Davis: Dark, light movie outings

Josh Brolin (left) stars with Kate Winslet in Labor Day - Contributed
Josh Brolin (left) stars with Kate Winslet in Labor Day
— image credit: Contributed

Labor Day is the fifth directorial outing from Jason Reitman.  The son of Canadian director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes), Jason’s previous four efforts, Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air and Young Adult have been successes, both critically and commercially.

Based on the novel of the same name, Labor Day tells the story of 13-year-old Henry Wheeler who struggles to help care for his reclusive mother (Kate Winslet) while confronting the pangs of adolescence. While on a shopping trip with his mother, they encounter an intimidating man in need of help (Josh Brolin) who convinces them to help him by taking him into their home. Although the man turns out to be an escaped convict, the boy and his mother develop a relationship with him which shapes them for the rest of their lives.

Unlike his previous efforts, Reitman did not get his usual Academy Award nominations, but Winslet has won praise for her performance as well as receiving a Golden Globe nomination.

Even though he has had acclaimed starring roles in dramas like Me and Orson Welles, Charlie St. Cloud and The Lucky One, Zac Efron is still trying to distance himself from his most famous role in the High School Musical. To do so, his next two movies are crude comedies.

The first is coming out this weekend and is called That Awkward Moment in what could be a romantic comedy that appeals to men as much as to women (maybe it can be called a roMANtic comedy). After their friend Mikey’s (Michael B. Jordan) break-up, Jason (Efron) and Daniel (Miles Teller) promise to stay single with him. However, they both end up falling in love and have to avoid facing their promise.

Expect some outlandish and “awkward” moments as the two friends try to develop their respective relationships while trying to hide them from the third.

The script has been bounced around for a number of years and in 2010 it was considered one of the best un-produced screenplays in Hollywood.

Efron’s next comedy is Neighbors, alongside Seth Rogen.

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