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. ;)

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