By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is a hilarious play loosely based off of Theresa Harris, an African American actress in the 1930s. Theresa Harris lit up the screen and stole the scene in the 1933 movie “Baby Face,” where she starred opposite Barbara Stanwyck. But in those days it was hard for African American women to make it in Hollywood. This play takes place in 1933, 1973 and 2003. The first half of the play shows Vera Stark (Sanaa Lathan) as a maid for the starlet Gloria Mitchell (Amanda Detmer.) Vera shares an apartment with two other African American women, Lottie (Kimberly Herbert Gregory) and Anna Mae (Merie Dandridge) who are also trying to figure out how to make it in Hollywood. Anna Mae is light skinned so when she gets asked out on a date by a famous director she tells him she’s Brazilian. So, as Vera is helping Gloria learn her lines for the new movie “The Belle of New Orleans” she discovers that there is a part that she herself is perfect for. And funny chaos ensues as she tries to audition for this coveted role. The second act takes place in 2003 and 1973, with the 2003 people playing back an interview of Vera and Gloria from 1973. It is a group of 3 analyst who are analyzing Veras behavior during the interview. I hate to say more about the story because I don’t wanna spoil it! It honestly is an amazing play, which is now playing at the Geffen playhouse. You will be on the floor laughing throughout the play. There is never a dull moment, the cast is absolutely fantastic. Go see it!
I recently saw this movie, Celeste and Jesse Forever. I had no idea what it was going to be about, but I love Andy Samberg so I had to see it. Basically it’s a story of a divorcing couple Celeste (Rashida Jones,) and Jesse (Andy Samberg,) who still remain best friends during their divorce. They hang out every single day, and act as if they are still together. Until, one day when Jesse finds out he has gotten someone pregnant and decides to marry his baby mama. Celeste gets super jealous and goes through a downward life spiral. Also in the movie is Emma Roberts (who plays a rebellious 20 year old popstar,) Chris Messina (who plays a very charming asshole type interested in Celeste,) Ari Graynor and Eric Christian Olsen (who play Celeste and Jesse’s best married friends,) Elijah Wood (who plays Celestes gay business partner,) and Rebecca Dayan (who plays Jesse’s baby mama.)
Everyone did such a fantastic job in this movie. Rashida Jones was hilarious and you really felt for her during the movie. I love Andy Samberg with all of my heart, and going into the movie I thought he was going to have all of my attention, until Chris Messina appeared. Chris Messina stole the show in my opinion. He has such a captivating charm, that when he’s in front of the camera you can’t help but put all of your focus on him. As soon as I got home I went straight to IMDB and looked him up. Emma Roberts was perfect for her part, but I felt that at some points you could tell she was trying way too hard.
The directing was very interesting. It was great when it comes to the actors and all that. But, I wasn’t crazy about some of the camera movements. It was very unsteady and made me dizzy.
All in all it was great portrail of modern couples, and todays dating world. I really enjoyed this movie and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is single, in a relationship, or especially getting a divorce! It puts a great positive spin on staying friends with your ex, which I think is really important.