Movie Meter: Settle in for Eric Rohmer’s A Summer’s Tale

The discerning Philadelphian's guide to the weekend's new movie releases.


A Summer’s Tale: You lucky people get to watch a veritable masterpiece from famed French auteur Eric Rohmer, originally from 1996, but finally being released now for the first time on American screens. The film, the third installment of his “Four Seasons” quadrilogy, is both extremely light on its feet and utterly captivating. The story concerns a young man (Melvil Poupaud) on the eve of his first professional job, who takes a seaside vacation and gets caught up in a complicated romantic triangle with his off-again/on-again girlfriend (Aurélia Nolin) and a young woman (Gwenaëlle Simon) he meets on the shore. Francophile cinema freaks are literally bouncing off the walls in ecstasy for a chance to finally see this treat on the big screen. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

The Trip to Italy: A sequel, of sorts, to 2010’s The Trip, which featured two comics and old friends, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, lummox their way through a trip to England’s northern climes. Here, the boys return in Michael Winterbottom’s docu-fictional account to glide down the gorgeous Italian coast, stopping at six lush eateries along the way. There are the faint echoes of a plotline, but essentially, it’s just two, very funny friends (both wicked impressionists with an arsenal that includes everyone from Al Pacino to Michael Caine), eating at sumptuous restaurants and staying in stunning hotels in Italy. One could do a lot worse, this time of year. Rotten Tomatoes Score: n/a


Life of Crime: You have a solid cast, including John Hawkes, Jennifer Aniston, Will Forte, and Tim Robbins, and the film is based upon a novel by the late, much-beloved Elmore Leonard, so why the tepid RT score? The general consensus appears to be the script is meandering and doesn’t really capture the flavor of Leonard’s work. The man was many things, but never dull, which sadly sounds like the fate that has befallen this particular adaptation. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%


As Above/So Below: Because if you were to totally lose it and live underground as a bloodthirsty savage, you might as well do it underneath Paris, the most romantic city in the world, right? A horror movie in which one’s fear of being trapped underground is countermanded by one’s fear of being trapped underground with particularly grating horror-movie characters. Save your money and rent The Descent, instead. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%