Jeff York reviews “Baby Driver” and “The Big Sick” for The Establishing Shot

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THE BIG SICK

One of the most beleaguered genres on film these days is the romantic comedy. So wholly maligned and unsuccessful have such movies been during the last decade, the genre has all but dried up as a staple at the Cineplex. Long gone are the days when the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Aniston were churning them out with regularity and claiming superstar status at the box office. The closest the rom-com has come to greatness in the last decade was twice – first with the cult hit 500 DAYS OF SUMMER in 2009, and then with the Oscar-winning HER in 2013. But to show you how strange the genre has become, in the former, the couple bitterly breaks up, and in the latter the protagonist falls for his Seri-like computer program. No wonder the genre struggles to find meaningful expressions of lasting love.

BABY DRIVER

Filmmaker Edgar Wright is the real deal. He’s only made a handful of film comedies but in each he has demonstrated a mastery of what it takes to tell tales that elicit howls of laughter. Not only does he know how to write characters and stories, but as a director, he’s expert at composition, editing and scoring, knowing just how to frame a scene to make it funnier. Only Wes Anderson is as definitive a comedy impresario today. But now, Wright is branching out. His latest film is called BABY DRIVER and while it is still funny as hell in many places, it’s mostly one helluva ride into the adventure realm. This one displays Wright working at the top of his game and it may finally give him the household name status he deserves.

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