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Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

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Paul Maddens (Martin Freeman) is a primary school teacher with a failed ambition to be an actor. His girlfriend Jennifer (Ashley Jensen) left him five Christmases earlier to become a producer in Hollywood, and Paul hates Christmas as a result. So he is distinctly unhappy about being tasked with creating the school nativity play, and in an attempt to win one over his former best friend Gordon Shakespeare (Jason Watkins) tells Gordon that Hollywood are coming to see the nativity play. The rumour spreads and things start to get out of hand.

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Year of release: 2009

Director: Debbie Isitt

Writer: Debbie Isitt

Main cast: Martin Freeman, Ashley Jensen, Jason Watkins, Pam Ferris, Marc Wootton

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Genre: Comedy

Highlights: Lots of humour, lots of pop up roles from the likes of Ricky Tomlinson and Alan Carr. Freeman’s role was made for him, and even the kids were really cute without a sugary overload of sweetness

Lowlights: None really

Overall: A thoroughly enjoyable Christmas movie. Very British and clearly pretty low-budget, but all the more charming for it

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Kenny Lustig’s (Adam Sandler) daughter and Kirby Cordice’s (Chris Rock) son are getting married and in the week leading up to the wedding, the two men and their families have to spend all their time together. Tensions rise, tempers flare and things get messy.

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Year of release: 2017

Director: Robert Smigel

Writers: Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel

Main cast: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi, Rachel Dratch, Allison Strong, Roland Buck III, Jim Barone

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Genre: Comedy

Highlights: Very few! Steve Buscemi

Lowlights: The whole thing. I love Steve Buscemi and I love Chris Rock, but even they couldn’t save this one. I don’t generally find Adam Sandler funny but thought with the rest of the cast it may be worth a go. It all feels disjointed and every attempt at a joke falls pretty flat.

Overall: I’ll give this 4 out of 10 because some of Rock’s scenes without Sandler were quite funny, and Steve Buscemi made the most of his role. But generally, I’d say don’t bother.

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When Marni Olsen (Kristen Bell) discovers that her brother Will (James Wolk) is marrying the girl who bullied and tormented Marni all through high school, she is determined to stop the marriage and make Will see what kind of person Joanna (Odette Yustman) really is.

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Year of release: 2010

Director: Andy Fickman

Writer: Moe Jelline

Main cast: Kristen Bell, Odette Yustman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Signourney Weaver, Betty White, Victor Garber, James Wolk

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Genre: Comedy

Highlights: The dance lesson! The stellar cast, lots of laughs throughout

Lowlights: None. Loved it

Overall: Thoroughly enjoyable and really funny

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For anyone who doesn’t know the story of Top Hat, it centres on Broadway sensation Jerry Travers, who falls hard for society girl Dale Tremont, and dances his way from Broadway to London to Venice in order to win her heart. A case of mistaken identity causes all sorts of problems, but there is so much fun to be had on the way.

Having seen and loved the 1935 film, and also seen the West End stage show production (on tour), I can safely say that this is one of my favourite musicals, because it’s impossible to watch it and not feel happy. The songs will make you smile, the storyline is both romantic and extremely funny, and the dancing is spectacular.

All of this means that it is no mean feat for an amateur dramatics company to take on, but South Staffs Musical Theatre Company have taken on many such productions in their long history and are never found wanting.

Watching it, I was mesmerised by Harry Simkin and Fiona Winning, who played Jerry and Dale (Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers famously played the roles in the film, and Tom Chambers debuted the role of Jerry when it was made into a stage musical). Simkin and Winning are 17 and 16 respectively, but you would think they had been singing and dancing for decades, such was their professionalism and obvious talent. I really felt as if I was watching two future stars.

Also must mention Dom Napier as Alberto Beddini, the wannabe rival for Dale’s heart, and John Wiley who played footman Bates. Both of these were in danger of stealing their scenes, and raised some huge laughs from the audience.

Overall, a wonderful show and another feather in the cap for the South Staffs Musical Theatre Company.

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Bob Munro (Robin Williams), his wife Jamie (Cheryl Hines) and their two children rent an RV for a holiday trip to Colorado, and predictably everything that can go wrong, does.

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Year of release: 2006

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writer: Geoff Rodkey

Main cast: Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth

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Genre: Comedy

Highlights: Robin Williams (of course), Jeff Daniels, some truly silly slapstick comedy

Lowlights: None really. It was never going to be a film to set the world on fire but it’s undemanding fun

Overall: I enjoyed it and would recommend it to fans of the Vacation movies and other movies of that ilk

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Year of release: 2008

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith

Main cast: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Gerry Bednob, Traci Lords, Jason Mewes, Katie Morgan

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Genre: Comedy

Highlights: So many laughs, but somehow also incredibly sweet

Lowlights: None! It was great

Overall: Definitely not one to watch with parents, but lots and lots of laughs, lots of raunchiness, and a sweet story too

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Year of release: 2018

Director: Ol Parker

Writers: Richard Curtis, Catherine Johnson, Ol Parker

Main cast: Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Amanda Seyfried, Cher, Lily James, Dominic Cooper, Andy Garcia, Alexa Davies, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Christine Baranski, Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine

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Genre: Comedy, musical

Highlights: Julie Walters steals the show, Colin Firth is getting more handsome by the day, the music

Lowlights: Fewer laughs, more poignancy, a lot of lesser well known Abba songs

Overall: An enjoyable sequel once you have got over the shock of the main character from the first film being dead (not a spoiler – this is revealed at the beginning)

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