Movies of the Week #32 (2022)

Jerrod Carmicheal: Rothaniel (2022): Bo Burnham directs Jerrod Carmicheal’s latest “stand-up”, which in fact proves to be an honest, insightful meditation of the self. The show feels instantly intimate thanks to Burnham’s clever touches, but it is Carmicheal’s charming, wavering, truthful performance that allows Rothaniel to stand out in the busy, busy field of one-man-spectacles. 8

7 Days (2021): Looking back at the beginning of the Covid pandemic seems surreal right now – the uncertainty, the panic, the suffering. In 7 Days, two twentysomethings are set up for a date just as the first wave of massive Covid restrictions comes into force. Naturally, they appear to be perfectly incompatible, but end up being stuck together for several (7) days, which promises to be a chore for both. Charming performances from Karan Soni and Geraldine Viswanathan (who also share the screen in the fun series Miracle Workers) ensure their characters are endearing and relatable, making for a light, but rewarding romcom. 7

Hive (2021): There’s nothing quite as bitter/sweet as seeing the way a community copes in the wake of a war. Hive taps into our regenerative capacity, in spite of terrible adversity and uncertainty. It offers a beautiful testament of the strength and ingenuity a group of women had to provide for their families in the wake of the Serbian “special military operation” in Kosovo of the 90s. Ultimately though, the movie is more a commendable than a truly memorable effort, perhaps because it is austere to a fault. 7

Father of the Bride (1991): The much beloved (first) remake of the 1950s classic proves to be a very tame affair. Whereas this year’s interpretation is bursting with Latin passion (in the words of Fernando Martinez), the Steve Martin vehicle is soft and gentle, more sensible, but less exciting. It works because of SM and Martin Short, who provides an energetic turn as the wedding planner, but it doesn’t warrant any special distinctions. 6

How to Please a Woman (2022): With a slight twist on The Full Monty, HTPaW tells how a resourceful woman reinvented a moving company into one that offers (male) cleaners/sexual conduits. Sure, it’s a fun gag, the idea that most women would derive great pleasure from just seeing a man clean the house, but it wears thin quickly. In spite of the movie’s feel-good nature, it’s more sappy than charming, which made for a tedious watch after the first half hour. 5