The Weekender: No effing way


No Strings Attached
Starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline
Written by Elizabeth Meriwether
Directed by Ivan Reitman
One of two “f*** buddy” rom-coms we’ll be treated to this year (the other being the Mila Kunis-Justin Timberlake summer tentpole Friends with Benefits). Here, smug producer Kutcher sleeps with workaholic nurse Portman and tries to woo her the rest of the movie, transforming their trysts into something meaningful. Oh, and each of their friends cracks jokes or spews forth something slightly profound about modern relationships. If I have to hear that “Years from now you’re going to be having sex with your wife, and one of you is going to be asleep” line one more time, I’m going to start a fund-raiser to make sure this Meriwether lady never writes another bit of dialogue. No means no, Hollywood.

The Company Men
Starring Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones
Written and directed by John Wells
It was all I could do to keep from bawling in the theater when I saw the trailer, so I’m sure the film itself is a barrel of laughs. Just kidding. Wells, a veteran TV producer, takes the reins in this all-too-timely tale of a trio of men who endure lay-offs and face an unkind world of job-seeking.

The Way Back
Starring Jim Sturgess, Colin Ferrell, Ed Harris
Written for the screen by Keith R. Clarke and Peter Weir
Directed by Peter Weir
Based on the somewhat-true story of a WWII prison camp escapee, the masterful Weir writes and directs a group of strong actors as a fiercely devoted band of survivors who walk thousands of miles to freedom.

All Good Things
Starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella
Written by Marcus Hinchey and Marc Smerling
Directed by Andrew Jarecki
Switching from documentaries to features, Jarecki turns his eye to the still-unsolved murder of Kathleen McCormack. She was the blue-collar wife of billionaire Robert Durst who disappeared shortly after they married. He later was connected to multiple murders across the country though never convicted of any. Critics are saying this is the role of a lifetime for Dunst though they also say it’s really just a feature-length Law & Order episode, though I don’t have a problem with that at all.

Starring Christos Stergioglou, Aggeliki Popoulia, Mary Tsoni
Written by Efthymis Filippou & Giorgos Lanthimos
Directed by Giorgos Lanthimos
Lauded for almost a year now by critics worldwide, this Greek film recently made Oscar’s shortlist for foreign films. What we do know: it’s a pitch-black comedy with a big horror streak and a satire on restrictive parenting. The rest I don’t want to know and simply want to be surprised by what’s guaranteed to–good or bad–be the wildest movie of the year.

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