The Farewell Party
High drama and lowbrow, morbid humor get stitched together in this successful tragicomedy about terminal patients and assisted suicide. Works better than expected.
Bruce Fretts is Articles Editor of TV Guide Magazine and writes the popular “Cheers & Jeers” and "On Demand" columns. He came to the magazine in 2003 and has done cover stories on such shows as "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "Project Runway" and "Chappelle's Show."
Prior to joining TV Guide Magazine, Fretts spent 12 years at Entertainment Weekly magazine, rising from Researcher to Critic. He wrote hundreds of articles, including cover stories on such stars as Harrison Ford and Howard Stern and TV shows like "Baywatch" and "Friends." He authored the magazine’s first book, "The Entertainment Weekly Seinfeld Companion," which hit best-seller lists in 1993.
A native of Arlington, Va., Fretts attended the University of Virginia. After graduation, he moved to New York City and worked as an assistant editor at American Heritage magazine, editing its first swimsuit issue. He has served as TV critic for WBGO-FM, the nation’s largest jazz station, since 1999. A die-hard Mets fan, he has written for Major League Baseball’s Insiders Club magazine as well as the official All-Star Game and World Series programs. His work has also been published in The New York Daily News and on the Sundance Channel's website. You can follow him on Twitter @brucefretts.
Fretts lives in New Jersey with his children, Jed and Olive.
For serious cinema fans, romantic comedy have become dirty words in the post-Meg Ryan era. That's what makes the films of Seattle-based indie writer-director Lynn Shelton so refreshing: They're romantic and comedic without ever being formulaic.
Is the director's explicit "The Canyons" the nadir of his career—or its climax?
This piece is about director Neil Jordan's seven most overtly supernatural, fairy tale-like films—The Company of Wolves, High Spirits, Interview with the Vampire, The Butcher Boy, In Dreams, Ondine, and his latest, the mother-daughter vampire shocker Byzantium. An infographic analysis of each—please refer to the key for each symbol's meaning—reveals this pattern and confirms Byzantium is the culmination of 30+ years of Jordan exorcising his personal demons on-screen.