This buddy movie proves that Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have a certain chemistry on-screen that was not a fluke (Wedding Crashers). Billy and Nick (Vaughn and Wilson) are forty-something salesmen out of a job because no one wears wrist watches anymore a la Willy Loman. They enroll in the University of Phoenix to qualify as “students” for an internship at Google (which is portrayed as Nirvana). Despite their hilarious interview via Skype, Billy and Nick secure spots as Nooglers. The movie is predictable — the youngsters eschew Billy and Nick, but in the end, the old geezers have something to share with their younger counterparts and are not obsolete after all; the team comes together–Kum-bay-ya. For those of a certain age, Billy and Nick’s ’80s cultural references that fly over the heads of the co-eds are pretty funny. Rose Byrne plays Wilson’s alluring love interest. Will Farrell has a cameo as a mattress salesman that is uncharacteristically flat. Go with low expectations and you will enjoy it.
Four Christmases (D). I cannot say I wasn’t warned. The previews did not look good. The Dallas Morning News gave it a C or a C-. But I was still a little surprised at how bad this holiday romantic comedy was. Vince Vaughn (Couples Retreat) and Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) star as Brad and Kate, a yuppie couple that is living the life in San Francisco–no marriage, no kids, just fun all the time. And to keep the fun alive, they leave the country every Christmas to avoid their parents (all divorced) and siblings. But when all outgoing flights are canceled, they suck it up and dutifully make the rounds. Their “eccentric” families are painfully unfunny, from Brad’s “ultimate fighter” brothers, to Kate’s newly religious mother, to Brad’s mother who has now taken up with Brad’s childhood best friend. How did they get this line-up of co-stars to be in this terrible movie? The film has Robert Duvall (Apocalypse Now), Sissy Spacek (Coal Miner’s Daughter), Jon Voight (Angelina Jolie’s Dad), Mary Steenburgen (Philadelphia), Dwight Yoakam (Sling Blade), and others, for crying out loud. The scene in the tacky Christian church with the lame preacher (Yoakam) is among the worst. Still, I’d rather see this than see The Family Stone again.
This was an “intimate musical portrait” of Young produced by famed director Jonathan Demme (Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs, Caged Heat). In renting this one, I was under the impression it would be similar to No Direction Home, Martin Scorcese’s 2005 documentary on Bob Dylan, which I consider to be one of the best documentaries put out in the last few years. I was mistaken. Heart of Gold is merely a concert film, and not a real good one at that. The film documents a performance by Young at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on his Prairie Wind concert tour a few years back. That’s it. That’s everything. And while I enjoy Young’s music (and therefore, didn’t really mind watching the concert), it fell far below my expectations. Perhaps if I had realized I was going to be watching Young sit in one spot on a stage and play the guitar for an hour or so, I would have enjoyed it more. Oh well…
Vince Vaughn (Couples Retreat) and Jennifer Aniston (Wanderlust) meet. They move into a condo together. They break-up. They stay living in the same condo and continue to fight. They sell the condo and go their separate ways. The end.
I just saved you $3.50. If it wasn’t for a brief view of Aniston’s butt as she walks naked down a hall, this would get the same grade as Anaconda.
The Break-Up has serious star quality with Vince Vaughan, Jennifer Aniston, Joey Lauren Adams, John Favreau, Vincent D’Onofrio, and five other easily recognizable faces, and all gave solid performances. Vaughan and Favreau made me laugh out loud several times. Aniston and Adams were smart, lovable, entertaining and looked good. However, the movie is hampered by the script and the director. Scenes which were supposed to be funny were serious, and ones that were supposed to be serious were funny. It lost its way very quickly, and the actors were left with very little to work with. This movie is a date movie that is not enjoyable for two people on a date.