Larry David might look like a new agey Moses in his HBO movie Clear History, which premiered Saturday night, but somehow the wild facial hair and flowing pants only serve to make him seem more like Larry David. He doesn’t play a role so much as demonstrate the stubborn transcendence of his persona: Even disguised in the shell of a new character, he sets about delivering nitpicky rants and torpedoing casual social interactions with his neuroticism.
Mothers and fathers can breathe again, and leave their children of a certain age to the liberty of their own devices, and parental innocence. What age? Well, I’d suggest that it’s the under-26s, that being the new limit at which “kids” or fully grown adults, subject to STDs and other menacing acronyms, can remain on their parents’ health insurance.
“You know her,” Debbie Harry croons in the song that plays over the opening credits to Bridesmaids. “Her,” in this case, is Annie (Kristen Wiig), whom we’ve just seen, in the movie’s first scene, having bad sex with a pretty-boy cad (Jon Hamm) and then sneaking into the bathroom at the crack of dawn to reapply her makeup so that he’ll still find her attractive when he wakes up.
What does it say that three of the top five films on my list this year--and another that could easily have made the top ten, Coraline--are “kid’s movies”? In the end not much, I think. Two of the three, Where the Wild Things Are and Fantastic Mr. Fox, were directed by talented indie auteurs (Spike Jonze and Wes Andersen, respectively) who merely happened to adapt children’s books in the same year.
With 1990s films such as Clerks and Chasing Amy, Kevin Smith pioneered the kind of tender raunch that, under Judd Apatow, has come to dominate American comedy. As Apatow himself once put it, “Kevin Smith laid down the track.” Now, though, the train has left the station and, like everyone else, Smith is desperately trying to climb back aboard.
"I'm sorry," the boy tells the girl whose posterior he's just whipped with some surgical tubing. "Your butt was calling to me." This assertion of anatomical enthusiasm was the second line voiced by Seth Rogen's character on "Freaks and Geeks," the critically acclaimed but short-lived NBC dramedy produced by Judd Apatow in 1999-2000.