NICE GUYS, MAGGIE’S PLAN, MA MA, NEIGHBORS 2, WEINER and More May 20 Openers — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

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nice guys posterThe Nice Guys Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe don’t finish last when it comes to laughs, especially when foiled by breakout Angourie Rice as Gosling’s savvy teenage daughter. Neighbors 2 has Rose Byrne and Seth Rogan’s quietude disrupted by boisterous bikini-clad sorority girls. Ma Ma stars Penelope Cruz in an inspiration tearjerker. Weiner is a winning documentary about losing an election due to sexting and other complications. Plus The Abolutionists docu about the crusade to stop sex trafficking, In Search of Doc Holliday with insight about the western bad boy, Who is Lydia Loveless? profiling the bad girl singer and romcom Dropping The S Bomb about a smitten girl who follows her high school squeeze to Stamford. Femme-helmed or femme-centric, all. But which are watch worthy? Read the reviews>>

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).