Tag Archives: Jack Black

Throwback Thursday-Saving Silverman (2001)

Friends don’t let friends settle down with the wrong person. At least that is the hope.

In the 2001 film Saving Silverman, Darren (Jason Biggs) is engaged to Judith (Amanda Peet). Judith is controlling, mean-spirited and spiteful. Darren’s friends Wayne (Steve Zahn) and J.D. (Jack Black) have a plan to convince Darren to break up the engagement. This plan includes kidnapping Judith and reuniting Darren with Sandy (Amanda Detmer), his high school ex-girlfriend who is soon to become a nun. The question is, will the plan work?

Back in the early 2000’s, some in Hollywood though that the dumb buddy comedy genre would lead to success. Saving Silverman is one of those films. It tries to be funny, but it’s not. It also relies too heavily on stereotypes, especially the major female characters.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday-Gulliver’s Travels (2010)

The stranger in a strange land is a common trope. Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift is one of the  most well-known stories that use this trope as the skeleton for the narrative.

In 2010, the book was made into a movie starring Jack Black, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt. Jack Black plays with title role with Jason Segel and Emily Blunt playing Horatio and Princess Mary, a pair of lovers whose fate it seems is to be separated forever.

I’m just going to say it. This movie horrible and not worth any amount of money one would spend at the movie theaters. Jack Black tries to include a sense of humor into the movie, but the jokes, like the movie, falls flat.

Do I recommend it? No.

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Throwback Thursday- Finally, A Good Rom Com- The Holiday (2006) & Something’s Got To Give (2003)

The romantic comedy genre (shortened to rom com) is a pretty basic genre. Two people meet and something sparks between them. But there are boundaries, acted out in a light and funny way, to what may be their happy ending. While there are many rom coms that are formulaic and predictable from the get go, thankfully there are a few movies within the genre that are not.

In The Holiday (2006), Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who lives in Los Angeles and Iris (Kate Winslet), who lives near London, are having relationship issues. Needing a break from their lives, they meet on a house swapping website and agree to live in each others homes during the holiday.  In England, Amanda meets Iris’s brother, Graham (Jude Law). In Los Angeles, Iris meets Amanda’s 90 year old neighbor, Arthur (the late Eli Wallach) who helps her to regain her confidence while she starts to fall for Miles (Jack Black), one of Amanda’s colleagues.

While I normally don’t care for Jude Law or Jack Black, both are charming in this movie. Jude Law, playing a Cary Grant-esque Graham and Jack Black, without resorting to his usual man boy clownish acting are genuine in their parts.

What I like about this movie is that it is simple and sweet without being too predictable. We can all agree that every genre has it’s standard plot markers. But this movie reaches those plot markers without the audience feeling like they saw it comes a mile away.

In Somethings Got To Give (2003), Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) is a successful playwright. Her thirty something daughter Marin (Amanda Peet) brings her much older boyfriend Harry Sandhorn (Jack Nicholson) to her mother’s Long Island home for the romantic weekend. Marin does not know that her mother and aunt Zoe (Frances McDormand) are there. After suffering a heart attack, Harry is rushed to the hospital where he is treated by Dr. Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves) who develops a crush on Erica.

At the time of the movie’s release, there was a bit of a kerfuffle in regards to the brief frontal nudity of Diane Keaton. But it was so brief that the audience had to blink or they would miss it. That aside, what I like about this movie is that Keaton and Nicholson, for once, are age appropriate for on screen romantic couple. Adding Reeves and Peet to this very odd love square was a wise touch by the screenwriter.

I recommend both.

 

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