The Pursuit of Happyness
At some point between the time I first saw the trailer and the time I actually walked into the theater to see this one I became a little skeptical about it. I'm not entirely certain why--maybe the story had started to seem a little clichéd, or maybe I didn't know if Will Smith could pull it off. Whatever the reason, I was wrong. The movie was very heartfelt, very touching, and Will Smith's Golden Globe nomination was well-deserved. Jaden Smith, Will Smith's on-screen and real-life son, also did a pretty good job. Child actors can be kind of hit or miss, but the fact that Will and Jaden Smith really are father and son added instant chemistry. Excellent movie.
Viewed: 12/21/2006 | Released: 12/14/2006 | Score: A
This was a mostly cute movie that was pretty well wrecked by Cameron Diaz. Everybody else was pretty good--Kate Winslet did a good job as the other lead, Jude Law was charming and nice, Rufus Sewell was charming and self-absorbed, Eli Wallach was both adorable and poignant, and Jack Black was surprisingly sweet. It could have been a decent film, but Cameron Diaz was just annoying. I really don't understand why she gets work. She has almost no talent apart from a reasonable sense of physical comedy. Sure, she's good-looking, but there are plenty of good-looking actresses out there who can actually act. But enough ranting. Judging by Juliette's reaction--she thought The Holiday was "wonderful"--this one would probably be a good date movie. I'd say that it's otherwise quite skippable.
Viewed: 12/18/2006 | Released: 12/7/2006 | Score: C
For Your Consideration
If you like the rest of Christopher Guest's mockumentaries--This is Spinal Tap, for example, or, more recently, Best in Show or A Mighty Wind--you'll probably like this one as well. This time, Guest and his cohorts take aim at Hollywood, and I'd say they found their mark. I particularly liked Guest's performance as the director of the film-within-a-film Home for Purim. It was a smaller part, but I thought he was hilarious. The film also absolutely nailed its parody of Access Hollywood. Catherine O'Hara was very good, but as the film went on her character became increasingly more difficult to watch. Anyway, it's probably out of theaters by now, but it's definitely worth a look when it comes out on DVD.
Viewed: 11/30/2006 | Released: 11/21/2006 | Score: B