THE OTHER ZOEY – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

I can’t say whether the filmmakers are familiar with 1995’s While You Were Sleeping, and I realize naming that film dates me, but The Other Zoey name-checks several romantic comedies and tropes, and even shows someone weeping over 1999’s Notting Hill. Yet no one here notices how, just like Sleeping’s lonely transit clerk, The Other Zoey’s protagonist keeps up the girlfriend ruse, then feels conflicted when another guy enters the picture. Zoey (Josephine Langford, After Everything) at first doesn’t believe in romantic love, calling it a product of capitalism. She’s a tech-savvy college student pitching a dating app that pairs people based on compatibility.

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MY HAPPY ENDING – Review by April Neale

Once again, the incredibly gifted acting of Andie MacDowell gives the new Roadside film, My Happy Ending, the gravitas and heart to give us all a contemplative look at how we choose to live and end our lives. The new movie is a clear-eyed, poignant, endearing study of how one woman, a famous actress, accepts her closing call in more ways than just her career.

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ALONG FOR THE RIDE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

What is it about a summer beach romance? The young adult drama Along for the Ride hits some familiar beats but has a charming old-fashioned sweetness, like the fried dough or waffles and ice cream treats along the shore. Making her feature directing debut, writer Sofia Alvarez adapts best-selling author Sarah Dessen’s novel about a bright high school graduate during the summer before college. Along for the Ride is an enjoyable trip.

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MAID – Review by Martha K Baker

The creator of Maid, Molly Smith Metzler, wrought fiction from Maid, a good book of facts about poverty in America. Although it’s best to remember that the television series is not the book (kind of like Nomadland“, the Netflix series sincerely studies poverty — especially its burden on women.

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READY OR NOT – Brandy McDonnell reviews

Writers Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy clearly want to take on the self-centered entitlement of the rich with the same horror-comedy ferocity that Jordan Peele smacked down racism in his Oscar-winning hit “Get Out.” But “Ready or Not” isn’t nearly as smart or sharply written, coming up short on both consistent laughs and true scares.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, June 29 – July 5: MAGIC MIKE XXL

Opening July 1, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Magic Mike XXL, the follow-up to Steven Soderbergh’s surprise 2012 hit about a troupe of male strippers. Channing Tatum is back as the eponymous lead dancer, with thrilling dance moves, smooth charm and an admirable attention to friendship. Director Gregory Jacobs drives the film to one last blow-out performance. Read on…

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