A group of friends head to the land of oaky Chardonnays and big, bold Cabernet Sauvignons for one member of the squad’s 50th birthday party. (Letterboxd)
The cask, I mean, cast, has chreat gemistry (shout-out to the great supporting characters too) and just like how the wine prevailed (see the final scene) when Abby’s schedule failed, it’s whenever they’re allowed to just talk and play off each other that it all works really well–the drama is natural, the comedy on point–and it’s when it tries to shoehorn in a message (see the cringe-y art show bit) or create more of a structured plot (the beats are all pretty generic) that it falls apart.
When it becomes clear that his solo album is a failure, a former boy band member does everything in his power to maintain his celebrity status. (IMDb)
There’s lots of good comedy here–from the celebrity satire and cameo-littered mockumentary framework to the outlandish songs and dim-witted lead–but it does start to wear thin even within the short run-time, and the predictable plot (props for the spoof of the “choosing what really matters” moment with the stage manager though) doesn’t do much to fill in the gaps. Still, a serviceable comedy that gets laughs, even if it’s just from pure ridiculousness (see the wolf attack/marriage proposal).
After her husband abruptly asks for a divorce, a middle-aged mother returns to college in order to complete her degree. (IMDb)
Much of the comedy is cringe-worthy, and save for that first oral presentation scene, in a bad way (the stereotypical mean girls are just awfully written and acted), but there’s a few hilarious bits (see the mediator meeting) and instead of the expected mom-embarrassing daughter plot it’s actually mostly an appreciable (if cheesy) thematic script about female friendship and mutual empowerment that strikes some good chords, save for the early makeover scene (be yourself! Just not with that hair).
Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride’s best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef. (IMDb)
The actual bridesmaids scenes are outrageously funny (see the shit-storm in the bridal boutique) thanks to some crazy characters (McCarthy’s Megan is a riot) and excellent cast chemistry (Wiig and Byrne’s rival friends especially; see their competing speeches) but it’s the surprising character work on the goofy yet melancholy Annie (Wiig is perfect; see her cop drive-bys) that elevates this comedy to another level, injecting some nice bits of drama and romance (O’Dowd is adorable) into the mix.