It's all about idiocy at the movies this weekend, though of course when it comes to fingering idiocy, I tend to be in the minority. As with Knocked Up -- which gets my vote for the most offensive title of the year so far -- the weekend's widest new opening. I see a hearty stamp of approval to a retrograde status quo that is sexist, agressively conservative in both the political and social senses of the word, and depressingly defeatist. I wanted to scream with rage through most of the film, and then I was horribly depressed. (My full review will be up later today at FlickFilosopher.com, as soon as I can stop sobbing with despair.) But you can probably ignore me, because the film is currently at 92 percent Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. The critics there are finding the film "uproarious" and "generous" and -- oh good lord -- "mature." It fascinates me that it's men saying this -- the vast majority of film critics are still men -- because when I say Knocked Up is sexist, I mean that while it is thoroughly offensive to both genders, it is by far men who get the worst of it. So you can add "sadistic" to my description of the movie, perhaps.
(If you want a truly heartfelt movie about the things people do for love, see Away From Her, in which Alzheimer's tears a couple apart. It expands to 275 theaters this weekend, though, alas, it has no jokes about bongs in it.)
Mr. Brooks is real dumb, too, and repulsive to boot. It shoots for a black comedy -- you know, serial killers are people too! -- and falls far short, more into the realm of a made-for-Lifetime melodrama about juggling family and career and a serious hobby for violent, coldblooded, sexually gratifying murder. Disgusting. (If you're looking for some genuinely hilarious and gross black comedy, check out the British flick Severance, adding a few screens this weekend.)
The smallest new wide release of the weekend is Gracie, the go-girl soccer flick. It's very sweet and has an appealing star in young Carly Schroeder, but it's not terribly original. (The terribly original go-girl film to see is Waitress, which continues its slow expansion and is now up to 605 screens.)
I hate to sound like one of those snobby anti-Hollywood critics, because my favorite kinds of movies do tend to be Hollywood films ... but only when they're done right. This is not my weekend to be going to the movies.
MaryAnn Johanson (email me)
reviews, reviews, reviews! at FlickFilosopher.com