Young Adult (2011): This was not a comedy; it’s more of a kick in the stomach (that’s meant in a good way). Mavis (Charlize Theron) is ghost writer for a wildly successful young adult novel series living in Minneapolis. On a lark, she returns to the small Minnesota town of her youth to win back her high school boyfriend, Buddy (Patrick Wilson). She won’t be deterred by minor details such as his wife and newborn. Richly nuanced, Young Adult offers an unusual yet powerful paining of Mavis and Matt (Oswalt Patton) a high-school classmate of Mavis’s wrongly pegged as gay and nearly beaten to death. Chock-full of tension, cringe-worthy situations, damaged characters and facial expressions that make the character of Mavis. See it.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011): Visually delightful stunts but a convoluted story I cared little about. Failed chemistry between Ethan (Tom Cruise) and Jane (Paula Patton). Maybe if you are fan of the franchise, you will be happy—I applaud you. Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner are highlights. Overall, not impressed.
One for the Money (2012): Led astray by trailers that made it look funny, suspenseful and quirky. Unemployed Stephanie (Katherine Heigl) takes a job as a bailbond's woman. Soon, she is on the trail of a corrupt cop, Joe Morelli (Jason O'Mara) who turns out to be an old high-crush (of course!). The laughs lack originality and there is no real conflict. Despite an impressive cast, it was empty entertainment. Heigl is charismatic and a the bright spot in this ridiculous farce but it’s not enough (I hope the book offers more). It’s a bad sign when Groupon pushes the movie and pre-movie reviews aren’t released.