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'Billy Liar' Matches:

Billy Liar

  • Love Story ▶ Yes please
  • Funny ▶ Yes please
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The Great McGinty (1940)

Preston Sturges's directorial debut is perhaps better known for its origin story. After years of watching his screenplays needlessly butchered by others, Sturges offered The Great McGinty to Universal for only $10 on the condition that he be allowed to direct. The movie itself doesn't quite rank with Sturges's best, but it's still very strong, and, sadly, still relevant. (It won an Oscar for Best Screenplay.) It begins with Dan McGinty (Brian Donlevy) working as a bartender. In an attempt to cheer up a depressed customer. He tells his story. He was once a homeless man, who, on election night, is paid to vote 37 times to re-elect the governor. His gumption impresses the Boss (Akim Tamiroff) and McGinty gets a job as a collector and a flashy new suit. Soon, it's decided that McGinty will run for mayor, and he must enter into a fake marriage, with his secretary Catherine (Muriel Angelus), to look good for the voters. He then becomes governor, and continues to do the dirty work the Boss requires of him. But he falls in love for real, decides to do the right thing, and suffers his final downfall. (The original title was "Down Went McGinty.") The movie has only a few real laughs -- Donlevy is fine in the role, but isn't inherently funny -- but Sturges's eye for satire, both political and otherwise, was spot-on. Kino Lorber released this on great-looking Blu-ray in 2020, with a commentary track by historian Samm Deighan, and trailers for four other comedies (including Sturges's great Christmas in July). read more...
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    • Love Story ▶ Yes please
    • Funny ▶ Yes please

The Great McGinty (1940)

99.0% Match

  • With: Brian Donlevy, Akim Tamiroff, Allyn Joslyn, William Demarest, Arthur Hoyt, Muriel Angelus
  • Written by: Preston Sturges
  • Directed by: Preston Sturges
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 82 minutes
  • Release Date: 08/15/1940
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Annie Hall (1977)

If Manhattan is Woody Allen's best movie, with its gorgeous black-and-white, widescreen imagery, then Annie Hall has to be his best screenplay. The movie starts with Woody in front of a plain background, talking to the camera, and the routine from Groucho Marx about how he wouldn't want to belong to any club which would have him as a member. This setup breaks down ordinary movie barriers, tells us that just about anything in the movie is possible, and Allen takes full advantage of that. read more...
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    • Love Story ▶ Yes please
    • Funny ▶ Yes please
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Annie Hall (1977)

98.0% Match

  • With: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall, Sigourney Weaver
  • Written by: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
  • Directed by: Woody Allen
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 94 minutes
  • Release Date: 04/19/1977
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Up in the Air (2009)

Jason Reitman's Up in the Air flies comfortably with some of the most obvious of Hollywood clichés, but also doubles back and runs right over them. It's an odd duality that has caused some critics to slam the film, but has caused many more critics to over-praise it. Personally, I'm not sure the film always knows what it's doing; it seems to be struggling between populist and satirical impulses. But there are many, many moments it gets right and it's an enjoyable, if minor entry in the year-end movie rush. read more...
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    • Love Story ▶ Yes please
    • Funny ▶ Yes please

Up in the Air (2009)

97.0% Match

  • With: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Amy Morton, Melanie Lynskey, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliott, Danny McBride, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Lowell, Steve Eastin, Young MC, Cut Chemist, Adrienne Lamping, Meagan Flynn, Dustin Miles
  • Written by: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner, based on a novel by Walter Kirn
  • Directed by: Jason Reitman
  • MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content
  • Running Time: 109 minutes
  • Release Date: 12/03/2009
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Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)

It probably helps a great deal that the wispy, flower-like Miranda July appears in her own film, as her adorable, blue-eyed presence warms what would have been a cold, quirky, Todd Solondz-like experience. Like a mini-Short Cuts, Me and You and Everyone We Know follows several lost and lonely characters as they cross paths in funny, sad and sometimes disturbing ways. A six year-old boy chats on an internet sex site, a man lights his hand on fire and a woman practically throws herself at him, not comprehending how dangerous or unhinged he may be. Yet none of this sets off any alarm bells, thanks to July's wide-eyed dreaminess and eternal hope. read more...
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    • Love Story ▶ Yes please
    • Funny ▶ Yes please

Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)

96.0% Match

  • With: Miranda July, John Hawkes, Miles Thompson, Brandon Ratcliff, Carlie Westerman, Hector Elias, Brad Henke, Natasha Slayton, Najarra Townsend, Tracy Wright, JoNell Kennedy
  • Written by: Miranda July
  • Directed by: Miranda July
  • MPAA Rating: R for disturbing sexual content involving children, and for language
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Release Date: 01/01/2005
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Irma la Douce (1963)

Billy Wilder somehow sustains the lively pace and humor for the two-and-a-half hour color comedy Irma la Douce (1963) in which Shirley MacLaine stars as a popular Paris hooker who falls in love with squeaky-clean beat cop Jack Lemmon (the pair re-teaming after the highly successful The Apartment). This was perhaps Wilder's last modest hit, but it's also one of his lesser films; it's difficult to entirely justify the overwhelming length. André Previn won an Oscar for his score. MacLaine was nominated for Best Actress, as was Joseph LaShelle's color cinematography. Look for Tura Satana (future star of Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) in her first role. read more...
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    • Love Story ▶ Yes please
    • Funny ▶ Yes please
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Irma la Douce (1963)

94.0% Match

  • With: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi, Bruce Yarnell, Herschel Bernardi, Hope Holiday, Joan Shawlee, Grace Lee Whitney, Paul Dubov, Howard McNear, Cliff Osmond, Diki Lerner, Herb Jones
  • Written by: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond, based on a play by Alexandre Breffort
  • Directed by: Billy Wilder
  • MPAA Rating: Unrated
  • Running Time: 144 minutes
  • Release Date: 06/04/1963
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