Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Can women really have fun in movies?

Before we get into any of that, the two oddest things I came across this morning both involve Tyler Perry, who I almost always enjoy, but most of all when he's behind the scenes rather than in a fat suit and drag.

That certainly won't be the case for "Madea's Big Happy Family," coming to theaters April 22. It should be a return to broad comedy along with the big drama, which would be a welcome shift after "Colored Girls" (which I mostly enjoyed until I finally felt beaten down by it all.) This time out, he's got Bow Wow (no longer Lil, and don't knock it unless you've seen him in one of my favorite movies, "Roll Bounce"), and a bunch of regulars like David and Tamela Mann, plus even that Old Spice guy.

A truly nightmarish visual bit about that flick at the end, but in the meantime, in an odd case of trading down (in acting, at least), it seems that Tyler Perry has somehow replaced Stringer Bell (aka Idris Elba) in the coming reboot of the Alex Cross series on film.

In the past two Alex Cross movies, "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider," the role of the detective and psychologist was played by Morgan Freeman, making this an even odder transition. In the new movie, "I, Alex Cross," with a script penned by James Patterson, who wrote the the Alex Cross novels, our hero tracks the rapist who may have murdered his pregnant wife years earlier.

This all begins shooting in June, and I suppose I shouldn't be so skeptical, since I've liked almost all of Perry's movies so far, but once he's donned that Madea suit, I just really can't see him being taken terribly seriously in this. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

But on to the main event. Kristen Wiig has a new movie coming out in May, "Bridesmaids," and as you can see from the first trailer below, it's squarely from the Judd Apatow (who's a producer) camp of comedy - except that it's all women in the main roles. I realize that shouldn't be much of a surprise, but unfortunately it is. When's the last time you can remember women getting to have this much fun in a big-studio, hopefully raunchy summer (well, almost) comedy?

And besides all that, except for a truly unfortunate joke at the end of the trailer (still worth sticking around to the end for to see just how bad it is), this all looks truly rather funny. Along with Wiig, who along with writing the script for this plays the maid of honor charged with putting it all together, it also stars fellow "Saturday Night Live" star Maya Rudolph as the bride, plus veryfunnywomen Melissa McCarthy (aka Sookie on "Gilmore Girls" and one half of CBS' Monday night show about fat people) and Ellie Kemper (Erin on "The Office"). It's also directed by "Freaks and Geeks" vet Paul Feig, so here's hoping this girl's club turns out to be as funny as it should be. Enjoy the trailer, then stick around for, as promised, a truly nightmarish vision of Madea.

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Say what you want about Tyler Perry's movies, but he always manages to at least grab people's attention with the posters, and this one for "Madea's Big Happy Family" is no exception. As if "Black Swan" weren't already scary enough ... enjoy, and have a perfectly passable Wednesday. Peace out.

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