Tag: Maya Rudolph

The Way, Way Back

July 28th, 2013 — 8:15am

The Way, Way Back***

The Way, Way Back- rm   It is not an easy feat to make a coming of age movie that gets grown adults to identify with a kid who is supposed to be 14 and barely looks that age. In our opinion Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (Oscar winning writers for the Descendants), the duo who wrote and directed this film (and also gave themselves small to medium acting roles in it ) successfully just did that with us. By the end we were rooting for the kid and had a tear in our eyes. Steve Carrell steps out of his comedic shoes and does a formidable job playing Trent, the intense but not quite true blue boyfriend of Pam (Toni Collette), who is taking  her son Duncan (Liam James) along with Trent’s  daughter to his summer New England beach house. Duncan is struggling with  his unhappiness with his divorced family and this summer excursion that he doesn’t want to be on. . They meet next door neighbor bubbly friendly Betty (Allison Janney) her son and daughter who become important characters in what unfolds. There are other summer people including a flirtatious housewife played by Amanda Peet. We begin to appreciate everybody’s situation and most of all how Duncan feels. The plot has a fairy tale quality but instead of a castle there is a big water ride and a bunch of grown ups who work at the water ride and befriend Duncan. The most improbable of this group is Owen  (Sam Rockwell). He is very funny, one of the supervisors of the water enterprise and immediately sensitive and insightful into the struggling Duncan. We would have to picture him as the big brother or ideal cool dad that we are sure Duncan  would have loved to have had . Owens’s girl friend is Caitlin (Maya Rudolph), a bit wiser than the others, but delightful. Two other workers in this water ride are blended into the story and are played as previously mentioned by the directors and writers of  the film. These director/writers should also get credit along with Mr. James who successfully inhabits Duncan for the sensitive depiction of the pain, suffering , determination and triumph that he projects on the screen  as he ultimately finds himself. (2013)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama


June 1st, 2011 — 9:16am


Bridesmaids-rm– First of all, this is not just a “chic flick.“ Certainly, the out loud laughter in the movie theatre seemed to more weighted from the young men in the audience. It is an hour and half of good comedy in the genre of Saturday Night Live. Not surprising since the screen writer and the star of the movie is Kristen Wiig. She is Annie, the bests friend of Lillian (Maya Rudolph),the bride to be. Annie’s own life  is not  quite on track especially guy wise and job wise . She is asked to be the maid of honor but encounters Helen (Rose Bryne) who is a recent friend of the bride and seems to have things together including great ideas for the wedding party, wedding dress and just about everything else. There are some great physical comedy bits and lots of clever lines with some very fine comedic acting especially by Ms. Wiig and Melissa McCarthy who plays Megan, the bridesmaid who is as tough as nails but with a heart of gold.  There is also an amusing sex scene and a wild escapade on an airplane. Perhaps some things are a little too far fetched as we are asked to believe that a state trooper albeit one from Wisconsin, (Chris O’Dowd)-the true love interest of Annie- would drive around in his patrol car with  a girl in whom he was interested. Although you are seeing the movie for its comedy, you are also  given a sharp satire that also raises questions about the extremes people go to  in planning the wedding event (picking the dress, the batchelorette party and how the girls support or don’t support each other.) Of course the ending is predictable and there are additional comedy pieces interspersed during the titles at the end. After all it is that kind of film. (2011)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy

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