Tag Archives: Paul Rudd

Admission (2013) vs. About a Boy (2002)

Admission (2013) vs About a Boy (2002)

Even the most intelligent, wealthy, successful adults can be pretty clueless about raising kids. Think about the living hell these folks must endure — all that time, freedom and discretionary income on their hands, but no one for their inner children to play with! Luckily, in the world of producer/director Paul Weitz, there’s always a chance that a kid might unexpectedly enter their lives and rouse them from their self-absorbed, myopic, world view.

Weitz recreates the formula that worked so well in About a Boy in his new romantic comedy, Admission, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. Both movies have appealing stars playing characters who appear polished and competent on the outside, yet who are somewhat damaged and lost on the inside. In both, the protagonist’s world is shaken when a boy comes along to makes them question everything they hold dear. The experiences they go through cause them to change, which in turn causes the people around them to change as well.
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This Is 40 (2012) vs. Meet the Fockers (2004)

This is 40 (2012) vs Meet the Fockers (2004)

Comedy is a fragile thing, or so say the experts. One of the most delicate components to making someone laugh is the element of surprise. So what happens when the surprise is gone?

That’s the challenge for comedy sequels. The initial setup and the characters living in it have already been exposed to the audience. In order to even generate a sequel, the original had to be pretty widely seen. When the story is set around a family’s home life, filmmakers and audiences have to ask themselves the question that author Thomas Wolfe once famously answered in the negative: Can you go home again? Continue reading

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) -vs- The Breakfast Club (1985)

Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) -vs- Breakfast Club (1985)

Just in time for fall, we are reminded, thanks to Hollywood, of everything we loved and hated about high school. Twenty-seven years after The Breakfast Club, the coming-of-age story of five students locked together in high school detention, The Perks of Being a Wallflower introduces us to Charlie, a freshman boy in dire need of friends. Both films use humor to examine the pain of being a high school misfit, an immutable movie (and real-life) trope since before James Dean played chicken in Rebel Without a Cause.

Charlie’s group, like the various Breakfast Club miscreants before them, break through seemingly impossible barriers to get to know each other and themselves, without even having to worry so much about being dateless for prom or being given a “swirly” — having their heads shoved into a flushing toilet — by the school bully. What is this madness! Continue reading

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This Means War -vs- How Do You Know

This Means War (2012) -vs- How Do You Know (2010)

Seriously, why do studios think that men are standing in line to fight over Reese Witherspoon’s affections? Do the greenlights come from male executives who have a thing for Reese, or do they come from female executives who just think … Continue reading

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