Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Film Round-Up #19

Some could be forgiven for thinking me crazy for braving five Jennifer Aniston films back when I... umm, braved five of her films. I mean, she looks absolutely delightful, usually a bit nippy too (someone turn on the heating for the poor girl), she is a great comedic talent, and is a very decent actress when given the right material, but let's face it - few of her films are better than average. You may therefore think me certifiably insane for watching another five of them! Perhaps I am but what can I say? She definitely has a certain charm, or perhaps two certain charms (sorry!) but let's hope some of the films I chose this time are just as charming...

The Switch (2010)

If you're anything like me you may be wondering just what the rather vague title to this one alludes to. The answer to that can be found in the friendship between the two main characters, Kassie (Aniston) and Wally (Jason Bateman), long-time best friends. Their friendship is threatened, however, when Kassie decides she wants to have a baby via artificial insemination, and at her 'conception party' Wally drunkenly spills the sperm sample of her hand-picked donor, so decides to replace it personally. Sounds like a recipe for trouble (amongst other things - chortle!), although he doesn't even remember doing it the next day. It probably just sounds like another silly rom-com, and it does seem like one at times - the ending is super obvious right from the off, for example - but the premise does actually add something to the story rather than just being a gimmick and gives the stars the chance for a few more dramatic scenes as well as the more light-hearted stuff. It's hard not to question Kassie's decision as Wally does but it helps that both Aniston and Bateman are very likeable. Better than expected... 7/10

Just Go With It (2012)

The prospect of watching an Adam Sandler film makes me reel with inchoate fear at the best of times, and the preposterous story that greeted me here made that even worse. As plastic surgeon Danny, he shags a hottie called Palmer (Brooklyn Decker). Okay, not sure how but okay. However, he wants to continue shagging her so, for some inconceivable reason, comes to the decision that the best way to do this is to pretend to be married to his assistant Katherine (Aniston) and father to her young children, and then for them all to go on holiday to Hawaii along with his cousin who is supposed to be Katherine's new boyfriend. It's one of the stupidest stories I've ever come across in a film but if you can (try to) ignore it, the film isn't actually too bad. Apart from his ridiculous plan, Danny isn't nearly as annoying as most Sandler characters - he's even a little funny here and there - and the ladies are fantastic. Decker is a stunner for sure and her character is very appealing, as is Aniston who has almost certainly never looked better, and when the inevitable, obvious plot-twist occurs, it almost seems like a normal rom-com... 6/10

Wanderlust (2012)

This wasn't the most successful of the films here - I had barely even heard of it prior to seeing it - but it seemed like it might be quite a good one. It stars Aniston along with Paul Rudd as married couple Linda and George who are forced to relocate meaning a cross-country drive. On the way they stop for the night at what seems to be a bed and breakfast but it turns out to be a hippy commune. Despite being welcomed with open arms and encouraged to participate in their ways (including free love), they continue on their way... but soon find themselves missing the simpler, more care-free life they sampled at the commune and decide to head back. Once there, however, one of them quickly tires of the place while the other embraces the lifestyle completely. Oh dear. It is primarily a comedy though, of course, so nothing too dramatic transpires, and most of it works pretty well making for pleasant enough viewing without ever being outright hilarious. Aniston is as lovely as always (well, nearly always - see below), Paul Rudd is highly likeable as usual, and they have decent support too. Something of a pleasant surprise... 7/10

We're the Millers (2013)

Yes, this is indeed the one where Ms Aniston plays a stripper in case you were wondering. The stripper in question is hired by local weed dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) to pose as his wife along with similarly fake kids, teen runaway Casey (Emma Roberts) and the nerdy kid from his apartment building Kenny (Will Poulter) in order to smuggle a crapload of weed into the US from Mexico (a family will arouse less suspicion, apparently). It's basically a road trip comedy with the added thrill of angry Mexican drug lords in pursuit while the dysfunctional 'family' bickers and bonds in equal measure. It was probably more famous for Aniston's strippiness than anything else but, while she does cavort in fancy undies here and there, it's not exactly a nude sex-fest. Ignoring her character's profession though, and the paper-thin story, and the jokes that don't work (such as the ridiculous weed baby), it still somehow ends up being surprisingly enjoyable, if rather silly, thanks to its appealing characters and nice dynamic between them. Even if you don't like them it's still worth watching just for the 'No Ragrets' guy (and Aniston's jiggly striptease I guess!)... 7/10

She's Funny That Way (2015)

I didn't realise before watching but this one isn't even an Aniston film really. Its ensemble cast is headed by Owen Wilson as theatre director Arnold Albertson who, despite being married, enjoys the services of escorts to whom he pays large sums to help them escape the life, and Imogen Poots as Izzy, the most recently assisted ex-escort who gets a part in Arnold's latest play in which his wife (Kathryn Hahn) also stars! Our nipply ex-Friend doesn't have a great deal of screentime as the daughter of the shrink used by some of the characters. She's meant to be covering for her mother but her unsympathetic, bitchy character really isn't appealing at all. Conversely, Ms. Poots is as adorably appealing as the only other time I've seen her so far (Need For Speed), even with her surprisingly good Brooklyn accent. I didn't enjoy much else here though. It's supposed to be a 'screwball comedy' but there isn't too much to laugh at. It did get better the longer I stuck with it but considering the comedic talent involved (which also includes Rhys Ifans, Will Forte, and Austin Pendleton, Wes Anderson producing) it should've been way better... 5/10

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