Role Models - 3 stars
The first 10 - 15 minutes of setup was kind of boring. There aren't many laughs until Jane Lynch shows up and the kids are introduced. Then it gets good. One thing that I liked about the movie is that of the two lead characters, Seann William Scott is the more responsible of the two. Paul Rudd isn't exactly a moron, but SWS is the one who is usually trying to talk some sense into Rudd.
It was nice to see Christopher Mintz-Plasse in another role. But I didn't enjoy his performance in this nearly as much as in Superbad. To be fair, its pretty difficult to top McLovin. And the other kid, Bobb'e J. Thompson, was hilarious. Some people don't like to hear kids swear, but I think there is nothing funnier. The kid has a dirty mouth and a dirtier mind. Good stuff.
Soul Men - 3 stars
I liked it more than I probably should. Its not too original - a road movie crossed with Grumpy Old Men. But Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson are so good together. Roger Ebert said a formula plot works if you're laughing at the plot and not noticing the formula. He actually said that in his review for Role Models, and I think it applies even more to this movie. If the movie weren't as funny as it is, I would be bashing it for being so predictable. But I laughed so much I hardly noticed it.
Happy-Go-Lucky - 3 stars
I'm starting to hate the star rating system. I liked all 3 of these movies, so I gave them 3 stars. But this one is different than the other two. Its funny in places, but its more of a drama. Where the other 2 movies followed a typical formula, this one is definitely without formula. There is not much of a narrative thread to it. Its simply a day in the life of a character named 'Poppy' (or a week in the life, or a month, whatever).
Poppy is eternally optimistic. When her bike is stolen, she shrugs it off. When people are mean to her, it doesn't seem to phase her. She just makes a joke out of it and tries to cheer the other person up. When she meets a crazy homeless man, she isn't too worried. She listens to his rambling and tries to have a conversation with him.
I liked this movie a lot up until the end. Its not a terrible ending, but the tone shifts from light hearted to very serious. I can't knock it too much, since it was true to the characters, and it helps Poppy to learn how easily it can be for people to misread her intentions. There are great performances, and I am hoping Sally Hawkins gets an Oscar nomination for her work here.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (not reviewed)
Sorry, I wasn't able to see it. Let me guess what my review would be - good for kids, a few jokes adults will like, but you will mostly be bored by it. At least its only an hour and a half long. How did I do?