Weekend Movies: The Lightest Weekend of Summer

This weekend may be one of the most uneventful of the summer. A crude R-rated chick comedy opens against a dystopic, post-apocalyptic 3D vampire western. Considering that one limits its audience with its rating and the other is a genre flick, I’m not sure that either of them has the oomph to dethrone ‘Thor’.

Written by ‘SNL’ great Kristen Wiig, ‘Bridesmaids‘ give her a leading role as Annie. Annie is no spring chicken. When her best friend (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged, Annie’s life begins to fall apart. Her business goes under. She feels like a failure. The closest thing she has to a relationship is being the sex toy for a wealthy douche (Jon Hamm). When a competitive “friend” (Rose Byrne) challenges her role as maid of honor, Annie lashes out and fights back to keep the one thing she has left – a best friend.

Although ‘Bridesmaids’ may appear to only appeal to women, I can assure you that anyone, male or female, who enjoys a hilarious R-rated comedy will absolutely love the movie. Imagine the laughs of ‘The Hangover‘ derived from a female cast. The comedic gags throughout the film would be funny if performed by men, but are even more sidesplitting when done by women. ‘Bridesmaids’ will have you laughing so hard that your face will hurt from smiling.

The supposed blockbuster opening for the week is Paul Bettany in ‘Priest‘, a genre-mixing 3D action flick that resembles ‘Judge Dredd’ and ‘Wild Wild West’. That’s not a promising combo. Not screened for press in my region (which is always a bad sign), I cannot tell you what to expect from ‘Priest’. Should you decide to see it, good luck with that.

Opening with a limited release is Will Ferrell’s dramedy ‘Everything Must Go‘. An alcoholic who loses his job, home and wife in one fell swoop decides to host a five-day yard sale to get rid of everything. Fans of Ferrell’s serious roles will love seeing him give yet another great one.

The Natalie Portman-produced Sundance 2010 film ‘Hesher‘ also opens to a limited audience this week. From Spencer Susser, director of the brilliant zombie short ‘I Love Sarah Jane’, this is a comedic drama about a small family torn up by the loss of the mother/wife. When the son meets an anarchist Hessian (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), everything begins to turn around. For a vulgar R-rated comedy, ‘Hesher’ packs in a ton of heart. Fans of Gordon-Levitt and producing co-star Natalie Portman will not want to miss this one.

Another Sundance 2010 selection is receiving a very limited release this weekend. ‘Skateland‘ is the classic ’80s drama that John Hughes never got to make. It’s purely nostalgic for the films of that time. A group of directionless 20-somethings is forced to move on and grow up when their childhood hangout closes its doors. At times, ‘Skateland’ feels a bit too heavy, but if you can get past those moments and allow yourself to be drawn into the real story at hand (the character-driven story) then you might enjoy every minute of it.

What are you going to see this weekend?

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