Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Lois Lee to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Ammonite” (in theaters 11/13, premium on demand 12/4), the horror comedy mash-up of “Freaky” (in theatres), the kid’s movie for adults “Come Away” (EST) and the farce “Dinner with Friends” (VOD).
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 Oscar contender “Ammonite” (in theaters 11/13, premium on demand 12/4), the horror comedy mash-up of “Freaky” (in theatres), the kid’s movie for adults “Come Away” (EST), the farce “Dinner with Friends” (VOD) and the dramedy “Saint Frances” (iTunes Canada and on-demand).
“Dinner with Friends,” a new comedy starring Malin Akerman and Kat Dennings now on VOD, is a Hollywood Hills friends and family farce that seems to have done much of its casting at the nearby Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip.
Dennings and Akerman are Abby and Molly, BFFs who have both recently split with their significant others. After declaring she would love her to “the moon and back,” Abby’s girlfriend left abruptly and Molly is now a single mom after her four-year marriage imploded. Their plan to spend a quiet Thanksgiving is turned upside down when Molly’s one-night-stand (Jack Donnelly) blossoms into a relationship and decides to crash their party.
From there the party grows and grows as word gets out of a Friendsgiving at Molly’s house. Her touchy-feely mom Helen (Jane Seymour) arrives, fresh off her fifth divorce, and gets friendly with Molly’s old boyfriend (Ryan Hansen). Then there’s an assortment of characters like self-described “shawoman” Claire (Chelsea Peretti), the hemorrhoid obsessed Rick (Andrew Santino) and Lauren (Aisha Tyler) who shows up with her husband (Deon Cole), two kids and a stash of magic mushrooms.
Predictably, things swing out of control as friends, family and ex-lovers collide. There’s even a trio of “Fairy Gay Mothers” (Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster) who descend to offer Abby some life advice.
“Dinner with Friends,” called “Friendsgiving” in the United States, is an all-out farce with a heart of gold. By the time the end credits roll the movie reveals itself not to be about a randy mother figure or a friend’s psychedelic trip. Ultimately, it’s a story of healing and working through dysfunction. Along the way, however, are enough raunchy jokes to curdle your eggnog. It’s an old formula and despite some winning performances—many from the stand-up comics who migrated down from the Comedy Store—it feels as stale as Thanksgiving’s left-over stuffing.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the family friendly “The War with Grandpa,” the hilarious “The Forty Year Old Version” on Netflix and “Percy,” the farming drama starring Christopher Walken.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including a pair of kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including a pair of kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
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 kid’s flicks “The War with Grandpa” and “100% Wolf,” the touching dramas “Percy” and “Yellow Rose” and the hilarious “The Forty-Year-Old Version.”
Depending on which way you look at “The War with Grandpa,” a new family comedy starring Robert De Niro and now playing in theatres, it’s either about a child trying to assert some kind of control in his life or a gruesome exposé of elder abuse.
Based on the children’s book of the same name by Robert Kimmel Smith, “The War with Grandpa” is far more family-friendly than “Dirty Grandpa,” De Niro’s other ancestral comedy. The Oscar winning actor plays Ed, an old codger who gets arrested after causing a scene at the self check out at his local grocery store.
Widowed and out of step with the times—he can’t figure out how to swipe on an iPhone—his daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) decides it’s time he moved in with her family, husband Arthur (Rob Riggle) their two daughters and son Peter (Oakes Fegley). Trouble is, there’s no room. Grandpa can’t handle the stairs to the basement apartment. Ditto the attic loft so Peter is forced to give up his room and he’s not happy about it. The youngster declares war, pulling a series of escalating pranks on his grandfather designed to force him out of the room. Trouble is, grandpa fights back. “We’re in the middle of a turf war over a bedroom,” Ed says.
“The War with Grandpa” is part “Home Alone,” part “Jackass” but with an old guy. The warfare consists of slapstick gags mixed with the story’s easy sentimentality—Peter says, “I love you grandpa… but the war is still on.”—and adult diaper jokes. In other words, it is exactly what you imagine it will be.
De Niro does a riff on his tough guy persona, tempered with age and humour, that the film hopes will inevitably become endearing. That there are no surprises will be comforting to some happy to see old school stars like De Niro, Thurman, Cheech Marin, Christopher Walken (whose collective careers don’t exactly scream family entertainment unless you are the Addams Family) and Jane Seymour have some juvenile, if forgettable, good fun on screen. Just don’t expect anything you haven’t seen before, except, perhaps the tacked on anti-war message near the end.
“The War with Grandpa” is a harmless family film but the movie lover in me couldn’t help but cringe just a bit watching “The Deer Hunter” co-stars De Niro and Walken return to battle against a bunch of tweens.