15th Jun2014

Review Round-Up: Last Vegas & The Pretty One

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to the latest entry in our brand-new feature here on Nerdly – the Review Round-Up – where we take a look at some of the weeks new releases in smaller, more succinct capsule reviews with a rating to let you know whether to Rent, Buy, or wait for Netflix and/or other streaming services…

Last Vegas


Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco | Written by Dan Fogelman | Directed by Jon Turteltaub

What starts out as a seemingly geriatric take on The Hangover, Last Vegas sees wealthy and wild bachelor Billy (Douglas), grouchy grump Paddy (De Niro), lovable family man Archie (Freeman) and ladies man Sam (Kline), who have been best friends since childhood, journey to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas with a plan to stop acting their age and to relive their glory days when Billy, the group’s young at heart ladies’ man, finally decides to get married to his 30-something girlfriend… However, upon arriving, the four quickly realise that the decades have transformed Sin City and that the bachelor party will become one they will never forget. As the guys embrace changes in time, swapping scotch for vodka red bulls and trading motown for hip-hop, there is laughter and tears as they begin to wonder if their friendship will remain as strong as in their more youthful days.

As I said in the opening to this review, Last Vegas starts out very much like a Hangover rip-off featuring a bunch of old fogies. However as the film progresses you realise the Hangover-like story is merely a frame on which hangs a much deeper story of friendship, loyalty, love and growing old. Admittedly it takes a while to get there but when it does the fun, and funny, script really tugs at the heart strings – and, for the first time in a long time, you actually want Michael Douglas (post creepy real-life revelations) to get the girl, or in this case, older woman (Steenburgen).

With some great star turns from Douglas, Freeman and DeNiro (who more than makes up for the risible Focker sequels here), and a ton of funny, fish-out-of-water, OAP jokes Last Vegas will make you laugh and maybe even cry in equal measures.


The Pretty One


Stars: Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, Sterling Beaumon, Frances Shaw, Danny Pudi, Sabrina Lloyd, Jeremy Howard | Written and Directed by Jenée LaMarque

Laurel (Kazan) has always been the odd wallflower, choosing to live at home with her father, while her glamorous identical twin, Audrey (Kazan), possesses the confidence and appeal to succeed in the big city. When tragedy strikes and Laurel is mistaken for her twin sister, she makes the impulsive decision to assume her sister’s identity and become The Pretty One. As she eases into her new, independent existence, Laurel discovers that she’s capable of accomplishments she had never before had dreamed of: excelling in a career, maintaining friendships and even finding love.

More rambling mumblecore drama that appeals to hipster wannabes, The Pretty One is a movie that, at it’s core, deals with a very gruesome premise and yet believes the audience will completely over look the  central conceit that one sister is DEAD and her twin takes her place. Give this a more thrilling edge and you’d have Single White Female instead of a crappy rom-com that is as instantly forgettable as its generic title. A complete waste of a great cast – I’d rather watch Jake Johnson fumble over the worst New Girl script than sit through this drivel again. But hey, it’s nice to see Sabrina Lloyd (Sliders) and Jeremy Howard (Accepted) in more movie roles!



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