Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Just Friends, he said 3.0

I really like Ryan Reynolds. Maybe I have a bit of a man crush on him (using that phrase in the strictly heterosexual sense). I will confess to having watched more than one episode of "Two Guys and a Girl (and sometimes a Pizza Place)" just because he was in it (well, him and Nathan Fillion). I think he has a lot of potential to be a new Chevy Chase (back when Chevy was still funny). He's been the highlight of several rather mediocre movies, but I keep waiting for him to get that one breakout role that will raise him to the A-list where he deserves to be. Sadly, "Just Friends" is not that movie, but it is an enjoyable enough movie that made for a nice study break. It is about a guy who is stuck in the dreaded friend zone, a place I know all too well.

This is not a clever or subtle comedy by any means, but it is not a completely over-the-top or gross-out comedy either. The plot is highly contrived, but the actors are able to make it fun. Reynolds is solid. The poster and much of the other promotional materials for this movie show Reynolds, as Chris Brander, dressed in a fat suit. Fortunately, these opening high school scenes are brief. Anna Faris, who was the best thing about the "Scary Movie" series, is hilarious. Her character provided the most laughs. Chris Marquette plays Chris' horny teenage brother (much the same character he played in "The Girl Next Door"). He too is good in this role (but not as great as he was on TV's "Joan of Arcadia"). Chris Klein and Amy Smart round out the cast with decent performances.

In addition to Faris' deranged pop star, the funniest part to me involved Chris playing hockey with a group of kids. Also, the violent interaction between Chris and his brother reminded me why I have always wanted a brother (you can't beat up sisters). There is scene involving Christmas lights that reminded me of my favorite holiday movie, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." By the way, although this movie is set at Christmas, it's not exactly what I would call a Christmas movie. The story would have been much the same no matter what season it was set in.

Overall, this movie is not really great, but I didn't care. I laughed a lot, and I found it highly enjoyable. It's not classic or groundbreaking in any way, but amidst all the more serious and pretentious fare at the theaters this time of year, "Just Friends" is a fun, if not memorable, trip to the movies.

Addendum: We saw this movie again last night as part of our regular Tuesday night outing. I still feel pretty much the same about it. Enjoyable, but nothing special in the least. Reynolds, Faris, and Marquette make it fun. Now back to studying for finals and wasting time on Facebook.

What did you think?
Yeah, I wasn't very impressed with this one at all. I also like Ryan Reynolds a lot, and the Chevy Chase comparision is dead on though it had never occurred to me before. He needs to choose his projects a little more wisely though... I never saw "Waiting..." but this and "Amityville Horror" are two of my least favorite movies to have come out this year. "Just Friends" was a little half-baked in the same way that director Roger Kumble's previous feature "The Sweetest Thing" was... The cast is game, the ideas have potential, but the execution is shoddy. Anna Faris was hilarious, and really the only part of the movie I walked away really loving. Reynold's was mostly strong, but should check himself more often... By the end I didn't care who ended up with who, except to say I wish the lil' bro would have ended up with Faris... The movie also failed to demonstrate just what was so great about Amy Smart's character than makes Reynolds obsess -- she was cute and sweet, but the screenplay should have given us that moment where we see that the two are soulmates or whatever. Wow, this was a long comment.
Yeah, I really didn't care about the romance part at all. You are right that the movie did absolutely nothing to show us what was so great about Amy Smart's character? Like I said, I didn't find the movie memorable, but I did enjoy it. It could have been just because I was relieved to be away from school work for a few hours, but this was vastly superior to "Waiting..."

And I refuse to watch "Amityville Horror" even if Reynolds is in it. I am so sick of these shoddy, pointless remakes of 70s horror movies. Those movies are fine the way they are. Some (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) are classics. Some (The Fog) were not that great to begin with. But they were not even that long ago so remakes are completely unwarranted. I love horror movies, but it has been so long since we got a good one (the last one I can think of was "Cabin Fever"). All we get now are remakes of 70s/80s and Japanese horror. Arrrgh! Thank goodness Eli Roth has another movie coming soon. I apologize for that rant.
I LOVE "Cabin Fever"... And I thought maybe the "Amityville Horror" remake could be good, since the first one isn't really all that great begin with... but I was wrong. They try to shoehorn the Asian style of horror into what is a classic American style haunting story... Even going so far as to tack on a creepy little girl shot at the end. I really liked the original "The Fog" for its atmosphere, but then again John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors -- "Halloween" is one of my all-time favorite movies (and yes, word is that even it is being remade by some group of suckers...)

"28 Days Later" is another recent horror flick I enjoyed.
Wow, that is the first I have heard about a "Halloween" remake. I think a little piece of my heart just broke. Blasphemous!

I like the original "Amityville Horror," but I have not seen it in a really long time so I only vaguely remember it. I know there were some really crappy sequels, but then again most horror sequels are.

Yeah, I forgot about "28 Days Later." That one was good.
I had a crush on Ryan Reynolds as Van wilder, then i knew i loved him when i saw his cameo on Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. I agree with the Chevy Chase comparision as well, but i don't know why exactly.
has a horror movie remake ever exceeded its predecessor? the ones i can think of (psycho, carrie, dawn of the dead, those movies you guys mentioned) clearly don't.
The only one I can recall that I like better is "The Fly." But then I refuse to watch the recent remakes so even if they are good I would not know.
John Carpenter's take on "The Thing" is better than the Howard Hawk's original, but the original was more Sci-Fi than horror I think...
Brandon, come on, you mean to tell me this film is not worth the $5.50 (that is the price of movies around my neck of the world) to see it as a matinee? As compared to Waiting, which I saw with you and Ms. Roberson, I would say this is miles above and well worth my money I paid, I did not pray God would give me the 2 hours back I wasted like I did with waiting. I could understand it was not better than say Star Wars, Batman Begins, Da Chronicles of Narnia (ok the Da was suppose to make people want to watch SNL's digital short), but I would think it was better than Shop Girl, The Legend of Zorro, or even Elizabethtown, which you have it in the area of with its ranking.
The Chronic-what?

Yes, I liked this movie about the same as all of thoe you mentioned at the end. Though it being a silly comedy, I can probably see myself rewatching more often just because I tend to rewatch comedies more. A 3 is not bad. It's a yay!, just a weak one. Kind of a yeeay...
I felt the movie was more than just a study break laugh. P
Yeah, well I didn't. But it was a good one.
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