Showing posts with label Paul Rudd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Rudd. Show all posts

24 April 2014

Sundance London 2014 Review - They Came Together (2014)

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Sundance London 2014
Genre:
Comedy, Indie
Rating: 15
Location:
Cineworld,O2 Arena, London
Release Date:
26th April, 27th April 2014
Director:
David Wain
Cast:
Paul Rudd, Cobie Smulders, Michael Shannon, Amy Poehler
Buy Tickets: Here

We’re all familiar with the rules of a rom-com by now. Boy meets girl, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl fall out, boy and girl get back together and live happily ever after. In fact we’re so familiar with the pattern that we could probably make one ourselves. Well there’s no need to anymore as David Wain has already done it for us in the sniggeringly titled They Came Together.

This skewed version of the genre takes all the conventions of an average rom-com and knowingly lampoons them to send up the formulaic nature with which they unfold. Paul Rudd stars as the “vaguely, but not overtly, Jewish” guy to Amy Poehler’s “klutzy but adorable” gal as the pair describe the story of their relationship to their friends over dinner.

It’s a story complete with all the well-worn traits which leads to a gag heavy 90 minutes, some landing slightly heavier than others. Crammed in are sight gags, slapstick gags, innuendo and nods to countless Meg Ryan, Jennifer Anniston and Katherine Heigl movies not to mention a pre-McConnassaince Matthew McConaughey.

The targets are certainly large and, for the most part, successfully hit but with the volume of jokes coming this thick and fast you’d be forgiven for hoping for a better strike rate. There is too a sense that this could easily have started as an idea for extended Saturday Night Live sketch and merely padded out to stretch to the length of a film to ape the genre that further bit.

Spoof movies range wildly in terms of success, by sending up entire genres they can sometimes have a rather scattergun approach; for every Airplane there’s a Scary Movie 4. Thankfully They Came Together is closer to the former than the latter, helped in no small part by the sheer likeability of the two leads Rudd and Poehler – cast perfectly and just as easy to root for as the characters they mimic.

★★★☆☆

Matthew Walsh


18 October 2013

Prince Avalanche Review

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Rating:
15
Release Date:
18th October 2013 (UK)
Director:
David Gordon Green
Cast:
Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, Lance LeGault

David Gordon Green’s output has been markedly spasmodic over the years, with a career that has followed up the gracefulness of George Washington with the odd, bleakness of Snow Angels and the tactless inanity of Pineapple Express and The Sitter. Happily he is in more contemplative mood with Prince Avalanche, his remake of 2011 Icelandic comedy Either Way which steers him right back down the path of meandering indie-sensibility.

Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch are a bummed-out pair of puffins working to repaint the road markings in the rural, fire-damaged Texas countryside. Rudd is Alvin, the pensive - yet explosive - elder statesman, pining for the company of his girlfriend from whom he routinely departs for weeks at a time to find solace in his work and solitude. Hirsch is Lance, the naive brother of the girl in question, tagging along for the ride, the pay and Alvin’s hope that the experience will impart some sort of worldly wisdom into a mind, as yet, interested largely in tits.

The pair’s work is occasionally interrupted by a benevolent, beer-wielding truck driver; Lance departs for a weekend of casual sex while Alvin fishes and mediates amongst the burnt-out ruins of the houses scatter the area.

Whether this slow-burning walking-movie will work for you will depend quite squarely on your ability to warm to this pair of underachievers, so intently focused is the narrative on their brotherly joshing and complaining.

I’ve suspected that Rudd may have something of the air of genius about him since he deftly and effortlessly caught my eye in Our Idiot Brother and his performance here is as naturally endearing as that, if not more so. Alvin inhabits a universe which is in turn inhabited by regret and misfortune; Rudd’s capacity to convey pig-headed insecurity and denial, tempered with genuine amiability is wonderful. Hirsch’s obnoxious, frivolity is a counterbalance, but a welcome one, and the resulting two-handed stream of petty nitpicking giving way to good honest love is utterly charming.

Chuck in a score from Explosions in the Sky which tidily and sweetly underlines the fraught, tetchy, but ultimately tender arrangement and it all amounts to something which very nearly convinces you pack your own bags, grab a comic and head for the woods yourself.

★★★★

Chris Banks