We're currently neck deep in the holidays, that magical time of the year when millions of citizens engage in a mass migration to stuff ourselves in homes with their extended families, groups of people we know so well and so little. Our often strange familial relationships are made even more dramatic by seemingly irreconcilable generational differences.
In Parental Guidance, arriving at a theater near you on Christmas Day, those generational differences are the basic for family-friendly comedy.
Directed by Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain, The Game Plan), Parental Guidance stars Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers) and Bette Midler (The Rose, Beaches) as Artie and Diane, two thoroughly old school grandparents uncomfortable with the fabulous technological age in which they find themselves.
The couple agrees to babysit their trio of grandparents when their overbearing, type-A parents, played by Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, The Wrestler) and Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do!, TV's Southland) go on vacation. Out of touch with the unruly youngsters, Artie and Diane must get beyond the iPhones, Twitter, and Facebook to relate to their grandchildren.
While promoting Parental Guidance, Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei spoke to a group of international entertainment journalists about making the comedy, working with young actors, messy comedic gags, feeling out of touch, and looking back on illustrious careers.
It's a safe bet that the first trailer for next year's comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone ought to be arriving online any day now, since New Line has gone ahead and paved the way with four character posters featuring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, and Jim Carrey.
2007's Knocked Up extracted a lot of genuine comedy and emotion from the impending parenthood of a young couple played by Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl, finding the humor in their anxious, unconventional pregnancy. That hit's secret weapon, however, was from further along the domestic spectrum. As Pete and Debbie, Paul Rudd (Anchorman, Role Models) and Leslie Mann (The Change-Up, 17 Again) represented a possible future for the principal couple, one filled alternately with domestic strife and tumult.
Now, writer and director Judd Apatow (The 40 year Old Virgin, Funny People) has brought Pete and Debbie back for This Is 40, the "sort-of sequel" to Knocked Up hitting theaters nationwide this Friday, December 21st. The film picks up five years later, as the parents both continue to struggle with raising their two daughters, tolerating one another, and owning their own businesses, all while facing the milestone birthday that is forty. Though the characters undoubtedly love another, This Is 40 captures just how difficult it can be to spend a life with the person you love.
The central duo are joined once again by Apatow and Mann's real-life daughters, Maude Apatow and Iris Apatow, playing Pete and Debbie's kids, Sadie and Charlotte. The film's packed ensemble cast also features a whole lot of notable actors such as Albert Brooks (Drive), John Lithgow (The Campaign), Megan Fox (Transformers), Jason Segel (The Muppets), Charlyne Yi (Paper Heart), Chris O'Dowd (The IT Crowd), Lena Dunham (HBO's Girls), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Robert Smigel ("Triumph the Insult Comic Dog"), and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids).
At the Los Angeles press day for This Is 40, IAR was one of several entertainment outlets on hand to discuss the new movie with Judd Apatow, Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann. With abundant good humor, the director and stars of This Is 40 talked about the inspirations for the film, how they relate to their characters, making it through comedic scenes without laughing, glazing ham, improvising, and getting older.
Ever since she absolutely crushed it Bridesmaids, everyone seems to really appreciate just how funny Melissa McCarthy is. She pops up and injects pure funny into several scenes in this Friday's This Is 40, but what's she doing in theaters next year? She's co-starring in two movies where she's on opposite sides of the law, Identity Thief and The Heat, both of which have new trailers circulating online today.
Our mothers had the decency to painfully carry us around for nine months, then lovingly raise us into reasonably functional people, yet as we grow older, moms somehow become a source of embarrassment and frustration. That contradiction is explored comedically this week in The Guilt Trip, a new movie that puts a mother and son on the road for eight days.
Hitting theaters Wednesday, December 19th, The Guilt Trip follows Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, 50/50) as Andy Brewster, a young inventor who, facing a dearth of investors for his latest innovation, sets out on a road trip to drum up interest in his work. Before hitting the road, he visits his mother Joyce, played by Barbra Streisand (A Star is Born, Prince of Tides). Seeing how lonely she's become since his father passed, Andy not only invites his mother on his trip and secretly plans for her to meet up with an old flame at the conclusion of their journey. Hilarity and emotional growth ensues.
The comedy-drama is directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, 27 Dresses) and written by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love., Tangled). Rogen and Streisand anchor the film, but it features a tremendous roster of comedic talents in small roles, including Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Scott, Danny Pudi, Dale Dickey, Colin Hanks, Kathy Najimy, Casey Wilson, Creed Bratton, Nora Dunn, and Amanda Walsh.
IAR Managing editor Jami Philbrick was one of the entertainment journalists lucky enough to be on hand at The Guilt Trip press day in Los Angeles. During the press conference, both Rogen and Streisand happily discussed the film, playing mother and son, how each became involved, their insights on motherhood, and playing comedy early in the morning.
The theatrical trailer for John Dies at the End did a pretty good job of encapsulating the movie's many phantasmagoric and comedic delights, but to truly convey the oddity of John Dies at the End, you need a red band trailer. Magnet Releasing has obliged with a red band joint showing off "Bloody violence and gore, nudity, language and drug content."
Opening in theaters on December 19th is the new comedy from director Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) called The Guilt Trip. The film was written by Tangled scribe Dan Fogelman, and features the unusual comedy duo of iconic performer Barbra Streisand (Meet the Fockers), and Seth Rogen (50/50).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had a chance to sit down with director Anne Fletcher to talk about her work on The Guilt Trip. The talented director discussed the new film, casting its two stars, their first meeting, why they worked so well together, and what it was like directing living legend Barbra Streisand.
The first two official images from The Hangover Part III have appeared online, showing the Wolfpack in a very Abbey Road-ish pose back in a Vegas, along with Mr. Chow in a disquieting new profession.
He showed up in The Expendables 2, but Arnold Schwarzenegger's first starring role since spending some time in the ultimate vanity role as California's Governor is The Last Stand, a new trailer for which is now available online.
Synopsis: fiercely independent Sarah breaks up with her overeager boyfriend Kevin and finds herself caught-up in an intense rebound relationship with new infatuation Jonathan. Always one to give life advice is Sarah’s sister Beth, who is diligently planning her upcoming wedding to apprehensive fiancé – and Kevin’s band mate – Andrew.