Man

Other movies directed by Megan Griffiths

  • Eden
  • The Off Hours
  • The Night Stalker

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