August 18, 2010

Weekend (and then some) In Reviews

My movie watching has been really slow the last few weekends. I think I'm going to make a point of staying in the house and doing nothing this weekend just so I have something more interesting to post about here. Oh, and also because I enjoy being lazy. But it's MOSTLY for you.

Tenure - As you've no doubt noticed from previous movie reviews here, I'll watch pretty much anything if it has Luke Wilson in it because I find him adorable and I like the character he plays - and make no mistake, he plays pretty much the same character in every movie. While most of the movies are at best sweet and funny and at worst stupid, they all feature this one character - Luke's character - who somehow makes it feel like it wasn't a complete waste of your time just by virtue of being so likable (and adorable).

Tenure had the character except this time, he just seemed like a sad-sack. He had only the faintest hint of the charm and charisma that he usually has in his movies and because of that, the movie's other awful, stupid, boring aspects just seemed that much worse.

I wouldn't recommend this movie to even the most hard-core Luke Wilson fans out there. Save yourselves the disappointment.

Drive Me Crazy - After Tenure was so unenjoyable, I couldn't bear the thought of being disappointed by another NetFlix pick so I went to my old standby shelf and picked something I knew I'd enjoy. I hadn't watched Drive Me Crazy in quite a while but I've seen it many, many times before and I adore it.

I am an unapologetic lover of teen-centric movies and TV shows and anticipate that being the case until I'm well into my golden years. Maybe until I'm dead. This is actually one of the more mature and more interesting of the genre, in my opinion. It has all the elements that you always find in these movies - boy and girl from opposite ends of the social spectrum, thrust together by circumstance, develop feelings for each other, don't tell each other about said feelings, encounter a misunderstanding that drives a wedge between them and then make up at the end so that the whole thing ends with a smooch - but it also has something wry and biting about it's humor and it's commentary on high school in general. The characters are people you know, knew, like, hate or can relate to in some other way.

Some movies want you to believe that the popular kids are all assholes and the outcasts are all smart, near-perfect people. This movie believes there are stupid assholes and smart, funny, sweet people mixed evenly throughout both groups and I tend to agree. The screenplay was written by Rob Thomas a few years before Veronica Mars and there are some tonal similarities in the dialogue that I enjoy now. I'd seen and loved this long before VM, obviously, and when I found out a season into VM that Rob was responsible for this too, it kind of made me love him and it even more.

Nicole (Melissa Joan Hart) and Chase (Adrian Grenier) are neighbors and childhood friends who've long-since stopped speaking and become polar opposites in their schools social hierarchy. But they have something in common again when Chase is dumped by his "cause of the day" activist girlfriend because he won't protest medical testing on animals with her, and Nicole's crush asks a cheerleader from another school to the big dance instead of her. Nicole suggests that they two of them pretend to hang out and date and then go to the dance together which will keep her from looking pathetic and dateless and will make Dulcie jealous so she'll want Chase back. From there it's mean girls and conformity and friendship and lessons and scheming and smooching. You know the drill.

Hart and Grenier take their parts perfectly and have good chemistry with each other and the supporting cast is equally well-cast and interesting. It's worth seeing...several times.

Melissa & Joey - I tweeted a while back that I was a little ashamed of how much I actually wanted to watch this show but to be honest, I'm not really ashamed by that. The part of me that wanted to see this is the same part of me that still enjoys watching episodes of The Facts of Life, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, What I Like About You, and other such shows when I happen by them.

This is actually a little closer in tone and story to Who's The Boss (which I'd also watch in a hot second if it were on a television near me at this very moment) and it's perfectly silly and cheesy and fun. Melissa Joan Hart plays frazzled well and she has a gusto and abandon in her that lends itself very well to comedy. The chemistry between Hart and Joe(y) Lawrence is enjoyable and effortless and I certainly like that they're not hitting me over the head from the word go with a flirty will-they-or-won't-they thing that isn't going to be the most interesting thing about the show anyway. What they really need to do is put Melissa in some longer skirts and dresses. Maybe even some pants! The woman is a politician, she really shouldn't show 3/4 of her thigh every time she leaves the house. I'd also like to see more of Joe being extremely cabable as he was in the pilot which was a bit stronger than the second episode. The aspect of Melissa being very good at her job and at being the fun aunt but at very little else, and Joe being very good with the house keeping and the cooking and smoothing things over with the kids as they all transition into Melissa being their guardian instead of their friend presents a lot of potentially funny story opportunites, I think.

Before you even ask, I will be watching this again. I've already given it a season pass. I am not at all embarrassed to tell you that.

1 comment:

Brenda B said...

I thought of you today as I looked at the guide and saw Who's the Boss was on next. :)

Melissa and Joey has also been granted a season pass in our house - requested by ED!?!?!? I do like it but I don't think I'd paid enough attention to the previews to have picked it up, but he did.