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Reviews for the Week of 12/14:

Look for a Return of the King review on Thursday morning.

Something's Gotta Give



Rated PG-13 | 117 mins


     Recently, people have been letting our old pal Jack Nicholson take the easy way out. Between his latest effort Anger Management and this film, one wonders if old age is affecting his ability to choose a good script. Somethingís Gotta Give is truly enjoyable for a mere hour and fifteen minutes, but after that, we start to take notice of the terrible dialogue and unfunny script. Now, donít get me wrong, Somethingís Gotta Give offers its fair share of laughs, but they are few and far between. These actors know that they want and deserve better material. Ironically, this movie suffers from the same two problems as Gigli did, but thereís one difference between the two filmsóthe former was panned by the press, while this flick is getting rave reviews.

     And this is really the problem. Critics seem to be so star-struck when they see Jack and Diane light up the screen that they automatically decide to give the movie a positive review. However, when the two are working with such a dreadful screenplay, Iíd rather see Ben and Jen in their places. The dialogue tacky, the picture is overly long, and only a few of the jokes succeed in being more than just amusing. Watching this terrific cast being force-fed such brain-dead lines in the useless manner of director Nancy Meyers is actually quite painful. Somethingís Gotta Give is a teen movie wrapped in pretty paper, so the adult crowd will think of it as a mature comedy. Oh, please. Thatís about the last title that comes to my mind when I ponder its mediocrity.

     Somethingís Gotta Give is sweet enough in its intentions to watch on Saturday morning, but it isnít a rewarding experience. Itíd be a lot easier for me to say that it is, and conform to the ways of my fellow critics that have, but I honestly canít. Iím sorry, Mr. Nicholson. So sorry you made a shitty film.


Stuck On You



Rated PG-13 | 118 mins


     I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed some more. This doesnít excuse the disappointing and formulaic plot from almost ruining the entire movie, however. The thing about the Farrelly Brothers that Iíve always admired is that theyíre able to craft an inventive and original plotline, even if the flick that itís featured in isnít funny. Sometimes this method doesnít help at all, as we all saw in the horrific Dumb and Dumber, but every once in awhile, it guides one of their films to success. (We witnessed this special case in Thereís Something about Mary, Me, Myself, and Irene, and, most noticeably, in Shallow Hal). Stuck on You is much different than their previous works, because of its conventional plot. But itís pretty damn funny, and we mustnít overlook this. So funny that in fact, itís actually one of the better movies in release at this time.

     Of course, this will all change in a week or two, when all of the major Oscar contenders are released, but for the time being, Iím quite pleased to be able to day this. Stuck on You is innocent fun. Comedies these days are lacking the kind-heartedness that this one has. Itís is a PG-13 rated teen-targeted motion picture without a single fart joke (talk about remarkable). It has the same dorky, but loveable morals and values as its fellow comedies, but incorporates them into its context without being too sappy or anticlimactic, as a result. If the rest of the films in this genre were to bear the same characteristics as this one, the whole world would be better off. Itís this type of movie that all of us moviegoers need, both cheery and delightful.

     Most of the filmís success is not created by the Farrellys, either. Aside from the terrific idea, they arenít responsible for any of it at all, actually. Rather, our two loveable leads, Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, are the ones who make Stuck on You the hilarious cinematic event that it is. They share the screen abnormally well; if they were two no-names, the audience might actually have believed that they were the conjoined twins that they play in this movie, in reality. Eva Mendes is also great at playing her ditzy supporting character, too, fitting the profile in every way, shape, and form.

     If the plot-line had been less predictably mediocre, Stuck on You may have actually ranked as one of my favorites films of this year. Letís hope that the Farrelly Brotherís next effort is more innovative. I look forward to seeing it.


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