Updated: 05/03/2016 5:36 PM | Print Story |  Email

4/29 Movie Trip

The romantic comedy “Mother’s Day” hits theaters as well as “Keanu” by the comedy duo Key and Peele. Paul McGuire Grimes tells us if it’s worth the trip.

 

MOTHER’S DAY (theatrical release)

Long-time comedy director Gary Marshall continues his “holiday” movies with Mother’s Day, which follows Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve. It’s another ensemble film with many intersecting storylines and one little twist along the way. Jennifer Aniston has one of the better storylines as a single mom who feels like she is in competition with her ex-husband’s new and much younger wife. On the other end of the spectrum is the obnoxious and blatantly not funny plot with Kate Hudson who plays, Jesse, who is covering up her marriage to an Indian man from her racist and homophobic parents. Jesse’s sister is also covering up her marriage to her wife. Oddly enough, the men have some of the better storylines with Jason Sudeikis coping with being a new widow and single father. He has a hard time knowing how to raise his their two daughters. The various characters all struggle with the looming reminder that Mother’s Day is right around the corner and what that means for the relationships they have with the various mothers and wives involved.

-Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Chalke, Britt Robertson, Julia Roberts, Margo Martindale

-Julia Roberts has minimal screen time and easily could have been cut from the movie. Plus, she’s playing another edgy, cold-hearted character we’ve seen countless times before.

-Directed by Garry Marshall and nowhere near as good as his previous films like Beaches, Pretty Woman, or The Princess Diaries.

-Like many the other Marshall holiday movies, there are far too many characters/storylines and many do not work. At its core there is a horribly written script with clichéd characters and many failed attempts are jokes that do not land.

-So much of the movie feels phony. All of the characters live in rich, fancy houses yet somehow don’t work and can just talk about working out, mommy and me play dates, and competition. Yes, this is a rom-com but where’s the reality behind it? These aren’t the moms I know.

-The storyline involving the racist/homophobic parents is downright cringe-worthy and not in a dramatic way. While I believe this to happen to many families, it’s played for cheap laughs instead of addressing a serious situation.

-You shouldn’t have to be a mom to like a movie called Mother’s Day, but there’s a patronizing tone for someone like me as I if wouldn’t “get it” or “like it” because I’m not a mom.

Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? How could a movie that should celebrate moms go so horribly awry?

RATING: 1 out of 5 TICKET STUBS

 

KEANU (theatrical release)

Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele recently finished up a successful run of their sketch comedy show Key and Peele on Comedy Central. They have now teamed up together for a big-screen comedy/action film. An abandoned church can make for the perfect location for a secret drug-packaging compound. When rival gang members storm the premises, a shoot-out occurs leaving a cute little kitty as the lone survivor. Jordan Peele plays Rell who is sulking at home after his girlfriend breaks up with him. The timing couldn’t be better as the kitty arrives on Peele’s doorstep after the church incident. Rell takes him in and names him Keanu, as it is love at first sight. Yes, he is named after the actor and star of The Matrix. Rell’s best friend Clarence stops by for a guy’s night at the movies to distract him from the breakup. After the movie they go back to Rell’s house and find it broken into and Keanu nowhere to be found. Rell’s neighbor, Hulka, leads them to a gang known as the Blips. They’re compromised of the leftover members of the Bloods and Crips. It goes from bad to worse for Rell and Clarence when they are forced to work on a deal with Cheddar, the leader of the Blips, in order to get Keanu back.

-Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Will Forte, Method Man, Luis Guzman, Jason Mitchell, and Nia Long. Cameo by Anna Faris who plays a crazy version of herself.

-Key and Peele have fantastic chemistry together and make for a great comedic pair. Key is brilliant with voices and contorting his face. His character, Clarence, is the goody-goody, straight-laced, George Michael loving dad who is completely out of his element with the adventure he finds himself on with Rell.

-If you liked Key and Peele’s show, you will enjoy Keanu. It also has a 21 Jump Street, Pineapple Express vibe to it.

-There are plenty of these buddy comedies where drug kingpins come into play, but none of them have an adorable kitten at the center of them. You can hear the audience swoon over that precious face anytime Keanu comes on screen.

-In theory, it’s one of those stupid comedies, but it has a self-awareness approach, which makes it smarter than you would expect. Jordan Peele wrote the film and takes it to the extreme knowing how absurd the premise is.

-I predict the film will do well at the box office with milennials. Key and Peele make a successful transition to the big screen, and I expect more adventures from them to come.

Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? There are plenty of laughs to be had despite such a ridiculous premise.

RATING:  3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS

 

GRANDMA (home release)

We’ve seen Lily Tomlin portray a variety of funny women over the years in comedies like 9 to 5Big Business, or her stand-up routine. In Grandma, she has found a dramatic role that is tailor made just for her. On the same day Elle Reid breaks up with her girlfriend of four months, her granddaughter, Sage, comes knocking on her down stating that she’s pregnant and needs $630. Elle isn’t in the most secure place herself having recently cut up her credit cards in order to live a simpler life. Elle and Sage hit road driving around town thinking about ways to get the money Sage needs to terminate the pregnancy. It serves as a wakeup call and history lesson for Sage when she learns the Grandma has had a rough, but experienced life, fracturing many relationships along the way. One of those happens to be her daughter, Sage’s mother.

-Available to rent through Xfinity OnDemand, iTunes, Google Play, Redbox

-Starring: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Judy Greer, Marcia Gay Harden, Laverne Cox, John Cho, Sam Elliott, Nat Wolf

-Writer/Director Paul Weitz (Admission, Mozart in the Jungle) wrote the role specifically for Lily Tomlin

-Tomlin is simply superb and should have received more awards consideration last year. It was a very small independent film that just didn’t receive enough buzz. She’s blunt, loud-mouthed, and profane but Tomlin brings such a rich history to her. The film reminds you that she’s a phenomenal actress as well as comedienne.

-It’s a good character study, for both grandma and granddaughter. Paul Weitz’s fills his story with serious topics with enough biting humor to keep you laughing along the way.

-It’s only 75 minutes but has deep themes in having skeletons in your closet, dealing with unresolved issues in life as well as more controversial topics involving feminism, abortion, and GLBT issues.

Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Tomlin shines with a character that will spark some debate over her more liberal moral viewpoints.