Summer Movie Preview: Comedies
Once upon a time, summers belonged to Steven Spielberg. Now they belong to franchise serials that unfold with all the earnest schmaltz of a soap opera. From the last round of Harry Potter to the return of Captain Jack Sparrow and the motivational expose of the X-Men, the summer of 2011 finds plenty of familiar faces urgently competing for your attention. And no wonder: Hollywood is still reeling from declining box-office and flatline attendance over the past year, and summer is still make-or-break time for the bottom line. The drama is palpable for every industry player, making this summer something of a sudsy season. That said, we take a look at what's headed to a theatre near you, with a nod to the soap-opera era â now riding into the Hollywood sunset, and perhaps setting the stage for the industry as a whole. Enjoy the big show while you can: The Tinseltown times are a changin'...
The Hangover Part II (May 26): Being an idiot for one night is an excusable lapse in judgment. Being a drunken fool with life-altering consequences twice in a period of two years is a bit tougher to excuse, but, one hopes, it will make for good comic fodder as the Wolfpack reunites for one more very ugly morning in Bangkok.
Bad Teacher (June 24): Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake reunite for some onscreen hijinks in this comedy about a very, very bad educator. Imagine the opposite of Michelle Pfeiffer's Dangerous Minds performance, combined with the memory of your worst homeroom experience -â and voila! Bad Teacher.
Horrible Bosses (July 8): Anyone who works for a big company knows there's no such thing as a horrible boss â just stupid employees who insist on taking credit for the brilliance of their superiors. This scenario of cruel, lying, frauds in glass offices has no bearing in reality â obviously â but it does feature Jason Bateman and Kevin Spacey, so how wrong can it be?
Roller Town (August): Canadian comedy sensations Picnicface head up the cast in this fight-the-power story of kids hoping to save their roller rink.
The Change-Up (Aug. 5): The men who brought you The Hangover and The Wedding Crashers connect for this buddy-bonding movie that goes the extra mile as two men change places. Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman trading places could be fun, and extremely dangerous.
30 Minutes or Less (Aug. 12): A heist movie with a bromance at the centre, this black comedy features Jesse Eisenberg and Danny McBride as men in the midst of a life change.
Our Idiot Brother (Aug. 26): Paul Rudd is a pot-smoking brother to several sisters who try to help him out in a time of need â but they aren't all that helpful. Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks and Emily Mortimer co-star in this Sundance-buzz title.
Something Borrowed (May 6): Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin play best friends who blow out after Miss Nicey Nicey seduces her best friend's fiance. Nasty!
Bridesmaids (May 13): Eager to create the same kind of bad-boy magic Judd Apatow conjured for boys, Paul Feig pulls together a crack cast of hilarious women to poke fun at chick ritual. Kristen Wiig is a cake-shop owner who's never the bride, and Maya Rudolph is the horrible best friend who abandons her when romance blooms. Jon Hamm also stars, for a perfect Hamm sandwich.
Monte Carlo (July 1): Selena Gomez and a gaggle of gal pals head to Monte Carlo for some European fun, but romance awaits when Gomez is mistaken for a bad-girl princess. Get ready for the shoe montage.