Archives for posts with tag: Steve Carell

The best thing about “The 40 Year Old Virgin” (2005) is it has that new-movie smell. You know what I mean. The concept is funny and all, but this was right at the beginning of the whole Judd Apatow Bromantic Comedy Era. It was Steve Carell’s first starring role. We hadn’t gotten tired of co-star Seth Rogen saying “fuck!” and doing bong hits every five seconds. The supporting cast is amazingly deep (Paul Rudd, Catherine Keener, Jane Lynch, Kat Dennings, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, etc.). And the dialogue is as sharp as a rock band on its first hit album.

When I was a kid, I never wanted to be a magician, so maybe I can’t appreciate “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (2013). I hate to use reviewerspeak, but Steve Carell stars in an uneven movie that follows a formulaic plot (dude was a star, now a has-been, hits rock bottom, tries to find his mojo, hijinks ensue, gets the girl, learns something about himself, blah, blah, blah). Jim Carrey, who I think is generally gross, plays Burt’s rival, a generally gross illusionist. There are funny parts, but there’s also an unlikeable, coarse edge that too many comedies have these days.

“Hope Springs” (2012) is a somewhat cute, somewhat poignant relationship movie starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. Streep plays a Midwestern housewife having an “is that all there is?” moment. As usual, Jones plays himself. They see a marriage counselor (Steve Carell). Low-key, Midwestern-style hijinks ensue. The movie was a little bit blah. I don’t know if that was because it was a blah movie, or because the married couple’s blah life was so effectively portrayed. For a second, I thought it was going to have a sad ending. I might have liked the movie more if it had.