| Flicks

FLICKS: Young Goethe in Love & Seducing Charlie Barker

Posted on 22 December 2011 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

AdventuresOfCinemaDave.com

Alice Cooper looked me in the eye and asked, “So what’s worth seeing at the movies?”

“For pure entertainment, The Muppets, I responded.

“Oh, that’s a good movie!” Alice responded.

As Christmas week wraps up, many family movies like The Muppets and Arthur Christmas will be in their final big screen performances, before being delegated onto the small screen at home. Local theaters will begin receiving their Oscar buzz movies like The Iron Lady and Albert Nobbs, while fulfilling escapist desire with films like Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Adventures of Tintin.

Young Goethe in Love opens this weekend. A philosopher best known for his existential pessimism, Young Goethe (Alexander Fehling) is an energetic young man full of passion. He meets and courts Lotte Buff (Miriam Stein) and lands a municipal job as a bureaucrat.

Most of Young Goethe in Love is appropriate Christmas entertainment featuring a German countryside, family picnics and sing-alongs. Of course, the romance sours and the audience sees Young Goethe become a philosophical curmudgeon.  While there is an opportunity for the film to grow dark and sinister (the final credits present a very disturbing aspect of the film), Young Goethe in Love is about youth dancing a polka.

Seducing Charlie Barker opens this weekend at the The Living Room Theater on the Florida Atlantic University campus. Miami native Amy Glazer (who also directs) will be in attendance Friday, Dec. 23. She will introduce and host a “Q & A” after the screening of her movie.

Charlie Barker (Stephen Barker Turner) is a struggling actor who does not want to compromise his artistic integrity. His mate, Stella (Daphne Zuniga) supports him.  While attending an elitist ritzy party in Manhattan, Charlie is seduced by Clea (Heather Gordon), a siren in a red dress. Much like the fate of an Alice Cooper protagonist, Charlie Barker’s situation goes from bad to worse … or so it seems.

Thanks to Heather Gordon’s energetic performance and excellent line delivery, Seducing Charlie Barker works as sophisticated entertainment. The film gets dark, yet there are many plot twists that take a routine downfall movie into a different philosophical plane. Then again, for those seeking simple escapist entertainment, The Muppets will make a fine Christmas outing this weekend.  Merry Christmas!

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