Five on Friday: Dramedies

Dramedies collageIf movies were babies, then dramedies would be siamese twins. These are perfect to watch if you’re feeling a little blue. If you’re not in the mood for a straight-up comedy and a drama just feels too depressing, go with a dramedy. You’ll get a perfect mix of sometimes-life-sucks honesty and hopeful serendipity that just may coax a grin out of you, even on your worst days.

1. Stranger Than Fiction. Always my number one.  Love every single performance in this one.  Dustin Hoffman is hilarious, Emma Thompson is poignant, Queen Latifah is lovely, and Maggie Gyllenhaal is perfectly spicyand sarcastic. This is the perfect balance of funny and serious for Will Ferrel.  You will not be disappointed.

2. Little Miss Sunshine. Abigail Breslin’s big dance obviously steals the show, but Steve Carrell as depressed uncle and Paul Dano as mute brother will have you chuckling all the way through.

3. Safety Not Guaranteed.  I loved Aubrey Plaza from the first second I saw her on Parks and Rec.  She and Mark Duplass will break your heart and make you laugh ’til you cry at the same time.  The most impressive thing about this movie, though?  You start the out 100% sure that time travel is impossible.  Your suspension of disbelief is developed throughout the movied until, by the end, you really have no idea how the story will culminate.  As a viewer, it’s a pretty fun ride.

4. Away We Go.  Just the sight of John Krasinski with a beard should make you smile.  With Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, and Maggie Gyllenhall alongside the leads, even the supporting characters will make you chuckle.  Beware, though: opening scene could get a little awkward if you’re watching this with the fam.

5. It’s Kind of a Funny Story.  If you’ve ever wondered whether Zach Galifianakis could pull off anything more serious than Alan from The Hangover, here’s your answer.  That’s not to say his performance isn’t funny–it’s hilarious–it’s just also unexpectedly heart-warming.  And pleasantly so.

Peace, love, and dramedies,

Kat

Love It or Leave It: Archer

archer_season_5_poster_2014_by_yakfu-d70uv7gArcher is now on its fifth season, a season dubbed “Archer Vice”. I think we’ve all noticed that TV shows tend to drop off in quality after the 2nd and 3rd seasons, once they’ve resolved all their original storylines. The second set of subplots are never as good as the first, almost always feel contrived, and usually lead to a sad, slow 4th and 5th season decline. The half-life for plot point expiration is often longer for cartoons (The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy), but even they don’t always make it over the hump.

So how is Archer holding up in its 5th season on the air? Swimmingly! The show has, in fact, exhausted many of the storylines it premiered with. Most of the primary characters start season 5 with a new major subplot: Lana is pregnant, Pam is a drug addict, Cheryl/Cherlene is a budding country star, and all are broke and living in a giant mansion together. The whole framing device for the show–the ISIS agency itself–is even now defunct and has been replaced with the most comedically botched attempt to become a drug cartel. All these changes work because of impeccable voice acting, excellent writing full of quick-fire references and that’s-what-she-said-style zingers, and the hilariously delicious depravity the show is known for.

Archer hasn’t missed a beat, even with all the change-ups. The verdict is in: Love it!

Over and out,

Kat

Ode to Matthew McConaughey

http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/review-true-detective-pilot

Alright, alright, alright. You read that in his voice, didn’t you? If you read it in the voice of that guy from OutKast, you can get out.

I have been LOVING True Detective lately. For one thing, it’s set in Louisiana (home state baby!). Second, Matthew McConaughey is just busting it up as the philosophy-espousing, ever-intriguing Rust Cohle. This is easily my favorite of his work. He takes the classic jaded and world-weary cop character to a whole new level with his always intense, sometimes haunting, and occasionally funny performance. It’s spurred some conversation among my friends about our favorite Matthew McConaughey movies/shows. Here are mine:

1. True Detective. The show speaks for itself. Watch five minutes and I guarantee you will be hooked. (Bonus points for also having Woody Harrelson and Michelle Monaghan–what a bang-up cast).

2. Magic Mike. I know, I know, it’s a total 180 from True Detective. And the movie does have a little bit of trouble reconciling the hilarity of muscley men in hotpants with the somberness of a young man getting tangled up in drugs. But if you can watch Matthew McConaughey coach Alex Pettyfer in sexy-dancing without peeing your pants from laughter, then call a therapist because there is something wrong with you.

3. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. What am I, made of stone? Of course this is on here. It was a close call between this and Sweet Home Alabama, until I realized Reese Witherspoon’s hubs is actually just a Matthew McConaughey knock-off (just kidding, Josh Lucas. Seriously, though, there’s similarity there, right?!). This movie is adorable, and I’m pretty sure fern sales spiked 1,000% when it hit the theaters.

I have not yet seen Mud or Dallas Buyers Club, or they would likely be on the list. I’ve heard and read great things about both, and if McConaughey delivers performances even half as enthralling as he does in True Detective, then I won’t be disappointed.

Until next time,

Kat