There is a time in many people’s lives when the reality of life’s events makes it oh so certain that they have not followed The Human Plan. This plan usually involves one to three university degrees by 30, marriage to your true love, followed by children, a mortgage and a lifetime of all manner of memories and, quite likely, excess debt.
The Plan starts forming at around one’s university (or that equivalent age range) years and pretty much consumes them until they tick off the boxes aforementioned one-by-one...’Got some credit in the straight world’…
Friends with Kids (Un plan perfecto/Amigos con Hijos) tells the story of two best friends Jason and Julie who are seemingly eternally single, have the same group of friends and even live in the same building in NYC. The switcheroo here is that they have entered their mid-30s and their mates have all paired off and started having kids. With those kids, as any parent knows, comes the strain on friendship and the mounting pressures of everyday life. Herein lies our conundrum, as J&J decide that they (as best of friends, mind you) can skip the love/marriage drama and pop out a tyke who will be loved, educated and reared in the ways of a normal family realm without the extra baggage. You can guess what happens. Rather typical.
What I found awkward was the skipping over of the entire pregnancy part of this film’s protagonists. That really cracked off at the hashtag rating system that I ascribe to in this here blog, but the film so cleverly redeems itself with insanely true performances by an all-star cast, including Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, Megan Fox and good old charmer himself Edward Burns. Hamm’s real-life wife Jennifer Westfeldt (who also wrote and directed the feature) plays Julie while Adam Scott plays Jason.
As it was largely filmed in my Brooklyn neighborhood near Prospect Park, there was some emotionality behind watching the film, and I took a couple of days to write this critique so as to not be too influenced. Still, this is a must-see for any Wiig/Rudolph fan or any group of friends who know exactly what happens once the babies arrive. ###-1/2
Next up comes the wham-bam punch of a new Arnold movie…sorry, Ah-nuld movie. Between 1982 and 1990, my twin brother and I were not permitted to go to the cinema due to insanely stringent restrictions imposed by an overbearing if loving Judeo-Christian mother. That means my intro to the Governator mostly came from watching the “You Could Be Mine” video by Guns n’ Roses on MTV, which was a network that used to highlight music videos back in the 80s and early 90s when I was a wee thing.
Not too long after T2 came some trite shite that he did (Last Action Hero? Junior? Jingle All the Way? Anyone? No? Didn’t think so!), and apart from a few standup moments (True Lies!! Eraser), I really couldn’t care less. And then he ran California into the ground, to the point that it was called the Greece of the U.S. Go figure!
With that said, he’s back again on celluloid…and the film Sabotage…is…fun schlock! I admit it’s crap, but it is rather fun to watch if you can get through the formulaic mentality of Ah-nuld heading a claptrap group of gangsters who just also happen to double as the best and most elite of DEA Agents. Like I’ve just said, it’s silliness painted with lots of shoot outs and plenty of star wattage (Terence Howard, Sam Worthington and Joe Manganiello) but what makes the film enticing is really seeing 60-something Arnold kicking ass. Honestly, if you could sit through The Expendables, you will likely be pleased to sit through this! ###
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that Brits are not the biggest fans of Americans impersonating their accent. It’s nearly always a cause for a smug, offended comment or reaction though, I might add, it rarely is the other way around.
The latest Dakota Fanning flick, Now is Good (Ahora y Siempre), brings her into some dangerous acting-chop territory, and I daresay I was somewhat surprised to realize that her latest film was actually a British, independent one made on a paltry budget. I was also pleasantly happy to see that she pulled off a performance that is practically seamless when referencing its material…death by cancer at an early age. Oh, and her accent is quite up to par.
Be forewarned, if you go to see the film, you will cry. I don’t care how tough your valor is, this film digs deep for the tears and it gives it to you in spades. From the languid feeling you get when she ‘shrooms in the forest with a couple of mates to the melodious rapture of the soundtrack playing behind much of the film to the death-and-birth ending, the film attempts and scores in pulling some raw emotion from its actors and the audience. Honestly, if you want your t(w)eenager, kid sibling, little cousin, etc. to learn a valuable lesson, be a bit more humble and also have a good, healing cry, you’d do well to start here. Moving and bloody good! ###-1/2
Finally today, before reading this, please click on the link below…and commence sphincter retraction:
Endless Love (Mas alla del Amor). Vomit. Now then, why anyone would want to remake a similarly-named film from an already fluffy original (oooh, Zeferelli!...Y que?) is far beyond me. Alex Pettyfer is so lame in this film and Gabriella Wilde is no Brooke Shields. In fact, she’s not an actress and she must have done some good jobs for this role because her performance falls so flat on its face, it’s embarrassing. Sorry, no. Apparently, she’s from a long aristocratic, noble family in the UK and starred in the umpteenth remake of The Three Musketeers a couple of years ago. Big whoop. Sigh.
With that said, the only thing that is endless in this film IS the film and the only thing to love about it is when it ends, so go figure. Maybe the title has something going for it, after all. TOTAL FAIL! #
Another summer film opens this weekend, but as it stars known woman abuser Chris Brown, it was ignored. Any Mel Gibson/Brown vibe around a film will almost certainly be ignored by this blog site and magazine! So, until we speak again, may the Universe not squish you in the palm of its hand! Besos babies!