Parker, Pitt, Clooney and a ‘Footloose’ for the 21st Century
“I Don’t Know How She Does It”
Sarah Jessica Parker plays a woman whose life is a mess in “I Don’t Know How She Does It.” Two kids, a husband and a road warrior investment job. Did I mention that she does have a husband? He’s such a supporting character that for 50 percent of the flick you wonder if they might even be separated.
The woman wanting to seal a man-size deal has a challenge – she’s the boss’s favorite for accepting last minute travel assignments, she won’t say no. But, as a result, her family endures her leaving Thanksgiving vacation early and showing up late for most family functions.
Who would want a life like this? And how long can Parker continue juggling all her “significant others,” i.e. husband, kids and boss.
The film has an effective, yet noticeably awkward, running cutaway which mocks the contrast of stay-in-the-gym moms mocking working moms. More jabs like that and less harried job juggle would elevate “I Don’t Know How She Does It” from its too routine, sit-com status.
Let’s label professional sports what they have become – money games. The owner with the most bucks likely can buy a high location in the standings. “Moneyball” explores how a budget-challenged general manager enlists other means which essentially turns the management office into a new spin on the Vegas concept of counting cards.
Brad Pitt energizes the statistical obsession that translates mathematical suaveness into an on-screen home run as a sports blend of “Oceans 11,” “Mission Impossible,” “The Social Network” and “21.”
“The Ides of March”
George Clooney has his imprint on all aspects of the production from star to director to producer to screenwriter. This topical political thriller has Clooney as a candidate for President of the United States. Clooney’s co-writer, Grant Heslov, described the film as a chess game depicted in a “morality tale with a political milieu.” The flick anticipates satisfying a bi-partisan audience – the Democrats will likely enjoy the first half, Republicans, the second half.
Julianne Hough and Kenny Wormald re-boot this musical about a town that has banned dancing. The movie’s trailer is receiving over 1.5 million hits daily, so this update of the 1984 Kevin Bacon classic is likely to work at the box office. Rebellious Ren McCormack (Wormald) will be facing off against Dennis Quaid as Shaw Moore, a preacher who believes that dancing to music is a one way ticket to Hades. The role of Ren was originally offered to Zac Efron and Chase Crawford, both of whom turned it down.
Ms. Hough is recognizable to many from her participation on “Dancing with the Stars,” which led to a record deal and her landing the role of the reverend’s wild daughter, Ariel.