Katherine Heigl learns to love; Zach Galifianakis livens up a mental institution; and the guy from Kick-Ass plays John Lennon. Who gets your ticket money?
Director: Greg Berlanti
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Christina Hendricks, Josh Lucas
ANDREW: Boy, I sure did enjoy The Town and The Social Network! Heck, I may even go see one or both of them again, especially since there doesn't seem to be much in this week's overloaded release schedule to lure me back to the multiplex. In the trailer for this romantic warmedy, virtual strangers Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel are tasked with raising a dead friend's baby together (perhaps by the same judge who sentenced that guy to be Jerry's butler on Seinfeld). Sounds grim, but I'm guessing the fact the aforementioned dead friend is played (however briefly) by Mad Men's va-va-voomy Christina Hendricks gives you at least one reason to see Life As We Know It.
SCOTT: Unless there's a nude scene I haven't heard about, I'll be content to continue getting my Hendricks fix on the small screen. Is it just me, or is this the most repulsive premise for a romantic comedy since… well, at least since whatever the last Katherine Heigl rom-com was? "Honey, in case we're both killed in a plane crash, what do you think about making these two people who hate each other raise little Sally together?" "Sounds great, dear! Sure, she may be scarred for life, but it will be worth it if those two crazy kids realize they're meant for each other!" Somebody call the Department of Social Services immediately.
Directors: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Cast: Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, Zach Galifianakis, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan
SCOTT: Zach Galifianakis makes me laugh. He doesn't even have to be doing anything particularly funny — I'm just as likely to crack up watching him make sandwiches or do his taxes. And writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck impressed me with their last feature, Sugar, the best baseball movie in recent memory. These two factors may be enough to get me into a theater showing It's Kind of a Funny Story. Yet I have to admit, I'm very wary of the "depressed teen meets girl of his dreams in a mental institution" storyline, which could cause a fatal overdose of indie-film clichés.
ANDREW: Yeah, where exactly can I find me one of these handy vacation spas full of pretty girls (interrupted) and loveable eccentrics? I'm neurotic! I could benefit from (and maybe even dispense) some quirky life lessons! The people I've known who spent time in institutions clearly didn't go to the right places (or maybe they've just been holding out on me so I wouldn't try to muscle in on the fun). Though I suppose there are worse options this week than getting "crazy" with Galifianakis and the gang, especially when my other options are an unnecessary remake of the even more unnecessary torture-porn "classic" I Spit On Your Grave, a might-as-well-be-a-remake of Seabiscuit (in the form of Secretariat), a Robert De Niro/Edward Norton film with no buzz whatsoever and another damn Wes Craven movie.
Director: Sam Taylor-Wood
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Anne-Marie Dugg, Kristin Scott Thomas
ANDREW: But, wait! There's more, at least if you're lucky enough to live in one of the cities where this UK/Sundance fave about John Lennon's teen years is opening in a limited U.S. release. Critics have been singing the praises of Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) as the Beatles' troubled "Smart One," Anne-Marie Duff as his mercurial mum, and Kristin Scott Thomas as his sensible aunt. And if director Sam Taylor-Wood's biopic manages to be at least as interesting as 1994's Backbeat (which picks up Lennon's story a few years later in Hamburg, Germany), then it's an easy pick for my One Movie to see this week.
SCOTT: I feel like I know more about John Lennon's life than my own at this point, but I suppose this is sort of the Batman Begins of Beatles movies (featuring Thomas Sangster as Paul McCartney, the Boy Wonder), which may be worth a look, especially given the weak competition. I'll take a ticket to ride.
The One Movie You Should See This Week: Nowhere Boy