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I was dubious going in. I’m not a huge fan of Hathaway and I feel like DeNiro is always ‘phoning it in’ in the Winter of his career. However, this film did not disappoint. I don’t know if it was hormones, but I was on the verge of tears from the start of this film and blubbering like a baby by the end. The cynical, naïve, feminist-agenda-24/7 social realist film student in me 10 years ago would have probably hated this film. But now, so many aspects of the story and the character resonate strongly with me. DeNiro was very measured, but not lazy in his performance. He was like so many older people I’ve met: who’ve just done so much awesome stuff in their lives (they’ve seen some sh*t) they are just stripped of all insecurities and fears, and just chill in their quiet, humble wisdom. And Hathaway’s performance was pretty vulnerable, and it was refreshing to see a pretty spot-on portrayal of anxiety by a lead character. The struggle of working parents, particularly business owners, it’s real. You think about your family all day, and doing what’s right for everyone is like a minefield laden with guilt bombs. She did a pretty stellar job portraying this struggle.

Some filmmakers create the World the way it really is, and some create it the way they would like it to be. Nancy Meyers is definitely in the latter category, and I’m so thankful that she is. The way she romanticises situations and relationships in her own signature way: the sets, the camera movement, the colour palette and of course the music … it’s definitely all beautiful escapism. But at the heart of her writing and directing is always a constant theme: human relationships are complex, people are flawed and lost, but we all do the best we can. I felt so happy to leave my cynicism at the door and just enjoy a film where people treat each other with compassion and kindness.

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