Doug (Rhys Darby) thinks he has the perfect life and is stunned when long term girlfriend Susan (Faye Smythe) dumps him. He finds an injured duck and reluctantly decides to nurse it better ... See full summary »
Lamb Mannerheim's faith is shaken after a plane crash burns two-thirds of her body, and she shocks her small-town congregation when she publicly renounces God. As she sets out to experience the worldly pleasures of Las Vegas, she meets a bartender and a cynical lounge singer who help her check off as many dirty deeds as possible from her Napkin of Sin bucket list.Written by
Although Lamb (Julienne Hough) claims to be from Montana, she is seen sitting on a white sand beach apparently at an ocean beach. Montana has none of these beaches, the state is no where near the ocean. See more »
Definitely a worthwhile filmgoing experience, if you're a fan of Diablo Cody or Russell Brand.
'PARADISE': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Screenwriter Diablo Cody makes her directorial debut with this comedy-drama about a religious young woman who leaves home for the first time to find herself, after losing her faith in a plane crash. Cody also wrote the film which stars Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Octavia Spencer, Holly Hunter and Nick Offerman. The movie, like all of the films Diablo Cody writes, of course centers on a strong female character that's facing some kind of a life crisis and also struggles with morality verses immoral behavior. It definitely delivers what Cody is known for (and good at) in the way of story, character development and dialogue but it's lacking in the way it delivers those things in cinematic form. In other words Cody's directing is amateurish but it is her first attempt at it.
Hough plays 21-year-old Lamb Mannerhelm. Lamb shocks her extremely religious and conservative parents (Hunter and Offerman) when she renounces God in front of her church and leaves town (for the first time) to head to Vegas. She recently survived a plane crash, in which she burned a large percentage of her body, so now she's given up her faith and wants to experience the normal life she thinks she's been missing out on. When she arrives in Vegas she's treated like an outcast by almost everyone she meets (due to the conservative way she's dressed, her attitude and her plane crash scars) but befriends a bartender named William (Brand) and a lounge singer named Loray (Spencer). They take a liking to Lamb because of her uniqueness and positive spirit and help her on her adventure. The movie was originally called 'LAMB OF GOD', which would have made a much better title (I think).
Diablo Cody is one of my favorite film writers; I love her stories, characters and overall writing style (I also really like her style as a person). Her films seem to often have really positive messages also (as well as really strong and likable heroines). This film definitely has a good message about family and friends as well as faith and religion. It also tells a great story about being yourself and not caring what people think about you. Like I said it's only real problem is Cody's inexperience in directing; it's a little clunky at times and doesn't seem to know how to end. The performances are all great in it though and one of my other big film heroes (besides Cody) is Russell Brand. He's recently became a big political hero of mine and I like all of his film characters. He's hilarious and he also plays really lovable and well intentioned misfits as well (he lights up this film every time he appears on screen). I'm not sure how much of his brilliant dialogue is due to his amazing improvisation skills or Cody's genius writing but they make a great team and almost make up for the lack of skill in Cody's directing. It's definitely a worthwhile filmgoing experience, if you're a fan of Cody or Brand or are just looking for a positive and uplifting film!
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