12A – 135mins – 2018
MINATURE IDEA, MASSIVE PROBLEM
I had been pre-warned by two independent sources that Sideways collaborators Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor’s latest offering did not play out the way the trailers lead you to believe. Leaving the cinema after a screening of the ambitious sci-fi comedy-drama the other evening, it was clear that not everyone got the memo. “It started really well…” one woman opined to her partner before her praise dipped. Another couple agreed giving a capule review that went: “It was fun to begin with and then got really weird.” I really could not disagree with either statement.
… Keep Scuttling!
12A – 118mins – 2016
Not to be confused with either the classic Troma bloodbath or the Rebecca De Mornay remake, calendar-crazed holiday-hound and chick flick-churner Garry Marshall follows up Valentine’s Day (2010) and New Years Eve (2011) with another sickeningly sentimental all-star assembly which mines the greetings card-engineered date for all the schmaltz he can siphon.
Whilst I have no qualms with celebrating the love I have for my mum, Marshall amplifies the significance of Mother’s Day to near-religious proportions in this portmanteau rom-com which intermingles the often less-than-perfect family relationships and love lives of a diverse bunch of weighty actors (including his Pretty Woman lead, Julia Roberts) who are too underused to be held accountable for this groaner, but too eager for a paycheck not to be guilty by association.
Britain’s own Jack Bad Education Whitehall is a pleasantly left-field piece of casting as a burgeoning stand-up comedian plying his trade as a barman to support his long-time girlfriend (Britt Robertson) and baby daughter, while We’re The Millers co-stars Jason “Red” Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston are relatably exhausted as two struggling single parents bringing up tweens. Sadly, every other segment is crudely on-the-nose to the point of being shamefully offensive. Margo Martindale and Robert Pine, I’m looking at you!
Finally, somebody had best inform the Marketing department at Open Roads Films that opening a heartwarming love letter to mothers a week before the UK celebrates Father’s Day is almost as big and embarrassing a faux-pas as Sarah Scrubs Chalke believing a womb on wheels is a suitable concept for a parade float!