Twofer Thursday: Comedy Gets Serious

Twofer Thursday:
Offering up a new release and a complimentary older movie for the upcoming weekend. I have pretty good taste, so you should just follow my advice.

Starring: Kier Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts
Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

The theme this week is getting out of your comfort zone. Normally, Galifianakis is known for his comedy roles, but here he plays a much more deeper and darker character than normal. A teenager (Kier Gilchrist) is, like most teenagers, depressed and hating his life. He constantly thinks about suicide and so decides to check himself into a psychiatric ward. There, he befriends Bobby, a depressed young father who voluntarily checks himself into the ward a lot. There's a special bond that develops between the two and it's very stirring and genuine. But along with all the touchy-feely stuff, there's a lot of good comedy. The other patients offer up a diverse group of characters that you end up loving to spend time with. It's a fairly easy going movie, despite all the heavy themes being thrown out. I was simply amazed at how easy it was for Galifianakis to play such a different and complex character. The rest of the cast is just as good - Kier Gilchrist, in his lead role debut, is really good at playing the awkward teenager and Emma Roberts is just mysterious enough to want to know more about her. All in all, a wonderful movie that probably will make you feel good about yourself and who can't love that about a movie?

Starring: Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman
Director: Marc Forster

Another huge leap for a comedian, Stranger Than Fiction really shows off Will Ferrell's acting chops. Here he plays an IRS auditor, Harold Crick, who suddenly finds his life being narrated by Emma Thompson. After several attempts to ignore said voice, he decides to confront it. It's a wonderful movie and Harold Crick is an amazing character - he's a diligent, statistical person. Everything in his life is sterile and removed from any emotion. But it all comes shattering down on him when the voice appears. He starts to get involved with a auditee that he's investigating and the movie carries forward full steam ahead. Although more of a drama than anything, there is a lot of laughs to be had and they don't necessarily come from Ferrell. Plus, the soundtrack is one of the best this past decade - Spoon headlines and it injects the movie with some energy. There's a great scene where we see Harold crack and reveal more of his true self - when he starts to play Wreckless Eric's "Whole Wide World" on the guitar. It's such a great revelation and breakthrough not only for Harold, but also for Ferrell. It's a great movie and it makes you want to see this side of Ferrell more in movies.

No comments: