Linda Stirling Unmasked: The Black Whip

: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.






By Prairie Miller

Management, whether of hotels or bad artwork, is beside the point here. It's all about the decisions people make to impose order and logic on their love life, or determined lack of it. But finding themselves instead hopelessly ruled by their emotions, when not helplessly making complete romantic asses of themselves, grabbed or not. Jennifer Aniston, bossy in romance. And in a smitten stalker sex comedy perhaps more appropriate for a motel horror movie say, like Psycho...

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By Gerald Wright

Writer Stephen Belber makes his directorial debut in this romantic dramedy. His career as a playwright is well established on Broadway and now his eyes are on the silver-screen.

The simplest way of looking at comedy is to say that it surprises, startles, shock or delights. When combining drama to a film the genre takes in tragedy in which the central character faces defeat and some overwhelming disaster. Such is the case in this movie.

Management is a romantic comedy with a challenging dramatic foundation about Mike Cranshaw (Steve Zahn) and Sue Claussen (Jennifer Aniston). Mike is a slacker who lives and works at a motel owned by his parents Jerry (Fred Ward) and Trish (Margo Martindale) in Arizona when Sue who sells hotel and motel paintings checks in. Jerry sees her and falls for her immediately, however Sue is put off by him. With persistence and a range of absurd approaches Jerry manages an ironic sexual encounter that Sue encourages.

Sue checks out of the roadside motel and returns to her Maryland headquarters and the quick intimate incident turns into a complex cross-country romantic journey of these two people looking for a sense of purpose. To do this dramedy uses a whole range of comic tactics from sarcasm, mockery and irony. The basic theme of boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl and boy gets girl back is predictable in this very witty and funny film. What makes this quirky movie different from most romantic comedies is how each of the tactics used in the fine performances by Aniston and Zahn comically disturbs, disrupts, alters and changes things from what is expected. Aniston's character Sue displays the daring exposition of feminist principles of exerting and initiating her sexual wants to Mike. The plot goes beyond the ordinary, the dull and the familiar as it creates a glee and relief to the norms of real life.

Woody Harrelson hilariously plays Jango an ex-punk rocker turn wealthy entrepreneur of a famous yogurt company who Sue marries, but soon finds out that they are not well matched. Though Jango is married to Sue, Mike doesn't give up his bizarre courtship. Sue has baggage as well, she is somebody who subjugates her own needs for helping other people and not taking care of her own needs and wants.

This movie sets out a whole range of ways to make people laugh with the aphorism of Steve Zahn, the sauciness of Jennifer Aniston and the zaniness of Woody Harrelson. The chemistry between the Aniston and Zahn is magnetic and reminiscent of the Tracy and Hepburn duo. With long uninterrupted scenes, absurd and improbable situations, witty dialogue exchanges and skillful acting this road trip love story triumphs as a quick-witted, humorously and sensationally warm romantic date flick.

Directed by: Stephen Belber
Running time: 93 mins.
Release date: May 15, 2009
Genre: Comedy and Drama
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
MPAA Rating: R


Gerald Wright
Film Showcase

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