Finally! After what seems like endless twee, smug, in-love-with-their-own-kookiness hipster rom-coms, with about as much authentic emotion as a Barbie doll, along comes a quiet little independent movie called MANAGEMENT. Part bittersweet relationship drama, part broad comedy, the movie is hard to define (and presumably hard to market). Sometimes characters do crazy cute things that only really happen in rom-coms. Some characters are so exaggerated they couldn't possibly exist in the real world. But for every purely funny scene, there's a scene of real emotional warmth and truth.
Jennifer Aniston plays Sue Clauson - a really nice woman who's somehow still single and fills up her life with worthy causes. On a business trip she meets a guy called Mike, another lonely, nice person, stuck working in his parents; motel. The two hook up and so it should end, but Mike rather fantastically, and immaturely, starts following Sue across the country, finally parachuting into her pool and serenading her. She's stuck between being flattered by this insane "rom-com" behaviour and being creeped out by his semi-stalkerish immature antics. What I love about the film is that there is no quick Hollywood ending but actual personal growth. Jennifer Aniston in particular turns in a convincing, modulated performance, while Woody Harrelson and James Liao are very funny indeed.
MANAGEMENT played Toronto 2008 and was released earlier this year in the US, Israel, Iceland, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Singapore and the Philippines. It opens today in the UK and on October 29th in South Korea.