The Sundance Film Festival kicked off on Thursday in Park City, Utah. It's tough to underestimate the significance of Sundance, since the awards handed out and the subsequent buzz have helped to make many now-mainstream films successful, including Clerks, Memento, Murderball, and Hustle and Flow. I did some research to find out what films look the most promising and thought I'd share what look to be this year's stand-out projects. For today's installment, I'll focus on the must-see comedies.
Starring The Office's John Krasinski (the beloved Jim Halpert), Anna Faris, and Adam Brody, Smiley Face looks like it will become popular with the same crowd that so warmly embraced Napoleon Dynamite. Faris plays an actress whose day goes in an interesting direction when she accidentally consumes her roommate's pot cupcakes.
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Keri Russell is at the heart of this Southern small-town film, playing diner waitress Jenna who bakes pies and then gives them endearing names. Unhappily married, she tries to come to terms with her new-found pregnancy when a new man comes to town, turning her little ol' life upside down.
The cast of MTV's sketch show "The State" have been very productive since the show went off the air, churning out Wet Hot American Summer, Reno 911! and "The Michael Showalter Showalter." This year several of the cast members are going to Sundance with The Ten, a film that intersects ten different stories, each having to do with one of the ten commandments. The cast list features some of my favorite actors: Rob Corddry, Paul Rudd, and Gretchen Mol, as well as big names like Jessica Alba, Adam Brody, and Winona Ryder, so there's someone for everyone in this film.
The darling of the independent movie industry, Parker Posey gets to play yet another quirky lady in this romantic comedy. Written and directed by Zoe Cassavetes, Broken English tells the story of thirty-something Nora (Posey), whose mother loves to remind her of all she doesn't have: a good job, and the "perfect marriage" enjoyed by Nora's best friend Audrey. Enter an intriguing, oddball Frenchman. A crazy-Posey/crazy-Frenchman love affair? Sounds like a sure bet to me.