He passed away on Wednesday (28Nov12) at the University of Southern California's Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Announcing the news in a post on the star's blog, RadiateDon.com, his wife Kate writes, "My sweet husband, the love of my life, passed away early Wednesday morning. We had been married 29 years, 6 months, and 7 days, and I'm left with a gaping hole in my heart. He was the strongest, most generous and most honest person I've ever known. Oh yeah, and he was funny too."
A memorial service for his fans, friends and family is set to take place in Los Angeles on Monday (03Dec12).
Rhymer is perhaps best known for penning animated family movies Rio and Surf's Up, as well as comedies Big Momma's House, Deck the Halls, The Santa Clause 2, and Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.
His list of credits also includes writing for hit U.S. TV shows The Hogan Family and Evening Shade.
The scribe's last project, a sequel to Rio, which features the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, will be released in early 2014.
She's a hip-hoppin' be-boppin' mean ol' nanny who whips a mean stew and your butt for not doing your homework—and now she's back! Alas we don't speak of the Mrs. Doubtfire sequel but rather that of Big Momma a.k.a. FBI Agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence). Agent Warner has cut ties with the FBI at the behest of Sherry (Nia Long)—who as you no doubt recall is the granddaughter of the real Big Momma—since she's pregnant with Malcolm's baby. But wouldn't you know that he gets sucked back in after a former colleague is killed. Posing as Big Momma he's hired as a nanny to a suburban family the deadbeat dad of which is involved in the murder and a crime plot. She does it all—cooks cleans dances and even runs down bad guys but it's a race against time to stop the potential national security crisis. That is a race against the film's (mercifully) short running time. Although Lawrence's resume includes some of the dregs of comedy it's hard to argue that he is truly blessed when it comes to physical comedy and comedic timing. He continues both trends here this time without the help of the breakthrough actors of the past two years Paul Giamatti and Terrence Howard who yes both starred in the first Big Momma's House. That means Lawrence's urban mania is truly on its own and absurd and juvenile as the film may be even film snobs can't hold back a few laughs at his Big Momma outlandishness. Longreturns for no more than a select few scenes and to provide a minor conflict in the story. The notable newcomer is CSI's Emily Procter as the sterile mother who hires Big Momma. She does a serviceable job as a suburban Petite Momma. Might she be the next Giamatti or Howard to bolt to bigger and better things in time for the next sequel? No.
Big Momma's House 2 is right up director John Whitesell's alley. He's the guy behind such misses—though not necessarily financially—as Malibu's Most Wanted and See Spot Run and he's right at home here. Whitesell doesn't hold back in (literally and figuratively) pulling the robe off Big Momma but he clearly knows that nothing is to interrupt Lawrence's antics not even the thin story line. Aside from that he knows quite well how to execute thinly veiled rip-offs of the aforementioned Mrs. Doubtfire as well as countless other hidden-motive comedies (i.e. Kindergarten Cop Houseguest et al). Because while the main guise is the Big Momma fat suit Whitesell parades the film about as a feel-good/family flick.
Things haven't changed much since we last saw teen spy Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz): His parents (Cynthia Stevenson and Daniel Roebuck) are still in the dark about what their now 16-year-old son does for a living and drop him off for the summer at Kamp Woody which is really secret teen CIA training program. But it turns out the camp's director Diaz (Keith Allen) is a rogue CIA agent who has stolen a top-secret mind-control device that he plans on individually implanting into the teeth of the world's leaders in order to rule the planet. When he escapes to London to begin his evil undertaking Cody must pose as a student at an elite boarding school for musically gifted kids to get close to his target who is in cahoots with the headmistress' husband. As if that was not enough Cody also has to deal with his new "handler " the clumsy buffoon Derek (Anthony Anderson) who keeps botching up their plans all while keeping his identity a secret from the other students at school. Will he succeed in stopping the bad guys from taking over the world?
Poor Muniz. The Malcolm in the Middle star has fallen prey to studio execs who seem eager to jump on the teen spy bandwagon by riding on the coattails of Spy Kids' appeal and the modest success of its original film rather than churning out a decent PG flick. While Muniz is still charming as Cody an adolescent wise beyond his years his character comes across as a stick in the mud when paired with a slapstick character such as Anderson's Derek. In the first film Muniz got to act like a kid an inadequate teen smitten by his agency mentor Ronica played by Angie Harmon. Here none of the characters seem to have any common sense and Cody is forced to be the mature one. This switch sort of takes the fun and innocence out of it. And poor Anderson. The comedian is stuck in the role of the inept CIA reject whose disguises perpetuate every black stereotype imaginable including a cook "straight outta Compton" and robe-wearing African. Hannah Spearritt who plays Emily a Scotland Yard agent also posing as a student is the brightest addition to the cast but her role is almost marginal in this sequel.
Director Kevin Allen who brought us the 2000 hairdressing comedy The Big Tease delivers a teen actioner that mechanically plods through its formulaic script. The film has all the ingredients necessary for a delectable spy pic--cool gadgets exciting chases diabolical villains covert hideouts--but the end product is as bland as kidney pie. While the original Agent Cody Banks had a sophisticated sense of humor to it this sequel is clumsy and crass. Cody's awkwardness around the opposite sex in the original film for example was sweet. Here the team of writers--Don Rhymer Harald Zwart and Dylan Sellers--injects perverted overtones into the film that are just so wrong. Take "Kamp Woody " bandleader Mr. Jerksalot the invariable references to Cody's instrument and the boatload of phallic-looking weapons including a retainer that can act as a receiver with proper tongue manipulation or Diaz's giant charged flashlight. For viewers who somehow missed the writers' not-so-clever nuances there is plenty of unoriginal dialogue to roll your eyes at including the Brit gem "Don't get your knickers in a twist."
August 11, 2003 12:00pm EST
Top Story: Mike Newell Directing Fourth Harry Potter Pic
British director Mike Newell is officially set to helm the fourth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Warner Bros. Pictures announced Sunday. Newell, best known for his 1994 romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral starring Hugh Grant, will begin work on Goblet of Fire in April, The Associated Press reports. According to the studio, production on Goblet of Fire will overlap with the third Harry Potter pic, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which is currently being filmed under the direction of Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien). The crossover made it impossible for Cuaron to direct both versions of J.K. Rowling's hit series on the boy wizard, but producer David Heyman said Newell, who also directed Donnie Brasco with Al Pacino, and recently completed Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts, was the "perfect choice" for the new film. Chris Columbus directed the first two movies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Terminator 4 Without Arnie?
The CEO of the Munich-based Internationalmedia, the German producers who backed Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, told Berlin's Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview released ahead of publication on Sunday there could be a fourth movie in the series even if star Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes the next governor of California. According to Reuters, executive producer Moritz Bormann had discussed Schwarzenegger's political ambitions with him during the filming of T3 and contemplated alternatives should Schwarzenegger win the election. "If we come up with a good story," he told the paper, "there will be a fourth Terminator--with or without Arnold."
Schwarzenegger Voted Against Illegal Immigrant Measure
Speaking of the Terminator, the AP reports Schwarzenegger, who has promoted himself as the Republican candidate in California's gubernatorial recall who can best appeal to the state's politically and ethnically diverse electorate, voted for a 1994 ballot measure to deny social services to illegal immigrants. The GOP-backed Proposition 187 to deny health care and public education to illegal immigrants was passed by a wide margin, but was eventually ruled unconstitutional. But Schwarzenegger campaign manager George Gorton said Schwarzenegger's vote for the measure would not prevent him from reaching out to all voters.
Accident Cancels Timberlake, Aguilera Show
A sold-out concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday by pop stars Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake was canceled when a large aluminum lighting grid collapsed. According to the AP, three stagehands were injured when the it fell down around 12:45 p.m. Saturday. Close to 30 people were working below the grid when it buckled and tilted downward before completely collapsing. The cause of the accident, the second in three years to happen at the 75-year-old landmark hall, has not been determined. Neither Aguilera nor Timberlake were in the building when the grid collapsed. There is no word on whether the show will be rescheduled.
Showtime Launches Rap Talent Show
Showtime has ordered six one-hour episodes of Interscope Presents 'The Next', described as an 8 Mile-inspired, American Idol-style contest for amateur rappers. According to Reuters, the show will mix performances from aspiring artists with documentary footage of such established stars as 50 Cent, Nate Dogg and Clipse. But unlike American Idol, The Next will not have judges or audience voting for one-on-one freestyle rhyme "battles." The victor will instead be determined by crowd reaction. The 10 semifinalists, who have already been selected from New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta, will compete for a yet-to-be-decided top prize.
Role Call: Lawrence Set for Momma 2, LaBeouf Eyed for Truth
Martin Lawrence is set to reprise his role as the DDD-cupped undercover matriarch in the sequel to Big Momma's House for Fox and Regency. Scribe Don Rhymer, who co-wrote the original pic, will pen the Momma 2 script … Director Christian Charles, who helmed the Jerry Seinfeld documentary Comedian, is in negotiations to helm Nothing but the Truth for New Line Cinema. The comedy revolves around a chronic liar who is forced to live out all his outrageous lies, including running a major corporation and being a homosexual. According to Variety, teen thesp Shia LaBeouf has been mentioned as possible topliner for the pic.