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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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Girl Most Likely

MV5BMTEyMDgyNDYwNjReQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDc1MDQwNjk@._V1_SX214_Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, Darren Criss, June Diane Raphael

Imogene loses her boyfriend, her friends, her apartment, and her job. She has to move home with her estranged (and strange!) mother and brother. But things have changed since Imogene has been at home – her mother has a live-in lover, and she’s rented Imogene’s bedroom out to a boarder.

Imogene tries to go back to New York because she believes life is better away from her eccentric family in New Jersey. But the journey to get back on her feet is also a journey to discover that her family are the ones that care for her best of all.

This is a very familiar role for Wiig who played a similar character in Bridesmaids – she’s ‘down and out’, hits rock bottom, and then has to pull herself up by her bootstraps. This film, however, does not quite match up to the humour in Bridesmaids.

The film was originally called Imogene and DVDs still have this title on Australian shelves. I think this is a solid flick with terrific acting. Some of the scripting is a bit lacking in originality, but overall Wiig is charming, Bening is full of character, and Dillon is delightful. Worth a watch.

 

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.

Extract

MV5BMTgzNzU3OTQ4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTY3MzA4Mg@@._V1_SX214_Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, JK Simmons

Joel (played by Bateman) is the owner of an extract factory, living moderately affluently with his wife Suzie (Wiig). The passion has gone out of his marriage, and he seeks advice from his bar tender friend Dean (a scraggly looking Affleck). This advice gets Joel into a messy business involving Suzie and a male prostitute.

Meanwhile, the factory has problems when a worker incurs a serious injury and threatens to sue the company. Cindy (Kunis), new employee and all-out scammer, is the instigator of the law suit, and the person who Joel seeks to spice up his life. When everything at home and at work is at boiling point, it’s up to him to take control and sort it all out.

This is a standard role for Bateman, but the first time I’ve seen Kunis as such a bad girl. Wiig doesn’t get much of a run which is a pity as she could have provided a lot more humour. Look out for a strange cameo by Gene Simmons.

This is quite a light, inoffensive film with a fairly solid plot, and a dash of humour. It’s not worthy of top billing, but it is worth a watch.

 

Bridesmaids

MV5BMjAyOTMyMzUxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODI4MzE0NA@@._V1._SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne

Wiig plays Annie, a woman who has hit rock bottom – low self-esteem, lost her business, her boyfriend, all her money, and is kicked out of her apartment. But the one thing she does have is a best friend – Lilian. Lilian is getting married and Annie is her maid of honour. However, Annie finds out that she has competition in the form of Helen (Rose Byrne) who is vying for best friend and head bridesmaid.

The five bridesmaids and the bride-to-be embark on some hilarious pre-wedding rituals, none of which go according to plan, as Annie battles Helen for Lilian’s affections. And during the disasters, Annie meets a man who really likes her, but she needs to sort herself out before she can have a functional relationship again. And before she can perform her bridesmaid duties properly!

Wiig has been a favourite bit part rom com actor of mine in movies liked Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Adventureland, and Whip It and she is most excellent in the lead role in Bridesmaids. Bridesmaid Megan is played by Melissa McCarthy who is a fantastic actor and was responsible for a lot of the humour. There are some parts of the film that will have you in stitches. One friend reported back to me that she wet her pants!

There was an awful lot of hype about this movie, and I’m pleased to report that it doesn’t disappoint. Probably my only criticism would be that some of the bridesmaids could have been explored more, perhaps reducing numbers would have helped to get to know them. However, on the whole, this one is a cracker! It’s delightful, and funny, and worth watching more than once. It’s one to add to the home collection.

Knocked up

Katherine Heigl, Seth Rogan, Paul Rudd, Leslie Man, Kristen Wiig, Jason Segal, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Martin Starr

Alison and Ben (Heigl and Rogan) are complete opposites. He needs to straighten up, and she needs to lighten up. When they hook up on a drunken one night stand, he gets her pregnant. Now they have to form some kind of relationship, starting with getting to know each other, and trying to like each other.

Alison lives with her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) and her husband Peter (played by Paul Rudd). Their relationship has a few problems of its own, which has an influence on how Alison and Ben think about their future. Will they even have a future together considering they are so ill suited?

This is a very funny movie, with much of the humour supplied by Jason Segal, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, and Martin Starr – Ben’s friends and housemates. This was the first rom com where I saw Heigl and I loved her straight away. This is a fast and funny film, with great acting, and lots of hilarious ‘bit’ parts (Wiig playing one in particular). Classic rom com, one of my favourites.

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