By Tim Parks
Since April showers bring May flowers, it might explain why a flowery crop of chick flicks has sprung up in cinemas. And this month also signals the beginning of the flood of big budget action movie season – so just check your brain at the door and sit back and let the spectacle wash over you.
Flicks With Chicks
If you don’t know that the sequel to Sex and the City: The Movie is coming to your local multiplex by month’s end, then hand over your gay card right now! On second thought, you may as well just burn it – it’s just taking up room in your wallet.
The sequel picks up two years after the events in the first installment and finds Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her cohorts in the thick of things, with a gay wedding and cameos by Liza Minnelli, Penelope Cruz and Miley Cyrus – two out of three ain’t bad applies here – thrown in for good measure.
Mr. and Mrs. Big (Chris Noth and SJP) begin to realize that the honeymoon may be over, in relation to their newlywed status. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is back on track with Steve (David Eigenberg), while Charlotte (Kristin Davis) suffers from a case of the “be careful what you wish fors,” as she navigates her way through motherhood. And Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is busy, well, being Samantha. When she’s not throwing out sassy one-liners, the panther manages to find time to become involved with a younger European architect.
When the gals take a ladies-only vacation to Abu Dhabi to get away from it all, Carrie finds herself face-to-face with her ex Aidan (John Corbett), and she can’t help but wonder if their encounter on the other side of the world is meant to be. Opens May 27.
Just Wright finds stars Queen Latifah as Leslie Wright a “straight shooting physical therapist” that scores a dream job working with NBA hotshot Scott McKnight (Common), who has been sidelined by an injury.
The only snag in this scenario is, drum roll please, she falls for her client! But wait, there’s more, as McKnight ignores the obvious signs of Ms. Wright and sets his sights on her best friend Morgan (played by Paula Patton of Precious).
The world of sports intermingles with the game of love in this battle of the sexes romcom, which also co-stars Foxy Brown actress Pam Grier as Latifah’s mom. Opens May 14.
Hollywood’s newest “It girl” Amanda Seyfried headlines Letters to Juliet, in which she portrays Sophie, an American broad abroad, in the fair city of Verona. If the municipality has a familiar ring to it, that’s because it was the setting for Shakespeare’s penultimate star-crossed lovers tale Romeo & Juliet.
Sophie becomes a Capulet by proxy, as she volunteers with other women who respond to writers that seek advice from the fictional heroine about the ways of love. And the mail system in Verona may be a tad on the slow side, as Sophie stumbles upon one letter dating back to 1957. She seeks out its author (Vanessa Redgrave) and motivates her to find her Love’s Labour Lost. The consequence of this act has a domino effect in the area of amour for both women. Opens May 14 and if you are affronted by “brief rude behavior, sensual images and incidental smoking,” you may want to gloss over this, per the ratings board.
I Need A Hero
The Marvel Comics adaptation train rolls on for another summer outing, as Iron Man 2, blasts his ways into theaters with all of his superhero strength to hopefully beat the sophomore slump.
Robert Downey, Jr. returns as billionaire inventor Tony Stark, who takes on Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, a Russian foe who creates his own version of Stark’s super suit.
The U.S. government, especially its military division, is clamoring to find out the trade secrets of his Iron Man technology, as well. Scarlett Johansson slinks onscreen in a skin-tight outfit as secret agent Black Widow, and Gwyneth Paltrow plays good girl Pepper Potts again. Samuel L. Jackson also appears in the sequel as Stan Lee creation Nick Fury, which will just fuel more interest for the long stalled Avengers film. Opens May 7.
Sufficed to say, Jake Gyllenhaal developed a loyal gay following from his role in Brokeback Mountain, so he is bound to please his pink fans with his turn as the video game-based hero Prince of Persia.
The actor buffed up for his role in the subtitled The Sands of Time, in which he joins forces with a princess (Gemma Arterton) to keep an ancient dagger out of the hands of Sir Ben Kinglsey, which holds the key to unleashing a sandstorm that allows its owner to rule the world, and like Cher, turn back time. This May 28 Walt Disney Pictures release is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the same creative mind that brought us the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
High-way To Heaven
Holy Rollers is a limited release based-on-a-true-story tale about a group of European Hasidic Jews who were used as drug mules in the ’90s to smuggle Ecstasy stateside. In turn, it is also the tale of Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg), an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn, who is asked to transport “medicine” for an Israeli arms dealer and his girlfriend by a charismatic neighbor. Gold is exposed to the gritty underbelly of the Manhattan and Amsterdam nightlife scene, while trying to hide his secret identity from his family. May 21.
This article was first published in May 2010.