‘Breathe’ ‘Major League’
There aren’t enough films about female friendships, and even fewer about when they go south. The feature debut of actor Melanie Laurent is about both. Using increasingly tense long takes, Laurent crams us in the head of a mousy high schooler (Josephine Japy) who finds herself improbable besties with the cool new girl in town (Lou de Laage). Then, just like that, one cools on the other, leading to heartbreak and worse. It’s a platonic break-up movie with the sexual tension left in, and Laurent’s handiwork is so deft you might forgive, or even defend, its problematic-ish ending.
Speaking of #problematic, we're at the point where even the fun-filled films of 25 years ago look dodgy. Sure enough,David S. Ward’s classic baseball romp is filled with the kind of casual misogyny and racism that was de rigueur in the cinema of 1989. But just as we’re not going to throw Buster Keaton’s “Seven Chances” under the bus just because of its one full-on racist gag, we can find a balance between recognizing its backwards-ness without condemning it.Not to say “Major League” is in the same universe as a Keaton, though its slovenly good vibes and underdog premise — the new loser line-up of the Cleveland Indians (see?) fight to prove they’re secret all-stars — is nigh irresistible. And can we get a Tom Berenger-ssance?