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By Dave Steele
The flowers were a hit, dinner went well, and she absolutely loved the sentimental hunk of shiny metal that burned up half your paycheck (aka “jewelry”). It was a great night.
Now it’s finally time to kick back, relax and flip on the game. Anthony Davis is going off — sweet. But suddenly you hear the horrifically bone-chilling sound that all decent men in this world fear — “I’ve got ‘Breaking Dawn Part 1’ on DVD!” Before you get the chance to dry heave she snatches the remote and pulls up the main menu faster than you can say “Dear God.”
So this is it? Another two hours of pretending to care while playing “Temple Run” through the corner of your eye? You could use a new high score — but wait — you’ve got 3 percent battery left on your iPhone; you won’t even make it past the opening credits. Your pulse and the diameter of your pupils double as the grim reality begins to sink in: you might have to actually watch.
No, not tonight. Tonight is for BOTH of you. Here are a few olive branches you can offer so you may be spared the slow mental death that is Bella’s character development.
Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life is unraveling. After blowing her savings and her relationship on a failed bakery, Annie clings to her childhood friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) for support. After Lillian reveals her engagement to her boyfriend Doug (Tim Heidecker), she asks Annie to be the maid of honor. Annie accepts but is worried that the dynamics of their friendship will take the backseat to her soon-to-be husband. After meeting the other bridesmaids, Annie becomes jealous, especially of the privileged Helen (Rose Byrne) who is always upstaging her. On her way home, Annie is pulled over by officer Nathan Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), a charming cop that always loved her failed bakery. Annie must now be a good maid of honor by overcoming her selfish emotions, while nurturing the spark with Rhodes.
Why She’ll Like It: This female-driven romantic comedy explores some real-life emotional dilemmas related to the changes marriage brings to friendships. The “SNL” girls are as witty and hilarious as ever, especially Wiig, who is emerging as a real comedic powerhouse in Hollywood.
Why He’ll Like It: “Bridesmaids” is the first female “buddy film” from producer Judd Apatow (“Superbad,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”). It swears like a sailor and has plenty of raunchy scenes that will leave you howling.
Steele’s Reels: 4/5 Stars
“There’s Something About Mary” (1999)
High school nerd Ted Stroehmann (Ben Stiller) has his work cut out for him for the 1985 prom. In a perfect world he would ask the beautiful and popular Mary Jenson (Cameron Diaz), but his chances are slim. Just when all hope seems lost, Ted finds himself defending Mary’s mentally disabled brother Warren from the school bully. This earns him the prom date of his dreams as Mary chooses him to accompany her for the magical night. Unfortunately for Ted, a gruesome zipper accident lands him in the hospital and the highly anticipated date never happens. Thirteen years later, the nostalgic Ted is determined to find his high school love so he hires private detective Pat Healy (Matt Dillon) to find her. When Pat discovers how attractive Mary is, he misleads Ted and goes after her himself.
Why She’ll Like It: Beneath the zipper accident and the “hair gel” joke lies a love story that actually touches the heart. The awkward chemistry between Stiller and Diaz works perfectly as he competes with the sneaky and creepy Dillon for her love.
Why He’ll Like It: Director Bobby Farrelly (“Dumb & Dumber,” “Shallow Hal”) fills this love story to the brim with stupidly funny scenarios that are so outlandish and raunchy that you’ll forget it’s a “romantic” comedy.
Steele’s Reels: 3.5/5 Stars
Dave Steele writes a movie column for Monday editions of the Kernel, called “Steele’s Reels.”