Showing posts with label Chris O'Dowd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chris O'Dowd. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Dinner for Schmucks

Based on a French comedy called Le Dîner de Cons, 2010’s Dinner for Schmucks is a politically incorrect screwball comedy. Featuring likeable leads and an overstretched central idea, the film stars Paul Rudd as ambitious financial executive called Tim Conrad. After impressing his managers, Tim is invited to an exclusive dinner which he hopes will lead to a long overdue promotion. The only catch is that each guest must bring a plus one, chosen for their ability to compete for the prize of ‘biggest loser’. Tim’s in two minds about attending the insensitive dinner but when he literally runs into the sweet but simple squirrel taxidermist Barry Speck (Steve Carell) and thinks to himself, what’s the worst that could happen?

Despite being a fan of pretty much everyone in front of the camera in this movie, it passed me by until now. I remember its release but the trailers and reviews did nothing to pull me to the cinema. It’s not a film I’m gutted to have missed three years ago but I came out the other side thinking that it was an average comedy which was short on laughs and story but enjoyable nonetheless.

Monday, 18 February 2013

This is 40

This is 40 is being described as the sort of sequel to 2007’s Knocked Up in that the central characters first appeared in that movie. Besides that there is little to connect the stories of the two films although the early mid life crisis that Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd) found themselves entering five years ago are now fully formed. Debbie and Paul are a married couple on the cusp of their fortieth birthdays. Their two children (played by Mann’s and Writer/Director Judd Apatow’s real children Maude and Iris) are finding it difficult to get along and both parents are in turn having problems with their own fathers. In the background is a financial noose which threatens to envelop their necks at any time.

I believe that This is 40 contains some of Judd Apatow’s best writing to date. This might not sound like much of a compliment considering his writing credits have included You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Funny People but in amongst the poorer stuff, Apatow has written some very good comedy. This is 40 is not only very funny but also sweet and contains a lot of realistic relationship talk, arguments and situations.

Monday, 24 December 2012


I never intended to see Bridesmaids. When I saw the trailers at the cinema I thought to myself that it was a cross between two films I deeply dislike, Sex and the City and The Hangover. How wrong I was. I saw the film at the cinema, in IMAX oddly, and for a second time on TV yesterday and both times I laughed more than enough times to satisfy and on the first viewing at least, really enjoyed the story. The film helped to change the perception of women in comedy and gave several great roles to terrific comic and straight actresses. Written by its star Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo who herself has a brief but funny cameo, the film is about a group of women preparing for a wedding. Annie (Wiig) is going through a sort of third life crisis and feels shunned by her best friend Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) friendship with a wealthy and beautiful banker Helen (Rose Byrne). Things go from bad to worse for Annie as she loses her job and apartment and reaches rock bottom when her behaviour at a bridal shower loses her her invite to the wedding.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Friends with Kids

Six New York thirty-somethings see their lives change over the course of several years as children come into their lives. Alex and Leslie (Chris O’Dowd and Maya Rudolph) are a married couple with two children, struggling to keep their heads above water. Ben and Missy (Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig) are a sexually charged couple who find things difficult once a baby arrives while Jason and Julie (Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt) are best friends who know each other inside out. Fearing that they are getting old and seeing how difficult managing a marriage and child can be, they decide to have a child as friends with no emotional attachment. Both are free to carry on with their separate love lives after the child’s birth and agree to joint custody of the baby.

There have been comparisons to last years smash hit Bridesmaids but that is purely down to casting. This is a completely different film. While Wiig, O’Dowd, Rudolph and Hamm all starred in Wiig’s massively successful comedy, Friends with Kids reminded me more of a Woody Allen film, only without the wit or humour.