Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Pauline Chan about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including Jason Mamoa and Dave Bautista in the second season of “See” on Apple TV+, the political drama “Oslo” on HBO, the Adrian Grenier thriller “Clickbait” on Netflix and the comedy “Vacation Friends” on Disney+.
Richard joins Ryan Doyle of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush to talk about the stormy, boozy history of The Hurricane and taklk about two big movie releases, “Candyman” (in theatres) and “Vacation Friends,” the not for the whole family comedy on Disney+.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including he scary “spiritual sequel” “Candyman” (in theatres), the wild Lil Rel Howery comedy “Vacation Friends” (Disney+), the Megan Fox thriller “Till Death” (VOD) and the drama “They Who Surround Us” (in theatres).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the scary “spiritual sequel” “Candyman” (in theatres), the wild Lil Rel Howery comedy “Vacation Friends” (Disney+), the Megan Fox thriller “Till Death” (VOD) and the drama “They Who Surround Us” (in theatres).
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 guest host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about to talk about Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in “Candyman,” the wild Lil Rel Howery comedy “Vacation Friends” and the Megan Fox thriller “Till Death.”
“Vacation Friends,” a new rude and raunchy comedy now streaming in Disney+, is a riff on the old saying, ‘Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But instead of Vegas, the setting is Mexico, and instead of leaving bad behavior behind, Marcus (Lil Rel Howery) and Nancy (Anna Maria Horsford) would like to leave their new “friends” Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) behind.
Strait-laced construction boss Marcus wants to surprise his girlfriend Nancy with a marriage proposal at a fancy Mexican resort. To set the scene he books a beautiful hotel room, iced champagne and rose pedals strewn around the bedroom. Unfortunately, the big surprise is something he didn’t plan, a flood. The jacuzzi upstairs in the Presidential Suite overflowed, turning Marcus and Nancy’s dream vacation room into a soggy wasteland.
With no other rooms available, the pair accept an offer to bunk with perfect strangers Ron and Kyla, the party animals in the Presidential Suite. The two couples are polar opposites. Marcus and Nancy are kinda conservative vs. the thrill-seeking Ron and Nancy who rim their Margueritas with cocaine. They are thrown together by circumstance but a few gallons of tequila later they’re all “vacation friends,” and the Mexican adventure culminates with a wild, blackout night.
“You guys are in our lives now,” Ron says as they part ways at the airport. “Nothing can change that. I’ll remember this week forever.”
Marcus and Nancy, however, aren’t feeling the bond. “They we’re kind of fun on vacation,” Marcus says, “But not in the real world.”
The real world includes the high-end wedding Marcus and Nancy are throwing with the financial aid of Nancy’s tightly-wound parents. Ron and Kyla aren’t on the guest list… but that doesn’t stop them from bringing their own brand of chaos to Marcus and Nancy’s big day.
“Vacation Friends” is a sweet-natured film about friendship but is far racier than the usual Disney+ fare. Drugs and drinking are the bedrock of the Ron and Kyla’s vacation lifestyle so this one isn’t for the kids, even if it’s on Mickey’s channel.
Adults, though, should get a mild kick out of the odd couple buddy comedy. Howery and Horsford are the movie’s bedrock, Cena and Hagner, the wild cards. Together, the ensemble play-off one another, creating fun, situational comedy that takes advantage of Cena’s manchild persona and Howery’s tightly wound Marcus. Hagner draws some of the biggest laughs with Kyla’s disregard for the niceties of polite society.
“Vacation Friends” is lightweight but sweet and should provide a much-needed getaway from real life.
This weekend Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara play a by-the-book cop and the widow of a drug boss in the comedy Hot Pursuit. The unlikely duo hit the road, teaming up to outrun crooked cops and a murderous cartel. “Right now we can’t trust anyone but each other,” says Reese as they crack wise and dodge bullets.
It’s a movie that follows in the long tradition of Hollywood buddy comedies.
There’s an argument to be made that Abbott and Costello or Laurel and Hardy originated buddy comedies long before Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis donned dresses and camped it up in 1959’s Some Like It Hot. For my money, however, the Billy Wilder film about two musicians who witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and flee the state disguised as women set the template for the modern buddy movie.
The basic formula is there — colliding personalities, gibes and comic conflict between the two actors — but more important than any of that is the chemistry between Lemmon and Curtis. Even though every buddy picture relies on tension between the leads, sparks also have to fly between them or the whole thing will fall flat.
Brett Ratner, director of Rush Hour 1, 2 and 3—which paired Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan to great effect—calls interesting chemistry between actors “an explosion in a bottle” and says it’s crucial to the success of any buddy pic.
Since Some Like It Hot, producers have paired up a laundry list of actors searching for the perfect mix. Lemmon and Walter Matthau were the journeymen of the genre, co-starring in six buddy pictures ranging from the sublime—The Odd Couple, which features the classic buddy picture one-liner, “I’m a neurotic nut, but you’re crazy.”— to the ridiculous — Grumpier Old Men.
The female buddy comedy is a more elusive beast. Recently Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock teamed as a tough-talking street cop and uptight, lone wolf FBI agent to bring down a murderous drug dealer in The Heat and in the 1980s Bette Midler was the Queen of the form, pairing off with Shelley Long for Outrageous Fortune and with Lily Tomlin for Big Business in which both stars played dual roles, making it a buddy comedy times two. “Two’s company. Four’s a riot,” read the movie tagline.
There are others, dating back to 1937’s Stage Door, but there is no debating that Hollywood has been slow to feature female bonding as a subject of buddy movies. It’s wild there are two man-and-his-dog buddy movies—Turner and Hootch and K9—but so few featuring women. Despite the box office success of several female buddy comedies sequels have been as rare as hen’s teeth. For instance, Vulture.com points out that of the duelling buddy comedies released on April 25, 2008—Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Baby Mama and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay—Fey and company grossed $60 million, while Harold and friends made $38 million and yet the guys laughed all the way to another sequel while Baby Mama remains a one off.
Hollywood is finally warming to the idea of female driven comedies, so perhaps this weekend Witherspoon and the highest paid woman on television can generate enough box office dough to warrant another team-up. In the movie biz money usually speaks louder than anything, including gender.