Lovely by Surprise

"Very Good"

Lovely by Surprise Review


One of those wilfully quirky movies that we're not quite sure what to do with, this film actually gets under our skin as it goes along, and as its seemingly random elements start to come together in an oddly moving way.

Marian (Preston) is struggling to write a novel, in which she pictures two brothers (Chernus and Roberts) living on a land-locked boat wearing just their underpants. Both of them have an awareness of their fate, and an ability to control it. So when Marian's mentor (Pendleton) tells her she needs to kill off her favourite character in order to find truth in the story, one of the brothers rebels and marches into the real world. He emerges in Marian's past, where as a little girl (Lamer) she's watching her widowed father (Rogers) wage war on his depression.

The three strands of this story--Marian's past, present and imagination--feel completely disjointed early on, and the difficulty is trying to find the point where they connect in some way. But writer-director Gunn just plays with the scenes, layering in themes and ideas and slowly rounding out the characters until each element begins to fit into one story. The wacky, often surreal filming style belies a startlingly serious undercurrent, mixing black comedy with full-on tragedy.

The cast plays with this tone, giving heightened performances infused with humour and charm. If Preston is a little too shrill and bewildered, the film's heart lies with Chernus' smiley goofball and Rogers' car salesman, desolated but doing the best he can. Both of them are utterly disarming, and when they get together the film really begins to connect with us, even though we still aren't sure what's actually going on.

Parts of this film achieve almost Lynchian levels of absurdity through stilted dialog, repetitive imagery and a choppy musical score. But it takes so long for us to get into the groove of the film that we feel like giving up. Eventually, as it comes together, it becomes a bracing examination of the writing process where memories and our subconscious work together to create something altogether new: something with a life of its own.



Lovely by Surprise

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 14th June 2007

Distributed by: Housegoat Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Kirt Gunn

Producer: , Kirt Gunn, Michael Hilliard, Marco Londoner

Starring: as Marian, as Humkin, as Mopekey

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.