On Sunday, I saw an odd, interesting, enjoyable movie at the Writers Guild Theater which opens soon. It’s called Can You Ever Forgive Me? with Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. The movie is based a memoir about a mid-level, down-on-her luck biographer who hits hard time, not helped by a very bristly personality, who starts forging letters from famous authors, like Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward. Eventually she confides her actions to a flamboyant acquaintance who is one of the few people she can sort of tolerate. Though it’s often very funny, it’s most-definitely a drama. McCarthy is extremely good in it as a sad, snarky misanthrope, and Grant joyously chews up the scenery as the grifter who helps out. The film is wonderfully well-done, written by Nicole Holofcener (who wrote and directed the very recent The Land of Steady Habits) and Jeff Whitty, directed by Marielle Heller .
I'm tempted not to post the trailer because, though it tells the story very well and presents the acting effectively, it gives a poor sense of the film. This makes it look like a tense crime thriller -- in fact, as I said, it's often extremely funny is far more a character study of the woman and later, her relationship with her acquaintance. Another example: Jane Curtin does a very good job in a small role as the woman's editor -- she's thoughtful, very direct, but also a bit compassionate, their rapport being even somewhat amusing for its total honesty, however finally she's had enough of her client's utter ill-nature and lays things out bluntly. The trailer used that scene, making her come across far-nastier and confrontational than she is throughout the movie. I looked for perhaps a full scene that would show the other layers of the film, but couldn't find one. In the end, I figured that since it gets the story and craft right, I might as well go with it. So, just know that for all that's well-done in the trailer, and as dramatic as the movie is, it's also much sardonically funnier.