You know that old adage that laughter is the best medicine? I don’t think they were necessarily talking about physical ills. Consider this: North America’s economic situation has been slow and bumpy throughout 2009 and yet both mainstream Hollywood and the indie film movement have managed to produce funny, light-hearted comedies that’ll make even the biggest worrier forget their troubles for a few hours. And the best part? Even if you missed these great comedies in theatres you can still pick them up at your local video store. Rave Reviews has a look at two great comedies from 2009 that are rental-ready for your viewing pleasure.
Having spoken to many of my friends before seeing the movie, I feel I might have been the last person in North America who hadn’t seen The Hangover. I’m hoping that a few of you readers haven’t either and will heed my words when I tell you to rent this comedic caper ASAP. Four friends head to Vegas to celebrate one last night of debauchery before one of them ties the knot. The three groomsmen wake up the next morning and don’t remember a thing—including where they left the groom! In a panic, they begin retracing their steps through Vegas in what turns into an epic adventure that, in the end, deserves to be kept secret based on that old cliché “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms are fantastic as the groom’s childhood friends now wrapped up in the Vegas madness, but Zach Galifianakis is the one to watch. The Hangover has been a breakout role for Galifianakis and critics and audiences love him. For a night of side-splitting humour, be sure to grab The Hangover.
If slapstick Vegas mayhem isn’t your cup of tea you may prefer the toned down indie flick Paper Heart starring Charlyne Yi and Toronto’s Michael Cera. The story follows Charlyne as she criss-crosses the country making a documentary about people’s opinions on love. A skeptic at heart, Charlyne doesn’t believe that true love exists or that she’ll ever find it. Hearing the love stories of dozens of Americans isn’t enough to make her a believer but when she and Michael Cera (playing himself) hit it off at a friend’s party, love starts to bloom. As their fledgling romance takes flight, the cameras turn on them and suddenly their new relationship is placed under a microscope. Yi and Cera have great chemistry. They both embody that awkwardness of young love with comedic timing that will have you laughing out loud. A Sundance Film Festival favourite from 2008, I hope to hear more about this little gem come Oscar time.
What could be better than sitting in your pyjamas watching two wicked comedies? How about a night out with the Kamloops Film Society (KFS)? KFS presents its winter line-up featuring Italy’s Il Divo Feb. 11, and Germany’s The Last Station on Feb. 25. If you love independent films and you want to see more of them at a theatre near you, be sure to drop by the Paramount Theatre for these fabulous films.