‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ Is as Fun and Generic as Any Summer Popcorn Flick

The title of Susanna Fogel’s second feature may be a play on James Bond, but unlike The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), the women of the story aren’t simply playthings – they’re at the forefront. The Spy Who Dumped Me is next on the growing list of female spy movies, and while it’s a fun summer popcorn movie, it doesn’t transcend the genre’s typical conventions.

The film follows best friends Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) in the aftermath of discovering that Audrey’s ex, Drew (Justin Theroux), is a spy for the CIA. They soon find themselves sucked into an international espionage adventure that takes them from their quiet lives in Los Angeles to running for their lives around Europe. At its core, the film is about the strength of women and female friendships, but the buddy comedy fails to find the right balance of action to complement the film’s light-hearted vibe.

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Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis in ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ © Lionsgate

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Criterion Throwback Review: Jacques Demy’s ‘The Young Girls of Rochefort’

One of the most celebrated and influential movements of international cinema is no doubt, French New Wave. This movement, that began in the late 1950s and continued into the 1960s, is known notably for the work of directors like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, with films like The 400 Blows and Breathless. While most French New Wave films graced the screen in black and white, with plots reminiscent of Hollywood genres like gangster film and film noir, there was a director painting French screens with effervescent, candy-coloured hues of lyrical wit. Jacques Demy is a director that stands apart from the rest, with screenplays that were a tribute to the Hollywood musicals of directors like Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donan. Demy’s cleverly written screenplays intertwine with similar themes (chance encounters, nostalgia, abandonment) and characters. His deviation from the traditional conventions of French cinema delivered a musical unlike any other: The Young Girls of Rochefort.

Just as the 1967 film is an homage to the Hollywood musical, the tributes to it have been returned, most notably in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, making it one of the most influential musicals to date. However, for many years, this wasn’t the case. It was overshadowed immensely by Demy’s previous musical venture, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, receiving a lukewarm reception, and disappearing quickly. It would take decades for film historians to see it on the same level of genius as Cherbourg, and equally as long for it to receive a re-release.

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Eight Movies to Watch Now That You’ve Seen ‘Ocean’s 8’

John Mulaney once said, “You could never put together a heist with women. Like Ocean’s Eleven with women wouldn’t work because two would keep breaking off to talk shit about the other nine.” Just like the film’s heist, the success of Ocean’s 8 was high stakes, but with its $100 million domestic gross, the film silences the critics and proves, once again, that women dominate at the box office.

For decades, female ensemble films have been hitting the silver screen and subsequently proved to be substantial and fun entertainment. I asked my social media followers to name their favourite powerhouse group of ladies on film, with the following – of many films referenced – coming out on top.

The Women dir. George Cukor

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While Ocean’s 8 is void of the male criticism predicting a movie full of catfights, The Women (1939) has plenty – one in which Rosalind Russell bites Paulette Goddard leaving her with a scar – and it makes for some good comedy. The film is based on Clare Boothe Luce’s play of the same name and stars some of the biggest names of the era: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, and Joan Fontaine. With a supporting cast comprised of Lucile Watson, Mary Boland, Florence Nash, Virginia Grey, Ruth Hussey, Virginia Weidler, Butterfly McQueen, Hedda Hopper, as well as Marjorie Main and Phyllis Povah who reprised their stage roles for the film. Despite the film’s slogan “It’s all about men!”, the entire cast of 130, including extras, were all women (even the dogs featured were female). The central theme of the film is the women’s relationship with the men in their lives, with most of them going to Reno to get a divorce. The film follows these Manhattan socialites, focusing primarily on Mary Haines (Shearer) who, thanks to the gossipy Sylvia (Russell), finds out her husband is having an affair with the perfume counter girl Crystal Allen (Crawford). The claws come out and leads to one of the best scenes of the film, a standoff between Mary and Crystal who dish out some harsh quips. The drama between Mary and Crystal allowed for the interconnectedness of the rest of the cast, as their lives change over the film’s two year period. With witty dialogue and elegant costuming, sparks-fly in this comedic classic of extravagant bitchery.

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‘Set It Up’ is a Delightful Summer Rom-Com

Romantic comedies don’t sell as many theatre tickets as they used to a decade ago, but if Set It Up is any indication, Netflix is their future. Enjoying something on the streaming giant has been an unfamiliar feeling this year, but with 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, Set It Up is the site’s highest-rated original film of the year so far. It’s an enjoyable watch for a genre that has had some great hits, and equally as many misses, but director Claire Scanlon’s film is funny and charming in the way that a good rom-com should be.

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Much Ado’s Best Films of 2018 (So Far)

We may only be halfway through the year, but there have already been plenty of great movies to sink our teeth into. From slow-burn indie darlings to crowd-pleasing blockbusters, the past six months have provided something for all tastes, proving that we don’t have to be mid-awards season to experience great cinema. Check out the following 15 films that we think are the best of the best:

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Much Ado Pride 2018: Upcoming LGBTQ Films

Happy Pride to all our LGBTQ readers!

To celebrate Pride Month, here is a list of all the upcoming LGBTQ films you can expect to see on a cinema screen near you. All descriptions are from press materials.

  • June 8 – HEART BEATS LOUD dir. Brett Haley

The film follows Sam during her last summer at home before she leaves for UCLA. She lives with her father, Frank, who runs a record store in Brooklyn. Together, they bond while playing and writing music together in their living room. And Sam doesn’t let the impending cross-country move stop her from having a summer fling.

Starring: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Sasha Lane, Toni Collette

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Much Ado Pride 2018: ‘Alex Strangelove’ is a Netflix Original Worth Watching

After delivering a series of awful originals this year, which include The Cloverfield ParadoxMute, and The Kissing Booth, Netflix finally delivers with Alex Strangelove. A touching film that hits familiar John Hughes-esque territory, but delivers a raunchy, comedic and heartwarming story of self-discovery.

The film follows type-A nerd Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny), as he navigates the “savage kingdom that is the modern American high school.” He meets Claire (Madeline Weinstein) and they become best friends, start their own web series, and eventually, they start dating. This is where the familiar “You’ll be the laughing stock of the school if you don’t lose your virginity!!” flashbacks kick in, and just like every teenager, Alex is going through the same pressure. But things get complicated when Alex meets the charismatic, gay Elliot (Antonio Marziale), who sends Alex down a rollercoaster of sexual discovery and acceptance. 

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