Matt’s Movie Review Roundup

This fourth full weekend of April has featured a number of streaming releases. Below is my take on these new streaming release options. If you’d like to see more of my scores for films and thoughts, feel free to follow me on Letterboxd here.

Ghosted (Apple TV+)
Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, and Adrien Brody
Synopsis: The latest from Apple TV+ is an action romance built around an unlikely meet-cute and an international adventure. We start with Cole (Evans) coming off a breakup and looking to move forward in his life. He’s staffing his family’s farmer’s market stand when he meets Sadie (de Armas), who is having a personal crisis of her own. The death of a co-worker has her considering whether her personal life is too cold and empty. They strike up a conversation, which turns into a coffee date, which morphs into a magical day together. Cole is optimistic that Sadie might be The One. Unfortunately, days pass and he doesn’t hear from her. Discovering she’s in London, Cole, with some convincing from his family, decides to fly there as a grand romantic gesture. He gets more than he bargained for as he begins to learn about Sadie’s true profession. This is a fish-out-of-water story and an adventure romance. That’s a staple of film and offers plenty of potential. This film also has a strong cast that includes several fun cameo performances. All that should coalesce into something strong, but it doesn’t pan out here. Evans and de Armas are talented actors, but they don’t have strong chemistry on screen here, which is necessary to make a film like this work. The story here is OK but at times quite unbelievable. But the lack of connection and the awkward back-and-forth between Cole and Sadie hurst the final product. It’s a well-crafted film but the story construction just doesn’t work, causing this to fall flat. It’s a rare miss for Apple TV+
Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence/action, brief strong language and some sexual content.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Judy Bloom Forever (Prime Video)
: For decades, Judy Blume has written books that have spoken to the experience of growing up, particularly for young girls. She has been the voice for children for years and it makes sense that this new documentary from Prime Video captures that. The film includes excerpts of her books, interviews with the author and her family as well as thoughts from other authors, actors and creators who have loved her books and been influenced by her books. The film, which runs just over 90 minutes, is a love letter to Blume’s career and influence as a writer, something that’s been running for decades and is still resonant today. In fact, her classic tale Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is due to be adapted into a film to be released on Friday. I enjoyed this documentary, the stories, interviews and the legacy of Blume as a writer. It’s well worth checking out for fans.
Rating: NA

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A Tourist’s Guide to Love (Netflix)
: Rachel Leigh Cook, Scott Ly, Ben Feldman, and Missy Pyle
Synopsis: Netflix has found a sweet spot delivering romance films that appeal to fans that flock to content producers such as Hallmark. This latest film follows that pattern, centering on Amanda (Cook) a travel executive in a stable five-year relationship living in Los Angeles. Though she works in travel, Amanda never travels, steps out of her comfort zone or has any adventures. When her boyfriend (Feldman) suggests they take a break—as he moves to Ohio—when she thought a proposal was coming, she’s thrown for a loop. Her company is considering purchasing a tour company in Vietnam, so her boss (Pyle) sends her to take the tour and scout the company. There, Amanda meets a tour guide (Ly) who changes her perspective on life, causing sparks to fly. Will they make a love connection? Of course, this type of film follows a fairly predictable and stable formula. You know how it’s going to end but that’s the not the point. It’s about the journey, not the destination. Ly and Cook have great chemistry and the film makes the most of their rapport and the beautiful locations of Vietnam. It takes you on an adventure, with humor and romance. That’s all audiences are expecting here. Cook is a great and affable lead. I enjoyed the ride here and appreciated the journey. This is a night date night streaming option.
Rating: TV-PG

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.


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