Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow in Scandal

Scandal is in a junior-year slump. Last season, ABC’s political soap was one of the best series on television, the writers expertly shoving characters together and wrenching them apart for maximum delicious conflict. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes achieved a kind of baroque storytelling that was grotesquely convoluted, yet stunning to behold. The season didn’t culminate in a single and-then-the-earth-stopped-spinning revelation, but four or five.  (Spoilers ahead.) The president had the election rigged for him — and didn’t know it. When he discovered the truth, the POTUS killed one of the people who got him his gig in retaliation: a dying Supreme Court justice. The First Lady threatened to expose her Republican husband’s interracial affair on live TV and use the sympathy vote to get herself elected to office. As a pre-emptive measure, the president’s gay chief of staff counter-threatened to “out” the FLOTUS as a lesbian. Oh, and he also used his assassin connections to order his baby-crazy husband dead.

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The emotional beats are telegraphed a bit too obviously in Don Roos’ The Other Woman, an adaptation of Ayelet Waldman’s novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. The picture – about the burdens of being the second wife – ties itself into a neat Manhattan valentine dramedy bow, and it makes no great attempt to bypass the occasional thinly drawn character or overdone scenario.

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‘Paper Man’ has a great cast headlined by Jeff Daniels, but it’s a tired retread of an age-old indie formula.

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Kevin Carr breaks down the week’s releases, looking at District 9, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Bandslam, and Ponyo.

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Kabluey is the best film that you’ve never heard of, and it’s finally coming to theaters that are hopefully near you. If you’re geographically challenged in regards to the release schedule, then never fear, it’ll be on DVD in September. Definitely a must-see.

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The Cast of Friends

It seems FSR Exec. Editor Neil Miller isn’t alone in his jealousy of Sarah Jessica Parker’s wardrobe and recent success with the Sex and the City movie.

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The screen adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s novel was originally set in Ireland but has been transported to New York City to create a vehicle for Hilary Swank to show her softer, funnier side.

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