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Features

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Rom-Coms & Dramadies
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I Give It A Year

DATE  February 8
DIRECTOR  Dan Mazer
CAST  Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Stephen Merchant, Olivia Colman

FUN FACT  Writer/director Dan Mazer also co-wrote the script to Brüno. Hopefully I Give It A Year will have fewer cage fights à la "Straight Dave's Man Slammin' Maxout".

SYNOPSIS  Nat (Rose Byrne) is an ambitious high-flyer who meets and falls for struggling novelist Josh (Rafe Spall). The pair get married, but gradually discover that none of their friends think they can make it - and when Josh's ex (Anna Faris) reappears, and Nat finds herself romantically targeted by a colleague (Simon Baker) the pressure is on.

WHAT TO EXPECT  We have hopes for this one: the cast are generally very funny - even those who are newcomers to the genre - and it shouldn't be just another rom-com. Also, the trailer promised the sight of Stephen Merchant making a best man speech, which should be worth the ticket price alone.
• Watch the trailer below

Song For Marion

Song For Marion

DATE  February 8
DIRECTOR  Paul Andrew Williams
CAST  Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston, Anne Reid

FUN FACT  This has been picked up for US distribution by The Weinstein Company, which means there's a 90% chance you're parents will ask you if it's good at some point.

SYNOPSIS  Arthur (Stamp) is prodded to join a choir by his wife Marion (Redgrave). Grumpy, reluctant and distanced from his son (Eccleston), Arthur gradually finds himself won over by the choir and its inspiring leader, Elizabeth (Arterton). Also, singing!

WHAT TO EXPECT  It's Terence Stamp singing Let's Talk About Sex at Vanessa Redgrave's behest! Sure, there's great actors doing warm-hearted drama as well, but mostly focus on that.
• Watch the trailer below

The Big Wedding

The Big Wedding

DATE  May 31
DIRECTOR  Justin Zackham
CAST  Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes, Amanda Seyfried

BASED ON  The French film Mon Frère Se Marie, aka My Brother Is Getting Married.

SYNOPSIS  Alejandro (Barnes) is adopted and has always written to his birth mother to reassure her of his happy upbringing. In fact, his parents (De Niro, Keaton) are long divorced and his father is remarried to Bebe (Sarandon) - but when his mother decides to attend the wedding, they pull out all the stops to appear a happy family.

WHAT TO EXPECT  The colour scheme and at least half the cast says this will be a Nancy Meyers-esque comedy of errors, but with so much acting talent on board we're optimistic it might be a good one.
• Watch the trailer on Apple

10 Things I Hate About Life

10 Things I Hate About Life

DATE  October 18
DIRECTOR  Gil Junger
CAST  Evan Rachel Wood

BASED ON  This is a so-loose-it's-unconnected sequel to 1999's 10 Things I Hate About You, with no Shakespearean element, it seems.

SYNOPSIS  A young man and woman (Wood) meet as they're both contemplating suicide and spark up a relationship instead. So it's a bit like The Girl On The Bridge but with less knife-throwing, we assume.

WHAT TO EXPECT  It's a little hard to say right now, with casting barely underway and production starting this month. We're hoping for something as good as the Taming Of The Shrew-inspired original, and hopefully a cast that includes some more future Batman characters.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

DATE  April 5
DIRECTOR  Peter Hedges
CAST (VOICES)  Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Garner, CJ Adams, Odeya Rush, Shohreh Agdashloo, David Morse, M. Emmet Walsh, Dianne Wiest, Ron Livingston

BASED ON  An original story by Ahmet Zappa (son of Frank), his first.

SYNOPSIS  Cindy (Garner) and Jim (Edgerton) have been told that they can't have children, and mournfully compile a list that night of all the things their kid would have been. They bury it in the garden - but after a miraculous rainstorm a boy (Adams) grows from the spot and moves in.

WHAT TO EXPECT  It errs on the side of the sentimental, which has led some critics to bring out the knives, but they'll probably also need to bring out the hankies as it's something of a tear-jerker, and Adams is terrific.
• Watch the trailer below

Safe Haven

Safe Haven

DATE  February 14 (US)
DIRECTOR  Lasse Hallstrom
CAST  Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders, David Lyons

BASED ON  The novel by Nicholas Sparks.

SYNOPSIS  Katie (Hough) is on the run from a dark past when she pitches up in a picturesque North Carolina town. Despite her instinct to hide out, she gradually befriends/falls for hunky shop owner Alex (Duhamel) - but will her past come back to haunt them...? Well, yes, obviously.

WHAT TO EXPECT  It's a Sparks adaptation, so even if there's really good acting and a genuinely effective romance there will be troubled family relationships, beautiful people, a racially homogenous seaside town and a death at the end.
• Watch the trailer below

Playing For Keeps

Playing For Keeps

DATE  January 1 (UK)
DIRECTOR  Gabriele Muccino
CAST  Gerard Butler, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid, Judy Greer, James Tupper

FUN FACT  Butler is a Celtic fan, and gets to play for his favourite team in clips here.

SYNOPSIS  Butler plays a former professional footballer whose career as a commentator hasn't quite taken off and whose ex-wife is about to remarry. The mother of one of the players on his son's team lines him up an audition with ESPN - but can he bear to move away from his son? Probably not, we're guessing.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Muccino's films generally err on the side of heart-warming, which isn't to everyone's taste, but it's hard to argue with a cast like this, so we're hoping for a less predictable rom-com than the trailer suggests.
• Watch the trailer below


Quick Poll   Which of these films are you looking forward to most?

Playing For Keeps
I Give It A Year
Song For Marion
The Odd Life Of Timothy Green
The Big Wedding
10 Things I Hate About Life
Safe Haven


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