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Summer Movie Preview: Comedies

We now come to my favorite part of the summer movie preview series: Comedies.

The Simpsons Movie
For one of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer, the Simpsons are taking their half-hour Fox show to the big screen and stretching it to feature-length. All the familiar Springfield faces will make appearances, satisfying the show's loyal fan base though the filmmakers have also promised some surprises, like a new character and the full-frontal nudity of a certain Simpson. I am waiting with bated breath for the movie's release July 27.

Knocked Up
By now you may have seen the funny trailer for Knocked Up, the upcoming "bromantic comedy" written by 40-Year-Old Virgin's Judd Apatow. The story follows two strangers (Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl) who suddenly find themselves pregnant after a one-night stand. Early buzz for this movie is overwhelmingly positive, with critics everywhere calling it this year's 40-Year-Old Virgin. Check out the trailer on the movie's website (favorite line: "He's playing fetch with my kids. He's treating my kids like they're dogs.") and tell me what you think of Knocked Up, which opens June 1.

So much more comedy if you

Shrek the Third
As I mentioned recently, the third Shrek movie will be coming out May 18. Check out the trailer and some stills from the movie, which looks like it will be loads of fun.

I posted the trailer for Superbad as soon as I saw it because it really is that funny. The movie stars one of my comedy heroes, Michael Cera and Jonah Hill as dorky high school seniors who are coming to terms with the idea of parting ways once school ends and getting in their high school kicks before it's too late. Written by Knocked Up's Seth Rogen, the movie reminds me of a more self-aware '80s teen comedy, which is why I want to see it so Superbad when it opens August 17.

License to Wed
Starring some extremely charming folks, like John Krasinski, Mandy Moore and Robin Williams, I had high hopes for License to Wed. The story follows a young couple (Krasinski and Moore) whose reverend puts them through a grueling pre-marriage course. The trailer, unfortunately, leaves much to be desired, but I'll still see it, of course, when it comes out July 4.

If you love the campiest of musicals and have been dying to find out what John Travolta would look like as a woman, then here you go — here's your campy musical for the summer. It may seem like Travolta is channeling Divine from John Waters' 1988 Hairspray, but in fact this summer's version is based on the stage musical and not Waters' cult hit. Set in 1960s Baltimore, Travolta plays the mom to Tracey (Nikki Blonsky), a plump teenager who hopes to make a TV dance show open to both black people and white people.Check out the trailer on the movie's treatsy website.

Evan Almighty
Word on the street is Evan Almighty was one of this summer's most expensive movies to make due to all the live animals and computer effects necessary to portray a parody of the story of Noah's ark. This follow-up to 2003's Bruce Almighty has Morgan Freeman revisiting his role as God with Steve Carell taking on Noah, and Lauren Graham ("Gilmore Girls") playing Noah's wife. Prediction: Families and fans of "The Office" everywhere will flock to this comedy come June 22. (Get it? Flock?!)

The Ex
I posted this trailer way back when the movie was still called The Fast Track and was supposedly coming out either January or March, so now that it's finally opening this Friday May 11, I'm a little wary of it. Jason Bateman plays a wheelchair-bound man who tries to come between his old high school crush (Amanda Peet) and her boyfriend (Zach Braff). I do love me some Braff-and-Bateman, so here's hoping The Ex will be awesome.

Wedding Daze
Isla Fisher is also in Hot Rod this summer opposite Andy Samberg, but the trailer for Wedding Daze (also known as The Pleasure of Your Company) actually looks funny, so this is the one I'm highlighting. In it, Fisher plays a lonely girl who agrees to marry a stranger (Jason Biggs) — not unlike the story for Knocked Up except this time they're doing the marriage thing instead of the kids thing. The trailer is funny mostly because Isla Fisher is just about the most charming, adorable thing in the world, so check it out before Wedding Daze opens August 17.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Apparently, the screenplay for this movie was passed from hand to hand for over a decade, and maybe that's not surprising since the movie focuses on two heterosexual firemen who pretend to be gay partners in order to get domestic-partner benefits. I myself balked at this concept when I posted the trailer for the film, wondering if a movie full of jokes that seem to depend on peoples' continued discomfort with homosexuality would be offensive. Yet, according to Entertainment Weekly, the filmmakers screened the movie for GLAAD members who ultimately said they "don't see the gay community getting upset about it." Well then, mazel tov, gentlemen. The movie opens July 20.

The Brothers Solomon
Will Arnett of "Arrested Development" fame claims The Brothers Solomon was "possibly the funniest script" he'd ever read, so if you trust the man's sense of funny like I do, this movie should prove nothing short of hilarious. Arnett and "SNL"'s Will Forte play brothers who make it their mission to give their ailing father grandchildren before he dies. It doesn't open until August 31, but check out the trailer for now:

The Simpsons Movie image courtesy of 20th Century Fox Pictures
Hairspray photo courtesy of New Line Cinema
Shrek image courtesy of Paramount Pictures
License to Wed photos courtesy of Warner Bros.
Wedding Daze photo source
All other photos source

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