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items tagged with Comedies

In-Laws, Breaking Laws: "Meet the Parents" and "Get Carter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-10-11 00:00:00

Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in Meet the ParentsMEET THE PARENTS

I’m not sure that any movie genre is harder to critique than the Sitcom Disguised as Feature Film. You know the sort: a comedy, usually with faux-dramatic undertones, filled with likable actors playing likable people (even the antagonists are more pesky than dangerous), where the characters’ dilemmas are sorted out neatly in under two hours, and with no serious harm coming to any of them in the end. The dialogue is moderately witty, the physical gags are predictable but amusing, the lighting is overly bright, and the score is bouncy, with moments of sap when the characters show their “souls.” What’s to discuss? You know going in what to expect, and when the film in question is pulled off well, as Jay Roach’s Meet the Parents is, you leave feeling serene and comfortable.


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An Empty Sleeve: "Almost Famous"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-09-29 00:00:00

Almost FamousALMOST FAMOUS

Almost Famous, writer-director Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical hymn to the joys and heartbreaks of rock ’n’ roll, is filled with extraordinarily lovely details and an uncanny fondness for the film’s 1970s setting. It’s engaging, gorgeously lit, and filled with goodwill. The things it’s not are believable, challenging, or memorable. It has obviously been made with great love – Crowe spent years trying to turn his youthful experiences into a movie – and Crowe’s attention to the minutiae of the rock scene is heady and alluring. But Almost Famous ends up as far less than the sum of its parts, a movie so intoxicated by its period that elements like character and conflict barely exist; despite its look and the rave reviews being showered on it, the film itself feels empty.


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Cheerleader Rivals and Other Maniacs: "Bring It On," "The Way of the Gun," and "The Watcher"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-09-22 00:00:00

Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union in Bring It OnBRING IT ON

It took me quite a while to catch up with the battling-cheerleader hit Bring It On because, quite frankly, most teen flicks these days make me feel about a hundred years old. It’s not just that the casts of these films seem obscenely young, or that adults are completely marginalized – those qualities have been staples of the genre at least since Rebel Without a Cause.


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In Praise of Renee Zellweger: "Nurse Betty"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-09-14 00:00:00

Renee Zellweger in Nurse BettyNURSE BETTY

It’s one of the iconic movie moments of the ’90s: Renee Zellweger, as Dorothy Boyd, responding to husband Jerry Maguire’s declaration of love with a throaty “You had me at hello.” It was at that point that audiences everywhere lost it, not just because of the perfection of the line itself, but because Zellweger delivered it with such vulnerability and delicacy that it was emotionally overwhelming; you not only wanted to reach out to her, you wanted to hug her and not let go.


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University Profs, University Students: "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" and "Loser"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2000-08-02 00:00:00

Eddie Murphy and Janet Jackson in Nutty Professor II: The KlumpsNUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS

You know exactly what you’re going to get out of Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, and for the most part, that’s a good thing. As the title indicates, the movie is more spin-off than sequel, as Eddie Murphy gives life to the Klumps, the vivacious and often beyond-vulgar kin to Sherman Klump, the obese genetics professor of the 1996 film.


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