Kristen Wiig finally gets her chance to shine in a lead role with this hilarious comedy. The film veers a bit wildly between silly playfulness and extreme rudeness, but it keeps us hooked by maintaining believable characters.
Despite some heavy setbacks, Annie (Wiig) is happy in her life with a casual partner (Hamm) and a low-pressure job. Then her best pal Lillian (Rudolph) gets engaged, and even though Annie's the maid of honour, every wedding decision is a battle with seemingly perfect bridesmaids Helen (Byrne), while other attendants (McCarthy, McLendon-Covey and Kemper) have issues of their own.
Meanwhile, Annie's encounters with a local Milwaukee cop (O'Dowd) are a confusing mixture of attraction and reticence. Then as Helen seizes control of Lillian's wedding, Annie's life seems to fall apart around her.
Every character in this film is a bundle of insecurity, sometimes very well hidden, and watching them all interact is hilariously entertaining. This is due to an unusually smart, lively script and razor-sharp performances. Even the story's annoying characters have some complexity to them, so as the rom-com structure unfurls, we go along with it simply because we are interested in these people and want to see where they end up.
Wiig is terrific at the centre, generating warm camaraderie with Rudolph and spiky rivalry with Byrne. And her chemistry with O'Dowd is enjoyably funny and cute. Meanwhile, scene-stealers like McCarthy, Clayburgh (as Annie's mum) and Lucas (as Annie's flatmate) bubble around the edges. There isn't a scene in the film that doesn't generate a solid laugh, often of the gut-wrenching variety.
And while a few gross-out gags go over the top, they at least stay essentially good-natured.
Even so, the film is far too long for a comedy; at least a half hour could have been trimmed away. It's not that the material isn't entertaining (we're never bored at all), but some tightening would have made the overall plot that much stronger, even if that meant losing some of the rambling improvisational riffs.
They may be hysterically funny, but they dilute the overall impact of the story and would be just as amusing as DVD extras. On the other hand, the mid-credits sequence is priceless.
In 1996, Jamie (Gyllenhaal) has discovered his gift as a salesman, mainly peddling his own charms to every young woman he meets. In need of a higher-paying job, he trains as a Pfizer pharmaceutical rep in the Ohio River Valley. It takes awhile to learn the ropes, and sales are tough due to a fierce rival (Macht). But when Pfizer introduces Viagra, his numbers improve dramatically, to say the least. Meanwhile, he meets Maggie (Hathaway), a feisty young woman with early-stage Parkinson's who challenges his view of himself.
Continue reading: Love & Other Drugs Review
Jamie is the kind of guy who doesn't like commitment, sex and fun are the main things he looks for from the opposite sex and he enjoys his current way of life. A pharmaceutical salesman by trade, his job is another hugely important part of his life, when his company begin to sell a new male performance enhancing drug on the market, he feel it's a brilliant way of making money.
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Jill Clayburgh and Lily Rabe - Jill Clayburgh and Lily Rabe New York City, USA - Opening night of the Manhattan Theatre Club production of 'Collected Stories' at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Wednesday 28th April 2010
Jill Clayburgh and her daughter Lily Rabe - Jill Clayburgh and her daughter Lily Rabe New York City, USA - Opening night after party for the Broadway play 'Exit The King' at the Barrymore Theatre - Arrivals Thursday 26th March 2009
The film opens in 1972, showing a young Augusten as an audience of one for his mother Deirdre's in-home poetry reading, microphone and all. The bilious, self-aggrandizing manner with which Deirdre (Annette Bening) gives her reading tells you pretty much all you need to know about the opinion she holds as to her place in the world and any who may disagree. Any remaining questions about her fitfulness as a mother are answered when the film jumps to its primary setting in the late '70s, where Deirdre has become a whirling dervish of arrogant fury and spite. Her obsessive belief that she is an important poet being kept from her rightful place at the center of the literary firmament drives away first Augusten's father (Alec Baldwin, lightly soused) and then Augusten, whom she decides would be better off living with her exceedingly unorthodox psychiatrist, Dr. Finch (Brian Cox). A devout and at least partially mad Freudian of the most unrecondite sort, Finch keeps a special room next to his doctor's office which he calls The Masturbatorium and divines the future from the shape of his bowel movements. Seemingly he's not much of a father figure.
Continue reading: Running With Scissors Review
Indeed, it is truly as disgusting as it sounds: a sex comedy with old people. Yuk! The movie, on the other hand, argues that young people aren't the only sexually active people in society. That's true; I'm sure old people have sex all the time. Heck, they can screw three times a day for all I care. But please, for the love of God, keep it off the silver screen!
Continue reading: Never Again Review