Well, Olivia Thirlby has a challenge ahead of her.
The actress has joined Paul Dano and Robert De Niro in the upcoming film adaptation of Nick Flynn's memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, to be directed by Paul Weitz. Good news, sure -- but Thirlby better be ready to act.
Because, for those unaware, Flynn's book is brilliantly heartbreaking. It tells his story of meeting his father while working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter, but the book isn't written in a traditional form. Instead, Flynn relies on short, vignette-like chapters that blend poetry and prose, resulting in a reading experience that relies on both the actual words and the atmosphere they create to tell the story.
In short? This shit is serious. Plus, Dano and De Niro are both profound performers, so Miss I-talk-with-hip-words-in-Juno better be ready to bring the goods.
Sure, Paul Dano can land a role in a new Robert De Niro film in which he’ll play a writer who volunteers at a homeless shelter only to discover his long lost father (De Niro) looking for a bed in the same facility. Sure, he can do this movie, which is titled Another Night and is based on the Nick Flynn memoir Another Bullshit Night In Suck City. Sure, he's already proved himself one of the best actors of his generation in films like There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine and now will co-star in a movie with the Raging Bull himself, Robert De Niro.
But to me, good ole Paul Dano will always and forever be Klitz in The Girl Next Door. Try as you might, you shall never escape it Dano. Anyway, Another Night will be written, directed and co-produced by Paul Weitz, who just released another De Niro picture (Little Fockers) last month.
The majesty of the Emerald Isle is on full display in Leap Year an opposites attract romantic comedy starring Amy Adams (Julie & Julia Enchanted) and Matthew Goode (A Single Man Watchmen). Director Anand Tucker (Shopgirl Hilary and Jackie) shooting entirely on location in Ireland takes us on a whirlwind tour of the country’s breathtaking landscape reveling in its fabled fairy-tale charm.
Pity then that such a magnificent setting is so mercilessly defaced by Leap Year’s unrelenting mediocrity. The film’s dubious premise testing the already loose limits of rom-com believability casts Adams as Anna a type-A career girl who flies to Ireland intending to pop the question to her feet-dragging boyfriend on February 29th aka Leap Day. Why Leap Day? Because according to some idiotic old Irish tradition that’s when women are allowed to do such things. (Click here to watch Adams herself try to explain the plot.)
Unfortunately for Anna weather problems force her plane to land far away from Dublin and her would-be fiance. Trapped in a tiny coastal town with no reliable transportation at her disposal she enlists the help of a scruffy abrasive barkeep named Declan (Goode) to drive her cross-country so she can reach her destination by the 29th. And thus begins the traditional rom-com mating ritual of sexually-charged bickering followed by moments of abrupt awkward intimacy.
While watching Leap Year I swear I could hear the Irish countryside quietly weeping as it witnessed Goode and Adams slog through the film's succession of trite misadventures the talented actors straining in vain to manufacture some semblance of romantic chemistry as an assortment of jolly Waking Ned Devine types futilely spurred them on. Oh if only Greenpeace could have intervened and put a halt to such wanton environmental desecration. It's the worst thing to come out of Ireland since The Cranberries.