Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Michael Keaton in Birdman

I opted to see this at the last minute, instead of Interstellar, because I worried that Interstellar might have too much of a feeling of self-importance about it for an early Saturday matinee. Hoo boy. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the wrong choice. Birdman wants to say something about what it means to be an artist — what it means to invest your heart and your soul in a project and to be racked with anxiety over the potential outcomes: fame! fortune! ruin! mockery! — but the chosen method of delivery is a hoary old backstage drama bereft of ideas.

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Easy A


Easy A is a pleasant enough high-school movie, and it’s certainly a sign of bigger things to come for the terrific Emma Stone, who tucks the whole film under her arm and runs with it. Stone plays the kind of teenaged girl who’s as bright and hot as the noonday sun but is still a wallflower at her high school. In other words, she’s a work of fiction – and one who starts getting noticed by her classmates only when she gains a reputation as a loose woman, displaying a red letter A on her chest.

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The House Bunny

Anna Faris gives a kooky, effervescent performance in this

depressingly conventional post-feminist farce about what happens when a

pampered, sheltered beauty queen gets kicked out of her Playboy Mansion

home at the ripe age of 27. The hapless, homeless, half-naked sexpot wanders

onto the front lawn of the least popular local sorority and sets about teaching

the frumpy women of Zeta house how to dress like Pussycat Dolls in order to

attract the new pledges they desperately need — and the boys who will give

their lives meaning. If you think of this Adam Sandler co-production as a cross

between Legally Blonde and a gender-swapped Revenge of the Nerds, you won’t

be too far off the mark. There is something compelling about the idea of a dumb

comedy starring funny women for a change — and Faris is really funny. But the

script isn’t exactly full of surprises, and just about every major scene (the

awkward date, the makeover, the sexy car wash) is a too-familiar cliché in a

film that contradicts itself, insisting that men want women who are beautiful

on the inside — only after asserting that you need to wear big hair, push-up

bras and shorty-shorts to get their attention. C+