Another Friday, another unoriginal, lazy, empty rom-com to discuss. Oh, and one starring Jennifer Aniston? And Adam Sandler? Even better! Nice to see you two here again! It's so great that you guys keep doing this to me. (Ihateyousomuch.)
What is it about Adam Sandler that makes filmmakers want to give his movies the least creative, most self-explanatory titles possible? Sure, some of them are meant to be ironic -- for instance, Grown Ups seems to be about some of the least mature people in the world -- and we occasionally get a mouthful like You Don't Mess With the Zohan or I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, but the rest of his titles are either job descriptions or just the name of the character Sandler plays. Are they worried about confusing Adam Sandler fans? We went through the funnyman's filmography to see what titles got passed over so they could go the simple route.
Well, this is embarrassing. All week I was excited about eviscerating this movie in blog form -- quite literally high on negativity, as I often am -- but when I finally watched it, I actually... kind of liked it. Maybe I was just in a good mood, maybe it was all the sunshine we've been having, maybe I've lost my mind, but the fact remains that I honestly enjoyed Grown Ups. Though I should note that I do seem to be the only one in the world who did.
Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill -- in which he plays both Jack Sadelstein and his frumpy twin sister, Jill -- is not a good movie. I don't think you needed me to tell you that. But it is funny, though, and not in a fart-joke kind of way. I mean, there are a lot of fart jokes -- scenes entirely made up of god-awful fart jokes! -- but there are also tiny moments packed into Jack and Jill that are laugh-out-loud funny. Should you be dragged to this film by a child (it's rated PG, after all), you will not grow to hate and resent said little one for the rest of your life... that is, if you follow our handy guide on suffering through the terribleness:
Apparently, Funny People wants to be all things to all people. In a trend hinted at in 40-Year-Old Virgin and attempted in Knocked Up, Judd Apatow seems to want Funny People to be a raunchy comedy and a touching romantic drama about second chances. We have no idea if he can pull that off (Knocked Up doesn't give us much hope), but you have to give him credit for trying, especially since he's assembled one of the pound-for-pound funniest casts we've seen in a while. Of course, for every funny movie one of these stars has been in, there's been a dud, so there are no guarantees. We ran down the cast's capacity for funny in our Funny People Risk Assessor gallery, so check it out before you decide whether to roll the dice on your comedy.
Celebrity battles with addiction and vice are nothing new. You can't turn on the TV or browse the net without turning up a story about what kind of trouble young actresses are getting themselves into. Some stars are addicted to plastic surgery, or drugs, or have a little touch of the kleptomania. Others are habitual horndogs. Shows like Celebrity Rehab wouldn't exist if addiction didn't run rampant in Hollywood. Well, there's another addiction on the list of dangers celebs face, and it's The Hills.
Seems like lately you can't swing a cat without hitting a new horror movie. (Watch, now someone will make a horror movie where the villain's weapon of choice is a cat he swings around like a lasso. Screw knives and chainsaws. Have you ever been on the wrong end of a pissed-off Siamese?) An editor once told me, "The worse the economy is, the more people flock to horror stories." Maybe it takes their minds off their problems, or helps to put things in perspective. Sure, variable interest rates suck, but at least they don't hack you into bits and wear your face like a Halloween mask. Adam Sandler seems to agree: He's just launched a new label called Scary Madison to produce genre projects, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In a move that everybody who witnessed how well Beverly Hills Chihuahua did saw coming, the latest cutesy dog picture to come out of Hollywood, Marley & Me, came in at number one at the box office, with $37 million for the weekend, and a whopping $51.6 million since Christmas. Sure, sympathetic tabloid fodder Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson may have helped those numbers, but never underestimate the power of puppies (or puppy-dog eyes).
Forbes' list of Hollywood's best paid actors was released this week, and even in this shit economy the boys of the big screen are certainly not hurting for cash. The girls aren't hurting either, but no woman managed to break the top ten in earning. My get-paid-less-for-doing-the-same-job-in-Tinsel-Town bitch session will commence in the break room here at Moviefile headquarters around 12:30, but in the meantime, I'll skip right to the top earners.
Meta is the new black. How else do you explain the runaway success of 30 Rock, which stars Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan as the writer and star of a variety show? Or Jean-Claude Van Damme playing a down-and-out version of himself in JCVD? Or Paul Giamatti playing a jaded actor named Paul Giamatti in the movie Cold Souls? You can't, can you? Well, director Judd Apatow has harnessed the power of meta for his own ends in Funny People, and thanks to an amazing supporting cast and liberal use of the word "cock," he seems to have opened some sort of bizarre rift in space and time and made Adam Sandler funny again.