LIFE OF THE PARTY — Review by Sarah Knight Adamson

Undeniably, Melissa McCarthy is one of the funniest women working in Hollywood to date. After her break-out role in Bridesmaids (2011), the female version of The Hangover, McCarthy continues to cross over into typical guy-dominated roles: buddy cops in The Heat, world reconnaissance in Spy, and exterminating ghosts in Ghostbusters. Here she’s reinventing the manboy character as in Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School and Will Ferrell’s Old School in creating a sweet, unassuming mom role in Life of the Party. Continue reading…

read more

LIFE OF THE PARTY — Review by Susan Granger

Actress/producer/co-writer Melissa McCarthy collaborated with her husband/director Ben Falcone on this flaccid, cliché-riddled mom-com, set at (fictional) Decatur University. It begins as Deanna (McCarthy) and her husband, Dan (Matt Walsh), drop off their daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) at her sorority house for her senior year. Leaving the campus, Dan tells her he wants a divorce; he’s having an affair with a real-estate agent (Julie Bowen) who has already put their house on the market. Continue reading…

read more

AWFJ Movie of the Week, July 10 – July 16: GHOSTBUSTERS

ghostbusters posterOpening July 15, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Ghostbusters, the hotly-awaited new all-female reboot of the beloved sci-fi franchise from director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy). Read on…

read more

THE BOSS — Review by Susan Granger

You can see Melissa McCarthy’s best bits from this wannabe comedy in the trailer. As brash Michelle Darnell, she’s a self-made financial guru – “the 47th wealthiest woman in America” – who gets arrested and convicted for insider trading. When she’s released from prison, she’s so broke that she’s forced to bunk in with her former assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell). Read on…

read more

VITA ACTIVA, WEDDING DOLL, THE INVITATION, THE BOSS and More Apr 8 Openers — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

vita activa hanna arendt posterVita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt, Israeli filmmaker Ada Ushpiz’s probing documentary profile, is as provocative and controversial as Arendt’s own relentlessly challenging observations and theories. Wedding Doll is a poignant Israeli coming of age feature about Hagit, amentally deficient young women whose life falls apart when her work in the local toilet paper factory is about to end. The Invitation is Karen Kusama’s horror thriller in which guests who are invited to a lavish dinner begin to suspect their host has ulterior motives. The Boss should be fired. Plus Look At Us Now, Mother and High Strung. Read the reviews…

read more

THE WEEK IN WOMEN: FURY ROAD on DVD Brings Furiosa Home, plus Kudos for Blanchett, Hathaway’s Sci-Fi and McCarthy Hypes GHOSTBUSTERS – Brandy McDonnell comments

MadMaxFuryRoadInvite Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) into your home when Mad Max: Fury Road releases on Blu-ray and DVD, with extras. Cate Blanchett to receive BFI’s Fellowship at London Film Festival in October. Anne Hathaway produces and stars in The Shower, a Scifi comedy with a kick ass female lead. Melissa McCarthy is stumping for Paul Feig’s not-so-hotly-anticipated all-female Ghostbusters reboot. Read this week’s The Week in Women>>

read more

Top Five Cinema Female Psyche Distortions and the ‘Isotta Fraschini’ Syndrome – Quendrith Johnson comments

MaggieGyllenhaal-234x300Ever since Maggie Gyllenhaal went public with the fact that she lost a role, at 37, as a love interest for a 55-year-old leading male because she was “too old,” the internet lit up with shock. But why should we be surprised? Disparity in casting leading men and women has been around since the Silent Era. So has a distorted view of the female psyche on film. Not only a distortion as to who and what women represent, but how the props, set dressing, costumes, conspire with the script, even the director, to really hammer the point home. Read on…

read more

SEEDS OF TIME, WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE, SPY and Other May 22 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

seedsoftimeSeeds of Time, Sandy McLeod’s fascinating and beautifully shot documentary about the critical importance of seeds and one man’s enduring efforts to preserve as many varieties as possible, will ground you in reality about the future. When Marnie Was There is a brilliant Studio Ghibli animated mystery about two lonely young girls who find and save each other. Spy is this season’s Melissa McCarthy vehicle. Plus The Farewell Party from Israeli filmmakers Sharon Maymon and Tal Granit and Aloft,” the second feature from Oscar-nominated Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa. Read more>>

read more

ST VINCENT – Review by Susan Granger

stvincentposterart160Bill Murray is sneaks into your heart as Vincent, a crusty curmudgeon who lives with his Persian cat Felix in a run-down house in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. When Maggie (Melissa McCarthy), a newly separated mother, moves in next door, the moving van knocks down a tree branch that crashes into his ancient Chrysler convertible – and he’s furious. As it turns out, she’s a harried nurse/technician who works long hours at the hospital, so her politely precocious 12 year-old son, Oliver (Jason Lieberher), winds up spending his after-school hours with unkempt, foul-mouthed Vincent, who demands to be paid as his bracingly unorthodox baby-sitter. Read on…

read more

TAMMY – Review by Susan Granger

Having catapulted to stardom in “The Bridesmaids,” “The Heat” and “Identity Thief,” Melissa McCarthy has enough clout within the industry to co-write, produce and star in this ridiculously contrived comedy, collaborating with her husband, director Ben Falcone. Once again, she plays a brash, trash-talking woman whose arrogance conceals vulnerability and need for love and acceptance. Read on…

read more