I want to call this a light week, but I don’t want to come across as if I’m making jokes about Melissa McCarthy’s weight. Suffice it to say there are only two wide releases this week, with one clearly the 800-pound gorilla of the pair. Dammit!
But really, Identity Thief is going to absolutely own the weekend. McCarthy is red-hot, and the trailers have killed the audience every time I’ve seen one. It’s got a hell of a concept, and honestly, there really isn’t anything else that’s got a wide appeal in theaters right now. I’m not sure it’s appealing enough to get me into a seat; I’ve got nothing against McCarthy, but I’m not as in love with her as some are, and this role seems like her Bridesmaids role writ large for two hours. Crap! Sorry.
Besides, there’s some weightier fare opening this weekend. Oh hell… Side Effects, if he’s true to his word, may very well be director Steven Soderbergh’s last theatrical film. It looks to be closer to the serious tone of Contagion than the his last two efforts, Haywire and Magic Mike. Of course, it’s almost impossible to be less serious than an ass-kicking revenge film and a film about male strippers. That’s the remarkable thing about Soderbergh; the guy can work in nearly any genre, and do so effectively. He’s never been as flashy as a Spielberg or a Scorsese, but he’s been one of our most reliably dependable directors for over twenty years. He’s got one more film, the Liberace bio pic Behind the Candelabra to air on HBO, and then he says he’s off to concentrate on his painting. He’ll be a missed presence if he holds to his retirement, but at least he’s going out on his own terms.
Next week is going to be weird, with all the films opening on Thursday to take advantage of Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t seem like the kind of holiday you try to wring a long opening weekend out of, but then again, I’m not a big shot Hollywood executive. All I can do is sit around and make cheap fat jokes.