Well, it’s officially fall, ladies. Time to retire your bikinis and start packing on the winter pounds and you’d better hurry because I’ve already got a head start! Training includes consuming lots of empty calories and then sitting really still for long periods of time. Where better to do that than at the movie theater? This week is all about pretending to be what you aren’t, like a talented dancer in “Fame,” a beautiful android in “Surrogates,” a capable parent in “The Boys Are Back,” politically versed with “Capitalism: A Love Story,” rich enough to afford Chanel with “Coco Before Chanel,” and a nice guy with “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.”
The Movie: “Fame”
The Trailer: Fame! I’m gonna live forever! I’m gonna learn how to fly! This remake of the 1980 musical is just like the old one, except instead of everyone wanting to be performers and dancers, this time they want to be rappers, filmmakers, and hip-hop dancers. The cast is filled with new talent along with teachers played by Kelsey Grammer, Debbie Allen, Bebe Neuwirth, and Megan Mullally. Oh, and the new one cost $25 million to make.
The Hitch: It was doomed from the get-go. The original fame encapsulated an era of hope; these days the idea of fame has been bastardized to the point where we can’t remember why most famous people became famous in the first place. Talent is nearly obsolete. All these kids need is a YouTube account and a schtick. So, hopefully a few of them catch onto that and make it out of New York’s High School of the Performing Arts.
The Movie: “Surrogates”
The Trailer: In a not-so-unrealistic future scenario, based on a graphic novel, humans have stopped interacting with each other altogether and instead send their humanoid robots out to roam the streets while we veg out. Director Jonathan Mostow (“Terminator 3″) says, “You sit around in your pajamas all day, and yet have a complete social life executed by this idealized version of yourself.” Apparently, Bruce Willis‘ idealized version of himself has a full head of hair and has to investigate when someone starts killing humans and taking over their surrogates.
The Hitch: Isn’t “Surrogates” just a metaphor for humans and our online personas? We sit at home and send our wit and most flattering pictures out to play our part and every once in a while someone hacks into our persona and uses it to solicit our friends to win Macy’s gift cards. Sure, no one’s actually killing us, but aren’t they, just a little?
The Movie: “The Boys Are Back”
The Trailer: Based on Simon Carr’s 2001 memoir, Clive Owen stars as a British sports journalist who is stuck raising two boys, one from a previous marriage he ditched out on to be with his new wife who dies of cancer. Instead of being his usual bad cop self, Owen takes the “just say yes” route and all three act like boys but still manage to kinda run the household, enjoy each other, and charm all the single mothers.
The Hitch: It’s a really refreshing change to see Mr. Owen play Mr. Nice Guy. If you’re a fan of struggling man-boys and father/son relationships pursued in a realistic and not overly sentimental way, then this is the movie for you.
The Movie: “Capitalism: A Love Story”
The Trailer: Michael Moore considers this movie to be his life’s work. Instead of tackling a single subject or person, the controversial documentarian is going after the entire economy this time. He says he “made this movie as if it was the last movie I was allowed to make.” He started filming six months before the economy fell to bits and says of his newest venture, ”It’s a crime story. But it’s also a war story—about class warfare. And a vampire movie, with the upper one percent feeding off the rest of us. And, of course, it’s also a love story. Only it’s about an abusive relationship.”
The Hitch: You know you hardly have a choice with Michael Moore movies. All your political friends are going to go see it and want to talk about it. They’re going to accuse you of being a Republican if you skip it; save your dignity and beat them to it. Apparently this one is a comedy, so even if you could give a sh*t about the economy, which is unlikely at this point, you’ll at least get a sad laugh out of that woman not knowing where our money is.
The Movie: “Coco Before Chanel”
The Trailer: This French biopic starring Audrey Tautou as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel follows the designer from her youth as an impoverished orphan, learning sewing in a convent school, to her years as a cabaret singer and through her romance with a wealthy protective man — all before starting the famous fashion empire which would feminize men’s clothing and release women from their corsets. [EW]
The Hitch: Audrey Tautou’s ability to make almost any movie beautiful combined with the painfully amazing fashion of Chanel — there’s really not that much that can go wrong with this film … unless you’re too lazy to read subtitles, in which case, you’re a jerk. This is likely a much more authentic (as in more French) version of the Lifetime biopic that came out recently. And in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been psyched about this release since March!
The Movie: “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men”
The Trailer: John Krasinski‘s (“The Office”) directorial debut is based on David Foster Wallace’s 1999 short story collection. The movie combines confessional interviews with the male characters and vignettes about their relationships.
The Hitch: Every time I think I’d like to know what men really think, I almost immediately regret it afterward. But some of the “hideous” men included in the interviews are Will Arnett, Lou Taylor Pucci, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, John Krasinski (duh), and Chris Messina. This might be a good reality check for women who are still hopeful that men aren’t awful jerks?