Archive for Breckin Meyer

Revisited: Clueless

Posted in Movie Reviews, Revisited with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is a good-natured but superficial girl who is attractive, popular, and extremely wealthy. A few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, she has risen to the top of the high-school social scene, and is happy and self-assured in her insular, fashion-obsessed world. She lives in a Beverly Hills mansion with her father Melvin (Dan Hedaya), a ferocious $500-an-hour litigator; her mother has long since died, having succumbed to complications while undergoing liposuction surgery. Cher’s best friend is Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash), who is also rich, pretty, and hip, and understands what it’s like to be envied.

Among the few people to find much fault with Cher is Josh (Paul Rudd), her socially conscious ex-stepbrother who visits during a break from college. Josh and Cher spar continually but without malice; she refers to him as “granola breath” and mocks his scruffy idealism, while he teases her for being selfish, vain, and superficial, and says that her only direction in life is “toward the mall.”

Illustrating that Cher’s selfishness is usually innocent and relatively harmless, Cher plays matchmaker for two lonely, nerdy, hard-grading teachers, Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn) and Miss Geist (Twink Caplan). She achieves her ostensible purpose—to make them relax their grading standards so she can renegotiate a bad report card—but when she sees their newfound happiness, she realizes she actually enjoys doing good deeds. Cher now decides that the ultimate way she can give back to the community would be to “adopt” a “tragically unhip” new girl at school, Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy). Cher and Dionne give Tai a makeover and initiate her into the mysteries of popularity. Cher also tries to extinguish the strong mutual attraction between Tai and Travis Birkenstock (Breckin Meyer), an amiable skateboarding slacker, and to steer her toward Elton (Jeremy Sisto), a rich snob whose father is a music-industry executive.

Her second matchmaking scheme backfires when Elton rejects Tai and makes a play for Cher. Matters worsen when Cher’s “project” works a bit too well and Tai’s popularity begins to surpass Cher’s, especially after Tai has a “near-death” misadventure at the mall that helps to skyrocket her to fame at school. Other classmates, including Dionne’s and Cher’s longtime rival Amber (Elisa Donovan), soon gravitate toward Tai, and Cher finds herself demoted from queen to courtier at high school.

Events reach crisis stage after Cher fails her driver’s test and can’t “renegotiate” the result. When Cher returns home, crushed, Tai confides that she’s taken a fancy to Josh and wants Cher to help her “get” him. Cher says she doesn’t think Josh is right for Tai, and they quarrel. Cher, left all alone, begins to think she has created a monster in her own image. Feeling “totally clueless,” she reflects on her priorities and her repeated failures to understand or appreciate the people in her life. Most of all, she keeps thinking about Josh and Tai, and wonders why she cares so much.

After much soul searching (which includes a solo shopping spree around various Beverly Hills boutiques), Cher realizes she has fallen in love with Josh. She begins making awkward but sincere efforts to live a more purposeful life, even captaining the school’s Pismo Beach disaster relief effort. A scene near the end of the film finds Cher and Josh stumbling over how to admit their mutual feelings for one another, culminating in a tender kiss on the stairs of her home.

The film has a happy Hollywood ending for Cher: Mr. Hall and Miss Geist get married; her friendships with Tai and Dionne are reaffirmed and solidified; Tai and Travis are in love; and now, in Josh’s arms, she too has finally found love.

REVIEW:

Every decade has that film that embodies everything (good or bad) about that time. For the 90s, it was Clueless, although some people have made the case for Mallrats and a handful of other flicks. You have to make the decision for yourself what your quintessential 90s films is.

What is this about?

Director Amy Heckerling’s fresh adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma follows the misadventures of meddlesome Beverly Hills high schooler Cher, who gets more than she bargained for when she gives a fashion-challenged student a makeover.

What did I like?

Slinging the slang. Many of the terms that we used in the 90s were popularized in this films. Terms such as “as if”, “jeeping”, etc. Also, terms that we, at least I, wasn’t familiar with were brought to the forefront, such as “Baldwin”, “surfin’ the crimson wave”, etc. The fact that one little film can have such a profound effect on the culture of the time and, for the most part, stay relevant today is dumbfounding, especially considering how many films of this nature are now nothing more than trips down nostalgia.

Emma. The plot of this film is very loosely based on the Jane Austen novel, Emma. Now, my only knowledge of that literary work is that it exists and was a film from around this same time, give or take a couple of years. So, after a brief conversation with one of more well-read friends, it turns out that some of the characters are obvious references to the literary counterparts and not too far removed, in terms of personality and fitting into modern day society. Be not fooled, though, similar is not the same. Still, the fact that they do have some roots in their origin and didn’t totally throw it out the window is something to be acknowledged, if you ask me.

Ageless. Much like the slang in this film, the music takes you back to this era. I myself have an urge right now to go put on a flannel shirt and doc martens and listen to some grunge. Yeah, I was one of those kids back in high school. Speaking of high school. Next year, this film will be 20 yrs old and 3 of its stars, Alicia Silverstone, Donald Faison, and especially Stacey Dash must be bathing in the fountain of youth because they don’t look much different than they did when they were filming this.

What didn’t I like?

Consequences. Taking into account that there is nothing serious about this very bright film, Alicia Silverstone’s character is attacked by her ride home after the party. Well, not really attacked, but he did try something with her. What bothers me about this is that it is never brought up. They see him again at another party and nothing is said and when Brittany Murphy’s character is infatuated with him (one of the many boys she goes through, might I add), nothing is said. I don’t know, to me it just seems like there should have been a warning that he might do that, or someone getting informed, etc.

Tai. Ok, so a wide-eyed girl white girl from Detroit is named Tai. How is this possible. I wonder if this wasn’t just a case of the casting directors liking Brittany Murphy’s innocent look. Personally, I prefer in this than to anything else she did in her career. Damn her becoming a skeleton like the rest of Hollywood. R.I.P. Brittany. On to my point, she goes through this rather weird, and somewhat forced for time purposes, personality change. It would seem that it was spurred on by the near death experience she has in the mall. Out of nowhere, in the final scenes, she’s back to where she was when we first met her, even apparently with the guy she was crushing on when she first got to the school. I just felt her character could have and did deserve better than to be rushed into what can almost be called mood swings.

Hot for teacher. Early on in the film, there is a pretty big emphasis on getting two teachers hooked up. After that, we see them a couple of times, and the female teacher has a line in the final scenes, but that’s it. I bring this up, because I recall them being a bigger part of the TV version, but here they just seem like an afterthought once they get together (excluding the wedding).

Anyone who was not an old fogey in the 90s has seen Clueless. As I have already said, this is one of the go-to quintessential flicks of that time. This is quite the fun and funny film complete with great characters, bright colors, and a short runtime. Do I recommend this fine film? With an emphatic yes! There is no reason to not check this out, unless you’re just some eternally depressed goth kid that hates any and everything, otherwise I highly recommend this as a film to check out before you die!

5 out of 5 stars

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past stars Matthew McConaughey as Connor Mead, a famous photographer and confirmed womanizer. He takes a break from his playboy lifestyle to attend his brother’s wedding, where he becomes reacquainted with Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner), the only girl who ever captured his heart. After Connor delivers a drunken speech at the rehearsal dinner where he says that love isn’t real, he’s met in the bathroom by the ghost of his uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas), a Hefner-esque horndog who taught Connor everything he knows about picking up chicks. Uncle Wayne informs Connor that, over the course of the evening, he’ll be visited by three ghosts who will lead him through his romantic past, present, and future

The first ghost to visit Connor is the “Ghost of Girlfriends Past” in the form of Allison Vandermeersh (Emma Stone), one of his high school girlfriends and his first lover. Together, they revisit scenes from his past, focusing on his relationship with Jenny. Connor and Jenny were very close as children; she gave him his first instant camera which he used to take her picture, promising to keep it forever. By middle school, the two were on the verge of romance, but Connor’s hesitation at a dance caused Jenny to dance with and kiss another boy. Heartbroken, Connor was told by Wayne that he must avoid romance at all costs in order not to feel such pain again. For the next two years, Wayne schooled Connor in the art of seduction. When he next saw Jenny, at a high school party, Connor ignored her and had sex with Allison. Several years later, as adults, Connor and Jenny rekindled their romance, but Jenny forced him to woo her for several weeks in an attempt to rid him of his womanizing ways. After they finally did have sex, Connor falls in love with her, but then panics, running out on her so he won’t be hurt. Jenny wakes up alone and broken-hearted. His relationships thereafter consisted of a series of very short flings.

Awakening back in the Mead mansion in the present, Connor accidentally destroys Paul and Sandra’s wedding cake and unsuccessfully attempts to reconcile with Jenny. As he storms out of the house, he is confronted by the “Ghost of Girlfriends Present” in the form of his assistant Melanie (Noureen DeWulf), the only constant female figure in his life. With her, he sees that in his absence the other wedding guests make fun of him and his shallow lifestyle. Paul stands up for his brother, recalling that Connor helped to raise him after their parents’ death, and expresses his hope that Connor will someday change for the better. Connor also sees that Jenny is being comforted by Brad (Daniel Sunjata), and is upset that his own actions and attitude are bringing the two closer. He is further upset to discover that Melanie and the three women who he previously broke up with via conference call are bonding over his disregard for their feelings.

Returning to the house, Connor finds Sandra furious at learning that Paul had slept with one of her bridesmaids very early in their relationship, information that Connor had let slip earlier in the evening. Connor attempts to mend the situation but only makes things worse, and Paul tells him to leave. On his way out, he is confronted by the “Ghost of Girlfriends Future” (Olga Maliouk), who takes him forward in time to see that Jenny marries Brad while Paul remains alone. Further in the future, Paul is the only mourner at Connor’s funeral. Wayne appears and tells Connor that this is his future if he continues on the same path, pushing him into the grave to be buried by his many ex-girlfriends.

Connor awakens in the Mead home and learns that Sandra has called off the wedding and is on her way to the airport. He intercepts the bridal party by driving Wayne’s classic car down the snow-covered hill and into a lake, and convinces Sandra to forgive Paul by sharing lessons learned from his own mistakes, particularly that the pain of heartbreak is outweighed by the regret of never risking one’s heart in the first place. Connor helps Jenny to pull the wedding back together and reconciles with her afterward by showing her the picture he still carries of her as a child, and promises to always be there when she wakes up. The two kiss and dance in the snow.

REVIEW:

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if A Christmas Carol was updated and used to change the ways of a womanizer, rather than someone who has become bitter and jaded about the holidays? Well, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is the film for you, as this is exactly what it does.

What did I like?

Player’s club. I’ve always thought that guys/gals that run around “getting some” from any and everything should be taught a lesson, be that in the way of some disease or getting a total beatdown. Seeing a guy like Matthew McConaughey’s character get his comeuppance here was a thing of beauty.

Old man still has it. Michael Douglas has a fairly small, but major, role in the film as the older (deceased) uncle who has taught him everything he knows, which turned out to be his downfall a la Jacob Marley. It is good to see that he still can steal a scene at his age, then again, his dad was doing the same thing at this age, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, should we?

Gotta love the 80s! The junior high dance scenes that took place in the 80s were radical, man! They even had some of the great music one would have heard at a dance back then!

Doppelganger II. In 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner’s younger self was played by Christa B. Allen. She does it again here in the early flashback scenes, and doesn’t look like she’s aged a day!

What didn’t I like?

Emma Stone. There was a time when I thought she was extremely hot. Ever since she has become a household name, though, she has become more and more annoying. Now, she is supposed to be an annoying 8th grader here, but good grief, I nearly turned the movie off everytime she was on the screen.

No Meg. If you’ve ever watched Family Guy, and are aware that in the first few episodes Meg’s voice was not Mila Kunis, but rather Lacey Chabert. I’m not sure why they made the change, but it was definitely for the better. Lacey is the bridezilla of this film and while she pulls that off perfectly, her character is just as unlikable, which is quite a shame, because at first she seemed like a bit of a sweetheart.

Not all that. There are these three girls in the wedding party who seem to be there just to get laid. If that’s what they’re into, that’s great, except none of them are that impressive looking, and the fact that one of them is the reason behind the chaos that ensues as the film progresses just makes them even less attractive.

Not even a bridesmaid. For some reason, I was pulling for McConaughey to hook up, permanently, with secretary, played by Noureen DeWulf. Just once, it would be nice if the nerdy girl in the corner would get some love without having to become what is believed to be “super sexy” (in other words take the glasses off, let her hair down, and put on a tight red dress…lol)

Too much carol. At the end of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge leans out of his window and asks a boy outside what day it is, then sends him to get a goose or turkey or something. The filmmakers decided to do a similar thing here, but they didn’t have him send the boy out for a game bird, though I half expected him to.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is not the worst thing to happen to romantic comedies. As a matter of fact it is somewhat enjoyable, but make no mistake, this is not something you’ll be going out of your way to watch over and over again. There are some good performances and the cast is alright, but something about this film keeps it from being nothing more than just an average flick. I don’t recommend this, but there are worse things you could watch.

3 out of 5 stars

Road Trip

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Josh (Breckin Meyer) and Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard) were long time friends but soon high school sweethearts. But they both had to face a long distance relationship when Josh enrolls to University of Ithaca and Tiffany enrolls to the University of Austin. But they made a promise to be true to each other and call each other every day. But when Tiffany doesn’t call Josh, nor answering Josh’s calls, Josh is worrying that Tiffany is seeing another man (actually, her maternal grandfather died). But to show that he is still in love with her, he makes a daily recorded video blog to her. During Josh’s last blog, his friends Rubin Carver (Paulo Costanzo) and Barry Manilow (Tom Green) barge into the video. Barry then keeps checking on Rubin’s snake, Mitch, urging Rubin to over-feed Mitch. Josh tells Rubin to mail in his blog tape to Tiffany before leaving to class.

During Josh’s class time, Josh is flunking Ancient Philosophy class and needs a B+ on his mid-term to pass the semester. But Josh knows that he will flunk anyway. Still worrying about Tiffany, Josh’s friend E.L. (Seann William Scott) encourages Josh to move on to another woman, such as Josh’s friend Beth (Amy Smart) at his party. But Jacob, (Anthony Rapp) the teacher’s assistant, has a huge crush on Beth and she even knows that Josh likes her. Unbeknownst to Josh, he is being set up by Jacob to fail Ancient Philosophy.

During E.L.’s party, Josh attends and E.L. holds a auction for women, including Beth in the bid. Jacob also attends the party, too. Beth convinces Josh to outbid Jacob. But E.L. helps Josh win the bid at $26 when Jacob had $30. But E.L. acclaimed that since Jacob was a teacher’s assistant, his bid didn’t count. But after Josh and Beth dance, they decide to have sex. When they arrive at Josh’s room, Beth decides to record their sex with the same camcorder that Josh uses for his video blogs to Tiffany and they start having sex.

The next day, Barry sings a song called “Tiny Salmon” as Josh arrives in the room in a very jolly mood. He confesses that he had sex with Beth. His friends object and want proof. Josh attempts to play the tape but then realizes that Rubin accidentally sent the sex tape to Tiffany. Josh thens receives a voice mail from Tiffany saying that she didn’t call him because her grandfather died and will be cleaning his house until Monday. Josh decides to go on a road trip due to the fact that he has not enough money for a plane ticket. So Josh and E.L. get Kyle (DJ Qualls) to come along for his car. Kyle is a compulsive worrier who lives in constant fear of his overly strict father, Earl Edwards. So Josh, E.L., Rubin, and Kyle try to head to Austin, Texas for 1,800 miles in less than three days and leave Barry to take care of Mitch.

While Barry is taking care of Mitch, Beth asks him where Josh is. Barry tells her that Josh went to his Tiffany in Boston, in confusion with Austin. Beth then goes to the girls’ showers where everyone is naked for some advice. They suggest that she should go to Boston to tell Tiffany about the situation, which Beth does. However, the Tiffany she confronts in Boston is the wrong one.

But while on the road, the group talk about loop holes and then come across a ten foot gap that they think will waste 5 hours back tracking. But they soon think that they could jump the gap. Kyle objects but they jump it anyway. They make it but the wheels fall off and the car explodes. They continue on foot and stop at a motel. Rubin tries to score marijuana off the Motel Clerk (Andy Dick) and is informed that Kyle’s credit card is maxed out.

Meanwhile, Kyle’s father, Earl (Fred Ward) tries to pay for a meal with the maxed out card, but is denied service. He then begins an all-out search for Kyle when he is informed by the police that Kyle’s car has blown up and Kyle has turned up missing. On their way to Austin, the group goes through a series of hilarious misadventures, such as Rubin successfully bluffing his way into an all-Black fraternity house at the University of Tennessee and a riotous visit with Barry’s grandparents. Since Josh’s books were destroyed in the explosion, he calls his professor and gets an extension on his midterm…..or so he thinks.

The group finally gets to Austin and, once they get to Tiffany’s dorm, Josh intercepts the tape he sent to Tiffany, who has just arrived back at school. Meanwhile, Earl shows up. He is enraged over what happened with the car and the credit card and threatens to take Kyle back home with him. Kyle finally gets the courage to stand up to him and states that he is going back to school with his friends. Josh and Tiffany watch the tape, which turns out to be nothing but Barry mooning for the camera. Beth has found found out where the real Tiffany is and she calls to warn Josh that he has been duped by Jacob. Josh now has 48 hours to get back to school or else he will fail his midterm, fail the course, and, possibly, be kicked out of college. After they talk, Josh and Tiffany agree to break up and remain friends. Josh and his buddies head back to school and Josh arrives just in time to take his midterm – with a little help from Beth. Josh passes the course and he is now free to hook up with Beth and they make more videos together

REVIEW:

Hasn’t there been some pint in time where you just wanted to pack your car, grab some friends and just drive? Well, that is what the idea behind Road Trip was. However, they take us n the weird plot involving a sex tape and a guy who has been with the same girl his whole life…blah, blah, blah.

To confuse matters even more, they heavily advertised Tom Green (who was a big star at the time this was made), but his character was not that big of a deal, when all was said and done. I didn’t really get this, other than they just wanted to capitalize omn his fame, since none of the other actors in this flick were household names at the time.

I was expecting non-stop hilarity with this film, but was disappointed to watch this and find out that it was nothing more than just a string of some bad jokes and sex situations. Granted, they not as bad as they were in the teen comedies of the time, bt still…they were pretty bad.

I can’t say I cared for the casting, except for Breckin Meyer, who is an underrated comedian.

Amy Smart and Rachel Blanchard play the two women who are more or less the object of Josh’s affections. I’d have chosen Rachel, myself.

San William Scott again seems to be channeling his Stifler character, because this guy was close to al his mannerisms and whatnot.

The rest of the cast just seems to be there and cashing in a check. That is so sad, but it is true. One can only imagine what this would have been.

Road Trip is not a good film. Sure, there is an audience for it, and a group of detractors that hate it. I fall somewhere in the middle. Road Trip should have been hilarious from the moment it started until the money had ended, but it was pretty close to being a snooze fest.I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t waste my time (again). There is nothing to see here and, well, it is quite painful to even think about, so I won’t.

2 out of 5 stars