If you aren’t in the mood to laugh, we suggest staying away from movie theaters this weekend. Three films hit screens today, all with the express purpose of making you laugh (and possibly cringe). As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
What’s the story: Unless you’re coming out of a Rip Van Winkle-like sleep, chances are you’ve already heard more about Brüno then almost every other movie coming out this summer combined. To wit: Sacha Baron Cohen’s ubiquitous alter ego has been a guest on so many talk shows that when Mr. Cohen was interviewed earlier this week by David Letterman, sans costume and accent, that’s what made news. The follow-up to 2006’s wildly successful Borat finds Mr. Cohen once again pushing buttons, crossing lines and courting possible lawsuits. We can’t be the only ones thinking this shtick is just a tad bit played out, can we? For the Observer’s take, check out Sara Vilkomerson’s mixed review right here.
Who should see it: Borat. Obviously.
I Love You, Beth Cooper
What’s the story: Fun fact about I Love You, Beth Cooper star Paul Rust: The UCB-veteran is actually 28 years old and currently dating Saturday Night Live funnywoman Casey Wilson. That he’s tasked to playing a high-school nerd opposite vapid jailbait like Hayden Panettiere is somewhat disheartening, but at least he’s also got Inglourious Basterds coming out next month. While the trailers want to position I Love You, Beth Cooper as Can’t Hardly Wait for the Facebook generation, don’t believe the marketing: Critics have absolutely scathed this thing to the tune of a 13 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Stay away.
Who should see it: Milo Ventimiglia.
What’s the story: After a night of drinking, two dudes, both straight, decide the best way to enter an amateur porn festival would be to have sex with each other … on video. Despite the bromance-ready premise—where is Jason Segal when you need him?—Humpday actually comes from director Lynn Shelton and not the Judd Apatow Factory of comedy. The Sundance favorite with mumblecore roots—Mark Duplass, he of the directorial Duplass brothers, co-stars with The Blair Witch Project’s Joshua Leonard (“JOSH!”)—has gotten almost universally strong reviews, and we have a feeling it could be the one “you haven’t seen it?!” indie film of the summer.