Seth Meyers

After the smashing success of The Proposal, director Anne Fletcher has kept a bit of a low profile, somewhat surprisingly not capitalizing on her giant hit to dive right into yet another romantic comedy with an all-star cast. Now it looks like the helmer is zigging a bit and signing on for a different kind of film – an original Christmas comedy penned by the very funny Seth Meyers, currently the head writer at Saturday Night Live. The film is titled Alone For The Holidays and is already aiming for a holiday release in 2013, so feel to mark this one down as counter-programming for whatever familial insanity goes down in your house come December. Deadline Rochester reports, amusingly enough, that the studio is “keeping plot specific[s] under wraps,” though I’d think that we can probably well guess from its title alone that it will center on someone who is, gasp, alone for the holidays. The film is set in New York City, so boom, expect that the glitz and hubbub of a city holiday to prove to be good and alienating. And, ya know, funny.

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Here’s something sort of bizarre – director Garry Marshall and writer Katherine Fugate‘s latest star-crammed desecration of random, non-religious holidays is not monumentally or irremediably terrible. It is also not good, but it’s certainly better than its predecessor, the rancid Valentine’s Day (though that’s not saying much). New Year’s Eve is not so much a film as a gimmick – tons of stars! lots of plots! all kind of connected! just one day! – and such a gimmick can yield some unexpectedly positive results just as often as it can ending up being simply terrible entertainment not worthy of being called cinema. New Year’s Eve is not so much a film as a two-hour piece of wish fulfillment for the sort of people who read US Weekly on, well, a weekly basis. Unlike Valentine’s Day, its very existence is not offensive, but it’s bloated and kind of boring and really, just really, tremendously unnecessary.

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The horror…the horror… The best part about this poster for New Year’s Eve is either that it features all of the names and pictures of the actors, but not in the same order, or that the catchphrase “Let The Countdown Begin” lets us know that it’s a Doomsday Movie. Garry Marshall, who should be ashamed of himself for directing Valentine’s Day, proves once and for all that he owes some serious men down at the race track by stepping up to direct this sequel which seeks to squeeze even less screen time out for even more famous faces. Also, Homeless Hector Elizondo is kind of cruel considering they made everyone else look halfway decent (except for Ashton Kutcher who clearly didn’t show up for a photo shoot and forced the marketing department to find a paparazzi shot of him smiling). Enough with the words! Check it out for yourself, and feel free to largify it by clicking (if you dare):

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr feels the weight of the fall movie season. It’s September, and while the kids are heading back to school, he’s playing hooky with Sarah Jessica Parker chick flicks and yet another not-quite-70s-video-nasty remake. Kevin is consoled by the release of Drive, however, because Albert Brooks as a crime boss makes him chuckle. And his love for 3D and Disney meet head-on in a collision of awesomeness.

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The ground is far too fertile when a film from Sarah Jessica Parker is called I Don’t Know How She Does It, but rather than take cheap shots by answering the rhetorical title, it’s more important to celebrate the talent she’ll be surrounding herself with. The film has just signed on Christina Hendricks (despite science still having no explanation for how she physically exists) and SNL head writer Seth Meyers (despite science still having no explanation for how SNL still exists). Both are fairly new to the film but aren’t strangers to show business. Plus, they are the perfect, harmless additions to what seems like a stock comedy about a woman having it all. After all, there has to be a gossipy best friend and someone for Christina Hendricks to play. Oliva Munn will also be playing a small role, busting out of her cameo phase and the twitter fame people seem to care so much about. Over all, Sarah Jessica Parker has somehow completely morphed from the manic pixie dream girl of L.A. Story to the disliked shrew of today, but if she insists on hopping into the romantic comedy business, it might as well be with some talented actors who deserve more time on the big screen. [LA Times]

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