I have seen a lot (a LOT) of lousy movies lately. I blame the post-holiday/pre-sweeps slump.
When all my TV offers is a schedule full of American Idol auditions, basketball games and reruns, it doesn’t give us many weekend viewing options. (During better, new-episodes times, I tape – yes, tape – our favorite shows for Mark during the week and we watch them over the weekend. Because we’re wild and crazy like that.)
So, we’ve been reduced to renting movies, and there just hasn’t been anything good out! Maybe you’ve experience the same thing. But just in case you haven’t rented a movie lately (but will in the future), I’m here to save you the frustration of spending a whole dollar – and two hours of your life – on a lame movie.
All About Steve – Whatever you do, do not rent this movie. Poor Mark. He’d gone to Blockbuster two nights in a row, looking for a recent release that we wanted to see, only to come up empty-handed. Rather than come home without anything, he took a risk and grabbed something he thought I’d like. After all, it had Sandra Bullock and the look of a romantic comedy. How was HE to know that every review I’d read panned the film, noting that every little thing about it was awful? He didn’t know. When he walked in and handed it to me, I said, “Thank you for trying.” It was still, however, wretched. Not funny. And kind of awkward.
You Again – Nothing can compare to the awkwardness of this one, though. Smitty and I rented this one Friday night, and ohmygoodness, it was two hours of awkward torture. This movie didn’t have a single scene that wasn’t uncomfortable. I really like Kristen Bell (okay, I like Veronica Mars, but you know what I mean) and hoped this would be okay. No. It was not. Nothing about it was okay. Ugh.
The Tourist – Back in December, we made plans to go out with our friends, Josh and Brittany. We had lined up my brother-in-law to watch Annalyn and we’d even narrowed down our movie/dinner options to a few possibilities – including this one. I don’t love Angelina Jolie, and it seemed pretty far-fetched to buy Johnny Depp as a plain American schlub. But, I like romantic mystery type movies, so I figured it would be okay. Well, after renting it a few weeks ago, I am glad that our December date night was downgraded to tacos and a rental (thanks to Annalyn getting sick at the last minute). I would have really been bummed to have spent $20 and two hours on this one. It was unrealistic, silly and poorly acted. The accents were weird, the random slow-motion was bizarre, and the whole story was predictable.
Adventureland – Someone (possibly my brother?) had told me this was a great movie. I’ll say this: I didn’t hate it. But after the unfortunate situation that was You Again, I also didn’t enjoy the awkwardness of the relationships in this movie (which we watched just two days later). I liked the retro-ness of it and I loved seeing Martin Starr (of Freaks and Geeks) again, but I’ll say that I’m not sure in what world Jesse Eisenberg is the logical choice over Ryan Reynolds. Overall, I’d give it a C, but it’s possible that I was biased by my recent bad movie experiences.
Life As We Know It – When I saw the preview for this movie several months ago, I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to see it. The stress of dealing with a toddler just seemed too close to home to be entertaining. But given the drought of watchable rentals, Mark and I decided this was a good choice. After trying for a couple weeks to find it at a movie store, any movie store, we finally got it. And it wasn’t bad. Sure, it’s silly and cliched and predictable. But, you know, in a good way. I didn’t mind it at all. (I know, faint praise, but hey – look at the previous reviews. This is practically raving for me today!)
The Social Network – Did the Facebook movie win any awards? I know it was nominated for a ton, so I’m guessing it did. And everyone I heard from thought this was just the best movie. Ever. In my opinion, that might be an exaggeration. I’m just saying. Yes, this was an interesting, well-written, well-made, well-acted movie. But was it earth-shattering? Mind-blowing? Ummm, no. Was it a very good movie? Yes.
The Switch – Chelley and I saw this a few months ago in the theater, and I liked it then. Mark rented it and I watched it again, and I liked it again. Ever since watching – and loving – Arrested Development, I’m a big fan of Jason Bateman. And while Jennifer Aniston is no Meryl Streep, I don’t mind her. Plus, Jeff Goldblum was hilarious and the concept of the movie was original. I recommend this one.
500 Days of Summer – Have you seen this movie? It’s not a recent release, but we hadn’t seen it yet. I LOVED it. So clever, so smart, so cute. I mean, seriously. Could Zooey Deschanel BE any cuter? No. I think not. I tend to prefer happy, sappy romantic comedies. But I knew not to expect that of 500 Days. And I loved it all the more for that. Love this. You should watch it.
If you’re looking for something to rent (and are now officially bummed out by my harsh criticism in this post), I will say that I highly recommend Red for an action movie and How Do You Know for a simple chick flick.
What movies have you watched lately? Tell us all about it in the comments! (And what do you do when all you can find on TV are reruns?)
This post contains affiliate posts. So if you happen to ignore my advice and buy All About Steve, I will make a tiny commission. I think they owe me that, at least. ;)
Thanks for these! We don’t have cable or anything so I never know what’s out to see or rent.
I loved “Life As We Know It.” While it was cliche, it was also cute. And funny. It had a spark to it. I do agree with you about “All About Steve.” I watched it – hoping the reviews would be wrong, and now I want my money (and time) back.
We rented “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” on Thursday night. I enjoyed it. It was funny and thoughtful. Last weekend, we rented “The Fighter” which I loved. Great acting and wonderful storyline.
We purchased season 5 of “Friday Night Lights” since we can not wait for it to start showing on NBC. We’ll be watching that this weekend!
I rented the switch with my mom last weekend (could have been risky with the whole…ahem…switch) but, we both really like it and I was pleasantly surprised that the ‘switch’ wasn’t the main focus and it didn’t quickly become the butt of derogatory and inappropriate humor. We really liked it.
When I saw (500) Days of Summer in the line up, I was worried you didn’t like it! I’m so glad you seem to love it as much as I do. I saw it in the theater and have watched it a few more times since then, only growing in my esteem for it each time.
I had already determined to skip most of the movies you didn’t like. I still want to see Adventureland. And I’m glad you liked The Social Network and The Switch- those are on my To Watch list.
I saw All About Steve at a theater with my friend and I thought it was okay. My problem with it was the Sandra Bullock was too old for her character but she acted it well. My husband wanted to see it so we rented it and I liked it even better the second time. We found it on DVD at a yard sale for $2 so we picked it up.
I enjoyed The Social Network but I agree with you – it wasn’t earth shattering.
We have Life As We Know It from Netflix right now. We’ll be watching it at some point this weekend.
I so agree with you about a lot of these! All About Steve was such a letdown, I love Sandra Bullock so much I was hoping it’d be great. I was the only person I know who walked out of The Social Network with a big ol’ “meh” feeling about it. I was SHOCKED it was nominated for so many awards, because I felt pretty much nothing while watching it. Which surprised me, because Aaron Sorkin generally speaks my language.
(500) Days of Summer is fabulous. The soundtrack’s great too, it’s on frequent rotation in my iTunes.
Hubby and I saw The Switch recently and thought it was pretty good. Clean (given the context) and good humor. 500 Days of Summer was on our Netflix que for a long while and I didn’t know what to expect. But I really liked it a lot. Also, have you seen Yes Man? Again, it was pretty funny, but clean. I really don’t like sexually driven movies, especially comedies. But Yes Man had some pretty funny moments (though I felt the ending could have been better.
We just watched “Life as We Know It” last night from Netflix, and we enjoyed it. Sure, it was predictable, but it was cute. Yeah, cute — that’s exactly how I would describe it. LOL
We really liked 500 Days of Summer. I love it when movies aren’t your typical fare. It was such a smart and unique movie.
Thank you so much for this post! I have a movie-watching weekend coming up, and I absolutely despise wasting those rare opportunities on lousy movies. Here’s hoping that the fact that I totally get your sense of humor means that we will like the same movies.
I just discovered your blog and I am already in love! Your posts are so encouraging and relevant in my life already!
Thank you for making my day with every post you write!
All About Steve – Right? Although I wasn’t overly upset about spending my time watching it, it was not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. It had such a great moral though!
You Again – I actually kind of liked this one. I spoke about it on a recent post: http://therealityoflynn.blogspot.com/2011/04/couple-of-very-sexual-nights.html
The Tourist – I won’t bother to watch it. LoL
Adventureland – I hope this isn’t reality for our teens.
LIfe As We Know It – I really enjoyed that movie. I did think it was predictable, but it has so much sweetness and reality in it.
The Social Network – I could not agree more! Interesting to see the inside, but definitely not world-changing.
The Switch – I saw this in the theater and purchased it the week it came out. I maybe shouldn’t love it so much, but I really do!
500 Days of Summer – I own it and LOVE it!
I probably did tell you to watch Adventureland. It’s a great movie! And, speaking of Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network is great, too! But, 500 Days of Summer is one of my favorite movies EVER! No, it’s not happy, but it’s directed and designed so perfectly! We just bought it on blueray, actually, and watched it a few times. The Switch is really funny too. I think Jason Bateman plays the same character every time, just like Jeff Goldblum. I haven’t seen the others, but apparently I don’t need to.