Are this weekend’s movies any good? I have no idea, because none of them screened for me in my dusty little burg of Tucson. So instead I’ll throw out some slightly educated predictions of what you might see if you brave the theaters.
AN EDUCATION: Carey Mulligan plays a British teen who starts a deep friendship with a much older man (Peter Sarsgaard) to the chagrin of her school’s headmistress (Emma Thompson). Oscar bait, anyone?
•Odds of the movie being included on the abnormally supersized list of 10, yes 10, Best Picture nominees this year: 3-2
•Odds Mulligan will have a scene in which she cries as violin music plays: 4-3
•Odds Sarsgaard will flash that creepy look he’s known for as his character corrupts Mulligan’s: 1-1
COUPLES RETREAT: All I need to hear to be sold on this that Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau are back together in starring roles in the same comedy for the first time since 2001’s Made. Add in Jason Bateman and significant others played by Kristen Bell, Malin Akerman and Kristin Davis, who go off with their men to an ill-advised couples’ counseling seminar, and I’m almost willing to recommend this sucker sight unseen.
•Odds Vaughn delivers a fast-talking, childish monologue: 1-1
•Odds Favreau will be a vastly different weight a month from now than he is today: 4-1
•Odds of unseating Zombieland atop the box office charts: 1-5
•Odds a member of the cast or crew will injure themselves as they stride up the podium to accept their Oscar: 10 million-1
GOOD HAIR: Chris Rock stars in a comedy doc about the amazing things black people do with hair. It rocked crowds at Sundance.
•Odds “Afro Puffs” by Lady of Rage makes an appearance: 3-1
•Odds Rock tells a joke you’ll try to repeat to your friends and totally screw up: 2-1
•Odds you’ll be totally jealous if your mop is incapable of rocking cornrows or dreads: 4-1
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available at bookstores and on Amazon.