Archives for posts with tag: Oliver Platt

Billy Bob Thornton makes some weird Christmas movies. John Cusack just makes weird movies, period. These two superheroes of uncomfortable humor join forces in “The Ice Harvest” (2005) as a pair of moderately sleazy dudes who plot to steal money on Christmas Eve from an exceptionally sleazy dude (Randy Quaid). Noirishly comedic hijinks ensue, replete with double- crosses that might have been coincidences – or might have been triple-crosses. It comes off a little flat. It’s a Harold Ramis film, which probably explains why the opening credits font is the same as the one used at the end of “Animal House.”

“A Merry Friggin’ Christmas” (2014) was one of Robin Williams’ last movies. I know you might feel guilty about not liking it, but that’s OK, because this movie isn’t that good. (I can imagine the conversation that went on in some Hollywood development meeting: “Picture ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ meets ‘Christmas Vacation.’ It’s pure gold, I tell ya!”) So anyway, the guy from “Community” stars as the prodigal son of a dysfunctional family, of which Williams is the foul-mouthed, boozy patriarch. Cliched Christmas hijinks ensue. Road movie hijinks ensue. Sloppy plot construction and awkwardly staged family melodrama ensue. Sorry, Robin.

“Chef” (2014) is a good movie for people like me, who enjoy cooking, awkwardly embrace social media and savor hard-to-categorize, witty little movies. Jon Favreau is the chef, a well-meaning sort-of dickhead going through a midlife crisis (exactly how I imagine Favreau is in real life). It has a lot of people in it: Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, that dude from the Woody Allen movie, John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr., etc. I loved the cooking scenes, especially the grilled cheese sandwich. Sofia Vergara haters will totally understand how two of the main characters are her ex-husbands. She’s an acquired taste.