Saturday, September 18, 2010

Easy A (2010)

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Basically, the same effect was had on me when I first saw Mean Girls. The trailer made this movie look like another generic teenage high school movie. Far from it.

Olive (Emma Stone) is your average high school loner. She's not one of the cool kids. She's not an outcast. She's just there and she likes it that way. However, when she tells of a sexual encounter that never happened, rumor spreads quickly and she's the school's resident tramp. How can she use this to her advantage? She sees this as an opportunity she can't pass up to make her high school days seem less trivial. But when things start to swirl out of control, the school's Christian brigade led by Marianne (Amanda Bynes) feels it's their duty to make sure Olive doesn't go to Hell. Nobody knows she is making this all up and when she starts to tell people, will they believe her?

Stone was fantastic in this. A little hard to believe that she would be the loner with her sense of humor and style, but she pulls it off. The best lines of the movie went to her parents though, played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson. Basically, they play the coolest and most understanding parents ever. I recommend this movie because it will exceed any expectations you have.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Date Night (2010)

If this had been any other lead actors, this movie would have failed miserably. However, Tina Fey and Steve Carell were just funny enough to save this from being a complete wreck.

Phil and Claire Foster (Carell and Fey) are just your normal workaday couple who live in suburban New Jersey. Every Friday night, the babysitter comes over and the parents go on a their date night. One week, after seeing their friend's marriage crumble, they stir things up a bit and go to the swanky new restaurant in Manhattan. When they can't get a table, they steal someone's reservation. When two thugs accost them about something they've stolen, the Fosters now realize they probably shouldn't have taken the Tripplehorns spot. After evading the thugs, the couple are now running for their lives in a city they barely visit outside of work. They're going to need help, but don't know where to turn. Personally, I'd consider that to be a good date.

As I mentioned, Carell and Fey save this movie. I'd like to think they knew the script wasn't that strong because there were a lot of improvised scenes in the movie and those tended to be very funny. The supporting cast did what they could. Mark Wahlberg, Taraji Henson, Common, Leighton Meester and Ray Liotta (who seems to be in everything lately) all try their best with their characters. I can't totally recommend this, but fans of the comedians will get a kick out of this.