Movies out today: Slapstick, teens and Germans

Three very different movie open in South Africa today. I can't say any of the trio particularly appeal to me but perhaps one will be up your alley.

Mad Buddies:
Sure to break local box office records from today is the latest lowbrow comedy from Leon Schuster. Eschewing candid camera gags for a fictional narrative, the funnyman plays a former anti-poaching operative who is forced to road-trip from Durban to Johannesburg with his sworn enemy (Kenneth Nkosi). Little do they know their bickering misadventures are being filmed by an ambitious TV producer (Tanit Phoenix) for a new reality show.

If you have a more sophisticated sense of humour, stay far away from Mad Buddies, which sticks to the Schuster formula of slapstick gags ad nauseum - typically involving body functions or an accident-prone midget. If, however, you enjoy puerile poop jokes, you'll probably love the film. For the record, The gave Mad Buddies 3 and a half stars out of 5... although that score didn't come from one of our regular reviewers.

If you've ever wanted to watch a movie where Miley Cyrus plays with her cellphone for 97 minutes, here's your chance! In this comedy coming-of-age tale - based on a successful, award-winning French film - Cyrus plays a high schooler who is so busy living her life and sharing her saucy adventures via social media that a massive communication gap has widened between her and her mother (Demi Moore).

LOL wasn't screened for critics when it was released in the US back in May. So few people watched it that the film doesn't even have a Rotten Tomatoes rating. It has however earned itself 1.8 stars out of 10 on the IMDB user review scale. Words like "vapid," "painful," "moronic" and "made for TV" have been used to describe the film. Beware.

Screening at select Ster Kinekor cinemas is this German-language historical romance, also known as Young Goethe in Love. Seriously. Alexander Fehling plays the 18th Century philosopher, poet and politician in his youth. Sent to the sleepy countryside after failing his law exams, Goethe falls for a local beauty, Lotte (Miriam Stein), who is betrothed to another man.

Apparently in the vein of Shakespeare in Love, Goethe! mixes romance, humour and drama to (mostly) satisfying effect. Sporting a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 61% Fresh, the film is far from deep but offers some lighthearted and charming escapism. Probably not the most realistic portrayal of Goethe though.


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