Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Jennifer Lopez rom com “Marry Me,” the Amazon Prime action series “Reacher” and the Showtime documentary series “We Need to Talk About Cosby.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including two rom coms for Valentine’s Day, “I Want You Back” (Amazon) and “Marry Me” (in theatres), the Agatha Christie murder mystery “Death on the Nile” (in Theatres), and the Oscar nominated “Drive My Car” (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 two rom coms for Valtentine’s Day, “I Want You Back” (Amazon) and “Marry Me” (in theatres), the Agatha Christie murder mystery “Death on the Nile” (in Theatres), the Liam Neeson actioner “Blacklight” (theatres) and the Oscar nominated “Drive My Car” (in theatres).
If falling in love was simple, there’d be no need for romantic comedies. Relationships are complicated, and rom coms can teach us the importance of confessing love to someone who’s about to board a plane or train, how burning hatred can morph into red hot passion and how to make out in the rain.
All are valuable lessons for the romantically challenged. Thanks to lovey-dovey pioneers like Drew Barrymore, Kathryn Heigl and Jennifer Lopez, the movies taught us how to hurdle any romantic roadblock.
Lopez returns with more life and love lessons after a twelve-year rom com sabbatical in “Marry Me,” a musical riff on “Notting Hill,” in theatres just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Lopez plays her fictionalized doppelgänger, a pop superstar named Kat Valdez. She’s a chart topper, a fashion plate, a staple on social media and advertising campaigns.
In other words, she’s Jennifer Lopez, except that everyone calls her Kat.
Kat is engaged to singer Bastian (Maluma), because who is one pop star supposed to marry except another pop star? Their nuptials will happen on-stage and on-line in front of an estimated 20 million people. Seconds before they are to sing their new hit single “Marry Me” and exchange “I dos,” Kat discovers Bastian has been having an affair with her assistant.
Cue the tearful, mascara smearing speech about true love and living the “truth behind the headlines.” The wedding is off. Or is it? In the audience is Charlie (Owen Wilson), single father and math teacher. He’s a fish out of water who doesn’t know Kat’s music and is only there because his co-worker Parker (a wisecracking Sarah Silverman) had extra tickets for him and his daughter (Chloe Coleman).
From the stage Kat notices the square-peg Charlie because he’s holding a giant sign Parker brought along that reads “Marry Me.” In what could be the ultimate “meet cute” in rom com history, she takes the message literally, invites Charlie to the stage and before you can say “Holy Publicity Stunt Batman!” they are pronounced husband and wife.
“I was impulsive. Without a plan,” Kat later says at a press conference. “But look where my plans got me.”
You know the rest.
Rom coms are not about the destination, they are all about the journey, the happily ever after and “Marry Me” is a good ride. It would be easy to see this as a cynical package of story and product placement for the soundtrack album, but there is nothing cynical about the movie. Lopez embraces the form, especially the fantasy, 21st century fairy tale aspect, to create a romance so light and frothy it threatens to float away into the clouds. It’s an old school rom com that works because of the chemistry between Lopez and Wilson. The spark between them and the sheer weight of the silly premise keeps the movie earthbound.
“Marry Me” works because it understands what it is, an old-fashioned rom com with a 21st century gloss. It’s a fashion show with a few laughs. An issue of “Architectural Digest” style life-style porn with romance and a musical with love lessons about not judging a book by its cover, of female empowerment and the grand gesture of renting out the entirety of Coney Island for a birthday celebration. As Parker says, “This is the most unbelievable thing that could happen in life,” but this isn’t life, it’s a rom com.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the Michael B. Jordan boxing drama “Creed II,” the on-line romp of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the odd couple buddy film “Green Book.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the boxing drama “Creed II,” the on-line romp of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the odd couple buddy film “Green Book.”
Given the movie’s subtext “Ralph Breaks the Internet” could have been called “Ralph Wants You to Think About the Ramifications of Internet Usage.” Not as catchy, I’ll admit, but amid the fun and games the sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph” is a strong message about the dangers of Internet culture.
It’s been six years since we met Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly), a disgruntled video game character who demanded respect. This time around the action begins when the steering wheel controller on the Sugar Rush game console breaks. “It might be time to sell Sugar Rush for parts,” says Stan Litwak (Ed O’Neill), owner of Litwak’s Family Fun Center & Arcade.
Before Litwak unplugs the machine Ralph and the game’s racer Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) rescue Sugar Rush’s characters by moving them to other games.
To get the game up and running Ralph and Vanellope hit the Internet, using the Arcade’s wifi to explore the net in search of a replacement steering wheel. They find the wheel at eBay, trouble is, they don’t have any money. “I left my wallet at home,” Ralph tells the eBay cashier. “In the wallet room and the door is locked!”
When they befriend Shank (Gal Gadot), a racer in Slaughter Race, their problems seem to be over. The violent racing game overs a source of money but as Shank’s influence on Vanellope grows Ralph worries that his friend is drifting away.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is at its best when it’s subversive. The colourful animation, coupled with an imaginative take on what it would be like to be inside the internet—eBay is an actual auction house, and “likes” are sucked up by a vacuum cleaner—will make eyeballs dance but it’s the messaging that is memorable. Woven into the story are clever lessons on toxic friendship, how insecurity can infect a relationship like a virus on the computer and the dangers of obsessing about getting likes on social media posts.
Even better is a scene where Vanellope, while visiting OhMyDisney.com, stumbles into the Disney Princess break room. Here the film makes fun of Disney’s bread-and-butter, the stereotype of the princess. “Do people assume all your problems get solved because a strong man came along?” Fans of the first film know that Vanellope is a reluctant princess, preferring the title president. Her, among her spiritual sisters, she helps them shed some of their stuffy weays and they help her along the way to figuring out her path in life. “I stare at the important water and all of a sudden I start singing about my problems? I don’t think so,” Vanellope says, bursting one of Disney’s most familiar princess tropes.
The princess scene is a highlight in a film that has laughs but isn’t exactly a comedy. It’s more a heartfelt examination of friendship—“It’s not right to hold a friend back from her dreams.”—with some wild cartoon action and satire.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is a very specific story about two animated characters that illuminates universal themes from the real world.
Welcome to the House of Crouse. It’s a packed show. Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana, Miranda Richardson and Jeff Bauman, the real life inspiration for “Stronger” swing by to talk about their take on the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. It’s is not the story of a bomb or the radical politics that saw it planted at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It’s the story of the aftermath and one man’s inspirational recovery. Then “Battle of the Sexes” directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton come by to talk about why Billie Jean King is such an important thread in our cultural fabric. It’s all good stuff, so c’mon in and sit a spell.