Weekend Movie Guide 12/09: A Young Adult Sitter on New Year's Eve

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Someone actually acts their age in ARRUGAS. Courtesy Six Sales.

Some of us haven't even hung the Christmas lights, and we're already supposed to pop champagne? In the tradition of Love Actually and Valentine's Day comes New Year's Eve, the latest celebrity smorgasbord of loosely seasonal rom-com vignettes. Garry Marshall & Katherine Fugate (Valentine's director & writer, respectively) return, along with no less than (deep breath if you're reading this aloud): Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Alyssa Milano, Common, Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers, Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi (?), Ashton Kutcher, Jim Belushi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Joey McIntyre, "That Guy" Larry Miller, Hilary Swank, Ludacris, Matthew Broderick, several members of the Marshall & De Niro family and last but not least, Ryan Seacrest. And those are just the ones we recognize.

Standing in stark contrast to New Year's Eve and all the recent family film offerings is The Sitter, a gross-out comedy that puts the R in Adventures in Babysitting. Jonah Hill (fun fact: that's a real phone number on the poster) stars as a reluctant sitter saddled with a trio of kiddie terrors. Once upon a time, director David Gordon Green made meditative Southern Gothic dramas like George Washington & Undertow. We're not saying you have to be all serious all the time (we had fun with Pineapple Express & Your Highness), but were Green to put his camera back on the Carolinas, we wouldn't complain.

Diablo Cody's writing favors two characters: high schoolers & women who never left high school. Young Adult, her latest collaboration with Jason Reitman (Juno), falls squarely in the latter category. Charlize Theron stars as Mavis, a Minneapolis author whose life begins to imitate her art. Which would be fine if she didn't write teen lit. Patrick Wilson (Insidious) stars as her high school flame turned renewed romantic obsession - never mind that he has a wife, new baby & no interest in her. Patton Oswalt, who calls Young Adult an "anti-romantic comedy", plays Mavis' confidante. Cody appears for a Q&A at ArcLight Hollywood following the 1:45 Sunday screening.

Animator Ignacio Ferreras (who worked on last year' Oscar nominated The Illusionist) adapts Arrugas (Wrinkles), an acclaimed Spanish graphic novel with cooperation & the full blessing of its artist, Paco Roca. Neither overtly sentimental nor trivial, Roca based his comic on real people & real characters he met in Spanish assisted living homes. In response to what Roca refers to as the elderly's relegation to "supporting roles", the film follows the friendship of two roommates in a care facility, as one begins to show signs of Alzheimer's and the other hatches a plan to trick their caretakers into keeping them together. Arrugas plays for one week only at Laemmle's Fallbrook.

Wide Release
New Year's Eve (Reviews) (Showtimes)
The Sitter (Reviews) (Showtimes)

Limited Release
Arrugas (Reviews) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)
I Melt With You (Reviews) (Nuart Theatre)
In Darkness (Reviews) (Laemmle's Royal Theatre)
Journey From Zanskar (Reviews) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)
Knuckle (Reviews) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl (Reviews) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)
Paul Goodman Changed My Life (Reviews) (Downtown Independent)
Sleeping Beauty (Reviews) (Egyptian Theatre)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Reviews) (Arclight Hollywood) (The Landmark)
We Need to Talk About Kevin (Reviews) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre)
Young Adult (Reviews) (Arclight Hollywood) (The Landmark)

That's all for this week. See you at the movies!