Grab some popcorn! NewsFeed’s Glen Levy brings you the movies you should check out (or avoid) this weekend.
Tagline: Save The Date
“You are so sexy,” says Annie (Kristen Wiig) to Ted (John Hamm) at the start of Bridesmaids as they tussle with each other in bed. “I know,” he replies, channeling his best Don Draper. And so it begins. Or does it? Being marketed as Knocked Up or The Hangover for women (the choice is yours!), Wiig is behind this story of a luckless in love lady, who must prepare for her maid of honor duties to best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) all the while dealing with Lillian’s new pal, Helen (Rose Byrne, who we are reminded, whenever possible, is impossibly beautiful).
After she stole the show in Judd Apatow’s 2007 breakout comedy, he persuaded Wiig to write a script (which she duly did with her friend Annie Mumolo, from the Groundlings improv company in Los Angeles). And while Apatow has produced the fruits of her labor, Bridesmaids might have fulfilled its undoubted potential had he directed it too, rather than leave it to the rather pedestrian efforts of Paul Feig, who just isn’t, well, Aptovian enough.
What we’re left with is a series of set-pieces with some (Wiig and Byrne desperate to have the last word at the engagement party, Rudolph gracefully relieving herself in the street) working far better than others (a sequence on a plane is so interminably long it feels like it lasts for the entire duration of the flight). Wiig, of course, is wonderful and it’s refreshing to see a female-fronted movie not playing out according to the Sex and the City template (though it will be equally fascinating to see if it can match it in the box-office stakes). But it might just be Wiig’s fate to be known as the cameo queen par excellence rather than lead star in her own right. Always the bridesmaid indeed.
Everything Must Go
Tagline: Lost Is A Good Place To Find Yourself
Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph rose to fame on Saturday Night Live and Will Ferrell is also an alum. But in Everything Must Go, Ferrell’s not simply looking for outright laughs (though much like the rest of us, he’ll take them). He plays Nick Halsey, who not only works for the Man, but is struggling with a battle against booze. To make matters worse, he loses his job, wife and house in the same day, which sounds like the kind of triple whammy an author such as Raymond Carver would have written about.
And sure enough, Everything Must Go is writer-director Dan Rush’s adaptation of Carver’s short story, Why Don’t You Dance? Much like last year’s Greenberg, Ferrell remains as resolutely unlikeable as Ben Stiller’s eponymous main man. Swap Greta Gerwig for sweet neighbor Rebecca Hall and you’ve got yourself the odd double take as well as double bill.
Tagline: The War Is Eternal. His Mission Is Just The Beginning.
Paul Bettany throwing crucifixes around and riding motorbikes? While wearing a cassock? In 3-D? Is this a movie or merely the making of an article in The Onion?
Sadly the former, though we hold out hope for the latter. A comic-book adaptation of of Korean artist Hyung Min-Woo’s long-running series, Priest sees Bettany being trained by the church to take on the vampires (that might be the most accurate description for these creatures) that are doing their level best to wreak havoc on the world. And when some of his family get dispatched off this mortal coil, Bettany wants revenge, preferably served with a dose of western, horror, sci-fi and as many special effects as director Scott Charles Stewart can muster. Guess what? The movie doesn’t have a prayer.
NewsFeed’s Flicks Pick: It’s no Knocked Up (still the best comedy of recent years) but it’s worth RSVPing for Bridesmaids.