Bridesmaids: even the best of friends can buckle under the stress of a wedding! Calling this ‘The Hangover with chicks’ does a disservice to the film – even if the marketing did want to push it in that direction (£££). Where it stands out is that it’s consistently funny, with a great humour range – Kirsten Wiig in particular is immense. Story-wise it’s a paint-by-numbers friendship rollercoaster, that loses its footing a bit towards the end and has a few spells where it’s all about the story and not the jokes. It could have used the other funny girls a bit better; especially Rita. Hamm plays a great weirdo, and what’s an Irish TV star doing in Hollywood?!?! (He does a good job though!). In the least condescending way possible, it’s great to see women on the big screen being this funny! Strong comedy that doesn’t rely on (just) dick jokes.
MacGruber: Silver screen spoof of TV’s most resourceful hero McGyver. For a Brit that has never seen McGyver or the SNL skits it comes across as an American equivalent of Austin Powers?? The range of humour isn’t very wide; all jokes are either gross-out or something built up then made to look stupid… which starts to wear a little thin by the end. It’s also potty, very potty, with constant sexual references and a couple of back-to-back romance scenes that rival the Team America one. Some gags – like the villain’s name ‘Cunth’ being repeated – get boring pretty fast. The cast all hit the right buttons with their humour & delivery, and the WWE cameos were pretty sweet, especially the Big Show, who was good game. Val Kilmer (ate all the pies!) plays a Seegal-looking villain, and while he’s alright, he doesn’t seem to care much. The whole retro spoof has been done before but this more watchable because it’s done with conviction – the clichéd dialogue/script in particular was my favourite aspect, executed brilliantly for the most part. The soundtrack’s fairly bland, just song after song but with no real purpose other than just being from the 1980s. While it’s not the most polished or sophisticated film in the world it is funny for the duration, totally quotable and has ‘cult comedy’ written all over it. One of the better comedies so far this year.
Away We Go: indie-feeling (but big-budget) love and road flick about a mid-30s ‘loser’ couple that are soon to be parents, in search of the perfect place for their kid to grow up in. While it doesn’t sound like much, there are two things that won me over: the fantastic script and the excellent blend of comedy, drama and offbeat characters. The acting’s of a pretty high standard, tugging at the heart-strings a few times. There’s some genuinely funny slapstick scenes but some of the more subtle lines delivered the biggest belly laughs. A couple of questions could be asked – like how can they afford their trip – but the only big flaw is that I’ll never see Maggie Gylenghall as the saucy secretary again. The ending feels a tad premature, but it’s a damn good story nonetheless. Definitely worth a watch.