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3/26/2009

Film & Video

FFF: Opening Night

 

Western Spaghetti (2 Stars) Well, I guess there’s your theme in action. Somebody cooks spaghetti but the ingredients are non-food products like balls of yarn. It’s all in brilliant stop-motion animation, so it must be “creative” and not mildly chuckle-worthy. — Justin Strout

Management (3 Stars) It’s a good thing Stephen Belber pipes in a constant stream of twee pop throughout his directorial debut, because this cute, if uncomfortable, movie about a motel clerk (Steve Zahn) who falls for a passing-through saleswoman (Jennifer Aniston) and follows her across the country could turn very dark on the turn of a dime. Aniston’s character entertains the notion of Zahn at first, and actually goes much further than that for reasons not made clear, but we’re supposed to buy into her as a technically selfless but too guarded tightwad. The film lets her rebel against her type at some moments but not others, leaving her seeming even more maniacal than her loose-cannon pursuer. Zahn has his own problems, however, in that characters around him insist he is “stuck” in life and needs to break out. But he’s living in the moment just fine, thank you. Hell, he’s a dog chasing cars, as seen in the nonsensically slapstick second act, where he follows his heart to a soccer match, feeds the homeless, skydives, gets shot multiple times and serenades Aniston with Bad Company at the risk of death. How, exactly, is he “stuck”? The film never answers that question, but stays safely within the realm of adorableness. — Justin Strout

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