CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
CHICAGO – “The Music Man” is alive in a way few Hollywood musicals ever are. Its big numbers often grow organically, allowing melodies to emerge from the rhythm of speech, overlapping action or the seemingly mundane movement of characters across the frame. In the exuberant world of this ageless classic, music is less of a self-conscious construct than an irresistible life force infiltrating the cadence of everyday life.