Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Irresistible, Mr. Jones, To All The Boys 2: P.S. I Loved You

February 2, 2020

Illustration by Egan Barnitt

 Irresistible (2020)


With the Democratic Party desperately trying to win back swing states in our real world, this movie’s premise isn’t wholly unreasonable. My first impression was that there was an impressive amount of cliches packed into the two and a half minute trailer. Don’t get me wrong, I chuckled a few times, but my sense of humor is often at the expense of others, so it may not be the best comedic gauge. I think Irresistible would be a fun one to watch outside of theaters in the comfort of one’s home where there can be a good laugh at the really horrible comedy, but I wouldn’t pay more than the rent fee to see it.


I think I was about 30 seconds into the trailer when I thought, “Damn, this movie is giving me really high Midwest energy.” I live in Ohio and this film is set in Wisconsin, so technically the two are separate things, but nevertheless, I think they pretty much nailed the set design. It had me laughing a bit at how cartoonish it almost was. Steve Carell is absolutely killing it in this role: it probably won’t get many appraisals from the Academy or anything, but it sure will make even non-Office fans have an enjoyable time. I don’t know what to make of the plot given that I don’t really understand American politics, but, honestly, I don’t think anyone going to watch this film really cares about how accurate the whole thing is. I’d definitely recommend this if you’re in dire need of some laughs, but I’m not quite convinced that it’s worth dragging yourself to a movie theatre to see. 


It’s always good to see John Stewart’s name on a project, even if the overall quality of the product is still yet to be determined. After seeing the trailer, I’m split on whether this movie could end up being a hit or not. The cinematography and score were an expected competent, if unoriginal, way of portraying the events and establishing the mood of the film. On the plus side, the acting talents behind the movie have proven their ability through numerous past flicks; in addition, the premise takes a usually serious topic for film (a underprepared candidate running for office) then flips it into a more jovial watch. Though this premise is slightly well-worn, it has yet to be applied extensively to the current political climate and could provide some interesting tweaks that set it apart from others in the genre. The jokes were adequate but nothing to write home about, which is concerning for a comedy movie. Hopefully, the characters can inject some heart into the film, allowing the comedic beats to land better since they seem to come out of character traits rather than random circumstances. As John Stewart’s second film and the first since leaving The Daily Show, the quality and success of this film could be a determining factor in whether he has a career in the film industry or if he’ll stay within the TV realm.


 Mr. Jones (2020)


I truly thought that Mr. Jones was supposed to be a parody film for the first half of this trailer, before realizing it was just a really bad drama that took itself too seriously. However, there is the dude Emma Watson marries in Little Women, as well as young Margaret from The Crown starring in the movie, which may partially redeem it. I’m also not 100% sure what the plot of this one is. Between the bad dialogue, high drama scenes, and faux-suspenseful score, it was hard to gather what I was supposed to be expecting in the movie. 


Wait a second. Are you telling me that someone can put a glass against a wall and hear a conversation that is happening at least two rooms away? What kind of glasses are they making in Russia? My best guess is that this movie is a hit or miss. The story seems to be intriguing and full of mysteries, but I have no idea what the plot is. Honestly, I’m only guessing that it’s a mysterious drama because of the pumped-up, angst-ridden music blasting through the whole trailer. Pair that with the shots of people running around to who-knows-where, and I feel more like this movie is desperately trying to convince me it’s some sort of historical thriller without giving away too much of the story. It’s a shame, really, because they end up giving me nothing at all—and thus no reason why I should look forward to watching this. 


Hmm, the tale of reporting on Stalin’s death is interesting, yet the amount of time that the film devotes to before and after the main character is chased by authorities can be a determining factor in the entertainment value. A gradual increase in tension is needed to create the feeling of paranoia that this film seems to be aiming for, yet the pace needs to be quick enough that the audience doesn’t become bored by the movie’s character-building scenes. It’s a difficult balancing act and possibly seeing the full sequences where the main character is being shot at, using disguise, or having to worry about people listening in may alleviate some of the worry that I have about this film. One element of the trailer that I hope carries into the film is the use of shadow and light during shot compositions. It seemed that the shots were darker in scenes where the main character was on the run and lighter in scenes where he’s in more trouble of being found out. It’s a simple visual motif but it’s a novel use of lighting that could provide some nice atmosphere for the movie and add to the emotional impact when the main character is in intense situations. It’s unlikely that this movie will set the world on fire, however it could introduce unique ideas to the “true story” genre and lead to more movies set in the 1950’s that aren’t in America.


 To All The Boys 2: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)


Jordan Fisher? What’re you doing in this wildly mediocre love story, sir? While I didn’t bother to watch the prequel to this movie, after watching this trailer I might. The thing is, you know what you’re getting into with the trailer: a really stereotypical, somewhat diverse love triangle that you can watch a couple days before Valentine’s Day. For me, the worst part of this trailer was the younger sister giving me traumatic flashbacks to my middle school braids, braces, and glasses. If you didn’t sport this unfortunate combo, then this Netflix Original should be pretty okay. Whether you want to watch this predictable love story is up to you, but I know that I’ll be watching it and throwing my Netflix algorithm for a loop. 


Could this be considered an unnecessary sequel to the 2018 epic rom-com To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? Yes, but you bet I’ll be watching this as soon as Netflix delivers it to my screen. The book series these films were based on were my shit during high school, and I have honestly never loved a book adaptation as much as this one. I had already pretty much sold my soul to these films when the first one came out, but then they decided to throw in Jordan freaking Fisher? Excuse me, did the FBI agent who watches my online musical theatre obsession give the producers of this movie my profile? That’s rude, but I’ll take it. Not sure whether it will be everyone’s cup of tea—let’s face it, it is a high school rom-com—but honestly, if you’re in the mood for one, it’s about as good as it gets. 


Throughout this trailer, I felt an overwhelming feeling of indifference. Most of that’s due to the fact that I’m not the targeted audience for this film, but the overall cliched elements present in the movie and hints of overly dramatic scenes suggests that the bland taste left in my mouth isn’t solely caused by my interest in other genres. Having the crux of the love triangle be a love letter is the same as other movies using one night of passion or the arrival of an old friend, so the premise is about as unique as the fact that the movie has a carnival love sequence or that it seems to end on the dance at homecoming/prom. The flaring of egos in the treehouse foreshadows the contrived scenarios and mediocre acting that will most likely fuel the majority of this movie’s runtime. On the plus side, at least there are diverse leads which (hopefully) reflects the increasing trend towards rom-coms as a whole becoming more accurate representations of the diversity within current society. If you’re looking for a new Netflix teenage rom-com, maybe give this movie a shot or wait till later in the year when they release another one that may interest you more.


Maya Cassady
Maya is a sophomore in the College with no intention of declaring a major anytime soon. Hopefully her love of music and movies makes up for it.

Juliana Vaccaro
Juliana is an English/Economics double major, a Chinese minor, and a former Voice writer. She somehow still finds time to take way too many Halftime Leisure quizzes.

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