Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Critics Be Damned, I Like It Okay?

Um, I'm LOVING OneRepublic's new single "Stop and Stare" (hear it after the jump below), I really enjoyed 27 Dresses far more than I probably should have, especially since I KNOW it was not a great movie, and, um, in my most embarrassing confession, I actually REALLY REALLY enjoy watching Carpoolers. So yes, when I highlighted it in green on the list of remaining TV shows left because of the writers strike, it wasn't a mistake.

So let's just get down to it.

27 Dresses (written by Aline Brosh McKenna, directed by Anne Fletcher) is technically not great. The shmaltzy dialogue and Dr. Phil type speeches, every cliche in the romantic comedy book (outlined brilliantly by Manuel at A Blog Next Door), and no real standout scenes that are original and/or hilarious, yet, um, I kinda really liked it.

Hey, if the romantic comedy formula works? Why not? Why change it? I was charmed and sucked in and felt more compassion for these characters than the movie probably ought to have. And much of that credit goes to a finely tuned cast that milks their own personal charms for all its worth. I mean, starring roles for Katherine Heigl who is on a roll from winning the Emmy for Grey's Anatomy and surviving the boys in Knocked Up. I've been a fan since Roswell, which is one of those shows where I want to see everybody do well.

Then there's James Marsden, the man that never wins the girl. If there's someone who is always the bridesmaid and never the bride, it's James Marsden, who up until last year, was just a pretty face to me. A very pretty face, but a pretty face, but with his double whammy of Hairspray and Enchanted, I've gained a whole new respect for him.

Plus, as a TV fan, its fun to spot our favorites Maulik Pancholy (Weeds AND 30 Rock), Melora Hardin (Jan from The Office) and of course, Judy Greer (Love Monkey, Arrested Development, 13 Going on 30 etc etc) who at this point deserves a show AND movie of her own. You know you can save your movie slightly with some credibility by just adding Judy Greer into the mix, and she throws her acerbic wit around neutralizing some of the overly sugary movie.

Plus Malin Akerman who is both pretty and can make a total fool of herself. Always a lovely mix! And while Edward Burns is always kind of a tool to me, he's a pretty pretty tool.

Yes, the whole cast is just very pretty. I'm a sucker for that okay? (And apparently the rest of the audience as well when the entire theatre collectively sighed every time James Marsden or Edward Burns came onto the screen. Hilarious).

I will write this as full disclosure though, I probably liked the movie far more than I should have because as my friend had whispered to another, Heigl's character really is a female version of me. I think I've been to over 40 weddings since 2000 (I actually lost count), 12 weddings last year alone (and I missed 2 on top of that). I don't know what to do with my Saturdays anymore when I don't have to throw on a suit and make small talk to new people or friends I haven't seen in a long time (but don't get me wrong, I do love it and still get misty eyed, I just wish the spending on gifts weren't racking up so fast). So I get 27 Dresses, it's my life. I'm just still waiting for my James Marsden to walk in one day.

27 Dresses = probably should be a C+ but I'm giving it a B

Meanwhile, I'm LOVING this song:

OneRepublic - "Stop and Stare"

Finally, um, I've been catching up with Carpoolers. It now takes the slot vacated by Reba and Freddie.

Created by Kids in the Hall's Bruce McCullough, the series isn't as kooky as it could/should be but kookier than a typical sitcom and Scott Thompson has already guested as a rival carpool so that's a bonus!

Meanwhile, I kinda love the cast, with Fred Goss (Sons & Daughters) as the straight laced guy in the carpool, Jerry O'Connell (Crossing Jordan) as the womanizer, Jerry Minor as the whipped black guy, and Tim Peper as the young naive goodie-two-shoes. Plus you have Allison Munn (That 70's Show) and Faith Ford (Murphy Brown, Hope and Faith) as wives, and throw in an overgrown son who seems to be off in his own world, and I laugh far more than I probably should.

In theory Jerry O'Connell should annoy me but I think I have a soft spot for him since My Secret Identity days, which I've been watching at the gym now that SUNTV in Canada is replaying it. I have the same soft spot for Faith Ford since playing Corky on Murphy Brown, and then you add the very funny Fred Goss and Jerry Minor and the cute as buttons newlywed couple Munn and Peper and Carpoolers has more to work with than first imagined.

Anyways, they somehow spin the show about carpooling as a device into these four guys lives and the show seems to be getting slightly more eccentric, I think with McCullough easing up on the "normal" now that ABC has let it run this long, and the more eccentric this show gets, the funnier it is. It's no 30 Rock but I secretly enjoy it enough to tape it and watch it when I have the time.

Oh, plus, you have to give points to Jerry O'Connell for this Tom Cruise mockery that's been flying around the net (and directed by Jerry Minor):


Joe Reid said...

I pretty much agree on 27 Dresses; it's amazing what a likeable cast can do for a romantic comedy. Also, I secretly love big, drunken movie singalongs (don't tell anyone), so there was that too.

mB said...

Oh dear. I have not given Carpoolers the benefit of the doubt, but I did enjoy the One Republic song.
I'll stop and stare at 'em (and James Marsden... sigh) anyday ;)

Vance said...

I'm not sure I like drunk singalongs yet the ones I can think of right now (My Best Friends Wedding, 27 Dresses) I did because I loved the people in it. Yes, amazing what a likeable cast can do!

And take Carpoolers with a grain of salt. Again, it replaces Reba and Freddie for me. Shows I loved for some reason as bad as they may have been.

I also loved What I like About You (though again, mainly for the genius of Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth).

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person watching Carpoolers! It's not perfect, but it's an easy, entertaining show with a great cast.