Showing posts with label Ellie Kemper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ellie Kemper. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street is an action comedy based on the late 80s TV show of the same name. It stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as recently graduated cops who are sent undercover at a High School with a drug problem. The two were never friendly at school but have become best friends as cops. While Jonah Hill’s Schmit finds that he fits in much better at his second chance at High School, previously popular Jenko (Tatum) find that things are drastically different from his days as the popular jock and struggles to find his place.

21 Jump Street was new to me having been too young for the original series and I don’t think it was even shown in the UK anyway. I found it very funny and enjoyed it immensely. It is a laugh a minute comedy with great characters and an attention-grabbing idea. The film is aware of itself but doesn’t take itself too seriously. One policeman even says of the Jump Street unit, “We are cobbling together something from the past and hoping no one will notice” in reference to the original show. As I said, the film is very funny and unusually for most comedies, the funniest parts aren’t in the already hilarious trailer. One scene where the central characters are on drugs had me in stitches. Ultimately the laughs to trail off towards the end in favour of resolving the plot but there are little details such as an uncomfortable looking paramedic which keep the humour going when in lesser films it might not be there.

The odd couple relationship between Tatum and Hill works really well. They seem like total opposites and you can imagine how they wouldn’t have got on in High School, but at the same time their later friendship feels real. Jonah Hill plays his familiar chubby loser character which has worked to varying degrees in the likes of Superbad and The Sitter but here is thoroughly successful. He also brings added depth to the character to make him smarter and more caring than in previous incarnations. I have never seen a Channing Tatum film before having been put off by his annoying name and face as well as the type of romantic films he’s appeared in, but in this I thought he was excellent. He has a great double act partner in Hill and plays the dumb meathead well. His comedic moments are also first-rate. I think he was funnier than Jonah Hill. Maybe this is where his career could end up when he’s finished walking on beaches at sunset?

The supporting cast were all great too. Ice Cube was outstanding as the ‘angry black police sergeant’ although I do wonder what 1992 Ice Cube would think about 2012 Ice Cube playing a cop in a mainstream Hollywood comedy. Dave Franco, who is looking more and more like his brother each time I see him was well cast as the arrogant, cock-sure popular kid and The Office’s Ellie Kemper was very flirtatious and funny as a teacher with a crush on Tatum. Rob Riggle plays a strange character but pulls it off well. There isn’t really a weak link anywhere in the cast.

I didn’t work out who the bad guy was before the reveal but the film had me laughing so much that I didn’t even think about whom it was and when we found out I didn’t really care. On the downside, some of the jokes feel a bit stretched and the love story between Hill and the school girl felt forced. Also, it was obvious as soon as she said “I’m 18” for no reason that it was going to happen. That’s the green light to tell the audience that although she’s in school its all legal and above board. There is a great cameo towards the end which both shocked and delighted my girlfriend and despite the formulaic Hollywood ending this is a successful comedy. I look forward to the sequel which was heavily implied at the end.