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.
Daydream Nation chronicles the year in Carolyn Wexler’s (Kat Dennings) life in which “everything happened.” A precocious teen she seduces her handsome English teacher (Josh Lucas) by writing an essay about her favorite historical figure—Monika Lewinsky. She’s a savvy big city girl, but hasn‘t quite figured out life or love in her new town. Complicating matters is an amorous gym teacher, a serial killer and a sweet but troubled boy named Thurston (Reese Thompson). Textured with equal parts humor and drama this smart school story cleverly details the complicated, confusing aspects of teen life in a fresh, interesting way.