But years of scene-stealing in both indie movies and lowbrow comedies have refined Faris's approachable goofiness, and she finds an original, star-quality approach to playing a cheesy sex bomb. As Shelley, Faris widens her eyes (or as Shelley refers to them, "the nipples of the face") as if she's struggling to see through her own blissful daze, and speaks with a breathy, earnest tone. She's superficial and bubbleheaded, but doesn't have a malicious bone in her toned body; Faris finds comedy in her innocent belief in the healing togetherness of the Playboy fantasy. Shelley's attempts at sexiness are so goofy that they go back around and become sexy again.
Continue reading: The House Bunny Review
At birth, the young Ella (Anne Hathaway) is cursed with a spell that destines her to be obedient. At the drop of a command, she is forced to stop what she is doing and obey orders. Growing up, Ella's curse brings its share of problems, but when an older Ella gains a new stepmother (Joanna Lumley) and two stepsisters, they use Ella's curse to get what they want. They instruct Ella to steal from the local market, hand over her mother's precious locket, and terminate her friendship with an old friend. The stepsisters also have their sights on the soon-to-be-king Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy), but he fancies Ella. Charmont's uncle, Prince Regent Edgar (Cary Elwes), secretly covets the throne so he can continue the strict governance established by Charmont's father.
Continue reading: Ella Enchanted Review
What is it about fancy prep schools that makes them the de facto setting for contemporary re-imaginings of Shakespeare? Something about the parent-free environs of the pretty and privileged makes it a completely believable breeding ground for Shakespearean turmoil of assorted varieties. This time, we get Twelfth Night, only it's (poorly) renamed She's the Man and involves fewer tropical islands and shipwrecks and more soccer and slapstick.
Viola (the preternaturally spunky Amanda Bynes) is a soccer star and wacky tomboy who's royally ticked when her school cuts the girls' team. The smug coach - and Vi's equally buffoonish boyfriend - refuse to let the ousted players try out for the boys' squad because girls are fragile and slow, or some other early-1980s-grade cutting-edge sexism. So Vi assumes the identity of her twin brother, Sebastian, who snuck off to London for a couple of weeks, to make the team at a rival boarding school and prove her point.
Continue reading: She's the Man Review
At least 10 Things I Hate About You has one hell of a good title. I give it points for that alone. And while this updating of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew is clever and funny at times, much of the film is just not entertaining due to bad directing by way-out-of-his-element first-timer Gil Junger.
Continue reading: 10 Things I Hate About You Review