Mini Reviews (The Trip & Crazy Stupid Love)

People have been bitching how I've practically liked nothing this summer. Well, continue bitching. It's not my fault that we have to endure such miserable quality produce. If you want the good stuff you'll have to go to your local art house and watch Terrence Malick's masterful The Tree Of Life or Woody Allen's playful Midnight In Paris -more on that one next week-

Crazy Stupid Love (PG-13) ★★

Here's a movie that tries to be too much. You can't fault ambition this summer, it's a plus. Directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra try to get to the bottom of love in a much different way than their underrated effort I Love You Philip Morris from last year. They overreach but get prime performances from Ryan Gosling and my current Hollywood love thorn Emma Stone. Steve Carrell and Juliann Moore also star in otherwise underdeveloped roles. The movie grabbed me in its first half only to pile on the cliches in its second. This to me is the worst feeling possible to have in a movie -one with promise that ultimately fails. Back to Stone. She's a natural Hollywood beauty with acting chops to boot. As Easy A showed us last year, she has mass potential and even if a movie such as this one doesn't fully show it, you know it's bound to happen with the right script.

The Trip (R) ★★★

A film export from the U.K starring the great Steve Coogan and British comedian Rob Brydon. Coogan is asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, he sees it as the perfect romantic getaway for he and his beautiful American girlfriend. However, she backs out on him, he has no one to accompany him but his best friend Brydon. A competitiveness starts to build up between the two as they try to one up each in conversations involving impressions. all in the while trying to grasp each others company throughout the trip. It's a simple formula and it works. There aren't any special effects or overcooked plot lines. Just two actors, great food and a real sense of wonder at some of England's best locations. Definitely not for everybody's tastes but here's a real zesty, underrated treat.