The Nutty Professor (1996)

(On TV, October 1999) There is a bit more to this film than fat jokes and juvenile gross-out humour, but not that much more. Some of the screenwriting is so obvious that it’s painful. The romance between the two leads isn’t exactly believable. On the other hand, there are a few cute visual gags (the hamster invasion, the Fatzilla dream sequence) and the remainder of the film flows relatively well. Not worth bothering yourself, but a good past-time if ever it plays on TV while you’re washing dishes.

Notting Hill (1999)

(In theaters, October 1999) The manufactured product of some people who obviously know what they’re doing. The radiant Julia Roberts is as comfortable in her screen personae as floppy-haired Hugh Grant is in his character. (Even though his infamous blinking-eye tic nearly destroys one of the film’s most dramatic scene) The script is carefully crafted to elicit the desired emotions from the viewers. The comedy is introduced, however unsubtly, at the appropriate moment. The English locale is exploited with maximum colourfulness. There’s even a nice element of fantasy as the female actress protagonist wins an Oscar for her role in a science-fiction film. (!) The result is as pleasant as the filmmakers intended.

Fight Club (1999)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Fight Club</strong> (1999)

(In theaters, October 1999) So what is this film? It’s an insanely dense, non-stop cinematographic delight. It’s a mesmerizing big-budget social satire about consumerism. It’s a triumph for director David Fincher and actors Brad Pitt and Ed Norton. It’s more than the Gen-X equivalent to American Beauty; it’s a declaration of war between Gen-X and the Baby-Boomers. It’s a raucously funny, intensely cool film. It’s a multi-level script rife with quotable material. It’s aimed straight at young single males. It’s a wonderful soundtrack. It’s something that stays in your mind for a while. It’s something to be talked about. It’s easily one of the best films of 1999. It’s a must-see.