News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
MOVIE REVIEWS: ‘Identity Thief’ and ‘Side Effects’
BY ROB HEDELT / THE FREE LANCE-STAR
“IDENTITY THIEF” (R)
2.25 out of 4 stars
MELISSA McCARTHY, JASON BATEMAN, ROBERT PATRICK, ERIC STONESTREET
The fact that this did $35 million box at the box office in its first week proves that movie fans think Melissa McCarthy is funny, and they’re right.
But maybe not in this movie. She and Jason Bateman are funny at times, but most of the movie fails to match those scenes.
It’s a symptom of what’s wrong with Hollywood these days—movies that are interesting or funny in short stretches, but ultimately fail because of poor, nonsensical writing.
The premise here is just fine: Bateman plays a struggling Denver dad whose life is turned upside down when his identity is stolen by a crazed Florida woman (McCarthy).
Her identity thief is a hoot at first, like when she battles Bateman after he arrives in Florida to get his life back.
But once they start a road trip back to Denver, things get silly. How silly? Well, there is some cartel gunfire and a scene involving a snake down the pants.
But the worst offense may be a last-minute attempt to try to make it all sweet and meaningful. Please pick one message and stick with it.
McCarthy was so funny because they let her be extreme. While there are some extreme moments in this film, there aren’t enough of them.
Rated R for sexual content and language. 112 min. [MC, RA, RF]
“SIDE EFFECTS” (R)
2.5 out of 4 stars
JUDE LAW, ROONEY MARA, CHANNING TATUM, CATHERINE ZETA–JONES
Because of Jude Law and Rooney Mara, this movie works well enough to make it worth seeing.
But the story that director Steven Soderbergh starts out with—the dangerous effects of antidepressants—is soon enough dropped.
Law plays a psychiatrist whose patient kills her husband, possibly because a drug had her sleepwalking.
His life tumbles into a free-fall as he gets some blame and delves deeper into his patient and her history.
Despite the shifted focus, Law and a good supporting cast make it a suspenseful tale with interesting twists.
Rated R for sexual content and language. 112 min. [MC, PV, RA]