Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

You know what you're getting into when you buy a ticket for a Rom-Com with Matthew McConaughey: eye candy for the next 1 1/2. Yet, throughout this film, I never saw it. He plays a successful photog who just loves women (hello ad man from How to Lose a Guy). To help him see his true gal pal for life love, he is visited by all of his girlfriends from the past who point him in the direction of Jenny, played by Jennifer Garner.

The true icing on this wedding cake were characters played by Emma Stone (Jules from Superbad) and Lacey Chabert (her father invented the Toaster Strudel in Mean Girls). Stone plays a ghost talking McConaughey through some past flames. Her outfit is amazing and when you learn of how her and McConaughey's character hooked up, you can't stop laughing. Chabert plays the lass marrying McConaughey's brother, played by Breckin Meyer (RoadTrip fame). She's a bridezilla on acid, crack and uppers. Watching her on screen is a treat.

As for Garner's character, I felt like she never got fully developed and she was hardly on screen. I was excited to see her paired with Rescue Me's fireman Daniel Sunjata, but felt like their scenes were cold and flat.

And having Michael Douglas in this film was completely unneccessary. He was a creepy corpse and extremely reminisent of the Tales from the Crypt guy. Douglas brought nothing to the screen and he looks awfully, awfully, painfully old. It was hard to watch.

This is one ghost I hope is done haunting me.

17 Again

Growing up, the go to movies in my family were What About Bob? and Big. So you can imagine my horror when 13 Going on 30 came out. But then I learned, not only did the main character age, so did the world around her. Okay, okay. Still a stolen idea, but only partially stolen.

17 Again is a direct ploy off of Big, just instead of getting older, you get younger. Three reasons why this movie was a rip off:

1) The go-to best friend to help you find your way through the newer/older you. Josh Baskins had Billy. In this film, we have Mike and Ned. Ned's character, played by Thomas Lennon, is quite possibly the greatest character in this movie. The Star Trek ears, the one-liners, his passion for the magical word, I couldn't get enough of it.

2) When Josh Baskins makes the switch to adulthood, he buys a sweet pad and fills it with all the greatest toys and furniture (I'm getting a trampoline in my apartment once the ceilings call for it). Mike moves in with his friend Ned, who being the complete weirdo he is, has a sweet pad full of fast cars, amazing pool and collectible toys and swords laying around. This film just switches out the bunk beds ("I call top!") for a race car.

3) The creepy item/person to get you to the new you. Josh Baskins tried his luck on the Zoltar machine, which really made me fearful of any type of tarot card reading and fortune tellings. Here, Mike looks to this creepy janitor who appears and then disappears. He's like a bad version Doc from Back to the Future holding a pail and mop instead of keys to a DeLorean.
At times, I must say, I did enjoy the film. But the whole Zac Efron (who plays the younger version of Matthew Perry's character Mike) and Leslie Mann, who plays Scarlett, Mike's nearly ex wife, were too creepy to enjoy. It was worse than Mrs. Robinson since at least Mrs. Robinson was seducing a recent college graduate and not a high school senior.

As the jerk Paul said at the Christmas Party in Big:
Paul: The guy's a goddamn knock-off artist.
Man: What do you mean?
Paul: The Amphibian?! He takes 10,000 G.I. Joes, slaps some gills on them, webs their feet and packages them in seaweed.

Looks like we have another knock-off artist behind 17 Again.