I saw three decent movies this weekend. (Okay, two decent movies and one that was pretty damn good.)
I actually went to the movies to see Melissa McCarthy in “The Boss,” a funny, raunchy comedy along the lines of “The Bridesmaids.” Look, it’s not art — but I laughed my ass off, and I really needed that. Melissa plays a famous CEO who goes to prison for insider trading. She has nothing left when she gets out, but is determined to start a new business. Much silliness ensues.
The second was a scifi movie on HBO called “Lucy”, with Scarlett Johannsen. It’s your basic Marvel Comics/Matrix/Limitless kind of mashup, and I enjoyed it. (I only finish watching about half of the movies I start, so it held my attention.) Johannsen is a student who, against her will, has Taiwanes gangster sew a package of a designer drug into her abdomen so they can use her as a drug mule, but the package ruptures and she develops powers as a result. Payback is a bitch! (Morgan Freeman plays a brain specialist who looks suitably grave throughout.)
The third was a real Netflix surprise: “Danny Collins,” with Al Pacino as a decadent old rock star who has an epiphany after he finally gets the letter John Lennon sent him forty years ago, and tracks down the son he had after a one-night stand with a groupie (the son is played by Bobby Cannavale, who is unusually understated and very, very good in the role).
And so is Pacino. He’s done so many shitty movies in the last decade, it took me a half-hour to realize he was actually acting instead of chewing scenery. Annette Bening plays the manager of the suburban New Jersey Hilton where Pacino’s staying, and they develop an unlikely friendship. Yeah, the story’s familiar, but not insultingly so. And the actors are all so quietly good, it doesn’t matter. It’s one of the most charming movies I’ve seen in years.
Just to polish things off, the quiet little ending scene in a doctor’s office is so innovative, so touching, so satisfying, I still feel the warm glow.