unfunny comedies

IN THEATERS (SF) – “I Do… Until I Don’t”

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.

Daniel Barnes @ the SN&R – 1/1 issue


*With their many absentee fathers, compromised artists, robber baron capitalists, and would-be messiahs, the films of Paul Thomas Anderson portray the California Dream as an oft-repeated fall from grace of Biblical proportions. All pinned to the wall and linked together with an intricate series of colored strings, the Anderson oeuvre begins to form an alternate-history book of Southern California as spoiled paradise, stretching from the oil field power struggles in There Will Be Blood to the millennium apocalypse anxieties of Magnolia, and now the “square is hip” conspiracy at the heart of his latest film, the ramshackle masterpiece Inherent Vice.


*In the overhyped and unfunny The Interview, James Franco and Seth Rogen engage in the sort of one-note racist and homophobic hijinks that should be beneath them by now.