Monday, May 28, 2012

NEWLYWEDS by Pamela Powell

NEWLYWEDS, starring Edward Burns, Caitlin Fitzgerald, and Kerry Bishe was finally available on Demand this week!  Again, like the movie TAKE THIS WALTZ that I flagged to see while at the Tribeca Film Festival, but missed, I was thrilled to see it available now through Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.  NEWLYWEDS, written by Edward Burns, was "hanging with the big boys" with a budget of just 9k, "with no advertising budget," according to his tweet on May 26.  $9,000!  (What I want to do is "slap" Transformers and big budget non-entertaining movies like that in the face with that information!)  This is a quality film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking and did I mention the fact that they did it for $9,000???

NEWLYWEDS obviously focuses on the newly married couple, Buzzy (Burns) and Katie (Caitlin Fitzgerald), but they aren't your typical newlyweds.  This is a second marriage for both of these young New Yorkers and they feel like they now have married life figured out...don't spend too much time with each other by having opposite schedules and complete honesty should be the recipe for the perfect marriage.  They soon learn how outside family members can have an impact on their sweet recipe by adding a bit of vinegar.

Both Buzzy and Katie's sisters play an important role in how they influence marital bliss.  Katie's sister is ever-present and ever-negative regarding her own relationship.  Katie must somehow be supportive without letting her sister's poisonous words infect her own relationship with Buzzy.  Buzzy's little half-sister from LA arrives unannounced to figure out a her own relationship with long lost love residing in NYC.  We watch as all these ancillary characters interact and stir up the recipe of Buzzy and Katie's perfect marriage, adding ingredients unexpectedly.

The writing of this movie feels real.  I can picture the conversations in many of these situations actually occurring (in fact, I think a couple of them really did in my own life).  The cast is great.  OK, I'll admit that I have had a crush on Edward Burns for years, and two of my favorite movies are She's the One and The Brothers McMullen.  Put that aside and I still thoroughly enjoyed watching NEWLYWEDS as it shows how difficult it is to have a successful marriage given all the outside forces that seemingly work against success.  I also love how this movie feels like a reality show in that occasionally the characters would be pulled aside and be interviewed candidly about their thoughts and feelings as well as their plans.  Ingenious.  If only in reality we could actually do that maybe we wouldn't have so many communication problems in many aspects of our lives!

Google the movie and see interviews with Edward Burns to learn a lot more great information about how he made this movie in short order on such a low budget.  Let's get behind quality films like this!  All the wide release, big blockbuster movies in the theater this month (remember, May is MOVIE MEDIOCRITY MONTH!) have been such a disappointment that it is wonderful that through VOD we can see movies with a heart.

7.5 Reels/10

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