Richard Salvatore

Richard Salvatore

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The Big Wedding Review


OK

An all-star cast very nearly goes down with the ship as filmmaker Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) indulges in relentlessly farcical silliness. Thankfully the actors play it relatively straight, injecting moments of dark emotion and sharp wit in between the corny wackiness. But the script is more interested in humiliating its characters than finding any genuine humour.

The eponymous nuptials are between Alejandro and Missy (Barnes and Seyfried), who haplessly watch their families implode as the big day approaches. Alejandro's adoptive dad Don (De Niro) and his long-time girlfriend Bebe (Sarandon) are planning the event, but Alejandro's deeply religious birth-mother (Rae) is coming from Colombia, so he asks his dad to pretend to still be married to his ex-wife Ellie (Keaton). Meanwhile, Alejandro's sister Lyla (Heigl) is having her own marriage crisis, while his brother Jared (Grace) can't keep his libido under control.

As the preparations continue, the plot gets increasingly tangled. But it also becomes strangely ingrown, as if these people have never met anyone outside their small circle of family and friends. Past secrets are revealed and dark peccadillos come to light, leading to a series of manic confrontations. Through it all, the film remains blandly amusing, although its rather extreme moments never quite escalate to Meet the Parents hilarity. Thankfully they avoid the strained goofiness of Death at a Funeral

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My Mom's New Boyfriend Review


Grim
Grown-up son living at home becomes angry and frustrated when his mom brings a new guy into the picture. Wait, didn't I just see this movie? Literally, a week ago?

Turns out My Mom's New Boyfriend has some differences with Mama's Boy, though it sticks closely to the overall shoddy quality level. This time out it's not a straight-up case of a son feeling betrayed. Writer/director George Gallo (DysFunktional Family) throws in a crime caper too. Henry (Colin Hanks) hasn't seen Mom (Meg Ryan) in three years due to his undercover duties as an FBI agent. When he returns home with a fiancee (Selma Blair), he finds that Mom hasn't just lost hundreds of pounds, she's also turned into a raving sexual lunatic, too. No sooner has Henry made his old bed than Mom gets mixed up with Tommy (Antonio Banderas), a known art thief... who Henry's been assigned to spy on!

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Blonde Ambition Review


Unbearable
Earlier this year, Blonde Ambition made record-breaking headlines. Not for anything good, mind you, but for its opening day box office. One source said the movie logged a whopping 48 paying customers on Friday, earning the film $350 total. By the time the movie was out of theaters altogether, it had made less than $7,000.

Blonde Ambition, alas, ultimately earned substantially more than it deserved. As a star vehicle for Jessica Simpson, produced by her dad (with the aid of seven other producers), it's a rolling disaster from start to finish.

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Enemies Of Laughter Review


Weak
Yet another entry into a genre popularized in the late-1990s: The Hollywood romantic comedy about the successful man who just can't make romance work. (Later this would evolve into the woman who just can't make romance work genre, followed by the lesbian who just can't make romance work genre).

Saddled with the worst title you could give to a comedy, Enemies of Laughter gives us David Paymer as Paul, a semi-failed sitcom writer whose experiences in Hollywood are echoed in his love life. He ends up on dozens of dates with your typical collection of L.A. airheads, but it isn't until he meets Carla (Rosalind Chao) that Paul figures he's met his match. Too bad he ruins their date with paranoid crazy-talk, sending Carla running for the hills.

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If You Only Knew Review


OK
Where else in the world do crazy, wacked-out romantic comedies invariably involve nutty roommate situations? Well, New York City, and If You Only Knew is no exception to the rule, following on the heels of some of its more capable brethren like Addicted to Love and Ed's Next Move. This time out, writer Johnathon Schaech is hot in pursuit of painter Alison Eastwood in a Village romance... ah, if only she didn't think he was gay! Moderately entertaining and certainly better than a lot of attempts at the genre.
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