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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

new this week in U.S., Canadian, and U.K. theaters: ‘Knight and Day,’ ‘Grown Up,’ ‘Get Him to the Greek,’ ‘When in Rome,’ more


Knight and Day: Tom Cruise does some spy stuff and runs around a lot, while Cameron Diaz does a lot of screaming and runs around like a girl.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

The 39 Steps (1935): Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll are mismatched maybe-spies in this early Hitchcock classic.
Romancing the Stone (1984): Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas race around intrigue-ridden South American jungles.
Mission: Impossible (1996): If you need Tom Cruise spy-age, why not go to the original?
Kate & Leopold (2001): Director James Mangold has made some good movies. This is not one of them. But it is similarly bad to Knight and Day.

Grown Ups: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade are not, in fact, grown up.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007): Another deeply horrifying comedy from director Dennis Dugan and starring Sandler and James.
Meatballs (1979): Bill Murray leads campers in a summer adventure the likes of which the Grown Ups guys would have had.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001): For further nostalgia for the 80s and summer camp.
Beach Party (1963): Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in the original stupid summer movie.

Get Him to the Greek: Rock stars may look like they’re having more fun than you, but they’re actually crying on the inside.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008): Which introduced Russell Brand’s rock star Aldous Snow. Though you should fast-forward to his bits — which are few — and skip the rest.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984): For the best, funniest movie ever about idiot, overprivileged rock stars.
Almost Famous (2000): Because its naif peasant (Patrick Fugit) among rock royalty (Billy Crudup, et al) is a lot more sympathetic than Jonah Hill’s.
My Favorite Year (1982): It’s not about rock music but about television, and how a young writer’s (Mark Linn-Baker) encounter with a famous star (Peter O’Toole) turns out to be both less and more than what he expected.

When in Rome: Kristen Bell needs magic to get a date. Because she’s so hideous.

If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try:

My Life in Ruins (2009): Nia Vardalos has intolerable foreign adventures, just like Bell!
Roman Holiday (1953): Euro royal Audrey Hepburn finds romance in Italy with American reporter Gregory Peck; contains actual charm.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003): Diane Lane’s American divorcee finds new life — and, yes, new love — in the Italian countryside. Also, the food looks great.
Daredevil (2003): Another example of director Mark Steven Johnson’s hilarious incompetence, in which looking “cool” is paramount, no matter how little sense it makes within the context of the story.

Good Hair: Chris Rock’s documentary about African-American women and their hair.

Whatever Works: I didn’t think it was possible, but Woody Allen made a movie about an old, old man and a just-barely-legal girl, and it works without being creepy.

Tetro: Francis Ford Coppola’s drama about two brothers in Argentina.

The Collector: Almost a year after it opened and closed in North America, this torture porn horror flick finally debuts across the pond. Look for it to close next weekend.

Where to buy/watch:
Almost Famous [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Beach Party [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Daredevil [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Forgetting Sarah Marshall [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Kate & Leopold [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Meatballs [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Mission: Impossible [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
My Favorite Year [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.]
My Life in Ruins [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Romancing the Stone [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Roman Holiday [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The 39 Steps [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
This Is Spinal Tap [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Under the Tuscan Sun [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Wet Hot American Summer [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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