Tag Archives: Jennifer Aniston

Romcoms, Curated By Batman

Apparently (Lego) Batman has a special fondness for cheesy romantic comedies. Sure the Dark Knight tends to enjoy a rather solitary existence, but he unwinds at the end of a long day by watching kiss-a-thons. For every baddie that he puts away, he likes to watch a good smooch. Nothing wrong with that.  In his new movie, currently out in theatres, several of his favourite love movies are highlighted, so here they are, to the best of my memory:

must-love-dogsMust Love Dogs: Poor Diane Lane is so love-starved that her family takes her new singlehood into their hands, fixing her up with an internet dating profile she doesn’t want, or necessarily know exists, but which insists that all suitors ‘must love dogs.’ This is a pretty good gambit because along comes John Cusack, with a borrowed dog and good intentions. And that’s okay since her dog – a Newfie named Mother Theresa – is also not technically hers. Thus a relationship is born from the ashes of lies and non-shared non-interests. Condom hi-jinks and some VERY suspicious coincidences: classic.

Serendipity: Two people, attached to others, nevertheless share dessert when they try to buy the same pair of cashmere gloves for Christmas. They part – reluctantly – but both return for missing items and spend more time together. It’s magical (ahem). But her phone number gets blown away in the wind, a bad sign, obviously, so he puts his info on a $5 bill, hers in a used book, and if the universe thinks they’re meant to be, they’ll find the info and live happily ever after. Did I mention it’s John Cusack again? Batman must have a thing for Johnny.

Marley & Me: Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson are newlyweds who work at competing 232247-marley-and-me-marley-gif.gifFlorida newspapers – she successfully, he decidedly not. When they think about starting a family, they adopt a dog instead, to test the waters. The puppy is incorrigible but provides fodder for a column and suddenly he has a career too. The babies come, eventually, and changes in home, work, and friends. Marley’s there through it all – but well all know dogs don’t live forever. I’m sure this one hits Batman right in the feels. Dogs are the one thing he likes more than John Cusack.

Jerry Maguire: A sports agent eventually falls in love with the single mother who absconds the firm with him. She supports him, he fails to appreciate her. She has the kind of life that previously horrified him. They separate. It’s quite pathetic until he realizes that she’s had a profound impact on his life and that he wants to be with her no matter what, at which time it becomes even more pathetic. You had me at hello, 10lb head, show me the money, etc: you betcha Batman quotes along with this one.

 

So, do you have much in common with Batman? Which one of these would pair well with a cuddle?

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Office Christmas Party

By my count it’s been at least 12 years since a holiday movie has earned Classic status (Elf is kind of a sure thing; The Polar Express pretty darn close) and Office Christmas Party is no where near in danger of being added to that hallowed list. It’s just funny enough, which seems to be the way with these things.

Jason Bateman plays the Jason Bateman character: bland 40-something white dude. Thanks to his horrible boss (Jennifer Aniston), the only way both the company where he works at and Christmas itself can be saved is by turning the office holiday party up a notch – to eleven – and letting the festivities turn near-apocalyptic.

Is it a dumb premise? Of course it is. I’m not sure I would have seen this movie at all had I OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTYnot been deliberately trying to kill time AND had this particular movie not been playing in the convenient slot. Should YOU see it? Not unless you find yourself in similar circumstances. I mean, it’s not awful. Check it out next year on Netflix, maybe. It’s got a pretty good cast and the odd chuckle, so it’s not a complete waste of space. It just wouldn’t quite make it onto Santa’s Nice list, we’ll say. Is that generous of me? Am I in the holiday spirit? Gross.

Actually, I’m writing this from my desk, where I am currently going through some post-cruise symptoms, such as feeling my whole office list when I know damn well that I’m firmly on land. My body, however, has not yet adjusted. I am also wrapped up in fluffy blankets and slippers because while my skin has become adjusted to Hawaiian temperatures, we arrived home last night to a winter storm that made our morning commute particularly hellish.

Back to the movie: actually, I may as well be done this review. It’s what you expect from a cotd_utwaaekdh0non-denominational holiday mixer where Kate McKinnon is stretching out a 3 minute bit and she’s the best thing on screen.

For my office get together, we rent out a suite and watch the Ottawa Senators play some team, and usually get beaten. But there’s food and booze. What does your office do? Do you accidentally get clients high on blow? Bring hookers as dates? Wind up in the hospital? Flee in an epic car chase? Your office party might be a lot more tame than the one in this movie, but I bet the cliche factor is pretty similar, and it can’t possibly be any less original. Ho ho hold onto your money. They usually rerun It’s a Wonderful Life for free on TV.

Just Go With It

While I don’t always admire Adam Sandler movies, I do admire his work ethic. Every movie is just an opportunity for him to take another glamourous vacation with his family and friends, and call it a tax write-off. He seems to have a soft spot for Hawaii, and who can blame him?

maxresdefaultJust Go With It was worth another trip to the islands – Maui, to be specific. Well, the movie is deliberately vague, because sometimes they’ll start out on the island of Maui and then magically end up in Kauai: the magic of Hollywood, folks!

The title pleads for you to “just go with it” and you’ll have to in order to enjoy this thing even a modicum. It’s a sad little premise, in that Adam Sandler is a player who wears a fake wedding ring in order to pick up empathetic dates who he never has to commit to.  Until he meets his dream girl, played by bikini  model Brooklyn Decker, and now he has to orchestrate a fake divorce in order to be available to her. He blackmails  his assistant (Jennifer Aniston) into posing as his soon to be ex-wife, and her son cleverly milks it for a trip to Hawaii.

After some allusions to Pretty Woman, the movie is pretty much just a tropical setting and some classic Sandler shenanigans. Jennifer Aniston is a stand-out:nicole_kidman_just_go_with_it_pto5zmo_sized she really makes you remember what fine comedic timing she has. So while this in no way is a good movie, it’s kind of enjoyable if you squint hard enough. Actually, my favourite part is when Aniston and her college arch-nemesis played by Nicole Kidman do a hula-off. You could watch that scene, have a laugh, and not feel too bad about yourself.

Jennifer and Adam were friends for more than 20 years before they got around to making a movie together. They met before either was famous, and she’d go watch him do his stand-up before sharing a cheap meal. Now they’ve each had their mega-success, so why not take their respective crews to the most beautiful place on earth? Nicole Kidman maintains that she loved the experience of making this film no matter what the critics said. Her kids and even her parents were with her. Adam’s wife and kids appear in the movie, and so does Brooklyn’s hubby. Who wouldn’t want to work from Hawaii? This week, though, I’m not working. In fact, right about now I should be hiking up a volcano on Maui. Aloha!

A Birthday Salute to the Bikini

The bikini turned 70 this week. It was apparently born when a a WW2-era fabric shortage led designers to reimagine styles with a little less substance to them. The French took over, and inspired by seeing women on beaches rolling up their swimwear for better tans, Louis Réard called his lingerie-inspired concoction “the bikini” and unveiled it on July 5, 1946, just five days after he first testing of a nuclear device was held in Bikini Atoll, and likening it to an ‘explosive commercial and cultural reaction’. It was.

To celebrate, I’m putting together a little list of even littler swimsuits from our favourite movie scenes. This isn’t going to be exhaustive by a long shot so if I’ve missed your favourite bikini scene, please let us know.

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Blake Lively is swimming bikini-clad in a theatre near you in a thriller called The Shallows. She worked out extra hard so she’d look good clinging to this buoy but apparently also remained appetizing to the shark. Jessica Alba put her bikini body on the map in a movie called Into The Blue. A stunt double filmed images.jpgscenes for her behind her back, forcing Alba to keep the bikini thing going for far longer than she was comfortable with. The gimmick worked though, and her bikini isuntitled.png what people remember most about the movie. Kate Bosworth made her bikini mark in Blue Crush, a movie about “girl surfers” with an impressive amount of wardrobe changes. Bosworth wasn’t the only one turning heads – her whole crew, including Michelle Rodriguez and Sanoe Lake, looked equally fabulous wearing not very much.

A bikini often signals The Temptress and I’m not sure if there’s recently beenthe-other-woman-kate-upton.jpg a better example than Kate Upton bouncing around in The Other Woman. Who else are you going to get M0000733.jpgo make Cameron Diaz, an honest-to-god-Charlie’s-Angel, to feel vulnerable? (Sidebar: who among us could forget when a 40&fab Demi Moore strutted around in her bikini, putting those Angels to shame?) Meanwhile, Brooklyn Decker was on hand to heat things up in Just Go With Itarticle-1355072-0D122FC5000005DC-386_634x394 and did a mighty fine job of it until her co-star Jennifer Aniston took off her own clothes revealing that “sneaky hot Jennifer-Aniston-Just-Gobody” (and then had a coconut-bikini-off with Nicole Kidman, just to keep things classy). And I can hardly write a bikini post without mention of Bunny Lebowski (Tara62 Reid) in her lime green bikini (and matching scrunchie!) asking for her toes to be blown on. The 90s were a fabulous time. Just two years later, another bikini was making an impression on me: Virginie The-BeachLedoyen was looking fine in Danny Boyle’s The Beach. Oh to be the sand upon which she lays. The bikini, by the way, has a great built-in sand disposal unit. It has nowhere to hide! And how can we forget Salma Hayek revealing herself to 489973English-speaking audiences in a daring little bikini (boldly accessorized) in From Dusk Till Dawn. She owned that thing like she owned us. Also 389b5cae16b185ee11268ffa8a31d494sealing sex symbol status in bikinis: Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. Not that her usual Lara Croft attire left much to the imagination, but fan boys like skin and she was prepared to flash it, as long as she could still strap onuntitled.png her weaponry. Margot Robbie, however, didn’t need knives, because she’s got killer curves and puts them to devious use in Focus.

Of course, bikinis weren’t always so itsy-bitsy. When Annette Funicello first hopped her way on to beach blankets, her bikini was anything but skimpy. It still infuriated Disney (she was a annette-funicello_l.jpgMousketeer, the epitome of wholesomeness) so you could say that it was her rather dowdy swimsuit that helped pave the way for newer generations of Disney stars gone sexy, like Selena Gomez in Spring Breakers.

Also on the bikini shit list: Raquel Welch, who inspired a untitled.pngpin-up-worthy movie poster for One Million Years B.C. in which she wore a bikini made of animal skin, infuriating PETA. Sorry PETA, but I think it’s clear that Raquel wins.

062510-Pam-400Another dubious choice for bikini material: Pam Grier’s crocheted bikini. I don’t want to think about what it looks like if you get it wet, but here’s the thing about Pam Grier: she makes everything look cool. And speaking of bikinis you wouldn’t want to get wet, how about that m6etal slave bikini that Leia wears in Star Wars at the insistence of creepo Jabba the Hutt? Metal rusts when it gets wet, and would also probably weigh you down if there was enough of it (which there isn’t). Carrie Fisher actually had two bikinis – a real metal one she wore while lying around and a lighter-fabric replica when she needed to move around. Either way the bikini was Jabba’s undoing – didn’t she choke him out with her own chains?

u4ggTHBThis list wouldn’t exist without Bo Derek. She has proven over and over to be a perfect ’10’ and has more bikini looks than I can count. I might be slightly partial to this one. Brigitte Bardot has also earned herself multiple entries onto this list and actually starred in a movie called The Girl in the Bikini, although she’d popularized maxresdefaultthe look as far back as 1956 in …And God Created Woman. No matter when or where, she’s always doing it justice.

And finally: Every Bond Girl Ever.

Y7_rAER3svlqH58kuaB7Ima-1sEOko2WnZcwZIJGa2cGloria Hendry is to be applauded not just for sporting a bikini while kicking ass in Live or Let Die, but for successfully accessorizing it with a machine gun. She’s tough and fit but proves she’s also sassy and feminine in her swimwear. James Bond never stood a chance.

Halle Berry turned his head in this orange number from Die Another Day, now an iconic Bond Girl look, with a knife strapped to her thigh. This particular bikini was of course a Halle-Berry-bikini-Bond-Girlsend-up to an earlier Bond Girl: Ursula Andress 40 years prior in Dr. No. She too appeared from the sea in bikinis_01.jpgnothing but a bikini and a blade. The copycats don’t end there: you may remember that Heather Graham sported a similar look in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. 6657c5216cf680dee58ba019435713a1

And just so as not to end this post on Heather Graham:

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Claudine Auger from 1965’s Thunderball in a black and white bikini and an even nicer acce2DAA8CD500000578-3284481-image-a-77_1445591635869ssory: Sean Connery.

Mie Hama from 1967’s You Only Live Twice in a familiar-looking white bikini.

 

2D35473F00000578-3284481-Named_after_her_birthplace_luxury_jewellers_Tiffany_Co_Tiffany_C-m-14_1445597551114Diamond-smuggling bad girl in a hot bikini: Tiffany Case (Jill St John) from 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever.

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Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight in a very 1970s print bikini in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974).

 

2D3C037400000578-3284481-image-a-21_1445598307023Caroline Munro throws a kimono over her bikini in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me.

And here’s Caterina Murino riding a horse in a bikini (no mention of chafing) in Casino Royale – a sequined La Perla bikini. You know, La Perla, the lingerie store. In case you had any illusions. They no longer have this for sale, but they do have it, along with Daniel Craig’s tiny trunks, on display in their Beverly Hills location.fhd006VLR_Caterina_Murino_001

She’s Funny That Way

If it walks like a Woody Allen movie and quacks like a Woody Allen movie, then why the hell is Peter Bogdanovich credited as the director? This movie genuinely felt like an Allen ripoff – the pacing, the dialogue, the screwball neuroses, the setting, hell, even the casting – I could never shake the feeling that someone was pulling a fast one on me.

A Broadway director (Owen Wilson) spends a night with a call-girl (Imogen Poots), and 21tips her $30K to quit whoring and change her life. He doesn’t expect her to wind up at auditions for his play the next day, but there she is, which makes things awkward because a) his wife (Kathryn Hahn) is the star and b) her co-star and secret admirer (Rhys Ifans) knows the director’s dirty secret and c) the oblivious playwright (Will Forte) is falling a bit in love with her, despite already being in a relationship with the former call-girl’s therapist (Jennifer Aniston). Got all that?

There are roughly a hundred more connections and complications I’m leaving out, simply because I’ll use up my bracket allowance way too quickly, but there are recognizable names even filling the minor roles in this thing. The script and the laughs are hit and miss, and the whole thing actually feels a bit anachronistic. In fact, the movie may have been in production for 20 years or more – Bogdanovich and his wife were still married when they wrote it, and they pictured John Ritter, Tatum O’Neal and Cybill Shepherd in the lead roles (two of those actually do appear in the film) (Oh shit I just used more brackets. Damn it, Jay!).

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She’s Funny That Way is sporting a painful 39% on the old tomatometer (for context: Batman V. Superman is boasting a 29%) but the truth is, this movie did something for me. It may have been – and this surprises me as much as anyone – mostly thanks to Jennifer Aniston. She plays the world’s worst, most indiscreet, self-involved therapist, and since that happens to be my line of work, it may have been slightly cathartic to watch her do and say all the things I spend my days and weeks and life holding back. For that reason alone I recommend Matt, my valued colleague, to watch this movie stat. Aniston lets loose with shesfunnythatwayepkfilmclipthatsjustwhatimeanth264hd000470012022her performance; she’s the one to watch in this, and she’s the one who took me by surprise, and my laugh-spit sure took Sean by surprise (although Poots is also quite good, I can just never say her name with a straight face) (oh feck, more brackets). It’s not gonna be everyone’s cuppa, but while I started out this review calling this a Woody-wannabe, the truth is, I probably haven’t enjoyed an Allen film this much in years.

 

Cake

I actually worried whether I was the worst person to review this movie, or the best, which would crush me. Jennifer Aniston plays Claire, a woman who suffers from chronic pain, a condition which is not unknown to me.Cake Movie

Claire attends a support group for chronic pain sufferers where the members are currently dealing with the recent suicide of one of their own (Anna Kendrick). Claire is unwilling to share in group but is haunted by visions of her dead friend.

Jennifer Aniston is absolutely the reason to see this film. Her performance is very touching because it’s raw and real and visceral. It’s hard to watch, or it was for me. Soon we start to see that there’s a lot more to her pain than just the physical, though the script remains maddeningly vague on these parts. Actually, the story feels anesthetized, like it doesn’t quite want us to feel what we know must be there.

cakeI worried about what it would be like to see the private struggles of my life up on the big screen, but I came away not thinking of myself, but of my husband. In the movie, Claire’s husband (Chris Messina, love him) is estranged and it’s not hard to see how she’s managed to push away all the people in her life. Her pain makes her angry and acerbic, but it’s also a clever strategy for getting rid of people she doesn’t want to deal with. She wants to be in pain, be alone with her pain. Being in pain makes sense to her. Her maid, played lovingly by Adriana Barraza, is her only remaining caregiver, one with seemingly infinite patience for the pills and the bitterness and the constant setbacks. But the brutality of Claire’s expression weighs on her heavily, as it must. This is actually a very sweet and savvy exploration of the relationship between domestic and employer.

The story of what happened to Claire unfolds too slowly, and allows the audience to connect the dots before the big reveals, diluting their punch. But the full story is never wholly understood, so the emotional payoff, both ours and Claire’s, is lacking.

Horrible Bosses 2

I am in the same boat as Jay when it comes to Horrible Bosses – I do not remember the first movie at all.  That probably means we went to the drive-in and were not watching the movie, which is fine by me!  Anyway, I do remember watching Horrible Bosses 2 because I just saw it last night, and laughed a lot.

I laughed even though this movie is not particularly clever or innovative and really makes no sense when you think about it (spoiler alert: why not try to sell your 100,000 Shower Buddies to someone else?) until you take Jamie Foxx at his word that NickKurtDale are the craziest criminals he has ever met.  They just like doing this sort of stuff and I guess on that reasoning it makes perfect sense that when they run into adversity they start hatching illegal schemes (which may or may not involve zip lines, trampolines and skateboards). bosses2

I laughed because these three guys (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis and Charlie Day) have such good chemistry and clearly are having fun every step of the way, often at each other’s expense.  And I don’t think that’s character-driven, because there isn’t a whole lot of acting going on.  That’s not even a criticism – I wasn’t there to see acting, I was there to laugh, and mission accomplished on that front.  It’s not an Oscar winner but it’s about as much fun as you can have at the movies when the drive-in is closed for the winter.

Well executed and surprisingly good, Horrible Bosses 2 is one to watch, preferably with a few good friends who could help you plan a kidnaping if it ever comes to that.

Live Blogging Horrible Bosses

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

Since we’re attending a screening for Horrible Bosses 2 tomorrow night, I thought it might be good to review the original. I have indeed seen it before and don’t remember much except a vague feeling that I didn’t like it. I asked Matt, who has a crazy-good memory and near-infinite knowledge of movies if I liked this one and he said, basically, no. That I felt the bosses were “too horrible” and thus not relatable. Sounds kind of like me. So here goes.boss

Saw the original for the first time at the drive-in, so even if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have felt too bad about it because it’s two for one, first of all, and second, if it’s bad, we just make out.

Kevin Spacey is very good at being a total fucking asshole. A little too good, if you catch my drift. Jennifer Aniston believable as the evil bitch. Oh yeah, and Colin Farrell and his god-awful combover as the dipshit cokehead son. I can already see what I meant about the bosses being a little too horrible.

I wish my boss harrassed me with 18 year old scotch.

Oh! The kid from Freaks and Geeks is in this. That dude grew up hot.

Okay, so there’s a horrible boss, and then there’s these guys, who aren’t just flirting with inappropriateness, they seem to be firmly in the “illegal” and “crazy hyperbolic caricatures” category.  Eye roll.

Oh I see. The premise depends on these ridiculous heights because otherwise we couldn’t spiral upwards to even more ridiculouser heights. Sure sure sure. Makes total sense. “It’s not murder if it’s justified.” So yes. As long as we accept that statement as fact we can roll right along. Except every ounce of my soul is crying NO! No. No. This is not remotely, remotely in the realm of possibility. Remotely.

How You Like Me Now – most overused song in movies? The Internet says Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You, The Stones’ Gimme Shelter and perennial favourite Stayin Alive are all top contenders as well. Still. I’m annoyed. This sounds more like a commercial than a montage.

Is Charlie Day like, Michael Cera about 10 minutes in the future? Same guy, just with facial hair?

Bob Newhart cameo in the house! Okay, I still do think the bosses were waaayyyyy too over the top (of course, murdering your annoying boss is a maybe a touch over the top as well), but the chemistry and all-round buddyness of our 3 boys is pretty fun. So I’ll be looking forward to that tomorrow night, and crossing my fingers for less Jennifer Aniston. Like, 100% less.