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Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 1,020

My Rating

Movie Info

For his feature debut, writer-director Damien Chazelle has fashioned a contemporary musical, shot in 16 mm black-and-white on the streets of Boston and New York. During the film's opening credits, we learn that Guy (professional musician Jason Palmer), a trumpet player, and Madeline (Desiree Garcia), a grad student looking for work, have broken up. The film then flashes back briefly to show how Guy's dalliance with Elena (Sandha Khin), an outgoing young woman he met on the subway, caused the

May 3, 2011

$33.8k

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (2) | DVD (3)

Whenever "Guy and Madeline" becomes a musical, it soars.

January 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Guy and Madeline'' is the work of an artist - Damien Chazelle - you want to know better. It's whimsical and winsome and a touch quaint.

December 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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This is a story of few words, a lot of great music and countless emotional shadings.

December 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Guy and Madeline is a decidedly modern film, whose frightened, impulsive, charming characters could walk into our lives tomorrow.

December 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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[An] extraordinary black-and-white retro dream of a feature debut...

November 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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Evokes a time when every love affair came with its own soundtrack, and every song seemed to be written only for us.

November 5, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chazelle is an exceptionally talented filmmaker. Let's hope the independent film world has enough life left in it to do him justice.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

A celebration of cinephilia and music and dance

June 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Chazelle is more interested in having fun with this witty melange than in hammering home a filmic style lesson. So enjoy.

June 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Strongly influenced by Demy's Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

May 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Equally nostalgic and fresh-faced, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench is a bohemian musical that owes as much to Cassavetes Shadows as it does the French musicals of the '30s.

March 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Part 1940s musical, part New Wave, part cinéma vérité, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench is a modern hybrid in the contemporary mumblecore movement.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Moving Pictures Magazine
Moving Pictures Magazine

It's meandering, whimsical and definitely different.

December 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Enchanting song-and-dance numbers burst onto the screen as full-fledged musical tours de force. . . mak[ing] the typical mumblecore scenes in-between that much more boring.

November 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

A tribute befitting Boston readily comparable to Woody Allen's bittersweet homage to his own beloved Manhattan!

November 1, 2010 Full Review Source: TheLoop21.com
TheLoop21.com

The film's visual splendor is undercut by the nagging realization that it's in the service of a tepid snapshot of happy-go-ditzy ciphers.

October 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

Mixing two separate yet compatible elements, Guy and Madeline fuses the cinema verite style of a gritty black and white documentary and the brash tones and rising melodies of an MGM musical, all in one sitting. Though the full impact of said MGM style was lost in the fray of tying the stylings together, the overall effort was astounding. The numbers had an originality that was more Miles Davis than Irving Berlin, which flowed well with the grainy shots of Boston. Threaded into the romantic entanglements of the two main characters was a deep love and appreciation for jazz, fueling the storyline forward by making some of the musical numbers performances that could indeed happen in real life, including a party scene and a jam session. Madeline's two songs on the other hand take place as she walks the streets, and my all-time favorite "When I Kissed the Boy in Park" while closing down a diner she waitresses in. There were some great scenes, including a game of 20 Questions between Elena and a strange old man, and Guy trying to track down Madeline. Altogether, it was confusing when addressing the dying relationships that lead to a reunion of the musicians, but the cute factor kept me watching.
May 12, 2011
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

Look, I have a soft spot in my heart for any movie made nowadays in black and white. And it helps that "Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench" has a certain retro charm with its keenly styled musical numbers. But those oh so brief interludes cannot make up for the muddled narrative of the break up of Guy(Jason Palmer), a trumpet player, and Madeline(Desiree Garcia), as they go their separate directions. That's not to mention the amateurish camerawork.
April 29, 2012
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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