Girlfriend for Rent (2023) by Gene Stupnitsky.

Rom-com with unusual premises Directed by Ukrainian-born director Jean Stupnitsky, Girlfriend for Rent paints an interesting social and generational portrait that it hasn’t had the courage to bring to an end: thus, the narrative material has the potential to soon Weakened in an overly conventional development.

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We are in Montauk in the United States on the eve of the summer season: thirty-year-old MaddieAn Uber driver and embattled waitress whose car was impounded for some unpaid fines is at risk of losing the home that used to belong to her mother under a massive mortgage. The solution for the young woman appears to be to accept a very unusual job from a wealthy New York couple on vacation on the city’s beaches: Maddie will have to introduce them to their seventeen-year-old son, unaware that percy, to the joys of love and sex, preparing her for the difficult life that awaits her in a few months at college. Payment for the young woman would include a brand new car and the possibility of resuming her job as a driver, which would allow her to settle her debts with the tax authorities and not lose her maiden home; The problem is that Percy – who seems exactly as naive, inexperienced and clumsy as his parents (not too cryptically) describe him – with all the odds of the case, soon has genuine feelings for Maddie. Will develop

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Rented Girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Barth Feldman in a sequence
Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Barth Feldman in a scene from the movie Rented Girlfriend

In this first summer weekend, among blockbusters, animated films and some questionable Italian comedies, our local distribution also offers us girlfriend for rentSparkling seaside rom-com directed by Gene Stupnitsky (his credits are interesting). the good boys the bad boys) with a central Jennifer Lawrence who plays a working-class daughter whose hopes of emancipation are now shattered by the economic and social crisis of the first half of the century; The way she is portrayed is an interesting character, engaged in the difficult role of “sentimental teacher” (and sexual) to a closed and introverted son of the American upper class. The most persuasive starting point of this new work from the Ukrainian-born director, in fact, lies in its stark social background: in a class clash that – played out on the entirely internal rules of a capitalist system that has never been taken seriously. is not questioned – which begins with the perceived retribution of the weakest element who “puts on the market” their life experience (emotional and emotional) for the benefit of the more prosperous class scion. The immateriality and excessive liberalism of service, therefore, play on a new level, that of sentiments and affective education in the strict sense of the word.

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Hire Girlfriends, Matthew Broderick and Laura Benanti in an instant
In a moment from the film Rented Girlfriend, Matthew Broderick and Laura Benanti

During its first part, girlfriend for rent A balance between social comedy (bad and bad when need be) and a more traditional rom-com, with a generational and gender element that nevertheless manages to compensate quite well for the somewhat stereotypical nature of the original material Is. character from birth Middle The character played by Lawrence (not a digital native like his unsuspecting client, but also not as ignorant of contemporary media as his apprehensive parents) contrasts with the representation of Generation Z, embodied by the faceless boy. Is. Andrew Barth FeldmanIt seems that in social relationships, that feeling has been completely assimilated. immaturity Neoliberalism has imposed everything on the social body, as well as corroded its emotional component. The risk of indifference and ambiguity of generational portraits always lurks around the corner, but effective dialogues (especially those involving women and two husbands and wives, with their own faces) Matthew Broderick And laura benanti) give importance to the social component and give a certain credibility to the overall framework – even in its strange nature.

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Rent Girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Barth Feldman in a scene
Rent Girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Barth Feldman in a scene from the movie

the problem of girlfriend for rentUnfortunately, enough that as the story progresses – it settles comfortably into the track of a more conventional romantic comedy, following exactly the steps one would expect and offering no plausible narrative glimpses. does. The initial misogynistic character of the material is soon diluted into the familiar gag involving the two heroes, while Jennifer Lawrence’s ability to give a face to their determination is spot on. love the worker The (let’s call it that) somewhat stoic co-hero doesn’t quite get the right side. Stupnitsky’s sneaky direction, hidden in the scandalous role of visual fault, does not help to resolve the story itself, but the film’s main problem lies in the narrative choices: precisely in this regard, in the second half of the story we expect some turning point, a narrative twist that perhaps fails to deliver. Enables actual development of the premises, which the script, in its early stages, sets up effectively. In this way, the very social and generational portrait that the film set out to create (through the device, of comedy, powerful in itself) is nullified, crippled in its potential and compared to mere (and) is kept in the background. known) romantic case of history. Sin.

Italian poster for the movie Girlfriend for Rent


original title: don’t mind
Director: Jean Stupnitsky
Country/Year: United States/2023
Duration: 103′
Type: comic, sentimental
mould: Jennifer Lawrence, Eban Moss-Barrach, Kyle Mooney, Natalie Morales, Laura Benanti, Scott McArthur, Zane McClarnon, Abigail Hupp, Achi Miller, Alicia Joy Powell, Amalia Yu, Andrew Barth Feldman, Brendan Kispert, Christian Galvis, Christina Katechis, Christopher Bailey, Eason Ritter, Ethan Edward Metz, Hasan Minhaj, Jacob Augustin, Jordan Mendoza, Madison Odenburg, Matt Walton, Matthew Broderick, Matthew Nozka, Quincy Dunn-Baker
film script: Gene Stupnitsky, John Phillips
Photography: egil bryld
Meeting: Brent White
music: Michael Danna, Jessica Rose Weiss
the creator: Naomi Odenkirk, Alex Sachs, Mariela Villa, Justin Ciarrocchi, Mark Proviciero, Jennifer Lawrence
production house: Odenkirk Provisiero Entertainment, Excellent Cadaver, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)
Distribution: Eagle Pictures

Exit Date: 06/21/2023


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Journalist and film critic. I collaborate with, or have collaborated with, various web and print publications, including (in chronological order) L’Acchiappafilm, and Since 2018 I have been consultant for the psycho-pedagogical reviews “Stale Divers” and “Espy Saturday Films” organized by the CuoreMenteLab center in Rome. In 2019 I founded the Asbury Movies website, of which I am the editor and managing director.

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