If your twentysomething is still living at home, stubbornly unwilling to vacate the couch, do yourself a favor and show them the door now. Otherwise they might turn out like Brennan (Ferrell) and Dale (Reilly), the two 40-year-olds in the dumb-but-fun Step Brothers
—who spend their days munching nachos, playing Guitar Hero and begging for pizza money. When their respective parents (Steenburgen and Jenkins) fall in love and marry, the paunchy Peter Pans instantly become the worst kind of sibling rivals.
All four stars have fun with this premise, but one can only watch a pair of middle-aged men shout, pout and throw childish temper tantrums for so long before wondering what severe mental disability left them developmentally arrested at 13. Reteaming after Talladega Nights
, Ferrell and Reilly (who also cowrote the script) are an inspired comic duo still searching for a film worthy of them. There's some riotous physical comedy sandwiched in between all the yelling, but Step Brothers
manages to be very funny without being very good.
It's been almost 25 years since The Breakfast Club
threw together five stock teen characters—the jock, the princess, the nerd, the basket case and the rebel—and peeled back the stereotypes to reveal the adolescent angst that united them all. The stellar documentary American Teen
, which follows five Indiana students during their senior year, is a worthy successor to that '80s classic. Unlike most so-called reality shows, these teens don't play to the cameras—making every bumbling romantic gesture, callous text-message breakup and shockingly cruel prank that much more resonant. You'll want to hug some characters (outcast Hannah and band geek Jake) and smack others (privileged Megan), but American Teen
is an admirable warts-and-all snapshot of high school life that everyone can relate to.
Matthew Goode, Emma Thompson
An Oxford student (Match Point
's Goode) becomes entangled with a family of glamorous Roman Catholic aristocrats in pre-World War II England. While Thompson and Michael Gambon are splendid as the clan's estranged parents in this take on Evelyn Waugh's famed novel, their costars simply don't measure up. But the gorgeous cinematography makes it lovely to look at.
The action star, 45, is the baddie in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
WHAT'S IT LIKE PLAYING AN EVIL MUMMY?
Fun. You don't need to think too much! You're just selfish. The good guy is not easy to play. You have to be nice.
DO YOUR KIDS WATCH YOUR MOVIES?
My younger ones don't watch a lot of them. They don't understand the fighting and the killing.
SO IF YOU WEREN'T AN ACTOR, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A monk. I'd go to a temple and meditate. I just want to understand the universe.
BEHIND THE SCENES GEORGE AND BRAD IN BURN AFTER READING
ONLY IN People
and Brad Pitt
on the set of their Coen brothers comedy (due out Sept. 12), about what happens when a spy's memoir falls into the wrong hands.
THE POWER OF YES
What would you do if someone asked you to jump off a bridge? In his comedy Yes Man
(out Dec. 19) Jim Carrey just takes a leap. The funnyman plays an office drone who liberates himself from the doldrums by saying yes to everything. Based on a memoir by British author Danny Wallace, the movie is "definitely a Jim Carrey comedy," says director Peyton Reed, but with "elements that could happen in the real world."
Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen, Adam Scott