My beautiful laundrette: Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino in Romy 81 Michele

Romy & Michele 5 High School Reunion

(12) 91 mins *‘ki

This engaging comic shov-iprece for Mira Sorvrno and Lisa Kudrow as two of California’s prettiest, most vacant arrheads, takes a use out of rts big- haired protagonists with positive glee. It's been ten years since these best

Chums left Middle America and hit the

. which they've achieved

West Coast together, ten years in well, not

very much actually. All of which leaves

them wrth a bit of a problem when they decide to return for their high— SChOOl reunion, where old scores may be settled and former romantic never-

3 weres are given a belated second


Robin Schrff’s screenplay is an adeptly sustained piece of extended characterisation that never looks down on its SUbJGCISI they have the self- awareness to realise their myriad faults and we laugh wrth them as they laugh at themselves. Terrific stuff from the two gals throughout, fun support from former teen ubergeek Alan Cumming, and a drop-dead fabulous turn from abrasive outsider of yore, laneane Garofalo -- who's put her puffing behind the bikeshed to good use by inventing a new quit k-drawrng crggre.

Docked a star for lumpy pacing and a gag about Post-its that's way over- extended. Otherwrse, looks like mainstream-ish US movre comedy has a future after all. (Trevor Johnston)

I General release from Fri 22.

m .23..” _ s \

Gun crazy: William Fichtner in Albino Alligator

Albino Alligator

* fir 1r, Stoi) me if you've heard this one before A trio ‘)l (rot-ks (ilf(?l!‘l)1 a robbery and fail miserably Actually, that’s where the comparisons between Alb/no Alligator and the kookrly wonderful Pa/ool’avi/le end, but whereas the latter s'irelded a heart of gold, the forrrrer 'tilirdt;efirts its satay through its 93 minutes

Kevrn Spatey's drr'eitorial tit-hut sees Dova i'lvlatt Dillon: as the (oinplex and coinprornrsed gang leader, with the psyi hotrt law (Vt’rlliarrr Fit htneri (allrng

and firing the shots while Dova's

brother Milo (Ciary Bruise) at ts as rts inoral centre After the htingled raid, the trio seek refuge Ill a basement bar only to be heinrned in by the mums

and their (onflrcts No less rrven by impotence « of the professional and personal kind is head of the investigation (a [D Brownrng (Joe lvlantegna), whose rage is exposed hilariously during an on-screen intervrew wrth one of the many TV crews present at the siege Yep, you

guessed rt, the media take a harrrrrrer‘rng While there are some fine

perforrnantes to be had, |'l(ltldlllg Faye >unaway as the world-v-xeary bartender, and a couple of astonishing images, the whole seems to lack direction, fallrng down on its awkward farnrly values message A pity

iBrian Donaldson)

I Edinburgh Fi/rrr/roiise from Mon

25 Aug

new releases GLASGOW FILM

Roseanna’s Grave (12) 98 mins ****

Continuing the British tradition of sweet-natured, black-humoured movies, any description of Roseanna’s Grave will inevitably make the film sound in poor taste. Yet it is a sublimer moving, deliciously un-PC tale of love taken to the extreme, as a devoted husband vows to his ailing wife that, when the time comes, she will be buried alongside their beloved daughter in the small local cemetery.

Unfortunately for Marcello (Jean Reno), the plots are filling up quickly, thanks in part to a tragedy that befell some visiting circus performers, and he takes it upon himself to ensure the remaining folk who live in the otherwise peaceful village of Travento stay healthy ~ even if his methods range from the dubious to the downright deceitful.

Jean Reno in Roseanna's Grave

Reno, as we have come to expect, is marvellous, while American actress Mercedes Ruehl is equally convincing as his dear wife. Polly Walker portrays her srster, whom Roseanna is desperate to pair with Marcello after she is gone. Moments of farce sit comfortably alongside the heady romance and cheerful black comedy, making what could have been the most dreadful of Euro-puddings into a deliciously offbeat feast for the heart and mind. (Anwar Brett)

I City Centre Odeon, Glasgow, and Odeon, Edinburgh, from Fri 22 Aug.

Tierra (1S)125 mins ****

The latest by writer-director Julio Medem Vacas, The Red Squirrel) describes a place

that is both physical and metaphysical.

n one level, there is the baked Spanish

landscape, a plague of lice and a group of country folk; and on another there is the mice of an angel and the man who dies twice. it sounds bizarre and could easily be pretentious, but it succeeds in being neither. Simple things count: the casting is excellent, the worldly detail is modern and strongly emphasised, and the characters

live, breathe, laugh and screw.

The protagonist is Angel (Carmelo Gomez), a young man who believes that a part of him does not exist but speaks to him out of the cosmic darkness. Angel might be weird, but he has a deep integrity that changes lives. The drama centres on two women housewife Angela (Emma Suarez), who is loved by Angel’s 'angel’, and sexually vocrferous teenager Mari (Silke), desrred by Angel the man. Conflicts occur on all planes emotional and metaphysical and Angel finds he cannot go on living as two. Uncompromising, inventive, controlled and fascinating. (Hannah Fries)

I Edinburgh Cameo from Sun 24 Aug. Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 3 Oct.

Ma Vie Sexuelle (15) 180 mins **

With a title like that, most people would expect a two minute short rather than three hours of emotional and philosophical complexity. No such luck. Arnaud Desplechrn's second feature has an arr of self-importance that comes from its extended running time, but someone should tell him that size doesn't matter.

Paul Dedalus (Mathieu Amalric) is a Parisian philosophy lecturer in his late twenties. He can't become an associate professor because his doctorate thesis is incomplete; nor does he feel total satisfaction in his love life, as his ten-year relationship wrth Esther (Emmanuelle Devos) stagnates and he finds himself drawn towards the girlfriends of two of his best fllE’fldS,

Emmanuelle Devos in Ma Vie Sexuelle

The emotional turmOil suffered by this group of young intellectuals falls short of both Truffaut and Rohmer. Amalric, wrth a nrggling similarity to Radiohead's Thom Yorke, carries us through and there is strength in the ensemble around him, but entire scenes could rest on the Cutting-room floor and we wouldn't miss them. Any sense of passron is deadened by the constant torrent of talk, talk, talk.

(Alan Morrison) I Edinburgh Cameo from Sun 24 Aug.

22—28 Aug 1997ni£u3199