Nick Stoller

While we’ve yet to see Akiva Schaffer‘s The Watch, it sounds as if at least element of the comedy works – the pairing of stars Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill. Let’s at least hope so for the sake of Shawn Levy and Nicholas Stoller, as THR reports that Levy (who is also a producer on The Watch) has signed on to direct a script from Stoller that would star Stiller and Hill. Not much is known about the project beyond its title – Aloha – and a vague description of being an “island-set comedy.” The outlet also reports that Stiller, Hill, and Levy cooked up the pitch for the project while filming The Watch, and that Stoller is currently in negotiations to write the screenplay. Stoller has, of course, already directed a film that features both Hill and Hawaii (a little ditty by the name of Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and the pair also worked together on its pseudo-follow-up, Get Him to the Greek. Will Aloha center on Matthew the Waiter? Perhaps harassing his favorite comedian – played by Stiller? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Culture Warrior

Imagine what some of our most beloved romantic films would look like if they were made in the 21st century. Laura and Alec of David Lean’s Brief Encounter could have managed their secret meetups over text. Harry and Sally could have checked each others’ okcupid accounts before explaining every aspect of what they seek in a partner over a cross-country road trip. And Ilsa would never have had to get on that plane because, y’know, the war’s over. This is a fruitless endeavor, I know, but it brings one thing into light which poses both problems and opportunities for the contemporary romance film, specifically the romantic comedy: politics, economic conditions, shifting gender roles, and technological evolution means different kinds of relationships and, thus, different kinds of romantic movies. How can the 21st century romance film expect the wedding-bell-chiming happy ending to work in a society full of emerging adults who feel less and less of a need to get married? How can new romantic comedies account for the fact that today’s working professional must move constantly – putting all their human relationships at risk – in order to find a job that suits them without only making films about the uber-privileged? Will there ever be a mainstream romantic comedy featuring a non-monogomous or non-heteronormative protagonist? Several recent screen romances have attempted to tackle the changing nature of relationships – or, at least, the type of relationship typically depicted in the Hollywood romance.

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Sex Tape is a script that Sony has their hands all over, thanks to screenwriter Kate Angelo. It must be something special, because in a world where people selling their spec scripts is becoming increasingly more rare, Angelo was able to unload this one for seven figures. It tells the story of a suburban couple whose increasingly boring lives lead to them ditching their kids for an evening and getting together to make a salacious sex tape. The trouble starts the next morning when they wake up from their post-debauchery coma and realize that the tape has gone missing. Thus begins a desperate search for the tape in hopes of staving off humiliation. Sony has been working on making this movie happen for a while now, and it seems like their efforts are about to pay off. They’re in negotiations with not only a director, but also a pair of actors to play the lead couple. The director is Nick Stoller, who helmed the hit comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall and co-wrote this year’s The Muppets. The actors are Jason Segel and Reese Witherspoon, which makes sense because Segel and Stoller have worked together numerous times before and Witherspoon is just the type of name that studios want to put in things. If Sony is able sign the trio, then I’m sure it will be only a matter of time before Sex Tape goes from spec script to comedy hit. But can we do something about that title? It’s kind of the […]

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Judd Apatow’s camp comes through again with a comedy that is a lot smarter than you would initially think… [Grade: B+]

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published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+
published: 12.05.2014
C+


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