Film Reviews

Chico and Rita: Will this film win an Oscar this year?

Dangerously in Love

Romance, if you dare, these six sizzling films

The Doris Duke Theatre offers up a month of luvin’ movies in “Dangerously Romantic: Films to Fall in Love With.”

Comedies, dramas, fantasies all make an appearance these next two weeks, one with a complete real-life dinner, in celebration of Cupid’s month.

The Weekly, lovers ourselves, checked out a few of them, and comments on the whole batch.

❦ Chico and Rita (Spain/UK)

Nominated for an Academy Award this year, here’s an animated pic, quite stylized, about the love between a jazz pianist and a chantoosie. Set in 1948 Havana, this was a surprise nominee. (The Oscars telecast is on Feb. 26.)

Headhunters (Denmark)

To please his high-maintenance wife, a corporate headhunter forces himself to moonlight as an art thief. This is a thriller, well-received worldwide.

❦ Young Goethe in Love (Germany)

A sumptuous account of Goethe’s first true love affair, occurring after he has failed his law-school orals and is sent to rural backwater to clerk at a law office. In the village he meets a charming lass: The two fall in love, but all does not go smoothly, prompting Goethe to write The Sorrows of Young Werther. The story is romanticized and involves illegal dueling and many complications. A superior “old fashioned” movie for the romantics among you.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

It’s the 50th anniversary of this adaptation of the Truman Capote novella, starring a miscast but lovely Audrey Hepburn (lip-syncing “Moon River”) and a racist turn by Mickey Rooney.

❦ The Fairy (France)

A truly original fantasy-comedy, charming and occasionally bizarre, about a female fairy who visits a lonely hotel clerk to grant him wishes. The two fall for each other, and mucho slapstick, some of it inspired, evolves–involving a man smuggling a dog into the hotel, a trio of extralegal immigrants, a near-blind cabbie and a most peculiar baby. Some of this extraordinary movie is hilarious. Whimsy abounds.

A Valentine’s dinner precedes the film on Tue., 2/14, 6-7:30pm, $40–$45

❦ Bonsai (Chile/France/Argentina/Portugal)

An unconventionally structured love story, inspired by Proust, skips back and forth over the same two eight-year periods. A young man romances two femmes (at first), trying to write (but at first forging). Learning to write well is like learning to fashion a bonsai, knowing that bonsai is both plant and container, the young man tells us. Itʻs the oldest story of all: love and loss, but with decidedly post-modern writing and editing.

❦ Denotes a Weekly recommendation.
Doris Duke Theatre, 900 S. Beretania St., runs 2/3–2/13, various showtimes, $8–$10, [honoluluacademy.org], 532-8700