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  • Issue of
  • Mar 21-27, 2007
  • Vol. 27, No. 23

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • Puccini for Beginners

    Director-screenwriter Maria Maggenti's tale of neurotic well-heeled New York is a comedy of sexual identity confusion and commitment-phobia. Samantha (Julianne Nicholson) walks out on obscure writer Allegra (Elizabeth Reaser). Allegra, even after nine months with Samantha, declares she’s not ready to commit and is still getting to know her. On the rebound, Allegra finds herself entangled with tweedy scholar Philip (Justin Kirk), who himself can’t commit to longtime girlfriend Grace (Gretchen Mol). Unlike, say, Woody Allen, Maggenti doesn’t let her characters bear the weight of too much unhappiness. Still, Maggenti could have passed over the softball sensitivity and given Puccini for Beginners more teeth, and taken a bigger bite of that Big Apple.
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  • The Scene
  • Premonition

    Sandra Bullock’s husband dies — or does he? — and she goes batshit crazy trying to figure it all out. Bullock wakes up one day and her husband’s dead, and the next, it’s all OK. Wash, rinse, repeat. The back-and-forth pinging becomes tiresome and obnoxious by the film’s midpoint. The scene in front of the funeral home where Bullock goes over the edge is inappropriately hilarious.
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  • The Scene
  • Fired!

    Yeah, she got canned by Woody Allen. OK, so it was after only three days on the job. That’s pretty bad. But is said firing worthy of a cottage industry? Actor-comic Annabelle Gurwitch has parlayed her Allen dismissal into a book, stage shows in New York and Los Angeles, and, now, this documentary film. But rehashing it for more than 71 big-screen minutes is a huge stretch for Gurwitch, who wrote, produced and stars in this. At best, Fired! makes a case for laughing at our misfortunes by having us laugh at Gurwitch’s and firings of other “celebs.” But when it comes to serious analysis, Gurwitch's conclusions are obvious to all but herself, as she appears genuinely surprised to discover that some folks lose their jobs through no fault of their own and end up worse off. No foolin’? That’s about as deep and revealing this film gets.
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Food & Drink

  • Table and Bar
  • Island breezes

    The menu showcases seafood, of course, alongside jerk chicken and curried goat. But it’s also the homey side dishes that make Irie worth a trek. To try them, the appetizer sampler platter is positively the way to go. It comes with a mango-coconut-pineapple dipping sauce and well-browned but tender crab cakes, jerk wings, fried plantains, coconut-flavored shrimp that are crunchy and sweet, and, best of all, codfish fritters. Don't be afraid of goat, which in Irie’s curry is spicy, not goaty, and more like an island beef stew than anything else. Sides include rice and peas cooked in coconut milk; fried dumplings, which taste like a hard version of biscuits; and festivals, which are dumplings too, but with cornmeal. And the desserts are sublime. Hours are 11:30-8:30 Monday through Thursday, 11:30-9 Friday-Saturday and 12-7 on Sunday.
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