November 29, 2012 12:19pm EST
Last night, fans of The CW’s freshman dramedy charmer Emily Owens, M.D. were dealt a devastating blow when news of its cancelation exploded all over the Internet. This action wasn’t a surprise by any means ratings-wise, seeing as how the show has been losing Hart of Dixie’s lead in all season and had only 1 million viewers with a 0.3 rating among adults 18-49 on Tuesday night. And we were already expecting a less-than-celebratory announcement after The CW had already granted full-season orders to its two other freshman dramas Arrow and Beauty and the Beast.
The cancelation is bittersweet. We will still get to see all the episodes from the original order (13 in total), but that’s it. We’ll be left to wonder what would have become of the awkward, brilliant, talented, and charming Emily Owens had the show been given a chance to grow. There were so many undeveloped plotlines and characters that seemed so promising, but that were squandered before they got their chance to shine.
I have taken no effort to hide my fandom of this show. Even with its glaring similarities to another well-known veteran hospital drama, it offered something new that wasn’t on TV this season: realism. This show took tried and contrived drama mainstays and injected reality into the situations. The end result was a breath of fresh air.
A lot of this can be attributed to the cast. First of all, we have Mamie Gummer, the talented offspring of Meryl Streep. The emotions and heart she brought to Emily made her character all the more truthful, and I wanted to be best friends with this girl. She was just so good and sweet, but instead of being infuriatingly perfect, she was flawed. You just couldn’t help but want to get to know her better, and meet her for a coffee on your break.
Then there’s the gorgeous, uber-hot Justin Hartley. Fresh off his Smallville stint as the resident archer Green Arrow, Hartley was able to flex his romantic, dramatic, and comedic muscles without having to flex his physical ones. This role was the complete opposite of his action-packed superhero character and showed that he had much more to offer than a hot bod and a pretty face (which they tried to hide behind glasses on Emily Owens, MD, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to de-hot this guy). Maybe now that he’s got some free time he can take a trip back to Bluebell as Wade Kinsella’s brother on Hart of Dixie!
And last but not least is Michael Rady. Sweet, sweet Michael Rady. His resident Micah was adorable. He was sweet, he was funny, he was intelligent, he was just starting to develop feelings for Emily. Their relationship was being set up to be epic, filled with drama, and they could have been the most amazing couple. But alas, their chance at love was stripped away too soon. And where are we going to get our weekly fix of Rady now? I guess there’s always reruns of Greek, or we could pop in the DVD of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Get this man on a new TV show, stat!
I understand – when viewed from a ratings perspective – that Emily Owens, MD was not a success. However, the show deserved at least one full season before facing judge, jury, and executioner. The story, cast, and characters had the potential to bring to TV something new in a world filled with reboots, sequels, and spin-offs. This series had promise, and I think its cancelation was a mistake.
So bottom line: don’t talk to me for the next few days. I’m in mourning.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW]
'Emily Owens, M.D.' Is Just Like 'Grey's Anatomy'... And That's A Good Thing
'Emily Owens, MD' Canceled By The CW
TV Tidbits: Good News for 'Last Man Standing' and 'Malibu Country', Sorry, 'Inbetweeners'
You Might Also Like:
Cory and Topanga Are In! Big ‘Boy Meets World’ Spinoff News
12 Hot (And Horrifying) TV Nude Scenes
October 17, 2012 10:09am EST
Tuesday night the CW premiered its foray into the medical world with the new drama Emily Owens, M.D. Starring Mamie Gummer (the glorious offspring of the great Meryl Streep), Emily Owens is a med school grad beginning her surgical internship at Denver Memorial Hospital, and she just can’t seem to shake her high school insecurities. Whether it’s her nefarious school days nemesis Cassandra (Aja Naomi King) passively aggressively undermining her every move, her med school friend/fellow intern/secret crush Will (Justin Hartley), or her demanding, intimidating idol, the brilliant Dr. Bandari (Necar Zadegan), Emily finds herself anxiety-ridden in a lifestyle that's stressful enough as it is. But there’s a ray of sunlight in her new job: Micah (Michael Rady), her resident, who not only helps her put things in perspective, but maybe, just maybe, likes her as more than just a mentee. Boom: requisite love triangle established.
Watching the season premiere last night, I was shocked by the show’s similarities to another, famous long-running medical drama. You know the one I’m talking about. The one whose doctors recently survived a plane crash on a mysterious island where the Dharma Initiative was born and are now running around with a revengenda hunting villains with a bow and arrow and… wait, I’m getting confused!
Deep breath. Let’s start over. I'm talking about Grey’s Anatomy. Emily Owens, M.D. seemed to be almost a carbon copy of ABC’s veteran medical drama. Now, medical dramas are obviously going to see some crossover. That’s unavoidable. But this isn't merely a few coincidences here and there. The entire show’s structure was practically the same, and those similarities can’t be ignored:
1. The voice-over/narration by the titular doc throughout the episode, kind of like Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) in every episode, ever.
2. The emotional monologues from the characters, telling (not showing) how they feel and explaining their actions, a.k.a. Grey's Anatomy, also in every episode, ever.
3. The brilliant, yet bitchy doctor all the interns fear and idolize, much like Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) in Grey's earlier seasons.
4. Emily’s profession of love in a bumbling speech to her best guy friend, which has happened to just about every character on Grey's Anatomy.
5. The lesbian intern struggling with the implications of her sexuality, much like Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez).
6. The Chief of surgery cheating on his wife with another hospital employee, just like the Chief Webber cheating on Adele with Meredith's mother.
7. The patients’ medical drama eerily mirroring the doctors' relationship drama, giving the patients the opportunity to give advice that conveniently and completely solves all the doctors’ dilemmas. Once again, this is every episode of Grey's Anatomy ever.
Now, that’s a whole lotta similarities going on. The comparisons should completely turn viewers off, and yet, it works.
Somehow the few, small-yet-game-changing differences completely change the entire tone of the show and the result is really quite charming. For one thing, after Emily’s profession of love to Will, her crush completely shuts her down, saying he just sees her as a friend. It was awkward. It was uncomfortable. It was mortifying. And it was totally realistic.
Unlike Grey’s Anatomy’s epic love stories and heartfelt confessions that are few and far between in real life, having a crush not return your feelings happens more than we’d all care to admit. That “just friends” response Will gives to Emily slams the swelling romantic background music to a jarring halt, quickly reminding us this was one happy ending that isn't going to play out. Emily raids the vending machines and camps out in a stairwell to nurse her wounded pride. Girl, I’m with you on that one. Life isn’t pretty, and Emily does the best she can with the lemons she's given.
And another significant difference is that Emily – unlike Meredith Grey’s "dark, twisty" personality – is light, happy, and optimistic. Even after her heart is stomped on by the guy she’s been crushing on for years, a quick pep talk with Micah puts her life in perspective, and she puts that smile back on her face and gets back to work with a kick in her step. Faced with her high school nemesis, she remains upbeat and confronts her, determined to not let anything stop her from being a good doctor.
This sunnier disposition can partly be attributed to Gummer’s brilliant portrayal of Emily. She conveys emotions and feelings with subtle shifts in her facial expressions and the tone of her voice is astounding. It could have something to do with her good genes – being Meryl Streep's daughter never hurts. No other comment will be made of her parentage, though. Gummer clearly has talent, and I don’t care whether it is learned or inherited. As long as I get to see her on my TV Tuesday nights, that's fine by me.
The effect of these few changes made this show (at least, the pilot) worth watching. Only time will tell if the rest of the season continues on this trend. And in the words of Emily Owens herself at the end of the pilot: “Oh come on. It’s gotta get better than this—right?”
Emily Owens, M.D. airs Tuesday nights on the CW.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW]
'Emily Owens, M.D.' Stars Tease the Show's Steamy Love Triangle
Teaser Time! CW's 'Beauty & The Beast,' 'Arrow,' 'Emily Owens MD'
TV Tidbits: 'Sons' Vet Moves On, Bette Midler Goes 'Glee'
October 16, 2012 5:06pm EST
Oh, Emily Owens: You've already made us cringe in so many ways. First, there was that inability to get over high school drama. Seriously, you're a doctor now — just drop it. Second, there was that strange tendency towards awkward, inappropriate conversations with schoolchildren. Weird. But worst of all was your lack of game, and that declaration of love that was so awkward, it made viewers need a trip to Denver Memorial Hospital. They nearly died from an overdose of awkwardness.
But fear not: Hollywood.com visited the Vancouver set of Emily Owens with Warner Brothers last month, and stars Mamie Gummer, Justin Hartley, and Michael Rady assured us that the love triangle (quadrangle?) would continue to shake things up at Denver Memorial, and that we shouldn't count Emily out just yet.
The pilot made it pretty clear that Will (Hartley) already feels some attraction to Cassandra (Aja Naomi King), and Gummer said that his upcoming relationship with her, serious or not, will be an impetus for the ladies to play nice. "By necessity, they have to kind of figure out how to get along, because of the mere fact of working together, she said. "But now, they’re potentially sharing this very important person in both of their lives. So they’re playing nice."
However, the fact that Micah (Rady) has his eye on Emily might drastically change the "love square" between the characters — and not in a way Cassandra wants. "I think maybe seeing someone else’s attention turn on [Emily] — looking at her like that — might start to make [Will] wonder," Gummer said.
Hartley, who plays Will, thinks that another factor could also increase his attraction to Emily — seeing her hard at work. "I think a lot of the things that they know about each other were found out in high pressure situations in med school," Hartley said. "They became best friends. Now it's real, you're operating on real people, and it's life and death, literally. So he starts to see her professionally in a different light, but also personally."
Hartley also said that the way Emily approached Will in the pilot may have been a little too much, too soon. "Sometimes, when something is presented to you that you weren't aware of, I think there's a knee jerk reaction," he said. "Then after that, [when] you have time to sort of slow down and take a breath, you look at it a little bit differently. That's what Will is going through right now."
So there's hope for our heroine after all! And, even better, there's hope that things will get hot and heavy with someone, soon: "I think we can safely get steamy without getting ridiculous," Hartley teased.
Rady, who is another fourth of the love square, teased that things would only get steamy if Will was involved, since Hartley is so damned tall and handsome. "Why should you root for Micah? I don't know," he laughed. "I'm so taken with Will. He's really tall, if you haven't noticed."
But he is also the good guy, who hasn't broken Emily's heart (yet). "He's got a good heart," Rady added. "There's no demons on anything. I think [Emily] would be very happy with Micah."
Emily Owens, M.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: Jack Rowand/The CW]
Teaser Time! CW's 'Beauty & The Beast,' 'Arrow,' 'Emily Owens MD'
Meryl Streep's Daughter Cast in CW Doctor Drama
CW Upfront: Trailers Deliver Abs, 'Beauty,' and 'Arrow' Action — VIDEO
From Our Partners:
NY Comic-Con: 34 Crazy Costumes
James Bond’s ‘Skyfall’: New Clip!
October 11, 2012 2:10pm EST
Last night’s Arrow premiere opened to strong ratings – 4.02 million viewers and a 1.3 demo rating, making it the CW's highest-rated drama since 2010. It was also the CW’s most-watched series premiere since megahit The Vampire Diaries debuted back in 2009. But does that mean that it’s a good show?
I can wholeheartedly say yes, yes it does. Those who haven’t seen it may write it off as just another CW show packed with six packs and beautiful eye candy, or another Smallville, or a Smallville spin-off, or a meathead violent action show. And all of those people would be wrong. Of course, to be fair, there is lots of ab-tastic and beautiful eye candy and a fare share of violent action. But these are only the cherries and whipped cream on top of the decadent, rich, hot fudge sundae that is Arrow.
First, a quick recap of the show’s premise. (Don’t worry, this post will be SPOILER FREE, to give those who are on the fence about the show a chance to get into it without ruining anything!) Hard-partying billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was the only survivor of a shipwreck that killed his father among others, and he spent five years marooned on a mysterious and brutal island before being rescued. Queen comes home to Starling City a changed man, though he still presents a partyboy façade to hide his new alter ego hell bent on cleaning up corruption and evil via a list of names his father gave him before he died. In order to exact his revenge, Queen takes on the secret identity of Arrow, a hooded archer who isn’t afraid to take a bullet or two or snap a guy’s neck just because he saw Queen’s face. He keeps all those who were once close to him out of the loop about his new, darker persona. His sister, Thea (Willa Holland), nicknamed Speedy (watch the premiere to find out why the name is so appropriate), his borderline-douchey party-loving best friend, Tommy (Colin Donnell), who fell into bed a few times with Queen’s legal aide ex Laurel Lance (CW Queen Katie Cassidy), and Laurel, whose sister died in the shipwreck and father (Paul Blackthorne) is Det. Quentin Lance, suspicious of this new hooded lawbreaker. Queen’s mother Moira (Susanna Thompson) married her dead husband’s friend, and is hiding something regarding her newly recovered son.
Whew. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s discuss why Arrow deserves some of your highly coveted DVR storage space.
First of all, this is not another CW formula product. Arrow doesn't simply take a wide-eyed innocent girl with a high moral compass and surround her with equally beautiful people who all hide secrets and behave in dubious manners but want to all sleep with her. Arrow is nowhere near as cut and dry. The wide-eyed innocent girl? Laurel Lance went to law school and is determined to take down the same evil scum Arrow is targeting. She isn’t going to fall back in love with Queen now that he’s back. After all, he cheated on her with her sister, and led her sister to her death. She’s a strong, hardworking woman with the same goals as Arrow (of course, without all the violence and archery). For once, love triangles are not the focal point of the show, just an accessory to the mystery surrounding Arrow and his vigilante motives.
But Arrow isn't just a lazy response to superhero fandom either. We have spent months becoming oversaturated with superheroes at the box office — and, on the small screen, the CW bid adieu to Smallville after 10 years. But Arrow isn't taking advantage of the popularity of the genre or the void left by an angst Clark Kent. Amell’s superhero isn’t a traditional superhero. He is fighting bad guys, sure, but he has no moral quandaries about killing, separating him from Smallville's very moral, very supernatural Superman.
And he's plenty separate from Justin Hartley’s Green Arrow as well. The mythology, character — everything has been wiped clean. Whereas Hartley's Arrow was fun and light, Amell’s Arrow is gritty, dark, and violent, shaped by the island that broke him down and built him anew. Amell’s Arrow is his true self. It's his only identity now. Oliver Queen is the mask that hides the soldier within. It's an intriguing concept built within an intriguing show that's unlike any other show on TV right now — a difficult feat to accomplish. What can we say? Arrow truly hits the bullseye.
Watch the pilot here — Arrow airs Wednesdays on the CW.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW]
Is 'Arrow' a Bullseye? Everything You Need to Know Before the Premiere
'Arrow' Premiere: Stephen Amell and Cast Tease Sex, Violence, and Family Drama
Comic-Con 2012: The CW's 'Arrow' Shoots For Thrills, Mystery, Biceps
September 25, 2012 7:28am EST
Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, 44, has finally made an honest man out of himself. On Monday morning, he married his fiancée of three years (and girlfriend of give-or-take 18, not to mention the mother of his children) Carin Kingsland, 39.
"After 18 years of breakups, makeups, beautiful twins, and an unwavering love that provided some pretty damn good song lyrics, we are happy to announce that we are finally married!" McGrath tells People. Please join me now in thanking Kingsland for 1999's modern musical masterpiece "Someday."
A representative for McGrath tells Hollywood.com, "Yes, they got married in Santa Barbara [on Monday] with 60 of their closest friends and family. The ceremony was beautiful." The couple's two-year-old twins, Lydon and Hartley, acted as their ring barer and flower girl. (Awww!)
After McGrath and Kingsland — who was pregnant at the time — got engaged in 2009, McGrath told People, "We love the idea of getting married on 10/10/10, but the twins might have another idea." Well, better late than never.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: WENN]
Annie Lennox Weds Dr. Mitch Besser, Her Third Husband
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Marry: The Most Secret Weddings in Hollywood
From Our Partners:
Alessandra Ambrosio, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Ripa: 19 Muscular Mothers — GALLERY
’Twilight’ Star Kellan Lutz on ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2’ and Graduating with Emmett Cullen — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
May 11, 2012 3:47pm EST
UPDATE: Today is a sad day for many CW fans, as two of its "on the bubble" shows were officially given the axe. It's time to say goodbye to Sarah Michelle Gellar's post-Buffy effort, Ringer, and The Vampire Diaries' Thursday night companion, The Secret Circle. Secret Circle was finally starting to pick up some steam, but CW had to make room for its five -- yes, five -- drama series pick-ups.
So, who will be joining The Vampire Diaries, 90210, Gossip Girl, Nikita, Supernatural, and Hart of Dixie next fall? Hollywood.com has all your details below:
The Carrie Diaries Starring AnnaSophia Robb
Have you ever wondered what Carrie Bradshaw was wearing back in 1984? If so, here's your chance to find out. Robb will star as New York's most popular fictional style-icon, who struggles with everyday teenage life in Connecticut -- until she meets her "first love", Manhattan. The show will also star Switched At Birth's Austin Butler and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World's Ellen Wong. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage of Gossip Girl fame are set to executive produce, along with Len Goldstein and author Candace Bushnell.
Arrow Starring Stephen Amell
Fans of the dearly departed Smallville will now have another DC Comics superhero to root for. Amell stars as Oliver Queen, who is just your average, everyday billionaire playboy until he survives a violent shipwreck and re-emerges as The Green Arrow. The series will also star Katie Cassidy, who recently starred in The CW's failed Melrose Place reboot, and who is also known as that girl who dies in every horror movie.
Beauty And The Beast Starring Kristin Kreuck
Beauty and the Beast will be a contemporary reboot of the 1980s series, which starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. This time around, Smallville's Kreuck will star as Detective Catherine Chandler, and Jay Ryan will play Vincent -- a presumed-dead doctor who gets a little beastly when he's mad. It's a tale as old as time.
Cult Starring Matt Davis
Fans of The Vampire Diaries' very recently departed Alaric will be happy to know that he's coming back next season: As investigative reporter Jeff Sefton, on a completely different show. Jeff is a previously no-nonsense blogger who changes his tune when his brother goes missing. The likely culprit is somehow involved with the mysterious TV series "Cult", but the only one who believes him is one of the show's assistants, Skye (Jessica Lucas, also of Melrose-reboot fame). It would seem that fans of the show have become completely obsessed, and are re-creating its crimes in the real world. Digging into weird fan culture is always a good time, so we're looking forward to this one.
First Cut Starring Mamie Gummer
Gummer will star as Emily Barnes, a fresh out of med school intern at Denver Memorial Hospital. Barnes has stars in her eyes and hope in her heart, but she soon learns that hospital life is remarkably similar to high school -- where she was a certified nerd. Emily will have to navigate her way through the hospital's vicious cliques, while actual lives hang in the balance. Justin Hartley, who coincidentally played Green Arrow on Smallville, and Heroes' Jack Coleman also star.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
'Parks and Rec', 'The Offce', 'Up All Night Renewed by NBC
'Happy Endings' Renewed For Season Three
Networks! Which Shows Are Canceled, Renewed, and Endangered?
May 06, 2012 5:15am EST
The couple met in 2003 while starring on U.S. TV soap opera Passions and married a year later (04), but now the stars have decided to end their union.
In official documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and obtained by TMZ.com, Lindsay cites "irreconcilable differences" for the split.
She is seeking joint physical and legal custody of their seven-year-old daughter, Isabella Justice.
September 07, 2007 6:32am EST
When infamous outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) gets captured in late 19th century Arizona the plan is to transport him to a train en route to Yuma prison(leaving at 3:10 of course). But in the 1800s bringing someone to justice is as arduous as it sounds especially since horses are the only mode of transportation and their carriages the only place to house a prisoner. Across “town ” rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is struggling mightily to support his wife (Gretchen Mol) and kids (Logan Lerman and Benjamin Petry) following a drought and needs to build a well for his family. So when he receives a nominal financial offer to help transport the notorious felon he jumps at it dutifully and desperately. While on the trail that leads to the train station no amount of physical or verbal threat is too much for Wade to break free of with ease. But when it comes to the law-abiding rancher for whom Wade has a certain respect his escape becomes much more complicated than getting out of handcuffs. 3:10 to Yuma’s pairing of Batman and Cinderella Man is perfect in concept and execution and watching the two stars is more than a sight to behold—it is transfixing like watching any two longtime professionals make something difficult look easy. It’s the first of two such powerhouse pairings for Crowe this fall—he co-stars with Denzel Washington in November’s American Gangster—and if this small sample size is any indication big-name costars bring out the best in him. Crowe evokes the kind of real humanistic villain that could only exist in a Western and by playing Wade with equal parts amiability and evil the Oscar winner turns in what is probably his most purely charismatic performance to date. Bale’s character on the other hand—and per usual—is loath to crack a smile a quality the actor has mastered. The Yoda of dialect Welsh-born Bale also has no difficulty switching over to Ol’ West speak but it’s the way he conveys the rancher’s stoicism and will that makes him even more credible. Among the supporting turns Ben Foster (Alpha Dog) stands out as a cranked-up trigger-happy member of Wade’s gang and stalwart Peter Fonda is perfectly cast as a tough ‘n’ gruff bounty hunter. When director James Mangold turned Johnny Cash’s life story into Walk the Line it was the romantic version of a much darker tale. For 3:10 to Yuma a remake of the beloved 1957 Glenn Ford-starrer Mangold gives the Western the same treatment. In attempting to reel in today’s action-happy audience Mangold waters down the drama and speeds up the pace. Minor tweaks for this modern update equal a bit of a departure from true Western style with the dialogue for example as snappy as one of today’s action comedies. But it’s all in good fun. The Old West looks completely authentic and the unforgettable ending is perhaps made possible by the director’s innocuous first two acts. Even so his efforts and those of the screenwriters (Derek Haas Michael Brandt and Halstead Wells who wrote the original) aren’t enough to perform CPR on the Western—not that it’s fair to rest the fate of entire dying genre in their hands.
July 09, 2004 9:49am EST
Set in the 1970s male-dominated news world the dashing mustached Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is indeed a legend as San Diego's top-rated anchorman. He and his news team--including field reporter and all-around ladies man Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) sports cowboy Champ Kind (David Koechner) and mindless weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell)--live life large as local television icons boozing and womanizing with the best of them. As Ron puts it they have been coming to the "same party for 12 years--and in no way is that depressing." But their world is about to turn upside down when an ambitious newswoman Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is hired by the managing news producer (Fred Willard) to spice things up. The guys aren't worried at first treating her like any other woman that is to say sexually harassing her--and despite that Veronica and Ron hit it off. But soon Ms. Corningstone's true agenda is revealed--she wants to land an anchor spot and she isn't about the let anything stand in her way including a perfectly coiffed slightly hairy idiot newsman named Ron Burgundy. Of course this means war.
No longer is Ferrell just a side character illuminating the proceedings with his hilarity. Along with pals Jack Black Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller (who make strategic cameos in Anchorman--but we aren't telling how 'cause that'll ruin the fun) the former Saturday Night Live alum has become one of the new kings of cinematic comedy. People expect Ferrell to be gut-bustin' funny now and luckily he delivers once again as Ron Burgundy. With a voice that "could make a wolverine purr " Burgundy is all hot air great hair and polyester debonair a dim bulb who tries to understand the news stories he recites but gives up quickly because it requires too much thought and simply reads the teleprompter exactly as it is written. Ferrell is at his best when he is allowed to free-associate either by himself (while getting ready to go on the air) or with his co-stars Rudd Koechner and Carell (singing a strangely harmonious rendition of "Afternoon Delight"). Keep your eyes on Carell--he is a comic gem on the rise. The Daily Show co-star had a brief but memorable turn in last year's Bruce Almighty as an anchorman (ironic huh?) Jim Carrey messes with but in Anchorman Carell is absolutely side-splitting as Brick who doesn't have a single brain cell working rattling off non sequiturs like "I ate an entire red candle " when talking about a party the night before. Christina Applegate subjected to this lunacy holds her own god bless her and does an admirable job playing the straight woman to this group of wackos.
Adam McKay former SNL head writer makes his directorial and screenwriting debut with Anchorman. The story has a fairly classic and simplistic framework--Burgundy starts out on top falls to rock bottom and climbs his way back up again--but it's pretty evident early on that with the likes of Ferrell and the rest all McKay has to do is turn the camera on them and let it all happen. Watching Burgundy incoherent breaking down in a phone booth after his dog is supposedly booted off a bridge by an irate motorcyclist or the news team rumble where San Diego news rivals go at each other with nasty weapons it's funny stuff. But rather than just let the comedy come from the story á la Old School Anchorman throws in some antics that probably sounded comical on paper but end up being silly and forced. For example Veronica and Ron going to "pleasure town " (sexual bliss) with animated furry animals and rainbows instead of seeing the love act itself or the gang trying to get out of a bear pit after they've woken up the hibernating animals that's a little over the top. At least Anchorman never goes for the toilet humor--nope you won't find a vomit urine semen or poop joke in this film. You will however find gratuitous shots of Ferrell's hairy chest. Shiver.
August 01, 2003 7:21am EST
With college behind them East Great Falls High School alums Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) decide the time is ripe for marriage. After an embarrassing restaurant proposal that involves under-the-table fellatio and a missing ring Michelle accepts and sets her sights on the perfect wedding ceremony. Jim and his best buds Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) decide to leave Stifler (Seann William Scott) in the dark about the upcoming nuptials to avoid any possible calamities but it doesn't take long for the Stifmeister to figure things out. Stifler the only one of the gang who has not matured since high school lays on the charm--and the Lacoste sweaters--and quickly gains acceptance from Michelle's stuffy parents and her attractive sister Cadence (January Jones). The film basically revolves around Jim trying to turn Michelle's dream wedding into a reality while Stifler unintentionally foils his friend's every effort. American Wedding follows the same formula as its two predecessors and while there are some really funny gags here you can spot their setup from a mile away. When Stifler for example accidentally feeds Michelle's wedding band to a dog waits on it to pooh it out then scoops up the jewelry with a paper doily we are hardly flabbergasted when it is later mistaken for a truffle. And that just about sums up the movie: funny but formulaic.
In the first two American Pie movies Biggs's character Jim was always a key comedic player. For instance who could forget his Internet snafu with Nadia the foreign exchange student or the Crazy Glue incident at the beach house? But while American Wedding is all about Jim and Michelle's wedding Biggs and Hannigan take a back seat to the laughs here: they're the stressed-out grown-ups. Also turning in a more muted performance is Nicholas as pal Kevin who doesn't appear to have a purpose at all in this installment--although he does provide a bit of comic (albeit non-speaking) relief during Stifler's botched attempt at a bachelor party. Contrary to Jim Michelle and Kevin who have blossomed into somewhat dependable adults Scott's character Stifler has degenerated. Stifler is more crass and obnoxious than ever perhaps even a little too over-the-top. The actor whose performance stands out the most in this comedy is Thomas in the role of Finch. Thomas has taken the character's haughtiness and peculiarity to a new level fine tuning Finch's attributes and stylishly transforming him from a high school geek to a cool brainy college graduate. Eugene Levy who is back in the role of Jim's overly involved father but his shtick has become redundant. His only purpose in the films is to walk in on his son at every inopportune moment.
All three films in the American Pie series were penned by screenwriter Adam Herz and produced by Paul and Chris Weitz--who also served as directors on the original--but they have all gone through different directors; the J B Rogers-directed American Pie 2 and now American Wedding helmed by Jesse Dylan (How High). Like the second installment American Wedding has its moments and there are a handful of truly funny ones including a scene in which Jim shaves his pubic area and dumps the hair out the window where it blows towards a group of unsuspecting guests (and the cake). But unlike this particular instance most of the jokes suffer from overkill; the cameras keep rolling long after the yarn stops being funny. Others are stereotypical like Stifler's dance-off with a patron in a gay club while others including a midnight rendezvous in a dark hallway closet are predictable. But even though the film revolves around the now all-too-familiar characters Herz has matured them in a way that still makes them both amusing and endearing. Don't however look for Oz (Chris Klein) Heather (Mena Suvari) Vickie (Tara Reid) or Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth). The filmmakers believe these characters weren't needed since the story wasn't about them anymore but it would have been nice to mention them and what they were up to.