Grant & McCarthy

MOVIE REVIEW: Why You NEED to See “Can You Ever Forgive Me”

Melissa McCarthy doesn’t have the best track record. She’s knocked it out of the park a few times (Bridesmaids, St. Vincent, Spy), but she’s also kept her plate full with “winners” like The Boss and The Happytime Murders. I’d understand if you were tempted to ignore her latest, Can You Ever forgive Me, but DON’T. In fact, here are my Top 3 Reasons why you NEED to see it.
1) See Can You Ever Forgive Me to get to know its director, Marielle Heller. She’s been plugging away as a Hollywood writer and actress for years, and gained attention in 2015 for The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which she wrote and directed. Heller’s a young Californian (only 39-years-old), but she films 1970s New York like she grew up there. Think Woody Allen, or maybe Gary Marshall on a sad day, with a dash of Nora Ephron (the subject of this movie would throat-punch me for saying that). Furthermore, get to know Marielle Heller because she’ll be directing the movies you want to see for years to come, like the Tom Hanks/Mr. Rogers project that’s opening next year. Yep, Marielle is directing it.
2) See Can You Ever Forgive Me also because of it’s unexpected heroine, Lee Israel. She was a celebrity biographer, but Israel was also grouchy and antisocial. The film portrays her as unkempt, unhealthy and unlikely to clean house (just wait for the cat-poop scene), but still someone you’d want to get drunk and prank call people with. Israel might not be the kind of woman we usually see onscreen, but she more closely resembles women in reality. Israel is also more human, thanks in part to her own writing (which is used throughout the film) and a once-in-a-lifetime performance by Melissa McCarthy (who wholly deserves the Oscar-buzz she’s getting).
3) Finally, see Can You Ever Forgive Me because it’s a reminder that you can fall flat on your face and still survive. Society puts too much emphasis on winning, when it’s those massive failures that craft who we actually are. Lee Israel convinced herself that she had to forge letters from celebrities to get by, and enjoyed the ego-boost that came from her success. She was forced to own her mistakes once she was caught though, and actually grew in the process. Israel’s crash-landing was inevitable (we spend most of the movie waiting for it), but it’s also the moment we see who Lee Israel truly was, and love her most for it. (A)
Can You Ever Forgive Me is rated R. Click this link to buy tickets & help support this site!

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