After a string of great summer blockbusters, this weekend brings the season’s first lull as Rolling Stone Peter Travers is At the Movies with the newest slate of flicks hitting multiplexes this Friday (Considering the nation is covered by rain clouds and the soaked masses are likely movie bound this weekend, this is terrible planning on Hollywood’s part.) After spending his last four films exploring London and Barcelona, writer-director Woody Allen returns to his native New York City with Whatever Works, starring Larry David as a character that draws upon both Allen’s own psyche and David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm guise. Even though the film was written during Allen’s peak in the 1970s, Travers says Whatever Works is not top shelf Woody, but the film still has its classic moments as Evan Rachel Wood co-stars as a girl who comes to the Big Apple and marries the older David. If you’re going to see a new film in theaters this weekend, this is the one to see, because the other two comedies being offered up this weekend aren’t too promising.
First, we have the Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds rom-com The Proposal, with Bullock’s boss character forced to marry her assistant Reynolds to avoid being shipped back to her native Canada. The bickering pair goes on a trip to Reynolds’ family home in Alaska, where they begin to actually fall in love with another. Sounds generic, right? “I can’t find the adjectives to say what it’s like to sit in a movie like this. Is it awful? No, it’s bland,” Travers says. “To me, bland is much worse than awful.” Thus, Travers is making room in his Scum Bucket for The Proposal.
But don’t go putting the lid on the Scum Bucket just yet, as Jack Black and Michael Cera star in the prehistoric comedy Year One, written and directed by Harold Ramis. Despite the pedigree of all those involved, the studios wouldn’t screen the film for critics, which is usually Step One for preventing the public from finding out the movie is a stinker before release date. Travers is pessimistic, but he will venture to the cinema house this weekend to review Year One, so keep it tuned to his Twitter for Travers’ Take on Year One.