I Do… Until I Don’t (2017; Dir.: Lake Bell)
By Daniel Barnes
*Opens Friday, September 1.
Oh, wow, no.
Writer/director/producer/lead actress Lake Bell follows up her underwhelming but affable 2013 debut In a World… with this shockingly unfunny film. The embarrassing ensemble comedy I Do…Until I Don’t revolves around three utterly revolting couples – Bell and Ed Helms as a childless duo who have lost the spark; Mary Steenburgen and Paul Reiser as her parents, hostile and hurtling towards divorce; and Amber Heard and Wyatt Cenac as self-identified swingers coming to terms with their monogamy. They’re all distinctly unlikable characters with the shrill performances to match, but none of them compares to Dolly Wells as Vivian, a documentary filmmaker who manipulates the couples to prove a point about abolishing marriage. Right down to that insipid, cutesy-poo title, I Do…Until I Don’t feels like a succession of bullet-point cliches about love and sex and marriage that no one ever bothered to develop, connect together or base in any kind of reality.
*Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is practically a greatest-hits collection—fake latex faces are ripped off for dramatic effect, an impenetrable fortress is penetrated and the globe is trotted to dazzling effect. It’s familiar and fun and expertly packaged, and it settles into an eminently watchable formula that’s reminiscent of a Roger Moore-era Bond movie.
*Read the capsule version of my Mission: Impossible review HERE.
*Adapted from a novel by Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn, Dark Places certainly has the feel of a page-turner, so densely packed with red herrings and coincidences that it’s absurd, but the white-hot Charlize Theron grounds her character in something recognizable and relatable.
*Infinitely Polar Bear gives off a palpable sense of sincerity, but I wish that writer-directory Maya Forbes wanted to give her audience something a little more substantial than a case of the warm fuzzies.
*Vacation is simultaneously a sequel, a remake, and a reboot, but above all it’s a mean-spirited and depressing waste of time and money.