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items tagged with Melissa McCarthy

Gold Men Sunset: Notes on the 2013 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2013-02-25 20:33:40

Best Actor Daniel Day-LewisSeth MacFarlane, I thought, did a fine job hosting the 85th Academy Awards ceremony. He turned out to be a fine choice for the frequently thankless Oscar-emcee position, tossing in some fine jokes in between the generally fine production numbers and mostly fine acceptance speeches ... .

I’m sorry, but I am alone in thinking that last night’s telecast, in the end, was just a little too “fine”?


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Lady and the Chump: "Identity Thief" and "Side Effects"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-02-11 14:54:33

Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman in Identity ThiefIDENTITY THIEF

Near the very start of the Jason Bateman/Melissa McCarthy comedy Identity Thief, Bateman’s character, the mild-mannered businessman Sandy Patterson, is enjoying a birthday party thrown by his wife (Amanda Peet) and two adorable daughters. After blowing out his birthday candles, Sandy scoops his younger daughter in the air – she looks about four or five – and, in what seems like a totally improvised gesture, turns her upside down, playfully plopping her face-first into the cake. The whole family laughs, but no one laughs harder than that cake-smeared little girl, who takes a second to wipe frosting from her eyes and mouth before exclaiming, to our utter delight, “Oh my God!”

Just thought I’d share that in case you were curious about the movie’s funny moments, because for me, that was the only one.


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A Star Is Reborn: "The Guilt Trip," "This Is 40," and "Jack Reacher"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-12-24 00:20:27

Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in The Guilt TripTHE GUILT TRIP

Aside from her appearances as Ben Stiller’s hippie mom in those increasingly labored Meet the Parents sequels, Barbra Steisand hasn’t been seen in a film since her 1996 directorial effort The Mirror Has Two Faces, and considering what an ego-fueled embarrassment that picture was, some of us have been grateful for the break. It’s worth remembering, though, that when her material doesn’t let her down (and she’s not directing her own star vehicles), Streisand can still be a fantastically smart and inventive comedienne – which, happily, she’s allowed to be in nearly every scene of The Guilt Trip.


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Single Wiped Female: “Bridesmaids,” “Jumping the Broom,” and “Priest”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-16 00:07:46

Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig in BridesmaidsBRIDESMAIDS

You wouldn’t necessarily think that exhaustion and depression would be fertile subjects for a big-screen slapstick – at least, for a big-screen slapstick that didn’t star Paul Giamatti. Yet in director Paul Feig’s buoyant and brainy Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig plays a sad, discouraged, frequently humiliated maid of honor with such inventiveness and style that she seems to be creating a new comic archetype right before your eyes. Hiding her misery behind a thinly veiled mask of courtesy and good cheer, and letting her anger and resentment spill out in sarcastic asides and messy, chaotic bursts, Wiig’s Annie – like many of the brilliantly talented performer’s most memorable characters – is a singular creation. And so, too, is Bridesmaids, a female-driven Judd Apatow comedy (he’s a co-producer) with the rare distinction of being smarter than it is funny, though it’s still plenty funny.


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Bringing Up the Rearing: "Life as We Know It," "It's Kind of a Funny Story," "My Soul to Take," and "Secretariat"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-10-10 23:52:22

Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, and Alexis, Brooke, or Brynn Clagett in Life as We Know ItLIFE AS WE KNOW IT

For whatever else it is, the romantic comedy Life as We Know It is certainly the year’s most inaptly titled movie, since it doesn’t present a version of life as anyone would know it.
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