Happy late Monday night edition of Movie Night In! Tonight, I’m giving you reviews and recommendations of three different kinds of comedies (Nope, not going with the theme of 4th of July – too late for that anyway): a screwball buddy comedy, a witty chick flick, and a rom-com featuring an unconventional but endearing pairing.
The 2007 Judd Apatow production of Superbad (Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin are amongst his plethora of box office hits) may have spawned the iconic alter ego known as McLovin (And gave actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse his introductory Hollywood role), but this outrageous comedy is a barrel of laughs for more than that. It’s incredibly vulgar and unapologetic, and features underdog characters that we end up rooting for and loving.
Best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) want to end their senior year with a bang – in more ways than one. They find their way into an end-of-the-year grad party to try to make the girls of their dreams – Jules (Emma Stone) and Becca (Martha MacIssac), respectively – theirs. They seek the help of their friend Fogell (Mintz-Plasse) to buy alcohol for the party, with his new fake ID that identifies him as McLovin. But when things go awry, Seth and Evan must find a way to get the alcohol themselves. Meanwhile, Fogell goes on his own adventure with two dim-witted cops (Played by Seth Rogen and Bill Hader). The film documents the boys’ crazy quests in the course of a couple of days.
Superbad can be a little over-the-top for some tastes, but if it’s not so for you, you’ll pick up lines you can quote at your next friendly (Don’t bring the kids) gathering, and you’ll enjoy the hilarity and the wit.
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10
A pre-trainwreck Lindsay Lohan stars in the Tina Fey-penned Mean Girls. Released in 2004, lines from the film have now become part of typical Internet talk and memes, but that’s the impact of Fey’s brilliant screenplay and the actors who have made it come to life. Mean Girls is pretty much a cult hit, even with LiLo’s involvement.
Cady Heron (Lohan) makes the move from being homeschooled in Africa to going to a public high school in Chicago’s North Shore. She learns about her school’s incredibly segregated clique culture from other outcasts that she befriends, an emo-looking artist named Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and her gay school-spirited best friend Damien (Daniel Franzese). Cady becomes fascinated with The Plastics, who are the “teen royalty” of the school, and in turn, they become fascinated with her. Regina George (Rachel McAdams) is the Queen Bee that everyone at school grovels at; Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert) has “hair so big, it’s full of secrets”; and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) is “the dumbest girl you’ll ever meet.” Cady’s friendship with The Plastics is sabotaged when she falls for Regina’s ex, Aaron (Jonathan Bennett). So begins Cady’s full assimilation into The Plastics and deception all around, which leads to a full-fledged assault within and amongst the cliques. Screenwriter Fey also has a role in the film as math teacher Ms. Norbury.
Mean Girls captures the essence of high school in a witty and funny way. Most of us can relate to wanting to fit in somewhere, and most of us have gone through those damn clique problems at school. This film might have the worst clique problem a high school has ever seen – along with a fantastic cast and well-written script, that’s the magic of Mean Girls.
OVERALL SCORE: 8.5/10
Finally, there’s last year’s surprise hit, The Proposal. Directed by Anne Fletcher, this charming romantic comedy gave half of Sandra Bullock’s critical and box office success in 2009 (The other half, of course, was for The Blind Side) and gave Golden Girl Betty White, who normally appears on television, a major silver screen role.
Bullock plays Margaret Tate, an intimidating and strong-minded New York book editor. Ryan Reynolds plays Andrew Paxton, her timid and willing assistant. When Canadian native Margaret finds out that she’ll be deported due to her expired visa, she concocts a plan on the spot: she’ll marry Andrew to stay in the country. Reluctantly going along with the plan, Andrew takes his fake fiancee to his home in Sitka, Alaska to tell his parents (Craig T. Nelson and Mary Steenburgen) at his Grandma Annie’s (White) 90th birthday bash. Margaret and Andrew must make their love convincing enough to Andrew’s family and be able to know enough about each other before going back to take a knowledge test at U.S. Immigration Services. But anything can happen in a course of three days in the Alaskan wilderness.
Like many romantic comedies – it seems like nowadays – the outcome is predictable. Quite unrealistic too if you think about what really happens throughout the film. However, what The Proposal has that not a lot of other modern rom-coms have is an original romantic storyline and unbeatable chemistry between the two leads. There’s not a lot of films where a female boss would go that far with her male submissive, and Reynolds and Bullock play off well with each other, as well as individually. They’re certainly a pair that should do more movies together (Sorry Keanu Reeves!). Oh, and Betty White totally brought that golden touch of hers!
OVERALL SCORE: 7.5/10