I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Pauline Chan to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the return of two highly anticipated series, “Succession” and ” Yellowjackets” on HBO and Crave, and, in theatres, the bloodthirsty ballet of “John Wick” Chapter 4.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the new Melissa McCarthy comedy “Life of the Party,” the topsy-turvy love fest “The Seagull” starring Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening and the gory story of vengeance “Revenge”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the new Melissa McCarthy comedy “Life of the Party,” the topsy-turvy love fest “The Seagull” starring Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening and the gory story of vengeance “Revenge”
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 new Melissa McCarthy comedy “Life of the Party,” the topsy-turvy love fest “The Seagull” starring Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening and the gory story of vengeance “Revenge”
An aggressive but damaged comedic persona goes back to school. It worked well when Rodney Dangerfield did it in 1986 but will it work as well a second time? Melissa McCarthy hopes to find out with this week’s release of “Life of the Party.”
The “Bridesmaid” star plays enthusiastic domestic engineer Deanna, devoted wife of Dan (Matt Walsh), mother of senior year university student Maddie (Molly Gordon). When Dan unexpectedly dumps her, abruptly ending their twenty-three year marriage, she takes control of her destiny. “What am I going to do?” she asks. “Take spin classes? Oh no. I don’t want to start a blog.” Instead of any of that it’s back to school for Deanna for the first time since Counting Crows topped the charts.
Enrolled at the same university as her daughter, Deanna blossoms. Embracing life around the quad she discovers everything she missed during her marriage. Her journey of self-discovery includes hanging out with Maddie’s friends and getting friendly with the campus frat boys.
Like “Back to School,” “Life of the Party” isn’t a particularly good movie. The first half is brutal, with so few laughs its hardtop even label it a comedy. The second half is much better but still, scenes end when it feels like they are just getting started or at least like there is one better joke to come. When it really goes for laughs between beyond Seanna’s sentimentality, self-help platitudes and momisms, however, it earns them. A mediation scene is laugh-out-loud, the relationships gel and Maya Rudolph needs to make the jump from supporting roles to the above the title star.
Mostly though, the film features the relentless likability of Melissa McCarthy. I’m not sure she elevates the material (which she co-wrote with her director husband Ben Falcone) but she brings some heart to it and in this story of a mother and daughter, that’s enough.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s two big releases, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” with Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza and the animated kid’s flick “The Secret Life of Pets,” starring the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan and Ellie Kemper.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel to talk about the big releases in theatres, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” with Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza and the animated kid’s flick “The Secret Life of Pets,” starring the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan and Ellie Kemper.
I have a brother but he’s not my bro, at least by the contemporary definition. My sibling and I are biologically brothers but neither of us fall into what the NPR Codeswitch blog described as the four rudimentary characteristics of “bro-iness”— jockish, dudely, stoner-ish and preppy.
There are as many ways to define bros and brahs as there are bros and brahs at your local frat house. Oxford Dictionary writer Katherine Connor Martin sums it up simply as “a conventional guy’s guy who spends a lot of time partying with other young men like himself.” The urban dictionary isn’t quite as elegant, describing bros as ”obnoxious partying males who are often seen at college parties… [standing] around holding a red plastic cup waiting for something exciting to happen so they can scream something that demonstrates how much they enjoy partying”
This weekend Zac Efron and Adam DeVine play brothers who are also bros in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Based on the real-life exploits of Mike and Dave Stangle, the guys get out-broed at their sister’s Hawaiian wedding by broettes Tatiana and Alice (Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick).
In real life Mike, Dave, Tatiana and Alice are the kind of people it might be fun to hang out with before ten o’clock at night, before the tequila shots and samplings from the mystery medicine cabinet have taken effect. After that, all bets are off. Luckily in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, like so many bro movies before it, the screen separates us and we can sit back and observe them like cultural anthropologists, as if we’re studying animals in a zoo.
Hollywood has long had a bromance with bros. Lately in movies like Neighbors and Dirty Grandpa Efron has made a career of playing dim witted frat boys but to find the proto bros you have to go back to 1940. Starting with Road to Singapore Bob Hope and Bing Crosby cocktailed and adlibbed their way through seven Road movies playing two slightly skeezy men with boatloads of bravado and an unbreakable bond—at least until love interest Dorothy Lamour showed up.
National Lampoon’s Animal House was the next landmark of bro-cinema. From toga parties to food fights and doing The Worm on the dance floor, it’s a politically incorrect classic that celebrates the best and worst of bro culture.
A 1996 movie gave us the bro with a million catchphrases like “Vegas, baby,” “wingman,” “beautiful babies” and “you’re so money.” As Trent in Swingers Vince Vaughn gave a voice and brocabulary to a generation of bros. Jon Favreau wrote the script but many of the sayings came directly from the lips of his best friends and co-stars Vaughn and Ron Livingston.
No look at bro-cinema would be complete without a nod toward Will Ferrell. The comedian has broed out on screen many times but Old School’s Frank the Tank, a character who unravels after his wife leaves him, is King Bro. When he’s not doing beer bong hits (“Once it hits your lips, it’s so good!”) or streaking he lets his freak flag fly as one of the most over-the-top bros ever seen on screen.
Dean Wormer’s classic scolding from Animal House, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son,” doesn’t seem to apply, at least at the movies.
In “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” Dave and Mike Stangle (Zac Efron and Adam DeVine), brothers who are also “bros,” get out bro’d by two unlikely people. Based on the memoir of the same name (with the subtitle “And a Thousand Cocktails”) by the real-life Stangle brothers, the movie co-stars broettes Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick.
The kind hearted but dimwitted Mike and Dave like to party. Hard. They make a living in the ultimate bro profession—tequila sales—but it’s in their off hours that they really let it rip. Their “Jackass” style exploits, including fireworks mishaps, a trampoline incident at cousin Rachel’s wedding and instigating grandfather’s bad fall, have ruined more than one family gathering. In short they are troublemakers, but to be fair, they like to think of themselves as “party creators.”
To prevent them from putting a stain on their sister Jeanie’s (Sugar Lyn Beard) Hawaiian wedding their parents insist they bring dates. ‘We don’t want you showing up stag and riling each other up,” says Burt Stangle (Stephen Root). “You to show up stag, hit on girls and ruin everything.” To find the perfect dates the guys go big when their craigslist “free trip to Hawaii” ad goes viral racking up 6000 responses in no time flat, and earning them a spot on on The Wendy Williams Show. “We’re looking for nice girls. Girls that our mom and sister would like.”
At home, in their filthy rat hole apartment two broke girls named Tatiana (Plaza) and Alice (Kendrick) are watching on television. “Let’s make these guys take us to Hawaii.” Cleaned up, the porn-loving, self-described “shoplifting floozie-ass bimbos” engineer a meeting and convince Mike and Dave to take them to their sister’s destination wedding. In Hawaii Tatiana and Alice show their true colours and leave a trail of chaos and destruction in their wake before the four young people have an epiphany and attempt to leave their bad behaviour behind.
In real life Mike, Dave, Tatiana (Plaza) and Alice are the kind of people it might be fun to hang out with before ten o’clock at night, before the tequila shots and samplings from the mystery medicine cabinet have taken effect. After that, all bets are off. On film their inane conduct and silly slapstick is a fast, funny way to spend ninety minutes. In real life their self-absorbed, co-dependent behaviour would be off-putting in the extreme. Luckily in “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” the screen separates us and we can sit back and observe them like cultural anthropologists, as if we’re studying animals in a zoo.
Of all the cast it is Plaza who fully embraces the Tucker Max-isms on display. Her unhinged dead-eyed glare is simultaneously hilarious and disturbing. Her Tatiana is damaged goods and knows it, flaunts it even. Plaza is also funny and in a very silly movie hands in a very smart performance.
“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” is cut from the same cloth as “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,” but with the addition of heart and soul. It’s the kind of millennial movie that you doesn’t want you to laugh, it wants you to lol.