Supporting Women Filmmakers: A Guide to Valentine’s Day

Sleeping with Other People (2015) Photo Credit: Linda Kallerus

Happy Valentine’s Day, FF2 Media readers! Whether you’re celebrating your sweetheart or your sweetheart candies (*Don’t cry, Shopgirl*), you can still support female filmmakers by watching your favorite romantic comedies and dramas of past and present.

If they’re not your favorite now, they will be!

Sleeping with Other People is an underrated, hidden gem of a romantic comedy written and directed by Leslye Headland, following two self-admitted “sex addicts” who were each other’s first times. When they reconnect 12 years later, what starts as a rekindled friendship threatens to become something more when feelings can no longer be ignored. It’s a laugh-out-loud comedy with heart.

The plot may sound like something you have heard before, but I ensure you, there are numerous small moments that elevate the film to a level beyond the stereotypical rom-com. Regardless of who you are (age, race, religion, gender) … if you don’t fall in love with Jason Sudeikis by the end of it, your judgment is impaired. Mousetrap, am I right? Read the full review HERE.

The Big Sick (2017)
Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz

The Big Sick, written by real life husband and wife team Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, is based on the true story of how “Kumail” (as himself) met and fell in love with “Emily” (Zoe Kazan) while performing stand-up in Chicago. They begin their love story, but secrets and Kumail’s obligation to his parents and their old-world traditions tear them apart.

Shortly after, Emily is hospitalized for reasons that baffle her doctors. When the situation becomes dire and they put Emily into an induced coma, Kumail fears he might never get the chance to ask for her forgiveness. Read the full review HERE.

How to be Single (2016) Photo Credit: Barry Wetcher

How to Be Single is an uproarious female-driven comedy that offers multiple viewpoints on what it means to be single. With a cast of characters all at different stages of their lives and “singleness,” the film is touching, ridiculous, and relatable—filled with one laugh after the next. Screenwriters Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein and Dana Fox deliver a thoroughly entertaining film nonetheless.

With a hilarious cast, including supporting performances from Damon Wayans Jr., Jason Mantzoukas, Brent Morin, and Colin Jost, the film is pure entertainment. And sometimes that’s all you need a film to be. Read the full review HERE.

Man Up (2015) Photo Credit: Big Talk Productions / DDA

Man Up stars Simon Pegg and Lake Bell in a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy reminiscent of a bygone era. When lonely “Nancy” (Lake Bell) gets mistaken for “Jack’s” (Simon Pegg) blind date, she decides to play along and and have fun rather than reveal her true identity. This sweet, fun story by Tess Morris hits all the right notes and manages to keep you laughing for the entire hour a half.

There are certain films you will feel obligated to watch while flipping channels on a rainy afternoon; thanks to Morris’ script and two charming leads, Man Up fits in that magical category. Read the full review HERE.

Their Finest doesn’t fit the romantic comedy category, but its drama will make you cry into your empty heart-shaped chocolate tin. It’s one of the greatest love stories portrayed in recent film history; unique, earned and unforgettable. The characters act as equals rather than superior and subordinate, mirroring a workplace romance found in American television series like The West Wing’s Josh and Donna or The Office’s Jim and Pam.

Screenwriter Gaby Chiappe adapts Lissa Evans novel Their Finest Hour and a Half into the finest hour and a half of cinema of 2017. A period piece in 1940s London, a romantic dramedy with an underlying feminist message and an utterly enjoyable cinematic experience. Read the full review HERE.

Their Finest (2017) Photo Credit: Transmission Films

© Brigid K. Presecky (2/13/18) FF2 Media

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Brigid Presecky began her career in journalism at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. In 2008, she joined FF2 Media as a part-time film critic and multimedia editor. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Bradley University, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development, production and publicity for Berlanti Productions, Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros. Studios, respectively. Returning to her journalistic roots in Chicago, she is now a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and certified Rotten Tomatoes Film Critic.
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