Film: New Films
Thursday 04 February 1999
Director: John Madden
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes
See The Independent Recommends, right.
West End: ABC Tottenham Court Road, Barbican Screen, Clapham Picture House, Empire Leicester Square, Notting Hill Coronet, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Ritzy Cinema, Screen on Baker Street, Screen on the Green, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero. And local cinemas
Director: Chris Columbus
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts
Notebooks out for your authentic Mom Movie recipe. Lay a pastry of wisecracks, add tears and shrink-wrapped life lessons, then ice it all off with a dedication to the director's own "mom". Stepmom skimps on nothing. This sugar-glazed, oven-ready affair casts an out-of-sorts Susan Sarandon as a middle-aged matriarch squabbling over her offspring with the new model mom (Julia Roberts) that hubby Ed Harris has hooked up with. The first mom gets poorly and laughter turns to tears (or at least weary resignation). Sad but true, mothers die too. Didn't your mom teach you anything?
West End: Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Odeon West End, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea. And local cinemas
TWO GIRLS AND A GUY (15)
Director: James Toback
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Heather Graham
James Toback's taut menage a trois drama prowls edgily around its lone loft-space location and probes aggressively at the psychological make-up of its three central characters. Heather Graham and Natasha Gregson Warner are the duped girlfriends of Robert Downey Jr's love-rat prima donna, and Two Girls and a Guy gives them plenty of room to move and breathe, turning the resulting yarn into a pungent acting showcase. Toback's picture is essentially filmed theatre, and struggles to sustain itself throughout a feature-length running time. That said, the vibrant writing and moody atmospherics cast a considerable spell.
West End: Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Haymarket. Local: Warner Village Finchley Road
VERY BAD THINGS (18)
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Christian Slater, Cameron Diaz
A bunch of stag-weekenders accidentally kill a Las Vegas whore, intentionally murder the security guard who rumbles the crime, then start coming apart at the seams on their arrival home. Peter Berg's debut serves up swaggering, gross-out comedy in a Loaded magazine style, but it's finally a film with nowhere to go save from shrill to shriller to shrillest. More crucially, you're never quite sure whether Berg is satirising his rapacious white males or merely indulging them in their thirtysomething kicks. Virtuoso nastiness, plus some full-throttle acting from Daniel Stern (as the gang's most guilt-ridden member) and Cameron Diaz (a ball-breaking fiancee) lend the mess a certain shameful allure.
West End: Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Plaza, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Trocadero, Warner Village West End. And local cinemas
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
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The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant