Love and Other Disasters: Acting Review

23 Apr

Love and Other Disasters is a 2006 romantic comedy produced by Ruby Film, Europa Corp. and Skyline Films. Starring the late Brittany Murphy, this film is a modernized, British play-off of the forever loved classic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961, directed by Blake Edwards). Love and Other Disasters really emphasizes how the acting styles within the film from the main heroine and her supporting friends bring out specific details that make the movie dynamic, different but also how it follows the traditional set up of romantic comedies.

The main character of Emily “Jacks” Jackson (played by Brittany Murphy) is based from the heroine of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at first seems a bit overrated. Her acting style seems in the best interest of taking the key aspects of not just Holly Golightly’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s but the stylistic demeanor of the actress Audrey Hepburn, the person to which Holly Golightly comes alive. Within the movie, we see Brittany Murphy’s imitation as a loving flattery, however her characterization can sometimes fall within the level of a blithe parody. Within the story, Jacks is playing the never ending hostess to life’s endless party. The character of Jacks spends most of her time surrounding herself and making lives for her “guests”, in the end not very confident in her needs and wants. She keeps herself busy through her self-created dramas and the heavy romantic complications of her friends.

The Golightly-esque of the main character Jacks branches from the acting style of the late Brittany Murphy. Brittany Murphy, in this movie, was cast for her girl next door appearance. Through the years, Murphy has been in that rut of being typecast for being just a cute face with a ditty disposition. This caused her to outreach her boundaries, and with success took up heavily dramatized supporting roles that were deeper and broke her own acting type with more controversial films, such as 8 Mile and Sin City. Brittany Murphy had an impressive acting range. She had organic and believable, seemed abled to readapt well, and truly got into her character.

The supporting characters in the film don’t focus on the characterization comparisons that compliment Murphy’s Emily Jackson, but they do add to the dynamics of the plot. The supporting actors in this movie are all the puppets to the strings of Emily Jackson (the main character of the story, but not the leading dramatic creator). The supporting character of Peter, Emily Jackson’s gay roommate, is more of the story teller for the life story and happenings of Jacks, but his stories are more realistic and in the moment. The acting style of Emily Jackson has to more exaggerated because of this point. We also see the character of Jacks keeping to the background of most of the drama within the movie. Keeping herself aloof, and reacting not from the outside, but from other’s reactions really show even more work done by Murphy to portray the Hepburn acting style. She stands up not in a direct way, but for herself in indirects ways, such as for her friends. She stands to the side, being swirled around in self-inflicted drama. In opposition, the character of Peter can be brought out in a more subdue, realistic view. The character of Peter would most likely be compared to Paul Varjak, the counter to Holly Golightly played by George Peppard. Played by Matthew Rhys, the character of Peter Simon is a screenwriter who is trying to find inspiration for his first screenplay. By the end of the story, it is revealed that Peter Simon’s movie is being explained through real life and also on screen. The movie is practically a movie within a movie.

Because this movie is a romantic comedy, it is contrary to typical British acting styles. British actors are typically known to perform onstage in classical theatre. Their forte is drama and exaggeration. Only in recent years Britain has caught up with comedy in movies, let alone an entirely comedic, romantic film. This movie is lighthearted, and in all aspects considered a comedy. The dialogue is full of quirk and some actions and characterizations are completely outrageous and over exaggerated. These actions come across in the most realistic way because they are well-timed, well-placed and cinematically appealing by professional actors in this film.

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3 Responses to “Love and Other Disasters: Acting Review”

  1. fiscueri April 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a good movie, and to now know that they did a play-off that is good. The acting sounds very good, yet over-exaggerated to a point of hilarity, though that would seem to be the point of a romantic comedy. The plot line sounds good, and it looks like a good movie to see in general.

  2. starkoutlook April 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Dearest Lauren,

    Your acting review may be the most in depth I have read. I appreciate how you followed one character and analyzed the decisions the actress made with regard to the script. It is obvious that you take great pride in your ability to dissect a character; it is your job as an actress, after all. In addition, your post read with a tone of professionalism not common in high school writing. Thank you for a valuable contribution to the blogosphere.

  3. karlybrett April 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    LAUREN. This was a very nice analysis. I really liked that you compared “Love and Other Disasters” to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I haven’t seen “Love and Other Disasters,” but I have seen most of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” so that was a good point of reference for meh. I also liked that you told not just about Brittany Murphy’s role in this film, but also her casting in other films. From the sound of it, this movie was enjoyable, and I think I’d be interested in seeing sometime. Good job! 🙂

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