COLUMN: Summer movies make last attempt at laughs
As the summer comes to a slow close, I look back on the recent movie releases and ponder, “What the hell?” A less-than-stellar summer for movies has left many audiences disappointed at the theaters. However, the last two summer comedies slated to release in the near future hold great promise. “Dinner For Schmucks” and “The Other Guys” are billed to premiere soon and are sure to bring a boatload of laughs along with them. Now, this optimism may be sprouting out of lowered expectations from a weak batch of recent movies, but I am set on justifying why these two films will salvage the dignity of Hollywood for the summer of 2010.
Dinner For Schmucks (PG-13), July 30
Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd
Directed by: Jay Roach
Tim (Rudd) is a budding executive who’s looking for that one aspect to push him over the edge. Barry (Carell) is a nitwitted IRS employee who specialized in idiotic and less than mature behavior. Perfect match, right? “Dinner For Schmucks” follows Tim as he takes advantage of his boss’ “dinner for idiots” (a contest to see which guest can bring the biggest dufus to dinner) by inviting Barry along. With other funnymen, such as Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover”) and Jemaine Clement from “Flight Of The Conchords,” “Dinner For Schmucks” looks to be a hit.
A remake of the 1998 French comedy “Le Diner de Cons” (The Dinner Game), “Dinner For Schmucks” looks to be hilarious. Usually I don’t say that about PG-13 comedies because I always feel like the actors are holding something back on screen (cursing, sex, etc.). But director Jay Roach has orchestrated numerous hilarious PG-13 comedies (All of the “Austin Powers” hits and both “Meet The Parents” movies). Also, how could you go wrong with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd? They co-starred in “Anchorman” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which are now classics of our new comedic age. I feel like the director, actors and plot all line up to make this movie very funny and pleasing for anybody affected by this summer lull.
The Other Guys (PG-13), Aug. 6
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg
Directed by: Adam McKay
Detectives Gamble (Ferrell) and Hoitz (Wahlberg) are not exactly your dream duo. One likes to sit behind the desk and out of harms way, while the other gets a thrill out of jumping right into the face of danger. They are pitted together as partners after an embarrassing public incident involving a quick trigger finger. “The Other Guys” follows the two detectives as their chance for redemption comes. However, things don’t exactly go as planned and hilarity ensues.
It may just be me, but I find Mark Wahlberg hilarious. I feel like his hardened-comedic side will mesh perfectly with Will Ferrell’s idiomatic style of comedy. Also, director Adam McKay (“Step Brothers”) is a genius when it comes to humor. Like I said with “Dinner For Schmucks,” I fully expect for “The Other Guys” to produce many laughs, even though it is only rated PG-13. The combination of Wahlberg, Ferrell and McKay should pay off greatly, rounding out the summer and leaving a better taste in peoples’ mouths than the sour one left by recent box office flops.