1/27 Movie Trip

Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, gives us his take on “A Man Called Otto”, “Shrinking”, and “Shotgun Wedding”.


Tom Hanks’ new film A Man Called Otto won’t be the movie you’re expecting from the trailer. It’s far better and more sincere than you may expect. Hanks stars as Otto Anderson, that crotchety neighbor you know who picks fights over petty situations like overpaying for rope at the hardware store or when people drive through the resident only drive way. With Tom Hanks playing him, you immediately feel there must be a life-altering past for Otto, and the film frequently calls back to his younger self. He was denied for the draft due to a heart condition, but then met the love of his life, Sonya, in a twist of fate. In present day, his attempt at suicide fails when a new family moves in next door making a ruckus as their UHAUL backs into place. Meeting neighbors Marisol, her husband Tommy and their two daughters becomes a turning point for Otto as it has him examining how he treats others and what his late wife would want from him.

-Starring: Tom Hanks, Mariana Treviño, John Higgins, Mack Bayda, Truman Hanks, Mike Birbiglia

-Based on the book and Swedish film A Man Called Ove.

-It’s become commonplace to see Tom Hanks as the hero or good guy role. It’s always refreshing seeing him play someone outside we what expect from the reliable actor. Knowing that Hanks plays Otto offers up some reassurance to the audience that there’s a good heart in there somewhere.

-Hanks finds a deeper, gruffer voice for Otto perfectly matching his outlook at life. His honesty in the role makes him all the more relatable as we’ve seen and dealt with the Ottos in our neighborhood or local store. Hanks makes you looks inward, as he’s not a villain or bad guy and creates empathy toward the character.

-The film’s flashbacks have Tom’s son, Truman Hanks, playing Young Otto as the love story behind Otto and Sonya unfolds. There’s a lot of pain in Otto’s life, and the film is asking us how often we’re quick to pass judgment when we don’t know someone’s full story.

-It’s touching and heartwarming with plenty of humor along the way thanks to the banter between Otto and Marisol. Mariana Trevino is an absolute scene-stealer as Marisol who isn’t afraid to go head to head with Otto. A Man Called Otto is perfect for anyone who wants a feel-good story and a reminder to check in with your network. You never know what they might be going through.


SHRINKING (AppleTV+ series)

The creators of Ted Lasso have teamed up for a new AppleTV+ series with Jason Segel and Harrison Ford. In Shrinking, Jason Segel’s character, Jimmy, is a therapist in need of a therapist. He’s going through his own mental health crisis after the death of his wife. He’s left as a single father to his teen daughter, and their relationship is strained. His own mental lapses don’t always leave him in the best position to help his clients until he decides to break convention and tell them how he truly sees it no matter how damaging or unproductive his advice may be. In the meantime, his colleague, Paul, settles in to give Jimmy a test of his own medicine. Harrison Ford plays Paul to perfection in the kind of way you would want advice from Harrison Ford.

-First season will be 10 x thirty-minute episodes airing weekly on AppleTV+

-Starring: Jason Segel, Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Crista Miller, Michael Urie, Lily Rabe

-The series was created by Jason Segel along with Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein from Ted Lasso.

-The series tackles grief and starting over in a place that straddles comedy and drama with a fine line. The therapy sessions, the outbursts, and unconventional practices Segel’s character enforces can be funny despite the hardships and awkward situations these characters find themselves in.

-Harrison Ford is comedy gold in Shrinking. This is his second streaming series within the last year following the Yellowstone prequel, 1923. Ford eases into that aging, curmudgeon no-nonsense type in the way he mentors Segel’s character.

-Many of these characters are all just trying to get by with the hand life dealt them. The series reminds its audience that the road to healing is not linear. There are setbacks, verbal explosions, laughter, and every emotion in between.

-Like Ted Lasso, it’s grounded in a real emotional state and never feels too heavy despite some of the hardships presented.


SHOTGUN WEDDING (Prime Video movie)

Jennifer Lopez has made a few movies now that are wedding themed like The Wedding Planner and Marry Me. Her latest, Shotgun Wedding, is one of the worst in her career. The film opens at a tropical resort in the Philippines as Lopez’s character, Darcy, trying to remain calm during the night of her wedding rehearsal to fiancé, Tom, who happens to be a groomzilla. It’s a messy evening as the two mothers don’t get along, and Darcy’s father surprises everyone by inviting Darcy’s ex, Sean, to the wedding. On her wedding day, Darcy proclaims that something doesn’t feel right. Frankly, the audience already knows this by how bad the film is. Just before they’re about to walk down the aisle, a group of pirates hijack their wedding. Darcy and Tom are left scrambling, while the guests are taken hostage in a pool.

-Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Cheech Marin, Jennifer Coolidge, Lenny Kravitz

-There is no rom and no com in this supposed “rom com” as it’s painfully unfunny. Lopez and Duhamel don’t have a lot of on screen chemistry, so I never bought into the relationship.

-The only amount of comedy that comes in this movie are the few times Jennifer Coolidge lets loose. She’s loud, over the top, and knows how to enter a room. She instantly brings up the energy and pace.

-Jennifer Lopez attempts to play into the heightened state of her character and the physical nature of the role, but it’s not her brand. She’s trying to accomplish what Sandra Bullock is great at and pulls off with ease. You see Lopez trying way too hard to bring the laughs.

-The script feels so bare bones and basic that it’s so cringeworthy bad once the pirates hijack the wedding. It never goes far enough at playing into the comedy, the romance, or the adventure. There’s something lazy in the direction. It’s attempts some surprises in the final act that don’t land.

-The supporting cast of friends and family are left with nothing to do as they’re held hostage in a pool breaking up any type of comedy or relationship building you could have done with them.

-There’s nothing new or clever about this film. It’s a weak mix of Romancing the Stone and The Lost City, both of which were far more exciting and adventurous.

-Jennifer Lopez is better than this material. She needs to find more movies like Hustlers or unabashedly sweet and romantic films where she has chemistry with the lead.