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City Times Home > Mad About Movies
 
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Mad about movies

Adam Zacharias / 10 May 2012

We delve through the UAE’s latest cinema releases

The Five-Year Engagement

THE RELIABLE PAIRING of Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets) team up once more for this rom-com detailing the pitfalls and revelations of a prolonged engagement.

The screenwriting duo resume normal service, as Stoller directs and Segel stars in this Michigan-based tale, as the latter’s chef character Tom agrees to relocate with fiancée Violet (Emily Blunt) from San Fransisco to the Wolverine State. The ubiquitous Judd Apatow co-produces.

With Violet immersed in her university psychology studies, Tom grows increasingly disillusioned with his new life, and the couple start to question whether their future lie with one another.

On a $30 million budget, The Five-Year Engagement opened modestly in the States with just over $10 million in receipts. Critics have edged towards the film’s positives, although most have agreed that its running time of over two hours is as frustratingly overlong as the titular engagement.

“Like Apatow’s Funny People, the film is an intentional hybrid: half gag comedy, half open-ended exploration of everything that can go wrong – and occasionally right – between two people whom nature, if not society, means to be together,” said David Denby of the New Yorker.

“Sometimes uneven and sometimes beyond gross, but more often it’s funny, smart and different,” remarked Richard Roeper of Richardroeper.com.

Trivia:

  • This is the second film in which Blunt and Segel have played love interests, after 2010 Jack Black comedy Gulliver’s Travels. Blunt also had a guest role in The Muppets as Miss Piggy’s receptionist.

 


The Three Stooges

GROSS-OUT KINGS the Farrelly Brothers take a slightly more wholesome approach in their homage to legendary comic trio The Three Stooges.

After over a decade in development hell – and with everyone from Benicio Del Toro to Jim Carrey to Sean Penn slated to appear – the roles have gone to relatively minor names in the US comedy scene.

Sean Hayes of Will & Grace fame is the most recognisable face, playing the canny Larry, and he is joined by MADtv’s Will Sasso as the daft Curly and Chris Diamantopolous as loudmouth leader Moe.

Ironically, the film’s bigger names play supporting roles – including Glee’s Jane Lynch, singer Jennifer Hudson and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David as nuns (yes, you read correctly), plus Sofia Vergara and the cast of Jersey Shore.

The film – divided into three acts – sees the Stooges attempting to save an orphanage, inadvertently getting caught up in a murder plot and selling salmon.

Unfortunately for the Farrelly Brothers, this tribute to their childhood heroes has been met with a lukewarm reception both critically and commercially.

“Pop culture references intermingle with the loopy trio’s iconic foolishness, and the result is a movie with some big laughs, plenty of heart and terrible coifs,” said Claudia Puig of USA Today.

“Any reasonable objections to The Three Stooges will not be on the grounds that it desecrates a revered comedy franchise, but on the grounds that it’s not very funny,” objected Eric D. Sneider of Film.com.

Trivia:

  • The film has faced protests from Catholic groups in the States for its portrayal of nuns. Larry David’s character shares a surname with Josef Mengele, a Nazi doctor famous for his sadistic experiments on concentration camp prisoners, while Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton plays the scantily clad Sister Bernice.

 

 

 adam@khaleejtimes.com

 
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