Away We Go (2009) -vs- Juno (2007)

July 9, 2009 Bryce Zabel

Did you ever have to make up your mind? Both “Away We Go” and “Juno” are about those decisions that come from life that can’t be fudged, postponed or ignored. Even though both films involve pregnant leads who aren’t married to the fathers of their unborn, there’s more here than childbirth. Each film lets us see a big life question presented in a way that shows there isn’t always a “right” answer. Sometimes life forces us to choose. To pick up on one and leave the other behind. Well, we have to choose now, too. Should we go with the the couple of thirtysomethings who have to decide where to make their stand with a new baby; or the teenage girl who has a “go-no go” decision to make about a baby of her own and the boyfriend who’s in way over his head?
[…]

The Hangover (2009) -vs- My Life In Ruins (2009)

June 22, 2009 Sherry Coben

It’s a battle of the sexes for the ages. The balls-out edgy Men-Will-Be-Boys comedy takes on the watching-paint-dry-by-numbers My Not So Fat Any More Greek Tour Guide. Hardly a fair fight, there’s no intersection in the Venn diagram of viewers who might enjoy both outings. One’s ostensibly for the ladies — and by ladies I mean strictly Red Hat Society folks, the ones who talk in the theaters non-stop, moviegoers surprised by plot turns telegraphed so clearly that you wonder how these clueless souls found their way to the theater without assistance. “The Hangover” aims for a demographic blessed with a lowbrow sense of humor and no sense of decorum. It’s Dumb versus Dumber. Chicks versus Dudes. Old versus Young. Grab yourself a Jaegermeister or a giant bottle of Ouzo. You’re gonna need to get a little liquored up to make it through this double feature.
[…]

Knocked Up (2007) -vs- Junior (1994)

June 14, 2007 Bryce Zabel

Both of these films, naturally, follow the same general pregnancy-dictated progression. “Junior” adds the spin that it all needs to be done as secretly as possible for the obvious reasons of a) privacy and b) comedy. “Knocked Up” climbed a different hill. Even though it, too, features a mis-matched, screwed-up pregnancy, it still means for the detail to be related to by all those parents and wannabe parents out there. It needs to be observant of all the things that are truly comical in the natural universe, and it is. It also needs to get the repeat business of kids like my son by being crass and profane, and it does that, too.
It may surprise you, if you haven’t seen it or you last saw it over a decade ago when it was in the theaters, but “Junior” is actually pretty damn funny. “Knocked Up” is sometimes screamingly funny, in the way that “Meet the Parents” was almost all the way through when it first was released. Both films add that extra element, though, and that is a certain amount of sweetness to go with all the sour.
[…]