Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Catch-up Capsules

Married Life

This flick doesn’t really know where it wants to go. Melodrama? Dark Comedy? Family Drama? Every person in this star-studded ensemble with Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams, and Pierce Brosnan seems to have a different idea. It’s one of those everyone-is-sleeping-with-everyone roller coasters that doesn’t deliver in any one department completely. And, despite teasing us audience members with delicious, juicy tidbits like poisoning wives, Oedipus complexes, and post WWII mentalities, the film’s tonally stilted environment fails to bring light to any sort of worthwhile message or theme.

…But Rachel McAdams does wear amazing clothes. And I love the Lana Turner blonde upsweep.

What Happens in Vegas

My friend and fellow writer, Alex Dowd, brought a recent trend in Hollywood comedies to my attention - the two part sour and one part sweet three-act structure. Basically, the first two-thirds of the movie depict all of the characters being absolutely deplorable to one another only to chase it all down with a spoonful of spicy sugar at the end. What Happens in Vegas falls into that category, only it happens to be much worse because 66% of the damn thing is dedicated to guilt-tripping Cameron Diaz for wanting to be a career woman. The remaining 33% is spent reiterating the first two parts of the movie with a sappy marriage proposal from Ashton Kutcher along with the hopeful prospects of being a homemaker and stay at home mom. Aw.

Mamma Mia!

I have an immense soft spot for musicals…especially those that have a mostly all-female cast, take place in Greece, and have an entire dance number (Yes, the dancing queen routine) that features hundreds upon hundreds of women of all ages getting their groove on together in the spirit of womanhood. What I thought would be a frivolous flit into musical territory turned out to have some rather liberal messages about marriage (life first, marriage second), growing older (do it gracefully), and even women in the workplace (it works!). Also, Meryl Streep rocks as the Mamma in her sexy sixties and further proves she's not going to quit working anytime soon.