July 20, 2009
Come to think of it, it was a bad movie. I rented Transylvania 6-5000. I had read the crummy reviews, but held out a tiny seed of hope that in spite of its critical scorn, the movie would hold some amusement. I tend to enjoy lame horror-comedies if they're at least entertaining (i.e. fall into the so-bad-it's-good category). One would expect at least a few laughs with a cast including Jeff Goldblum, Ed Begley, Jr., Michael Richards, Geena Davis, and Carol Kane. However, one would expect in vain. The script by first-time director Rudy De Luca (of the Mel Brooks School of Comedy) was just awful. I am a fan of even Mel Brooks' mediocre efforts (with the exception of the abysmal Life Stinks), but it seems his proteges fail to rise to the level of even his least successful offerings. Something just doesn't work. You know a script is bad when you can imagine yourself writing it (unless you're Joseph L. Mankiewicz). The plot, about two reporters going to Transylvania to track down a wanna-be Frankenstein, is hair-brained enough, reduced to one of the most inept, unfunny attempts at schlock-comedy ever beheld on screen. ★
July 02, 2009
I like Ryan Reynolds. Most of the comedy actors of today don't strike me as very funny. Or when they do, it's not very well-crafted humor. Ryan Reynolds has a knack for making a line of dialogue all his own with the tone of his voice or his facial expressions. The only flaw about his acting is that most of the time his character has some degree of prickishness about him. That is minimized in The Proposal, where Reynolds plays the personal assistant to very, very important senior editor Sandra Bullock. Sandra has made a career out of being likable, so it's fun to see her play a self-obsessed diva for a while. We already know she will become softened. We also know that Ryan and Sandra will inevitably fall in love in spite of their parasitic, I-hate-you-but-I-need-you relationship.
And so Sandra gets to play While You Were Sleeping all over again, but from a different angle. She's the single girl who masquerades as Ryan's fiance to avoid being deported to Canada, falling in love with not only Reynolds but his parents (Craig T. Nelson and Mary Steenbergen) and his sharp grandma (the ever-delightful Betty White). So, while The Proposal doesn't really veer from the formula much, it sure shows us a good time. ★★½