Douglas McGrath’s new movie I Don’t Know How She Does It is based off of Allison Pearson’s wildly successful novel of the same name that was on The New York Times’ hardcover bestseller list for 23 weeks. Both mediums focus on the complicated life of Kate Reddy (played by an I'll admit it enjoyably perky Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie) who is the woman all working mothers want to be: smart determined and fiercely passionate about doing everything she can to balance her family with her high profile job at an investment banking firm. She’s the mom who’s thoughtful enough to try and distort a store-bought cherry pie with a rolling pin so it looks more homemade for her daughter’s bake sale and the one who finds joy in searching for a clean blouse that doesn’t have the marshmallows from her son’s Rice Krispies Treats soaked into it. Of course Kate dreads leaving her children each day but she loves her job very much and allows herself to part ways with them by concentrating on the belief that one day they’ll understand how much she genuinely wanted to go to work. And while it’s clear the movie’s goal is to humorously depict the lives of women who work and have families it shockingly shies away from ending the still-popular belief that women are best "pregnant barefoot and in the kitchen."
Within the first minute of the movie the fourth wall is broken -- and continues to break throughout the movie -- and several of Kate’s colleagues and friends verify that Kate is an outstanding mother and a supremely productive member of the work force (which was pretty unnecessary considering how we were just going to see all of Kate's talents anyway). Her friend Allison (played by Christina Hendricks) opens up a bit more than the others and unveils that even though Kate's totally great she really wasn't doing very well with her responsibilities last winter. Then we flash back three months and watch as Kate goes from being an unnoticed employee at her Boston firm to writing a proposal and catching the interest of Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan) at the branch’s New York office. Jack is enthusiastic about Kate’s ideas and decides he wants to take the proposal and present it to a major client which excites Kate because it would be great for her career. However the problem is the proposal needs a lot of work before it can be shown to anybody and Jack is careful to ask if Kate is comfortable traveling between Boston and New York and working day and night for two months until the whole thing is finished. In the back of her mind she knows she should be spending heaps more time with her family instead of agreeing to take on more responsibilities at work but she decides to do it anyway because as the saying goes “if it ain’t hard it ain’t worth it.”
So Kate and her assistant Momo (played by a finally enjoyable Olivia Munn) begin working overtime. She spends three days a week in New York and the other four days glued to her computer in Boston. When she does make plans with her kids to do something like build a snowman she ends up flaking out because something happens at the last minute regarding the proposal and she needs to drop everything to go work on it with Jack in New York. As angry as the kids are with their mom Kate’s husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) is even angrier because since his wife is away and working all the time he becomes the caregiver by default.
Now here’s where things get a little dicey: Richard is an unemployed architect and so I was surprised to watch him give his wife so much grief for working to keep their cute children fed. However the audience is supposed to understand where he’s coming from: we’re supposed to applaud Richard’s courage to make Kate feel guilty for being with Abelhammer instead of with her kids and we’re supposed to take his side as he repeatedly tries to convince her that she should be ashamed of putting her work ahead of her family. We're supposed to figure out that Richard feels bad for not working and understand that when he's screaming at Kate for having a job he's really just venting about how frustrated he is that he's unemployed. And here’s where the movie has the opportunity to open up and blossom and be symbolic of how a woman should never have to apologize for having a career. Exactly here is where the movie should have stretched out its wings and showed Kate yelling from the top of her lungs about how unfair it is that women are frowned upon for having a job and a family whereas it’s completely fine for men to have both. But instead of defending herself like that Kate responded to her husband’s grievances by bowing her head down and acknowledging that she’s wrong for working so hard for being away from her children for making bad choices and for making her husband’s life harder. But the thing is that she hasn’t made bad choices! She’s made all the right ones because her husband doesn’t work! The point is McGrath had the opportunity to really emphasize how men with families and women with families are treated differently in the workplace -- but he ended up depicting how dangerous it is to be a woman with a job because it means that one day her husband might resent her and make her apologize for it. And so instead of significantly expanding upon Pearson's efforts to level the ground for women with children in the workplace McGrath (rather confusingly) stopped just short of following her lead.
The first five minutes of The Change-Up—a horrifying look into the world of late-night baby care complete with one of the more grotesque poop-to-face shots ever captured on film—sums up the movie's bait-and-switch. In most comedies this scene would be the first step towards a descent into hell that only Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Adam Sandler are capable of realizing. In The Change-Up it's a sequence that sets the bar as low as artistically possible so stars Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds can obliterate expectations with equally raunchy shocking and hilarious comedic stylings. Simply put The Change-Up is the funniest movie of the year.
Bateman plays Dave Lockwood a run-of-the-mill lawyer who works too hard juggles his parenting duties and struggles to find time to tell his wife he loves her. Dave's best friend Mitch (Reynolds) couldn't be more of the opposite—sleeping all day and spending his conscious hours wooing sexual partners while stoned out of his mind. The two are polar opposites making them the perfect candidates for a little bit of switcheroo magic. One particularly devastating night of alcohol and lamenting life's woes ends with the duo taking a leak into a magical fountain (go with it). Fate of course intervenes and when Dave and Mitch wake up they find themselves trapped in the one another's bodies.
There's no denying The Change-Up follows the Freaky Friday formula—but that's not a fault. The logic is already established giving Bateman Reynolds and director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) freedom to jump right into the crass humor hook. Bateman who's becoming a go-to straight man in Hollywood finds a refreshing opportunity in inhabiting Reynold's Mitch. The character's lack of self-censorship opens the floodgates for Bateman to poetically surface some of the English language's more horrendous sentences. A slang dictionary may be required to understand what bizarre body part synonyms are being dropped at rapid pace in this movie. Whether you comprehended them or not when they come out of Bateman's mouth they're priceless.
Same goes for Reynolds who escapes the box of fast-talking womanizer to play the uncomfortable family man. Judging an actor's versatility on a scene in which he's unwillingly placed at the center of a "lorno" (read: low-budget soft core pornography) may seem twisted but Reynolds sells it and makes it perfectly agonizing. Even obvious scenarios like "uh oh Dave's going to have to cheat on his wife in Mitch's body!" are twisted once twice three times over to pull the rug from under you.
The biggest surprise of The Change-Up is the movie's heart. Pummeling an audience with jokes is one thing but to sell genuine relationships underneath it makes it satisfying. The wavering friendship between the two lead knuckleheads is tangible and keeps an impossible plot device grounded while Leslie Mann (Knocked Up Funny People) as Dave's wife Jamie has her fair share of tender moments (as well as devilish laughs—there's a reason her husband Judd Apatow keeps casting her). In a movie that's constructed by textbook rules to have an ending that resonates with any sort of emotion is as surprising as watching a grown man toss a baby down next to a set of steak knives. Which coincidentally also happens in the movie.
In today's world where anything goes it's hard to whip up slapstick and one-liners that feel edgy and that leave your jaw on the floor. That's how The Change-Up hits—and it hits hard.
It's the latest casting saga in the production's history after Matt Dillon, Craig Robinson and Brendan Fraser quit the film earlier this month (Jul11).
They have already been replaced by Billy Burke, Michael Jai White and Christian Slater.
The trio will play hippies who set out to bribe a Hollywood producer, played by Glover, according to Variety.
The Almost Famous star gave birth to the couple's first child on Saturday (09Jul11) and now the Muse frontman has tweeted about the new arrival, Bingham Hawn Bellamy.
The proud dad writes, "So happy! Just had a baby boy, Bingham 'Bing' Hawn Bellamy. Born 7Ib 12Oz, on 9th July.
"Mum and baby are strong and healthy. Mum was a warrior, Bing popped out after 4.5 hours of intense pushing!"
Hudson, the daughter of actress Goldie Hawn, is also mother to seven-year-old son Ryder, from her marriage to rocker Chris Robinson.
Bingham is Bellamy's first child. The couple became engaged in April (11).
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
It was a weekend of babies in the celebrity world, as Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy welcomed a baby boy into the world on Saturday night. A rep confirmed that the Oscar-nominated actress gave birth to a healthy baby boy in Los Angeles, who weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz. This little bundle of joy is Hudson and Belamy's first baby together, and he'll join big brother Ryder, Hudson's 7-year-old son with ex-husband Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes (Kate certainly likes those musician types doesn't she?).
Hudson and Bellamy officially announced their romance in late spring 2010 and confirmed Kate's pregnancy in January 2011. Hudson initially shot down rumors of tying the knot with her Grammy-winning beau, stating, "I don't feel it necessary to get married," on the British chat show The Graham Norton Show. Yet on April 27th the mother of two debuted an engagement ring (worth an estimated $200,000) on the Today show that nearly knocked poor Matt Lauer out of his seat. Hudson slyly remarked, "I haven't really announced it, I was waiting for someone to notice." Who wouldn't notice that thing?
Does the couple plan on having more kids in the future? It's highly likely. Hudson told Marie Claire last month that "I love being pregnant.... I could be pregnant all the time." But for now it's just the start to a wonderful family with a brand new baby for Grandma Goldie to spoil. Hudson, Bellamy and the baby are expected to spend time together at Bellamy's home in London while he records a new album. Congrats to the happy parents!
The Almost Famous star and her rocker boyfriend Matt Bellamy became the proud parents of a little boy on Saturday (09Jul11) and Hudson's mum was among the first visitors.
She was spotted heading into Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday and she was clearly enamoured with her new grandson.
In a post on her Twitter.com page, Hawn writes, "Thank you all for your good wishes for the birth of our grandson! We are over the moon! Kate and baby happy and healthy! Blessings abound."
The as-yet-unnamed baby is the second child for Hudson - she has a seven-year-old son, called Ryder, with rocker ex Chris Robinson. The newborn is Muse frontman Bellamy's first child.
The actress, 32, gave birth to a baby boy.
Leading up to the delivery, Hudson told reporters she did not know the sex of her unborn baby - but suspected it would be a girl.
The couple's first child together was born in Los Angeles.
Hudson has a seven-year-old son, called Ryder, with rocker ex Chris Robinson. The newborn is Muse frontman Bellamy's first child.
The couple became engaged in April (11).
Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser and Craig Robinson all joined to the cast of Freaky Deaky, the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's crime novel from director Charles Matthau, according to Variety.
The story revolves around a Detroit cop in 1974 who finds himself pitted against a group of '60s radicals plotting to bomb a limousine. Unsurprisingly, each actor is playing a role that looks exactly like a role they would play. Dillon will be a cop. Fraser will be a former hippie activist and current extremist. Robinson will be a former Black Panther (also an assistant to the character Woody Ricks, played by previously-cast William H. Macy). So all in all, these are really brave choices, you guys. Really brave.
"I got to say I love Chris Robinson, loved him, still do. I loved Alex (Rodriguez). We had a tremendous time together. I think Kate has been fortunate with all the men she's gotten close to." Kurt Russell has warmed to all the men his partner Goldie Hawn's daughter Kate Hudson has fallen in love with. The actress is now pregnant and engaged to her rocker fiance Matt Bellamy.