Monday 01 February 1999
Director: Guy Madden
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes
See The Independent Recommends, right.
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?
TWO GIRLS AND A GUY (18) (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.
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.
Arts & Ents blogs
Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
Mad about the girl: The cult of Veronica Mars
Stewart Lee: Beware - this man may be only joking
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Captain Phillips actor Barkhad Abdi struggles financially despite Oscar nomination
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
- 5 Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry