Friday, October 05, 2007

Movies opening this week

The Heartbreak Kid (Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Malin Akerman, Jerry Stiller, dir. Peter & Bobby Farrelly)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I have been waiting patiently ever since seeing her in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to see Michelle Monaghan get another role that showcases her vibrant talents, and this one is not it, but she does get a few scenes to hint at the kind of charm and warmth and comic timing that she is capable of. She is also about the only worthwhile thing in this movie, which is an awkward mix of extreme raunchiness and lame sappiness, and proves once again that Ben Stiller hasn't put any effort into his work in years. I've never really been a fan of the Farrellys, but this just makes them seem more and more irrelevant. Wide release

The Jane Austen Book Club (Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Hugh Dancy, Kathy Baker, Emily Blunt, Maggie Grace, dir. Robin Swicord)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
My Jane Austen-loving former classmate has been less enraged about this movie than about Becoming Jane, and while they do have similarities in their simplistic approach to the author, I think this one gets a pass because it's more about the people who view Austen in that certain misguided way, and what her work means to them. It's also a little more laid-back than Becoming was, even though I think only those with a real softness for cheesy romantic movies will want to bother sitting through it. Opened limited Sept. 21; wide release this week

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