Ruby (Zoe Kazan) comes to life when Calvin (Paul Dano) begins writing her into existence on his typewriter in <em>Ruby Sparks</em>. Kazan also wrote the new romantic comedy from the directors of <em>Little Miss Sunshine.</em>
Credit Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures
Gertrude (Annette Bening) and Mort (Antonio Banderas) are Calvin's hippie parents, who win Ruby over despite Calvin finding them irritating.
There's a fine line between satire and the nasty snigger that marks so much of pop comedy these days — which is another way of saying that the corrosively funny takedown of child beauty pageants in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine moved me to forgive (by a hair) its creepiest creation — Alan Arkin's heroin-addicted grandpa. Still, I wonder whether my 14-year-old, who has roared her way through that movie at least a dozen times, can tell the difference between sharp commentary and the juvie desire to shock.
Young-chan lost his sight and hearing as a child, though after he learned to speak. His wife, Soon-ho, cares for him, and the intimacy between them is the most striking part of <em>Planet of Snail.</em>
Credit Cinema Guild
Soon-ho, who suffers from a spinal disability, helps Young-chan navigate his daily life, but prods him toward increasing independence. In one tense scene, she waits anxiously after sending him out for a day on his own.
The obvious way to approach South Korean director Seung-jun Yi's modest but potent documentary Planet of Snail is to think of it as a story about a disabled man making his way through the world with the help of his companion. But more simply and more accurately, it's really a movie about marriage — about the way two people can smooth over each other's cracks to achieve an imperfect yet sturdy wholeness.
Marketers, managers and panhandlers all have something in common: They regularly want to make you do things they want. Marketers want you to buy stuff, managers want you to finish projects on time, and panhandlers want you to spare a buck, or three.
Over the years, psychologists have studied the techniques of manipulation and found several that seem to work. (Read on only if you agree to use these techniques for good and not for evil!)
Wes Breitenbach of Knoxville, Tenn., says the Tennessee River offers everything from moments of solitude to live music, "right in the heart of downtown."
Credit Courtesy of Wes Breitenbach
At the Chicago Summer Dance event in the city's Grant Park, attendees can listen to free music, watch dance performances like the one above, and learn many different kinds of dance, says resident Janey Lee.
Credit Courtesy of Janey Lee
Jacob Spence says Director Park in Portland, Ore., covered by a composite glass and wood canopy, includes a cafe, a giant chess board and a large fountain that fills with children on sunny days.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:46 pm
When you think about where you live, what sights and sounds come to mind? The coffee shop on the corner? The park down the street? We asked you to show us what makes your city thump and pulse, and here is some of what you shared. But we want to fill our heart with city love, so send us more! (Note: Captions have been edited for length, style and clarity.)