We Bought A Zoo (PG)
Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson
Whatever happened to Cameron Crowe? I mean the smart, Rolling Stone-contributing, Billy Wilder-worshipping director who made a few terrific movies – Say Anything (1989), Singles (1992), Almost Famous (2000) – before he got landed with Tom Cruise as a patron.
Jerry Maguire and Vanilla Sky were the warning signs; then he hit the buffers with the awful Elizabethtown six years ago. Alas, We Bought A Zoo continues his downward trajectory into mawkishness. Matt Damon stars as Benjamin, a pudgy LA newspaperman who, six months after his wife dies, takes his two kids to live in a rambling old house with a run-down zoo attached. Here he will get to grips with bereavement, sort out his sulky teenage son and rediscover his mojo thanks to hot zookeeper Kelly (Scarlett Johansson). Crowe was always susceptible to big emotional moments, usually garlanded with cool indie rock, but he cut the schmaltz with tart comedy. Not any more: it's soppiness about animals and kids, with Sigur Ros cranking up the sentiment. It's the kind of movie where the bereaved hero will say of his lost wife, "she loved red tights and blueberry pop tarts". Pass that mop and bucket. Damon, cuddly in his chunky knits, does his best as the Great American Everydad (was Tom Hanks not available?) but the role comes bloated with hugs and healing. The film is adapted from Benjamin Mee's memoir. He bought a zoo: we got a pup.
Arts & Ents blogs
Even though there was a complete absence of our favourite odd couple Brienne and Jaime, we got anoth...
If you had any doubt where Binky gets her brilliantly brassy disregard for social graces, episode se...
Kate Simko is a lady who has constantly worked towards to pushing herself musically. Though she make...
- 1 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 2 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 3 Strewth mate. Aussies wave goodbye to Britain as it becomes too pricey to stay
- 4 Be more professional! GCHQ staff rapped as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reveals messages that he says point to 'fit up'
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.