People Places Things

ryanadamsThis week in entertainment news has been a dream. Ryan Adams is releasing his own version of Taylor Swift’s “1989”; there is a “Flight of the Conchords” movie in the works; Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement are going on tour later this year; and the Sklar Brothers and Daniel Van Kirk will be in Minneapolis in October.

That news is based on an exclusive report directly from the Sklar Brothers to me. I was the first to know on Twitter, or I’ll just keep telling myself that.

SklarBrothers

It’s all too good to be true, BUT IT IS!

chris hardwickDaniel Van Kirk is one of my comedy and personal idols and the thought of meeting him is already causing me to have a pre-Chris Hardwick meet-and-greet (circa 2013) meltdown. I don’t know if I’ll be able to work up the courage to talk to “Mark Wahlberg” himself. At least I have some time to prepare.

This is where Jemaine Clement comes back into the picture. Last week, I saw Clement in one of my favorite movies of this year “People Places Things.”

peopleClement’s character in the film Will Henry, a newly-single father of two, finds himself trying to navigate work, taking care of his daughters and eventually breaking out into the world of dating again.

Henry is a graphic novelist and college professor. His drawings play their own role in the film as scenes the characters are experiencing are modified in Henry’s imagination and shown to the viewer as he draws them out on paper.

Not too far into the film, as one of Henry’s students sets him up on a date with her mother Diane (Regina Hall), Henry presents the question: Is happiness in life is really a sustainable concept?

There is a connection between Diane and Will based on this concept and the idea they are both on board for a “no bullshit” courtship.

It’s all easier said than done and of course things do get complicated as a result of Will and Diane’s past relationships, and their kids.

Overall it’s a simple premise for a film — in some ways one that’s been done before — but writer and director James C. Strouse effectively takes the “romantic comedy” to a new place and completes the story with its share of unpredictable plot points.

In the end you may not be surprised by what happens to Will and the decisions he makes, but you will be happy.

The film has a subtle humor, a lot of heart and continues Clement on the path to my kind of leading man following his role in “What We Do in the Shadows” and what I am sure will be a delight if the big-screen version of “Flight of the Conchords” is made.

Plus, his character’s courage in “People Places Things” is inspirational. I’ll have to remember that when I’m in the vicinity of Mr. Van Kirk in a couple of months and say hello.

Unfortunately I didn’t finish this while “People Places Things” was showing at the theater (at least in Minneapolis) but it will be on DVD Oct. 6.

In other news, fall movie season will be upon us soon and Indiewire released its (one of many, I’m sure) lists of must-sees so far. I’ve already added “Sleeping With Other People,” to my favorites for the year.

Instead of John Hodgman, I will sign off this time by quoting my favorite Taylor Swift cover Ryan Adams has released a sample of so far.

Shake it Off.

P.S. Follow Adams on Twitter for his “1989” updates. It’s a delight.

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