Six-pack Cinema & a Shot

Mark Fields

, Entertainment

It’s Not Easy Being Three

Six films featuring love triangles

Brooklyn (2015)
Set in the 1950s, this charmer from director John Crowley tells the story of Eilis (Saoirse Ronan), an Irish village girl who emigrates to America to find work and opportunity. Despite her profound homesickness, Ellis gradually makes a life for herself in the quaint and heavily Irish New York borough and even falls in love with a native. Called back to Ireland by a family emergency, she finds herself caught, not only between two men but between two worlds. Ronan, as delicate and beautiful as porcelain, holds the screen throughout. And Yves Belanger’s lambent cinematography and Michael Brook’s stirring score help make this intimate film even more lovely.

I Love You, Man (2006)
Realtor Peter (Paul Rudd) is facing his impending marriage to Zooey (Rashida Jones) without an obvious candidate for best man, because he has zero male friends. He finally connects with Sidney (Jason Segal), and launches a full-on bromance that unintentionally threatens his wedding plans. The plot of this romantic comedy is predictable and its stereotypical view of male and female gender roles obvious, but the chemistry between Rudd and Segal is consistently amusing, as is Rudd’s patented “stunted male” persona.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
This Spanish curiosity is from the oeuvre of Woody Allen, who built his reputation on the comic documentation of the romantic aspirations of New Yorkers. In this refreshing alternative, Allen explores the adventures of two young American women traveling in Spain. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) both fall under the spell of a colorful libertine artist (Javier Bardem), but respond quite differently. The love triangle becomes a rectangle when the artist’s tempestuous ex-wife enters the dynamic. Penelope Cruz won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as that capricious Maria Elena.

Wedding Crashers (2005)
John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) are horndog bachelors who pursue new sexual conquests by, well, crashing weddings. But when they invite themselves to the wedding party of the Treasury Secretary’s daughter, they become entangled in that family’s affairs far more than they intended. This slight but funny film features Wilson and Vaughn playing perfectly to type, as well as great character work from Christopher Walken and Jane Seymour as the Secretary and his wife, Rachel McAdams and Isla Fisher as the guys’ complicated love interests, and a fierce young Bradley Cooper as John’s entitled romantic competitor.

While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Coming on the heels of Speed, this romantic comedy solidified Sandra Bullock’s reputation as the Hollywood It Girl of the 1990s. In this film, Bullock plays Lucy, a hopeless romantic stuck in a dead-end job…and a dead-end life. When she is mistaken for a coma patient’s fiancé (don’t ask), Lucy gets caught up in a life of affection for which she has always yearned. Peter Gallagher is the coma patient, and Bill Pullman is the brother for whom Lucy is very likely the better match.

Casablanca (1942)
The classic Hollywood romance features Humphrey Bogart as cynical saloonkeeper Rick and Ingrid Bergman as his former lover Ilsa thrown together again in wartime French Morocco along with Ilsa’s husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Julius Epstein’s taut, wry script (an Oscar winner) poignantly etches their heart-rending romantic triangle, while the story is enhanced by a sterling supporting cast that includes Dooley Wilson, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet, Conrad Veidt, and the terrific Claude Rains as Captain Renault. Here’s looking at you, kid.
And a shot…

The Salesman (2016) Screening May 5 – 7 at Theatre N.
Directed by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Fahradi (who won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2014 for A Separation), this searing contemporary drama follows the story of husband and wife actors facing a family tragedy at the same time as they are preparing a stage production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. For a full schedule and more information, go to

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