Crazy, Stupid, Love.: ensemble rom-com loosely following a couple’s divorce and the subsequent mid-life crises. This is a film of two halves: the front end is brilliant, Ryan Gosling in particular is on top form as the no-nonsense, face-slapping, tough-love female guru – and his relationship with Carell is very watchable. For me, the second half was much quieter and a bit more predictable, falling back on a bog-standard personal journey and ‘gratifying’ wrap-up – although the climactic scene at the house is wildly entertaining, and quite clever. The film also shoots itself in the foot by having about 4 endings, it seems to just go on and on. The humour catches you off-guard, usually big budget/big cast comedies are given terrible, watered-down scripts, but there’s more than enough laughs on the table here. Carell has a strangely Jim-Carey-lite-like watchable presence, however he can’t really hold his own when it comes to the more emosh scenes. Crazy Stupid Love exceeds expectations as far as a comedy goes, however the second half of the movie lets it down and drags it out.
Easy A: A respectable girl’s social and financial situation improves as a little white lie snowballs out of control. Being Emma Stone’s (The chick from Superbad and Zombieland) first lead role, she holds the screen and story quite well – especially given that it’s a one-girl show. Sure every other character is a stereotype, and all the ‘school kids’ are in their 20s, but hey, at least they don’t need much developing – the eccentric family’s in there for nothing more than comedy value, and it works well. It doesn’t paint christians in a particularly good light, but what does these days? The soundtrack’s also spot on, and more generally, a lot of this film ticks the John Hughes boxes. For a modern comedy it got a pretty high number of chuckles from the audience. The story itself is a good idea but doesn’t stand up for much of the second half as it all turns a bit ridiculous – probably somewhere between Mean Girls and American Pie. There’s not that much more to say, it’s a quite entertaining, quite quirky teen comedy – girls can probably relate to more
Zombieland: the latest ‘Zom-Com’ pushing the genre further into the mainstream, follows a small band of survivors two months after a zombie outbreak. There’s thirty-odd ‘rules to survival’ although you only hear about six, which is a bit pants. The four humans carry the film well, and the chemistry between them is believable; Eisenberg plays a Michael Cera typecast and Woody Harrelson nails one of the coolest characters in recent cinema history. It does go some longish spells without zombies and there aren’t that many in general, but the script and humour keep things rolling despite the story never really going forward. There’s some great and graphic gore throughout and the slow-mo blood-drenched credits are brilliant. The 15 minute cameo spent massaging BM’s ego was nothing more than filler. It’s really enjoyable and will have finished before you know it. Top drawer zombie/road movie.