Like a cinematic version of Frankenstein's monster, the ensemble romantic dramedy Crazy, Stupid, Love is stitched together out of pieces of other, far better movies, and brought to unnatural life by an overqualified cast, almost all of whom deserve better than this film gives them. For your own good, here's a breakdown of the many familiar storylines screenwriter Dan Fogelman and directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa recycle, as well as suggestions for similarly themed, but far superior titles you should hunt down instead. You're welcome.
The new movie Date Night, in which Steve Carell and Tina Fey star as a suburban couple haplessly stuck in the middle of some sort of crime spree for an evening's time, is the latest installment in the grand tradition of "up-all-night" movies. To commemorate the occasion, I've pulled together my favorite cult classics of the underappreciated genre and listed them here. Feel free to peruse and then promptly tell me all of the ones I forgot.
Finally, the word "despicable" has come back into common parlance! Years of watered-down Daffy Duck cartoons had us worried, but the popularity of the new animated film Despicable Me should get kids calling each other by this polysyllable in no time. Because if the box office is any indication, a lot of kids saw it -- the Universal movie made $60 million over the weekend, which more or less ties it with Kung Fu Panda for the biggest opening for a non-Pixar, non-sequel animated film. By comparison, fellow new release Predators only made $25 million, taking the #3 spot, and repeat earners Eclipse and Toy Story 3 took the #2 and #4 spots, respectively -- all sequels, by the way. How did a movie without a built-in fan base dominate the charts? Here are a few theories.
After Evan Almighty, Get Smart and Date Night, I was ready to write Steve Carell off as far as his movies go, but now I'm not so sure. Carell's character in Dinner for Schmucks is like Michael Scott from the office turned up to 11, if 11 is the point at which people start creating dioramas using dead mice. All of the elements we love about Michael -- awkward closeness and overfamiliarity, mispronunciation and lack of vocabulary, odd habits and personal misery -- have been inflated in the character of Barry, and it makes Schmucks immensely entertaining to watch. The amazing supporting cast doesn't hurt, either.
If Steve Carell is one of those actors who is desirous of playing many different kinds of roles and never pigeon-holing himself into a certain character archetype, he's not doing a very good job of it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor has just been attached to Brigadier Gerard, a period comedy about a French solider during the Napoleonic wars who is deluded about his level of bravery and prowess on the battlefield. Based on a series of short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle, the script was written by Kind of the Hill writers Altshuler and David Krinsky. The character Carell is set to play, Etienne Gerard, is described as "a soldier who considers himself a gallant swordsman but whose actual skills often pale in comparison to his own conception of them." Sound familiar at all?