Since the weekend’s weather forecast is looking all The Day After Tomorrow-y, you’d be forgiven for not realizing that Sunday marks the official start of summer. (It’s also Father’s Day; go buy a card already!) Three movies hit theaters today all bent on making you laugh. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
What’s the story: Lost in this summer movie season of Vulcan’s, Terminator’s and Zack Galifianakis is the fact that it’s June 19th and not a single romantic comedy has been released. (Like the ticket buyers, we’ll pretend that Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and My Life in Ruins don’t exist.) Thank goodness, then, for Sandra Bullock! America’s Almost Sweetheart (we still love Julia more) returns to her genre of choice in The Proposal. The cutesy-looking rom-com finds Ms. Bullock playing a successful Canadian executive living in the U.S. illegally and facing deportation back to her home country unless she can marry an American. Enter Ryan Reynolds as her younger and very put-upon assistant. The Proposal has gotten some solid reviews and we’re always interested in seeing what Ms. Bullock is up to, but the most interesting part of this film happens to be the back story: With Hollywood in love with female screenwriters (The Fempire!), writer Peter Chiarelli pretended he was actually a woman named Jennifer Kirby to get the film noticed by studios. Michael Dorsey would certainly be proud.
Who should see it: Lou Dobbs.
What’s the story: Call it Judd Apatow’s Life of Brian. Jack Black and Michael Cera star as two lazy hunter-gatherers banned from their prehistoric village and left to wander the earth in search of the meaning of life, only stopping to make the occasional dick joke. Since this is a Judd Apatow production (Harold Ramis directs), expect to see the familiar faces of Paul Rudd, Bill Hader and McLovin’. All that sounds well and good, but don’t get your hopes up: The reviews have been of the scorched-earth variety. It might be best to see The Hangover for a third time this weekend instead.
Who should see it: John Cleese.
What’s the story: As consistent as the change of seasons, here comes the yearly Woody Allen film. And for the first time since Melinda and Melinda in 2004, he’s moved the milieu back to New York. (Hooray!) Whatever Works is based on a script Mr. Allen wrote all the way back in his Annie Hall days, and, at the time, he had intended for Zero Mostel to star. Now, some 30 years later, it’s Larry David who gets the honors, playing Boris, a middle-aged misanthrope brought back from the brink by a young pixie in the form of Evan Rachel Wood. The reviews for Whatever Works have been mixed—our Rex Reed calls the film a “zit” on the face of Woody’s canon—but we’re still holding out hope this winds up being a keeper.
Who should see it: Laurie David.