This week at the movies, we’ve got a bromantic comedy (I Love You, Man, starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel), ominous numerology (Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne), and corporate mischief (Duplicity, starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen). What do the critics have to say?
The term “bromance” has reached a near-saturation point in the movie lexicon, and not a moment too soon. Critics say I Love You, Man is a warm, very funny example of the burgeoning subgenre, featuring some of the best comedic chemistry between two leads since Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Paul Rudd stars as Peter, a recently engaged guy who realizes that he has no one to be the best man at his wedding. After a series of man-dates, he finds himself (platonically, of course) bonding with Sydney (Jason Segel), a slovenly hipster with plenty of sound advice. The pundits say I Love You, Man is a perfect example of how old formulas can feel new again: with hearty laughs, nuance, and razor-sharp performances. I Love You, Man is Certified Fresh.
Alex Proyas has established himself as one of the more interesting sci-fi directors in Hollywood, but critics say his latest, Knowing, crosses the line that separates profundity and preposterousness. The movie stars Nicolas Cage as an MIT professor who discovers that a random string of numbers on a piece of paper from a recently unearthed time capsule successfully predicted numerous disasters over the last 50 years. As he unlocks the secrets of this strange document, he discovers that the numbers predict future calamities as well. The pundits say Knowing has some interesting ideas and a couple good scenes, but it’s weighted down by its absurd plot and over-seriousness. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Cage’s best reviewed films. Also, find out what Proyas’ five favorite films are, and don’t forget to play our “Name Nic’s Movie ‘Do” game.)
Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) is certainly a smart guy, but critics say his latest, Duplicity, may be just a little too brainy for its own good. The film stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen as an on-again, off-again couple of spies turned corporate fixers that get involved in an elaborate con game between two multinational companies; as a result, our heroes become increasingly concerned that they can’t trust each other. The pundits say Roberts and Owen exude plenty of chemistry and star power, and Duplicity is nothing if not well-crafted. However, they also feel the film is more cerebral than visceral, and it gets bogged down in a densely complex plot and too many twists and turns.
Also opening this week in limited release: