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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

MV5BODYwNDYxNDk1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTAwMTk2MDE@._V1_SX214_AL_Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine

Walter wants to date Cheryl but he can’t get up enough courage to ask her out. Life in his daydreams is so much more interesting than real life.

One day Walter gains enough courage to go on an amazing adventure, an adventure that rivals his daydreams. It may have started out in order to save his job, but it manages to save his life from going so very wrong, or simply going nowhere.

There are quite a few high points in this film – one is Wiig singing Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, another is a very cool downhill skate run in Iceland. Stiller is brilliant and Wiig is likewise – they are a great match and fit their characters perfectly. Also good to see Hahn with a bit part, she’s always a laugh.

I love this film – it’s funny, well paced, and charming. Possibly one of the best rom coms around.

 

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Friends with Kids

Jennifer Westfeldt, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Chris O’Dowd, Jon Hamm

MV5BMTcyMDI2NjU2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjA4MzQzNw@@._V1_SX214_Long term friends, Julie and Jason, decide to have a child together, without the relationship or marriage. This surprises their group of friends who are doubtful that such an arrangement could work. And it does seem to work for a while, until one of them falls in love with the other.

Here is another rom com that focuses on the thirty something woman who wants a family, but goes about getting it in an unconventional way – see The Switch with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, and The Back-Up Plan with Jennifer Lopez. It’s becoming a regular rom com theme, and joins another popular theme – that of friends making arrangements to have sex without commitment.

However typical the issue, this isn’t a great movie. I like the fast dialogue, and I like the group of couples with all their specific issues. But, all in all, I don’t think there is enough humour. As in Extract, Kristen Wiig only has a small role and doesn’t have the opportunity to make the film funnier. I’m not sure why she keeps getting these tiny roles following Bridesmaids. She’s a great actor.

I’d watch this film again, but that’s because I’m a lover of rom coms. If you’re not a great fan of romantic comedies, I’d probably wait until this one is on TV before you make the commitment to watch it.

Leap Year

Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott

Amy Adams plays Anna, a slightly uptight young woman who travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend, Jeremy, who is there on business. She has been inspired by an Irish tradition that says a woman can propose to a man on February 29th in a Leap Year.

Anna’s plans go awry because of bad weather and she ends up at the other end of the country to Jeremy. She has to enlist the help of a local innkeeper to get her to Dublin in time. Her and Declan (Goode) embark on quite a painful journey together, but by the time they arrive in Dublin, they have fallen in love. What will Anna do?

Adams plays a woman who’s in need of saving and that’s not always an endearing character for me. But at least she plays it well and there’s a smitten of humour attached. This is not an outstanding movie, but it’s pretty enjoyable – predictable – but enjoyable.

Monster-in-Law

MV5BMTIyMTU0NDM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODk3NzcyMQ@@._V1_SX214_Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan, Wanda Sykes, Adam Scott

Charlie (J-Lo) meets Kevin and they move in together after falling in love. He has a scary mother, Viola Fields, a successful, ex-talk show host with a temper and issues about her little boy (this is played by Jane Fonda). Kevin is a doctor. Charlie is a dog walker/caterer/temp/artist – clearly not good enough for her Kevin.

When Kevin asks Charlie to marry him (in front of his mother, weird), so begins Viola’s descent into madness! She sets out to sabotage the relationship, and is doing a great job at it until Charlie decides to hit back. Will there be a wedding and can their relationship stand up to the monster mother-in-law?

Lopez has appeared in quite a lot of rom coms around 2005. She seems to always play the working class Latino. I’ve grown to really like her as a rom com protagonist and find it interesting the way that class is played out with her characters. Often also, there are references to her weight, as if somehow Jennifer Lopez is playing women who are fat. She has a great body size and it’s good to see that she never did size down the more fame she got.

This film is okay. It is fairly typical of rom coms around this time – the idea of love being challenged by something, or the wedding being jeopardised. It would be an enjoyable watch when it comes on TV for those that haven’t seen it.