A pooch, a parent and a puzzled son are at the centre of an amazing film playing right now on PictureBox, the stonkingly wonderful Beginners. This seriously hilarious film even won the Oscar for Christopher Plummer (he’s the father in The Sound of Music - yes, that really is him). Written and directed by Mike Mills, this autobiographical comedy takes the director’s own life as a starting point: he was the straight son who is told that his dying father is actually gay. His father doesn’t whisper it, he makes a hearty pronouncement.
Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Rose Byrne are among the cast of Bridesmaids, the staggeringly successful comedy about a broke and single maid-of-honour who leads a bride – and the bridesmaids – on a crazy trip up the aisle, with only one chance to get it right. For reassurance that decent, fearless comedy is very much alive and kicking, don't hesitate to hit 'play' on this. It smashed the box office and earned a fistful of industry nominations.
Writer/director Peter Berg is hardly an awards season regular but he does at least have a signature style of film: tough, disciplined tales of camaraderie. Sometimes it's in a cheesy blockbuster (Battleship), sometimes a political thriller (The Kingdom), once - perhaps most successfully - in a sports drama (Friday Night Lights). Berg's attitudes to global issues may not always be the most considered but as a former actor he sure knows how to push his cast with rehearsals and improv, creating that palpable sense of trust and togetherness.
Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Michael Douglas share top billing in Last Vegas, the ultimate buddy blow-out comedy which sees a middle-aged group of childhood pals descend on Vegas to throw a bachelor party for their last remaining unmarried friend. It’s a total joy. There are winnings at the casino table, a swimsuit competition, a penthouse suite and an encounter with a random bachelorette party.