Based on the best-selling book by Liz Tuccillo (the co-author of the self-help book turn movie) He’s Just Not That Into You) How To Be Single feature a post Fifty Shades Dakota Johnson and post Pitch Perfect Revel Wilson. But can they bring the box office success if their previous films to this rom-com?
College graduate Alice (Johnson) is taking a break from her boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) to move to New York City. There she meets Robin (Wilson) who teaches her the ways of being single. Meanwhile Alice’s sister Meg (Leslie Mann) contemplates having a baby and dating a younger man Ken (Jake Lacy). Then there’s also determined singleton Lucy (Alison Brie) who’s scouring various internet dating sites for Mr. Right.
It’s not going to break the mold of rom com’s or even box office records but How To Be Single does have enough charm and humor to find an audience. Johnson makes a likeable enough lead although she doesn’t sparkle as much as she did in edgier fare such as A Bigger Slash. My interest in her romantic storylines did sag in the middle. More successful is Alice’s interactions with best buds Robin. Wilson’s Robin is essentially an even rudder Fat Amy. But even though it’s basically the same role as the one that made her famous Wilson still nails it.
I probably found Meg’s storyline the most satisfying as it had the right amount screen time to develop her character with her quest to become a mother and her cute fledging romance with Ken. I felt Brie was underused as Lucy, who was not a greatly developed character. But Brie still manages to make her scenes amusing especially with hot barman Tom (Anders Holms) on the scene. At times it even seems Tom is more of a main character than Lucy.
Sometimes the film can’t decide if it wants to subvert the rom com clichés or embrace them leaving a mixed end result all round. But it’s still a fun, girlie movie and a perfect antidote to all the macho movies of late.
Rating 3.5/5 – an amusing movie with a likeable cast
What’s up Pitches! Yes the sequel to the hit 2012 Pitch Perfect is here for new musical adventures in the world of competitive a capella (who knew that a thing?). But while the original was a hilarious offering will the follow-up stay on key?
When the Barden Bellas, now led by Beca (Anna Kendrick), are humiliated at a performance for President Obama’s birthday they are suspended from a capella competitions and performances. Taking advantage of a loophole the Bellas plan to regain their status by winning the a capella world tournament. The only problem is no American team has ever won. Further problems arise when the group struggle with their confidence, worry over life after graduation and bickering starts between the group. Can they pull themselves together to win the title?
I loved Pitch Perfect, I still find it funny having watched it several times. While Pitch Perfect 2 is far from a dud it also doesn’t come close to the original. It’s a shame to say that the movie just isn’t as funny as I hoped it would be. It has its moments and some scenes are still fun but the jokes don’t come as thick and fast as they did before. Similarly the music isn’t fresh or catchy as before. Some choices seem predictable (Beyonce’s Run The World (Girls) for example), and the ‘original’ song Flashlight (aka Jessie J’s song for the movie) isn’t that memorable. The villains for the movie are also a let down. Their German a capella rivals Das Sound Machine are just stereotypes and not particularly funny ones at that.
It probably didn’t help that I re-watched the first movie just a week before seeing the sequel. So maybe I’m being a bit unfair comparing it so closely. It’s a shame we get less of Beca’s boyfriend Jesse (Skylar Astin), a love interest that was both cute and funny, and also less of Treblemakers who I love. But I understand that the film wanted to focus on the Bellas and female friendship, a move which I applaud as it’s about time women got more screen time in comedy. The Bellas are still a loveable bunch as ever, with Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy again stealing most scenes she’s in. Newcomer Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is also a bright addition as the optimistic and bubbly freshman who joins the Bellas. Her romance with Trebles member Benji (Ben Platt) is also quite sweet.
The opening scene with Fat Amy’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’ is still funny even after seeing it plenty of times in the trailer. Their scenes at a retreat are also hilarious and has some good female bonding as well. Also we get to see what Aubrey has been up to since she left the Bellas. Plus bringing Bumper (Adam DeVine) and teaming him up with Fat Amy was also a good move.
Ok so it’s not as laugh out loud funny as the original, but thankfully the movie still has enough good points that means it deserves to be the masisve hit that it is. But maybe next time they can leave out Beca’s boring internship please!
Rating 3/5 – while it may not hit the high notes of Pitch Perfect this sequel is still a feel good, Friday night movie
Bachelorette is an American black comedy film. Three twenty-something friends Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Katie (Isla Fisher) and Gena (Lizzy Caplan) are together for their school friend Becky’s (Rebel Wilson) wedding. Seething with resentment and jealousy the girls accidentally ruin Becky’s dress. Now they only have one night to fix the dress and turn up in time for Becky’s wedding.
The film is trying to cash in on the success of Bridesmaids. In theory there are some good ideas and characters here but the execution mostly falls flat. Unlike Bridesmaids the characters are not likeable or funny enough to really root for.The main problem is the film is just not laugh our loud funny. There are parts that make you smile to yourself but not howling with laughter.
The actresses try their best in the roles. Dunst looks like she’s having a ball playing someone as bitchy and insecure as Regan, Fisher has the funniest moments as drugged up and ditzy Katie, while Caplan does show moments of vulnerability behind her character’s bitter and hard exterior. We see hints of what has made them the damaged individuals they are today but it feels wrapped up too quickly by the end and never explored fully enough. Also I can’t forgive a film which casts Rebel Wilson and then sidelines her as extensively as this. However the scenes she is in shows a soft, vulnerable side to her that we haven’t seen much of in her previous films.
The men is this film are also not that interesting. James Marsden looks like he’s having fun as the obnoxious Trevor but he really is a one note character. Kyle Borheimer is the most likeable of the guys as small time dealer Joe who has strong, protective feelings of Katie. The film is also unsure over whether Gena’s ex boyfriend Clyde is a nice guy who just made some bad choices in the past or a real douche that Gena should just forget about.
Bachelorette is not a terrible film, and does have its funny moments, mostly due to the talented cast it somehow assembled but its perhaps one that would be funnier on DVD rather than the cinema.
Rating 2/5-harmless enough but the cast deserve better than this
Prepared to get Pitch Slapped
Surprisingly getting pitch slapped is more enjoyable than I had imagined. This college set comedy centring on an all-female a cappella group infuses songs, adult humour and a feel-good sense of fun.
So sulky Beca is a freshman at Barden University but she really wants to be in the LA music scene. Her dad-trying to persuade her to be sociable-encourages her to join the Barden Bellas. There she meets an array of girls who are struggling to get through to the finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and beat their rivals the Treblemakers. Can wannabe music producer Beca get the girls to loosen up from their tired, boring routines and do something more modern and funky? What do you think?
The film itself may have some predictable notes but that doesn’t stop it from being funny. The film is full of many hilarious one liners that are bound to have moviegoers repeating to their friends as they leave the cinema.
The performance everyone will be talking about is Fat Amy played by rising star Rebel Wilson. She gets most of the best lines and will become a cult comedy character. Out of the rest of the supporting cast I had a soft spot for Benji, (Ben Platt) the Treblemakers super fan who loves magic. In the lead role Anna Kendrick manages to make Beca moody but not too cold to root for. Her relationship with Jesse (Skylar Astin) helps as she begins to soften through their interactions. Austin makes for a refreshingly three dimensional love interest compared to the shallow ones you normally get in this kind of film. In fact he was so nice that half the time I wanted Beca to ditch the Bellas and start up her own super group with Jesses, Benji and Fat Amy (Maybe an idea for sequel?)
The film’s main sour point for me was the subplot of Beca’s relationship with her dad. He wants her to integrate into student life, she just wants to listen to her music. Dull. Luckily the film doesn’t spend too long on this plot strand. Not when there’s so much singing and dancing to be had.
Fun and Fabulous. Plus you got to love a film that promotes The Breakfast Club as heavily as this one does.