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    Some Kind of Beautiful (2015): Movie Review

    “Some kind of beautiful disaster.”  

    Pierce Brosnan stars as an English “romantics” fellow and serial womanizer in Some Kind of Beautiful, previously known as How to Make Love Like an Englishman. Written by Matthew Newman and directed by Tom Vaughan, the film is a highly-sexist and offensive romantic comedy about a 60-year-old playboy who found love and redemption in two American half-sisters.

    Richard Haig (Pierce Brosnan) is a renowned literature professor at Cambridge whose teaching styles are influenced by his arrogant and hypercritical retired father, Gordon (Malcolm McDowell). He has one terrible habit – sleeping with his students. When his latest girlfriend, American student Kate (Jessica Alba), becomes pregnant, Richard leaves behind his English life and flies to Los Angeles with her.

    Jake (Duncan Joiner), their son, is born but later, Kate falls in love with the younger and richer Brian (Ben McKenzie). With parenting complications happening, Olivia (Salma Hayek), a writer and Kate’s Mexican sister from a bigamist father, comes in to lend a helping hand. Eventually, she observes Richard’s infallible commitment to his son despite the old man’s womanizing habits. Without a wife or a decent job, Richard soon faces deportation. 

    Some Kind of Beautiful fails in many aspects. As a romantic film, it is formulaic and desperate. It is anxious to pair up Richard with Olivia and reunite him with his son in order to fulfil the usual happy ending and search for the one great love recipes. As a comedy, it is witless and unfunny. Some jokes and physical gags are amusing, but mostly tasteless sand nasty.

    The movie centers around Richard, his insufferable ego, narcissistic viewpoints and various moral shortcomings. At sixty, he still has daddy issues and childish tendencies. The film appears as a hodgepodge of lost old man conventions. The bigger problem is that the movie is not able to make Richard likable or lovable even after all his sacrifices and efforts. With so much focus on Richard, the script thinly sketched the other characters, particularly the leading ladies who have reduced to nothing but mere accessories for Richard. This makes the film offensively chauvinistic as the women, naked or in their panties, are only present to feed Richard’s amusements.

    Final analysis tells that there is shortage of sincerity or even attention to storytelling. Scenes are unnatural and the hurried climax forces everyone to reconcile and forgive each other. The film is also filled with depressing and dim-witted scenes like Olivia mimicking male orgasms, Richard offering marijuana after his alcohol rehab class, and Richard’s peeing bonding moment with his son and father. It is even na├»ve in portraying academic settings with Richard’s outmoded self-serving teaching style and sudden tenure to a prestigious university after simple words.

    The lame material is left for the cast to work on. Brosnan, despite appearing flabby, has natural charisma as a leading man. Yet, this is not enough as he painstakingly struggles to make his ridiculous character entertaining. Alba and Hayek are also natural charmers but their enthusiasm is just wasted, especially Hayek who has to make those various orgasmic sounds. 

    Some Kind of Beautiful is badly written and directed. Its solidly delightful cast is helpless against its repulsive and bigot narrative.

    Production company: Saban Films, Lionsgate
    Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, Duncan Joiner, Malcolm McDowell, Ben McKenzie, Marlee Matlin, Ivan Sergei, Fred Melamed
    Director: Tom Vaughan
    Screenwriter: Matthew Newman
    Producers: Richard Barton Lewis, Beau St. Clair, Kevin Frakes, Raj Brinder Singh
    Director of photography: David Tattersall
    Production design: John Collins
    Editor: Matthew Friedman 
    Music: Stephen Endelman, David Newman


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