Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Movie Review: Crimson Peak (R – 119 minutes)

The reason horror movies continue to get made is that people love the thrill of being scared.  It’s why people have told ghost stories around campfires since the beginning of people.  Personally, I’m not all that fond of being scared, but I enjoy a horror movie from time to time provided it has something else going on - meaning, it’s not a straight-up horror, or filled with too much unnecessary gore (looking at you, Saw movies).  
I do adore Guillermo del Toro. In case you are unfamiliar with him – he’s a Mexican director, famous for Cronos, Mimic, Devil’s Backbone, Blade 2, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy 2, Pacific Rim, and the TV show the Strain – which you should be watching…basically it takes his creepy-tongue vampires from Blade 2 and giving them a plague-y origin story.  He is an incredibly visual director who loves big, creepy-beautiful, practical effects with great stories.  Pan’s Labyrinth is the perfect example of this – it’s an adult fairy tale, and if you haven’t seen it – you really should.

In Crimson Peak, we are introduced to Edith Cushing at her mother’s funeral in 1850ish Buffalo, New York.  Her adult self gives us a voice-over letting us know she has always been able to see ghosts, since her mother passed when she was 10 – then came back that night to warn Edith “Beware of Crimson Peak!”  

Later, as Edith is attempting to become a published novelist, and encountering lots of good-old 1800s, era “But you’re a Woman!” friction, her father Carter is approached by an English businessman, Thomas Sharpe (a baronet) who is in town to try to get funding for a machine he has invented to mine the red clay that his ancestral home sits on.  Apparently the clay is good for all kinds of things, but has been difficult to mine lately.  Carter turns him down, but that doesn’t stop Thomas from picking Edith up to come with him to a local …  ball? Dance party?  

I missed the reason for the party, but Edith wasn't going to go, much to the dismay of her father-approved doctor friend, Alan McMichael.  All the local ladies are there in their finery, preparing to try to woo Thomas Sharpe – after all, he’s a Baronet!  In fact, one of them is convinced he’s going to dance with her, when in fact he picks Edith to dance with, much to the dismay of his sister, Lucille Sharpe.  They have a great time demonstrating a proper waltz for everyone and going on several dates afterwards.  We very quickly learn that the Sharpes are up to no good, as Carter hires a Mr. Holly to do some digging on them.  Carter attempts to bribe them to go away, and break Edith’s heart.  Thomas does, but unfortunately, someone also kills Carter in his ‘athletic club’.  Edith has to go to another funeral – and sure enough, her mother’s ghost shows up to warn her again, but she doesn’t put any pieces together, and instead falls for Thomas’s apology letter. 

Cut to months later (maybe?) and she’s just married Thomas and heading back to his home, Allerdale Hall in England, where he and Lucille live.  The house is falling apart, and the red clay that the land sits on is seeping up into the house causing it to slowly sink.  

Lucille gets really creepy really fast – refusing to share her giant set of keys (it is a huge set - she can't possibly know where they all go) and insisting that Edith drink her tea, but not wander around the house, and definitely not go in the lower levels.  Edith starts to see ghosts pretty rapidly – including one with a cleaver in its head in the bathtub – one that pulls itself out of the floor and crawls after her down the hallway screaming, and one that seems to just be floating. 

She also eventually learns that the house is referred to as Crimson Peak by those who come by to work on the clay mining, because the red seeps up through new snow, making the house look like it’s drowning in blood.  If only she had put that together and had heeded her creepy ghost mother’s warning!   

The ghosts eventually lead Edith to explore the house, including the weird lower level that seems to have wells filled with the red clay in a liquid state, as well as some other creepy evidence.  She also finds some wax cylinders and a gramophone, so she can listen to them – they help to reveal the nefarious history of the Sharpes, and as Dr. McMichael comes to take her away after consulting with Mr. Holly – things swiftly go from bad to worse – don’t get too attached to the dog.

Del Toro has described this movie as a Gothic Romance, and I would agree.  Once Edith describes the novel she is writing in the beginning of the movie as a love story, in which there happens to be a ghost – it occurred to me that is what Crimson Peak is as well.  Yes, there are some serious jump-scares, and yes – the ghosts are creepy as hell, but the rest of the movie is essentially a love story between Thomas and Edith, with his sister Lucille getting in the way.  No spoiler there, she makes it obvious from the first scene she’s in that she’s the villain.  The movie looks amazing, Allerdale Hall is beautiful, and while the hole in the roof is impractical – it makes the house more beautiful on film because there are always leaves or snowflakes falling down into the main entryway that is surrounded by gorgeous gothic staircases.  The costumes are lovely, and really extensive – I couldn’t help but think when Thomas came to get Edith for the party that it would take her two hours to get on the clothes needed for a party of that level!  Most of the actors seem to really enjoy the environment and the roles.

  • Mia Wasikowska, who I had previously only seen in the horrible Alice in Wonderland remake, does a decent job, but honestly felt a little flat from time to time.  Also – not her fault, but there was a lot of me saying, “Don’t drink the tea!”, “Don’t go into the basement!”  “Don’t go walking around at night by yourself holding only a couple of candles!”  Of course, that’s pretty standard for a well-put together horror movie, so I suppose that makes sense.

  • Jessica Chastain stole the movie for me – as the dastardly Lucille, her British accent was pretty great, and she seemed to really relish playing the cold and cruel Lucille.  She fit the look of the house, and did an amazing job. 

  • Tom Hiddleston as Thomas didn’t really do anything you hadn’t seen him do before, but it was easy to see why Edith was so charmed by him.  And yes – his behind gets a couple of shots in their sex scene.  Hurrah for the pointless male butt shot and no female nudity!

  • Charlie Hunnam, a del Toro vet from Pacific Rim, plays Dr. McMichael, and listen, after many years of Sons of Anarchy, his American accent is still terrible.  Why not just let him play an Australian doctor? That would have been fine!  Aside from that, I thought he was great – I just wish he had caught on to the the Sharpes’ plan a little quicker, but hey – he did what he could!

  • Jim Beaver plays Carter Cushing, and I really enjoyed the scene where he first meets Thomas and denies him his funding – comparing his own well-worn hands to those of Thomas, which had never really seen a hard day’s work. 

  • PacRim vet Burn Gorman plays the enigmatic Mr. Holly – he was really wonderful and seemed to really enjoy that he found some condemning evidence against the Sharpes.

  • Jonathan Hyde – who is currently the most evil human on the Strain – plays Ogilvie, Edith’s boss, who tells her that she has lovely feminine handwriting, which immediately makes her type the rest of her novel.
  • Bruce Gray plays Ferguson – Carter’s lawyer, who chimes in way too late with his misgivings about Thomas Sharpe.

  • Leslie Hope plays Alan’s mother, and basically does her best to channel the wicked step-mother from Cinderella as she continuously puts Edith down, especially after Thomas chooses Edith instead of her daughter.
  • All the ghosts are played by del Toro regular Doug Jones.  They were all Doug in prosthetics and makeup – then they had just enough CGI layered over them to make him either see-through, floaty, or crawling up through the floor creepy.  If you’ve seen any of del Toro’s movies, Doug is almost always the creature, and the first time a ghost pops up in this movie – Edith’s mother – you can recognize Doug’s hand motion as she grips Edith’s arm.  He’s an accomplished mime, and is exceptionally delicate with his finger movement.

The movie was lovely, and the ghosts were well done, but the story was a little weak and there were an awful lot of strange circle wipes/fade outs that didn’t make any sense to me.  It was pretty easy to figure out the Sharpes were up to no good, and what exactly that no good was.  Of course, it wasn’t a murder mystery – at no point are you fooled into thinking that the Sharpes are good people, the story lies in Edith’s falling in love with Thomas anyway – and if her love is enough to bring him back from his sordid past.  Again, the ghosts are really just a small piece of the story – and they help steer Edith to the right conclusion.  Also - the costumes are astounding - if you like Victorian costuming at all - you will love them.  Personally, I couldn't deal with that level of puffy sleeve and fancy embellishments.

7 out of 10 – gained points for the look of the movie, it really is stunning and worth seeing on the big screen just for the visuals.  Lost points for the creepiness of the Sharpes – yes, whatever you think they’re up to – they are…they’ve got 6 or 7 horror movie standard villain moves in their back pockets, and they’ve done them all!  Gained points for the ghosts finally being helpful after Edith tells them she needs their help.  Lost points for the dog not making it.  Spoiler alert – the dog does not make it.

Bonus Video 1: I always liked Mimic – it’s a standard subway-tunnel monster movie with a del Toro twist.

Bonus Video 2: November 2nd is Dia de Los Muertos – celebrate this year by watching last year’s animated Book of Life that del Toro produced.  It’s beautiful!

Bonus Video 3: Cast interviews;

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Horror Movie Survival Guide

Horror is such a wide open genre that has been existence for as long as people have been telling stories.  There's a reason people tell ghost stories around a campfire; people get a thrill from being scared.  As a movie genre, it has developed into several side genres: horror fantasy, gothic romance, horror comedy, torture porn (no thank you, Eli Roth)…etc.   For the sake of this particular article, let’s stick with straight up horror movies.  You know, the old-fashioned low-budget kind that you see on SyFy Saturday nights.  I’m not a huge horror movie fan, but I have seen several of these, and they do all seem to have several themes in common.  These themes and common details were expertly spoofed both by Scream and by the Cabin in the Woods.

In the most basic of horror movies, you get a handful of folks (usually teens) trapped in a ‘place’, attempting to avoid a ‘thing’.  Depending on the movie, that ‘thing’ can be anything from an Alien to a Zombie - see what I did there?  It can include vampires, werewolves, plague victims, inbred rednecks, evil witches, demons, sasquatches/yetis (depending on where you are), giant snakes, giant crocodiles, giant spiders, giant you-name-its, swamp creatures, shape-shifters, psycho killers, mummies, and almost anything else you can think of.

So, let's ask the question, "If you were in a horror movie, what would you want or need in a box to survive through to the end credits?”  A great question, but perhaps I would first ask, “Just how big is this box? How much stuff can I cram in it?”  I decided to limit myself to 10 items – otherwise I could just keep adding really helpful things!

Item 1:  Machete     
We’ll start with a weapon, and honestly, a machete is a pretty great weapon for a horror movie protagonist.  It’s never going to run out of ammo, and requires fairly little expertise to wield it.  It’s effective against 90% of horror movie "bads", the exception being ghosts and other non-corporeal spectral beings.  The bad news is that you would have to be very close to whoever/whatever you are battling to get in a few good hits.  That’s a problem if you’re fighting a swarm, herd, or mass of anything.  But, good news - you’re rarely going to miss!  Provided you’re not battling a thing with any type of ranged weapon (horror movie villains are usually up close fighters, so they can jump-scare you) you should be all good!  Not to mention, it’s also pretty useful for hacking your way through the wilderness if necessary, butchering whatever you’re skilled enough to hunt (wild vegetables in my case), cutting through locked doors, or intimidating other survivors into following you and letting you be the leader.  Speak softly, carry a big knife. 

An axe will also suffice instead if you prefer the leverage an axe gives you. And I do like the idea of a big stick, or an aluminum baseball bat with spikes on the end, but you get the idea – a powerful weapon that will not run out of ammo is a safe bet.

Item 2: A personal water filter

Who knows how long you’re going to be trapped in this nightmare of a situation being chased by a whatever, and you can exist without food for longer than you can exist without water.   You may come across a water source, but if you’re stuck in a horror movie with any kind of plague-y villain, you’ll need to get that water clean before drinking it.  Even if you’re stuck in a haunted mansion, you wouldn’t want to drink whatever is coming out of the faucets.  Chances are it will be blood, or muddy, or something worse – whatever the haunted mansion decides to spit at you to try to get you to leave.   You’ll want an easy, breezy, portable water purifier.  Then you’re good to go.  I mean, you can scavenge for food.  Hell – you can eat grass if you have to.

Item 3: Hardcore backpack

There’s no point in having survival stuff if you have to carry all that stuff by hand – then how would you battle any enemies?  You’d be constantly dropping all your gear!  It would be great to have a trusty knapsack to keep all your survival goodies in.  Even better would be Hermione’s magical bag from the Harry Potter universe.  She could pull anything she needed out of that thing.  But – I’d settle for one of those awesome bags that has all kinds of multiple pockets for random helpful items – and we’ll cheat the rules here by hoping that bag would come with a few smaller survival items:  compass, flint or lighter, Swiss army knife, water bottle to fill with your filtered water, tiny flashlight, probably some camping-style bedding, and a tarp.  Also – if it’s on your back, this will provide some protection as you are running away from anything with claws, like a werewolf, because they’ll claw the backpack first.  And of course, you can use this to carry all the cans of food that you will scavenge from random places, so let’s hope there’s a can opener in there too – although a machete will open a can if you need.  Just don’t keep photos or maps of your camp/hiding spot/base/town in there.  You wouldn’t want to accidentally lead the wolves to the door. Also, be prepared for no one to trust you if you show up with a backpack.

Item 4:  Equally Hardcore Shoes/Boots

Let’s be real, regardless of what is chasing you in a horror movie, you will need to run at some point...unless it’s one of the old-timey slow mummies.  Then you can just swiftly walk away after pulling on one of his loose bandages to unwrap him.  I’m not going to lie to you – I hate to run.  However, if something is chasing me, I will take off – so, either some great running shoes if your horror movie is mostly indoors – or some really durable hardcore boots if you’re stuck in any kind of outdoor apocalypse nonsense.  We all commented that the silliest thing in Jurassic World was that Claire was able to outrun a T-Rex in high heels.  I love my high heels, but if I’m stuck in a horror movie, I want comfortable action-y shoes.

Item 5:  Maglite ML125 LED Rechargeable Flashlight.

This is a top of the line Maglite with a rechargeable battery.  If your particular horror movie is at night (and let’s be real, they’re all at night), this will brighten up any of the dark horror movie tropes – cave, hallway, passageway, basement, woods, crashed spaceship etc.  Also – it’s really heavy, and will double as a blunt instrument-type weapon.   And – rechargeable!  So, if you still have power anywhere, you can plug it in and get a re-brightening.  A bonus on this would be to add a UV filter to the front so that it becomes an effective anti-vampire weapon.  They will be stalking you at night, since they can’t handle sunlight.  Turn your MagLite into a tiny sunlight projector and poof goes your vampire.

Item 6: Holy items/Relics

Just in case you’re battling some sort of demon or witch or mummy or vampire or the really rare fallen angel – it wouldn’t hurt to have some sort of holy item to have on hand to ward off any generic evil: holy water, a rosary, a Star of David, a tiny Buddha, etc.  

Even if it won’t stop them, it will surely cause them to pause in a perplexed fashion to stare at you – or to gloat about how “that won’t do you any good!” with an evil laugh, and during that pause you can swing your trusty machete at their head, arm, leg, antennae - hell, any appendage you can reach. Or, better yet, during that gloating pause, you can use your hardcore boots/shoes to run - run like the wind. By the time your big bad is done gloating, you're long gone, you've filtered some water, put it in a bottle in your backpack, and used your flashlight to find the exit.  Correct gloating takes a while.

Item 7:  Rope

Rope is all purpose and really helpful.  Have to get up a cliff?  Have to subdue a villain?  Have to move a large object? Have to strap someone or something to a horse? Have to climb up an empty elevator shaft?  In any of those situations, a rope would be really handy.  You’ve just successfully battled a Sasquatch by evading it until it ran into a tree and knocked itself unconscious!  You better tie that thing up before trying to find your friends (because by this time, you’ve gotten separated - you always get separated).  Stuck in an office building and need to get to the grocery store across the street even though the street is filled with zombies?  Use the rope to tie severed zombie limbs to your body so that they will not attack you as you slowly walk through them.  Making camp in the middle of the forest at night? Use the rope to string some cans together to form a crude perimeter defense warning system.  One of your friends is going crazy due to the circumstances and starting to attack the other members in your group? Tie them up until they come to their senses.

Item 8:  Walkie-Talkies  

As previously stated, you’ve definitely become separated from your friends at this point.  You totally need a way to stay in communication.  Most walkie-talkies will run on batteries, and can help you keep in touch.  The only issue you may run into is if a multi-dimensional ghost, specter, or someone from the ‘other side’ will try to communicate to you through the static between the channels and that's terrifying.  But hey – on the flip side, you may be able to stumble into the frequency of some military evacuation teams who will help get you out!  But, judging by most horror movies, they will just cause more problems, so – the walkie talkies will help you evade them too!

Item 9:  Journal and pencils

A journal with a durable cover will provide the means for you to leave notes, draw maps, and otherwise label items because you're not going to want someone else eating that last can of corn.  And, look, let’s stay as positive as possible, but there’s a very real chance you might not make it out of this alive.  Keeping good notes and documenting everything you encounter will help those who come after you!  That way, when they discover your notes, they’ll have a leg up on whatever horror you succumbed to – or, they’ll use it to stumble into a sequel because they’ll be cocky and think they could handle things better than you failed to handle it.  And, pencils, not pens, because they will not run out of ink and you can sharpen them with your machete.

Item 10:  First Aid Kit

I’m tempted to list a friend who is slower than you as the final item…or a lightsaber – because it could handle anything, or Blade.  Yes, just Blade – I know he’s vampire specific, but chances are he could handle anything that you would encounter, plus, he’s handsome, and always has a quip ready for a tense situation - you know what he says about ice skating uphill.  But I think that we’re better off listing something practical – which would be a top-notch first-aid kit.  At some point you or someone you’re with is going to be wounded.  They’re going to get sliced, shot, beaten, clawed, or they’ll break a bone.  And, you get to choose to either leave them behind because they are slowing down the group, or patch them up and help them hobble along.  Unless you are in a zombie apocalypse and they get bit – then leave them!  If it’s not a bite, and you do help this poor unfortunate soul, you’ll get bonus ‘good-karma’ points that should help you through the movie.  Also – there’s all kind of useful stuff in that kit that you can use for all types of situations: band aids, scissors, wraps, antibiotics, painkillers, needles and thread, etc.  Everything you need to help you through the crazy until you make it out the end – if you make it out.

There you have it – The 10 items I would like in my Horror Movie Survival Guide Box.  I think these items, along with some general common sense, would help me last all the way through to the credits of a horror movie.  I mean, I am not going to a haunted mansion, an abandoned building, some dark woods, or a desert camp.  I would never wander off alone.  I would never say, “I’ll be right back!”  I would never give any speech about how “We’re going to pull together and get through this!” because you know how that works out for folks.

With these 10 items, some common sense, and my copy of “How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters”, I’d be all set to save myself and those with me. 

Did I miss anything?  Did I make the wrong call with one of these items?  Let me know what your 10 items would be!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Movie Review: Sleeping With Other People (R – 101 minutes)

I find that I usually am not a huge fan of ‘festival’ movies.  You know the independent, art-house films that win all the awards at the film festivals.  I can certainly agree that they are well-crafted, and beautifully put together, but I often don’t find them entertaining. 

This movie is a prime example of that.  Sleeping With Other People debuted at Sundance Film Festival and quickly garnered a lot of positive word of mouth.  It’s billed as a romantic comedy.  I would call it a romantic dramedy.  It’s far more drama then comedy, in my opinion.  As opposed to a comedy with some bits of drama, I would say it’s a drama with some bits of comedy.
The story begins twelve years ago as Jake is watching a clearly drunk Lainey pound on the dorm room door of Matthew.  Matthew is clearly not home, and the R.A. is about to kick Lainey out of the dorm when Jake steps in to say she’s there with him.  Together, they head up to the roof, where Jake learns that Lainey had intended to sleep with Matthew that night which he cannot believe because Matthew is so boring.  This leads to Jake and Lainey having sex (for the first time) on the roof after getting high together.

We jump to present day, and Jake is chasing a woman who ran away from his apartment, apparently because he was dating her, but slept with her sister.  He goes into a really arrogant, narcissistic monologue about how it’s actually her fault he cheated on her, because they never agreed they were exclusive, and that she didn’t really want to be with him anyway.  

After that, she justifiably shoves him into an oncoming car.  He heads to a hospital and then to work, where we learn he and his business partner Xander are selling their company to a larger conglomerate for a huge fee.  He promptly hits on the new boss, Paula, who states she does not date her employees. 
We also catch up with Lainey, who is out to dinner with her boyfriend Sam when she confesses to him that she’s cheated on him – he makes a scene and walks out on her, calling her a whore. 
We then encounter the both of them at a “love addicts” meeting.  They reconnect, and Lainey agrees to go out with Jake after advice from her friend Kara.  They hang out with Xander and his wife Naomi to celebrate the sale, then go out on an actual date to dinner where they realize they are both screwed up relation-ship wise.  Jake is afraid of being mean in dumping a girl he sees no future with, so he sabotages all his relationships by cheating, while Lainey is still hung up on Matthew from college and continues to sleep with him from time to time, ruining whatever relationship she’s in.  He has such control over her that she stalks him a bit, and has legitimate panic attacks when he calls her.  Hilarious – right?

In any case, the two decide they’re best being friends, and so start a relationship where they give each other relationship advice, and go to various events together – including getting high together and going to Xander and Naomi’s kid’s birthday party.  Eventually they realize they’re in love with each other, but agree to do nothing about it.  Lainey helps Jake…well, I’m not sure she really helps him; I guess he’s slightly less of a dick when she’s in his life?  Jake helps Lainey attempt to get over her debilitating addiction to Matthew, even though she still has a complete panic attack when she runs into him at a party she’s at with her new boyfriend.  Jake eventually gets his boss Paula to go out with him, and Lainey eventually gets accepted to medical school in Michigan.  Just when they both seem to have stabilized, Jake runs into Matthew at lunch one day, and physically attacks him for “hurting his girl” – while he’s out with Paula.  This causes Matthew’s new wife to go into labor on the street as she’s crying because he’s trading punches with some random dude.  Totally hilarious, right? 
Paula leaves him, he goes to jail – calls Lainey, tells her he loves her – and she seems to come back to New York to tell Matthew to drop his lawsuit, and marry Jake.  Then it would appear the two of them are planning to go back to Michigan together.

The writer/director, Leslye Headland, also did Bachelorette – which was in a similar vein.  The movie has many funny situations, but the two leads are so completely screwed up that it was hard for me to get attached enough to either of them to root for them.  The cast is really magnificent, and they do a fantastic job with the material they have.

  • Alison Brie from Mad Men and Community plays Lainey, and she does a great job of portraying a woman who is so completely attached to a man she cannot have that she cannot connect to anyone else.  She’s struggling to move past it, but she keeps getting sucked back in.

  • I feel like Jason Sudeikis played the same character he played in Horrible Bosses, a completely despicable womanizer, but he does have some moments where you see him begin to stretch past that.  I found the character just so disgusting that I really could not pull for him.  I did not understand why anyone tolerated him. There are a few moments where he begins to realize how much he loves Lainey that make you believe eventually there will be more to Sudeikis then you thought. 

  • Adam Brody has one scene as Lainey’s boyfriend Sam who she confesses to cheating on in the restaurant.  The scene is character development for Lainey, but also seems to be an excuse to let Brody go a bit nuts in public. 

  • The hilarious Billy Eichner has a tiny cameo as the speaker at the meeting where Jake and Lainey run into one another.
  • Amanda Peet plays Jake’s new boss Paula.  I found it really annoying how insistent he was that she go out with him, and even more annoying that she was finally charmed into saying yes as opposed to just reporting him to HR.

  • Natasha Lyonne plays Lainey’s friend Kara who gives her advice, both good and bad as she is trying to quit Matthew and decipher her feelings for Jake.
  • Adam Scott is capable of really big comedy, so it was interesting to see him and his terrible mustache as the very low-key Matthew.  Once he finally appears on screen, and the audience gets to see how boring he is, it is very difficult to understand Lainey’s obsession with him, but maybe that’s the point?

  • Andrea Savage plays Naomi, and she pairs perfectly with Jason Mantzoukas, who plays Xander.  They were hilarious together, and to be fair – Mantzoukas is the reason I went to see this movie.  He was hilarious.  Especially the scenes of he and Savage over the end credits.

Overall, the movie wasn’t bad, it was actually very well acted – and well crafted.   It is a hard R and mainly for sex and language – a lot of sex - and for all the drug use, none of it is shown on screen.  Xander and Naomi seemed charmed that Jake and Lainey get high then come to their kid’s party.  I find that horrible, but hey – what do I know.  I think my disappointment with the movie comes from expecting a really hilarious, laugh-out-loud, comedy.  If I had been more clearly lead to believe that it was a more heartfelt drama with some funny moments, I think I would have been more pleased with the result.  I think I also would have preferred it to be more of an ensemble, everybody in this movie is great - but it's a lot of Sudekis and Brie.  If you have amazing side characters - use them more!

5 out of 10.  Lost points for the drug use, lost points for the two leads being horrible people (yes, I know that was the point of the movie), lost points for Jake talking his boss into dating him, lost points for Matthew being equally horrible to Jake.  Gained points for Mantzoukas.

Bonus Video 1: Leslye Headland helped to update the script to this 2014 remake of About Last Night, which I loved.  And was a comedy with some dramatic moments.

Bonus Video 2:  Only You – a zany romantic comedy that I loved.

Bonus Video 3: Cast Interviews.