Tipping Point: Our picks and pans
Rossa Negra, 214 Flanders Road, Niantic
A friend and I stopped into Rossa Negra recently for appetizers and drinks at the bar. Good decision. The appetizers were scrumptious and bountiful. We ordered the Rossa Negra Shrimp and Scallops, which at $20 seem overpriced, until you see how big the portions are. It consists of pan-seared shrimp and scallops with garlic basil white wine reduction; the scallops are served on a rustic artisan baguette. I scooped up the remaining sauce with my spoon because I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste. We also ordered empanadas with chicken, for $12 — so good. As we left, we decided we needed to come back to Rossa Negra soon.
— Kristina Dorsey
Narrator Camile Gardener isn’t a scorned mother, but she gives Hell a run for its money in the Fury department. Five years previously, her high school-aged daughter Emily was raped at a frat party and subsequently froze to death in the woods where she was abandoned. The moneyed frat boy accused of the crime, defended by a team of super lawyers, is acquitted — and Camille bottoms out. She and her husband divorce and she spends her days numbed by grief and rage. When she’s contacted by an anonymous sisterhood of similarly wounded souls determined to harness the powers of vigilantism, Camille is excited beyond measure. She begins doing isolated tasks that fit into the titular group’s much larger schemes of vengeance. But the initial rush of her participation begins to fade with increasing developments. Author Gaylin, an Edgar winner, is a wonderful writer, and Camille’s character is instantly and continually empathetic throughout.. Oh: and about those freakin’ twists ...
— Rick Koster
Few people can meld comedy with thoughtful discussions of racial issues like Kenya Barris. The mastermind behind “black-ish” co-wrote and directs this “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” for our era. A white guy (Jonah Hill) and a Black woman (Lauren London) develop a romance but run into trouble when their parents (his family’s Jewish, hers is Muslim) enter the picture. His mother is played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and her father is played by Eddie Murphy … so do you really need to know anything else? They rule “You People” with their comic brilliance, she playing clueless, and he being take-no-guff and perpetually suspicious. I think Hill is miscast (and what’s up with that greasy-and-half-blonde hair he’s rocking?), but it turns out he co-wrote the screenplay with Barris, so I’m guessing that’s how he ended up starring. Barris also directs. The ending feels rushed and more appropriate for a Lifetime movie than one as substantive as this. But “You People” is a must-see.
— Kristina Dorsey