There are many actor/director pairs out there that seem to have the ability to work together to create great films time and time again: Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Martin Scorcese and Leonardo Dicaprio, Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder. After seeing The Heat last night, I am starting to believe that Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig may be another one of those pairs.
The basic outline of this film is a pretty classic one. You have the straight edge, goody two shoe FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) and then you have the fly by the seat of her pants, break all the rules, rough and tough cop Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy). Both Mullins and Ashburn have trouble getting along with their peers and their superiors, Ashburn because she is arrogant and has almost no social skills and Mullins because she refuses to follow orders and does whatever she wants. When Ashburn is sent to Boston to hunt down a Russian Mobster, Ashburn and Mullins are forced to work together to take the Mobster down.
As I said before, the general plot and amusement of this film is a pretty classic story. When the two women first meet, they immediately don’t get along and try to get in each other’s way. They finally, and begrudgingly, realize that they may be able to help one another to solve a case that they both want solved. Don’t get too mad at me for saying this; I am usually not a Sandra Bullock fan but she was absolutely hysterical in this film. The chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy was perfect, both women hitting every comical line in the script with ease and skill.
Beyond the two main characters, the film is filled with crazy characters and cameos. One of my favorite groups of side characters is Mullin’s insane family, including Michael Rapaport as one of her three brothers and Jane Curtin as her mother. Marlon Wayans plays the Boston FBI agent that was supposed to help Ashburn who slowly but surely became a love interest for the antisocial Ashburn.
This was one of the funniest films I have seen in theaters for months. The Heat is rated R and it is certainly rated R for a reason. The main reason that the film is rated R is due to language, most of which comes from McCarthy. The end of the film does have a surprising amount of violence in it as well. This was a B+ film for me. After seeing it I can not wait to see what Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy do next time they team up together.
Nomination: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
This marks the first of a series of posts based on this year’s (2012) Oscar nominations. My goal, within the next eighteen days, is to write a post about every nominee in the Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor and the Best Film categories. I still have some movies from the list to see (thank you On Demand) and a lot of posts write but I’m going to try and reach my goal. Some of my posts will talk about multiple nominees while some will get a post of their own.
This year, Melissa McCarthy earned herself an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the film Bridesmaids. Of all the nominees, this is the one I have heard the most complaints about. I have heard it said that the woman from Bridesmaids has no business going up against nominees from Albert Nobbs, The Artist or the Help. How can a woman who uses a sink as a toilet in her role be nominated? She can because she deserves it. Do I think Melissa McCarthy will win the Oscar? No. Do I think Melissa McCarthy should win the Oscar? No. Do I think she deserves to be nominated? She most certainly does.
It takes a lot of skill and talent to properly and perfectly deliver a comedic role. In Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy does just that. She throws herself into the role of Megan so fiercely that I still have trouble imagining her playing any other role. Despite the belief of those who haven’t seen it, Bridesmaids is much more than just far and puke jokes. Not only is the film quite witty, the characters also show a good amount of depth. Melissa McCarthy is no exception on either account. In any other comedy movie with any other case, McCarthy would have completely stolen the show. Surrounded by a powerhouse cast of comedic women, including Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, McCarthy is the best of an all star case. Every moment she is on screen, McCarthy delivers lines with expert timing, giving Megan enough insanity to be hilarious but enough heart to be real. Even in her few serious scenes, McCarthy works in enough humor to keep the audience constantly laughing.
There is no doubt in my mind that McCarthy deserves the nomination she has earned. Sadly, I do not thing she will win nor do I want her to win. As of this point in time, my vote goes to Octavia Davis but that could change as I see more of the nominated performances. I thought McCarthy did an amazing job in Bridesmaid. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses but I don’t’ think the roll was enough to beat out her competition and bring home the Oscar.
Writer/Director Judd Apatow has given the entertainment world a number of different films filled with his quirky humor. The writer and director of The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Funny People as well as the television show Freaks and Geeks, which gave Seth Rogan his start, is bringing us another film in 2012. The film is called This is 40 and stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, Apatow’s wife, as characters we have seen before.
The 2007 film Knocked Up focused on its main characters, played by Seth Rogan and Katherine Heigl, and how they deal with the baby resulting from a one night stand. Apatow has a skill for crafting side characters that are not only hilarious but serve a purpose in the film and Knocked Up boasts a number of them. Two characters in particular from the film seemed to stand out from the rest. Pete and Debbie, played by Mann and Rudd, play an old, tired, fighting, married couple that mirrors the life that waits for Rogan and Heigl. Rudd and Mann played the characters well enough for them to quickly become audience favorites. Apatow not only recognized the audience’s love of the characters but decided to build upon it.
The film This is 40 takes place a few years after Knocked Up and so far, Rogan and Heigl are not listed as characters in the new film. This Is 40 is not a sequel to Knocked Up, it is a continuation of Pete and Debbie’s lives. The plot of the film surrounds a one week time period in which both Pete and Debbie turn 40. Not all that much information about the content of the film has been released other than a handful of actors and actresses that have signed onto the project. Not only do Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd return but Apatow’s own children, Iris and Maude Apatow, return as the Pete and Debbie’s children. Also signed onto the project, as of right now, are Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow and regrettably Meghan Fox. The film is slated to be released in late 2012. Judd Apatow and Knocked Up fans, we may have to wait for it but another promising film will arrive before the year’s end.