MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 18, 2022: THE HATER

In a world plagued by political polarization and ideological opposition, The Hater is a refreshing reminder of the power of empathy. The story of fiercely idealistic activist Dorothy (writer/director/star Joey Ally) and her crusade against her childhood-tormentor-turned-smarmy-politico Brent (Ian Harding) promotes understanding of both the dismayed outrage of liberal progressives and the staunch independence of born-and-bred conservatives. The resulting comedy is more likely to provoke thoughtful laughter than knee-slapping guffaws.

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THE HATER – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Joey Alley is a sort of a one-woman band as she makes her feature directorial debut based on her own original screenplay while starring as the main character in The Hater. As Dorothy Goodwin a California resident, a dedicated environmentalist and a liberal speechwriter on a U.S. Senate campaign who loses her job after al protest about a flag goes wrong. This political comedy layers on such hot-button topics as gun control, abortions, climate change as well as support for our veterans.

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THE HATER – Review by Liz Whittemore

The Hater plays out against the backdrop of the 2020 election cycle. The dialogue feels incredibly natural, slyly introducing important national platforms. It’s funny and tangible. Beyond the liberal slant, the concept that “we are more alike than we are different” is the major theme. Watching women discuss politics is ceaselessly entertaining. The takedown of toxic masculinity with passion and logic is unmistakable. While you’re not looking, The Hater is predominantly about empowering women. Writer/director/star Joey Ally doesn’t ignore the reality of both parties using dirty tactics. Through moral ambiguity and a whole lot of laughs, I loved every minute of this film.

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PALM SPRINGS – Review by Susan Granger

Palm Springs holds the record for the biggest film sale at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it broke the record for the most-viewed Hulu release in its first weekend on the streaming service. An obvious descendant of the Groundhog Day plot device, it’s set a destination wedding at which Nyles is a guest; he’s the nihilistic boyfriend of a bridesmaid named Misty.

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