It is amazing the things you do to avoid unpacking. This week, I managed to make it to the movies not once, but twice. Now back in the heyday in Davis, Cooper and I would try and see movies all the time. I have fond memories of driving to the Century Theaters near Arden Fair to see the latest and greatest on the biggest screens in town. Who can forget Phantom Menace at 2am? It was during that heyday that I was writing movie reviews and seeing around 25 movies a year. These days, I’m lucky to see 10 in a year, and occasionally I squeak out a review to the Ahwatukee Life site.
Both movies were comedies, the first of which was “View from the Top“. This movie, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Mike Meyers, and Candice Bergen, suffered from “All the best parts were in the trailer” syndrome. Gwyneth plays Donna, a small town Nevada girl who after being dumped by her Big Lots managing boyfriend, hits rock bottom and decides to peruse her dream of becoming a flight attendant. Before it is all over she has to make some sacrifices and hard decisions. The movie can’t decide if it wants to be a comedy, a dramedy, or a romantic comedy, and I think that is a major factor in why this movie is nothing but average. It has some high points (see the trailer), and lots of slow points. If you have your heart set on seeing this movie, wait for the video.
The other movie was the much better “Bringing Down the House” starring Steve Martin and Oscar nominee Queen Latifah. After connecting with someone in a chat room, Peter Sanderson’s (Steve Martin) life is turned upside down when it turns out his blind date Charlene (Latifah) is a convicted felon bent on clearing her name. Hilarity ensues as Charlene must convince Peter to help her, even if it means crashing the club or inviting a few friends over. There is nothing earth shattering in this movie, but it is a great comedy. Betty White and Eugene Levy shine in their supporting roles, and most of the cast does a great job, despite a few awkward moments. Besides, who can resist the ol’ laxative-in-the-food-at-the-important-dinner shtick – makes me roll in the aisles every time. Of course the best use of that was in Dumb and Dumber, but I digress.
To sum up, be sure to catch Bringing Down the House in theaters and wait for View from the Top to hit the local video store.