Meryl Streep stars as Suzanne Vale, an actress brought to the edge by substance abuse, in this adaptation of Carrie Fisher’s novel (yes, that’s Princess Leia). When Suzanne is dumped at the emergency room by a one night stand (Dennis Quaid) after an accidental overdose, she is “sentenced” to live with her alcoholic mother, Doris (Shirley MacLaine), who is not adjusting very well to the aging process. The question is, who will crack up first? The two leads are fabulous and the material is compelling but it feels like the storyline was rushed. I haven’t read the book but I’m guessing there was a lot more substance to it.
What makes 80’s comedies so special is that charming unhingedness they all seem to have… and which wouldn’t work in anything made post-1990. And of course the craziness doesn’t abate for a second in 1989 John Hughes classic, Uncle Buck. When their parents are called away because of a family emergency, Tia (Jean Louisa Kelly), Maizey (Gaby Hoffman) and Miles (Macauley Culkin) are left in the hands of their unusual Uncle Buck (John Candy). Absolute and utter mayhem obviously ensues, with the central story focused on Buck attempting to win over rebellious teen, Tia. If you liked Breakfast Club, 16 Candles and Pretty In Pink, this will be right up your street.
Oh god, where to begin… it’s book four and Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattison) get married and then they have bed breaking sex and then it turns out she’s knocked up… but with what? I don’t remember the books being boring but holy hell this film was. Devoid of any urgency, we even get to watch the lovers playing chess. Yes… playing chess! At the very least they could have explained Jacob’s (Taylor Lautner… still making Keanu Reeves look positively animated) imprinting on Bella and Edward’s newborn daughter so that it made Jacob look a little less like a paedo. If the main topic of conversation post film is whether or not Kristen’s emaciation during pregnancy was CGI-ed or not you have problems. The other talking point being, of course, being Renesme… WTF??? If you’ve read the books you obviously have to go and see it. Just make sure you get drunk first.
Those of us who were kids in the 80’s will remember the show MacGyver about a vet who takes on cases and uses whatever he can find to get himself out of sticky situations. In this off-the-wall comedy, Will Forte plays MacGruber a hapless MacGuyver rip-off out for revenge against super-villain, Dieter Von Cunth (a very portly Val Kilmer). There is no question that this film is in horrendous taste and bordering on offensive but that’s what you’d expect from anything born out of Saturday Night Live. It reminded me a lot of the spoof comedies of the late 80’s and early 90’s, so if you like that kind of thing, it’s worth giving a go.