Movie Review: BEGINNERS - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Movie Review: BEGINNERS

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If you're waiting for the crowds to thin out at the final Harry Potter movie, allow me to recommend a good alternative.

But first a warning. Please don't waste your money on HORRIBLE BOSSES, because it really is a horrible movie about three very stupid guys who want to murder their bosses. There are some laughs here and there, but mostly it's annoyingly bad.    
      
At the other end of the spectrum is BEGINNERS, a bittersweet comedy-drama about a lonely graphics designer who learns that his 75 year old father is gay.
 
Ewen Mcgregor is Oliver, the grown son who narrates the movie. Christopher Plummer is Hal, his 75 year old father who comes out of the closet. Oliver is surprised to see his father really in love for the first time.
 
Sadly, the film begins just after Hal's death from cancer and then jumps around in time from the years before Hal's passing to the months just afterwards when Oliver meets Anna, a French actress played by Melanie Laurent.

Before meeting Anna, Oliver had been in several lengthy relationships, but as he puts it, "I let them fall apart." Anna too has had trouble committing to anyone. So they are both wary even though they obviously really like each other.

Back when Hal was enjoying the time he had left, he advised Oliver to take out a personal ad like he had done. Oliver couldn't believe his father was suggesting such a thing nor that his father met people that way.       

BEGINNERS is honest and touching with a touch of whimsy as well. For example, consider Arthur, the Jack Terrier that used to belong to Hal. Arthur talks to the dog, and the dogs thoughts are communicated back to him and us in subtitles. It sounds cutesy, but it's not.

BEGINNERS is about people who are just starting to find their way in love and life. It's a wonderful movie about removing obstacles to happiness.